The idea that the single person has financial needs beyond the very basic is ridiculous.
Or that is what you’ll begin to believe by the time you have been asked the question ‘Wetin you dey take money do?’ by friends, relations and sometimes, total strangers.
You are a single woman without a husband and kids. You do not have to pay school fees, clothe and feed a horde of hungry mouths. Yet you’re working and collecting salary and yet you complain of being broke? How now? What about your boyfriend? Or doesn’t he give you money?
Don’t even mention saving up to buy a house or a car. Gasp! Who will marry a woman that has property? Are you alright? It’s okay to buy household items, pots and the like but not too much so you don’t seem desperate to set up house. The only thing your money should go to is looking beautiful; whatever is left can be given to help people with families solve their real problems, because they are the ones that really need it.
I am not an easy person to guilt-trip and I have heard all of the above severally, even from friends who do not mean any ‘harm’ beyond having you pay for drinks or a meal. You’re a single sisi, you do not have the responsibilities they do. Pay.
Once in a while I take time to outline the responsibilities I have, to myself and to others just to get people like this to shut up. The level of surprise I get sometimes when I mention some of the financial responsibilities I have is bewildering.
Forget what’s on the outside, if only you knew the number of young women caring for parents, paying fees for younger ones, contributing to family development (this can be anything from building a family house to sending money to a sick relative).
For many lower than middle class parents, they pour all their resources into their children like an investment in expectation that when they grow up, they will begin to pay dividends. Now the way the country is set up, the chances of getting a job or succeeding at a business is pretty slim so you find that out of five children, maybe one or two of them makes really good. What then do you think happens? They begin to shoulder the burden of the entire family.
That is where a lot of single women find themselves. Cities often present a level playing field for everyone, you cannot tell our backgrounds from our faces. Even for someone whom you’ve calculated earns big bucks and doesn’t have as many responsibilities to others, what about responsibility to herself?
What about the fact that what a person chooses to do with their money is none of your business? It’s okay to ask if you need a favour. It’s also okay to get a no from the person and whatever reason they give is valid whether you consider it so or not.
After all, who worked for the money? The Single Babe.