If you’re a single lady…this message is for you from Mr Charles Oputa
All the single ladies reading this, chin-up and give your good self a thumb up. Nothing doest thou. Last week I had a father/daughter discussion with my Princess. I could feel the frustration in her tone as we spoke about different issues. When I asked about her boyfriend she gave me a very long and irritated “Naija babe” hiss, she aired out her frustrations with this whole dating business.
“Daddy we are no longer dating.” “I’m so very sorry my love, but what happened I queried,” very anxious to hear the gist, cause me and my Princess are just that close. This is my daughter’s 3rd boyfriend since she started dating, and she has only been with him for barely 6months… “Daddy, please I’m tired, he is not ambitious, he has no drive, and he is too laid back for his own good, how can I marry a man like that? To make matters worse, he thinks I am overly ambitious, he says I do way too much – please tell me how that’s a bad thing.” Hummmmm, my daughter, my princess my pride and joy is unhappy.
You see since childhood, my Princess has been very independent, very focused and determined – no nonsense kind of ‘chic’, (can an apple fall too far from its tree). She is intelligent and extremely hardworking, I mean what more could a man ask for in a woman? Quickly, I was thinking of how to calm my ticked off Princess down. “Darling, you know daddy will always love you no matter what, most importantly you know damn too well that you are not under any pressure to get married. So be patient, concentrate on your carrier and yourself my darling, he will come when he comes, and if he doesn’t come, have your baby, I wouldn’t mind another grandchild.” Did I really say that? Oh! Yes I did, and I meant that.
Single ladies are on the rise these days, because for a long time coming, there has been an explosion of male joblessness in Nigeria and the world over. There has also been a decline in men’s life prospects that have disrupted and distorted the dating or the “marriage market”, in a way that narrows a marriage minded woman’s options. Today all the Nigerian single “good” ladies who are desirous to settle down are at a cross road in their dating life, most of them are simply tired, a lot are frustrated and many are giving up. Their options are really limited; it is mostly between the millions of Gigolos or the deadbeat, some of who are pretending that they are waiting for Jesus before they get it together; those who don’t have ambition burning in their soul. I can’t believe that I told my daughter to go ahead and have a baby out of wedlock. Well, with the way things are playing out in our environment, it is time we embraced new ideas about dating and marriage. Society’s highest institution called “Marriage” is fast becoming old fashioned and outdated. Look around and see the alarming rate of divorce matters all over the place, something is definitely wrong my people. At this rate, falling in love and getting married will be a question of choice rather than societal expectation or luck. Frankly speaking, women have climbed so high in their independence and career and are doing way better than the men. Men have been falling behind with amazing alacrity. Good single women are so disappointed and it’s unimaginable, it’s like going to a party that has been the talk of the town for long. You buy your new dress hoping to show off at the party, but by the time you land, they tell you that all the good people have left, and the ones left are really the servants, their friends or relatives who have come to scavenge on the left over food. Believe it or not, that’s the situation today, no kidding.
Since the days of my grandfather, marriage has been primarily an economic and political contract between 2 families, prized and policed by families, relatives and community. That’s why in my village, they will tell you “no be only your wife/husband you they marryoooooo” Things have changed since then, most of our dates are from facebook, bb chat, online dating, the hocus-pocus church called Pentecostals, etc. There is no doubt in my mind that we are in the midst of an extraordinary change. The transformation of young outstanding women, considered marriage material, is momentous, immensely liberating and immensely scary for prospective suitors. All the old ways are breaking down, these days ladies want to be in-charge of their lives, you can’t blame them. Forget about the days of being submissive, na for your pocket. Forget about marriage vows where it says about obeying your husbands, hummmm joor, they are not slaves, understanding works better. Do they need husbands to have babies these days? Please don’t get this twisted, marriage is divine and sweet when you can not only find a soul mate, but someone who can inspire you, respect you, love you, adore your feminity and independence. They are hard to find oooooo. My daughter knows that finding a good man is like finding a needle in a haystack. None the less, should women feel psychologically defeated? Hell No! Most men who don’t know what time it is are still locked down with that old macho bullshit, that it is a Man’s world. Hummmmm for where, my people, women run things now, let’s get used to it, abegi, so our days on earth will be longer joor.
My princess, my baby, my joy, my little big girl knows that her character, her pedigree, her background, her ambition, her zeal and courage will most likely intimidate a lot of men out there, she realizes that this will further narrow her pool of prospects, just like she is also aware that with each passing year she is getting older and never younger but the options stay very limited. All I’m trying to say is this, I tip my hat for all the “good” single ladies out there, keep the fate, I admire your courage in not wanting to settle for any trash out there. If it doesn’t fit, trash it, finding a life time partner is not ‘moimoi’. The world is already too troubled for you to be in a relationship that you know will not make you happy. Women can see these things ahead you know, that’s why they are a special breed of God’s creation. I have discovered lately that men need women in their lives to keep them stable, but if push comes to a shove, women don’t really need men, a case in point, ‘The great Oprah’. Yes, good men are hard to find, ask Lady D. Ha!!