P.S: Before you judge me, this is solely my experience. Mine alone, take note!
As far as I’m concerned, all men in Lagos are married unless proven single and I mean certificates.
I wasn’t always this sarcastic about men; at least I’d like to think so. I’ve always taken a liking to more matured men, or perhaps they like me first.
I admit it feels good when I’m told how polite or smart, nice or whatever adjectives they use these days until I’m asked why I’m still single. People genuinely underestimate the magnitude of that question, it questions everything including the colour of lipsticks, uncovering that perhaps they don’t work as much or is it the hair?
Alright enough rambling, let me start somewhere.
Obviously, nature visited me early, so while my friends would jump around bare-chested with semi-curved bones, my derriere was already showing positive prospects by the time I was 12. By then Kim hadn’t revivified how we see bottoms, so yeah! I hated it!
It took some time to come to understand why I was always the one those men pointed at amongst my friends and, why these grown-ass men would slip money under my palms, while I worked at my dad’s shop during my summer breaks. “Oh, very nice men,” I thought. My naivety knew no bounds.
I vividly recall the deacon of my church whose eyes were always on the cross, holding it in all reverence, you would think he saw heaven’s gates. I bumped into him at the market and like the good Christian girl, I greeted him with full courtesy, everything seemed normal until he started following me around asking for my number, stating that he needed it for church duties. The Folly!
By now he had trailed and followed me into an underwear shop, struggling to explain while hiding from onlookers why he desperately needed my number. Of course, I gave him. These were church matters. Imagine my shock when I began receiving texts explaining my chubby features in words I barely understood and requesting if I could sneak out and stop by one of the popular eateries in the area.
P.S I sat on the same bench with his wife and kids almost every Sunday.
At least that opened my eyes, fast forward to my religious study teacher who offered to take me to his house, dangling keys to his brand new Camry as though I was a rabbit in need of carrots. You see, I now understand that he must have forgotten I was once his student. And yes, he was married too – he always made references to his family during his lectures.
Not to mention, my first day at my computer training, where I was rashly halted at the staircase to my training hall by a random looking married man with his wedding band on. He went straight to the point and of course, I said no. Imagine my surprise when he walked into the class, as the tutor. I didn’t go back there again.
My mum is your typical prayer warrior. Name it, she does it from midnight prayers to fasting, she does everything. We had prayer points that baffled me; I still don’t think God needed all those details. But of all the things she prayed about, the daughters of Delilah remains fresh in my memory. She would declare, “oh you daughter of Jezebel and Delilah, out of my family, I close my husband’s eyes to any Delilah and Jezebel – back to sender, you shall not destroy my family.”
I’m not sure my father ever cheated, but what do I know.
Which explains why I flee at the mention of married men.
It takes a lot of hard work to make up, so yes! I expect heads to turn when I step out. From where I sat, I spotted him. It takes one head swipe to spot the prince in the room, immediately my green lights went up, and the sirens in my head went off chanting, hot guy, hot guy. I positioned myself where uncle was sure to find me. In my books, if he wouldn’t talk to me, no worries, I’ll go to me.
After exhibiting skills, as a sure man he understood and approached. At once the click happened, you should have seen the smile on my face, I’d found the one. I couldn’t stop smiling until our first official date. More make-up, a dress to reveal the truth about curves and yeah my smile; triple threat, I was ready to overthrow any existing girlfriend.
But, further into the conversation my senses returned and I perceived the smell of matrimony oozing from this my Bobo; according to me, all married men have a unique smell of matrimony. I decided to inquire, you know assumptions are terrible for mental health.
Me: “hey are you married? “ (The eyes that stared back said yes with at least two kids, but it’s better to hear from the horse’s mouth.)
Him: “Not really” (whatever that means or wait, is there a half marriage?)
Him: “you see (hmm lies loading…. when people start with these words, it’s a LIE) we have a thing, but it’s not serious”
Me: (In my head, bros this is a yes or no question na, abi am I speaking French?) Real words: chuckling a little to tone my already building anger, “I think it’s a yes or no question. Ok, do you have kids?”
Him: “well (na waoo never have I seen where straight answers are so twisted) I have two kids” (Two, lmao you see, the nose never lies)
Me: “so are you two co-inhabiting( I know perhaps I should’ve stopped probing and understood, but nah not after I’ve planned our wedding in my head, he must finish explaining what he means)
Him: “Alright listen, I like you a lot, and I think we should focus on that.” ( story for the gods, weti tis one de talk. My look must have adjusted his sentence.) he went on: “we did some rights but it’s not that serious, besides we both do our own different things. In fact, I’m still with her because of our kids.” (For the love of kids… yimu but she’s sha bearing your last name, I don’t comot for here finish)
E pain me sha, after forming classy and laughing at his sloppy jokes, dude turned out to be married.
These days they are bolder; so bold that’s the first thing they say, I know, I know. Truth hurts. Come on what do y’all want from a lady.
There was this other uncle I met on my way home from work. He started off speaking in fluent British accent (quite impressive, I must confess.) Baba spoke about his relocation to Nigeria and how bored he was. You know- giving off the impression that was single, lives alone and needed company.
Me: ” So you mean you have NO (full emphasis) family here, friends, you know anyone to talk to?”
Him: “Nah,I’m here all alone and I’m kind of shy and reserved.”
(Ah ah and you followed me all the way, oh well)
Him: “That’s why I would like us to chill you know and get to know ourselves better.”(first of all, that word chill upsets me- reason; its code word for sex)
Me: “No worries! I’ll see you around”
My hopes were neutral this time; I’d learned how to be indifferent. So later that week, I decided to satisfy my monthly craving for ice-cream. Omo that’s how I bumped into uncle at the creamery, with a little boy acting naughty screaming,” daddy this one, this one”. Thank God for the Holy Spirit. Oh, I went up to him; make e no be like say, plus I like full proof.
Me: “Oh hi, he’s cute” (I dived straight in, no time!)
Him: (chai, when karma is really a hoe- that’s what his face said) “oh hey,” (The ingenuity in his smile was colder than my ice cream)
” how are you doing?” (Oga no de divert, who be this pikin?)
Me: “He has your nose.”
The child was clearly bored.
Child: “daddy, daddy let’s go home.”
If not for Christianity sha honestly, let’s not even talk promises; shopping sprees, trips, even that car I’ve been dreaming about. It keeps rolling off tongues. Don’t even get me started on words.
Them: “I’ll spoil you.”
I partly blame my mother, or should I thank her, her words keep ringing in my head. What if one woman somewhere is cabashing, abi ah I don’t wan to be a daughter of Jezebel plus I hear some wives are raving mad these days. The fear of acid, is the beginning of wisdom.
……to be continued.