I created a document a few months ago and made a few notes on a topic I wanted to write about. It was titled, ‘Woman, so you are not married; shame on you!’ or something very obvious like that. But I bore easily, and maybe something more exciting was happening. Well, here I am again, and my target, the ‘woman of a certain age’.
There are many names for her. You can call her a spinster or an old maid, and depending on her sensibilities, you may lose a tooth. You may call her a bachelorette, but that sounds like a prefix, like something that comes before bachelorette party, also known as ‘hen night.’ Also, it is a bit of a mouthful wouldn’t you agree?
And oh by the way, ‘hen night’ above (Haha) is so true. Because while on the eve of a wedding, the guys get strippers and get high and get fucked within an inch of their lives, the women sit around in a roost:
So where did you meet Danny?
So how will you protect your home from husband snatchers?
So how will you relate with your mother-in-law?
Do you know how lucky you are? Make sure you do all you can to be a good wife and hold onto him forever.
But I digress.
I was telling you what you may, or had better not call ‘a woman of a certain age’. Since I’ve kind of struck out spinster and bachelorette for not very obvious reasons, let us call her an unmarried woman. I like this euphemism better. You can also call her a single woman.
While an unmarried woman could refer to any female who is not married, common sense tells us that buried beneath the veneer of appropriateness lies the implication that the term actually refers to any woman who is not married and has reached a certain age. Or status. Now, this age varies with different societies. What is considered an unmarried woman in some societies may just be a girl in others. For instance, a girl in the town of Enugu may be a single woman in the context of some state up North, say Katsina. I say this as a way of consoling most single/unmarried women – you are just in the wrong place, ehn?
But truth is, there comes an age where wherever you might be, the prevailing societal context will fail to protect you and even though you move to another planet, you will be what you are, an unmarried woman.
I dread being an unmarried woman. Let me use the following stories to tell you why.
Story 1; I was on a bus one day and something drew my attention. A lady was beating a man, like really hitting the man around the neck and shoulders and on his head too, accompanied with slaps, all this amidst a steady stream of insults. Poor guy was trying to explain. When he looked like he would react, everyone went, ‘ah, leave am o, na pesin wife.’ Turns out she was sitting in front of the man on the bus and he being really tall, his knee must have nudged her buttocks and she refused to believe it was a mistake.
Story 2; I was with my friend in a market in Port Harcourt. She got into an altercation with this trader who started to insult her until someone yelled, ‘hey, you no see say she be pesin wife?’ End of altercation.
Story 3; a lady named Tiwa Savage wore some ‘indecent’ clothes and danced some ‘immoral’ dance where they said her unmentionables were even showing! But, the few retorts were silenced by, ‘leave her alone, she is somebody’s wife now! If the husband likes it, what’s your own?’
So you see, it takes a fool to not see that all you need to be is married and society will forgive you anything. Clearly, if you have a husband, it is assumed that you have his permission to act, talk, be the way you want to be, and even own that car. Unless you are Linda Ikeji of course – then you need daddy’s permission. Any other woman, the unmarried woman I mean, you will explain who gave you the right to talk, own, dress, be, without the express permission of a man, preferably a husband.
Now you see why I need to get married soon. I need a man to give me guidance, give me permission, wear me the cloak of respectability. I want people to respect me. Not because of my achievements, values, humanity but because I have a man to call my own. Once I cross that hurdle, I have answered the ultimate question of whether or not I am valuable. At least one person found me valuable enough to make me his wife. Case closed.
I want to get married so that when I misbehave, people will not say things like;
-dis na why she neva marry
-who go marry you?
-I get your type for house.
I want to get married because I badly need a name change, hell, a whole identity change.
I want to get married because I need protecting.
I need someone to keep house for, kinda like a flatmate with benefits.
I want to get married so other women will not hold tight to their husbands when I am around since clearly I have my own
I want to get married so I can put my own money in offshore accounts, or use it to build a house in my village… no wait, my husband also has to build my family house for me in my village. Offshore account then.
I also would like to get married so people will know they cannot appropriate my time anyhow, after all, I have a husband to take care of.
Meanwhile, armed robbers never paused in breaking into a house or trying to rape a woman because she was married.
Bosses never hesitated to sack a woman because she was married.
Being married never stopped other men from fantasizing about any woman.
But the ultimate deal breaker must be that I never heard anyone comment that a man was so and so because his wife gave him permission.
Come to think of it, I doubt I have ever heard of a single man. Maybe a single dad, yes.
I however do want to get married. It is expected of me.