• The Beyoncé’s: Proper, prim, sexy, dedicated to the weave life, nails on deck, foundation looking on ‘fleek’ all day; while somehow managing to sustain a thriving career.
• The cross between Chimamanda Adichie & Erykah Badu: Natural hair, hippie jewelry, twist out, braid out, ready with a feminist comment for every Bella-Naija article, smart as hell, opinionated about everything, bushy eye-browed & gorgeous in an eccentric way
• And then there’s me. If Chimamanda & Beyoncé had a lovechild, it would be me. Ex-natural (now texlaxed, but hiding under excessively long Peruvians), excessively primped & plucked, composed, well mannered & book smart.
Beyond my education, achievements & accolades, I am in Love with Love & I am one who takes pride in her appearance. A day in these Victoria Island streets is enough to teach you that in fact, PACKAGING IS EVERYTHING. Or nearly everything, at least. Forget what you think you know. Nigerians are very visual creatures, who are seldom interested in the content, if the container is not attractive.
When you see a beautiful woman, what do you see? A perfect woman in her little bubble of perfection. Who doesn’t fart or burp or more importantly, poop.
Somehow, I learned & somehow convinced myself that in the dating game, perfection is the easiest market to sell. The less close to human and the closer you are to ‘superhuman’, the more attractive you are. Unattainable is the new sexy. Alas! Being ‘basic’ is now a crime.
Somehow, I taught myself to live my life, without a single hair, sitting through grueling waxing appointments, screaming at the sight of a single hair or pimple on my face and Worst of all, training my body to believe that it is only socially acceptable to men that women pee. Or better yet, that women bend over a toilet seat and perfumed stars trickle out. I already had the specially orchestrated plan for separate bathrooms, in the event that I do get married or have a live in lover.
I had paid visits to guys/flames in the past and God forbid!!! i poop in their toilet, lest I shatter the illusion that I am a perfect human being. And indeed my ministry was moving, until that fateful July evening. That was the day I met Uzo.
The night I met Uzo, the world stopped. And then started again.
Thick, statuesque, complete with the composure of ten kings combined & then there was that dress. The Red One. That struggled to contain my curves. The one I specially chose for those nights I was in the mood to cause a ruckus. The one that threw all eyes to entrance of Club 20/20, the moment I walked in, flustered from the humidity. Your girl was a vision to behold, if I do say so myself.
“I mean, come on. 5ft 11 of well articulated chocolate. What’s not to like? I do admit I like my men a little taller, but Uzo definitely more than made up for it.
One alcohol induced laugh after another, I got comfortable. By the end of the night, we had exchanged numbers and he promised to call.
I was not waiting by the phone or anything. I didn’t even think he was that cute. It was more of an ego thing; his phone call was supposed to be a form of validation. That I still had ‘it’. Maybe he thought I was too fat, I knew he would spot that extra 2kg. Or maybe it was that massive pimple that somehow showed up on my forehead, earlier that day.
One week and a million swear words later, he did call. And we finally went on our perfect date.
After a perfect first date, he became a semi-permanent fixture in my life. I somehow discharged all the side-niggas in my life for him (let me not lie, nearly all. After all it was only the first date).
Any sucker for well made Chinese in the house? Well, I am a sucker for Chinese food. As a used to be IJGB member (I just got back), I had in fact formerly existed in a jurisdiction of bomb ass Chinese food, made by actual Chinese people. LOL. A few years in Lagos had taught me to lower my expectations. And as I’m sure you know, good Chinese don’t come cheap.
By the time Uzo suggested going to a nice Chinese restaurant for our second date, although I was physically composed, I was doing mental backflips.
Time and tide rolled past. And soon enough, we were in the presence of a sumptuous selection of Chinese food, ordered by Uzo himself. I hadn’t actually eaten most of what he ordered before, but in order to not be a bad sport and betray all the ‘polish’ I was exuding, I did not complain.
Some of the food did taste good, while the rest tasted ‘interesting’, to put it politely. But I gobbled on enthusiastically. Gazing into his eyes, chasing it down with Chapman, spiked with some orishirishis (if you know what I mean)
Our meal somehow came to an end unexpectedly early, so we decided to go see a movie at Uzo’s, to kill time. (Get your minds out of the gutter children; we actually wanted to see a movie)
The drive to Uzo’s apartment was filled with loud chatter & the familiar banter of long-term friends. Even the traffic couldn’t deter us that night.
Soon we were at his apartment. Nothing too fancy. Clean. Very Artsy. An actual well stocked bookshelf. Flat screen & Play station (rolls eyes).
While he ran around to connect his laptop to the TV, that was when I first felt it. The uncomfortable, faint buzzing sound, emanating from my tummy. I found a way to convince myself that it was my food ‘digesting’.
And so I sat there, primped & poised to the nines.
20 minutes into the movie, he had somehow found his way from his side of the couch to mine. And we somehow, ended up in the cuddle position. That was when the second buzzing sound, came through.
Like wasn’t the food done digesting?
35 minutes into the movie and my tummy had gone from uncomfortable to painful. And just as he leaned in to give me, what should have been our official first kiss, it was like a tap opened and I sprinted for the loo.
Goodness God. That my friends, was the most embarrassing moment of my entire life. While I sat there, wishing the toilet would just open and swallow me, Uzo was at the other side of the door offering his assistance, in the event that I should need it. I was basically moaning like a wounded animal.
You would think God would have mercy on me and put an end to my misery, but there were in fact, three more trips to the toilet in his apartment.
And you would not believe it; he did not disappear into a puff of smoke or look at me ‘differently’. He spent the rest of the time I was at his apartment trying to make me comfortable, and even took a brief trip to the pharmacy to get me some drugs.
By the time he took me back to my house, I was a mess. Disheveled, No makeup (I had to take a shower, to attempt to wash away the stench of my disgrace), weave hung like a wet rag on my head, smudged eye liner, with a cloak of stark raving embarrassment to boot.
My plan was simple, go home and pretend he doesn’t exist. Much better than waiting for his call, that was definitely not going to ever come.
Right there in front of my house, as I leaned in to give him the most awkward goodnight hug ever, our first kiss happened. And yes, sparks flew. It was magic.
And oh; he did call. And he called again, and again, and again.
BUTTTT; we did have a good run. We didn’t get married or make beautiful Igbo babies together. It did end, eventually.
However, the moral lesson of the story is this, Perfection is a brand, it is a myth.
A standard unattainable by the same people marketing it.
Own your flaws,
Own your imperfections,
Own your humanity.
Its your superpower!