JOY’S CONTROVERSIAL SUNDAY CUISINE #1 (SHORT STORY)

Intro:
Joy and Ernest’s otherwise loving marriage boils every Sunday because of a tradition she follows – some cooking that she does. You want to find out what she is cooking and why her husband is so incensed about it. Besides, why does she keep cooking this stuff that’s making her husband mad? I mean, she’s seen how he feels about it. So why doesn’t she just stop for the sake of peace? Read this interesting story and get your answers. Share your thoughts too on the story itself and the accompanying graphics. You are blessed!

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JOY’S CONTROVERSIAL SUNDAY CUISINE #1

“You’re very, very wasteful! Who’s going to eat all this food you’ve cooked?”

Ernest, who had just come back from watching an English Premier League match at a friend’s house, was very angry and he wasn’t done yet. Opening and slamming the pots in the kitchen one by one, he continued, “Jollof rice, melon soup, okro soup, goat meat pepper soup, oil bean salad … Lord, have mercy! What are you planning? A party?”

His wife, Joy, seemed to have been wilting as he fumed. She wanted to say something but she choked on the words. Although she knew her husband’s aversion to much spending, she had hoped he would have learnt the pattern to her supposed extravagance in their two years of marriage.

She was a hospitable person, just like her mum. Before she got married, Sundays were always considered special at their home. She enjoyed helping her mum cook all the delicacies they served throughout the day to friends and relatives who dropped by.

She had carried the tradition over to her matrimonial home but her husband simply refused to come on board. Sometimes, he even needed coaxing before he partook of the treats she prepared. The fact that for over a year, she wasn’t paying for the lavish Sunday menu out of their housekeeping money but from her pocket seemed immaterial to him. Whenever she requested for money for a dress or shoe as she often did, he used it as evidence that she had her priorities all wrong.

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After he stormed out of the kitchen, Joy wiped the tears that had escaped her eyes and began to wash up the utensils she’d used while cooking. By the time she was through, it was 1:46 p.m., so she went to freshen up.

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A little after 2 p.m., dressed in a green embroidered shift with her hair packed on top of her head, she checked herself in her vanity cabinet mirror. Although she was nearly thirty, she could easily pass for twenty with her flawles fair skin, unlined face and slim build. Liking what she saw, she literally gave herself a thumbs-up and put on a pair of silver-coloured drop earrings. Then she slipped on her brown leather slippers and stepped into the living room.

As she dusted the furniture, the first of her random guests arrived and took over. They were two cousins of Ernest’s (Jimoh and Amene) who had been job hunting since they finished youth service three years back. They often visited on Sundays to have their only decent meals of the week.

All afternoon, their kinsmen, work colleagues and church members from different parts of Lagos came by. Some stayed for about half an hour, others hung around for hours. Each person chose what to eat from fruits Joy had ordered from Ota to the assorted dishes available. Some had had lunch and opted for the oil bean salad or pepper soup and drinks.

How far should we go to retain our previous pastimes after marriage? Click To Tweet

There was much talk and laughter, occasional singing of choruses and prayer. Ernest wasn’t much of a host but he behaved himself by masking his discontent at the number of guests and amount of food consumed. He calculated that what these folks ate here in one afternoon would be enough to sustain his wife and himself for a week or more but she chose to, in his view, “fritter it all away in unsolicited benevolence”.

In his place, Jimoh and Amene assisted Joy to wait on the guests and helped themselves at intervals. Later, they washed up the crockery, pots and cutlery. Joy gave them some soup to use the next day and a little cash for transport. She also prayed with them about some impending interviews and spoke hope into them because they said they’d attended so many in the past without success

After they left, Joy went to clean the guest john. She peeped at herself in the mirror above the sink and noticed she had a glow about her, not just because of the sheen of perspiration on her skin due to her exertions.

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She felt fulfilled. The arrival of her guests, what they demanded and their departure always seemed choreographed such that everyone had just enough of what they wanted and there were no leftovers. It must be God, she thought, and waved her hands in praise.

But she also knew that her husband’s concern that she was not saving money for the rainy day or to contribute to capital projects for the family was right. If only she was earning more, if only the cost of living was not so high, she thought and sighed. Then she went to join her husband in the bedroom.
-To be continued-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

57 thoughts on “JOY’S CONTROVERSIAL SUNDAY CUISINE #1 (SHORT STORY)

    • Hi Deacon! Thanks for your comment but it is actually called that because it’s used for makeup stuff. I guess it does sound figurative if you look at it again. Cheers!

  1. Jeez am already in suspense, but with all that delicious food I need to pay joy a Sunday visit

  2. Interesting story! I think Ernest should get used to Joy’s Sunday ‘goodness’. She’s been doing it for 2 years and not ready to give up and the funding is not coming from him. When there’s a forthcoming project, let him inform her before time, she’ll find a way of adjusting to offer whatever she can.

  3. Very interesting piece, cant wait for the next. I think Ernest’s anger comes from the fact that after all the talk, joy still does thesame thing every sunday. Maybe if she cuts back on the amount she prepares he’ll see that she’s taking his feelings into consideration. Plus the economy right now z bad.

  4. GIVING AND HOSPITALITY IS A GOOD THING BUT SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO CONSIDER THE FUTURE TO AVOID PLEASING OTHERS AND DISPLEASING OURSELVES. NICE STORY

  5. Not only their neighbor maybe their cousin. But her husband has a reasonable point in his complaints….

  6. women and men should be careful of what they do. Ernest wife had brought what she learned and used to do at her parents home to her new home. even when her husband disapproved of such actions she kept doing it as that makes her fill fulfilled

  7. Very interesting and suspense filled, I can’t wait to hear what her husband has to say to her and then am thinking out loud , why is he so pissed by what she has been doing for over two years? He should gave gotten used to the fact, well can wait to satisfy my couristy…. Episode two on my mind

  8. I think she is a wonderful wife, loves people with hospitality and he does not realize what a gem of a wife he has. Two different personalities is so hard..but she is Biblically right because God also does not like people who count the cost of what their guests are eating.. I think God will fight for her in the end…interesting story, and you always leave the suspense in the end..

    • Lol! Most people haven’t the patience to read a long story, so I need to break it into episodes. And yes, I like applying suspense ’cause it makes the narrative more thrilling. Thanks a lot, Rita! You’re such a lovely and encouraging friend. ??

  9. Left for me, since Ernest knows that what his wife does always seem to lift her spirit, he should encourage her and reprimand her in a loving way. telling her to reduce the quantity of food and not to stop it completely. Just as the name implies, her cuisine is really controversial. Can’t wait to read the next one ma. Kudos

  10. Ernest should start appreciating what his wife does and encourage her, besides the funds are not coming from him. they should see reasons with one another, with love and understanding, they would prevail.

  11. joy is really generous and there is this joy you get from giving. and moreover the bible says give and it shall be given unto you.and i believe Ernest is a christian so he should just relax and the bible also says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. so he should be rest assured that he can never go poor by giving out.

  12. I can’t wait to read the next one.i think her husband should get used to her Sunday spending because she doesn’t look like she is willing to change anytime soon

  13. I think Ernest should understand that his wife (joy)likes being hospitable and joy should cut Down a little on her expenses, for everyones happiness.

  14. What Joy is doing is typical for some people who are hospitable and as for the visits, it will definitely continue, knowing that there is enough to eat and drink. Joy should cut down on the food, it is too much for just one day! Earnest should get used to it, to make the anger go away.

  15. Truly! Earnest can’t take away everything else, he can’t take away what keeps the wife happy, if he love her enough he should accept her for who she is because her cuisine is really controversial.

  16. i don’t see anything wrong with what joy enjoys doing every Sunday. the wife enjoys giving people joy just as her name implies and that’s why the guests enjoy visiting the couple every Sunday. the husband should encourage her and support her cause she loves what she is doing..

  17. I think there is nothing wrong with what Joy is doing, I mean, it is good to be nice with your guest and I love the suspense in this story.

  18. To avoid trouble in their marriage both couple have to understand each other…can’t wait to read the next episode,

  19. In every home, there are always flaws form either side of the spouse. It is left for the husband and wife to know how to handle each other and show love even with these flaws. Earnest has already reprimanded Joy on her level of spending and it seems like she can stop the habit. It is left for him to learn to live with it and support her in whatever way he can. After all that’s what marriage is all about and some habits die hard. Joy finds joy in doing what she does. So Earnest should consider that as an advantage and try to keep the joy and happiness flowing. I love this piece.

  20. Some Husbands are like Ernest, they don’t find it funny when food or anything is used extravagantly or being wasted not that they are trying to be economical or hoard food. Just like in my house, my dad don’t take it for granted when food are cooked excessively whereas nobody is there to eat the food and later the food is disposed, it pisses him off, we just cook the quantity that would be enough and make sure we are really satisfied , unless all the members of the family are at home or the visitors are around. Some husbands don’t like it when their wives spend excessively, while some wives are fond of that too.
    Also in every home mutual understanding should transcend especially between the spouse, they should learn to tolerate each other’s excesses or lifestyle so that Love would always prevail no matter the situation.

  21. Joy loves what she does and she gets a lot of satisfaction and fulfillment in doing it. I think Earnest should try to understand this and lovingly explain issues regarding their finance rather than getting angry. Joy should try to create a balance between her love for showing hospitality and her finance.

  22. You wouldn’t blame Joy for this lifestyle of hers. What someone grew up with and derives joy in doing just doesn’t easily go away. It’s really wonderful, her life of benevolence, but there is still need to have little to save out of her earnings…

  23. no way! this is wrong. why will Joy do all of that? even if she were to be Santa Claus, it is one thing being kind, is another thing being extravagant, please, it is not nice at all, if I were to be her husband (Ernest) I won’t tolerate that, I’d even prefer she gives out to the needy than turning her home to free restaurant and giving to people who have little or no appreciation of her actions….
    I will really love to know, what will happen at the end….
    Great story.

  24. Well, Ernest is right in his line of thoughts because if joy should continue with this tradition of hers their financial buoyant may not keep them through their years of marriage. It is good to perform charitable stuff but not all the time because the economy of the country is not something to write home about.

  25. Hm. Generosity is awesome because the people u give when u have plentered are also those who will give u back when u have none. Ernest should learn to accept her generosity and in fact encourage it. Who knows, the reason why they even have enough to give is because they give. What if God says that the day they stop sharing will be the day they start lacking money?
    Although, being generous to a fault is not good. Joy must learn to start saving up for the future for u dint know what the future might bring

  26. I really enjoyed this piece, more grease to your elbows Ma. Different things really bring happiness to people. I hope the happiness she spreads later comes back to her. Joy is indeed worthy of emulation.

  27. Joy’s generosity is one of a kind, its fantastic to think of other people with so much love, but her husband is also making huge sense ,his contribution shouldn’t be overlooked for the sake of the family .

  28. Joy is a good woman who is very hospitable but she should watch it if she wants her marriage to last long.

  29. I think Joy’s husband should let her be,alot of open doors could be open because of her generosity.Little things matters,they should talk this through and come up with a mutual agreement.

  30. Blessed is the hand that giveth than the one that takeths. Been generous and charitable is one of the tools for a successful life. Inasmuch as that, Joy shouldn’t totally forget she has a family to fend for.
    Earnest should better calm down oo because I’ll call to their house someday to have a bite too ?

  31. Joy is only being generous and nice to people. Though, the husband sees it as wasting of money, I think she just want to bring happiness to people’s lives.

  32. Awwwwwn! Joy is mother-Christmas extraordinaire. I love her generosity and wish I can reach out to people same way. Her reward will start from here before she gets to heaven.
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    I understand her husband’s grievances, she really need to be saving up for the rainy days. Probably by reducing the quantity of meals she prepare per sunday, that way she’d be able to save a little for herself.
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    Ernest has no option than to adapt to the wife’s mother-Christmas lifestyle. That’s who she is and since it makes her happy, he should try and live with it.

  33. I love Joy’s good heart, I know she would certainly get rewarded both here on Earth and in heaven for her good deeds. It would be good if she starts saving for the future but that doesn’t mean she should stop giving.

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