“I wish people don’t have to get married and be trapped in a lousy situation where both parties can barely stand each other.” Liz Brown stretched her legs as she flipped through the fashion magazine spread over her lap. It was a cloudless Saturday afternoon and the heat was particularly intense, but the two women were comforted by the quiet drone of the split unit air conditioner. They sat in companionable silence in the sunlit coziness of Liz’s living room.
“Hmmn, I don’t think marriage is as bad as you are making it, you‘re just been overly dramatic as ever and since you have never being married, you are in no position to make such judgments.” Eugene replied, as she glanced toward the gold colored clock hung on the wall opposite her.
Eugene glared at her friend of eight years. They have become inseparable ever since that fateful day they met at the youth service camp at Abuja. She believed that it was their similar challenges that made them very attached to each other. They have had encounters that threatened to cause separation in their friendship but these only strengthened the bond between them.
“I don’t have to be married to know the happenings around me.” Liz retorted back.
“Sweetheart, not all marriages have gone bad. There are successful ones, why don’t you take a cue from those instead of focusing on the problem ones. Be careful, because what you see is what you get.”
“I read somewhere that seventy-five percent of marriages have……………………”
“Please spare me the details, you can still learn from the twenty-five percent successful ones.” Eugene interrupted in an offhand manner, obviously irritated with the trail of her friend’s thoughts.
Eugene continued. “Look, you are using those negative stories as cover up for your real problem which is that you are too scared to take the plunge. I know my marriage is not the best, but by God I am working it out. You want the perfect guy, perfect situation like you have in the fairy tales. Wake up girl and face reality; we are in the real world where things don’t work that way.”
“You appear to have had me figured out already, Isn’t it?” Liz responded in a bored tone, yawning, her arms widely stretched out.
“See, I know you, Eugene laughed mockingly,” you are the fast paced brilliant executive, ever impeccable and efficient on the job, but when it comes to emotional issues, you lose it and become like a fish thrown out of its natural habitat.”
Liz raised her brows in objection.
“You sounded like you know me so well.”
“Liz, I get worried about you. You are throwing off the good things of life because some guy hurt you in the past,” Eugene paced up and down the living room, temporarily lost of words. Exasperated, she tugged at her long mane and faced Liz again.
“You cannot continue this way, your biological clock is ticking away as each day passes; you have to do something about it.”
“But I have prayed about it and believe that the Lord will give me a good man in due time?”
Eugene hissed and quirked her lips in irritation.
“Did I hear you say in good time? When your beautiful black and glossy hair has turned grey? When your ovaries no longer produce eggs?”
Liz stared at her friend in feigned horror, her mouth curved in the beginning of a deep laughter.
“That is one of your problems, you never take anything serious. Prayer is great, but you have to do more; you have to make yourself available and join groups where you will meet your kind of men who are single and available.”
Liz quieted and pondered on her friend’s comment. If she wants to be truthful and objective, she knows that Eugene is absolutely right. When it comes to her career, she is at her best, but could not handle emotional matters. One thing she treasures about their friendship is their truthfulness and honesty with each other. They never hid the truth and always say it as it is without mincing words.
Eugene glanced at the clock, screamed, stood up and made a grab for her waist coat and hand bag. “I have to be on my way, Zach’s parents are joining us for dinner.”
After Eugene’s departure, Liz continued to ponder on their conversation. She wondered why everyone thinks she does not wish to be settled in marriage. I definitely desire what every woman wants- a loving and devoted husband to share love with, lovely kids and a beautiful home. Unfortunately, I keep attracting the wrong guys. Those who are not interested in settling down and those who are jobless and want to eat off me. She thought.
The traditional role of men being the breadwinner in the home had changed since the advent of the twentieth century. More women have joined the labor market, getting white-collar jobs and performing excellently on the job. In addition, the concept of women liberation has released the women folk from their traditional roles as housewives. Therefore, in majority of homes, the prevailing situation is that the wife earns more and is the breadwinner of the family. She remembered the words spoken by the chief speaker, Mrs Dede, a week ago, during the women’s business forum put together by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
After her relationship with Matt ended, she vowed not to allow another man take advantage of her again. Now she is setting out to enjoy life with or without a man. If love comes along in an unexpected way, fine and if not, all well and good. She mused.
“I have to learn to enjoy being single, love my own company so as not to rush in to the arms of the next stranger that comes calling.” She thought
A frown creased her forehead as she thought of her mother. She thought of how her mum will not leave her be. It was her mother’s pressures that made her leave home in order to avoid the unending song of “find a man and get married.”
Mum never ceases to remind me of my biological clock ticking away. She never stops to tell me how my sister has brought forth three children since her wedding six years ago, how she saw an old school friend of mine with her husband and children and of course what people are saying. As if I want to bother my head about what people are saying.
At thirty –three years, I get scarred of ending up as an old lady, but I have determined within myself not to allow the pressures of society and the biological clock that is ticking everyday push me into another wrong relationship again.
She looked up at the sound of the clock and was horrified to see it was already 9pm. She couldn’t believe that she has been sitting alone with her thoughts since Eugene left four hours ago. Well, it is better to be single and at peace, than be entangled in an emotionally, challenging and unfruitful relationship. She thought to herself as she slipped into a blissful sleep.