Boy meets girl, girl meets boy…
Boy likes girl, girl likes boy…
They exchange contacts…
They go on dates…
They exchange saliva and body fluids…
Their family gathers and cheers them on…
They exchange rings…
The classic love story with a fairytale ending – the “happily ever after”.
But one thing the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson and Aesops and other fairytale writers forgot to write in, is the point at which Prince Charming comes home and finds that Cinderella forgot to warm his soup before serving it.
And this was not the first time he had asked her to always warm his soup before serving o. Matter of fact it was not the second or even the third time. He had told her countless times to never serve him soup that was not piping hot.
But she no go hear word.
Very stubborn woman, is it because her father has money? Was he not the one that rescued her from her stepmother who was using her as a housemaid? And now that she believes she has “arroved”, she will choose to be disrespecting him – a whole him! Prince Charming?!?!?!?!
He will show her who is the boss today.
Out comes the belt or like we saw on social media last week, the pliers.
Since Cinderella no wan use her ears hear word, since the ears are just there for decoration, make he kukuma help her cut am comot.
Gbiff! Gbaff! Gbooff!
Bye bye fairy tale and welcome to real life!
There is a sharp difference between reality and fairy tales and we seem to go into relationships these days expecting that once we exchange rings and kisses, “happily ever after” descends upon us the way it did for Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, and Fiona, and so on and so forth.
Here is what I wish I could tell young ladies going into relationships and courtships:
1. That relationship must not end in marriage. He must not put a ring on your finger come hell or high water so there is absolutely no need to pressure, manipulate or psyche him into proposing.
Relax and enjoy whatever relationship you are in and if it is headed towards marriage, let it be a natural progression and not because if he does not marry you now after you have openly flaunted him before the world, all your friends will mock you.
He doesn’t have to marry you in order to “save you the shame of eternal spinsterhood”. He does not have to marry you because you can cook jollof and pound nyam better than his other side chicks. He does not have to marry you because he has “seen the colour of your pant” – ask him if he can even remember what colour it was.
Don’t go into a relationship planning a wedding after the first date. You put unnecessary strain and pressure on both of you and end up painting yourself as the desperate one he has to get married to out of pity.
Pity yourselves young girls and stop all that yeyerity.
Matter of fact, there is absolutely nothing in the relationships rule book that says you have to wait and be the one to get dumped and throw the victim pity party. It is perfectly okay for you to feel a relationship cannot grow beyond a certain point, and opt to walk out.
Let him be the one complaining and nagging all over the place about how you dumped him after he has sacrificed four years of his life, and eaten your tasteless food, and spent time being nice to your yeye friends, and so on and so forth.
2. It is only in Beauty and the Beast, the Frog Prince and the rest of them, that one kiss transformed an ugly being into a Charming Prince.
Real life is more like Shrek.
You kiss the ugly ogre and all your repressed ogre syndromes come out to the fore. The longer you hang around the ogre, the more you morph into an ogre.
You cannot change a man.
Do not allow yourself to be lured into believing all that bullshit of, “he will change after marriage”, “he will change when you get pregnant”, “he will change when you have had your baby”, “he will change as the children begin to grow”, “he will change after the children have gone to boarding school”.
In real life it is “once a beast, always a beast”.
You will be there waiting on fake change until you are taken back to your parents in a body bag. Then, since dead men tell no tales, the script of the night you died can be conveniently rewritten and the knife placed firmly in YOUR hands.
It will become a case of your (post humous) words against his. Even in death, he will still attempt to shape your narrative.
“She was manic depressive with suicidal tendencies”, etc etc.
If you are lucky, he attempts to cut off your ear with a pair of pliers, and you come on social media to show off your latest accesory, an ear that is only attached to your head by a strip of flesh.
But you might be unlucky next time and get the body bag treatment.
You can not change a man.
If he shoves you once, he will shove you a second time. If he gets away with a shove today, he will add a tug and pull tomorrow and before you know it, he will whip out the pliers and head for your ears.
So, seize the opportunity while you are dating and find out what his temperament is like. Is he walking a tight rope temperwise? Is he always in danger of flying off the handle at a moment’s notice? Do you have to keep walking on eggshells around him?
Please don’t try to be a Proverbs 31 woman, it is an exclusive club for saintly women. You can be a Proverbs 32 and 1/2 woman. These are women who run for their lives and live to tell the tale.
You are not a bureau de change, you cannot change a violent man but there is at least one thing you can do…
For your life!
3. See that myth about society and the divorcee/single mum/old maid… resolve to treat it just like what it is – tales by moonlight.
After all, when we were much younger, we used to run after chekeleke (what exactly were those things sef?) and ask them for pretty fingernails. We used to believe that if we swallowed seeds, a tree would sprout from our heads. We used to believe that our parents would pluck out their eyes and chew when they were bored (meanwhile na meat wey dem steal from soup pot dem dey chop o). We even used to believe that we could run off on an errand and return before the sand absorbed the spittle our mothers spat on the ground to time us.
All those things, were wash!
You need a man beside you to complete you? Na wash!
You can complete yourself if the available men are not desirable. Marriage and relationships is one place where you do not have to make the available desirable. If it is not “werking”, please feel free to dialogue with your feet.
And flip society the middle finger while you are it. Pursue what makes you happy – a career, a passion, it might even be a relationship that is heading nowhere.
Dear young ladies, I would rather you were alone than unhappy.
I would rather you were alone than bruised, battered and broken.
I would rather you were alone than dead.
PS: To the men who would read this and just think of that one single, tired, line. I love you too, but don’t bother to come at me with the “you are so bitter and hate men” line.
Because quite frankly…
PS 2: “Beht what about us church girls that want to wait?” Good on you. But while you are waiting, shine your eyes. Nothing says you can not test your intended’s temperament and reactions during the church supervised courtship period.
You cannot come and go and “wait” all that while only to now come and go and marry and we will come and go and be gathering over your matter again on social media.
Have mercy on us biko, tatafo work is not an easy something and church boys are also human boys.