Polygamy 101: Just Another Rideshare Day with a Marriage Proposal in The City

Even now, with over eight years of driving, and about 26,000 rides, I’m still fascinated with the adventure of unpredictably strange and wonderful living, breathing stories that share my personal space like getting marriage proposals – but more on that later.

When I selected the subtitle for my “Rideshare by Robert” book, I didn’t fully realize at the time how true it was.

“Every Ride’s a Short Story.”

Now, in retrospect, and throughout each driving experience, I see, hear, and yes, I even smell the stories in my vehicle.

I view my “workspace” as a laboratory, a stage, a counseling room, a sanctuary, a confessional, a classroom, a safe house, just as much as a four-wheeled means of safe transport.

I often tell people that, “I get most of my news from the backseat of my car.”

It’s true. It’s a fact.

So, let me share a few short rideshare stories with you.

RideShare by Robert in Mad City Coffee in Columbia. (Photo by Bob Reilly.)


Polygamy, or the marrying of multiple spouses, is foreign to the U.S. as a rule and banned in 1882,  but common primarily in parts of Africa and in some Middle Eastern countries.

When you’re in the rideshare universe, you are up-front and personal when it comes to experiencing cultural differences first-hand.

The following events occurred within three months of each other.

Polygamy Event One

I was driving mid-morning in the city and picked up a woman at a local shopping center. She got into my car, and we were immediately engaged in conversation.

After a few light conversational pleasantries, “How’s your day going?”  etc., she began asking me questions.

“How old are you?”  I told her my age.

“Are you married?” I told her, yes.

“How long?” I assumed she was referring to my years of marriage, so I told her, “Almost 40 years.”

She laughed and asked me, “How many wives do you have?”

I laughed and told her, “Only one, but that’s more than enough.”

She told me in her country, men have more than one wife, and it’s okay.

She then popped the big question, “Do you want another wife? You will like it.”

I told her it’s illegal to marry more than one person in the United States. I also told her, “I’m honored that you would want to marry me, but I have more than I can handle with only one wife. I think more than one wife would kill me. I’m sorry, but I cannot marry you.”

We both had a good laugh and then talked about growing up in her home country and what it’s like living in America. I dropped her off after a 20-minute ride.

Polygamy Event Two

The second ride was similar in content, and coincidently, the person was from the same country in Africa.

The ride lasted about 30 minutes and the woman was extremely aggressive in her pursuit of marrying me.

By the end of the ride, her tenacity was wearing me down to the point where I was considering a, “Well, maybe, Can I get back to you later with a final answer?”

Tough gal!

Once again, typical small talk after she got in the car, however, this woman was extremely focused and on a mission.

“Have you ever been to (country name) in Africa?”

I told her, “No, I’ve only been to North Africa. I went to Morrocco.”

She then began to lay out the buffet meal.

“Oh my God, you would fall in love with the women, like me. We take such good care of our husbands. The men are very happy.” She exclaimed.

She then inquired softly, “Do you like women?”

I told her, “Yes, I like women, but I’m married, so other women are friends.”

She then went in for the kill.

“I don’t care if you’re married. I will take such good care of you. You need another woman. I know it will be good. I can see you are a good man. You will see. I can be your wife too!”

Of course, I declined the offer, but this only amped up her game.

Close to 15 minutes remained on the ride, and it was nothing but a barrage of appeals, attempts to negotiate something that worked for both of us, asking for my personal contact information, and asking if she could move to the front seat.


When we finally arrived at her destination, I exhaled a sigh of relief.

I told the young woman, “I know you will find a good husband. If I wasn’t a married man, then maybe something could have worked out. Who knows. I hope you have a blessed day.”

She smiled, and with a determined response as she opened the back door she said.

“Next time you drive me you will marry me!”

Sadie Hawkins Day on steroids!

I would give her an “A” for effort, but unfortunately for her, she didn’t close the deal.

Author Bob Reilly at Mad City Coffee in Columbia. (BPE Staff photo)

My “Rideshare by Robert” blog continues with new stories based on my published book, “Rideshare by Robert: Every Ride’s a Short Story.” The book, and the blog, are short stories about actual rides, observations, revelations, and reflections on the rideshare experience. I hope you will find the writings informational with humor and compassion for the human family.

So, climb in, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

Welcome to “Rideshare by Robert.”

A place where anything can happen and usually does.