Mr Survivor: To keep the peace, Sunday afternoon family outings resume

Family meal

I knew Queen coached the boys to ask for the Sunday outing, and our marital handshake was heavily dependent on how I (re)acted. So, I readily agreed.

Photo credit: Pool

I am sure that I have already told you that the one and only reason I dug a financial hole to buy my Volkswagen Passat was to buy my marital nirvana bonga points from my Queen. But that car has come with other unforeseen fringe benefits and expenses both in the palace and outside. I have already told you that outside the palace, I am a ‘DC’.

In the palace, Queen, who certainly has been informed by her various informers of my promotion, must have concluded that the term comes with some money. Now, Queen is the type that must get to the bottom of all my sources of money and try to balance the figures. You see, Queen has never believed that she is the one and only Queen of my heart. And now that I have been promoted to the position of ‘DC’ in Happy Valley, she fears that my elevated social visibility will attract potential competitors of Eve’s heritage.

As a way of monitoring and managing my money, she coached the future leaders to demand for the resumption of the Sunday afternoon family outings. The thing is, Queen suffers from selective amnesia. She forgets that although I do not give her money in cash, I foot all the bills at the palace, including and not limited to maintaining the structure of the palace, paying school fees and clothing the whole family. In addition, although she takes care of the regular kitchen budget, I still maintain the extravagant part of it which includes thrice a week meet ration and her weekly Del Monte mango juice.

I was therefore not surprised when the future leaders cornered me last Sunday morning, asking to be taken for an outing after church.

“Dad, some other people go for outing after the church on Sundays,” said the first born, who is also the family activist.

“Yes, yes, outing of bouncing castles is very good,” said the second born, the family ombudsman.

“I want to ride the bikes at the Holiday Hotel,” said the last born, the family joker.

“You have heard it yourself with your own ears. Treat your children like other good fathers do,” Queen said.

Those words were said in a way they told me that I was not a ‘good enough’ father to my children, and by extension ‘not a good husband’ to their mother. Taking the boys for an outing obviously means Queen is there. And I am not stupid. You see, although the words were spoken pleadingly, I knew it was a threat and a reminder that our marital handshake was heavily dependent on how I acted.

“I told you that I am now not embarrassed to be seen in your company. Your new car is manly, fatherly and husbandly,” she said. Those are Queen’s wifely wiles to smitten me. How I wish she was always that romantic!

As the good man that I am to my family, even without Queen’s prompting, I agreed resume taking the whole family, including Makena, our CPA (comptroller of palace affairs), for an outing after church every Sunday.

“You have never said you want to go for outing every Sunday. I could have taken you like yesterday,” I said without giving it any serious thought.

“A good father knows what his people want without waiting to be pushed,” Queen said.

“I have always thought about it but I feared it would interfere with your church programme,” I said in self-glorification.

“It is after church, like other people do. And after all, who could have wished to be associated with that Tortoise that you called a car?” Queen said.

And so last Sunday, I took the family to Holiday Premier Hotel. On the way and back, Queen craned her neck out for everyone to see that she was the one inside the car. It was a great family outing which boosted the marital bliss reigning at the palace.

Surprisingly, although the place serves all types and names of drinkables, Queen did not protest, as I had hoped she would. You see, as long as she is milking money from me, she can go to any lengths irrespective of her religious inclinations. But I am not complaining. This is my family and I would want to give them the best. Who does not know that I am the only man in the breadth and width of Happy Valley countryside who dresses his family in imported clothes from Wa Maggie’s executive Boutique in Ol’ Kalou town, the headquarters of the great land of milk and potatoes, Nyandarua County? 

My only concern is that the cost of sustaining the marital handshake through the newly introduced, nay, forced, weekly ritual is unsustainable in the prevailing financial hard times. And my great worry is that if I am unable to sustain the ritual, it automatically means the death of the handshake which in turn means my return to marital Siberia. God forbid.

Wainaina Karanja lives in Nyandarua County. He is a teacher of English and writes stories to portray the reality of countryside life in Kenya as well as offer entertainment. [email protected]