Monday, December 22, 2008

Date Me Jeje, Date Me Tender

I have never, ever been on a date. For someone who can describe a perfect date even while in the middle of REM sleep, it is rather appalling that I have never, ever been on a date. I have ‘hung out’ with guys, and I have been ‘taken out’ by guys, but I have never, ever been on a date. I do not think I have ever had a man say to me, “Let me take you out on a date.” If a man has said that, then there is only one reason why I cannot remember it: going on a date with him would have been a waste of my time and his. Either that or he asked for a date as if he was doing me a favor. He might have said something like, “Don’t worry, I’ll take you out on a date.”

I have never, ever gone out on that date - that one where the dashing young man who is crazy about me just cannot wait to come and whisk me away from my house. We set our date for seven PM, but he shows up at six fifty-nine. He does not stay downstairs and blow his horn like a taxi cab. He does not call my cell phone and say, “I’m downstairs. Hurry up, I’m double-parked.” He comes to meet me upstairs with a surprise – not a bouquet of flowers. Flowers are wonderful, but they have become lazy gifts – the thoughtless things you give because you are too lazy to think of something thoughtful.

He comes instead with something different – like a pack of starburst candy. It can be gotten for ninety-nine cents at the gas station, and it is my favorite candy. Or maybe he comes with that little paper that is tucked inside a fortune cookie – the one that tells one’s alleged fortune. I love those too. Maybe he comes with something blue (like nail polish); blue is my favorite color. What about a funny Nigerian movie? The simplest things in life can sometimes bring the biggest joy.

So he comes upstairs looking suave. He is not wearing a pair of extra-tight jeans that is squeezing the life out of his crotch, and neither is he wearing a pair of jeans that looks like it is begging to reach the ground. He’s dressed in a semi-formal way. We do not have to have the regular date which is dinner and a movie. In fact, I would prefer that we do not have the regular date. We could catch a play instead. If the weather is warm and time permits, we could go ride those little bumper cars. We could go listen to some soulful poetry. And I bet no one ever thought of this, but we could go to church. What better foundation to lay than God? Recently, church has been one of the best places I have attended.

After the date, he will take me home and walk me back to my house. He will not lurk around and hope for a nightcap, and he will not guilt me into asking him to spend the night by asking to see my album and then beginning to yawn in the middle of it while saying, “Boy, I’m so tired. I hope I don’t have an accident on the road and die.” He will not attempt to steal a kiss; this action has not worked out well for his predecessors. Many have tried, and just as many have failed.

He will instead give me a hug – one that says I-had-a-nice-time-and-I-hope-we-can-do-this-again-soon. He will proceed to plant a warm kiss on each eye. Kisses on the cheeks are so ordinary; I would rather have my eyes kissed. He may, if he wishes, stare at me for an uncalculated amount of time until I blush and flash him a smile, revealing my vote of confidence in him. He will then smile too and scratch his head - the scratch that says this-babe-is-scattering-my-head. And then, he will leave.

He will call me on his way home to thank me for such a fantastic date. I would decline his thanks and say that he owes me no thanks. I will thank him instead. For a few minutes, we will argue over who should thank who. We will agree to disagree. I will get off the phone and let him concentrate on his driving. As soon as I get off the phone, I will smile from ear to ear – the kind of smile I will not be caught doing while taking a picture. He will call me when he gets home to tell me he has gotten home. We will talk till two or three or four in the morning about anything, everything, and nothing. We will say our goodnights; I will fall asleep with the phone on my chest and dream dreamy dreams of my date. That is the kind of date I am talking about. I have never, ever been on a date like that – or anything remotely close to it. But obviously, I have had plenty of time to imagine it.

These days, when men say they want to take you out on a date, they are already calculating how much you will have to pay them back in kind. I believe that taking a girl out on a date is not a necessity, nor is it a law. Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well. If you must take her out on a date, do it right. What exactly is the point of taking a girl out and then asking her at the end of the date if she will come back to your place? Seriously, what the heck is that about? I find it rather insulting, and not to mention, amusing. But I cannot blame the men completely anyway. Some of us have been found to be flattered by such derogatory statements. That being said, I could not care less about anyone’s date right now. What I care about is mine – the one I have never been on.

Is it not a bit problematic that at my age, I have never been on a date? It is days like this one that make me wonder if my fears and preconceived notions are true: are there really no Nigerian or at least African men on E-Harmony dot com? That website has promised to match me on twenty-nine different dimensions of compatibility. That is a whole lot more than what I have been able to do for myself. And what about Match dot com? Dr. Phil has told me that it is okay to look there. So I have looked – but just at their home page. I am not quite ready to divulge into anything else yet. Chemistry dot com has vowed to find me a person who will make me go weak in the knees. Now, that is the kind of passion I want!

When I go on a date like the aforementioned one, I will have officially been on a date. But who will be brave enough to not only date me jeje, but also date me tender? That is the trillion-dollar question. This cannot be the conclusion of this story. I must come back and write about how I was jejely and tenderly dated. All I need to figure out now is the title of the upcoming write-up. Allow me, however, to end this one like a Nigerian movie: To God Be The Glory. Watch Out For Part II.

P. O. BOX 7893
Essex, MD 21221
United States of America


Sunday, October 26, 2008

The First Impression

…is a lasting impression. The sooner you learn that the first impression you make on a woman is a lasting – and possibly perpetual – impression, the better for you.

In the event that you meet a woman you would like to know better, there are a few things you should keep in mind. There are three phases to this: the pre-meeting phase, the meeting phase, and the post-meeting phase.

Pre-meeting phase: At no point in your life are you sure of what will happen in the next second. Therefore, it is imperative that you plan accordingly and expect the unexpected. Sure, you do not think you will meet a girl at the mechanic shop, but what if you do? That being said, keep the following in mind:

1. A funky man is not a sexy man. Did you know our sense of smell is our strongest one? How can she take you seriously when your stench is clogging up her lungs? You should endeavor to smell good at all times. This is not an impossible task. I do not ask that you shower in cologne that will cause her to wheeze and suffer from symptoms of bronchitis; I do, however demand that you brush your teeth before leaving the house. Some kind of working deodorant will not hurt either.

2. Nobody – and I do mean NOBODY – looks good chewing gum. Whether your mouth is open or close while chewing has no bearing. Whether you chew or suck the gum does not matter either. Do not be caught leaving your house with a piece of gum in your mouth. Chewing gum while talking to her is a major distraction to her.

3. We are in the 21st century. In this century, you do not beckon on a woman by making kissing sounds as if you are calling out to Bingo, your dog. In this century, you do not get a woman’s attention by doing the ‘pssst!’ thing; for goodness sake, you are not in third grade hollering at your boys. You do not whistle at her as if you are flagging down an okada. And you most certainly do not guess her name by her complexion. Just because she is light-skinned does not mean her name is Chichi or Amaka. Lastly, you may think it is cute, but licking your lips as you stare at a woman like she’s a piece of steak or suya is very disgusting, and it sends all kinds of mixed signals.

Meeting Phase: So you have spotted the girl, and you think you would like to get to know her better. You look good; you smell good; life is good. Sometimes, it is not easy thinking of what to say when you approach her. Calm down; it’s okay. If you cannot think of what to say, please think of what not to say.

1. No hanky-panky please. If you want to know if she is single, ask her. Approaching her with cheesy lines like “I cannot believe your boyfriend let you come here all by yourself,” is as dumb as it is annoying. What if she agrees with you and says she cannot believe her boyfriend let her come there alone? What then becomes of you?

2. Contrary to popular belief, flattery will not get you everywhere. Only the right flattery will get you everywhere. Complimenting a light-skinned lady as ebony will not score you any brownie points. And if you are not sure of the color of her eyes, please reserve your right to not compliment them. Hazel eyes are not brown eyes. They never have been; they aren’t now, and they never will be.

3. The truth does not always set you free. You must not say everything that comes to your mind. It may be hard to believe, but some things are better left unsaid. Yes, Dakore has a striking resemblance to Bob-Manuel Udokwu, but must you say it? If the lady you are interested in happens to look like Dakore, please do not tell her that she reminds you of Bob-Manuel. Bob-Manuel is not a bad looking man by any stretch of the word, but no woman wants to remind a man of another man. It is as troubling as it is painful. That being said, Dakore remains a very beautiful woman.

4. Say what you mean and mean what you say. There is a trend going on in the boy-meets-girl world. I call it the he-screwed-up-at-the-last-minute trend. There are countless demons in the world, but I am yet to figure out which one possesses a man to screw up in such a way. I want to know why a man, after approaching a girl, successfully having small talk with her, making her laugh, and acquiring her ‘digits’ would say to her, “Call me sometime, okay? We can hang out.” Why, oh, why would you lay the burden of calling on her? This may seem small to you, but on our planet (Venus), this is a major offense, and it is punishable by permanent deletion of your number from our phonebook, or the movement of your number to the do-not-answer group. Look at it this way: if she wanted to call you, she would have asked for your number one way or another. You do not ask a lady for her number and then tell her to call you.

Post-Meeting Phase: You have survived the pre-meeting phase and the meeting phase; do not screw up in the post-meeting phase. You have come too far to end it. There is light at the end of the tunnel, gentlemen --- if you keep it up.

1. Do not make a career out of calling. All things being equal, the day you meet a girl and successfully excite her, you leave footprints in her memory. The thing about footprints is that time washes them away. The longer you take to call, the fainter your footprints will become. If you are not there to make more prints, you will be demoted from ‘Luke, the funny guy I met at the bar’ to ‘some guy.’ In other words, you may be nice, but you are still very forgettable, trust me. If you do not want to be actually forgotten, call within no more than forty-eight hours, or else you will become a faceless name in her phonebook.

2. Limit the phone calls. If you call her and she does not pick up, leave a message and wait for her to call you back. If she says she will call you back, wait for her to call you back. If you do not hear from her for days, you can call her again, but please wait at least twenty-four hours before you do so. If she has a habit of not picking up or returning your calls, cut her off. Any woman who wants to call a man will never be too busy to do just that. Badgering her with phone calls raises red flags. There is a thin line between an enthusiastic admirer and a crazy phone stalker. You do not want to be identified as the latter.

3. Pick a date. Keep the date. Assuming you called her at the right time and you both finally picked a day for your date, make sure you agree on a date that works for you...and keep the date! Cancelling your first date is like cancelling an interview for a highly competitive job: the rescheduled interview (if there is one) is a steeper hill to climb. Keep in mind that just because you are not calling her does not mean no one else is calling her. In order words, make hay while the sun shines. If you must cancel, it better be because you are trapped in a whale’s stomach – or something like that.

4. Save the drama. There are countless things to talk about on your first date. Your psychotic ex who slashes your tires and sabotages all your potential relationships should not be one of them. Save the doggie-style-is-my-favorite-sex-position conversation for a dozen dates later. And while we are on the subject of sex, please refrain from the how-many-people-have-you-had-sex-with conversation. You can always have that conversation some other time – like never.

***When you do have that successful date, please feel very free to send me a bottle of perfume (like Pour Femme by Bvlgari) as a thank-you gift***

DISCLAIMER: If you follow all the rules and things still don’t work out, please forward all your complaints to God. Unlike me, He’s available 24/7.

P. O. BOX 7893
Essex MD 21221
United States of America


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Poles Apart

Have you ever had a phone conversation with a man you have never met, but whose voice you find irresistible? Even when he says a word as simple as “Hmm,” (which technically isn’t even a word), you simply cannot get enough of it. Everything about his voice is fascinating. You cannot quite place your finger on it, but you know that you do not mind hearing his voice right before you sleep and hearing it again as soon as you wake up. His voice is just … just so entrancing. Have you ever had a man with that kind of voice talk to you? I have.

Is it not simply amazing when you see a man who is as fine as fine could ever get? White dentures, no bournvita stains. He has that Colgate smile. His hair is cut low and neat like a military man. He looks darn good, and he knows it too. Everyday you see him, he looks like he is wearing his best outfit. He looks so good that you have sometimes forgotten yourself in the process of watching him. Everything about him betrays his opulence. My God, he is scrumptious. He walks the walk, but does he talk the talk? Certainly, a man like this must have that captivating voice, right? Eager to know, you approach him and strike a casual conversation with him. You say – more like ask, “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

He looks at you, smiles that expensive smile, and says, “Oh yes, it’s a beaurriful day.” Not wanting to believe you heard what you just heard, you ask him, “What did you say?” With confidence and a million dollar smile, he repeats, “I said it’s a beaurriful day.” But how could such an epitome of visual perfection pronounce beautiful as beaurriful? Surely, it must not have been him. Unfortunately, it was indeed him. Apparently, a person’s looks can be poles apart from the words that exit his mouth. Not wanting to believe he is as dumb as he sounds, you continue the conversation, hoping it will get better.

Did he just ask you if you are Yoruba or Igbo after you told him you are from Ondo State? Yes.

Did he just ask you if you were born in London or in UK? Yes.

Did he just tell you he needs a glass of ‘warer?’ Yes.

And yes, he just said the humidity is hot.

Do not tell me I am the only one who has experienced this.

It feels a lot better when you see a guy who is forgettable. He looks like an average Joe, nothing special. But the moment he opens his mouth, you need not wonder just how high his IQ is. He speaks English like he invented the language. Who knew that English could make you feel all girly inside? He makes you feel like enrolling in English 101 again. Who cares if you are a grad student?

When the case is reversed and you see a good-looking man who looks like he just stepped out of the cover of a GQ magazine, the last thing you want is for him to sound like an Onitsha trader, throwing in at least one ‘nna men’ in every statement he makes. You cannot help but wonder how such a man got into such clothes. It is a mystery, I know.

Of course, this problem does not discriminate against any gender. Men are just as susceptible to having the shocker of their lives. As a man, you may see a woman whom you swear is Halle Berry’s twin. Her hair is beautiful. Her skin is flawless; she looks like Mac used her face to create ‘pancake’ for women. She’s got the high cheek bones, the hypnotizing eyes, the small waist, big hips, powerful ass, and of course, kissable lips and touchable tits (excuse my French, but I needed to rhyme).

So you take her along with you as your date to your ex’s wedding. You need to show your ex that you have moved on, and are now with someone more beautiful. You are now with someone who beats her hands down. In the reception hall, women stare at your date; men gawk at her. In fact, you could swear you saw your ex, the bride, rolling her eyes at her. Amongst the other women, your date looks like a rose in a field of green grass. Men seem to be quietly begging you to tell them the koko – how did you win this chic over? You are the man. She’s perfect. You’re perfect. Life is perfect. You smile the smile of a confident, self-assured man. Only winners can smile that type of smile. And you are a winner, right?

Dinner comes along. Your mouth drops open and hangs open for an uncalculated amount of time.

Is that your date licking – more like sucking - the egwusi soup off her fingers? Yes.

Is she doing it with all the sound effects too? Yes.

Is that your ex, the bride laughing at your date? Yes.

Did she just stain your white tuxedo shirt with soup? Yes.

Is she chewing (and sucking) that meatless bone? Yes.

Did she just hit the bone on the ceramic plate to force out everything inside the bone? Yes.

In public? Yes.

Are all eyes on you? Oh, yessss.

Thus goes the cycle of life: everyone is missing something. The good-looking man and sharp dresser does not have the voice. The man with the voice looks like a village headmaster. What is a girl to do? Of course, there is always that guy who has both the looks and the voice, but he has no words. He’s a beautiful man with a beautiful voice and ugly words. Well, the words themselves are not ugly; it is the sound of them that is ugly.

Have you ever heard a sexy, baritone voice that sounds like he just erupted from the village square? He’s got the voice, but no words. What a waste! Even when he is speaking English, he still sounds like he is speaking Yoruba. All the words that start with ‘h’ (like house, horse, etc) have somehow managed to exit his mouth without the ‘h,’ so they now sound like ‘ouse’ and ‘orse’. Instead, he has decided to put the ‘h’ in front of every word that starts with a vowel. He pronounces ‘earring’ as ‘hearring,’ which now makes it sound like ‘hearing.’ As you can imagine, this can complicate things tremendously, especially for those whot are not aware of what is going on. It is fair to say that the ‘h’ has been lost in transition. The Igbo ones, on the other hand, are very good at changing the pronunciation and syllables of words. ‘Make’ is often pronounced as ‘mek,’ and ‘did’ is often pronounced as ‘didi.’

Countless disappointments have thought me to expect nothing. Not having any expectation means not having to deal with any disappointment that is likely to follow through. I should say, however that I would rather hear a beautiful voice and be disappointed by the look than see a beautiful man and be disappointed by his voice. Somehow, it is easier to get over the look. As people begin to grow on you, they begin to look good. And it makes a lot of sense because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This explains why no one ever thinks that his or friend is not good-looking. But how does one begin to fall in love with a voice that is sure to send him/her to an early grave? Well, either an early grave or prison – for killing the owner of the annoying voice.

If you ask me, I would say this is just one of God’s many ways of being funny. The man’s sense of humor is uncanny. I have never met anyone quite like Him. I maintain that He is the funniest Man ever. No one else in history has set a judgment date that everyone must attend, and yet refused to tell anyone the date. Simply amazing, I tell you.

P. O. BOX 7893
Essex, MD 21221
United States


Monday, May 05, 2008

By Their Looks, You Shall Know Them

There is something about a Nigerian woman that makes it impossible to not spot her. She may be properly dressed (and I use the word ‘properly’ sparingly), but there is just something about her that is very Nigerian. It is in the way she looks. There are so many aspects to this, but I will try to tackle them all.

I will start with the aspect that bothers me the most: the eyebrows. Seriously, is there a rule that says it is wrong for women to keep their eyebrows? What is up with shaving it off completely and replacing it with eye pencil streaks? As if that is not bad enough, these streaks come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are thin and curvy; they even go so high that they are almost touching her hair line. Some are thick; they make her look like an angry witch. Some are straight and thin; they are so straight that they look like they have been drawn with a ruler. For goodness sake, who came up with the idea of straight eyebrows? They’re ugly and unnatural. I must mention however, that some drawn-on eyebrows do not look so bad, but more often than not, they look terrible.

While the size and shape of the eyebrows are scary enough, some people also feel the need to paint them. I do not understand the logic behind having red, burgundy, or gold eyebrows. I can understand the need to match your shoes, hand bags, jewelries, and make-up to your outfit, but why must your eyebrows compliment your outfit too? And while I am on the subject of eyes, I would like to make it clear to all Nigerian women – regardless of your complexion – that black women do not have blue eyes! Apparently, contact lenses are now part of our Ankara and Swiss laces. Yes, your eyes must now match your outfit. What happens when your outfit is pink or purple? Do they make contact lenses in those colors?

What about the hair? Why do Nigerian women think they look good with bright blonde wigs and weaves? A light skinned woman hardly looks good with a blonde weave, but a dark skinned woman looks worse. The embarrassing thing about the blonde weaves and wigs is that the women wearing it never wear it well – not that wearing it well will make it look good on them. What exactly is the point of wearing a blonde wig when your black hair is clearly visible under it? And maybe I am dense, but I cannot comprehend the sense in having pitch black hair and attaching a blonde synthetic pony tail on it. On a serious note, how does this work?

I want to address the issue of clothes a little bit. When it comes to pants (trousers), Nigerian women seem to think that all pants have to sit above their navels. Not only are these pants sitting high, but they are also afraid of touching the ground. In other words, they are always ‘jump up’ pants. Somebody needs to tell our women that it is not okay to wear white socks (or any kind of socks for that matter) with open-toe shoes. It is also not permissible to wear knee-high panty hose with a skirt that does not reach your knees. And if the elastic band in your knee-high panty hose is no longer elastic, please throw them away! Wal-Mart sells four pairs of knee-high panty hoses for only one dollar!

When it comes to jewelry, there has to be a rule that one must wear all her rings to any single event. I do not know why Nigerian women wear at least one ring on each finger, and these rings are huge and expensive. Oh, and also very ugly. If she does not wear all her rings at one time, she will not feel complete. If she does not wear a huge, ugly, expensive necklace, she will not be able to breathe well. She must always adorn her beautiful body with as much jewelry as it can handle.

Have you ever met those women that cannot seem to let go of their youth? After much observation and deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that the problem is not that they cannot let go of their youth, but rather that during their youth, they did not have much fun. I think they must have lived somewhere in the village during their youth, and all of a sudden, like a jack in a box, they have been let out and released into the city life – whatever that may be. Why else will grown women be dressed like teenagers? What is the essence of putting on a five hundred dollar lace and accessorizing it with colorful plastic jewelry from the dollar store? What is the sense in a voluptuous, curvy woman forcing herself into a pair of red skinny jeans and wearing it with those Italian shoes they usually wear with the laces? Why, oh why will a woman who has had five children and breasts that have succumbed to gravity feel the need to leave the house without a bra?

Make-up is a beautiful thing – when done right. There is no rule that says every woman must apply blush on her cheeks. But if she chooses to, does she have to look like she stuck a very red slice of pepperoni on each cheek? Must the eye shadow also extend into and beyond the eye brows? Must she really use the eye pencil to create cat eyes – or the pitiful equivalent of it? Must her lipstick really come in unnatural colors like purple and lime green?

When it comes to foundation (alias ‘pancake’), some of our Nigerian women seem to think that everything that can be applied must be applied. That is why they first start with the liquid foundation. From there, they take it one step up to the liquid-to-powder foundation. After that, they apply the pressed powder, which must then be followed by the lose powder. And of course, she must also use the concealer – whether she has something to conceal or not. By the time she is done applying the pancake on her face, she weighs at least ten pounds more. If you look at her face carefully, you will know where her face ends and where her make-up starts. That is never a good sign. Your foundation is supposed to blend in. It is imperative that our women learn that the amount of pancake that goes on the face is highly dependent on how much coverage is needed – not how much pancake she can lay her hands on.

While there is such a thing as too much make-up, it is also possible to not have enough make-up. This is evident in the women who confidently leave their homes looking as if they had just emptied an entire can of Crisco on their faces. There is so much glare on their faces that you can literally see your reflection. Their faces are so bright that one will need sunglasses with 100% UV protection to look at them. God forbid that they directly face the sun. The impact of that will be equivalent to a mirror facing the sun and beaming its reflection into someone’s eyes. These women’s cheeks and eyes are so puffy that they look like they have just emerged from an intense physical battle which they lost. But alas, they were not in a physical battle. They just believe they look too good to use make-up. Make-up only serves to enhance what one already has.

One Nigerian accessory that I absolutely adore is the scarf. When done right, the scarf can be the icing on the cake. It is almost equal to the crown that sits on the Queen’s head. The scarf is often the first thing that foreigners notice and compliment. It is imperative that you note that all scarves are not created equally. Some women tie their scarves shallow and wide. I do not mind it at all. In fact, I love it. Some women make theirs narrow and tall. Again, I do not think this looks bad either. The ones that boggle my mind are the big ones that look like they were rumpled and placed on the heads of the wearers. If you stare at those scarves long enough, you just might get busy. They are as shapeless as an amoeba. What about the little ones that are so small that one could mistake them for hats? Why did the wearer not just wear a hat? Some scarves are so flat that they look like the wearers had been carrying heavy buckets of water on their heads. Some are so flat and boring that one would think the wearer was trying to achieve a ‘wrap’ hair style on her head with the scarf. Must the scarf be so lifeless?

This is not to say that Nigerian women are not fashion-conscious. Those who are fashion-conscious are fashion-conscious. Likewise, those who are not fashion-conscious are really not fashion-conscious. In other words, the good ones are really good, and the bad ones are really bad. The next time you attend an event – Nigerian, African, or whatever else, take a minute to inspect the women around you. By their looks, you shall definitely know them.
Yahoo! ID: verastic

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

This Marriage Thing Sef

Marriage today is not what it used to be. Let me rephrase that: marriage is not what I thought it was. It is not what I think it should be. And no, I am not yet married.

Marriage is supposed to be a bond between a man and a woman, held by love. When you are getting married, you are supposed to be getting married to your best friend, your soul mate, your other half. For men, you are supposed to be getting married to the woman who has your rib in her, the woman who has your missing rib. And for women, you are supposed to be getting married to the man whose rib you have in you. When ‘marriage’ comes to mind, people often think of love, romance, happiness, eternal bliss, love, love, love.

For too many, however, marriage does not quite live up to its expectation(s). Obviously, before you get married, you ought to keep in mind that problems will come up. There will be trials and tribulations. You ought to keep in mind that there will be difficult times. Philosophers will always advise you to expect the unexpected. Married people expect problems, but ironically, they never expect the problems they actually get.

A man gets married to what he considers a beautiful woman. He expects that she will undergo physical changes, especially after having his children. Her stomach might get a little rounder; her thighs might get a little chunkier; her feet might get bigger. Hmm, it will only be a matter of time before gravity descends on her breasts. So he expects all of this, but he does not foresee one of her butt cheeks to equal the size of their jumbo pillow. He does not foresee her stomach to be bigger than his beer gut. And while, he expected her feet to grow a little bigger, he did not ever think they would grow big enough to fit his shoes. And her breasts? Let’s just say it can go for miles. The thing seems to be longer every time he sees it.

They used to have a great sex life, but now she is too busy catering for the children to satisfy his needs. By the time she comes to bed, she smells of maggi cubes and curry. Her hair consistently remains undone. He is not quite sure if she is taking out the weave on her head or fixing a new one. The whole thing is a mess. Her nails are as sharp as a razor blade. He has the evidence to prove this on their bed sheets which are constantly sliced by her toe nails. And when was the last time she shaved? She has taken the word, ‘natural’ to a whole new level. Whoever told her he wants to be in bed with a grizzly bear?

Once upon a time, she used to wear neck-breaking lingerie to bed, but now, he is constantly being assaulted with the hospital gowns she calls night gowns. If only she will take a minute and reinvest in deodorants. She does not stink, but he will prefer a less natural smell. This woman who once used to be very discrete no longer feels the need to close the bathroom door while she is doing number two. She no longer deems it necessary to excuse herself before farting. Why excuse herself when her husband will love to inhale the fresh, unadulterated stench that escapes from her butt hole?

But these are all minor problems compared to the real, serious problems. Ever since she got a better job, she has become rude and disobedient. She cooks food that only she will enjoy. She has become a little too willing to order food. Wait a minute; is that Papa John’s Pizza on speed dial? She has become very quick to talk back and even tell him that he is not her God. Apparently, she can make it on her own. It amazes him that in spite of the increase in her salary, she does not make as much as he does, yet her insults continue to increase. He shudders to think of what will happen if she ever makes as much as he does. God forbid that she ever makes more. If she does, he will turn his manhood in without disputing it because he knows it will be the end of his manliness anyway.

One of the things he cannot get past is the fact that she will not stop sending so much money to her mother. He understands that her father left them with almost nothing, and he understands that her mother suffered so much for her, but she is a married woman now. She does not understand that she is now a part of him, and what she does affects him. For God’s sake, his mother is still well and alive, and he would love to send her money more often, but he knows he has a wife and children to cater for. These are just some of his complaints. The Mrs. probably has a different side to the story.


She thought she was getting married to her best friend and confidant, but there is nothing confidential about their affairs. She does not really speak to Nneka, Peter’s wife, but somehow, Nneka knows about her inability to cook egwusi soup well. Nneka knows that every time she cooks egwusi soup, the water and the oil become very bitter enemies in the pot: they simply refuse to be joined together. The other day, Nneka offered to teach her how to cook egwusi soup. What insolence! Who told Nneka about this? Oh yeah, her husband is a good friend to Nneka’s husband.

Before they got married, he promised to stop drinking and smoking. He is yet to quit either. He smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish. One day, he will drink himself to stupor and smoke himself to ashes. He comes to bed smelling like an ash tray dumped in a cheap bar and expects her to wear lingerie to bed? He has to be high on something.

She sees the way he looks at her. She knows he does not like the way she looks. He looks at her like she disgusts him. He looks at her like he would much rather be looking at something else, or someone else. Perhaps, someone slimmer, someone prettier, someone lighter. She knows he does not like what he sees in her. Why on earth will she wear skimpy lingerie to bed when her husband cannot even stand the sight of her? Why will she expose her ‘lumps’? No oh.

These days, she has no interest in sex anymore. Well, she still has interest, but she refuses to subject herself to such degradation. She would rather utilize Mr. Denzel, her three-hundred dollar vibrator. He is worth every penny she spent on him. Too bad he is not tax deductable. He probably thinks of someone else while he is inside her anyway. He probably closes his eyes while he is on top of her. He probably cannot wait to burst a nut, so he can get out of her. He probably only does it because he needs to – not because he wants to. Why will she want to have sex with such a man?

She believes he is very selfish. Why else will he expect her to work several hours a day, come home and take care of the kids, help them to do their assignment, prepare dinner, and then be in the mood to satisfy his needs in bed? When she is in the mood, she is too tired; when she is not tired, she is not in the mood. And when she is in the mood and not tired, she would rather be with Mr. Denzel. At least, she is guaranteed to have his time for more than five minutes – unlike some other people she knows.

She does not know why he keeps complaining about the money she sends home to her mother. Has she ever stopped him from sending money to his own mother? Does he know what her mother went through when her father left them for another woman? There is nothing he will say that will make her stop sending money to her mother. She works hard for her money, and she has every right to spend it how she wants to. Besides, she has always dreamt of the day she will finally be able to show her mother some appreciation for all she went through when her father left them high and dry. And now this man thinks she will stop spoiling her mother because some husband said she should? Please!

She does not know why he is always complaining about the money she makes. It is not like she makes more than him anyway. He just cannot handle the fact that she now makes so much money. He cannot seem to comprehend that she is no longer the young, naïve little girl whose bride price he paid several years ago. He cannot accept that she no longer needs to run to him for every little thing. Gone are the days when she used to beg for money for bras, panties, and sanitary pad. He needs to get over himself already. She is no longer a girl; she is now a woman.


I am quite certain that at the point a couple says, ‘I do,’ they are probably in love. They might spend thousands of dollars on the wedding and everything concerning it, but a few months down the line, trouble sprouts up like weed: the more you kill them, the more they grow. Somehow, no chemical can completely get rid of them, and the chemical that does get rid of the weed also hurts the plants. Is there really a win-win situation?

Once upon a time, I used to go ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ whenever I heard about a wedding, but these days, I am almost filled with sadness for the couple. I almost want to give them a condolence card. This is not to say that I do not want to get married. I do want to get married, and I intend to get married, but marriage does not have the same effect anymore. I do not even have any couple to look up to and say, ‘aww.’ Apart from tax breaks, a possibly fatter income, and beautiful children, I am seriously beginning to wonder what else one stands to gain from marriage.

I think I would be speaking for most when I say that for unmarried people in my generation, marriage is something we want but fear. No man is an island, and no sane man would want to be an island. Somewhere inside of us, we all crave a kind of connection that only a spouse can give us, but are we willing to do the work? Are we really willing to have petty arguments over and over? Are we willing to be used and abused by our in-laws? Are we willing to not be always liked by our spouse? I mean, marriage is a life time commitment, or at least, it is supposed to be a life time commitment. Who wants to make a mistake and live with it forever? I know I do not.

There is just something about Nigerian/African marriages that make me stop and ponder. Does jumping the broom mean you are no longer allowed to be yourself? I realize that after jumping the broom, there are certain things you should probably stop doing (like going out and coming in at three in the morning…unless of course, it is just a once in a blue moon guys/girls night out with your friends). But does getting married mean that your going out should be limited to work and home alone? Does getting married mean that your wardrobe should now be limited to only Iro and Buba? I do not condone wearing clothes that are too revealing (regardless of your marital status), but should getting married mean that you should start wearing only turtleneck lookalikes no matter the season?

I may not be married, but having observed a lot of marriages and found in them nothing that thrills or excites me, I have realized that one problem with marriages is habit. Marriage becomes a game of habit. Who says you cannot attend a friend’s night party because you are now married? Who says you cannot spend an entire day at Six Flags and scream your hearts out on every ride? What stops you from going to a poetry parlor? Oh, that’s right. You are married now. You can only go to work, come home, eat egwusi soup, watch TV, do whatever you do in bed, and sleep. Then you wake up in the morning and repeat the cycle.

There has got to be a better way to be married because this current marriage thing sef…e get as e be oh!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Men Are Like Cars

You know what cars do to you? They make you feel like life will be better with them. Before you get a car, all you can think about is how much better life will be once you get a car. You will be able to go and come as you please. You will not have to plan your schedule around your sister’s free time anymore. You will not have to leave the house two hours before you start work to catch the bus, and you would not have to spend fifteen dollars on cab fare. Oh, and you can stop receiving all those insults from Mama Nkechi. Ah, if only you had a car!

So finally, you work your butt off and you save up for a car. You had to clean up your savings account to buy your car, but you figured it was worth it. You could have bought yourself a cheap car, but you did not want to take the risk. Why buy a cheap car that will break down in the middle of the road? You decided you would rather spend the money to get yourself a reliable car that would not stop you halfway, and so you did!

As usual, everything was great at first. It drove great! Its engine came on when you put the key into the ignition and turned it a certain way. It drove when you put the gear in ‘D’, and it reversed when you put the gear in ‘R’. In your head, you did all you were told to do. You did the oil tune up every three thousand miles – just as the little sticker on your wheel screen said you should. You checked the gauge of the tire, and even learnt how to check the fluids. Inside and outside, you never kept the car dirty; in fact, some will say you were obsessed with keeping it clean. You never let it run out of gas either. You always kept it smelling good with air fresheners, and everyone who entered your car could not stop complimenting you.

Why then did it start messing up? It started with you putting the car in ‘D’ and it started reversing. And then, not only did you have a flat tire, but the tire was damaged beyond repair. How come? You had just checked that tire in the morning and you had no clue that there was something wrong with it. It seemed to have happened out of nowhere. It got to the point that the car completely refused to start. You had to have it towed to the local mechanic. Of course, that put a heavy dent in your bank account. Having spent all that you did, the car seemed to be in a good shape again.

Your friends are constantly telling you, “You don’t have to spend so much for a car to work,” but as far as you are concerned, they do not understand the kind of bond you share with your car. They have tried “hooking you up” with other cars, but you have sternly declined, stating that your car is a good car – if only they give it a chance to prove itself.

You were starting to trust it again, but it started jerking on the road. You managed it like that to the mechanic’s shop where you dished out some more money to have it fixed. You cried your eyes out and wondered if having a car was really worth it. Perhaps, you could just go back to waiting for the bus and paying fifteen dollar for the cab fare. Perhaps, you could just go back to receiving insults from Mama Nkechi. Ah, but how can you go from grace to grass? Everybody already knows you have a car. Noooo. You will be patient. Things will get better. Your car is just going through a tough time. It will come around – eventually.

Maybe it is because you have been putting the regular gas in it. From now on, you will start putting the premium gas. You will stop letting your friend’s teenage brother wash it for twenty dollars; you will start taking it to the professional car washers. For a second, you wonder if you have been putting fake antifreeze liquid into your car. Perhaps Gucci, Versace, or Prada makes antifreeze liquid for cars. Nah, you conclude that your thoughts are a bit extreme. They probably do not – at least not yet. But as soon as they do, your car will be the first to use it. Who cares if it is just a ninety-five Honda Accord?

Once again, you have to trust your car. This time, you decide to be careful. You avoid going on the highway because it will be a lot harder and more expensive to have it towed from the highway. You only drive inside the city. The car drives well and gives you no sign that something is wrong with it, or that it will collapse any time soon. But you still leave it on probation for a while. It passes the test with flying colors. Slowly but surely, it begins to gain your confidence back. You start taking it on the highway again, and it does not mess up. Great!

On this particular day, you are scheduled to go for the most important interview of your life. If you miss this interview, you will have to start everything from the beginning. What do you think your car does? Yes, it disappoints you. While on the highway, it starts smoking. You do not know what to do. What do you do? It has not stopped moving, so you could actually manage it to your destination, but what if something happens while you are driving it? You are too close to your destination to just give up and go back home; yet, you are too far from home to turn around and start the journey again. What do you do? If you keep driving it like that, the car could just combust. If that happens, both you and the car will not make it to your destination. If you turn back and go home, that means you have wasted your time.

So now you are stuck on the highway, wondering what to do, where to go, and how to go. You are in limbo – neither here nor there. You are stuck between a rock and a very, very hard place. Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. You have given this man two, three, four, maybe five years of your life, and now it seems you have done it all for nothing. You have invested so much of your time and emotions into him, and you do not feel like you are yielding any profit. You have two options: you could either give up on him and start all over with someone new, or you could continue with him and damn the consequences.

The thought of starting all over repulses you; you are not young anymore. Besides, you have spent so much time ‘training’ this man. He knows your likes and dislikes. He knows you like chocolate and dislike cookies and cream flavored ice cream. He knows your strengths and weaknesses. He knows your secrets. You tell him things you can never, ever tell your best friend. Everybody knows the two of you; his family has met yours. The trees have even been whispering about his possible proposal. His family has been hinting at their impending trip to your parents’ house to pluck the very ripe flower in their garden. You are more than ready to be plucked. But what happens after you have been plucked? Will you live the rest of your life being stranded on the highway by your man? How many times will your car have to stop you on the highway before you give up and decide that it is time to get yourself a new car? You just might die of heartbreak.

Men are like cars. Some days you wake up, enter your car and just drive off. You think about the days you had to freeze in the cold waiting for the bus, the days you had to take a cab, and the days you had to endure Mama Nkechi’s insults, and you cannot help but be thankful to God for giving you the car. On other days, however, when you are stranded on the highway and paying your future paycheck to the mechanic, you cannot help but wonder the point of having a car. You start wondering if you have been living in an illusion you created. Even though having a car has given you the opportunity to get a second job, you really have been spending all the money from the second job on the car, so technically, you are not better than you were before you got the car. Or are you?