Seun Akinlosotu: Nothing Goes For Nothing
Many years ago before I gave my life to Christ for the 100th time (God is so patient with me); I was being asked out by a gentleman who was just the Average Joe. There was nothing spectacular going on with him and it was back then when we were all in college and working all manner of odd jobs to pay the bills. This was also the time when the girls and the guys were eyeing future marriage potentials but probably not trying to be in a committed relationship like that. I mean, it was all about clubbing and showing up at church sleepy-eyed the next day in a carefully chosen dress that oozed all the things that should not be oozing at a church. Yeah……those days.
See, I am always minding my business jejely when trouble comes looking for me in the form of a man. This guy and I attended the same college and was in my biology class. Aside from the fact that he was an olodo cos he was always stretching his neck to look at my answers during exams; yes I was also stretching my neck to check out my neighbour’s answers but this is entirely different o because I was just cross checking, not downright copying the whole thing.
Now, not only was he checking out my answers, but he was also checking me out too. I won’t lie though; he was always fun to hang around. We, association of Naijas in my class, liked to sit at the back row and just act silly all the time and he was the chief of us all.
Then one day the boys started talking about some of the criteria they were already using to pick the girls they would want to court seriously. I was looking at them with one eye because the highest earner at that time was probably on $8/hr. salary so what criteria are you people on about already? They now mentioned domestication (cooking\cleaning for them while dating) criteria and how that was not even negotiable. My copycat guy now happened to be the loudest of them all- beating his chest and saying “me Adigun, date a girl that can’t cook? God Forbid bad thing. As a marra of fact, any girl that I show interest in must come to my apartment to cook various meals for me. I am an Ekiti man and I do not play with my meals. I don’t eat all those flour things Americans eat o, I must have my yam and “hegg “with Bournvita for breakfast (At the Bournvita mention I had to pull the window blind aside to verify I was still in the U.S), my eba and efo riro for lunch, and my plantain and stew for dinner with assorted meats. Any girl that can’t do all of those things cannot stand a chance with me o. hummm, a woman that can’t cook and wash my clothes? You people should stop playing with fire please”.
I was quiet the entire time, musing and musing, on the fact that Adigun needed to be dealt with. Since Adigun happened to be toasting me, it was only a matter of time before he asked me to come to his house to cook for him, proving to him that I was worth having as a girlfriend.
Normally my response would have been “come and cook what? Abeg abeg move jare. Better go to McDonalds if you’re hungry”; but this time I obliged heartily and Adigun looked very surprised as if he couldn’t believe I just agreed without even yabbing him.
I arrived at Adigun’s house on the agreed day with all my ingredients that I paid for myself, cooked some rice and pepper stew, which I made VERY VERY VERY peppery. Adigun like the true Ekiti man he is was in his living room watching T.V so he didn’t even have an idea of what I was up to. I then proceeded to hide every bottle of water and pitcher\cups he had. Meanwhile Adigun had a perpetual fear of drinking tap water because of previous bouts of Typhoid Fever he had as a child in Nigeria. I told him to come get his food in the kitchen but he said bring it to the living room now ahn..ahn, I don’t want to miss this show. We were like 22/23 years old then o and he was already displaying this. I said okay and I brought it to him on a tray with cutlery and a napkin. He said ahhhh sokoyokoto!! Seun this looks tantalizing o, good girl, I have always known that beneath all that shakara is a homely girl. Then he put two spoons full of rice in quick succession into his mouth, shook his head and then took another one.
Then the bleating started “water, water, water, Seun please…..yepa..mogbe, water ooo”. I quietly took my bag and exited his apartment. Water ko, Palmwine ni. Shebi you’re looking for a woman that can cook ni – well there you go.
This was the gist I relayed to members of my Youth ministry when we were debating if a man, who expects a girl he is asking out or full on dating to cook\clean for him, should also be asked to pay some of the girl’s bills. The men said, “Yes they expect their girl to cook\clean up after them but they are not paying any bill”. The ladies said “in which century? That air of entitlement has to go, nothing goes for nothing anymore o. If I am cooking for you, I expect you to do something in return for me as well like fill up my gas tank, or wash my car, or pay my phone bill – something, anything will do; but be rest assured that nothing goes for nothing anymore”.
Now, I am curious and I have to to ask if really this is how women now feel about “taking care” of their men. Would you be domestic for a guy who does not reciprocate in any way? Gentlemen, is being domestic still a criteria? In addition, why is it so had to reciprocate similar gestures to your women?
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Bevan Goldswain