‘I write to give myself strenght.
I write to be the characters that I am not.
I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of’
– Joss Whedon
Funny how I started thinking about marriage, seriously at that after my running into a somewhat then friend, Rowland opposite the university of lagos gate in 1998.
His question, though thought provoking was most unexpected . . . ‘Why are you not married ?’ he had queried me.
I mumbled some excuses in my defence . . . “No serious woman out there” I concluded.
‘Are you yourself serious ?’ he ranted back at me.
That statement hit me like a thunderbolt . . . Thus challenging me forthwith, I needed to adequately and properly reposition myself . . . I needed to be a husband material . . . Both materially and mentally.
However, things were tough, I was battling with a 1 year old business while also rounding up my PGD programme . . . My apartment was bare, totally so too . . . Didn’t even have a car of my own etc . . . Despite all, I was a man of impeccable character though . . . I wondered if that alone could count however.
Time rolled by and a few years down the line saw me taking an advance course to further improve my business . . . That was it . . . That decision made a great impact on the business . . . Catapulting it multiple times up . . . New businesses, a lot more viable clients, extra money etc.
I set up a real office, hired more hands and then rewarded myself with a personal car . . . With a regular salary, I started stocking up on home appliances and necessities . . . I remember a female friend visiting once and saying very seriously that:
‘All your wife is going to need would be just her luggage’.
I was a readymade husband material . . . All was set on the home front . . . The only thing missing . . . A candidate for the position of a WIFE.
I’d gone through a couple of botched relationships along the line though . . . With that in mind, I started giving myself my own treats . . . Lone dates to restaurants and fast food joints, stage performances, cinema outings etc.
My friends decided to act and my first serious attempt at being matched (intros) was by a friend’s wife.
Fola’s wife, Remi had asked me lovingly why I was still single . . . Bringing out 3 photos from her personal album, she had made me vow to choose only one pix . . . Upon doin so she picked up their phone and called Yomi, the chosen one of her 3 cousins . . . ‘I want you to meet Fola’s friend’ she said into the mouth piece and handed it over to me . . . I introduced myself and within a couple of hours I was staring down the babe at her place. La rondo. Petit. Pocket sized. The photo had obviously lied I came to realise . . . Ahhhhhhhhhh . . . We gisted anyway, had a number of laughs getting to know her and I left.
She had graduated from the obafemi awolowo university and her father was late with a mum based in Akure etc . . . My nephew I thought would know her somehow, coincidentally he came down to see me that Saturday evening too and I asked him:
“Do you know Yomi ?”
Filling in all necessary details.
Wide eyed and obviously unimpressed he had screamed . . . Bomb-shelling.
‘Where do you know that babe ? . . . All Ife big boys have passed her around oooooo Uncle G’
Yeeeeeeepa . . . End of story.
Like a bolt out of the blues, my friend Kenny, whose cousin, Deji was also quite close showed up one noon at my doorstep . . . ‘My G’, he said, ‘I have a babe for you . . . A very good girl, banker, obafemi awolowo university estate management, second class upper graduate, beautiful etc. If I wasn’t married, Lamide would’ve been the woman I’ll marry’ he concluded . . . Arming me wif her details.
I was very interested and showed up at her office one hot afternoon, the bank had a public offer ongoing so I asked to see her and declared my interest in making share purchases . . . Beauty and brain she was indeed . . . Very professional too but I made sure I earned a next visit, got her to personally give me her phone number so I could follow up . . . I did severally thereafter too and we ended up wif our first outing about two weeks later . . . Dinner at the oceanview restaurant in Victoria Island . . . Lamide aside being beautiful was pure class and intelligence combined . . . I started a routine weekly movies schedule at the cinemas with her, she loved and lived life . . . We did countless movies together plus strolls on the streets of VI.
Lamide lived deep inside Isolo so stayed till quite late after work before goin home, sometimes attending the federal palace hotel gym for workout sessions in the evening when we had nothing doin . . . Got to work by 6.00 am and slept in her car till about 7.30 am before work commenced . . . The routine was taking a toll on her so she decided to team up with 2 other friends for a Lekki flat . . . “Hey babes . . . You don’t need an apartment of yours . . . Let’s get married . . . I’ve a place for you”.
To think my niece who was also in the same department had given her 110%.
Marriage happens however, when TWO agree to be ONE . . . We didn’t on a number of issues despite the adventures so I moved on . . . Where I was very ready, she wasn’t anyway.
My cinema outings continued however . . . Alone.
It was at one such cinema outing, all alone and by myself at the silverbird galleria that I ran into Adesua and her hubby, Victor . . . This happened on three different occasions . . . We chatted and laughed and went our different ways . . . On the third night, she insisted on seeing me at her office . . . She was one of my favourite clients and a close chum too . . . We discussed practically anything and everything . . . I called on her days later at her surulere office and she slammed the door shut . . . ‘Gbenga, why do you walk alone ? Why are you not dating anyone ?’ she asked really concerned.
We bantered over the issue back and forth till she dropped the bombshell . . . ‘I have my big sister in America and I want you to date her’ scribbling her email addy as well as the phone digits on a piece of paper for me.
“Whatttttttt ?” I said. Shocked.
Anyways . . . It never happened . . . I never even bothered to call . . . I wasn’t that desperate and wasn’t also goin on any ‘rescue mission’ for nobody.
Adesua didn’t take too kindly to my decision.
About that same time, someone in church; married to the younger brother of my harvest committee chairman; a mentor of mine so to say and godfather to my son . . . His inlaw, a very quiet lady . . . We only said ‘hellos’ to one another . . . Coincidentally, her mum was also my mum’s childhood friend . . . This young woman walked up to me one Sunday morning just before Mass commenced . . . ‘Mr. Oshin, I wonder why you’re not married ? I sincerely find it baffling’ she went on also looking perplexed.
She concluded . . . ‘I have a very good childhood friend you’ll like ooooo, she’s based in London’.
I chuckled and told her I wasn’t interested in living in London ooooooo . . . ‘She’s a very good person, I can vouch for her’ she went on as well as giving me Titi’s phone number . . . Curiously, I called Titi and we gisted a couple of times . . . She was coming home briefly to 9ja she informed . . . Her visit coincided with my chairman’s mother’s 80th birthday . . . I lost a phone to pickpockets that day at church which really got me upset . . . I met Titi the Londoner at the 80th bash reception inside Queen’s College Hall . . . We said our hellos, chatted a bit and that was all . . . It was in august . . . I’d started dating the one that was to later become my wife in march . . . Case closed.
I should recall also I met wifey under similar circumstances . . . I had these 2 sisters as client and friends, both of em medical doctors . . . They had come to pick up their orders at my office one afternoon when they both wondered out loud if I was married . . . “Nope” I said and wasn’t intending to so soon I shocked them.
That was how they started on my case ooooooo . . . Invitations to their house, they have friends . . . Good wife materials as friends . . . I went, saw and was uninterested severally.
A house fellowship in gbagada, party in surulere, naming in obanikoro and wedding at vgc all yielded no fruit . . . Then the younger of the sisters mentioned her boyfy’s sister, a banker, ‘Why didn’t they think about her all along ?’they fumed . . . Armed wif her phone number, I showed up at her office and the rest they say is history.
That marriage was to last 20 months . . . Producing 2 lovely gifts . . . A boy and a girl . . . Both very adorable too.
I told myself . . . Never again . . . MARRIAGE . . . A no No NO.
One elderly family friend of ours, one that lived about 10 streets away, a not so close friend’s mother on learning about my marriage collapse had quietly told me in confidence one late evening . . . ‘If you had married my Sheila, nothing would’ve happened to your marriage’ . . . In total shock, I looked at her bewildered, unable to utter even a word.
My only ever close contact with Sheila was that one phone call of mine the mother picked when I called her ward on a Saturday evening long ago . . . I had dropped the call the moment I realised it was the mum that picked . . . I never once showed up at theirs despite the daughter coming to mine on 3 or 4 occasions . . . Must have told her mum something . . . I still wonder what ?
Funny thing is my family and friends just won’t lemmie be on this matter.
My very good friend and pally since way back called me from his London base 2 years after my marriage collapsed . . . ‘You gatto move on bro’ he started . . . Long and short, he had this cool babe he would like me hook up with . . . Nigeria based but at that moment holidaying in London . . . Her younger sis is married to my friend’s friend . . . Their mum had come to really like my friend and had jocularly asked if Bolaji didn’t have a friend like him they could hook Dee, her daughter up with . . . That was how I came into the picture . . . We hooked up via fcbk, messages back & forth and eventual phone calls . . . She was back in 9ja and we met eventually in her state of residence, somewhere in the western parts of Nigeria . . . Nice, quiet and very mature . . . Was around at my place for a couple of weekends . . . My friend had warned me sternly not to ‘press charges’ if I wasn’t goin to play ball . . . I wasn’t so into her so we never even got started . . . I remember my guy coming to town about same time and we travelled to Ibadan for the wedding of one of his cousins . . . We were to deliver a package for Dee’s mum and didn’t know our way to that part of town . . . She delightedly drove down to come pilot us when we called . . . Took us home and laid out a table for a kingly feast . . . The treatment was royal . . . Red carpet to say the least . . . I was unyielding . . . Not swayed . . . Nice babe no doubt, but I just never felt her so I moved aside.
Another bosom friend, Kay whose wife Bimbs was always quick to warm my heart with her numerous cousins and friends . . . ‘Talk to this’ . . . ‘Have a feel of that’ she’ll say . . . By the time she found out happenings between her young niece and myself and a relationship she had no clue over nor knowledge about . . . She knew how to leave me alone . . . It was even a disaster . . . The momentum was consuming . . . I preferred my space instead, sadly too.
It was a huge breather . . . I was left alone . . . Or so I thought till Bolaji’s favourite cousin, Alexandre based in Lincolnshire messaged me:
‘I have finally found you a wife uncle’ . . . ‘She’s Catholic and you’ll love this one’.
“I’m loving only my children” I declared, uninterested.
‘She’ll love your children too’ . . . ‘She attends an early Mass at so so and so Catholic Church and drives a Toyota Camry, her name is Lope. Go and meet your wife’ she concluded . . . Curiously I got interested. After several persuasions and even threats not to move an inch till she gave me Lope’s phone number that I wasn’t goin to make any contact . . . I eventually got the digits and now don’t even know how to get started on the matter . . . I don lose form . . . How shall I do ?
A good man never keeps a woman waiting.
My wife is waiting.
@ O’Shine ORIGINAL
“Life is a Story – Make yours a Bestseller”