The life of the female is an exhausting experience. We are made to prove our womanity from the second our tiny lungs take in its first gust of oxygen, and long before our legs decide they are ready they are expected to stand us up comfortably at an anticipated date because girls start walking at an earlier age than boys.
When our will veers off in a direction we aren’t conscious of and we find ourselves preferring football with the boys in the compound; or racing used car tires on dusty red sand sand streets or engaging in wording a Bendel-style word dissing contest in Pidgin with the neighbor’s Sapele-born kids, to being a proper girl with its attendant trimmings and duties, strong hands and disapproving tongues steer us back to the path imagined for us.
In the days when dark clouds hover and weigh us down; in part because of our keen observations of man’s inhumanity to man or because its soon to be that time of the month (as we have come to notice) or still because we have been wired from our mother’s womb with connections that draw the clouds (for sometimes we can’t always explain away the melancholia), we are labeled and coerced into being normal like everyone else around us.
Our will now properly reined in, we set forth on life’s journey which is sometimes ridden with clashes between our selves; the one much like the ghost of seasons past biding its time, the other determined to stay in control and the degree of influence each exerts on us varies in the course of the journey.
At the crossroads of puberty the battle resumes only to rage even more as we progress into adulthood for we must again prove our womanity by getting married. That we desire otherwise is met with astonishment.
However as we linger on the shelf we are reminded that we risk being shrunken to inexistence by the heat and our eggs roasted to hard, crusty and useless. The experts advise that we consider freezing them for they are our lifeline. Our womanity is in crisis now and so are our selves but each self is egged on by its own individual agenda.
So we continue to put ourselves out there in keeping with the words of the experts in the hopes of being snagged one day. In the process, we encounter an evil under the sun; an evil so perplexing our selves briefly lay down their arms in contemplation. The evil is that we find we are alternated between extremes; between being virtually unseen by the opposite sex to being the object of the opposite sex’s sexual desire. But perhaps the real evil lies in the realization that the occupants of the latter category arrest our attention in unforgettable ways and so against our better judgment we find ourselves rationalizing their intentions and reassessing our resolves.
We struggle with the ambivalence. Whereas initially flattered to be so desirable we now feel deflated, unsatisfied and no longer find it a compliment because desire is so commonplace; so easy and we’d rather a road less travelled these days; true love.
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