Call me Omolewa for short!

Call me Omolewa for short!

After attending my ninth wedding…”wait a minute” I seem to be missing one, oh yes! Shiki”s wedding, not surprised though, I successfully deleted that wedding from my memory. The bride (my frenemy…Friend, enemy…Catch my drift?), Shiki was a monster bride, a classic example of a bridezilla! Only attended the wedding so no one will accuse me of being jealous! I have been getting a lot of that lately (sighs). Anyway back to my resolve, after attending my tenth wedding in a year that is still 6 months shy of ending; I have decided that the next wedding will be mine! Yes! Yes!

I am done with being just another guest, or worse still another bridesmaid, who has to try not to outshine the blushing (as If she never do am with her husband…hiss), whimsical and beautiful bride…oh the joys of attending a wedding (laughs). A truck load of horse shit, if a woman isn’t beautiful a wedding will definitely not make her beautiful, period! Call me jealous, I don’t mind I have been called worse names.

You know that saying about a woman’s biological clock ticking very fast? Well, mine has been out of control lately, clanging and banging (all the loud words ending with ‘…ing’ you can think of). I just turned the big 30 (thirty) and I got my fair dose of birthday wishes, some sincere and some I just politely took (coming from people I know are very far from wishing me well).Then there were all the tactfully and not so tactfully veiled marriage questions…”So when are we coming to eat your rice?” (Am I your cook?), “When are we taking your aso-ebi?”, “I was at Gbile’s wedding and it was so beautiful, when are we attending yours?” (shuo! If you are so hungry for a wedding, go and get married again!). They never pause to think that maybe I don’t even want to get married. (I wish! I so want to get married like yesterday)

The birthday call that won the vote for the most tactless was from an interfering aunt, everyone in the family avoids Aunty Nike. She always knew what was going on in other people’s homes. A proper busybody if you ask me. I remember the time She discovered that Uncle Dayo had an illegitimate child, She chose Grand Pa’s burial ceremony to announce it to the entire Amos clan. His wife was most distraught as that was her first time of hearing about it. To say it was terrible is an understatement, it actually cost Uncle Dayo his marriage because Aunty Mosun moved out of the house and hasn’t returned there since.

Aunty Nike called and being in a most solicitous mood, I picked it, which was my biggest mistake because the first question out of her mouth was

“So who’s the lucky guy?”

No birthday greeting, nothing! Even an insincere “happy birthday dear” will have been welcomed

I quietly answered “There’s no one yet oh”

Instead of her to say “don’t worry dear a good man will soon come” like any other sane elderly aunt would have said, she said

“What are you waiting for? It’s like you don’t know you are old, isn’t this your thirtieth birthday? I have told Taju (My dad) to send you out of his house, maybe then you will realize that a woman’s place is in her husband’s house”

I was shocked into silence, but even my silence didn’t deter her, in fact it seemed to fuel her diatribe, she even broke into our local dialect

“Se o mope ale obinrin ki n pe su”*

*Literal translation: A woman’s night falls fast, actually meaning after a certain age it is difficult for a woman to get married.

As if I didn’t know that already, I had to cook up a lie to dismiss her quickly and before she could say another word I ended the call…Crazy woman!, one will think all her daughters were happily married. The last time I checked two of them had packed up their marriages and moved back into the family house.

Nigeria, My Nigeria! You sure have no tolerance for your single women. I have always imagined living in Europe, where I am sure I will have been respected and maybe even celebrated.

“You are wondering why I said so abi?” You see, in business cycles, I am who you can call a “high flyer”, my boss trusts me to get the job done, and my clients simply worship me. But in Nigeria, it appears marriage is the only measure of a woman’s success. Beauty, intelligence and a great career pales in comparison to the brilliance of that wedding band.

Many have accused me of having high standards with regards to a suitor. Talking about my standards, I think they are pretty decent; I pride myself in not being superficial. I want a God fearing man, who is funny, ambitious, very hardworking (lazy fellas, Keep off!) ready to be the head of the home, and good looks will be an added advantage (wink, wink). I have dated tall, short, dark skinned, light skinned, Rich, ambitious, struggling, fat, slim and even in a moment of desperation a lazy dude… (Laughs). My very modest criterion has never been completely met. The few I did like very much, gave me one reason or the other why we couldn’t be together… (Crap!)

I hear you whispering “Her shakara too much jo!” you won’t understand what I mean by my modest criteria not being completely met until you get to meet some of my would be suitors. Maybe then my dilemma will be appreciated….

Take for instance the last blind date I was set up with before my birthday; let’s just call him “Stingy Sanya”.

I walked into the restaurant and saw the guy in the picture my friend sent to me; I couldn’t help smiling because he looked way better in real life than in that picture. He was tall, I mean really tall compared to my five feet seven inches frame. That was a definite plus for him because as a teenager I had this fantasy of being flanked by my over six feet tall teenage sons as I walked through a shopping mall. That fantasy never fails to make me smile. Anyway back to reality and my date in Eastern Gardens Chinese restaurant. I could also see his bulging biceps rippling underneath his expensive looking silk shirt… (Delicious!). He gave me a smile that could melt the ice caps of the Arctic. I enjoyed the view as I walked towards him. His handshake was firm and very warm; it made me imagine very naughty things… (Sorry! not to be shared). He wasn’t so handsome, but I don’t really care for a husband who will compete with me in the looks department (call me vain!), that’s why my parents christened me “Omolewa” in my local dialect it means “beautiful child”. He more than made up for it in the attractive department though, he was attractive to boot!

My friend was right when she said “You guys will look great together”, I could already see our wedding pictures. I apologized for arriving twenty minutes late (Fashionably late I must add, didn’t want to appear desperate). He turned out to be great at making conversation, and pretty soon I forgot we just met. The dinner went on smoothly until the waiter brought the bill over.

You see the restaurant I picked happened to be one of the classiest and most expensive in that area. I must confess I chose it because it was one I frequented, since I was meeting a total stranger I wanted to do it in a familiar place. It made for easy escape if the need arose. The waiter dropped the bill in front of Sanya because it is assumed naturally (in this part of the world) that guys pick the bill. Sanya took one look at the bill and began to sweat around the collar. He started fidgeting like a man on crack. He brought out his expensive looking wallet several times, peered into it, and every time it went back into his pocket without naira notes leaving it. I just busied myself with dessert and pretended I didn’t notice anything. That worked perfectly until he cleared his throat very noisily.

“Jumoke…Ehmm…Ehmm can you please help a brother out here”

I made a mental note to skin Funmi alive (She set up this blind date). I was getting irritated as he continued

“You see I forgot to use the ATM on my way here, so I am out of cash now, will most definitely make it up to you on our next date”

Next date? Who said anything about another date? I have never heard of a guy going on a first date without cash. You want to impress on a first date, not make the chick think you are a broke ass, or worse a stingy one. Anyway yours sincerely paid for dinner. I will have let it go, if he appeared slightly shamed or remorseful. But Sanya just slipped right back into our conversation like nothing out of place happened, as for me all I wanted to do was go home and call Funmi. At my car, I said goodnight without as much as a handshake. My beautiful wedding pictures had vanished into thin air.

I called up Funmi and gave her a lecture on setting me up on blind dates with broke ass guys, but she was clearly surprised and told me Sanya was an executive in one of the fastest growing telecom firms in Nigeria. I had second thoughts about him then, maybe he was checking to see if I was only after his money, maybe he really did forget to withdraw money before showing up. So when he called me up the very next day, I was more receptive and even agreed to a second date.  That night I went to bed with resurrected pictures of our wedding.

After about six months, fifteen more dates and various excuses to make me part with my money, I finally was through with “Stingy Sanya”.

“I, Olajumoke Omolewa Amos, will never be stuck with a rich but stingy husband who will make me wear the financial pants in the home, period!”

Then there was “Disrespectful Sam”, who insisted on calling my father “dude”. I trust Barrister Tajudeen Adejare Amos (my dad). He does not suffer fools easily and after that blunder, Sam got the boot. I didn’t shed one tear for him. Good riddance to bad rubbish, if you can disrespect my father, you can even more easily disrespect me.

I really liked “Halitosis Chukky”, but men! Did his breath stink? He was very intelligent, very ambitious and handsome. I so wanted this relationship to be successful, that I invested in mouth sprays for him. But each time I imagined kissing him, I developed goose bumps, having a conversation was already an ordeal, kissing will be an absolute disaster. The fact here is that I really love kissing, so I want to be able to kiss my beau anytime and anywhere, if you know what I mean. (I am not mean; I just know what makes me happy) Heard he got married last month, I wish them both a kiss(less) but blissful marriage.

I guess now you can appreciate why I am still single at thirty (don’t be too harsh in your judgment of me, after all ‘na me go live with the husband o!’). Nevertheless the next wedding I am attending will be mine!

Help me whisper an Amen. (Laughs)

42 thoughts on “Call me Omolewa for short!” by Mercy Ilevbare (@efearue)

  1. Amen!
    Lmao! Mercy, you rock! This is so funny and lovely. I laughed all through.
    I don’t blame Omolewa jare. Must she reduce her standard because she wants to marry?
    As for Aunty Nike, there’s one in every family (two in mine, lol)
    Your flow was flawless and your delivery, beautiful. I really really love this and not just because i can relate. It’s a great piece.

  2. Funni how some relatives could pester one about getting married. Sometimes I wonder whether they think past the ceremony itself. Never mind jare, soonest your own man will come and you won’t miss it.

  3. Glad you found it funny Lade..May God deliver the Omolewas of this world from the Aunty Nikes of

  4. Mercifully (forgive the pun), I don’t have an “Aunty Nike” in my family. Even if they existed, being totally and unavoidably unavailable works for me. But then, they don’t ever come around. I’m known to be very cool headed but you still don’t wanna test the waters. lol

    Mercy, brilliant job!
    Do tell Omolewa, 30’s not that big a deal. And yes, I did scream an AMEN! to her wedding to her spanking *wink wink* new husband. lol

  5. D'lameone (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    Very funny! You too mush jor! Can’t stop laughing. But come, Omolewa should have checked me out, She for don marry tey. More grease jare! LWkMd

  6. @ Abby…You are one lucky chick! you must be 18 or something…come back when you are 28 and unmarried in NIGERIA (notice the emphasis), and if 30 still isn’t a big deal, I will relay your message to for reading and saying Amen..
    @ D’Lameone, thanks..Will let her know you are available..(Send your pix o!, you know how these things work)…glad you enjoyed reading it.

    1. He’s not available oh; don’t mind him.
      Dlameone: trying to be a player huh? Omolewa doesn’t like that.
      @Mercy: hmm, so you say am lucky @ 18 but @ 28, unmarried & in Nigeria, am what C’mon girl, really. So, is there something you aren’t telling us? huh? lolz

      1. Abby, lucky you. My own ‘Aunty Nike’ has this habit of winking at every single person, male/female in our family during weddings and crowing loudly ‘you must be next o’. I’m always tempted to take the advice in a joke i read and tell her the same thing at funerals, lol. God, i would so love to see her face! The only thing that holds me back is, what if i say it and she dies? I don get witch label be that. (aje ke lana, omo ku loni . . . . .)
        Fortunately, opinions i dont agree with just rolls right off my back. And with a dad like mine who is my number 1 supporter, the aunty nikes only merit a yawn hidden behind a bland smile.

  7. This is a well told story Mercy…kudos!
    maybe i’ll grow up to be the Aunty Nike amongst my extended family cos i’ve already started bugging d elder ones y dey aren’t married at my tender age…*wink*

    1. lol Beautiful, be careful oh. Remember that it all comes around. You may want to learn from the reactions cum comments above. Nobody really likes them nosy ‘Aunty Nikes’. lol

  8. @ Abby, your guess is as good as mine…(wink, wink)
    @ Beautiful…Pls don’t grow up to be an Aunty Nike, or you may just have a relative dying to tell you what Lade dares to only think…lol

  9. Lol @ halitosis chukky
    But seriously the Amos chick should consider this stuff,30?I’ll stop child bearing by then.
    I like that Aunt Nike,stuff like her help me flex my oral muscles.
    Nice one,had a good laugh.

    1. I’ll flex my own oral muscles at any Aunty Nike as well. Thanks for bringing that up, gretel. :)

      1. But there’s something else you should know, gretel: Grammar wey too much no go anywhere for persin wey b like Aunty Nike, o! U no say naija no too like too much grammar, o!

  10. Mercy, na wa. ladies dey suffer for dis country. i love ur story and sincerely wish Omolewa gets her guy. wis h i had an aunt nike; she’d die before her time if she crosses my path. keep up the good work, but next time cut down on the commentaries by de main character;hampers the flow. Jah bless.

  11. Lawdy, lawd! I havent laughed like this in a while. Meeen, you so painted this picture beautifully.
    I feel Omolewa jo!

  12. Good job, Mercy. Omolewa had me laughing out loud like a crazy person.

    Some things I noted:
    – Putting stuff like ‘thirty’ and ‘my dad’ in brackets like you did here hampers the flow a bit.
    //I just turned the big 30 (thirty)//
    //I have told Taju (My dad) to send you out of his house//
    //I trust Barrister Tajudeen Adejare Amos (my dad). He does not suffer fools easily and after that blunder, Sam got the boot.//

    I think wriring out thirty twice is unnecessary, and you could have found a better way of letting us know when you refer to Omolewa’s dad.

    And also, I think this part should have come at the end of the story:
    //*Literal translation: A woman’s night falls fast, actually meaning after a certain age it is difficult for a woman to get married.//

    Just my observations. Still, I enjoyed this very much.

    1. Uche, thank you for bringing up the tiny flaws I’ve also noticed in this great piece of work.

  13. 2cute4u (@2cute4u)

    I can only say that this is WONDERFUL! This is so natural.. Depicts almost everyones’ thoughts

  14. This should be a chick lit, Mercy. As you were narrating, I could just see myself in Omolewa, the only difference being the wedding pictures imagery. The word that caught my attention was FRENEMY. Good coinage, even though it’s not your own coinage. I’ve seen that word somewhere (can’t remember where though). I just smiled when I saw it.

    I had an uncle who behaved like Aunty Nike, even though not exactly like her. His own was to hook me up with guys I only speak to over the phone. You see, gretel, if flexing your oral muscles seems not to work, you politely walk away with a good excuse. That’s the thing I intend to practise a lot. It saves my ass! :D

  15. @ Emmanuella I’ll still use the grammar and very fast so she’ll feel like a total idiot,yea I should learn to walk away,not politely though,just leave without saying anything,that’s more rude,thanks jare didn’t even think of that

  16. Nice one, Omolewa is the story of the average Nigerian spinster over 30. While reading the story you interrupted the flow a little, especially when you tried to explain stuff.
    Also noticed the use of the word will; as in this sentence- I will have let it go, if he was slightly shameful or …
    Rewrite: I would have let it go, if he was…
    Love the plot, it is original and fresh, the story will almost make one ignore the little flaws in the write up but i am guilty of having an eye for detail.
    Good work girl, looking to read more of your work and boy do i have anuty Nikes in my family? I have got them and i know their antidote…lol

    1. Madam abeg, share the antidote oh.

      1. Emmanuella-Nduonofit (@Emmanuella-Nduonofit)

        This makes the many Aunty Nikes less powerful.

  17. Meena-Adekoya (@Olajumoke-Adekoya)

    lol this is so funny, thank God I dont have an Aunty Nike, thou i do have tactless friends and i’m not even 30 yet scheeeeew! u would think i would die if wasnt in a relationship, or on my way to the altar…whatever happened to Girl power?

  18. @Uche & Elly..Thanks for your critical eyes, it will definitely help me to write better and that’s why I joined Naijastories.
    @ The rest of you guys, thanks for buffering the criticism, knowing that you enjoyed it gives me some level of satisfaction (wink, wink)…lol..oh crap!. sorry Uche, no more distracting side comments I promise..
    Gosh!! I love this site!!

  19. Lol! I wish i had an anuty Nike in my own family.I would have given her an answer that will leave her speechless each time she sees me! mschewwwww!! na so e easy to marry? Abeg! your article was a laugh! I had fun reading it especially since i could relate to it so well…beautiful peace and oh! a loud AMIN!!

  20. My best friend’s aunty nike is her mom. You won’t believe last easter, the mom got together with their pastor to set her up on a blind date without her knowledge. Lmao!
    She was so mad!

  21. I won’t echo the tiny notes already given- and believe me- they are tiny in comparison to the enjoyment you just dished up!

    It’s funny, realistic, hopeful and even pathetic and bitchy in the right places! Luv it Mercy! Good job!!!

  22. @ Estrella & Ce ug…thanks guys.

  23. ROFLOL!!!! I can so relate! the Bid 30 is certainly an interesting age Nice work, Mercy!

  24. @yetitweets, you can say that again, and again, and again…lol. Thanks love.

  25. Sorry to repeat the words of others, but this was indeed funny, realistic, and I might add, fresh! You write with authentic humour and it’s obvious nothing really bothers you! Certainly not singledom, if this is a true story!! This is something I would find in a really nice chic mag, it’s really tastefully written, would love to read your views on other female issues apart from marriage and dating. And LOL @ the Halitosis Chuks :D> (a happy and kiss(less) marriage. ROTF!!)

  26. you go marry o in Jesus name/
    lol,i really had fun reading this.
    keep up the good work.

  27. @ Marya, it was purely fiction, but thanks for the compliment. Talking about my views on other female issues,hmmmm.. Ok will keep you

    @ Anderson-Paul, glad to know you enjoyed reading this, I enjoyed writing it you.

    1. thank you,
      may your ink never run dry o.

  28. you kept me all through the long dialogue, you should have tagged it funny too, it was wow! Keep it up!

  29. Just getting a hang of the tagging thing..Will tag appropriately subsequently..Thanks Yinka.

  30. Lovely flow. Really natural. You cannot convince me that this was not inspired by true experiences. Even if they weren’t yours!

    1. Thanks Cikko, won’t attempt to convince you

  31. … hmmm … @Mercy Ilevbare … what more can I say than ‘I was captivated from beginning till end!’ I wonder how I’ve not seen this in the first place! This is a “wow” and i must say that I ‘overly’ enjoyed every combination of alphabets used to draft this … more ink to your already moist pen … keep the good work going … your style intrigues me!

    1. Thanks boomingsols, glad you ‘overly’ enjoyed reading it…

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