Of “Many Goats”, and My Arranged Marriage. [Daddy, I’m Getting Married!]

The other week, Christy and I were the honored guests at Khadi Baa’s family home for lunch. Now, when I say “honored guests”, I mean that I walked through the roughly hewn concrete door only to be enthusiastically greeted by her entire extended [and might I add, positively beaming] family.

With Khadi's family. Please note sweater vest man in the right corner.

 It looked, for all the world, as if a small village had turned up to celebrate our arrival. From every side, excited hands were thrust in my direction as aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all strained to greet the brunette novelty from the United States.

The matriarch-Madame Baa [a dear woman with the happiest smile that anyone has bestowed upon me in months]-warmly kissed my

The distinguished Madame Baa herself. Such a sweet woman. :)

cheeks and told me how delighted she was to have me in her home. Then abruptly, without further ado, she went there.

You single ladies know what I’m talking about. The dreaded “are you married?” question-uttered hesitantly, as if a reply of “no” renders you in need of some international relief organization to recruit a celebrity to raise money on your behalf. We’ve all had it happen-well meaning mothers, friends, aunts and grandmothers stomping around our love lives with all the tact of a Nazi storm trooper.

With that hallmark hopeful glimmer that I’ve come to dread in this country, Mme. Baa slyly asked. “Madame ou Mademoiselle?” [Single or married?]

Me: [Sigh.] Single. “Mais, je suis très content.” [But I am very happy.]

And then with an elated air of finality, Mme. Baa happily proclaimed “Ah! You will take a Senegalese husband.”

Several days after the marriage was arranged, Khadi Baa decided to teach me how to cook so that I'll make a good Senegalese wife.

…take him where? And before I had time to figure that one out, the sweet woman that had very recently designated herself as my own personal fairy-godmother pointed to my future husband: her nephew. Prince charming was sitting on a rough wooden bench wearing a white sweater vest with nothing underneath it, looking interestedly at his future green card [me] as I desperately tried to figure out how to gracefully extract myself from my impending loveless marriage.

 Be still my beating heart.

 And so I did what any mature woman would do. I played the Daddy card. “Oh, merci beacoup-but my Father expects me to return to the United States.” Without missing a beat, the distinguished Mme. Baa tossed a rather scheming glance towards her nephew, and as he nodded, told me that that was “pas de problem, we will give your Father many goats.”

Many goats. Well, she had me there. Rather at a loss at that point, I deftly promised that I would go home and ask my Father if “many goats” would be a satisfactory exchange for his eldest daughter. And I did. I got home and skyped my Dad, and laughingly explained the offer that was on the table. Ever the concerned parent, Dad asked me how many “many” goats was. When I confessed that I wasn’t sure, he gave the matter aproximately four seconds of serious contemplation, and then announced that he was willing to take the gamble, and “many” sounded good.

Thanks, Daddy.

So there you have it-sweater vest man and I are getting married. You can’t fight a love like ours. I’d like you all to be among the first to congratulate me! Sweater vest man and I will be registering at the fruit stand near the beach, and with the man that sells live chickens near the market.


  1. Nice…I guess it could be worse….your dad could gave accepted chickens. So cheers on your new life with sweater vest man.

  2. have..not gave. sorry!

  3. You could tell her they won’t allow goats in Cary, NC. We have restrictions against those kind of things.


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