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I Must Get Married This Year (TTRWT) - By Ifesinachi Okonkwo




I paced around the room, my palms were sweaty, I was running late. I stared at my huge afro weavon, and slid a brush through it. I applied oil sheen, massaged, and pulled the tip up to give it a bouncy look. I wondered if this is the kind of hair I should wear. Wasn't it too obvious? Too flamboyant? I applied Mary Kay foundation, carefully pressing the puff on my skin, making sure it blends well; what was more embarrasing than having foundation run in a line on ones face - so callow. I hesitated for a minute; should I use the red or pink lipstick. I went with red, afterall I should look like a woman that is ready for marriage, pink seems too girly. I had wanted to wear my peach coloured christian loubiton pumps but I changed my mind, it was too expensive. I settled for my low heeled 'no designer label' ballet shoes. I wore my Gucci wristwatch, I didn't have to look like a guttersnipe, and of course I wouldn't want to be labeled a Gold digger.
I was going to attend Nneka's wedding. She was my course mate in the university, that was eight years ago.

The best place to meet your future husband is at a wedding. It happened for my friends; Uju, Rita, Blossom, it would happen for me too, I prayed. I didn't use my car, not because it had a bad tyre or an engine problem: It was a strategy, what if I meet someone I like and he offers to drop me? I couldn't tell him I was with my own car. It would sound too independent; Nigerian men want to date independent girls they don't want to marry them.
Before I stepped out of my house, I declared, like my pastor says ' there is power in the word of the mouth'. 'Today, I am going to meet my soul mate, my husband, the man that will complete me. The lord will put my enemies to shame. My husband is waiting for me at Nneka's wedding. My desperate search for a husband must end today.' By the time I ended my prayer, i was vibrating and sweating like a christmas goat.

I entered a rickety bus from the Island to the Mainland. The journey lasted three hours 'in the same Lagos o!' I thought. By the time I alighted the bus, my waist was on fire, the holes on the road were no longer potholes they were tanker holes; so deep and big. The traffic was nothing to write home about; as slow as a snail. I felt cranky and uncomfortable as I moved with difficulty to an Okada stand. Thank God I didn't wear my pumps. I had forgotten what that side of Lagos looked like, even though I spent the first few years of my life there.

Saturdays in Lagos were not as busy as weekdays but they were the noisiest. Unlike weekdays when people were too busy to discuss, loiter, and waste unnecessary time, on saturdays people had time to waste and do unnecessary things, like the two women who stood on the road discussing the hike in the price of kerosine; In the middle of the road!
Even though the Governor had banned commercial motorcycles from plying the roads of Lagos, they were littered everywhere like mosquitoes on debris. 'God's own church' I said to one, scanning him from his dirty cap to his torn shoes; I had to make sure he is not Hausa, those ones can drive recklessly. Satisfied, I climbed on the Okada, feeling terribly awkward, I couldn't remember the last time I climbed one.

If any of the couple wedding is not related to you and you are not part of the bridal train, you don't attend the church service, it is just none of your business. I was an hour late for the church service on purpose.

I walked in slowly, peeking from the corner of my eyes to see if I was drawing positive attention. I sighted a gathering and moved closer, it was Nneka and her gap toothed, dwarf husband posing for pictures. My eyes scanned the gathering and I almost gave a loud hiss. There was no way anything good could come out from this wedding. All the ladies looked faded like old fake clothes that already had tiny holes in them. The men looked tired, tired of life in their rumpled oversized suits. What happened? I asked myself. What kind of people did Nneka invite to her wedding? Nneka used to be a happening chick way back in school. She was one of the finest girls in school and she had all the boys licking her feet and eating her shit, now look at her, in the ugliest wedding gown I had laid my eyes on - who wears satin these days? - thread poking out of the material. The desperate want for a husband had defeated her. She smiled, a strained smile as the photographer pushed her head into position. Her dwarf husband held her waist, his short hands barely reaching the other side of her hip. Apart from the colourless bridal train nothing was more hilarious than that. Nneka caught my eyes and gave me a grin so wide I felt it would hurt. I didn't blame her, I was the one bright thing in this darkness she had fallen into. When I got a chance to talk to her, she held my hands and begged me to stay. I wanted to ask her what happened, how she got here. She read the question on my face.

'Babe, you should understand how this thing works. I am already getting old, the older I get the worse my suitors are. I have decided to manage this one' she said, using her jaw to point at her husband who was posing for a picture with his page boy.

I walked to the reception and already at one corner of the medium sized hall were Yoruba women, I could easily tell from the height of their gele that almost touched roof, the bland gold of their shoes, their heavy jewelry that sat on their necks and hands, shining in the way fake things do,and their very black or very fair skin complexion; Yoruba people have intense skin colour. On the other corner, written in a card placed on the long table was 'Ada Igbo Association' I guessed they were Nneka's mother's guests. In a shattering contrast to the other side of the table, they looked dull with their identical brown wrapper that had the face of a man imprinted in it. No earrings, No make up, just plain middle aged women.

I settled in a chair after using my handkerchief to wipe it thoroughly for fear of dust. A fat bean faced guy sat next to me. I could see from the corner of my eyes that he was checking me out. The wedding began and the chairman of the occasion gave a speech. I glanced at the Order of programme menu regularly, hoping, praying that the wedding comes to an end so that I could run back to the solitude of my apartment on the Island, a place that wasn't polluted with the putrid smell of poverty.
'Who are you here to for?' the bean faced guy asked me.
 I knew that there was no need indulging him, even though I was desperate to drop the cloak of singleness and find a husband, I wasn't Nneka, I wouldn't settle for a fat man with bean shaped face, atleast for the sake of my children. I got up gently and went to a vacant seat at the back. 

Nneka and her husband danced into the hall. Her carton of a wedding gown sweeping the dusty floor as she danced, not with her husband, but with herself. I knew that feeling. It was her wedding and even though she was married to a short man who she did not love, it was still her wedding and she was going to enjoy it.

When they got to their seats, we all sat down, and someone was now occupying the formerly vacant seat close to me. I turned to look at him and I suppressed a smile, at least a bright light at the end of the tunnel. He was fair complexioned, I wouldn't call him handsome, he was decent looking, clean was the word for it. I borrowed the line of the bean faced guy. 'So who are you here for?' I asked. 'Chidi' he said abruptly. I wished I had stopped at that because what came next was heartbreaking for me. 'Beautiful wedding' I said. 'Yes, very beautiful, Chidi is my very tight friend, we live for the same yard'. He replied in a tangled mixture of English and pidgin coated with a terrible igbo accent. I hid my face in my hands and gave up. He tried to continue the conversation and I ignored him, pretending as though I was listening to the jabbering of the Comedian M.C who obviously had no jokes to tell. They couldn't even hire a good M.C. 

It was toast time and we toasted to the a blissful life for the couple with no wine. I chuckled at the irony of the toast. The Nneka I know would give her husband nothing but trouble after this marriage, she was a volcano waiting to erupt, going about like a good wife but after the wedding everyone would see her true colour. That was what being single at 30 turned us to; Pretentious, frustrated girls.
I was served rice and malt, no juice, no wine, no cake, no desert. I had tried. 

I was about to leave when a dark stately man breezed into the reception hall. I was some distance a way from him but I could smell his perfume; he was wearing Bvlgari, the expensive one. Alas! My soul mate. I watched him as he smiled at his friends exposing the whitest and most arranged set of teeth I have ever seen. I assessed him. My eyes went to his shoes, then his watch, his phones, his shades and of course his car keys. He was rich, a capable husband. I quickly removed my beauty weapons, I powdered my face, re applied my lipstick, straightened my dress and was about to walk up and ask 'Who are you here for?' When I saw him hunched over, talking to one of the yoruba women, his voice booming, he was speaking Yoruba, not in the way people that came to Lagos and learnt Yoruba speak it, but like a true son of the soil; ending every word with an exclamation and leaving his mouth open for a few seconds before going to another sentence. My last hope was crushed, he was Yoruba. A Yoruba man can't be my soul mate, I was a typical Igbo girl. My mother would slap me to my senses if I brought a Yoruba man home for a husband. That she had been sending me text messages every morning, asking me if I was an Ogbanje or a lesbian and didn't want to ever get married didn't mean I should take a Yoruba man to her.

As I squeezed myself into another rickety bus I wished I had come with my car.
Home had never felt so sweet, I crashed on my bed, tired, exhausted but not defeated. Next Saturday was Ifeoma's wedding, maybe this time I would be lucky. My pastor had told me at the beginning of the year. 'YOU MUST MARRY THIS YEAR'. It was already september and I shall not deter because I MUST MUST GET MARRIED YEAR WHETHER THE DEVIL LIKES IT OR NOT.


..........
*Fiction*

Comments

  1. I must confess we have some really good writers among us. Don't let the length of this post deter you, it's freaking hilarious and so real. Ifesinachi and the other TTRWT writers have given me life these last few days. You guys are awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank U So much T, #Swirling & #Swooning.
    Like the saying goes "Real Recognizes Real"...

    As for this Post, Welldone Ifesinachi. This is a Mega bomb...

    U musto marry this year by fire by force.
    AMAZING post...

    If I never send T my part 2, I for borrow some of ur hilarious words. Still ROTFL

    ReplyDelete
  3. ROTFL. So on point Ifesinachi. Nice one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lol @ son of the soil. I am Yoruba o! I have never observed us leaving our mouths open after every word. But I know we often exclaim. Well written all together, well done.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! I had a mumu smile on my face all through.
    Biko remove that *fiction* thingy from there!

    ReplyDelete
  6. if you are going to feel posh and all and talk about designer shoes and all, at least get the spelling right....eeeeeeek! *LOUBOUTIN*

    ReplyDelete
  7. LOL, This is so hilarious, single at 30 ain't no fun. Her mum sending her text messages asking if she was ogbanje or lesbian ... that cracked me up,

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks you guys. Thanks Thelma. Anon 3.51. Correction noted, even though you could have done that without yabbing me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're like the best read so far in the TTRWT- absolutely amazing plus, you CAN write. As in, you can REALLY write. #smiling. Your narration skills are sick too (great), I could visualise everything you wrote about, bravo girl.

      At Ruth- see? When something's good, it just is, no offence intended so, take none.

      Delete
    2. You're like the best read so far in the TTRWT- absolutely amazing plus, you CAN write. As in, you can REALLY write. #smiling. Your narration skills are sick too (great), I could visualise everything you wrote about, bravo girl.

      At Ruth- see? When something's good, it just is, no offence intended so, take none.

      Delete
    3. I see how my name is essential to ur Very existence!!!
      Am Glad am giving u life too.
      I can truly SEE!!!

      Delete
    4. This Anon again. Leave our Ruthy for us pls. Comment and shut up. If she welcomes anybody we love it. As you can see, they are replying her. You are obviously too jealous of this girl. She makes the blog lively. Just shut up pls.

      Delete
  9. See as you washed my tribe. Na wa for you o.....Beautiful write-up. Your imagination does have a long mileage......
    -F

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lols...its funny how I tot of a similar scenerio. Fiction or not,why don't the desperate ones even catch hot ones? Women might be more than men,but it seems the half-baked men (cldnt find the right adj) outnumber the good guys.
    W/o getting too serious, babe,u for enter taxi go the wedding na...haba!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reason that the desperate ones never catch the good men is that neediness is a very unattractive trait, and the real men want to chase a woman and court her. When you're desperate you take all that fun out of the process and there's no excitement for the man, thus he looks for excitement somewhere else. Why do you think that most men go crazy when they are after a girl who seems impossible to get? That which seems unattainable is more attractive, and the realist men love a challenge

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. Cobany. Cobany. Cobany. How many times did I call you? Babes this is not life o! Work and all shouldn't make us strangers. I miss you.

      Delete
  12. I laffed so hard in my coligs car, he thot I had gone gaga. Who are u here for? This is a new one for me o. Chei, single girls have suffered. Make I go 'yard' go sleep jor.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Best one so far. Hilarity.I actually clicked on that clickable 'Next Saturday' hoping der was part 2. Thelma, y did u make it red and clickable. Na wa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I meant highlighted not red.

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry jare, my ipad did that...because Saturday is a day and the oversabi ipad presumes I saved something for Saturday or something. (You get the gist abi?). Sorry all the same.

      Delete
  14. Very funny,see me clicking the 'next saturday' part.:)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very well done! Funny and a delightful read!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very funny,U̶̲̥̅̊
    rily can̶̲̥̅̊ write enjoyed every moment of it.desperation wud not make us marry d bottom pot.ℓ☺ℓ #steffi#

    ReplyDelete
  17. Blushing. Thanks for the nice comments. Thelma thanks again for posting.
    Thought the length would put you guys off. Guess I was wrong.
    The truth is this blog won't be as awesome without Ruthy. Her comments are funny and sensible even though sometimes I disagree with her. I think she is a nice and kind hearted person.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ifesinachi THANK U SO MUCH!!!

    #Back flips from PH to Surulere...

    It's official, am dusting my boxing gloves! Am simply going to "smile" when my name is mentioned negatively & give Ehugs when it's good.

    Love U'all including "that" anon! But esp the Anons that have my back.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This was hilarious. "That hole that swallowing my husband must vomit it this year by firreeeeeee"! And I love long posts I was even wishing for it not to end... Nice read ifesinachi I enjoyed every bit of it in my "yard" lols.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See how much I enjoyed ur post ife I was just throwing bomb everywhr *-* "the hole that swallowed my husband must vomit him oh" chai...

      Delete
  20. LOL. This post is really funny! Nice read.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wetin do yoruba guys, haba, me no likey. I enjoyed d post, u are a really good writer. U carry ur readers along. I am serving in Imo presently and permit me 2 say I stil prefer Yoruba guys 2 d igbos. I am not being Tribal sentimental here but dat is jst d truth. Love bin Yoruba. Sorry 4 d long epistle 4 a comment. Love ya write up. It really hilarious. I pray I don't ever go 2ru dat. Amen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearie, it's just fiction. I have dated three awesome Yoruba guys. I hate stereotypes. I don't do ethnic sentiments. Notwithstanding my mother would do prayer and fasting on my head if I decide to marry a Yoruba guy. She is Yoruba-phobic and I don't at all share her views.

      Delete
  22. I totally loved this! Was hilarious! And i read it on my way home to my 'yard' and i officially have people looking and wondering what spirit 'possessed' me (they r used 2 it sha). Lovely write up Ife, and more so cos of the ring of truth it bears to a lot of realities

    ReplyDelete
  23. Nice one ifesinachi,BTW,thelma will need to give u a column on this blog o

    ReplyDelete
  24. Awesome write-up Ifesinachi.U rock, totally!

    ReplyDelete
  25. My bad, it was so real it didn't seem lyk fiction. Wow u are really awesome. Sorry 4 jumping 2 conclusion. I don't really do dat.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Nice story, the hustle is real

    ReplyDelete
  27. That's it, I am giving up! There is no way I can write something half as good as this, abeg, let me siddon jeje and stick to my reservoir management. Thought I would summon courage and write something for Thelma's blog someday, oh well.

    Nice and interesting one, short and laughter packed! Good job..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wale please write and send biko. What is that?

      Delete
  28. Hmmmmmm....we really dont need all the hatred on this blog..#cyber bullying must stop!!! Btw Thelma, I loooooove ur blog! I refresh it like every 30mins! Lol..this is my 2nd tym commenting tho..I commented as anonymous d 1st tym..lots of love to everyone from Ghana!!! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot miss Fit Alys, really appreciate it.

      Delete
  29. Wando, no be soooo....serzly I don't even have time for myself anymore...I read ur blog everyday I just don't comment on it. mabinu ll call u by weekend...I miss u plenty....Don't forget to save money for my asoebi ooooo*tongue out*

    ReplyDelete
  30. I realy enjoyed dis. D yoruba part made me laff hard (leaves his mouth open).it reminded me of Jide kosoko. And I have a yoruba friend who does it too. I can't wait to show her dis piece. She'll have a fit. Hahahahahaha

    ReplyDelete
  31. Lmao, Ifesinachi I'm sure all has been said already. I'm still trying to believe that it's fiction because it's written like it's from experience. At some point I thought it was a bit tribalistic when you were describing Yoruba complexions, then you moved to the ibo women's association and stroked them too then my bp came down.
    Honestly I didn't want it to end o, the tin was too sweet abeg.
    Lol @ the Jide Kosoko reference, it made me choke on pepper

    ReplyDelete
  32. Haha! Awesome write up! Long but very interesting, wishing it won't end! At some point I thought you were referring to a wedding I attended some time this year! The hustle is really on.

    ReplyDelete

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