With or without you

Published On: November 17, 2017 09:07 AM NPT By: Kalu Maila

I have been married for almost four years now and whenever there is a high school reunion my friends ask me if I am enjoying my married life or if I still long for the 'Single and Mingle' days!  I think it's not only me but all married guys face the same question from our 'single' friends.

When I was single, I used to hang out with my friends on Friday nights till early Saturday morning. Yes, a couple of drinks here and there and by the time you got home, your dog was waking up and giving you the 'stare' when you were trying to climb the gate and get inside your house.  

When you are single, you do want to mingle and you want to look sharp when going out on a date or even when you are out buying pirated DVDs or vegetables. You update your Facebook status every other hour so that someone, most probably a female, who is not your relative will like it. 

But ever since my marriage, I don't hang out that much with my lads and drink till Saturday morning. Yes, my wife will not be happy if I do a 'boys night' out every weekend. I don't even really worry about my looks or what I wear even when I am off to a wedding. That really annoys my wife. I don't even use Facebook anymore. My wife thinks something is fishy. I tell her that Facebook statuses were all about trying to impress the ladies and since I am already married now, I don't need Facebook to impress my wife. I have her and I am happy. She rolls her eyes and goes back to watching Salman Khan impress his heroine in one of his movies. God, I hate YouTube and Facebook and those 'Candy' games!

It's mostly the 'still' eligible bachelors who ask us, the married guys, about our life after marriage and life post marriage. It's always the single VS married debate that begins right after we all sit down to enjoy our drinks. 

I quit smoking and drinking a few months ago and most of my high school friends are mad at me for trying to make my wife happy. I think most of us assume that any bad habits we manage to get rid off is due to immense pressure from our Mrs. It's like we have surrendered to our spouses and are no longer 'free' people just because we quit smoking nicotine sticks and drinking whiskey. Giving our lungs and liver a break seems to be like giving up on your buddies!

We, married men, never ask other married men if they are enjoying their married lives or talk about how we miss our 'single' days. We are married and we keep quiet and not whine about our spouses with our friends. But single men love to talk about their girlfriends and what they like and don't like. We, married men, keep our mouth shut because once someone starts talking about his wife then others will quickly follow and then all hell will break loose in a week or two.

Last week, we had one of those reunions we have every three months at a friend's restaurant because one of our high school friends was back in town from Cameroon. Well, he works for some international organization there and makes dollars. Yes, there is a big difference when one gets paid in dollars, dinars and rupees.  But we are all good souls and we all pitch in instead of expecting the 'foreign' one to pay the check.

He is one of the few, well, one of the three remaining bachelors from our batch. The other two still live in Kathmandu. One is a farmer who is happy with his chickens, pigs, ducks and vegetables. He doesn't want to get married anytime soon.

The other is busy dreaming big and hopes to be Nepal's, I mean, the world's first trillionaire. Yes, Bezos and Gates can step aside! I think he wants to sell uranium to the North Koreans or find gold somewhere in the mountains. Some of us think he is going crazy but I think he will make it big someday. He also doesn't want to get married anytime soon.

As everybody started munching on the usual 'snacks' and drinking their whiskey, I was busy drinking green tea. Our 'dollar' guy talked about how one can live without a woman and still be happy. Well, then one of our 'BBC' friend, yes, the guy who knows how to ask funny questions or come up with random rants, tells the 'dollar' friend that maybe he is happy living with a man.

Nothing wrong with it as long as he is happy but our friend was not, and he was happy and he was certain that his choice to be a 'bachelor for life' would always make him happy.

So, now the question of the night was: Do we really need a woman or, to be specific, be married to be happy? Somebody decided to ask me, the guy who had quit the 'man' stuff and had begun to drink 'green tea' in a nice upscale restaurant that sells mostly foreign whiskey. Yes, my wife is sometimes nagging and whining and not happy with how I eat or dress up or how I brush my teeth but, at the end of the day, she really does love me and cares a lot about me. 

We really do need someone to share our happiness and sorrow. Tomorrow, we will have kids. They will grow up, go to college, go to work, get married and when we are old and still whining, we will still have each other. And I guess, in some way, that’s the whole point of marriage: To have someone by your side through all the ups and downs in life. And that doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

The writer is a house husband who believes in changing, if not the world, the community he lives in one person at a time. Reach him at

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