Sunday 16 September 2018

Couples, Closeness and the 'and-co' look

And-co Dressing
I was thinking this morning.....about couples, closeness and the 'and-co' look. While chatting with a friend on our way back from lunch last Monday, he mentioned that the wife was taking him out that evening in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary. being together for 25 years is no mean feat. As my friend spoke, my mind played back and recalled the gist of past conversations I have had with him about his social outings and connecting the dots revealed he was most times with the wife at these outings. It was obvious that you hardly can separate my friend from his wife in the social space.

As I smiled at their time-tested relationship, I remembered an incident that occurred in my early years of working as a contractor personnel in one of the Multinational Oil Companies in Warri. I had this boss then that work so late that real work, for him, starts after 5pm. he was feared by everyone for his bullish approach to work. he will work till about 10pm before closing for the day. One evening, a colleague of mine, named Wale, had to leave at about 6pm. Not long after, the boss came out from his closed office looking for Wale and hoping to get a vital information from him. Wale, unfortunately had closed for the day. He screamed, 'Where is Wale? Get Wale for me. Look for him everywhere. If you can't get him, get his wife. If the wife shows up, he will show up.' We all were like, albeit in hushed tones, 'Really? Does his wife now work for you?

Funny though, but my boss probably knew that outside the office, if you see Wale's wife, then Wale is not far off. The whole episode got me thinking about how close I am to 'my young wife.' How much time do I spend with her? Can someone assume that if you have seen me, you have seen my wife? Hmm!!! It seems couples are more and more drifting from being hand-in-hand to individuality, and many reasons can be adduced. But ask yourself, when last did you wear 'and-co' with your spouse? In Warri, when a couple dresses in matching outfits, it is called 'and-co.' By the way, 'and-co' means 'And Company.' While 'Aso-ebi' is for a group, 'and-co' is for a couple. In South Korea it is called Kou-peul look. If you ask me sha, I would rather favour a coordinating outfit rather than 'and-co' because matching outfit makes you look like two members of a sports team or traditional choir group.

The question is, when you are out with your spouse for an occasion , do you dress 'and-co' or in a coordinating outfit, go in the same car and lock hands while walking? While for some, the score will be one or two out of three, for many it is zero, because they love their individuality and enjoy the company of themselves.

It may seem that those that scored zero are not proud of their spouses. Maybe and maybe not. For some couples, they are at their best when away from their spouses. They like to fly solo both socially and spiritually. I know of a man and woman in church that for years I never knew were a couple. They come to church in different cars and at different times and sit in different section of the auditorium. Don't get me wrong, their relationship is stable but just that they like doing their own things. Their individuality when in public is deep and I wonder why.

I have realized that many couples, rather than spend more time with their spouses, are now living in splendid isolation. From experience, I know it is bliss to be closely connected with your spouse to the point where, like my former boss thought, wherever and whenever you appear, your spouse is by your side or not far away. No wonder Jesus said in John 14:9, 'Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?' Please, to every 'Philip' around me, be informed that if you have seen me, you have seen my wife and vice versa. For now, it's time to head to church with my wife in the same car not dressed in 'and-co' but in a coordinating outfit.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

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