Iya has to be the most straightforward person I know.
We are colleagues.
She has no, and I don’t think she will ever learn guile.
She can blurt out what everyone is thinking and not recognise how uncomfortable it makes people.
So we were talking and she told me that a septuagenarian was getting married to a woman of childbearing age.
“I don’t know why baba wan carry young wife. If na old woman I go understand.”
The pretentious part of me started thinking. Love should not be zoned in age brackets…
“If you see baba! E don old finish. E dey walk ‘kereren kereren’ like say e wan fall down.”
She paused and clapped her hands for effect.
“Anyway the woman na mountain of fire, she get pikin. She don marry before, e be like say the man die. Maybe God tell her say she go wear wedding gown one more time… marriage na marriage even if husband go soon kpeme”
I was thinking at that point that nobody knows exactly when anybody will ‘kpeme’.
Iya jolted me from my thoughts by laughing.
“All the people no dey serious sef. Her family give baba list wey long reach my hand. Instead of them to do small something.”
Is there any age whereby one is not allowed to celebrate any life changing event. Why should the lady have any less a wedding because her husband is old?
Gisting with Iya like I said earlier is like entering a world without boundaries where nothing is left unexplored.
“You sure say baba go still fit do?”
Ok, I have to admit that I was now enjoying the gist at this point. It was inevitable that she would suggest impotency.
“The woman go dey look outside joor. Man wey dey walk kereren kereren no go fit do anything.”
Ha!!!! We have entered adultery gist so soon.
“Iya, it is possible for Baba to still function. We see men get children at an old age.”
Iya gave me the ‘look at this one’ look.
“She go carry children tell am say na im own, stay there. You do not know life.”
At this point I actually truly wonder how young women are able to date, sleep with and marry really old men. I think of Hugh Hefner and Osho Baba. How do you close your eyes and stroke a withered, shrivelled and shrunken… chest. (You thought I would go there, abi, say the truth?)
“Spam no get hage, if she dey lucky she go carry belle.” (spam=sperm, hage=age)
We both keep quiet. It turns out we were thinking of the same thing because Iya said.
“Why woman go wan born for person wey no go tay? Anyway, country hard. The baba dey live for im personal house. She no go pay rent. His last born don marry and the children go dey send money for baba. As baba first wife die since, na her go remain. If she get pikin, nobody go pursue her when he dies.”
Financial security is the biggest reason women marry men decades older. I don’t judge that. The things we do for financial security! You will bow your head meekly while your younger less smart boss berates you because you need to take care of your bills.
It can’t be for the sex. Unless you have some ‘geriatric’ fetish, I don’t see how that is possible.
It could be for love. Let’s be honest, love?? I dared not suggest love to Iya.
She is in her 50s and she is very cynical about a lot of things. The only thing she is not cynical about is money. She may not believe in love but I can almost swear that she believes in money.
She told me a family lost a graduate and their only daughter.
While I assumed we were both thinking of how it must hurt to lose a child, Iya quickly corrected me.
She spoke about how much it most have cost them to educate the girl.
“All that money o, e don waste. The girl na ‘shattad’ accountant o. Assuming they saved all that money nko? Chai, you go sow but you no fit reap.”
So you get my drift on how Iya reasons. I can’t suggest love being the reason why this girl was marrying baba.
It is complicated marrying an old man. What if his kids don’t like her? What if they see her as a gold digger?
”Anyway for this country, marriage na marriage. She go become ‘Mrs’ whether people like it or not.”
I thought of how hard life is for the single mother in this country and the instant respect that marriage gives and I too, don’t blame this woman.
“Wetin” I asked
“Na so life be, as baba wife die, another woman prayer get answer. As somebody own don spoil, e give chance for anoda person own to betta.”
Then Iya drops the golden one to close the topic which was actually not any of our business.
“Yoruba people say, person wey marry old man must be prepared to buy coffin.”
At this point I burst into laughter.
And then for some eerie reason, I thought of some one we all know.
And I don’t mean that he will die. God forbid!
I just mean what did we really expect? We are like a young woman who married an old man walking kereren kereren
You do not buy an orange and be disappointed that it tastes like an orange.
It is fundamental
Now, we are looking outside like an adulterous younger wife.
Iya is a philosopher, I tell you.
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