For some of us in the book industry the name ‘Charles Dickens’ is a very familiar one. He it was who created that fictional character, Oliver Twist, that wanted more food not because Twist was a glutton or a trouble-maker but because he was genuinely hungry and wanted to have just about enough to quell the riot in his little tummy. That situation Oliver found himself is one that is comparable to the situation that some of my unmarried sisters find themselves today. They want to be roved (I mimic the Akwa-Ibomite when they want to pronounce the word “loved”); they want to feel secure in the romantic embrace of the man of their dreams. And this man of their dreams is usually the stereotype: the tall, dark, handsome and good looking bro wey dey drive a BMW latest series. Not bad eh, for a choice of manhood abi? This is exactly what I would wish for my unmarried sisters here in Nigeria and for Yankee.
But there is a but, my comely sisters. Part of the reason why a lot of my sisters are not married and are unlikely to find that Mr. Right who would occupy that special place they have reserved for him is that a lot of them are unusual fans of the Rev Martin Luther King: they are dreamers. The vogue today in Nigeria is that after having waited in vain for the prince charming to show up and realizing that time is so far spent in performing this little magical trick of conjuring up the prince, reality crashes down hard when they resort to having babies out of wedlock and being single mothers. I believe that a lot of my sisters who have opted to just ‘have his baby’ had over-dreamt. That same trouble maker, Charles Dickens, in another of his book, Great Expectations put it this way (and I agree with him absolutely), that peoples’ expectations are usually commensurate with their disappointments. Some of my sisters attend weddings, most of the time to plot a demand and supply graph on how theirs should be on the basis of what they see on ground. If you expect too much you may be disappointed too much.
But we must warn our sisters: there is certainly nothing like a Mr. Right anywhere in this universe. What we have is the reality of a Mr. Nearly Alright that hardly stands a chance against the vapor of the prince charming that had been conjured and etched in their subconscious. In most cases, that Mr. Right that you thought will never lay his fingers on you; that Mr. Right that you thought was the perfect gentleman may just be a pretender because without knowing it, you prepared the script and he merely acted along. For instance, some of my biological sisters insist that their future husbands must be this and must be that. And in insisting that he must be this and he must be that, they allow the guy know about this semi-impossible taste and desire of theirs. They don’t allow the dude showcase who he really is and from there make up their minds if they could cope with this or that kind of man. Insisting that you will not get married to someone who will beat you does not mean that the man will not eventually turn you into his sparring partner if you deserve to.
Now to the question whether some women deserve to be punching bags. To tell you the truth and nothing but the truth, they don’t deserve to be. How could a man reduce the woman he roves and cherishes to a mere bag for punching practice? Not on your life. But I have seen a real situation break so down that if this is what marrying sometimes is, then it may not be worth the trouble. Analyze this scenario: man and woman were obviously in rove. We all knew this mostly because of the way the man looked after his lady, almost spoiling her into the bargain: he gave her everything she wanted and was the envy of her friends. One day, he suddenly asked the lady to leave his house. What happened? Despite being in possession of that formula that the key to a man’s heart is via his abdomen, and having a derriere that could make any man fall yakata, she had a sharp, acidic tongue that drove any man mad. That night she broke open the poor man’s head with a bottle. That was the end. Let me just chip it in here that any woman that could refer to her husband or fiancé or whatever as ‘useless, yeye man’ is herself the most irresponsible woman alive. Any woman.
Most of our sisters are hardly believers. A believer is a sister who roves you whether or not you have the kind of money that moves mountains. But today the story is different. Some of our sisters sometimes behave like mercenaries. You have to be ‘ready made’, work either in Shell or Shlumberger or MTN for them to give you some very serious consideration. In naija here, we understand that if you are a medical doctor or an engineer or some professional in the States, the girls are ready to drop their pants for you ASAP. Omashe O! All of this is part of the great expectation that will eventually lead to a great disappointment. The thing may go like this: man meets this fine babe and he wants her badly, the way a man wants to use the toilet. He spends any amount of money to set up the stage just to use the toilet. After a few drinks, the couple hit the hay on the first date. Tell me, which man in his right senses will take this sister any more seriously than he takes the street sisters in downtown Philadelphia?
Then, some of them in Lagos: it is either that they perpetually want to be the woe-man and lay back with the money-for-hand-back-na-ground mentality or that they are romantically bereft of ideas. E be like say dem take poverty swear for some of them.Some have this sick belief that you are the man, only when it comes to spending the money. They can never take you out. They will never even make the attempt to pay for the chicken and drinks both of you had at Sweet Sensation. They expect that you must be the one buying gifts because of what, I don’t know. In case most of them do not know it, about eighty percent of men place a very high value on the woman who may not be a virgin but knows how to show that she too can hold her own, sometimes. Check this sister out: one day, she asked to take me out. I was very surprised because the normal Lagos barber (I mean babe) will never try that nonsense and I declined because I was already involved with someone else. Know what, even till today, I still think of her as a very romantic lady and as reference point for a lady who can fry her onions. Our sisters have to wake up o. This is the internet age. The traditions and beliefs concerning dating and marriage that our parents left us are now old school. To get your guy, you have to be subtly creative and romantic. Don’t just lie there and think that you are the modern version of the Helen of Troy whose face started a ten-year war.