The Mrs Club
Monday, June 25, 2007 Chemistry

Amaka
Chemistry

I couldn’t believe how amazing that Nouveau Africana party was. I don’t know how it happened but I really enjoyed myself. Usually at these things I end up sipping on a glass of wine all night, watching Mina and Titi have all the fun. Titi usually has her pick of men and Mina well, she has Obinna. As for me, I am usually the brown girl outside the ring; in fact I am the brown girl fading into the wallpaper.
I really hate being alone, but what can I do? I don’t have Mina’s elegant looks or Titi’s sex appeal. I am just a regular Naija girl. Okay I’ll admit, I am on the plumper side of regular. Mina keeps giving me diet advice and Titi insists that I am fine as I am; all I need is a little more confidence.
My mother apparently thinks I need intense prayer and fasting and also to stop being so picky. She keeps sending me these emails advising me to go on these dry fasts to coincide with some prayers that this or that potent prayer group are doing. Add to that her constant questioning through phone calls and text messages and crazy set-ups that she keeps denying and you have the stuff of a laugh out loud comedy, except I’m not laughing. I mean take for instance, this phone call and tell me how you would feel if your own mother thought this would be a potential mate. The call went exactly like this…
“Hello?” I said
“Ha-low,” a voice said in a very heavy Igbo accent—mind you I don’t particularly have a problem with heavy accents, it’s just that the men I meet with them are usually just as parochial in their thinking.
“How are you?” he said, interrupting my thoughts.
“Fine,” I said a little impatiently. “Who is this?”
“You don’t know me, but my name is Festus and I am looking for a partner.” Needless to say the conversation went downhill from there. He informed me that he was currently working as a probation officer or something but his big claim to fame was that he was studying to be a nurse and he didn’t fail to tell me, “you know I can make a lot of money working overtime!”
My mother just doesn’t understand what I want. She thinks I should be happy with any man, just as long as he is Igbo and hardworking. She totally knocks the ideas that I have of meeting someone who is polished enough to move in any circle, Igbo or otherwise. Someone who would enjoy Broadway as well as read Chinua Achebe. I mean the only way the men she keeps sending to me relate to Chinua Achebe is that they could be one of the traditional chauvinists in his books. And Broadway? As far as they are concerned, please, that is just some street in New York. It’s so crazy, all my life my mother tried to expose me to the finer things: tennis lessons at Ikoyi club, piano recitals and so on, and now just because I just turned thirty, she just wants me to marry the first Johnny just come.
The truth is that there was one guy that I felt that I loved enough to spend the rest of my life with. Kwame Wilson. I met him years ago at the African students’ conference. He was studying at Harvard. The first time our eyes met, I had no idea who he was, but I just knew that we would become part of each other’s lives. By the end of the weekend, we had become fast friends. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses and over the rest of the semester we bonded over shared experiences as immigrant students in America: the stupid questions people asked about Africa, the racism and the new culinary and social experiences.

Posted by Naija Babe :: 10:32 PM :: 7 comments

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