The man who makes the cut: A woman’s voice by Abi edited by Fussy Tongue. Beware moderately sexual references.
The man who makes the cut: A woman’s voice – The background
It seems that the god of foolish men has decided to send them my way this early month to test my resolve on dealing with rubbish in any form. I thought I had proven myself with the cabbie from Shoutsville, but as it seems, that was not enough.
I spent many a precious moments explaining to curious men that even though I had energy issues, intercourse hadn’t been completely taken off the table, as far as my body was concerned. The only reason I wasn’t having sexual relations of any kind was because I didn’t want to have it with THEM. There was no confusion or conflict for me. The criteria was simple: if a man asked me about my sexual abilities within three hours of meeting me, he was as good as non-existent to me and if a man started to ask me about my sexual position preferences within three weeks of meeting me, well, the writing was on the wall as to what exactly he wanted from me and I was certainly not willing to give it. Case closed.
Of course, I despair sometimes over the looming possibilities of being alone for the rest of my life, never having a child, biological or adopted, or never being a 10th of the potential I know that I carry. However, I am not willing to kidnap a child or be brutal to succeed in my career so why would being with a man be different? I have seen and heard of so many horror stories and I reckon that if I have waited this long, four proposals aside, then the only way I can do this is the right way or not at all.
The man who makes the cut: A woman’s voice – The fear
When I say I have a fear of Nigerian men especially Yoruba men, it is not because I have a problem with my identity. Anyone who knows me would tell you that I am fiercely proud of being Yoruba and Nigerian. Yes sometimes, I am appalled and perplexed by my country and countrypeople. Yet my loyalty is staunch to my language, parts of my culture that don’t disrespect me for being female, my musical influences, the drums, clangers and skittles, the dance! Oh the dance! Even with rusty hips and painful thighs, I am desperately loyal to the dance and I know at least 50 people who would attest to it.
However, my experience of how any form of disability or illness is seen as an affliction of demonic proportions, a reward of evil deeds of the immediate past or even of ancestral legends whose bones long crumbled to dust, but whose essences still cloud the struggling fortitude of my existence, cloaks me. I have seen and heard of how women of a higher age are treated, perceived as old merchandise sitting on dusty forgotten shelves and considered as well past their sell-by date, and not even worth being marked down in price or given away for free. And while I may have lost my mean right hook, I have become quite nifty with a walking stick, and could beat a person to stupor at 20 paces. However, I do not wish to be incarcerated on anyone’s behalf: I am too pretty for prison you see, don’t want anyone fighting over who would walk with me and peel my orange for me and pick out the pips before feeding me. (say what now? They don’t give oranges in prison?! What? Savages! The establishment are!)
I know how mean mothers and sisters can be, asking why, of all the healthy women in the world, it was the sick one their son could find and bring home. I know how stoic dads can be, where even though they might enjoy my intelligence and witty conversations, they have to agree with ‘mummy’ that I would be more of a liability than an asset. I know how incapable of holding my tongue I am, so I resist being put into such situations. I have not met a man who would want to prove me right and somehow I do not wish to. I would rather be accepted even if not completely understood by family, because family is very important to me, than ‘win’ the prize of an estranged son.
The man who makes the cut: A woman’s voice – A kind man?
Few times I am asked what kind of man I would want to be with. My answer for years has always been: a kind man. You see, for me, in the kindness of a man’s heart, his looks, education and financial situation would carry hues of perfection. I would be a blatant liar if I said it wouldn’t be lovely if this kind man were pleasant on the eyes, tall for days, lean as a pole cat and strong as an alley one. If he dressed well and was educated, intelligent and without arrogance in it all. I won’t lie, it would be so good to have that kind of man be with me when I meet the exes, or bump into the bitchy cow who humble bragged about her life while doing everything to point out that my life was southwards of hers. I swear, it would be so good if when my ‘friends’ scrolled through my pictures to satisfy their hope that my life was at least a smidgen more crappy than theirs, they would find instead pictures of me being gazed upon with adoration by this Herculesque man cradling me and our children.
Oh it would be so good but what a waste it would be if such a man showed up and he didn’t have the right amount of kindness in him. The right amount of kindness would entail understanding that if my heart is given to him, he would have to protect me from myself sometimes, ie, force me to eat, rest, take walks. Not get exasperated when I am too exhausted for anything or feeling down in the dumps. It would be that he wouldn’t mind us opening up our home to a friend who needed it, sharing a sandwich with open aired accommodated friends and really look at them and not ignore them, that he wouldn’t mind occasionally getting straight back into the car to pick up a suddenly stranded friend at the station or getting me that fresh lemon needed for the newest medicinal concoction prescribed by my herbalist (he’s a white man who sells me herbs, take your minds out of old Nollywood!). A man who would be kind with his hands, words and heart. Now that kind of man, I would ride and die for.
Sadly, each year that passes seems to kill off the kindness in the hearts of men, so the flickers I find are faint and struggling to survive in the bashing winds of life. I am single and that is by choice. The thing of it I didn’t choose is the loneliness, but I have learnt to live with it, improvising in the amusement of my person by arguing with the TV, scheduling date night with myself and watching out with all the kindness I desire for myself. Its OK, there are worse things in life, so I feel no pity and most certainly would reject any.
The man who makes the cut: A woman’s voice – Outtro
So, to the man who feels it necessary to ask if I can have sex (yes I can, just not with you boo), if I would like to have sex (yes again, but again not with you boo), think about sex (3 for 3 babe, yous on fire! But again, certainly not with you booboo). The above is exactly why my heart will never be open to anyone like the guys who keep coming to ask me these dumb questions at 2am in the morning! I am awake and working though I am in the most horrendous pain. Boy, what is your excuse?
No matter a girl’s age, intellect and physical abilities, we most of the time, truly want to be with someone who values our minds, souls and hearts , long before they openly admit to wondering about the secret crevices of our bodies.
We want a man who would look us firmly in the eye and tell us how beautiful we are without even the flicker of a glance downwards to our heaving bosoms. A man who would laugh with us, cry for us, pray for us and love hard, no holds barred. Who wouldn’t fight his family to be with us but would educate them as to why no other woman would just do. A man who would desire babies with us and cry with us if they come and cry with us if they don’t come. A man willing to talk long, trust far, think deep, love hard and fight high and low for us. At least for me, that is the man I am holding out for. The standard to aim for.
Many men have been deleted since 2am this morning. They didn’t make the cut.