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)