Sitting in the belvedere lounge of Caliente, a hedonist’s heaven and Lagos’s answer to Jalousie Mayfair London, I lay back and watch as my 45 year old boss at the media conglomerate where I work pours champagne down the throat of a twenty something year old hottie. As tequila shots are passed around, Jay Z’s Forever Young comes on and all the good people around me climb onto the table to join my boss, who is the head choir master, to sing and gyrate to the lyrics of the song. One thought goes through my mind: ‘not again!’
I wonder, how many Friday nights and (sometimes the party even starts at midweek), do I have to go through before I realise that surrounding myself with Lagos’ most gorgeous ladies will not keep me young forever? Instead it brings wrinkles to my already cranky face the next morning. Alas, it has become the norm for the Lagos party to kick off on Thursday, continuing all weekend, and sometimes ending in the early hours of Monday. I just don’t see the sense in buying champagne by the dozen, inhaling chemicals and living the weekend through a haze while the wife and sometimes the kids watch BBA All Stars and Movie Magic at home, wondering when daddy/hubby is going to come back home.
It’s now an unspoken rule among the successful male species of Lagos that after all the hard work put in from Monday to Thursday, TGIF celebrations are a must. So from the open-spaced joints in Ikeja, to the overpriced bars in Ikoyi, to the neon lights of the nightclubs of Victoria Island, the sight of middle-aged (and sometimes well past middle-aged) men jiggling their thick waists and nodding to Da Grin and Drake with girls in their early twenties, clanking glasses of expensive drinks is now a norm. Lurking in the shadows are the younger men, hungry and aspiring, jealously watching and dreaming about when their own time will come.
Last weekend I decided to try an alternative to dancing on tables at a V.I. nightclub with my boss and waking up on Sunday afternoon with a terrible hang-over. Straight after work I picked up my girlfriend of four years and headed down to the cinema to catch a movie she’s been begging to see for a while. I must say I now understand why people go the movies, it can be a very relaxing and soothing experience – with the right person. After the movie we headed to an exquisite Italian restaurant off Ahmadu Bello, and after some fabulous dinner washed down with a bottle of Bottega Vinai Merlot 2001 for me and Pinot Grigio 2002 for the missus, the continuous ping from my boss requesting for back-up (“I have four hotties to myself at Pablo’s!”) seemed very unappealing. I switched off my mobile for the rest of the night and just soaked up the warm feeling of being in love, while puffing on a Havana.
A few minutes after midnight, as we drove home, Eva snuggled close to me and told me she’d had a great time. I knew right then that this was far better than a dozen bottles of vintage Krug and skimpy clad models would ever be. Not only did I wake up with a clear head, I actually got around to doing some things that I had put on hold while spending quality time with people that really cared about me. On Monday at the board meeting everyone exchanged lurid tales of their sexcapades. I hid a smile as I realised a true hedonist is one who knows when to call it quits. So as this long weekend approaches, I’m looking forward to the ‘Jet Skiing and Dinner’ party being arranged by some old college friends of mine.
P.S – I can’t help but mention the fabulous ‘treats in the sheets’ Eva gave me on Saturday morning with breakfast in bed afterwards, courtesy of madam. Who says you can’t have it all and still age gracefully? Now as I jam Forever Young in my Mini Cooper on the way home I wonder if deep down, Jay-Z really doesn’t want to just call it a day and go home to some wonderfully prepared home cooking by his better half while having a couple of little Beyoncés run down the stairs to welcome him home.