You’re in your late twenties, through with your first degree and employed. Congratulations. It’s time to start getting unnecessary calls, spiteful remarks and ridiculously childish attitudes from some people. If these calls were from friends and relatives whose voices have earned a right to be listened to, it’d be no bother. The kind of friend who you whispered to in the dormitory box room, “My period just started”. . . Who danced for joy at your entry into womanhood, accompanied you to the seniors’ bathroom to clean up and offered you a pack of sanitary towels. Or the classmate who stayed awake all night to put you through that head-shaving Math course in your second year at the university. Or the relative who has always asked after you, the one who always sent novels because she observed there was something about you and imaginations.
No. The call(s) will come from that aunt who is a senior lecturer at the university you always dreamed of attending. The aunt whose phone number was always unavailable during admission season because she didn’t want to be asked for help. The aunt who knew you always missed gaining admission because you were just a few marks away from the cut-off point. She knew she could help you find a suitable supplementary course but no, she didn’t know how these things happen. She will call you and ask when a husband is coming to bring wine. She’ll remind you that age is not a woman’s ally. I want you to take a deep breath and smile at your end of the line. She’ll ask if you’re still there and you’ll tell her that you were simply wondering why she’s concerned about your age when she watched you sit at home for four years waiting for admission into a department where she was head and where candidates with scores lower than yours found their way into. Please don’t raise your voice, be sweet about it. Tell her you were strong enough to get through those four depressing years and waiting for the right time to get married is no different for you.
That your class rival will call out-of-the-blues just to ask how far with settling down and to tell you that she’s waiting to wear aso ebi. For real? If she’s slim, tell her to go and eat plenty ice-cream so she can put on weight because you want only fresh looking plump babes on your train. If she’s fat, tell her you’re waiting for her to lose some pounds so she can fit into the specification for your train. Have a good laugh with her and end the call.
There will be a traditional wedding and just when the bride is about to dance out, one of those women who is related to your dad’s step mother’s aunty who became related to your mum too will see your face full of smiles as you’re taking pictures of the bride. She’ll come and hug you and loudly exclaim, “Ada, so even with this your hips that got wider since you started olu oyibo, you’re not yet married! Anyway, if you were, your parents would have informed me right from the iku aka because I’m one of the stakeholders”. Don’t frown, just hold on till the music gets to, “Omalicha ngwa sekem sekem. . .” Find your way to where she’s standing, do your best egwu-ukwu and tell her you’re still rehearsing dance moves for your big day. She’ll wonder what kind of nonchalant person that you are and you’ll give her a wink and resume your photography sessions.
You see, my sisters, many of these people are either bitter at life or having BP issues and need to initiate you into their club. I beg you not to fall into that trap.