I was still a teen when mama started to buy wedding gifts for me. Stacking them in a particular part of her large room she would assure me that my wedding party would be better than her friends daughters own. Few years later when I didn’t introduce anybody to her, she started to encourage me to wear heavier makeup, attend wedding parties more regularly and to smile more: she desperately wanted me to get married.
Even at work the middle aged woman that cleaned my office tried to pressurize me into visiting her church. “Our pastor dey give spiritual wedding gowns every Fridays. Try attend my church and vooooooom! You go find husband”.
Each time I trekked back home, instead of driving home in my car, I would hear some people say ehen! That’s her. Others just stared at me and this made me wonder. Wonder if these people thought that being single was a disease that needed a cure, a curse that needed to be undone. Have they never heard of failed marriages? was marriage all that mattered to them. Did a wedding ring complete a woman’s life or was it a form of identity, why was the title “Mrs.” overhyped?
I was tired; tired of Ronke insisting I wore a particular colour of dress to work because she thought it attracted the opposite sex. Tired of pretending I was enjoying a meal in a fancy restaurant while I was heading to Iniobong’s advice to sit, eat and wait till ‘someone’ walks up to me. I am a beautiful woman, successful and happy. But my mother thinks am not. My younger sisters fear I will become unhappy if they get married before me and the society has concluded that am not well. I have to tell mama to stop crying and wailing on my behalf. She should stop cursing her “Chi” and mine for letting her daughter remain unmarried. Being a miss at my age no be small “palava” for we country. They have to know that I am not sick, unhappy or sad. I am just an unmarried woman.