Monthly Archives: April 2014

More scenes from an interspecies marriage



Mum (overheard on the phone with O): So, dare I ask – is the kitchen done?

O: Uh, yeah. I’d say it’s done.

Me: Don’t lie to my mum! On Easter!

O: It’s not a lie. I mean, the only thing that really needs to be done is the grouting.

Me: Yeah!? And it took you 3 months to lay the countertop once we had it; another month to take the tiles out of the box; now the grout’s been sitting there 3 weeks.

O: I’m not worried about that one; I can do that in 2 hours.

Me: But haven’t. For 3 weeks.

O: Yeah, well, but I could.

Me: But haven’t.

Mum (on phone): So why haven’t you?

Me: Don’t ask for the narrative!

O: Well, see, there’s this one piece of tile that’s crooked. So I tried to take it out, but then I’d have to take out all the other pieces below it out to solve the problem. So the problem with that is that some might break. So then I’d have to wait till the weekend to go back to Home Depot to have the Filipino guy there cut some more pieces. And then you have to let them sit 2 days before grouting. But just the other day Faith was saying maybe it’s too much trouble and I should just leave them crooked.

Me (to mum): I warned you!

Mum (on phone): So when are you going to finish the kitchen?

O: Well, it’s actually finished, though maybe not technically.

Me: It’s NOT finished, period! The countertop is covered with butcher paper; there are saws and tiles and sealant and grout all over it; there’s hardware to be installed. If I can’t USE it, it’s not finished.

O (ignores me): Listen to her. Just 2 weeks ago she had a brunch, and I cleared off all the saws and people saw the new counter and even put food on it. So clearly you can use it.

Me: Oh. My. God.

Mum (on phone): Hee hee. I love talking to O!

April Fool’s? Our Anniversary?


When O turned up at my birthday brunch – uninvited – 23 years ago in Boston, I thought, “If we end up together, what a great first meeting story to tell our kids!” Turns out, it was our third time meeting.


When we started dating, I thought, “If ever end up marrying a Nigerian man, this is the one!” Turns out, he had a job in California and moved soon after.


Since then, we’ve dated every decade. Some of you might remember the Great PowerPoint Presentation of 2009, when he flew to Pittsburgh to plead his case with assorted documents.


Then, a year ago on a joint birthday trip to Costa Rica, he “proposed” so badly I nearly threw him from the bus. He tried again. I nearly threw myself from the bus. He tried again. I workshopped the proposal.


He spent the afternoon writing it out in a travelers’ notebook I keep at my bedside and finally got it right…on Easter…in a Catholic country. The next day, our final one in Costa Rica, was April Fool’s Day. We got married on the beach, then took the lawyer who arranged it and his son to dinner.


Happy One-Year Anniversary/April Fool’s Day, my husband!ImageImage!Image