Having a thick skin is not as easy at it sounds especially when you’re a single lady in Nigeria.
Every day, I wake up to the reality that people would prejudge, offer unsolicited advice, interfere, even insult and try to intimidate me because of my single status BUT I must not blame them… They are only doing what they have learned; they know no other way.
I am 32 years old and unmarried. No, I am not ugly or deformed and NO! I DO NOT HAVE A TERRIBLY DISGUSTING CHARACTER.
I am sometimes wary of recounting the experiences my singleness had brought my way because I would most definitely attract the sympathy of the listener but since this is a blog post… What the heck?!
One time, I went for the wedding of one of my juniors in secondary school. I had gone because she and I were extremely close and she was still babyish at heart and wouldn’t have understood why I would refuse to attend her wedding ceremony. At the ceremony I met many of my other juniors (her classmates) and their children and spouses, but that was fine. It was fine until one of them, sadly seated at my table, pointed at me and said aloud to her husband, ‘Oh my goodness, this is Senior Alice! I remember her. Hi Senior Alice! Haha! Sorry, I have a child and a husband now and I’m still saying Senior. Sorry for making you feel old. Let me not kill your chances at any lucky man eyeing you on this table. Today might be your lucky day.’ Then she went ahead to announce to the table, ‘Single guys here! Alice is single and searching o! And she’s very nice.’ Talk about being red-faced!
Another time (and this prompted my decision to move out of my parents’ house), one of my mom’s friends had come visiting and they were gisting in the kitchen as my mom baked cake for the woman (Mrs Durodemi). I walked into the kitchen to get some apples from the fridge and I greeted her. She smiled and said, ‘Alice Alice! You’re now grown; you’re now even older than your mummy and I! When are we going to come for your wedding na?’ I smiled and said, ‘Very soon, ma’ (Trust me when I say that this is the best answer you can give. Don’t even try to show anger or frustration). Then she said, ‘Okay o… It’s just that this ‘very soon’ is what you always say. Abi is that the name of your boyfriend?’
I don’t even know why that got me so pissed, but I legit hurled my apple towards her. Well, she dodged. She lucky.
Dear Lord! Shall we talk about the good-for-absolutely-nothing men?? It is so frustrating that I do not even try anymore to give anyone who approaches me, the benefit of doubt. From gold diggers to liars; from opportunists to emotional vampires, I have suffered. But still I rise…
One man once told me, when I found out that he had a wife and 4 kids, that ‘Be doing as if your body na firewood there. I pity you! Even the bible says that women will start rushing for men in these days. You’re not even happy you are seeing someone that wants to make you happy.’
All my friends are married and are preoccupied with the running noses of their cute children; the pleasuring of their husbands; the demands of their bosses and the intense desire not to go insane with all the juggling. It isn’t their fault that they do not have my time.
It’s also hard to find a friend my age who is also single and shares the same values as I do. Most of the single women my age are people I would not be proud to call my friends.
I cannot hang out with people younger than me simply because most of them lack the requisite amount of years to have read the requisite amount of books to engage me in a conversation with the requisite amount of common sense.
My dog is my best friend because it thinks I’m a superstar.
Do I want to get married? I don’t know at this point, to be honest. I am not sure about a lot, but I am so sure that I would rather remain single to stupor than succumb to lower my core values because of comments from people stupid to stupor.