Fifi arrived at the restaurant; it had been a long time since she went out on a date. After the break up with her last boyfriend of three years, she was reluctant to start a new relationship. Two years had gone by and her friends had convinced her to start seeing other people again. So she had signed up on a dating website where she met Charles. He was also of African descent like her, and after chatting for a while online, they exchanged numbers and began to speak on the phone often.
He seemed like a cool person and their conversations were pleasant but she was not sure if she felt any connection with him. Maybe it was because of the heartbreak she had suffered after she found out that her ex-boyfriend, Paul, was getting married to someone else while they were still dating. She had heard about similar stories previously from other people but she never thought that she would be a victim. Therefore, it felt like a Nollywood movie to her when it happened. While she hoped that it was a nightmare which she would awake from, the wedding came and went by. So she was left, untrusting – when it came to men, and did not want to get back into that sphere of life. However, it was time to move on.
Although she felt that she was not attracted to Charles from his pictures online, her friends urged her to give him a chance; after all, some people are not photogenic but look better in person. So she accepted his invitation to dine out with him after he had asked her out for the third time. They agreed to meet up at a nice restaurant in the city centre for lunch. As she got ready for her date with Charles, Fifi became very nervous. It had been over four years since she went out on a first date with anyone and that had been with Paul. Memories came flooding in; she remembered how she and Paul had met at a New Year eve’s party, how she had felt sparks and butterflies in her stomach and how he had asked her on the first date in a very dramatic manner. He had sent a dozen roses and a card to her office and pulled up in a limousine to pick her up that night. The date had gone incredibly well, with good food and wine and lots of laughter. They had been so engrossed in their conversation until it was 1 am and the restaurant manager let them know that they were closing for the night. Shortly, after that, they began a relationship, one which was blissful or so she had thought…. “Snap out of it, Fifi!” She said to herself, “everything will be alright”. She put on a simple dress and took a quick look at her computer before heading out to the restaurant.
Charles walked into the restaurant on time. No, he was not photogenic but he also was not un-photogenic. He looked just like his pictures; it was a classic case of what you see is what you get. They hugged briefly and sat down at a table where they placed their orders. The conversation started with Fifi asking Charles what his hobbies were.
She wanted to keep the date simple and casual and so she had searched for “questions to ask on the first date” on the Internet just before leaving her house. They talked about their educational background, pet peeves, places that they had travelled to and would like to travel to in the future etc. After what seemed like 21 questions and answers, they had nothing in common and there was no chemistry between them. She had run out of topics in less than an hour together. To be honest, she was happier with the silence because while they spoke, Fifi could not help but notice how loudly Charles chewed his food and how widely he opened his mouth with food inside to speak. She only hoped that he would not spray some of it her way and she spent quite a lot of time looking down at her plate so that she would not be irritated by the scene.
After a short while, Charles broke the silence by asking her what her long term goals were. She looked up from her plate, a tad surprised by the question, as she had always assumed that type of question should be reserved for a later date.
“Er…” she started, not knowing exactly how to answer.
“Okay, let me give you an example” Charles interrupted, after noticing her hesitance. “For instance, I am a very driven person and in the next ten years, I see myself working for myself, owning a house, starting a family, having two cars – one for me and one for my wife (and the four children), having side projects here and there, taking vacations at least once a year, and retiring before forty-five years old.”
“Wow! That’s quite a lot. I guess I haven’t thought that much about the future yet.” Fifi replied.
“Yes I know it sounds ambitious but that’s who I am and I’m surprised that you don’t have any future goals.” Charles said.
“It’s not like I don’t have any future goals but some of those things are still far ahead to me and…”
“They are not far ahead; you need to start thinking now.” Charles interrupted again. “I am very focused, like I said. Therefore, anybody who is going to be my partner has to be just as focused; she has to clearly state what she’s bringing to the table financially because I do not want anyone dragging me behind.”
Fifi was slightly taken aback by his comment and did not respond.
“So, what do you say? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” He pressed on.
Fifi smiled and then replied “In 10 years’ time, I see myself being a trophy wife to a wealthy man. No cooking, cleaning or financial contribution. I’d just look pretty and bear him children.”
The silence that followed seemed to last for eternity. Fifi smirked as she saw the look of disappointment settle on his face. His expression was priceless and the words that followed from his mouth later were even more amusing to her. He talked about how he would never have a trophy wife, regardless of how much he made, and how his dreams would not match those of a trophy wife. She nodded for the rest of the conversation, saying almost nothing as he continued to rant on, until their date finally came to an end. They said their goodbyes, knowing that they would not see each other again and he wished her luck with finding her wealthy man while she, in finding his desired partner.
Although she was a very ambitious and hardworking person, Fifi wondered what it would actually be like to be a trophy wife, on her way home as she sat in the taxi. She already possessed some of the requirements – beauty, eloquence and brain but she knew that she would never be able to give up her career. However, she basked in her imagination and commended herself silently for discovering a new way to scare off unwanted suitors.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime