Before I start my story, please, please and please again, not to sound rude or anything but no one should come into the comments section and be asking me how I didn’t see this. You don’t fully know someone until you live with them 24/7. Even with that, some people are good at hiding things about them. Also, I don’t know if this is a case of getting too comfortable after marriage or it was there and I didn’t look closely or he hid it.
During our dating and courting days, my husband was doing all the things right. Okay, not all but most things. He knew courtesy and he knew eating etiquette, we didn’t go out much to eat since we are book lovers. We would rather go out to a library or a book store or a book signing. Those were fun times. Also, whenever we went out to eat or something, he didn’t do anything gross… or maybe I never caught him.
We have been married for only two years, getting to three but the things I’m seeing now, ahhh. I feel shy and embarrassed whenever he does it. Especially when we are with family or friends. The first incident was about a month into our marriage. He had requested for omutuo and palm nut soup and I was preparing it as he went up and down doing whatever. As I served him, he rubbed his palms as he kept licking his mouth.
I didn’t understand him. What sort of behaviour was that? I didn’t mind the rubbing of the palms, I didn’t like how he was licking his whole mouth. Even children won’t do that. Then as he was eating, he wasn’t so patient, the abenkwan kept trickling down his arm and he would lick it in some gross way. When he was eating, some of the soup managed to stain his shirt, all he said was, “Enyɛ hwee, sɛ ɔkyena wobɛsi ama me”
I didn’t want the soup to “traaa” me so I held on to my laughter and annoyance. After we were done and had cleaned up, we were talking about something when I realised he didn’t clean his mouth well. His lips looked shiny and the corners of his mouth had abenkwan all over it. Hmmm, from that time, I don’t know but I observed him in some way whenever we were eating. Eating foods with soup was a disaster. He would either stain his shirt or shorts or trousers. The soup always trickled down his arm and the licking would start. Even when there was no soup, he would still lick it.
Oh and before food is always served, he will be praising my cooking, even on days that the cooking doesn’t go well. He would rub his palms then the licking of his mouth no deɛ, asɛ wonim. We have toothpick ooh, he’ll never use it. He’ll grab some A4 sheet and tear into two, fold it and pick his teeth… sometimes he uses his fingers. After about three months, I sat him down and calmly explained how his eating etiquette was poor and would affect us. He looked a bit embarrassed and promised to change.
Change no amba da. When we had our first child, I saw that things were worse. One time our son was crying and he said probably the baby was hungry so he was going to fix him some Cerelac. After mixing the cereal, he used his fingers to clean the edges with the cereal, licked it and then dipped his finger into the cereal, claiming to check if it was warm enough. Fingers that he used to pass through the canals of his nose and his hair. Fingers that he washed improperly even when I asked him to do it again. What even pained me was that he ate more than half of the food and returned the baby to me to do top up breastfeeding.
Another time too, my younger sister came to spend some time with us. After the evening meal, we were clearing the table as he sat there, making noises with his teeth. Without warning, he titlted his bum and farted on us. We were both surprised. Who just farts on others, without warning? If it was only me, I would have known how to handle it. But in my sister’s face? Ahba! Then there was the family gathering fiasco.
We were all having a good time, eating, laughing, playing and enjoying the music. My husband went for kokonte and groundnut soup, topped it up with some abenkwan and grinded pepper. Before going, I had asked him to be on his best behaviour. All was going well until he got into the middle of his eating, he chewed the bones to fine powder, drank all the soup by raising the bowl to his head then he placed his bowl down and started picking his teeth with his long nails. Ow, mmɔbɔ.
I was so embarrassed as some people saw the whole thing. That night at home, I fought with him. He didn’t see anything wrong. An educated, full grown man. Ah. I was sad. If you see his handsome and face and features too you’ll never in your wildest dreams think he would be able to do any of the gross things he does. What has pushed me to rethink our whole marriage and even entertain divorce is how I may lose a promotion because of his actions.
So our company had an end of year party and we the married ones were all entreated to come with our partners. He dressed nicely, hugged me and assured me that as for this party, he would be on his best behaviour. I prayed so. This is how it got to the food time and his things started. I was giving him the “Eye” to be on his best behaviour but he didn’t see or he chose not to mind me.
He rubbed his palms, looking excited as if I had been starving him and this was his best food ever. The licking of the lips and the mouth too deɛ, constant. He heaped his plate well well. We went to sit with some colleagues I don’t really flow with and began eating and talking. Ah, what is that? I wanted to save face so I was nudging him small small but he wouldn’t mind me. You know how it’s uncouth to be eating and chewing and talking? He did all that and more.
He would eat and make noise, gulp down his drink and continue. When he was finally done eating, he didn’t stop there. He sat comfortably in his seat and belched. A very loud one, “wɔɔɔerrh” then he rubbed his belly. Some people at the table turned to look at me and then look at him. We had to leave early to avoid further stares and comments. The following week at work, when they were discussing promotions, they went over my name. I asked my supervisor and she said they forgot but up till now nothing.
How some of my colleagues look at me at work tells me the news has travelled everywhere. Even the gateman looks at me in a weird way and goes like, “Madaaaam, madam!” I am tired of always having to cover up or save face. Two years is small but it isn’t small, I am rethinking the whole marriage, but as for my husband, what I have planned to do to him, no eye has seen, no ear has heard. If after that it doesn’t change him, then I don’t know what will.