Monday, 22 February 2010

The Prevalence of Currency…

…as dominating our relationships.

The vulnerable, unsure, classically insecure man, who now finds himself in a state of relative financial well-being, has a coping mechanism to dealing with relationships he never dreamed he could attain, splash money around; and also a strategy, splash some more money around. This is quite typical of the Nigerian male, some of whom indulge in now common-place corrupt practices in order to fund the impression of possessing an endless well of money. Another category of man who is poor in every sense of the word also will aspire to be like our man. On this side of the pond our friends who engage in full time jobs as bank fraudsters and credit card forgers are well known.

Show me a man that works 70 hours a week (and I mean works, not someone doing some pseudo routine impression such as leaving home at 1.00pm and ending up at a ’joint’ with the lads) who spends money without thinking and I will show you a liar.

Our women folk have cottoned on to the weakness of the classical man described above by customarily asking him for money. If, during one of his few moments of clarity he decides he does not have the money he will be told in no uncertain terms that he is tight. You should not be surprised when a woman tells her friend, “he’s so tight his bum squeaks when he walks”. There is no thought as to whether or not the man has the money, if he has other plans, can he afford it, or if simply he believes in spending his money according to his wishes.

The pattern is simple: the woman’s mother is ill and she needs money for hospital treatment; or her father is dying with typhoid; or her brother got run over by a hit and run driver; even grannies have been known to die for the cause and she needs money, being the first child, to be able to meet her financial obligations during the burial rites. The more confident woman will ask straight off, “Give me some money so I can look nice for you”.

Then the man, who has seen and heard it all before, possibly stringing 4 or 5 girls along at the same time and listens to the same chorus everyday as if the girls get together to practice, gives her the money anyway. He also knows from discussions at the joint that each of the girls he is stringing along has also 4 or 5 men they are stringing along too, hedging their bets. The heart-wrenching thing is, everyone knows what is going on, however, the man consoles himself by saying she’s not exclusive to him, while the woman says the same but adds to herself, ‘well, I’m a woman, who else am I supposed to ask money from?’.

The unasked question is, had the man not been in the picture, from where would the woman have got the money?

It’s a vicious circle.

I cannot believe how many articles, how many blogs I have read where women condemn the syndrome of a disrespectful, insensitive, abusive and uncaring man but seem incapable of marrying that syndrome to the fact that the man’s perception of them is that if he had had no money, they would not have touched him with a barge pole. Many commentators’ first instinct here too will be to say they do not need a man’s money, however, by the following week, they will be asking him for money in one form or another.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Here Comes Cherub

The season again is upon us when the winged little cherub starts to shoot arrows at gender-specific humans, with the sole aim of coercing them into buying red-wrapped gifts and confectionary for opposite-gender-specific humans, who are, as is customary, lined up hands outstretched like matriarchs in an Italian Mafia family.

There is no doubt in my mind that there is a sort of mafia thing going on here. Men are made offers they cannot refuse: you either turn into a romantic slush or it means you do not love me. You’d better get out there and buy the best gift you cannot afford, if you’re going to get a leg over tonight. The larger the red envelope-ensconced card, the deeper your affection for me is the message. Flowers, those pretty things that die within 48 hours, galore.

Shops have picked up on this deft male emasculation to devote whole sections to the worship of pink and red.

For those to whom the fact that women are smart is still questionable, why do you think the quiver-wielding, fat boy employed for this task is a male called Cupid? Why not Cupida or Cupidina or Cupidess? Why not, for that matter, Sikira? Oh no, it’s got to be Sikiru*.

*Sikira is a Nigerian name exclusive to women as Sikiru is to men.