When the durex ad comes on and you were watching news with the better half it’s somewhat sensual. It brings in a sexual tension and the atmosphere is suddenly charged every movement tingles and chances are a bout of steamy passion will erupt and you will both explode with ecstasy. Chances are you might not have had any durex or its substitute nearby so the next morning will see the both of you (mostly you, the guy) walk into a chemist and get the morning after pill.
She might feel morally obligated not to take it as it is her body and might convince you that she was on her safe days. You cannot force her to take them so you sit and pray and wait. When your phone beeps you cringe, you are half expecting her to say she has missed her periods and that she is worried she might be pregnant. She finally texts and announces her monthly visitor came knocking last night and she cannot stand the bout of cramps that are currently ambushing her abdominals – but you could care less. You curse the durex ad until it comes on again and the cycle continues. You might be the lucky bastard that never has to raise a child but then again you might end up with a pregnant girlfriend living in your one bedroom subjecting you to mood swings from Antarctica to Timbuktu.
On her first trimester she will crave the weirdest things and you might find her sniffing your coats and licking the gravy of the dripping mwiko. She will ask for ice cream and be specific on the flavor. One day the supermarket will be out and you’ll pick the next best thing – only there is no next best thing – you will find yourself out in the cold in the middle of the night trying to find a 24 hour supermarket that stocks that particular brand and flavor. Then maybe she will get moody and cry for no particular reason on her second trimester. She will see a bug fly into the window and her face will crease up and tears will roll down her cheeks wondering why the world is so unfair. She will then opt to have windows open at all times including the one on your PC.
Finally her mother will come to visit and she will hate your house, the curtains, the carpet, the loud neighbors, the creaky bed, the lousy television shows, your cologne, the way you knock, the brand of rice you buy, and she will ask you to change all of it because her daughter cannot live under such conditions. You secretly want to tell her that her daughter not only lived under such conditions but got pregnant under the same conditions. You shake your head and begin a house hunt in a pre-approved neighborhood and finally move in before she hits the third trimester. Here she’s overly attached to you. Your days have been dissected to the Nano second and each you are away has to be accounted for. You can’t randomly meet up with the boys for a beer. She’ll reiterate how her pregnancy is for the both of you and that she’s doing you a favor by carrying it to term. She gets accustomed to such threats and occasionally calls your boys to tell them to keep away from you.
Finally she delivers and it’s a bouncing baby whatever. She is relieved, you are not – the office insists you take your paternal leave but you know you don’t want to be next to a moody, lactating mother and a crying baby – so you take up an offer to go work in Somalia. The pay rise is good for both you and the baby so you somehow convince her. You promise to Skype but you’re going to be in Somalia you can always say there was bad internet. You spend seven months there with the occasional one-off visits to prove you have all your limbs. When you finally move back she’s been hitting the gym looking all types of sexy and her mother hints at marriage. The ball is set and you conduct all the preliminaries and finally tie the knot at a low-key event at some upmarket hotel gardens, have a photo session in their botanical gardens and head out for a honeymoon at some white beached resort – only this time you remember the durex.
But, not me. When the ad comes on it’s my parents that are present. This is when you decide to confirm if the batteries on the remote have expired. You get unexpectedly thirsty and need a glass of water from the bathroom in the neighbor’s house up country. That’s when you realize your phone’s screen is smudgy and you decide to clean it – in your room under the covers while sleeping. That’s when you get up to answer a call of nature. You will hear the news paper shuffling and find someone busy engrossed trying to read a full page colored ad for helmets. You will develop an imaginary chest condition and cough your lungs out.
The alternative is to move out. But I don’t want to work in Somalia. I don’t want to go out in the middle of the night looking for ice cream. I don’t want to walk into a house and find somebody crying because a bug hit the window and died. I don’t want a mother in-law telling me I should move and criticizing my house. So let me find a doctor to prescribe a syrup for this imaginary cough and trek to the neighbor’s house to get a glass of water.