It was one of our girls’ hang-out evenings, our special ‘cult’ outings where we let down our hair and say things we would never say when a man is within earshot. We also join hands and pray and fast when we have to ‘bandy’ together against any bandit problem. But this particular episode was just about wine, smoothies and barbecue and pulling one another’s legs.
Then Mobola announced to the girls that her son, Ope, had just told her he thought Mimi was the one.
In other words, after foraging through dozens of skirts, Ope had finally made up his mind to settle down. He had proposed to Mimi in one of those grand colourful events.
Thank God oooo.
It was a chorus of sighs of relief.
Ope is cute and he knows it. He’s successful and well bred. He also has a great job in one of the telecommunication companies. So, getting the girls was not a problem. Indeed, getting the girls to pull out their claws from all over Ope had been the problem. These girls just love what they love and Ope with his cute innocent manners took full advantage. He walked through them like hot rod through wax. Until Mimi. Now, at age 34, Ope has said he was all ready to quit the bachelors’ club and his mum is saying No. Incredible.
‘Mobola, you sound like a witch right now. You do not want your son to get married? That is witchcraft o, ore.’ I told her point blank.
‘I thought you were getting worried that he was going to end up a cranky old bachelor? What is wrong with Ope marrying Mimi?’ Joke was looking closely at Mobola as if she was trying to figure out what the ailment was that had Mobola in its grip.
Annette rose to her full five feet height, hands on her petite waist. Her worry is different.
‘God will not allow you to ruin my chance to plan a blue chip wedding. Imagine all the colours, primary and secondary, jostling for space and attention at Ope’s wedding, the cake, the aso ebi, the food…. Ah and above all, all those loaded telco guys all in one room. Please, Mobola, God will not spoil your joy, don’t even think of spoiling our hip-hop with your blues.’
Annette is 49, pretty, divorced life-of-the party and according to her, a bride-waiting-to-happen-for-the second-time. See, her vested interest is not just about Ope’s happiness, it is about her second missionary journey.
But why was Mobola resisting Mimi as a prospective daughter-in-law?
Mimi is too beautiful.
W-h-a-a-at? We all chorused.
How is a beautiful bride, daughter-in-law a problem? She will give you grandchildren that turn heads everywhere. What is the matter with you, Mobola? When did it become a sin to be beautiful?
‘When you are about to bring trouble to my doorstep, that’s when.’ Mobola blurted.
Ah, e gba mi. Someone rescue me. What kind of mother doesn’t want her son to have a beautiful wife?
Pray explain how does shopping, gisting, going all over the place with your beautiful daughter-in-law become a tragedy?
‘Okay, I’ll spell it out. A girl with Mimi’s face and body is good as a girlfriend, not a wife for my son. Every man will want her. Her bosses, the neighbours, even my son’s friends. She is an endangered species. She is temptation on two feet. I know Mimi is a good girl but what about the bad guys, the wolves who’ll lust after her like dogs in heat? Imagine what that will do to my son, their marriage. It will be like planting a mango tree by the roadside. Everybody will want to pluck. They will use sticks, throw stones, even their shoes at it, anything for a piece of the action. It’s not about whether Mimi can control himself, it is about what all those men wanting my son’s wife will do, what they are capable of doing. Yeah, I’d want my grandchildren to be beautiful but I do not want to get my son killed because one crazy man wants his wife at all cost.’
Even Annette looked pensive after that homily by Mobola.
Mothers, they think deep, look far into the future where their children are concerned. I know most men will think Mobola is overthinking things but she does have a point but I guess only mothers can see it. We are selfish that way. Like Mobola, most mothers confronted with a shapely, beautiful Mimi in their son’s life are too worried, too selfish to imagine or ask themselves: what if Mimi is my daughter? If we all take Mobola’s stance, who will marry our beautiful daughters? But that is not the thought on the mind of a mother whose concern is his son’s welfare. The issues of her very beautiful girls being at a disadvantage because of their good looks are a matter for another day.
Crazy as it may sound, Mobola does have a point here. I remember this story of a man who fell victim of ‘magun’ in his own bed, in the warm confines of his own wife’s bosom. Incredible, right? A diabolical man somewhere had set the ‘magun’ trap on another man’s wife and the husband fell into it. He died, untimely, because his fine wife refused to cheat on him with a desperate and obsessed evil louse.
But one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Kate, my friend from Warri is all about her daughters-in-law being loaded on both sides, if you get my meaning. As far as she is concerned, a woman should have appreciable knockers and knock-out hips. ‘Otherwise nothing go fit am.’ She is a fashion designer, so I guess her point of view is understandable.
That started a line of discussion. For fashionista and health freak Annette, it was a shocking revelation when she said, she would resist any woman with a tattoo, pieced nose or nose ring from becoming her daughter-in-law. Wow! For my friend, those things signify deep-seated sense of inadequacy or inferiority complex.
‘I think a girl who has to go under the pin or knife so early in life to enhance her look or the one who got a tattoo will be difficult to satisfy. She will always be in search of some elusive thing.’
Yours sincerely took classes in sociology and psychology in the university but I’m still trying to decode Annette’s logic, but true, I do not like tattoos. A little stud on the nose, yes.
What about a prospective daughter-in-law with a kid?
She’s after one.
Used material, second-hand goods.
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‘Why didn’t she marry the man who impregnated her or why didn’t he marry her? I hate long stories. I’d rather have a daughter-in-law without telltale evidence of where she’d been.’ Annette quipped.
I do not totally agree with her because she seemed to be insinuating that a woman who’s had a baby from a previous relationship has a longer past than the one who doesn’t. If your son’s fiancée has had a baby, isn’t that evidence that she is fertile? The baby is proof, if you ask me, but since you didn’t ask me, I’d ask you if you can vouch for the length of the past of the one that appears brand new. You cannot tell if a woman has incompetent womb or none at all just by looking at her face or waist. I know it will be difficult to get mothers to agree on the ideal daughter-in-law, but we can talk about it, right? What are those things you’d like to see in your prospective daughter-in-law and what are the things that will put you off? Pierced nose, tattoos, bleached skin, drinking and smoking high flying career big girls or homely schoolteacher… what’s your spec?
Re – Are women mean or what?
This is an excellent article. We cannot say who is the meanest; women or men. It depends on the circumstances.
Unfortunately the ‘weaker vessel’ here is a man because women are stronger than men in the heat of passion!
Your advice is frank and profound! I always use the article to counsel younger people. I give God the glory I escaped the trap when I was more vulnerable!
– Tunde L.