Vanguard Newspaper 07 April 2018
32—SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 7, , 2018 firstname.lastname@example.org Singletons who don’t give priority to marriage HAVE you readers noticed the new and growing breed of ‘forever singles? It consists of a band of empowered, independent women who don’t want to be defined by a relationship. Not for them: nights slumped on the sofa trying to pacify a screaming kid whilst their man snores in front of Super Sports. Instead, they have made a positive commitment to what is now known as long-term singleton.’ For these band of women, there are no mandatory trips to visit in-laws they would ordinarily not interact with socially—nor dreary weekends traipsing smelly markets in order to warm their affection into their men’s tommy. Being forever single is a lifestyle choice which removes the need for a man from the equation of personal happiness. ln a recent discussion on one of the TV channels, one of the impressivelooking discussants tore relationships to shreds. If they happened and you’re one of the lucky few to find a man who genuinely commits, fine. If not, there are challenging alternatives to complement your lifestyle. According to her, a lot of single women today are buying their first property on their own—they don’t wait for Mr. Right before making a key decision. What’s more, fewer women than ever are choosing to get married. The number of single women between the ages of 25 to 45 has doubled over the last two decades. At my regular salon recently, Kemi, the owner of the salon was not impressed by a customer who favoured a nail polish her husband could tolerate. She sneered after the woman left: “I always laugh when ladies come to my salon to have their nails done, and when I suggest a particular shade of polish, they say, ‘my husband wouldn’t like that.’ Why tolerate that degree of control over your life? I’ve never been maternal and I’ve never really wanted children. I opened this salon when I was 24, and now I’m building up, my events management,my degree has always stood me in good stead in whatever I choose to do. “ When I have fun, I want it to be on my terms. My last relationship was a few years ago— it was on and off — over a couple of years and I dated other men in between “When I have fun, I want it to be on my terms. My last relationship was a few years ago— it was on and off —over a couple of years and I dated other men in between. I realised being in a couple wasn’t for me. My boyfriend never wanted to do the things I want to do, like travelling or night clubbing. I didn’t want to be limited. Mind you, dedicating myself to the single life doesn’t mean I reject my innate femininity, but there’s no room for compromise even when it comes to casual dating. Men take an interest in me all the time. I recently met a man at a friend’s party and he asked for my number. He was nice-looking and seemed up for more fun, so I took out my phone and he saw my screen-saver; which is a photograph of my cute dog. When he said he didn’t like dogs, I thought, “why bother giving him my number?’ So, I didn’t. I can’t be bothered with someone who doesn’t like the things I like. Selfish? May be, but that’s the harsh reality.” Being single by choice clearly squashes that theory that a Prince Charming is required for a fulfilled life. As for becoming mothers? Well, as one committed singleton explains with brutal frankness: “The fertility industry is out there if we want to have partners’ if that sounds a cold-blooded and even irresponsible way to bring a child into the world, then according to experts, today’s modern woman is more emotionally secure because the fear has been taken out of being alone. As I write, I recall a few singletons, who’d gone abroad for their designer babies, even settling to have half-cast ones!” Anthonia, 33, a public relations consultant left for the UK six years ago to study marketing. In doing so, she waved goodbye to the handsome, successful lawyer boyfriend she was dating, ‘We later got engaged, but when I got a place at the university I wanted and he gave me an ultimatum—my overseas studies or him, I told him he was being ridiculous, that he should be supporting me, but he didn’t see it that way. I wanted the freedom to follow my ambition, so I left him. I was excited about my new path in life. I had ambition, and no one was going to squash it.” And to what does she owe this free spirit? Is it nature or nurture? She feels she inherited her outlook from her mother. “I was brought up by a single mum, who taught me that you didn’t need to have a man around to be fulfilled. She developed her own toilet soap range and worked as an estate agent—and I’ve inherited her work ethic. I do 12-13-hour days. I might go to the gym on the way home or chill out at the social club I pay hefty sums every year to belong. When I get back to my lovely flat, I can just crash out. I don’t have to make an effort to stay awake for someone else’s small talk, but I’m not a loner. I love people, and I enjoy hanging out with friends.” Something else that seems to inspire the forever singles is not having to be financially accountable to a man. “I have some friends who hide expensive buys from their husbands,” said Tcssy, 29, a communications and marketing manager. “They earn money of their own so it’s crazy. If I want something, like the N350,000 set of jewelry I bought recently, I go ahead and get it. I once dated ten men for a project I did at the university— going to the same restaurant over ten nights with a different man. Not one of the men held my interest. I have no desire just to be with someone else because I want a man at my side. I’ve always been fiercely independent with a great job and, a nice flat I fully owned. I’m not anti-relationships, I just don’t seem to need them in my life. “My parents have been together for more than 40 years, but they accept the way I choose to live my life. I am good at what I do, I work long hours and I travel widely. It’s not that I don’t find men attractive, but I don’t feel any urgency for them to come into my life and change it.” A renowned psychologist, Susan Firth offers a word of caution: “None of these women should discount the possibility of a relationship. If they’re genuinely happy, then great, embrace it, but I would advise them not to behave as if they’re antimen. Ultimately, you’ll become abrasive, even defensive, and then you may find that no one will want to be around you. Embrace being a single woman, but keep the light switch on, who’s to say what might happen in the future?” But Tessy takes her advise with a pinch of salt as she gets ready for yet another trip. “I don’t want to come back after a long day then have to sit down and be supportive to a man about his bad day - because hell never want to know about my bad day,” she says. “Being alone doesn’t scare me. Actually, I find it rather thrilling....” These austere times,’Bend-down’ stuffs is the answer....! They used to be rude words that were never spoken in anything but hushed voices— second-hand clothing, a.k.a. “Bo si k’ona.” Lately tagged “Bend down’ fashion, this simply means you no longer have to look furtively behind your shoulder to try them on. Now that virtually everyone is believed to be into the bend down band wagon, you certainly do not give a hoot who seems you desperately hunting through mounds and mounds of seeming rubbishy clothes until you find a few pearls in the stash! How hypocritical we’ve all been about these bend-down stuffs! Apart from second-hand materials imported from abroad, a lot of our so-called celebrities would be broke trying to keep up with the ever changing world of fashion but for the alternative of flogging their used gears to boutiques and friends. “Keeping up with the Joneses is not only expensive, it is innovative,” says a sixty-something socialite. A multimillionaire in her own right, she thinks nothing of flogging last year’s fashion to buyers in far away places outside Lagos. “I have stopped asking business associates to help me sell my fairly-used clothes here in Lagos because the outlets I used believed that I should be an easy touch because of my money,” she confessed. “They often told me sob-stories about buyers not forthcoming with payments. “Men’s used outfits are more difficult to fling. That’s why I encourage my husband to always dry-clean expensive clothes so that they keep well. The suits are then sent to the highbrow fashion houses to be sold and the native ones my sister helps to dispose of. The not-so-expensive suits are taken to places like the Marina where second hand suits bought off compulsorily retired executives are sold. That way, we always have money to play the expensive game of the ever-changing world of fashion. “I don’t know why so much fuss is made of the sale of secondhand clothing in this country. Maybe, it has to do with the crude and unsavoury sales methods marketers adopted.” I mean nothing looks good when you dump them in a heap and ask buyers to fight for them. C M Y K
Vanguard, SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2018—33 Yetunde Arebi Twitter: @yetundearebi email@example.com 08054700825 hat would you do to get out of a relationship you no longer Hi!W want? Would you be bold enough to sit down and talk things through with your partner like two mature minds, or simply walk away, cutting all ties and channels of communication with them like a coward? Are you one of those who rather than own up to their weaknesses, admit their errors and ask for forgiveness? Or would you prefer to play the aggrieved party card, just so they can shift the blames on your partners? Indeed, how low can you stoop to save your neck? Tell lies and cook up stories? Connive and conspire with some others as fake alibis and witnesses just to discredit your estranged friend or partner? Or would you plot to eliminate them, simply put, kill them, just to get out of the noose? While death might sound too bizarre a sentence for another human being just to keep one’s image and integrity, the Holy Books tells us there are two ways to kill. By the sword, which is physical and by the tongue which is several pronged, thus could be spiritual, emotional, mental and psychological death. Often, victims of death by the tongue never successfully get out of their cocoon. That might be why some partners, often females, end up in psychiatric homes after being betrayed by their beloved and trusted partners. Unless and dead to others who love and need them in their lives. Which is why I cannot help but rejoice with Kendra, a survivor (not victim) of a calculated, vicious and callous betrayal whom I ran into recently. With some traces of nostalgia and hurt, she shared with me and a few women how fiancé plotted a grand conspiracy to dump her for another woman. Looking back now after several years, she says it was perhaps good that the events occurred as they did, as she might have found him out when it was too late. Kendra’s story: “He was the sort of guy most girls dream to have as husband and I considered myself extremely lucky to have gotten him. Added to that was the confidence and charisma that oozed from him. He was loaded to the teeth. We had met at a bachelor’s eve party of one of his friends. I guess it was love at first sight for both of us as everything just clicked perfectly. I was older by almost seven years and I guess I must have also been younger than most of the girls he had been with. So, I think he found it somehow fascinating being with me. It was very late before I realised that all the rumours I’d been hearing about his activities with women were true. When I look back at everything that happened, I think he just wanted to have his fun and move on as he was notorious for. However, in my case, he did not know how to go about it. He called me his baby and treated me with much respect, care and love. He spoiled me silly and I was the envy of all my friends. We had been dating for two years and I was going away for the service year when he proposed to me. I was delirious with joy. I went to serve, knowing it was just a matter of time before I became Mrs. Duke. He would come to see me almost every other week, sometimes just calling after he might have checked into a hotel in town. In fact, we were almost as good as married. After the Service year, our families met for the formal introduction and we were advised to pick a suitable date for the wedding. By this time, we were practically living together. I was playing the little wife while he went to work. Sometimes, if he comes home early in the evening, he would take me out for dinner or ice cream. You know, stuff like that. He was a very romantic man. I think perhaps I was too young. Maybe not in age but psychologically, because little did I know that all those times he How not t to end a relationship Looking back now after several years, she says it was perhaps good that the events occurred as they did, as she might have found him out when it was too late would tell me he was working late, it meant that he was seeing someone else. Or when he said he was going out of town and that I should go to my parents’, so as not to be lonely, it meant he was bringing someone else home for the weekend. I would have insisted that we held the wedding almost immediately but he told me he was busy with a project and needed a lot of money to execute it. He wanted to have his dream wedding and would rather wait for the money. Which girl would not like to have a Cinderella wedding? So, while I was praying and waiting for the completion of his project, I never knew my fiancé had other plans. You will not believe the shock of my life when one Friday night, a guy walked up to me and planted a kiss right on my lips as I stood beside my fiancé. We had gone to have fun at a club in town and I had been so happy that everything was going fine between us. After struggling for what seemed like ages to free myself from this stranger’s grip, I began shouting, demanding to know what the kiss was about. Who the hell was this guy and was it supposed to be a joke? As expected, Duke shoved at him too, demanding to know what was going on. You will not believe that right before my eyes, the guy told my fiancé that I was his girlfriend. That we had been dating for over three years and had plans to get married. He said we were together even the previous day at his house. (unfortunately, she had been at her parents’) Suddenly, he turned to me while I was still gaping with my mouth open and accused me of cheating on him with Duke because he was not as rich as Duke. That with time, he will have enough money too, to splash on girls like me. He said he was not surprised that I was denying him in the presence of people. In fact, he had always suspected that I was not faithful to him but did not know that I could deny him because of money. I started hitting him with my purse, asking him to stop and that he was lying. I had never seen this guy before that day and I cannot even recognise him if I were to see him any other day. Duke who had appeared to be in a trance finally woke up and sprang at the guy. The stranger raised his hands up in the air as if to say he was surrendering to him. He said he would leave as he has accepted his loss, however, Duke should not believe any story I tell him. He also warned him that it was obvious that I could not be trusted and was not a good wife material, so, he had better use and dump me as well. As if to convince Duke of any doubts he might still have about our alleged affair, he told him of the little scar on the right cheek of my bum, insisting he was telling the truth. By this time, people had gathered around us and the club owners too had gotten wind of what was happening. Because Duke was a regular at the club and friends with the owners, he demanded that the guy be thrown out. They obliged because of the respect they had for him. At this point, I was still thinking that the guy was either joking or insane. I turned to Duke thinking he would console me and tell me everything was okay but the look in his eyes froze me up. He remained rigid, as if stuck to the ground. I made to touch him but he flung my hand away, shouting that I should not touch him. He said he did not know I was a cheat and a liar. That he was sorry he ever had anything to do with me, let alone ask me to marry him. That he did not know he was dealing with a prostitute. I was shocked. I turned to people I did not know to help me beg him. That the guy was a total stranger to me and I was innocent of all he had said, insisting that he must either be mad, or trying to set me up. But no one helped, they were more interested in the scenario and how it would end. Duke walked away and I ran after him. When he got to the car, he stopped and told me not to dare step into his car. I just stood and watched him drive off into the night. Suddenly, he started reversing and when he got to where I was still standing, he opened the passenger door and told me to get in. I was so happy. I thought he had changed his mind and decided to believe me rather than the stranger. But I was wrong. Duke told me he was taking me home to tell my parents all that had happened and that the wedding plans had been called off. I went numb all over and began pleading with him as if my life depended on it. That I would die if he left me. But it all fell on deaf ears. That night, Duke woke my mother up to tell her all that had happened and that he no longer wished to continue with the wedding plans. He apologised like a real gentleman, full of all the charm and respect that I admired in him from the beginning, then he walked out. Everyone wanted to know what really happened and if indeed, I knew the stranger. But I kept telling the same story over and over again. I did not know the guy and I had no idea why he had done what he did to me. I did not sleep a wink that night and so it continued for the next four days. I did not eat, sleep, bathe, nor even brush my teeth. My parents became confused, they called him several times but he did not change his mind. On the fifth day, I was taken to the hospital and sedated. I was allowed home a week later. That did not stop my crying though. And for months, I stayed at home, waiting and hoping that Duke would call. That he would discover the truth and apologise for not trusting me enough and beg me to marry him. I refused to go out, not even to church. As I was not working anyway, that left me with much time on my hands to wallow in self pity. In my heart, I felt it was a good thing that I did not have to go out to face people and be forced to explain what had happened over and over again. I refused to see my friends too, believing they would all be laughing at me or feeling pity for me. Three months after Duke and I broke up, one of my sisters came home with news of Duke’s coming wedding with another lady. Hmm!! Kendra’s story concludes next week. Do have a wonderful weekend!!