Recently, I celebrated my birthday and usually, I am one to celebrate with style…maybe plan a trip, have a party or some go out to nice dinners with friends and families. However, I realize that as I get older, my idea of fun just keeps changing and fluctuating. Nowadays, my idea of fun has taken a turn in the opposite direction. I find that what gets me excited is sitting alone in my home office with a nice progressive book, which could be a John Maxwell, Myles Munroe or Sam Adeyemi.
This is typically accompanied with a hot cup of chocolate amidst some Sinach, Frank Edwards or at best listening to Timi Dakolo’s Iyawo mi with amplified sound speakers tuned to the maximum and miming to it on repeat for hours till I’m exhausted and passed out on the couch. So essentially, my perfect day is a combination of a nice book, good music, my own company and some sleep! If that sounds boring, ah well *shrugs*
However, this year was different! I attempted getting into my space doing what Ehi loves, but I had planned dinner with hubby later that evening. Well, on arriving at my home, lo and behold… my entire house was flooded with all sorts of gifts various sizes of nicely packaged gifts littered my couch. Some were even over pouring on the kitchen counter, the floor…everywhere! I was completely floored…to say the least! The man had gone ahead to arrange for 31 amazing gifts with all my favorite things in the world with help from some of my lovely friends…these were not random gifts just spontaneously picked out…these were the kind of gifts that you open and you go “boo, how did you know I wanted this”? “ oh I overheard you talking to your friend about wanting that phone and those flats and that scarf” really???!!
All the gifts had personalized notes on them….days past my birthday and I’m still struggling to open all my gifts and grappling with the unimaginable love and asking myself “How did I get here?”
How thoughtful can a person be? To compile a list of my needs as I speak and comment randomly on how “it will be nice to have that phone and that leather bound journal”. So apparently I need to be careful with what I say around him because my hubby is literally like a genie.
My hubby is the king of surprises and not a single occasion has gone by without me getting knocked off my socks. Earlier this year for our traditional anniversary, it was a tiny trinket with a car keys to a white Range Rover I had dreamed of even before I met him. On our church anniversary a few months later it was random people whisking me up from the mall in a Limo with paparazzi, make up crew and stylists ready to transform me to a princess and then I found myself in an unknown destination with my favorite people in the whole world just cheering me on! I mean the man just knows how to make a girl feel like a princess!!!
Anyways, a lot of times it’s quite embarrassing because when you are always on the receiving end and always the surprisee and never the surpriser. At some point, you just want to make an attempt to outgive lol so I made him agree that he would not do it again at least not till i manage to catch up, but he just wouldn’t quit!
He just has a way of making me feel like the luckiest girl alive but why am I even giving you all this details? You might ask! Am I just trying to show off? Or trying to paint a picture of a perfect marriage to you? No..no ..no..actually very far from it!
Once upon a time actually, not very long ago this man I speak about with so much pride could not afford to buy us a mattress? Yes! even I slept on a duvet and folded it so it felt more comfortable.
On our very first date, this man who drove half way across town to come pick me for dinner. His 2004 gold Nissan Altima broke down in the dead of winter because he could not afford proper winter tires, so there we in the cold and sought help to get the car off the road.
At one point in our lives, neither I nor Ade could afford a cup of coffee. I remember vividly as we spent time in transit whilst journeying through Frankfurt. I was cold and needed coffee and after a couple of swipes and 4 credit cards later, none could spare us the embarrassment of that dreaded word you see on the card reader “DECLINED” – for coffee that costs $1.49!
Speaking of embarrassment: have you had to speak lots of words and have lengthy conversations with your Landlord asking for a rent extension? And you look at yourself and ask “WHY”? Because you know, had it not been that the phone bill was already 3 months due and you were already cut off, this rent cheque might have cleared without an NSF (Non Sufficient Funds) notice.
Have you ever been desperate to move past a critical financial situation, you manage to get a job that has you selling water purifiers door to door and you are told you cannot get paid except by commissions on sold water purifiers. And oh by the way since this is a business investment, you need to shell out a whopping $90.00 to get trained and of course the cheque bounces which causes your bank to further charge you $42.50 for a bounced cheque. So now your account is officially in the red, great! That used to be me.
I know you do not understand because you may have never driven a car until it dies in the middle of the road because there is no gas in it, or ever had to keep your braids for four months because $80.00 for a weave was too luxurious a price to pay.
I may not be able to completely tell you all our struggles and this is not the intent of this write up. A lot of times, I get asked questions along the lines of “Is it wrong to marry just for money?” or “ Should I date a person who is dead broke and cannot provide for me?”
These are all valid questions and I thought in order to answer these questions, it might help to shed some light on my journey with dating, courting, and the decision to say YES to the ring in the light of finances and money.
Let me be clear, that this is not about being a Dr Phil but ladies, some of us really need to look beyond the visible, the tangible and the physical. When you meet a potential husband who is interested in tying the knot with you, finances are an important piece of the equation. I know what you are saying, I had this conversation with a cousin and she said “Sorry Ehi, I cannot be doing “e go beta” with any man now”. You either have the cash to meet my needs or we are not meant to be. If you share the same school of thought, hey, I totally get it! And no I was not sent by the “Broke Men Association” to persuade you to stick around, but some of us need to start using more concrete and lasting measures to make relationship decisions versus, temporal criteria like “he has money” or “he does not have money”.
Refrain from making a permanent decision like who to get married to based on a temporary circumstance like “he does not have a job” or “ he has 14 cars” What if that changes and he grows rich or gets really broke?
What potential does he carry? What are his goals and ambitions? What is his level of determination and ambition? What is the quality of conversation he has? What information is he feeding on? What is he spending his time on? Is he striving to improve himself by gaining knowledge and garnering information? Or is his mind stagnant and set in his ways?
Ladies, there is hope for the man who may not have physical cash but knows where he is going, look for a visionary whose lead you are comfortable following, broke or wealthy is irrelevant, money will ALWAYS follow after a great and progressive mind, inevitably. Do not be so quick to call off that engagement just yet, an extra dose of patience may be needed. Don’t write him off so soon, you may need to see with a different pair of eyes, the eyes of a marathoner. There is a place for a sprint and a different place for a marathon, it is often not the one who moves fastest that is the wisest but the one who is calculated, timely and focused. Marriage and all its decisions is a marathon not a sprint
Hang in tight, POTENTIAL definitely counts for something!
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