When Min Toto was Away
When Min Toto was Away
One of the things that I always missed ever since my girlfriend and I decided to move in together was solitude. Those who know me personally know that I’m an introvert and only mingle with a small circle of people. Solitude is golden. You get to think about issues critically and are able to develop a different dimension of thought, as well as nurture your creativity. Once we moved in together I couldn’t spend even ten minutes alone, saying nothing. My girlfriend will always pester me wanting to know if everything’s okay. I must admit that I’ve also picked this inquisitive behavior of always checking on those whom I share a roof with.
So Min Toto decided to pay her family a visit upcountry for a week and despite me having no qualms about it, I did stress that they shouldn’t be gone for more than two weeks. So off they went and here I was all alone in the house. Fellow men, can you imagine your family having travelled and you’re left all alone? What you do or think about this situation definitely differs from one individual to another.
I must admit that living alone was one bitter-sweet experience. It reminded me of my bachelor days and I acted at least 80% as if I had rolled a few years back living alone in my single-roomed house in Ng’ando, Nairobi. I believe we all have heard or experienced what men do or don’t when they live alone. The dirty utensils and clothes, the dirty looking space; the wanting hygiene levels among other undesirable traits.
How it went down
Me living alone? I had to make it count. One of the reasons why men marry is so that they can have a ‘helper’ who will ensure that they are well fed and clothed. Growing up, my mum taught me how to clean, cook and maintain a healthy household. I must admit that now that I’m an adult and living with my partner, much hasn’t changed. I from time to time take part in house chores without requests or pomp. It is my conviction that as a normal adult one should be responsible for their own well-being, for others and their surrounding. You shouldn’t expect others to do it for you.
Living alone after close to 3 years wasn’t a walk in the park, it was hard. It brought back the haunting memories from my bachelor-days. You have to decide what to have for supper, when and how to clean the house amongst other chores. It was hectic as my job dictates that I have to leave at 8 pm and report back by 8 am. I did the best I could and from the comments from Min Toto I didn’t do so bad.
Most men who live alone will tell you about a ‘trick’ we use to avoid being burdened by chores. I acted as per the laid-down script of bachelorhood. One chapter reads that Thou shall use a maximum of one cup a day. Min Toto left with the house tidy, including the utensils and clothes. I got one cup from the cupboard and used it when brushing my teeth in the morning, ran some water over it; and put my tea in it for breakfast. Once done the cup is strategically placed where it can be found when needed – to be specific, on the sitting-room table. It would later be used for taking water and for coffee after supper.
It is expensive always buying food from eateries. I did cook supper every once in a while. I made sure that it was enough to cover the next day’s lunch and supper. To reduce the amount of utensils I had to wash afterwards, I on numerous occasions ate directly from the pot! Min Toto and my mum would be disappointed but it is what it is.
I Did Enjoy Myself
As much as living alone was mostly a hustle. There are positives I wouldn’t hesitate to point out. One, I had the bed all to myself and did not have to occasionally, in the middle of the night, fight for my rightful share of the blanket. Secondly, I sang and sang along. You should see my teary eyes as I narrate this. Married men know so well who’s in charge of the sound system and television at home. If it’s not your wife then it’s the kids. Most of the time I get home the madam is watching her favorite show on tv and there’s nothing I can do about it until she’s through. But here I was, jamming to my favorite tunes and singing along. Oh God that was therapeutic!
Dear Min Toto, while you were away I missed you guys big. I suffered, enjoyed myself and above all learned. I think it’s high time we show appreciation to our spouses for the role they play in our lives, be it emotional support, house chores, finances, and all.