A Collection Of Really Bad Advice

This weekend I attended a wedding. My 24 year old cousin, got married to her college sweetheart and it was a colorful family affair.

For several weeks, I struggled with the decision to attend. Not because I wasn’t happy with and for her, but because I find extended family events quite stressful and to be honest, financially draining. But then, I am my mother’s only child and if you’re familiar with Nigerian family dynamics, you know she’ll be miserable if her only child is the one missing from an all important family affair.

See, I haven’t been home in four years. (long story) and so this wedding was going to be the opportunity to reconnect with long excluded relatives. So I packed my bags and did the road trip down home.

I was not ready.

Dressed up to have a fabulous time at the wedding..

It was my cousin’s wedding but my marital status seemed to be everyone’s most pressing concern. From agony aunts to well meaning blustering uncles, I was riddled with questions and advice about how to ‘solve my problem’. It would be hilarious if not that listening to the aunties, a lot of whom are either divorced or stuck in unhappy marriages, revealed how society still believes a woman’s value and self worth is tied to whether or not, she’s ‘attached’ to a man.

Here are some classic pieces of advice I got from my well meaning family and friends..

– “The only deal breaker you should have is religion. If you find a man who is a Christian like you, don’t look for excuses. Everything else will work itself out. ”

– “There’s no career or achievement that is as important as getting married.”

– “See, I’m in my 50s and still having problems with my own husband. Men are the crosses we have been created to bear. Just choose the one that likes you and manage him.”

– “Do everything you can not to make men angry. If you anger men, they will not want to marry you”.

– “We know you’re doing well at work. You don’t have to show it too much. Men don’t like to feel like you’re too successful”.

– “Any man that approaches you now, don’t turn him down. Agree first, then bring his name so we can pray. Whatever problems arise, it can be fixed”.

Then the shaming…

– “Can’t you see your little cousin, don’t you want to be like her? ”

– You’re making your mother miserable. Make her happy.”

– “How old do you want to get before having children? OK. Just get pregnant. Whoever the father is, we will manage him like that”.

.. and many more hit tracks from that album.

I listened to everyone and everything and smiled till my cheeks ached. I also had a rather swell time and made myself an absolute spectacle in my well rehearsed ‘slayage’.

Will I take the advice?
Absolutely not!

8 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm…. It was 30 years my father passed last year. I had to compulsorily attend the prayers as he was a Moslem till he passed and many of my siblings from my dad still are. Hence the prayers. I was going to disappear immediately after the prayers until my dad’s first child (who’s a grandma now) shouted my Moslem name and then called an uncle as well and the ‘talk’ began. The most hurtful one for me was how my mum kept nodding in agreement to all they were saying like ‘e bami so fun ooo’… I managed fake smiles and kept saying ‘ e se adupe ma/sir’ but I was livid on the inside. I wasn’t working at the time, but they couldn’t be bothered about that. Sha marry!!

    I have a beautiful walk with the Lord and He has given me an unusual peace about marriage which I have at different times discussed with my mum but it looks like they fell on deaf ears. I looooove my mum no doubt. But when she starts this marriage matter ba, I just want to disintegrate. When she asks after my close friends (who are ALL married), I’m afraid to say how many children they have each as the next thing will be ‘ah Oluwaseun oooo hmmmmmm….. I don’t go home as often as I should because of this matter and nothing more.

    So Fola toh precious, I totally understand you!

    N.B. You and your mum looked amazing!!😘😘

  • Oluremi

    Fhorlar toh porch, you see, generally people (men) believed females OAP has prides and not accessible buh dear prove them wrong and prove your simplicity, wishing you all da best DEAREST.

  • Anonymous

    Great resolve, bowing to their pressure will push you to settle for less, letting destiny take it course will help you get the best….having a husband in not it, having a companion is what matters most, so pretty you just hang on until a companion comes around….meanwhile enjoy the precious singlehood God has you in now, before marriage comes with its plenty of responsibilities. Take care and continue to be good to yoursslf.

  • Tunde Omoniyi

    I’m glad you’re standing your ground. God will certainly arrive at his own time for his own purpose.

    You’re an Amazon.

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