Kwame wasn’t handsome in the traditional sense of the word, but he was very attractive, a man who was very comfortable in his own skin. He drew women to him, he was like Godiva to chocoholics. Our romance started when we spent a summer together in New York, when I was doing an internship at Gourmet magazine and he was doing a program at the Columbia School of Public Health. That was the summer I first fell in love. He used to come over to my little studio apartment in Brooklyn and I would cook him egusi or jollof rice, occasionally he’d bring Ghanaian delicacies like kenkey or banku. We would talk about our dreams and aspirations. One day after dinner, we were lying on the roof of his building. He had sublet this apartment for the summer which wasn’t much to write home about, but it had a great rooftop deck. That night we had packed a picnic basket, a portable CD player and a bottle of cheap wine. We felt so cosmopolitan. I was only about twenty and he was twenty two.
After eating, we lay down on a mattress and gazed up at the sky, listening to a Bob Marley CD. We had come to a lull in the conversation and the song that had been playing came to an end. I still remember that moment like it was yesterday. He turned to me and said, “do you know what I have been wanting to do all night?” His voice was low and gravelly. “What?” I asked simply because even though I was not unaware of the sexual tension between us, I was simply content to be next to him, the evening could not have been more perfect. “I’ve wanted to kiss you.”. I remember, noting how fast my heart was beating, I had begun to feel a little light headed. It was a different time then. We had spent practically every evening together for about two months and the summer was coming to an end. He never made a move and being a virgin, I definitely didn’t make any moves. I didn’t know what to say, I just looked at him. He must have taken my expression as an invitation because he kissed me. I feel like there should be drum rolls or a symphony playing even now because even that could not describe how wonderful that kiss was. It was every thing I thought a kiss should be. That night, for the first time, I put aside all my fears and thoughts of my parents’ disapproval and gave in to the sensation of pleasure and love. Kwame was my first and at the time, I thought he would be my only. When the summer was over, we started a long distance relationship, he in Boston and me in Bronxville, NY.
Things changed soon, when my mother decided that a liberal arts education was a waste of my time and I should focus on getting a practical degree, like medicine or pharmacy. She announced over the telephone that she had decided pharmacy was best and that I should study in Boston, where my aunt and uncle could keep an eye on me. I went without argument, partly because I believed that it was futile but also because it would bring me closer to Kwame. When I moved, our relationship shifted into high gear. We became incredibly close. I met his parents and siblings but I never introduced him to mine. He was always a little bothered by that. Every time the subject came up, we would argue. I tried to explain that my mother was very opposed to me being with anyone who wasn’t Nigerian. He couldn’t believe that I didn’t have the courage to stand up for myself.
There was JJ Brisbee, my kind of guy: tall, handsome, sexy and very, very rich. His family has had money for generations and he is the official heir. On top of that JJ has made his own fortune in American media. Word is he is even producing Hollywood movies. In short, JJ na my complete spec (as in he completely meets my specifications), in fact just seeing him does the kind of things to me that no polite woman should admit to in public.
Unfortunately JJ is a ‘love them and leave them’ kind of guy. We had our fling and it was too much! I mean the guy had me chasing him. He introduced me to the jet set high life. We would be partying in London one night and Ibiza the next. I tell you he ruined me for regular guys. Not to talk of in the bedroom, let me not expose myself but the man took it to another level. Chai! The problem though was he wouldn’t stop there, he kept taking it to the next level and the next. Forget ménage à trois, JJ is about full-blown orgies. One day he took me to a swingers’ club! That’s when I ran for dear life. I may be bad, but this one is pass Michael Jackson!
Anyway he was there with one virginal looking biracial girl. I heard they are engaged and that the chick is very conservative. You see yeye men? They want to marry angels and still have someone shagalicious on the side. The foolish boy was winking at me as we made eye contact. Idiot, he gave some other babe a 4 carat rock, but he still wants to rock my own yansh! Utter nonsense! Na me be mugu abi! I gave him an evil look and moved the heck on.
Look at me going on and on about the guys at the gala. Naturally there were also many babes. In fact let me give you the gist. So when I entered the place, the first thing I saw was another red dress, but the babe wearing it was nowhere near as correct as me. The babe was at least 40 pounds overweight and the dress showed more than a few curves if you know what I mean. Plus her blond weave was a little overdue for a touch up. My babes, let me tell you one thing, if you have the audacity to get a blond weave, I am begging you, please invest in a professional touch up at least every now and then. This babe was looking like a complete disgrace, then she turned around and what did I see, she was none other than Tigi Simpson.
Tigi Simpson! This was a babe that used to be super hot about 10 years ago, I mean she was my hero! At the time she could have had her pick of eligible men, but as the story goes, she was busy looking for Mr. Totally Perfect and now look at her, she is still single and looking run down, settling to be the consort of whoever would have her for the night. Judging from the fact that her dress was a Donna Karan from 4 seasons ago, either the class of men or their frequency had diminished.
“Titi! my darling,” she called out to me. I cringed as she walked over, I wasn’t trying to be associated with this aging senior babe, I mean I was still fresh and hot and definitely not broke down. “Hi Tigi,” I said unenthusiastically.
“So we are the babes in red, I trust you to be as hot as me now. I see I taught you well,” she cooed at me, linking her arm through mine as she steered me towards the bar. Heh! See me see trouble O; this woman was indeed crazy, was she comparing herself to me? That is like comparing a 94 Honda, to 2006 C-class. The babe needs to get a grip. Imagine saying that I was as hot as her, doesn’t she know sexiness is like microwave oatmeal, leave it in for too long and it will turn dry, sticky and lumpy.
But I didn’t want to kick a girl when she was down so I said nothing. Nothing about the fact that I am a good 10 years younger and the fact that I will get married and probably be a mother of the cutest little baby by the time I’m her age. Nothing about the fact that her time has come and passed and, guess what, she missed it. Nothing about the fact that instead of trying to get me to buy her a glass of hpnotiq, she needed to be home figuring out her life plan.
Yes O, I’m a nice girl, so I didn’t say anything; I just pulled out my purse to pay for the drinks, hpnotiq for her and a whiskey sour for me. But just when I put my Prada satin bag on the counter, who placed their hand over mine and said “let me,” but JJ himself. “It’s not everyday a man has the honor of being with two sexy ladies in red,” he said, grinning, not even trying to hide the lust in his eyes.
“JJ darling, how are you? I hear you are off the market now,” Tigi said, leaning into a hug and a cheek kiss. If you ask me her hips were a little too close to his and his hand was way down her back, practically on her butt and if I was not mistaken he gave it a little squeeze. Na wa for guys, I beg where is his wife to be, she better come get her man. “Not just yet Tigi, and if you two ladies would do me the honors, I could show you just how available I really am.” He actually licked his lips as he said it. The horror of it all! I took off immediately. Tigi could flirt with him if she wanted to but, like I said, me I had plans of being a Mrs. so I couldn’t fool around and be known as a shameless ho.
I walked away from the bar and ran smack dab into my girls, Mina and Amaka! We all went to college together and had formed a tight friendship ever since. We are all so different but there’s nothing like spending some years in an all-white college in the middle of upstate New York with nothing to do on the weekends than tip cows to bond people together. We had been through so many experiences together, from culture shock to racism. I remember that first winter at Johnston U. It snowed and while the snow was beautiful and new to us African babes, we were completely unprepared for it. That night we were going to a meeting in a nearby dorm, we had of course dressed up as usual. Colorful sweaters (it was a decade ago, ok almost two!) matching accessories and cute shoes. When we started to leave our dorm, people kept looking at us strangely. I looked at Mina in her pink sweater with pink hoops and black leggings with patent leather loafers and you could tell she felt too fine. Maksy looked cute in an oversize orange sweater and black jeans with her new lace-up shoes that she bought from wild pair. And as for me well, let’s just say I looked fly, so I couldn’t understand all the looks we were getting. Finally someone asked us as we approached the door if we didn’t know it had snowed, and weren’t we going to wear boots? We all laughed at the suggestion that we would ever wear those ugly construction worker boots that every one seemed to have. Please, you know how true Naija babes are, be fine or die! My friends let me tell you there is no teacher like experience! After the three of us slipped and slid our way to the dorm no one told us when we went to buy the boots. We learned that when it came to the weather, function must always come before fashion. That was one of the many experiences that bonded us together. We are all so different but these girls are like my sisters.
“Can you believe Yinka would date a guy like that? “Mina said to me, interrupting my trip down memory lane. She was looking at Yinka Davies, an acquaintance of ours.
“A guy like what?” I asked.
“As if you don’t know, my goodness, he used to be the security guard in her building.” Mina looked disdainfully at the couple who were holding hands while making the rounds.
“I thought he owned a security company?” Amaka said.
“Well he does now, but it’s nothing big. Clearly she is going to be the breadwinner in that relationship” Mina said turning away from the couple who had started dancing now.
“They look so happy though” Amaka said.
“I know” I agreed, watching them. Yinka had her head on his shoulder and he had both his hands around her waist.
“Whatever!” Mina interrupted, “let’s see how happy she is when she realizes he is not in her class.”
Mina is such a snob. She’s my friend so I can say it. She has a wonderful heart but she can be so pretentious. She married a fairly wealthy guy, I mean they are not JJ-rich, but you know he is a cardiothoracic surgeon, so he does alright. Meanwhile she stays home and plays the role of a lady who lunches. As far as I can see her main palaver right now is the fact that she hasn’t had a child in 4 years of marriage, and her in-laws are beginning to stress. Other than that, honestly her own is better, I mean her husband is probably the sweetest, most down-to-earth guy I have ever known. Actually, how they got together remains a mystery to me, but c’est la vie. I mean I am not totally knocking her, she is my friend and all but I have to call a cutlass a cutlass, the babe has issues.
She was standing to the side looking down her nose at everyone. Looking like an ice princess in her pewter satin Vera Wang gown, with her hair pulled back into a rather severe chignon. She did look very elegant though, but I guess it’s easy to look elegant when you are a size 2, café au lait complexioned and have naturally wavy auburn hair.
“By the way Titi, what were you doing with that crass woman?” she said, still speaking in the pseudo British accent popular with the stuck-up Naija set, crinkling her nose in disapproval. “Who, Tigi?” I asked “You know she’s not that bad.” I said, suddenly feeling the urge to defend the poor girl. “Well whatever, I wouldn’t be caught dead talking to her,” she said, turning up her nose even further. “Ah Ah, Mina, that’s rather harsh, cool down I beg jo.” I replied a bit impatiently. Even though we were friends, Mina always managed to cause an argument when we were together. Amaka, our other friend, defended me, saying “Mina, how far now, the woman is not stressing you so forget about her please.”
Mina glared at her and Amaka ignored her, turning to me. “Anyway Titi my dear, you are looking hot in that dress.” That was Amaka, always the peacemaker, the woman fit be diplomat. “My dear, I dey try, and you my dear are looking pretty good yourself”. She really was actually. Amaka was forever obsessing about her weight, but she was one of these few women that the extra pounds actually look good on. She was about a size 14, with the kind of velvet chocolate complexion people longed for, and she was wearing the hell out of a bronze gown that she said was a Richard Metzger. Well that’s a designer who definitely knows his way around a curve. I know he does plus sizes but I wonder if he can do anything with a busty size six? “Thanks,” Amaka said, breaking into my reverie, “50% off at the Saks outlet store.” “Haba Amaka, Igbo woman, always looking for the bargain”. “Of course, why not” she smiled. She wasn’t kidding either, She just bought a fixer upper in Grant Park, rehabbed the kitchen and the bathroom herself and the place not only looks like something out of a home magazine but it has appreciated in value by $40k. The babe will make someone a solid wife someday. In fact I don’t know what her problem is, guys are always interested but she is romantic to a fault. I’ve known her for ten years and in all that time I think she has had maybe one real relationship but several flirtations. She can’t seem to get past the sweetheart phase, when you are both infatuated with each other. She keeps dreaming about her prince charming. He has to be tall, handsome and polished, and he has to be Igbo.
Actually the real problem with Amaka is that she is so focused on pleasing everybody, especially her mother. It’s so crazy, here she is thirty years old and her mother still has so much control over her. The woman calls her at all hours of the day, forever demanding to know all sorts of things, like if she is still dieting, has she gotten a pay raise at work, has she found a suitable man to marry. I tell you, she has Amaka going round in circles so that any man she meets not only has to live up to Amaka’s idea of romance, but has to meet her mother’s criteria too. Not only does she have to find a romantic African man but he has to be Igbo as well. My sisters that’s like saying you want a fabulous designer dress for under $50. You may find one, but you’ll have to search long and hard.
Speaking of men, there was one fine brother checking Amaka out right now, and who can blame him, my girl was looking rather hot, the bronze against her velvet skin and her hair down in loose waves. Even I was checking her out! Anyway, the guy was particularly fine and new on the scene; I had never seen him before. He was about 6ft 4 and a cross between Will Smith and Boris Kodjoe, in a good way that is, so at least he met one of Amaka’s criteria. He smiled at us, since we had all turned and checked him out so obviously, and raised his glass. I raised mine back, Amaka looked away and Mina, well, she smirked.
Mina’s husband, Obinna came over and took his protesting wife onto the dance floor. She couldn’t flow with the music because she was obsessing about her Vera Wang, she didn’t want any of “these clumsy oafs to step on her train.” Meanwhile I saw Dele alone and decided to go and corner him. I felt a little guilty about leaving Amaka but I turned around and saw mystery man had sauntered over and was trying to put it on her. Get him girl, get him and if you no want, I fit collect?
Champagne Taste, Beer Pocket
As I walked into the ballroom, I paused to smooth out a slight crease in my gown. All eyes were on me, and why not? I was looking too fabulous in my red Carmen Marc Valvo gown. The satin fabric highlighted my curves and the deep neckline made me look even more endowed that I already am. Move over ladies, Titi is in the building!
I had chosen my outfit and coordinated my whole look so carefully, that you would have thought I was going to the Oscars as a nominee. I even had my make-up professionally done and put a custom blended weave in my hair. Now I usually make sure my hair is on point but I wanted to take it to the next level. I swear when my stylist told me how much the hair alone was, I almost passed out. But I tell you it was worth the expense because my hair was like something out of a magazine, I mean I was totally Tyra meets Gabrielle Union, and I was loving it. Top it off with a few carefully chosen pieces of jewelry and there I was looking like a million bucks.
You might be wondering why I had to go through all of this effort. Truth be told, on any given day, I’d be considered an attractive woman. Okay, I’ll stop being modest, I am hot! I have this whole sexy vibe going.. But tonight was special: it was the annual Nouveau Africana gala evening. It was being held at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead and the event brought out the crème de la crème of Africans in America. So you see, to me this event was even more important than walking the red carpet. The place would be teeming with rich eligible African men and my plan tonight was the same as it had been for the past year…to find a husband. Yes, I said it, I believe in being open, after all you never know who has a single investment banker friend looking to settle down. And I can admit that these days I have to work a little harder and be more strategic because…well, I am on the wrong side of 30.
You see in the African community, age is definitely not on a woman’s side. When you are about 22, you get put in the front window and are marked for sale. Then when you are about 26, they mark you 50% off, , 75% off when you are 28 and then when you are 30, the sign is changed to say: “ALL GOODS MUST GO!” Your sell-by-date has passed.
Oya, before you brand me as desperate, you should know that I have had many marriage proposals. After all a babe like me has a lot to offer: beauty, brains, and the ability to fully break it down in the bedroom on a regular basis! What? Why are you looking so aghast?! What is wrong with a woman enjoying sex and not being ashamed to say so? My problem is I haven’t quite found proper husband material and, for me, husband material means not just good looks, but also money and prestige. Now when I say money I mean a lot of it. That’s right, I’m not saying I’m a gold digger, but hey a woman has to keep up or at least improve her lifestyle! Look, I don’t believe in faking the funk. I am a straight-up person and there is no shame in my game, so yes I am looking for a husband but he better be rich, African and fabulous!
Every year Nouveau Africana Inc. hosts a benefit for AIDS treatment in Africa and it has become the signature event of the African social season, a veritable who’s who. Let me tell you, everyone is here from Emeka Anayo the NBA rookie of the year, to Dr. Agu, the first African immigrant named on the Forbes 100 list. If I tell you the hoops I jumped through to get tickets, Heh! I won’t lie O, it’s not easy trying to be among!
But it looked like all my hard work would pay off. The evening had just started and I had already spotted 3 well known millionaires. They were not contenders because they were all married and right now, I have no interest in married men, even though they quite frequently have an interest in me. Well, let me be honest, I might allow them to buy me the occasional Vuitton or trinket, but as far as starting an affair, forget it, I am much too focused on being a wife, so I can’t be investing in bad karma.
Fortunately there were some interesting bachelors there also. I spotted Dele Thompson, CEO of Thompson Engineering; he was actually featured in Fortune magazine and his net worth was estimated at close to $15 million. Add that to the fact that he is handsome, under 40 and from one of the big name families in Nigeria and you have a lethal combination. I was glad he was noticing me noticing him in my sexy red dress. Naturally his date noticed me as well and gave me the dirtiest of looks as she held on to his arm for dear life. I didn’t take it personally, after all e no dey hard make person ting become person ting abi,. Let me translate: one person’s thing can easily be taken by another. I wasn’t feeling like any drama that night so I moved on. But I fully intended to check out Dele when the time was right, girlfriend or not!
Sitting in the corner I saw Dan Okoli, or Dr. Dan as they call him. He was just featured in Atlanta magazine for pioneering some new surgery technique. He certainly meets my criteria in the finance department but as far as looks go, well let’s just say that he is not quite my style. I mean my guy is barely 5ft 8, is chubby and suffering from a case of adult acne, so even though Danny boy is seriously hot for me, I keep him on the back burner with the heat turned down real low. He waved when he saw me and tried to come over. I quickly looked away and walked in the opposite direction. Can’t settle for small fry now, not when the fishing is still good!
Smart, Sexy and Successful!
These three Naija girls living in America have everything to offer. So why is it so hard becoming and staying a member of the coveted Mrs. Club.
Sexy and Scandalous Titi is determined to have a better future than her past and the way she sees it, the only path to that future is to marry and marry well. She is seeking for Mr perfect. Handsome, uber-rich and able to make waves in the bedroom!
Sweet and Smart Amaka has always been successful at day to day life, but when it comes to men, she is often left standing by the wall while everyone else takes a spin on the dance floor. When she meets Jeffrey, an incredibly fine and charming stranger from Lagos, could he be the man of her dreams?
Sharp and Savvy Mina has always had the upper hand in her relationships. If there was anything her mother taught her well it was that love was for fools. Marriage is simply a tool to get the life she wants and her husband simply a man to be tolerated.
Mina, Amaka and Titi think they have everything under control. Until life throws those curveballs that push them to their individual limits. They’ll have to pull together as friends and grow as women to figure out how to get into and remain in the Mrs. Club!