“My name is Abisola Johnson. I’m 28 years old, beautiful and smart. I love God, my family and my friends. I’m a project consultant and I love my job. I’m in love with an investment banker and I hope he marries me. My mission today is to have fun…”
Yes, my same old quote! I have a feeling that if I don’t say it in front of a mirror every single morning, I just might forget who I am. Of course my friends think that’s crazy.
Fantastic Friday is here again – we get to work half days! Being Muslim, the boss leaves for the mosque and then heads home to spend time with his lovely family. I’d been going over my plans since yesterday: leave work at 2:00pm, do lunch with Tunji (my investment banker), go for a pedicure and then have a night out with my girlfriends – Funmi, Morenike and Lynda. Mo’ and Lynda are having relationship crises, and Funmi, the eldest of us at 31, is single-handedly raising her nine year old son, six years after a divorce. They needed to have fun and I was determined to make that happen.
Lunch with Tunji was great, we sat in our favorite corner of our favorite restaurant, eating, talking and laughing like we were the only two in the world. My friends think I’m lucky because Tunji is good-looking and decent; his friends think he’s lucky because I’m sweet and smart (and even I must add, a hopeless romantic)! I walked out of the restaurant with much more love for Tunji than I had walked in with. I hoped he felt the same way.
I love going to the salon. Women just talk, talk and talk! Today, the hot topic was inter-tribal marriages. “Lai lai, I no fit marry Yoruba man, dem too stingy, kai!” That comment was from a lady who, going by her strong accent, was obviously Igbo.
A Yoruba woman retorted: “Igbo men are generous but their wives are like household ornaments. They look pretty, but they can’t have a life.” It went on and on. The topic moved from tribe and settled on what seemed to be the more pressing subject matter – men! The women went on about how men cheat, and how this woman, and that girl had been used and dumped by big bad men. (They told the stories with so much detail, I figured the experiences they were sharing had to be their own.) I left the salon wondering if men were half as bad as these women made them seem. It wasn’t the first time I would hear women talk like this about men. “There are more good men than bad. There really are,” I convinced myself as I got into my car.
My friends looked dazzling in their stylish outfits. We walked into the lounge and more than a few heads turned. We were women between the ages of 28 and 31, single, enlightened, confident, blah blah blah, and in spite of what we were going through individually, we walked in with laughter and a magical glow. I wondered what people (men, to be precise) saw when they looked at us…I smiled.
It was as much fun as I expected. We ate, danced, made a lot of noise, and then sat down to gist. Sooner or later the topic went back to where it always goes – men! My friends seemed to agree with the women at the salon, only this time, I knew the men they were talking about. Could they be right?
I was quiet until Mo’ tapped my arm. “Abby, you always support guys, so judge this…I met Tunde and he seemed perfect. He treated me like I was the woman he’d been looking for all his life and things were perfect for six months. Then he just stops showing up, stops calling, stops taking my calls – no explanation, no story, nothing.” I saw the pain in her eyes and I felt a little guilty when I spoke “Mo, are you sure you didn’t do anything to upset him? Or maybe he heard something unpleasant about you…” I hadn’t even finished when they all attacked me.
“It’s not about her!” “She didn’t do anything!” “That’s how they all are!”
Lynda started with a similar story of her own, and all I could do was stare and listen. I left there confused.
Now I’m on my bed, thinking about Tunji. I can’t help but smile when I think about him. We just spoke for an hour and there’s nothing about him that makes me think he’ll disappear on me. So I’ve concluded that there might be a couple of schemers out there, but there are even more great guys! And just as I’m hitting my pillow, yawning, I’m saying a prayer.
“Dear God, let all men understand that they are created in your image; not to harm, but to nurture. Teach men to be better people, and heal every broken heart. Amen.”
Tomorrow’s a Saturday, so I can wake up at any time. And when I do I’ll be reminding myself: “I’m Abisola Johnson…”