Saturdays are very busy days in my part of the world -Lagos, Nigeria. The reason is not far-fetched; there are always different ceremonies to attend, either Weddings, Birthday parties or Burial ceremonies, whatever the ceremonies are, there is usually fanfare in the air.
Last Saturday was one of those interesting but hectic day, Yes! Hectic. A friend was getting married and after buying the usual Ankara (which is usually the ticket to "Je Semo" as we call it.) then we have to be present there. Watching as the whole ceremony unfolds, it got me thinking.
Of Course, my friend during his bachelor days was a handsome dude, he has a good paying job, nice apartment and fortunately a nice little car. To ladies reading this, they would know this is a good recipe for disaster as many a beautiful lady would be falling head over heels to land my friend as "Their Man" and believe me my friend had quite an handful.
Back to what got me thinking in the first place. "Of all the babes at his disposal, why Oluwakemi (Not real name)?" Frankly there were some of his girlfriends more beautiful than her, some were even more educated, some were richer and more connected socio-economically, but he chose her. I couldn't ask him that day, but I know if I had, he probably would have just said "LOVE !!!" but you and I know that there are so much muscles involved in just raising a finger.
Well since, I couldn't get to ask him, and since I got married sometime last year, I decided to look back and ask myself; what were the things that influenced the selection and decision making process when I decided to get married.
First, I call it the PURCHASE or CHASE STAGE. I have met girls of different shades, but like they say the biggest hunt are deep in the jungle, I have been searching and when i met her, I told her, "Hello, I feel you are the woman i want to spend my life with and I promise you, you wouldn't regret it." She just smiled and laughed it off and walked away, there was this air of mystery around her, but there is also this sense of connection between us, a week later, i got "Ok, let's see how it goes", four years on and the journey is getting longer. My way might not work for you but there is this adage that says" It is not how far, but how well". As much as it's not good to appear cheap for a guy, it is also not right to take long to answer either, like my mother would always say, "Ti a be fi ogbon Odun pi le were, Odun melo a fi se" (If we use 30Years to practice madness, how many years would we use to be actually mad.) How easy was it to make the purchase, Once the process starts getting very cumbersome, people would go to a more easier and simpler version.
Then there is what I call the DELIVERY or DATING STAGE. Getting the “Yes. I will date you." is just a first step, then comes fantasies and how quick were such fantasy realized, or better still, how quickly and easily was the package unwrapped. Just as the ladies have expectations, so do the men. The quicker it is to achieve such fantasies, the easier it is to categorize their partners. Like a girl who is very interested in money and within two days she ask for money and a guy gives her so much immediately, it might send her a wrong signal and she might categorize him as "Maga" and the usual example of girls concerning sex and they label her "olosho" or "whore". Don't get me wrong, it is not a foolproof law, because so many have met under such circumstances and it has led to long and fruitful marriages. It is of a fact that everybody has a role fantasy and the ability to play into your partner's role fantasy would not only help you land him quicker, it would also keep him on leash longer. An adage goes "there is an high tendency that if you keep dangling a carrot in front of the donkey, it might go further than it ever imagined it would."
How long does it take to make the delivery? How difficult is it to unpack and get acquitted to the product?
Following up is what i call the USE or COURTSHIP STAGE. Both might have tried to enjoy some of your fantasies with one another and of course, the pruning process should have started, it is at this stage, that there would be a lot of compares where " technical specifications" and the "User reviews' would be brought to fore.
What is "Technical Specifications" one might ask and isn't it rude to commodify a human being, well no harm meant. By "Tech Specs" I mean, the partner's credentials, like physical looks, educational qualifications, socio-economic positions and religious ideology and others. The "User Review" is what people feel about your partner, what image is the person projecting?
It is no gain saying that the Technical specifications could be written in glowing colors, where as the User Review rating can be very low, Yoruba's even have an adage for that, they say "Obirin so wa nu, O ni ko ri ori Oko mu waiye"(A lady is of debase character and complains that destiny dealt her a bad hand in marital matters.' Technical Specs" matter a lot as what if your partner was more educated than you or richer than you, what would you do? Would you have to go to study more, or vice versa? Sometimes, the Technical Specs might be low, but if the User Review is high, it’s ok. Has it occurred to you, somehow what your friends, religious leaders and family say do have effects on your choice of spouse? .
Does the Product require training or Expert assistance? How effective is the product's features and functions? Does the product or service deliver far more power or options than required by the user? Is the product easily understandable?
Following up is what I call SUPPLEMENT or ATTACHE STAGE. The pruning has been done, we should be having maybe just two or three candidates left out of the handful we had in the beginning. What is Supplement or Attaché? These are other things, people or clauses that would come with your partner. There might be some habits, good or bad that your partner have, you would have to ask, can you live or cope with it? Some might be expensive, for example if your partner is a Shopaholic or an Alcoholic, it could be embarrassing socially (Not implying our dear First lady Dame Jona Oh!), it could be people like some friends he or she can't do without, or poor in-laws. it could be health disorder or even some spiritual problems. It could be educational deficiency too.
Yoruba also has another age long adage to back it up " Omo buruku she fe, Ana buruku ni o shey ni" (It's easier to marry a bad wife than to have bad in-laws"
Do you need other products and services to make this product work? if so, how costly are they? how much pain do they cause? How easy are they to obtain?
Following up is what we labeled MAINTAINENCE STAGE. You might have made your choice of your lifelong partner, it is worthy of note to ask yourself “Even if something or somebody is nice, what about the maintenance?”. For Example, Buying a Car is easy but maintenance of fuel, body parts, routine servicing and many more. Concerning your spouse, when you sit down to calculate the maintenance cost, would it suit you? For example, if you choose a career woman as a wife, there is a high tendency that you would have to employ house-helps to do your chores not only that, time both of you would spend with each other would be minimal and your children might grow in the hands of a nanny than a mother. When finally deciding it’s time to tie the knot, checking out the maintenance factor is of utmost importance. Before you finally decide to tie the knot, you need to consciously check out the maintenance factor.
Yorubas say, "Ati gbe iyawo ko soro, oro owo obe lo ni pon." (Marrying a wife is not an arduous task; it is the feeding that should be a cause for concern)
Does the product require external maintenance? How easy is it to maintain and upgrade the product? How costly is the maintenance?
Finally, it is what I christened DISPOSAL STAGE. You might be tempted to ask, if we are talking marriage then how come we are talking about disposal? If we talk about gain, we must also think about the prospect of what happens if we lose. It is no gainsaying that some people would leave our lives and it would seem like they were never there in the first place and one could meet someone for just a few hours and such would leave undeletable marks in our lives. Analysis of what would happened if our chosen partner decided to dispose of us goes a long way in making it as THE ONE. Many-a-time, people only consider what we stand to gain, when going into a transaction or into such a big decision like marriage but usually they don't take into consideration what they stand to lose if such decision or person is disposed, or even if they end up getting married, how easy or hard it is to dispose the person. For example, for a man who married when he was poor and did court marriage, he is now rich and he decides he want to divorce, the Nigerian court states that, he could either serves 7 years in jail, or forfeit half of his wealth, thats an example of what we are talking about, or if the man have been told by religious clerics that the spouse would be a source of wealth if they are together and he decides not to marry her, what happens?
How easy is it to dispose of the product? Are there issues in disposing of the product safely?
How costly is the disposal?
Watching the toast to the new couple, i smiled. Any girl that makes it to the Altar or could manage to clinch a guy's last name after this gruesome pruning process is worthy to be celebrated in every way possible. So when the MC called on to the audience to come and join the newly wedded couple, you can be sure i danced so hard with my ankara that I was given some wraps of Semo as "take away".
To every lady getting married this Saturday, I say "cheers”. “Na Una gangan dem dey call Good market.”