Some years back when I was in the university, a “brother” who attended the same fellowship had shown love interest in me. He was a timid gentle man, one never known to interact too much with women. No, this wasn’t a matter of his religious inclinations but he was just like that.
He was a very detailed young man given to every assignment or task assigned to him but he was too consumed in his own world to notice that ladies were talking about his weirdness.
On an occasion when we were in my hostel with other friends and the topic of discussion was women and that they were emotional beings, Hear him: “if my future wife wants to cry, she can cry all she wants. If she wants a shoulder to cry on, let her cry there now.”
We all exchanged looks but he was still unperturbed, not seeing anything wrong with what he just said.
“But won’t you at least pet her and tell her to stop crying?” Another guy asked
” Nooo, let her cry all she wants. What is my own. I have a neighbor at home. His name is Mr Osagie(not real name). Every morning he comes outside, sit at the verandah to read newspaper. His wife and kids dare not disturb him. He can’t be bothered about a crying woman. He’s my ideal definition of a man.”
We all noted the comments and discussed it amidst ourselves later. But that isn’t the main gist. The real gist was that he came to me one day, declaring his interest but I was not budging. However, I didn’t want to come across as being harsh so I declined graciously while still being friends with him.
He asked me to follow him to a football viewing center one day. I wasn’t interested in football and I told him no. But he persuaded me. Later, I found myself in a dark room with faint ray of light from the TV screen as the only source of illumination , the only female in the room where boys were watching premiership and chanting the name of their football idol.
After a while, I nudged him that I wanted to go. He followed me outside. Maybe that was his idea of a date. And probably as a form of compensation or whatever, he marched me to the woman selling garden egg in front of the viewing centre and bought garden eggs, orange and maybe carrot for me.
I was too stunned to respond because I didn’t indicate to him that I liked garden egg or wanted to eat it. There was a nice restaurant just opposite the place but he didn’t take me there.
He got a cab and went away. I took the ” goodies” to my hostel and laughed over it with my sister. Brother became adamant after this episode of garden egg. I put my foot down. Lest I forget, he was about two years ahead of me in school. So he was about to graduate and felt he should give me some of his books- mostly christian literatures. I never asked him for it. Truly, I valued those books and I appreciated them more than the garden eggs.
Later, I heard that he told my friend how he bought many things for me and I turned him down. He spoke about the garden eggs. I could not believe my ears. By this time, he wasn’t talking to me again. He was keeping malice with me because I declined his offer. He travelled to UK after school and called this same friend while we were together to tell her he was at the airport probably just to spite me or something. It was all too hilarious.
Years later, after I had also left school. My sister ran into his roommate back then and got his contact. I was eager to call brother to ask for an important information. He was living in the UK by then. He managed to talk to me on phone like a distant stranger. That was the last time I ever heard from him. Maybe he is still nursing this grudge.
You hear of men keeping malice with their wives over little domestic differences. I guess these are the likes of Pablo Ayodeji. You dare not offend them. They like to keep offences.
Men like Pablo Ayodeji have been existing for long and getting away with pranks and childish outbursts like taking a woman out and getting angry because she declined a relationship.
Pray, how does yoghurt and hotdog or in my case garden egg and orange become a template or a solid ground for me to go out with you. Who equates hotdog with a relationship? Are there truly girls who would jump into a relationship with a man because he bought them something like a shoe or dress?
If the Twitter community hadn’t exposed him, he would have gotten away with it. He would have continued to gloat not just on social media space but among his friends how he took an ungrateful chick out and she declined to have a relationship with him. They would have laughed heartily over it, justifying their idea of why they are men and have the power to have any woman in exchange for kulikuli and garri.
The male folk believes that the universe answers to them, that the whole world is all about them, that every woman is meant for the taking. His reproductive organ gives him a sense of superiority over other humans created by God.
Men fight with their wives and remind her of the ice cream and suya they bought for her two nights ago. Or that he pays her children’s school fees(the children she brought into the marriage from her father’s house?) Or that he labours day and night just to put clothes on both she and “her children’s” back.
Every argument ends with ‘ you were nothing when I picked you up from the gutter, if not for me….’. Sometimes, when the offence is much, they remind the woman how much they spent at her mother’s burial seven years back and that she’s an ingrate.
This is the generation of men that we have managed to raise. Men who give love with an objective in mind. Men who see marriage as a means of exchange of dignity, even sanity. If bro is reading this, I will buy his garden eggs for him. He should eat it and keep the rest.
Writer – Yetunde is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and blogger. She blogs at yetundeolasiyan.com