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AnuOluwapo Adelakun: You’re Not Married? Shame on you!

AnuOluwapo Adelakun

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So, for the past 2 years, many of my friends have been getting the ring and walking down the aisle. If you ask anyone who knows me, weddings make me happy because I’m a serial bouquet catcher and bridal shower planner. In the last 6 months, the weddings have intensified. Some, I have been more than happy to attend. Others just clash with work.

I’m at that stage where my wardrobe is filled with different shades of yellow head ties because when one of my friends chooses sunset yellow, another picks akamu yellow.

Very recently, I was involved in the planning of another bridal shower and I needed to chauffeur the bride-to-be to the venue of the little get-together. Then something happened.
You see, before I started driving, I used to see this repeated scenario where someone has the right of way and the wrong driver claims he/she is right and then both drivers turn off their ignition and everyone is brought to a standstill. That scene always reminded me of two goats trying to cross a narrow bridge over a river… until I found myself is the same scenario.

Here I was turning into a sharp bend from a highway and on the right lane. This guy saw me driving in and sped towards me until we both found ourselves trapped in between parked cars. As an accommodating person, I tried my best to move in such a way that he could still maneuver because I couldn’t reverse onto the highway. This guy just started screaming “Don’t you have sense? You want to say you didn’t see me coming?”
People of God, I was shocked; but that was only the beginning. He turned off his ignition and started staring into thin air. It took the intervention of another driver for him to wriggle out of the space I had created for him. But before he left he ‘tried’ to insult me “I’m sure you’re not married, just look at you. You’re not even up to half of my wife.”
I laughed so hard that I could see the irritation on his face. Not quite the reaction he expected. No apologies.

I’m still trying to understand the logic behind his reasoning. Are married women better drivers? Or all single ladies are stupid? If I were a guy would he have insulted me with bachelorhood? I have heard quite a number of people insulting single ladies with the ‘That’s why you’re not married’ phrase like it’s something to be ashamed of.

In recent times Chimamanda Adichie and Funmi Iyanda have emphasised on marriage and it not being an achievement, at first I was taken aback with thoughts of  how that is such a big fat lie but after this episode with this guy who proved to me that his brain is like a seed of roasted groundnut, I finally understand where these leading women are coming from.

Having a wedding band on or not doesn’t define my total existence. I’m not dismissing the fact that marrying the right person can catapult ones efforts to becoming an edifice however, spinsterhood is not a curse or a harem for disadvantaged, ‘unpluckable flowers’. It is not a Bsc that requires an MBA. Spinsterhood is what it is.

So to the guy who thought he could rain on my parade that wonderful bridal shower day, you failed woefully. I had so much fun. And guess what? I’m a spinster, resourceful, visionary and purpose-driven. Ring or no ring I’m powerful and glad to be fulfilling my destiny. Meanwhile, you need to back to driving school.

Photo Credit: Ron Chapple | Dreamstime.com

AnuOluwapo Adelakun is a Women & Girls rights advocate, Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker working on issues affecting marginalized girls and women in Nigeria. She's a UNICEF Voices of Youth alumni, Carrington Youth Fellow of the US Consulate in Nigeria, US Consul General Award Recipient, UN WOMEN/Empower Women Global Champion for Change and UK Chevening Alumna. She's also an ardent reader of African literature and an unrepentant fan of the BBC series 'Call the Midwife'.

36 Comments

  1. farawayDuchess

    February 3, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Nice. I enjoyed reading this. I don’t think dat guy was in d right state of mind, dat statement came from his ass.
    Meanwhile, society has placed marriage as a milestone or an achievement. Dts wrong cos marriage itself tests the content of your character so if u were a half-wit b4 marriage, u wld certainly be clueless during/after. We need to place more emphasis on discovering and accepting ourselves b4 venturing into getting married

    • Anne

      February 4, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Marriage is a good thing and there are people who are truly enjoying it , but the man in this case has mental problems. He did not have to digress. Thought men were logical but this one just went on a tangent. God set up the institution. Men like him make people bash it. What has marriage got to do with squeezing out of a car park biko

  2. diva

    February 3, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    This marriage issue has long been over flogged!!!! Who said everyone must get married? Is marriage d ultimate in life? After marriage what next? Not everyone who gets married are happy! Our society pushes us to get married for d wrong reasons and this is d cause of sadness in d lives of many young ppl especially women! If not for d fact that Nigerians are resilient and with high morals there wld hv bn more divorce here than anywhere else in d world bcos most wives are truly not happy but they bear for the sake of their children

    • john

      February 3, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      and you think most men are happy in their marriage ?

  3. john

    February 3, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    I bet if you were a pretty/ beautiful stunning ( lightskinned )girl , he wont have said that and pls you single women should remove that delusional word “powerful or strong “” from your dictionary bcos your not but
    if that makes you sleep better,continue

    • Enny

      February 3, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      So Mr John, soro niyen. You feel that you have spoken yeah. Because beauty and skin color is all that defines a woman.?! What a small mind you have.

    • Femfem

      February 3, 2017 at 11:38 pm

      You are just very silly!. Is there something shameful about being unmarried?. Pea brain!

    • Rolly

      February 3, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      BN you saw this comment and as a woman, still thought it was okay to be posted? What a joke.

    • Rainbow

      February 4, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      @ Rolly, if BN did not post John’s comments, we may not have the chance to correct his Dementia brain.

    • Onika

      February 4, 2017 at 12:04 am

      …and if your mother had done us all a favor and swallowed, your demented a** won’t be here.

    • Mldy

      February 4, 2017 at 10:23 am

      ????? some Nigerian men are so stupid it hurts

    • Daisy

      February 5, 2017 at 12:14 am

      You’re a twerp. And the reason why slavery happened. You might even be that guy. Muppet!

  4. franca

    February 3, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Well said. “Having a wedding band on or not doesn’t define my total existence” it does not mean I have failed as a woman or achieved the greatest feat. Its just a matter of time. When we (I) say we are strong we (I) mean not easily defeated or put down by ugly situations, confident about what we know,love,believe, have and will attain. We (I) have learnt from past mistakes and have grown. We feel beautiful whether fair,dark,fat,slim,curvy,short or tall. And we hold our own in our chosen careers. Not affected by nay sayers or superstitious lots, stereotypes or chauvinistic comments.

  5. Lily

    February 3, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Na wa o Mr John. So she should bleach so that people won’t yab her? Are you people not tabbing Toke Makinwa for bleaching? Tufiakwa for you o!

  6. Michelle bello

    February 3, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Welldone!! Girl and nicely put in words.

  7. Naa

    February 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Lovely piece but my dear there’s no word like GOATS. Our society can it ever change..hmmmm.

  8. Yellow sun

    February 3, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Im married….happily aswell…but i put it to u ..ure not incomplete…marriage is not the end of the world nor an achievement….enjoy ur spinsterhood enjoy life. .if u find the right one..marry him..but in the maintime enjoy your own life for yourself only….

  9. richtuoyo

    February 3, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Nice piece.

    I think the fact that he could say all that to you is a clear indication that he has an unhappy marriage.

    Hey! Bragging about his wife and doesn’t know how to talk to a lady with respect all because of Lagos driving?

    Maybe he transferred aggression in you anyway….
    He probably is having a tough time at home with his wife.

  10. Bubu

    February 3, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    This whole marriage talk, its funny how people think marriage is an achievement. It is a blessing from God and it is for you to work at it and enjoy not to see it as an achievement. It is one of the reasons people rush into marriage without thinking through and praying about it. It is more about carrying a title Mrs somebody’s wife and Mr Somebody’s husband.

    @Anuoluwa Please enjoy urself jare. God will bring the best guy and if u have a guy already then when u are ready to settle down it will happen. By the way u have a great smile.

  11. bonnie gee

    February 3, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Dis marriage issue hs long bin ova flogged jawe…if u kool wif marriage settle dwn n if nt continue being single. dere r many matter arising dan al dis.

  12. Joke

    February 3, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    My elder sister used to warn me about this all the time, and I’ve learned over the years is that particularly for Nigerian women, there’s a huge disconnect with what they say and what they do. Recent example, Toke Makinwa, her vlogs and relationship with Maje. With all her yapping one would think she would be the first to let go of a bad relationship, but NO. Our deeply engrained culture where women latch on and hold on to even bad men for dear life is still very real. We can all discuss and write till kingdom come about relationships, marriage etc, but till actual things are done to help the situation nothing will change the plight of the Nigerian woman who many men feel is at their mercy to do what they want with. The focus should be to minimize the importance of a man in a woman’s life from childhood, so she doesn’t feel she needs one, nor hangs in there in a bad relationship, just to save face. I’m so happy that I’ve seen at least 6 women (single mothers, separated, divorced) in the media limelight celebrate their milestone birthdays in big ways with no husband in sight. Years ago, they would have gone to beg their baby daddies and ex-husbands no matter what he did to them to cause them separate, to just biko come and honor the occasion, so people don’t talk… The foolish man’s head too will swell like garri and he’ll be acting up talking all kinds of nonsense, because he knows society has placed him in an ever so important role in the woman’s life… Now let people talk. No woman NEEDS a man. A man is a NICE TO HAVE…

  13. YYC Mama

    February 3, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Marriage is not an achievement o! I am married but I always tell my friends who are not to enjoy their single status while it lasts. I miss my independence, waking up daily without having to think about which in-law i am offending. Marriage is very demanding and you have to be strong and sacrificial enough to enjoy it, some of us don’t have that strength. It is not compulsory, religiously or by nature…if you can handle it go into it, if you can’t don’t bother about it. In life, peace is very important. I’ll choose being single and living in peace than being married with a lost sense of self. Marriage could be sweet sometimes shaaaaa….but mentally draining, my recruitment job is less stressful and I get more love and appreciation from there ?
    Who else is craving snail meat, the last time I tasted it was just before I had to leave everything behind in Naija to follow hubby to fufil his dreams in another country, hehehehe!

    • Derin

      February 3, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      Hahahahaha!!! Chai!

    • john

      February 4, 2017 at 7:13 am

      it looks like you are regretting your marriage and full of resentment. .why dont you divorce the poor guy so he can be free and marry someone else and go back to being being single sincebyour missing it and controlling your own shit whaterver that means

    • its Nkem

      February 4, 2017 at 10:07 am

      She just meant that both phases are beautiful. Its obvious she isn’t long in the club. Take it easy on her haba.

    • nado

      February 4, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      @yyc mama, am sorry i had to ask, what about your dreams? doesnt it matter too?

  14. Emily

    February 4, 2017 at 12:41 am

    The way my office propel disturb me about this when are you getting married kinda question is giving me headache even those who are married like 2 times among them too

    • Emily

      February 4, 2017 at 12:42 am

      *people*

  15. Fifi

    February 4, 2017 at 6:13 am

    I’m fascinated at how Nigerians obsess about weddings & marriages.
    Most marriages these days end in divorce yet people want overlook this/refuse to study the reasons thereof.
    Quick question- do any of you watch Our Perfect Wedding on DSTV?

  16. EE

    February 4, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Death, taxes and marriage talk on Bellanaija.

    They aren’t enough women to go round so you people can rest easy.

  17. john

    February 4, 2017 at 7:15 am

    it looks like you are regretting your marriage and full of resentment. .why dont you divorce the poor guy so he can be free and marry someone else and go back to being being single sincebyour missing it and controlling your own shit whaterver that means

  18. uno

    February 4, 2017 at 8:47 am

    My own question now is ‘what brought about marriage? from the bible point of view as a christian marriage was made so we have a mate who will always satisfy our sexual needs,someone to take care of our emotional needs,a partner to help reduce the life stress(if all things work well) someone to help build us too,a spouse can be what you want him/to be to you, and then to have a child, so that being noted why then is it important for us to get married? I can guess we can answer that by our selves. As a christian I believe marriage is important to me,as a grown man/lady,I have a well paying job or business, i can take care of myself,how then will I satisfy my sexual/emotional needs? I might or might not be in need of a child,as a christian too I’m not allowed to have sexual partners as long as I remain unmarried,what do I do when I feel like doing it,won’t I be offending God if I keep sleeping with any man/ woman that comes my way? my own now is that I’m stating here that marriage if important if you do it with the right person(in all definition)…that being said,if you don’t find the right person to go into marriage with you just have to learn to live your life happily without feeling inadequate,I bet its only God that can guaranty that in your life, imagine you happen to do it with the wrong person and its threatening your existence pls run away from such. that being said it doesn’t mean we should shame single people,because when you look at it on another level its actually something you can live without,& still be successful just that the aspect of marriage is missing,some people don’t even wanna get married, for those who want let them do it right & let us stop shaming singles..

  19. Joan

    February 4, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Most at times it baffles me when I see people who think marriage is an achievement. I rather remain single, than marry a man who would take away my personality and abuse me physically, emotional and mentally. Am against any form of violence against women. Nice write up.

  20. Bobosteke

    February 4, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    I dreaded clicking on the post; thinking it was going to be another tirade. It was a surprisingly sweet read. I liked the angle from which you told the story.

    Whether we like it or not; in our clime, the ring on it is a promotion.. A friend and I had an impasse some months ago. He was fond of making improper remarks about my body. We started speaking again recently and his way of apologizing was to tell me he could not dissociate my intellect from my body. He said that’s just the way he was and it is what it is. I said no hard feelings and promptly informed him that I was getting married. Of course it was a lie, but I did it to show him that he could in fact choose not to speak to me in that manner as the knowledge that I going to be somebody’s wife put a stop, albeit temporarily, to the remarks. He simply spoke that way because I was single and unattached which unfortunately makes you easy pickings for all manner of rudeness.

    And if you are reading this LW, now you know. I hope you would be honest enough with yourself to see the truth.

  21. crystaldrop

    February 4, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    God…..ya such an intimidated fellow.who hurt you????????

  22. Ajayi Oluwabukola

    February 5, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Story of my life.

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