“Sho, do you cook?” my date asked. I replied jauntily, “I used to but not anymore. I now have access to a chef and can afford to order what I like eating.” My date followed up by asking, “If your boyfriend asked you to cook for him, would you?” I grinned, as I realised my date was sadly playing from a script. I replied, “I don’t have a guy I like who’s asking me to cook, so I can’t say.”
I think my date thought I was being coy. But, I wasn’t. I was just being honest. A while ago, I decided to deal in reality and not hypotheticals. I have tried and failed many times to control life. All my effort got me was an anxiety problem and therapy. So, I’ve chosen to let a big God take care of this big girl. I now focus on what’s in front of me and not what could be.
A few years ago, I had an interesting conversation with a friend. His girlfriend at the time, asked if he was comfortable with her travelling regularly for work. (She was a management consultant and he, an entrepreneur.) He blithely responded, yes. 15 years later, he had spent 7 years being a house husband and taking care of the kids. He told me there was no way he could have concatenated a wife who traveled with him being a house husband. But, he was happy and had dealt with it. Life happens.
I recall chatting with a group of young single women. One was very sexual and declared, “I can’t marry a guy who doesn’t like oral sex. He must go down on me regularly oh.” Fast forward 3 years and she & her hubby discover he has a benign strain of Herpes. When stressed, he breaks out in fever blisters and can neither perform his cunnilingual duties nor even kiss her. Life happens.
There’s a guy I kept cautioning about the fantastical expectations he was creating in his head. Porn never prepared him for the logistical reality of a female wig or heavy make up on white sheets. Life happens.
I’ve realised there’s a reason why humans have executive capacity. When things change, we’re able to take in the new data to adapt and blossom if we choose to. While I love scenario analysis, when it comes to human relationships, I’d rather relax. I prefer to approach people from a place of values and ideology. All other things are variables that can be worked with, over time. This means I never rush into commitment. I enjoy getting to know people slowly.
I once had a guy ask me to be his girlfriend after 24 hours of meeting me. I couldn’t help but blurt out, “But I could be a mammy water or serial killer!” My point was, I was wondering why he was rushing and whether he imagined I was one of those women who accuse men of being slow. He didn’t know I suck at scripts.
I hate scripts, yet Nigerians seem to use them a lot. It’s not all our fault. Growing up, we were never really schooled in abstract reasoning. So, we rarely know how to deal with situations or people that aren’t typecast. It’s why many men can’t fathom an older woman who’s beautiful, successful yet single by choice. They assume she’s either heartbroken & bitter, choosy & proud, desperate & willing or possessed & spiritually troubled. They can’t conceptualise other options. It’s a lack of exposure and abstract reasoning, unfortunately.
I think in life, we need to breathe and not try to fit everything into boxes that our minds can handle. That we don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s bad. It just means it’s either a puzzle we were never meant to solve or a learning moment. Breathe.
For more of my random thoughts about life, you should get my new book, UNSCRIPTED.That you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s bad. Click To Tweet Stop trying to fit everything & everyone into boxes that your mind can handle. Click To Tweet