Ify has definitely come a long way from where women stood some 30 years ago on relationships. Five years after relocating from the USA with three degrees under her belt, she’s running a very successful IT company that also dabbles in events management. Now that she’s in her early 30s, shouldn’t she be thinking of settling down? “Why should I when I don’t have any particular man lined up for the job?”, she asked snootily. “I have had some meaningful relationship and have been very happy while they lasted. There had also been times when I was alone and free. I was also happy then. That’s the problem with this society, a woman can latch on to a monster all in the name of getting married and she would be deemed to have done well for herself. Well, much as I like men, I don’t need hem! That’s what being an independent woman is all about”.
What about marriage? “There’s plenty of time isn’t there? If it happens, it happens. And if not, I’ll be none the worse for it. I can look after myself”. Did she really believe that? Did she really expect her mobile to sound as often with invitations when she is fifty? Didn’t she know that the men who sought her now for `meaningful relationships’ would, when they are in their fifties, seek younger women as they always have done?
She pointed out, as if I were a child, that I was still living in the Dark Ages. “Who says I wouldn’t go after younger men myself if I had the means?”, she asked cheekily. “An aunt of mine just re-married at 40 to a 32-year-old man! She was first married to a much older man who was rich but had no children for him. Now that she was a rich widow, she shopped around for a virile man with a healthy sperm-count and married him as soon as she got pregnant. She had a son immediately after the wedding and her second child is on the way. She has encouraged her toy boy husband to further his studies and he’s already in the university. As soon as he is through, she would set him up financially and if he wanted to fish around for a younger girl, he would be free to do that and would still have her lovely children to show for her purely emotional and financial transaction!”
Where does love feature in all this? “Love”, said Miss worldly wise derisively, “if that’s what we’re going to call these attractions – there is a time to be born and a time to die. When it dies, you have to accept it and move on to the way you accept death”. `So when you break up with someone you love, you just accept it? It’s as simple as that?’, I wanted to know. `Well, it’s over, isn’t it? I was lovely while it lasted and all that, but its over and you walk away from it’. These young people don’t feel anything these days because, they can’t miss what they never had, observed a school proprietress “if you’ve never waited for the door to open on someone who you’re sure will come home – not just probably coming unless he’s found someone else today – but because this is home, the shelter that contains your mementos, his graduation pictures, the things you bought together, as well as the mortgage that is your pledge to permanent possession – then, you can’t know what it’s all about and you can’t miss it.
‘Poor things. They think they are ‘cool’ in their own version of ‘relationship’, holding their possessions apart, preparing for separation whenever the excitement wears off, or someone newer and sexier comes along! Coolly, they scratch the surface, not even touching the warm-heart of life. They might never find out that loving is caring more about someone else’s life than about your own …”