As is the case with my friends and me we met for a get-together this past weekend. Since I moved to DC in the summer of 2000 this has become a monthly affair — meeting for food, wine, music and political conversations. Each one of us is allowed to bring up to three guests. These meetings are unlike the types we had in Minnesota, Oklahoma or Washington State where the conversation was usually easy going; the food and drink and music distinctively western. Now, it is uniquely African. The food and drink and music and conversation are Africa-centered and Africa-flavored. And usually boisterous!
Gone are the days when we talked mostly about theories and paradigms, and about great books and all that. These days we talk about the Washington Consensus, the Lagos Plan of Actions, and about the effect the Bretton Woods Institutions have on Africa. We talk about the African continent and why, in spite of her resources, the continent is, for the most part, stagnant or underdevelopment no matter how one measure development and growth. And then there is always African food: goat-meat in egusi soup with pounded yam; jollof rice and baked fish; smoked fish and panla in gbegiri & ewedu. As usual, there was Heineken and Guinness and the ever present pulsating African music!
Don’t for once think or assume the women did the cooking. Oh no, the men did the cooking. In as much as they itched and begged to do the cooking, we refused. They sat in the basement listening to Anikulapo, the Oriental Brothers and Shina Peters. Every so often, 1-3 of them would come upstairs to inquire if we needed help. We cooked and cleaned and set up the table and dismantled everything at the end of the night and then cleaned up after ourselves. We brought their food and drinks and watched their hands and wiped soiled lips. We pampered them with our love and affection.
With these gatherings, there is always a secondary side-purpose to them, an after thought, if you will: singles looking for single and available partners. And why not? Only about 70 percent of the gathering is usually married; others are divorced, separated or single. And about the same percentage are professionals in their field. And even the non-professionals are accomplished in their own right. My social and marital status is well known.
Besides, I usually come to these gatherings alone with no ring on my indicative finger. Additionally, I come to these gatherings with huge smile on my handsome and irresistible face. And then there is my charm. My brilliance. My adoring personality. Since I am built like a line-backer, there is also a teddyness to my personality – charming and drawing a good percentage of the single and available women to my corner. I am the sugar and the cream women usually want in their cup of coffee. But not this time around!
This time around, they came and looked. They looked and admired. They looked, admired and smiled and teased me and stroked my hands and gave hugs and blew kisses and patted my back. In hugging me, some even rubbed their moons against my moon sending current through my pole. Even when I went on the charm offensive none bought my wares. In my elementals, I missed. In my foursquare and in my glory, I missed. Damn! What’s the matter with women? What do women want anyways? What are they looking for? What manner of men are women looking for? Please tell me. Perhaps I too can be one of those men.
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