Nigerians are a special set of people. We are great at doing a lot of things. Minding our business, sadly, is not one of them. As a single young woman, you need to prepare yourself for the barrage of unwanted opinions and comments you will receive. Some of them will be from people who truly care about you; a large majority will be from random people – people who don’t know you at all.
Some of these unwanted comments I can deal with. Over time you just learn how to block them out. Well for your sanity you have to learn it. What I can’t deal with is being required to live as though I am already married when I should be enjoying the precious time that I have as a single woman. One of the perks of being single is that when I get home in the evening and I don’t feel like cooking, I can buy akara from the woman down the road and soak garri and that counts as dinner for that day. I owe nobody any explanation as to why I’m eating garri and akara as dinner. I just don’t feel like cooking…end of story. But there are some over-zealous on lookers who will make funny comments like, “Is that what you will do when you get to your husband’s house?” That statement really does get on my nerves.
I remember a few months ago when I went to sleep over at a friend’s place and she wanted me to help her out in the kitchen. She was having a party and she chose to cook by herself. That’s great. The problem was I didn’t plan on doing any owambe cooking. I was really stressed on that particular day and all I wanted to do was sleep. My sweet friend, who is also single by the way, comes to meet me in the room and says, “What if you were in your husband’s house? Is this how you will just go and sleep while your husband and children go hungry?” I couldn’t hide the shock on my face. Err…rain check, I’m not married yet and there isn’t any husband or child waiting for food anywhere. Other people joined the conversation and I was forced to go downstairs and cook.
This scenario has happened to me too many times, especially since I moved back to Nigeria. In an attempt to make sure you become the perfect wife when you eventually get married, there is the unrealistic expectation that you will start living as the perfect wife now. I had to confront a married woman one day about this when she started complaining about the fact that I woke up 10am one beautiful morning. “If you continue waking up at 10am now, what time will you now wake up when you get to your husband’s house?” Let’s forget the fact that on the morning in question, I had slept at 4am because of work. Let’s also ignore the fact that it was a Saturday morning, the only time when I get to catch up on all the sleep I missed during the week. The woman was not having any of that. She said once you get into a habit as a single person, you will find it difficult to break it when you get married. Really?
I think people, Nigerians specifically, need to exercise some chill when it comes to this issue of marriage. Marriage is great, no doubt about it. But until I get to that stage of my life, please feel free to leave me to enjoy my time as a single woman. People fail to realise that the time you have as a single person is very precious. You may never have that kind of free time to yourself for a long time when you get married. Why can’t we be allowed to enjoy this time wisely and use it in whatever way we deem fit? One thing I know about human beings is that we are quick to adapt. When the bridge of marriage comes, we shall cross it and do the needful. Until then, let’s all mind our business and enjoy our lives.