The real beauty of a woman is not in her physique or face; it is in the sweetness of her dishes –Unknown
The Lady laid the tray of food on the dining with her a constant smile on her cheek. Her husband soon came to the dining and he opened the food. He said his prayers silently with the lady standing by his side. He opened the food and the aroma rushed into his nostrils
“What a nice food you got here.” he announced happily.
“Eat it, then you would know how sweet my dishes are.” she said with a smile.
He takes a spoonful and inserted it into his mouth. The food stayed in
his mouth for some seconds before he spit it out.
“What is this?” he asked angrily. Before he could allow her to reply, he threw the food over her face and he stood up from the table in a fiery mood.
The lady was streaming tears, and as her husband stood up from the dining table, she ran into the bathroom and locked herself in, amidst the insults her husband began to hurl at her…
Mrs Ronke Adetiba walked out through the front door of Swipha pharmaceuticals administration block to the car park. Her face was dull, her actions were sluggish. She looked like a totally strength worn –out person. She approached her car and opened it; she then sat on the leather chair and rested her head for a while on the steering wheel before she inserted the ignition keys. Mrs
Okunade ran to catch up with her.
“Mrs Adetiba, do you mind if I hop in? My car broke down and the mechanic won’t work on it till tomorrow”
Mrs Adetiba nodded in affirmative before she stretched her right hand a bit to lift the lock mechanism of the passenger door.
Mrs Okunade entered and sat down before she pulled the seat belt and inserted its pivot into its lock chasm.
“You look depressed, Are you sure you can drive?” Mrs Okunade inquired, looked curiously at Mrs Adetiba’s face.
Mrs Adetiba didn’t reply; she only shaked her head, and then rested her head on the steering wheel once more.
Mrs Okunade unbelted herself from her seat and she opened the door; she then moved to the driver’s door and opened it.
“Don’t worry Ronke, I’ll drive”
Mrs Okunade started the car and before long they were on the road along with other home seeking commuters. Traffic jam at the work closing hour was an inevitable occurrence on Lagos roads during the work days. Before long they were stuck in one.
Mrs Okunade puffed out the air of stress she held in her mouth. She turned to Mrs Adetiba who was still looking depressed; she then stretched her hand till it rested on the shoulders of Mrs Adetiba’s.
“You know you don’t really have to work. Your husband can feed a whole community,” Mrs Okunade started, “you can easily tell him to open a supermarket or something you would have control over, so that you won’t be idle as a housewife”
Mrs Adetiba opened her eyes and for the first time since she entered the car, a bit of liveliness filled her.
“It’s not anything about work. Just fears of —” she stopped and seem short of words.
“I understand, is it about your husband?”
“It’s just two months of marriage and I am not feeling secure in it. Dan just complains, he shouts, nags… I just don’t know what is wrong with him. He wasn’t like this the whole three months we dated in school”
A hawker knocked on the closed window plane. Mrs Okunade winded down the glass a bit, and it appeared the hawker was forcing her to buy some her groundnuts. She told her off by waving her hands outwards.
“Am listening Ronke; what really happened yester night?”
Mrs Adetiba looked away from Mrs Okunade face, and looked forward
through the windscreen. She then started narrating as if she was a plaintiff in a court room.
“Yesterday was really the day I started my duties as a housewife. Dan and I dated for just three months before we got married. He wouldn’t take an exception from the NYSC scheme like I did; he said it has always been a lifelong wish to serve the country. Yesterday was the day every family relation finally left us to be on our own. Everything was going on fine until he asked me to cook something for him to eat.
I am not actually the kitchen type, and this I had complained to my mother. She gave me a little recipe book and she told me she would get a housemaid from one of the house-help agencies around. Since the housemaid was yet to arrive, I wore the apron and opened the recipe book. I decided on rice and stew with eggs. I was careful and I followed each procedure as written in the recipe book: I washed the rice and boiled it. I then added a spoonful of salt to the rice—”
“You added what?” Mrs Okunade asked rhetorically with an exclamatory voice.
“Yes, I added one spoonful of salt; I suppose it was to sweeten the rice now”
“One spoonful is too much. It would make the rice salty,” Mrs Okunade stressed out.
“That I never knew. I suppose I told you that am not the kitchen type. I never
had a kitchen experience prior to now.”
“Not even in the university?” Mrs Okunade asked.
“Not in the university. Remember I went to a private university. We were not allowed to cook; we all ate in the cafeteria. Most of us came from influential families; at home we had maids who did the cooking, so during the holidays we never neared the kitchen.”
“I understand that problem, which is why I blame the private universities in Nigeria. University is supposed to be for both Education and Social awareness. But they neglect the latter, leading to increase in number of female intellectuals without the knowledge of housekeeping,” Mrs Okunade lectured, “so what happened next?”
“I then made the stew as described in the recipe book. It’s smell was good because I added six Maggi cubes”
“You did what! Do you want to kill your husband?”
“How can I? Remember all those Maggi adverts now, the aroma flowing and all those stuffs”
Mrs Okunade erupted into laughter. She was slamming her hands on the steering wheel repeatedly, and shaking her head vigorously.
“It’s not funny o,” Mrs Adetiba said loudly with seriousness glittering in her voice.
Mrs Okunade stopped laughing and faced Mrs Adetiba
“So I guessed when you served the food, your husband threw the food to your face. He was fierce and he called you all sort of names.”
“Yes, as if you were there. He yelled at me, I had to run into the bathroom and lock myself in. I could hear him shouting and calling me all sorts of names from the closed doors. The tears that dropped from my eyes could fill a bath tub. I didn’t see him leave for work this morning, but I have called my mother and she promised to sort out the maid issue today.”
The traffic that had being stagnant for a while started moving, and Mrs Okunade started the car engine and moved forward to close down the little space that had opened up. The traffic struck again, and many vehicles killed their engine to conserve the petrol. Mrs Okunade did the same before she turned to Mrs Adetiba who still had her face frowned up
“Hmmm, Ronke, the truth remains that the maid wouldn’t even solve your problem, it would simply worsen it. Don’t you know that the easiest way to steal a man’s heart is through food? The maid would seem to help for a while, but after a while your husband would make advance toward her, before you know it, you are throw out of the house”
“Never, Dan can’t do that, he can’t. How can he descend so low to the level of an housemaid, he just cannot”
“Hmmm, I see your point, Dan cannot descend so low to make a maid his wife, but you want to descend him so low to eat the food of a maid”
“That’s not a point; I will pay heavily for her services”
“My dear, there are some things that are priceless. Your best bet is to learn
how to cook, and am in as your tutor”
“Okay, thank you so much for that help, its heart lifting. When do we start?”
“Whenever you are ready?”
“Hmmm, let’s go over to your place”…