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Bad Girls Become the Brides While Good Girls Become Their Maid of Honor

I woke up one morning, went through my clothing and realized I had all the colors of the rainbow in there. The pink and white dress was for Adwoa’s wedding, I remember. I remember also that I wore the turquoise and white gown to Suzy’s wedding immediately after school. The royal blue and white dress was what I wore for Mansa’s wedding recently. I was the bride’s maid for all of these weddings and twice I was the one who caught the bouquet. If the tradition was true, I should have been the next to marry but here I am, still single.

Growing up, my parent thought me three basic things;

a) Keep your virginity for your future husband. Men respect women who are chaste.

b) A woman has to cover up. There’s no need showing your body to the world. Your body is for only your husband

c) The way to man’s heart is through his stomach. Get good in the kitchen or else, your beauty will lead you to marriage but your bad kitchen skills will bring you back home.

These three lessons stuck with me like glue and my parent ensured I lived every day following these lessons. I didn’t have a male friend when I was young. It didn’t feel right to have one. I thought it would be easier to fall into temptation if I kept a male friend. Even in church, my relationship with guys ended after church service. Guys who for a reason or two ended up in my house looking for me had my parent to contend with. That was the case until I became a boarder in Senior High School.

In high school, I met Asantewaa and she became my best friend until we completed school. Asantewaa was everything that I was not. Though she was a member of the Scripture Union(S.U) in school, nothing stopped her from doing things you wouldn’t expect from a member of the S.U. She had a boyfriend in school and by the time we were in our final year, Asantewaa had broken all the rules in the school. She would leave campus without exeat, visit a boyfriend and sometimes spend some days. She would come back to school and tell me everything she did while away.

I loved her spirit of adventure but I couldn’t do it too because I had a promise to keep. A promise that was supposed to ensure a better future for me. She wouldn’t take my advice and saw no need for chastity when in her own words “sex opens a lady’s eyes to the world.” We were able to maintain our friendship because, upon all her wild life, we had one thing that kept us together; prayers. She never skipped S.U prayer meetings and she never skipped church services.

After senior high school, we both had admissions to different universities and gradually lost touch.

I shared a room with Suzy at the University and we became friends immediately. She was a passionate reader and a movie addict. She didn’t go out a lot since she always had something to watch on her laptop. Her boyfriend, Louis, came around very often and I became friends with Louis too because of his easy-going nature. Suzy didn’t judge my way of life though she always insisted I should lose up. She respected my choices and encouraged me through thick and thin. One afternoon, during our usual conversations she said; “I understand your decision of staying chaste and keeping it for your husband but how would you have a husband if you don’t get a boyfriend?” she continued, “Husbands don’t just happen. Boyfriends become husbands.”

She was right. Whoever becomes my husband would be my boyfriend first. I started opening up to the idea of dating. But the rule was simple; we would be just friends at first and when we were sure of each other, we would then decide to marry but no intimacy before marriage. I spelled the rules out to whoever came my way. At first, they seemed to have understood it but as times went on, they changed and begun asking for the very thing we decided to avoid until marriage.

Most of my relationships didn’t work out. From the second year on campus to the final year, I dated three guys and the longest time I remained in a relationship was seven months. I didn’t know what wasn’t working for me. Apart from not providing an opportunity for intimacy, I thought I was doing fine with them. But somehow, they all left without giving me any reasons. They started by not calling and then not receiving my calls and later stopped seeing me. I wasn’t bothered so much because I knew what I wanted. I knew my upbringing and I knew it was the only right way to make my future man happy.

Suzy got married to her school boyfriend some few months after graduation. I was the bridesmaid and I couldn’t be anything but happy for them. I remember recounting the stories of their relationship in my head during the wedding ceremony; their little fights and some moments when they were not talking to each other. I remembered how I had to stay out some nights because they needed the room to do their own thing and how one night they did it while I was sleeping right in the room with them.

Suzy wasn’t a good girl but then who’s a good girl? From how I was brought up, a good girl should be able to abstain from sex until marriage. A good girl should dress to cover the vital areas of womanhood. A good girl shouldn’t be found in places where immoral men hang out. The only place for a good girl is in church and also should make the kitchen her best friend. If these are the truth, then Suzy wasn’t a good girl but there she was, getting married to the man of her dreams.

I know Mansa from childhood because we both grew up from the same church and was even in Sunday school together. We became part of the various societies in the church as we age. Mansa wasn’t the typical church girl you would be proud of. She was the girl every mother warned their daughter about. I remember one day when an elder of the church was advising me to distance myself from Mansa, the exact words he used was “Don’t you think Mansa is too hot a girl for you to hang around with?”

Mansa found a husband and again, I was the bridesmaid of the wedding. ‘Too hot” found her a husband in the same church. Maybe men want it too hot, who knows, I thought to myself. Recently, I came across wedding anniversary photos of Asantewaa. You remember her? yeah, my high school mate who believed sex opened a lady’s eyes to the world. Asantewaa had been married and celebrating their anniversary with her husband and kid in photos spread on her Facebook page. She too found a man who didn’t care about the fact that she wasn’t a virgin. Someone married her, regardless.

These stories of my ‘bad’ friends getting married while ‘good’ me is still single made me think differently about the whole concept of who or what a good woman is. My parent had the best intentions but the motivation of their intentions was wrong. They thought of creating the kind of woman a man would want to live with instead of molding me into the kind of woman I would grow up to be proud of. What is it about a man that a woman has to be molded for? Maybe, women should be raised for themselves and not for a man because what a man wants can’t be predicted. A man will always want what he wants and his choice of a woman follows no trend.

I have no regrets. I’m happy for those I’m happy for. Maybe my situation of not having a man in my life at the age of 35 has nothing to do with my decision to remain chaste until marriage. Like my pastor mostly tells me “The one God has prepared for you would wait till you get married before intimacy.” I’m believing that and I pray I remain stronger until the end. But from what I have seen, I believe being a ‘good’ girl has little or nothing to do with it when it comes to who a man chooses to marry. Most like it hot. The hot ones are the ones we mostly call bad.
(SILENTBEADS) Story by Gertrude Arthur. Gertrude is passionate about volunteering and loves reading to pass time.


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