Whatâ€™s with these female friends who seem to have your life well mapped out without giving a thought to how you feel? After months of not having time together with the â€˜gangâ€™ because of our different social commitments, we recently had the opportunity to chinwag and we eagerly talked about our love lives.
I knew it would be a matter of minutes before they pounced on myÂ relationshipÂ with CTB. For those new readers of this column whoâ€™d been texting to find out what CTB stands for, it is what I call my quasi â€˜husbandâ€™ – Cuddly Teddy bear, a manÂ Iâ€™d been â€˜ involved with for ages. He lost his wife of over 35 years three years ago and has since picked up the pieces of his life.
â€œSeriouslyÂ Candy,â€ saidÂ Ini, â€œwhat would happen to your relationship with CTB now?â€
â€œNothing. â€œNothing?â€ she asked, alarmed. â€œYou mean you would rather stay in this flat of yours and keepÂ on slogging it out at that institute? Weâ€™re not getting younger, youÂ know? CTBÂ is filthy rich and wifeless due to no fault of yours. He lives in a sprawling environment with all the helps you can only dream of. Now that the coast is clear, you mean you havenâ€™t given the idea of moving in with him and chucking your job a thought?â€
IÂ told her to hold her horses!. First, when a spouse dies, the bereaved partner is given time to mourn their loss, not rush intoÂ another relationship. Whatâ€™s more, CTB and I never discussed marriage. I reminded them that he actually encouraged my marriage to my ex and when that fell apart, he offered sympathy, not a permanent relationship. I also reminded them that he actually had two other children that I knew.â€™What other skeletons couldÂ he have in the proverbial cupboard? Besides, Iâ€™d sacrificed so much for the independence 1 now enjoy for me to give it up because of some assumed luxury.
Just a few years back, Ruki, one of our friends had happily chucked her well-paid job when the man she had three children for grudgingly agreed for her to move into one of the chalets in his estate. In spite of the fact that the man had a live-in wife, Ruki not only moved in but chucked her job. Within five years, the wife gave her so much hell. She complained about the brats (Rukiâ€™s children) running all over the compound and alwaysÂ making a raquet; and noticed that most of Rukiâ€™s friends were nothing but prostitutes who were beingÂ â€œkept by other womenâ€™s husbands!
We were with Ruki one fateful afternoon when she barged into her living room, â€œDid you ask the driver to take the Jeep?â€She roared. â€œYes mummyâ€, Ruki spluttered. We were shocked. SheÂ didnâ€™t even acknowledge our presence. â€œMy car has some mechanical faults and daddy said I could use the Jeep.â€ I wanted to laugh out loud. Daddy? This was a guy we all knew as Sunny.
All of a sudden, he is daddy because his first wife dared not call him by his first name. â€œSo, when a car breaks down/, â€œâ€˜fumes the wife, â€œyou jack it up and pick another one? Have you ever thought of getting your car repaired? If we all jacked up damaged cars, you wouldnâ€™t find a car left to use!â€
With that, she swept off like the drama queen she was. Ruki was embarrassed and we were appalled. How dared she talk to Ruki like that? A half-baked illiterate berating a well educated woman just because they shared a husband? Rukiâ€™s man had given her a flat on Bode Thomas in Surulere, but sheâ€™d always grumbled that the street had always been referred to as â€œSecond Wivesâ€™ Avenueâ€ which she didnâ€™t particularly like.
Well, did she like this â€œFirst Avenue?â€™ At least in her old home, we could do what we liked without any dragon breathing down our backs.â€ButÂ CTB no longer has a wife!â€ Lilian persisted. As if explaining to a child, 1 told her CTB has grown up children, one or two of whom I donâ€™t get along with. The man is almost 70, filthy rich and he can have his pick of younger girls who could be the Viagra he so much needed in his love life. Why would he settle for an old hand like me who knows his sexual history inside out?
Before we started this serious â€˜talk,â€™ Ini had entertained us with her recent encounter with a sixty- something year-old man who had wooed her relentlessly with several kind and cash presents. Later, she agreed on a date with him. â€œHe took me to this tastefully furnished guest house and I brought a hamper with me. The atmosphere was relaxed and the wine wellÂ chilled.
As we got down to basics, nothing !Â â€˜Iâ€™m sorry darlingâ€™ he bleated, â€˜I must have been too excited. Nothing like this has ever happened before.â€™ I told him to take it easy and for us to relax. Who knew what could happen next? After a couple of hours and nothing happened, I left. The next meeting was even more embarrassing to him. He hasnâ€™t called me since!â€™
I now told Ini that the manâ€™s mistake was going after a much older woman. â€œI beg your pardon!â€Â Ini snorted. I continued, â€œIf heâ€™d gone after a much younger one, he would have gotten more value for money. Younger lovers are fresher and more adventurous and have nothing to lose as they have super-studs as steady boyfriends.
Now, lets be honest, if money were no problem and you were a wrinkly guyÂ whoâ€™s had all his children, would you go after a much older woman or a pretty-young-thing who could light your fire just by doing a simple strip tease?â€ I reminded them that more than half of men over 60 haveÂ lost their libido.
The rest need to be spurred on by more adventurous tricks. Thatâ€™s why you go to parties and see these men dressed up in expensive agbadas and wafting exotic aftershaves guzzling booze and skulking away without â€˜toastingâ€™ any of the heavy madams that were busy making sure that theyâ€™re comfortable. â€œitâ€™s not because theyâ€™re not interested.â€
I pointed out, â€œitâ€™s because they cannot â€˜doâ€™. So why would they throw good money after bad?â€ I must have switched on some sort of light in their brain because both of them looked pensive for a while.Â Lilian recalled her husbandâ€™s escapade with the Late Ayoka. Now that heâ€™s suddenly developed an interest in the town house once again and visited too often, could he be after a replacement for her? Rex, her husband had assured us that he was not keen on running after young girls who would want to have more children.
But what stopped him from having a not-so-young woman who has had all the children she wants, and only wants to have fun? And maybe a meal ticket to help cushion the finances of looking after her children?
â€œWhat youâ€™re saying in effect here is that you would rather stay where you are than move in with CTB?â€Â Ini asked, drawing us back to the topic I was trying to dodge out of I reminded her that CTB hasnâ€™t even asked me yet. Whatâ€™s more, I know all the stunts CTB is capableÂ pulling. Why trade living on my own with dignity for living in a mansion and worrying aboutÂ who your man was sleeping with? â€œDonâ€™t you think CTB would rather have a matured woman living with him than a young lover? Not all older men like young girls you knowâ€.
Lilian said. I agreed with her, but pointed out that majority of them do. And letâ€™s face it, not all women who are economically independent cherish the idea of living with men with inflated ego.
Once under a manâ€™s thumb, youâ€™re expected to dance to his whims and love him, his dogs and his in-laws! Poor CTB! To be put under a microscope by women who donâ€™t even know the workings of his mind. He is a man-of-the-world alright but majority of his friends are not Heâ€™d spent lot of money and effort on looking trim and debonair. The same canâ€™t be said forÂ most of his friends who have happily let their figures go to the dogs.
Theyâ€™re pot-bellied and walk so slowly they look as if theyâ€™re doing the moon-walk! Things they discuss are so mundane, I felt like climbing the wall the few times Iâ€™d met them. Not to think of the ease with which they fall asleep! And the thought that I would have to deal with them if the inevitable happened and I moved in with CTB, gives me the creeps! God forbid bad thing! Besides, CTB hasnâ€™t even asked me to!!