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Immunity or Impunity ?

Immunity, essentially, confers on any individual a considerable degree of privileges. No doubt. Consider such high offices as, those of a President of a country, Senate President, governor of a state or any other government ‘high flyer’. This immunity even extends to Diplomats.

What this means, in simple terms, will be: Anyone among this category of people will walk around, at all times, a notch higher than mere mortals. They are also  — in a manner of speaking — shielded from the rains and sunburn to which other human beings not as lucky are susceptible. But, as those who enjoy this immunity do so, they are also expected to conduct themselves with great responsibility. Yet, there is a very thin line between immunity and impunity.

True, that fine line between immunity and impunity is blurred somewhat when, in the course of savouring the juice of the former, a person throws caution and self- respect to the winds. And it is so worrisome that in a few marriages, presently, immunity is sadly giving way to impunity. For the sake of clarity, I will attempt to wheel the real issues into range.

It is customary, if not sacrosanct, in our society, that once a man or woman is married, he or she begins to enjoy limitless privileges. Notable among these will be respect from colleagues at work, members of one’s family, associates etc.

A woman who used to be addressed by her first name, when she was a spinster, not only earns the title ‘Mrs.’ or ‘Madam’ — which are by no means worthless prefixes — she is also looked upon as a ‘ responsible ’ member of the society.

The same modicum of respect and privileges are also accorded a man who had gone through his own ‘desert’ for a number of years as a bachelor. But, the moment he accomplishes that milestone of taking a woman after his heart to the altar, the perception of him by all changes for the positive and highly flattering.

What I find disturbing (to the bone), however, is how most men and, to a large extent women, over-reach themselves on account of their marital status, at varying degrees. For instance, it is grossly unbecoming of a married woman to address people, her colleagues or any member of her family etc., in such an impertinent and indecorous way just because she is married. We have also seen some ‘new Madams’ treat their domestic staff with such frightening ‘inhumaneness’.

I know, for certain, too that some women look condescendingly at their ‘still searching’ friends. Others take this impunity to a ludicrous level by simply proceeding to erect a deaf wall between them and their unmarried ‘buddies’: Their homes simply become ‘no-go areas’. Although, nobody can be too careful since it is well known that some  ‘ambitious’ spinsters have been guilty of planting a death-kiss on a lot of marriages.

Yet, there is no other way of endangering the immunity a married woman should, deservedly, be enjoying the moment she falls into the temptation of conducting herself with impunity.

In the case of newly married men, who seem to forget that acquiring the epithet ‘married’ means a clean and determined break from the past – the dreary days of bachelorhood when boys were free to sow their wild oats – such untoward behaviour bordering on impunity must be shunned.

So, having stepped into matrimony, therefore, a man is forbidden to ogle at every bulbous behind- no matter how tempting and inviting- that is swayed around and about him. Not even the argument that he can only ‘observe’ and not ‘act’, will be of any help in the circumstance. His heart, from the day the dotted lines were signed, has become one with that of his wife.

A married man must also rein his tongue and exercise sheer discretion on his utterances in public. Of course, it is needless reminding those ‘boys’, who made a fetish of ‘talking dirty’ by sharing bawdy jokes in mixed company, that marriage cannot be ‘business as usual’. So, ladies and gentlemen, guard your ‘immunity’ jealously lest it transforms to ‘impunity’

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