Lessons from my Ex

Public service announcement: this note is to my ex from the day I started toasting ladies to when I got married. I hope this announcement clarifies any trouble that may arise. I am sure someone is already wondering why he is writing to his ex. What is even the plural for ex? Wo (look), I will not even bother so my readers do not start counting “exes” for me. I cannot write any report, I confessed all my sins already. Why do I believe someone wants to know the sins—ooin I will not tell you.
Growing up, my friends and I had our fair share of love. We never dated our sawawu (set) – I mean poor kids like us. We were always dating the rich girls or those with class. Not for their money, but because we set the bar higher. Our confidence was rooted in our mastery of English language, which came from rehearsals upon rehearsals and the peer review on how to approach a lady, not forgetting our okirika (second hand) shirts and trousers bathed in any low brand perfumes we could find. With very few restaurants around then, the pressure of ice cream, cake, pizza, shawarma was not there. May God bless the Aboki down the road, who is the pressure we had; and with only N400 (which was not small money in those days), a pack of suya large enough to do wedding ceremony is on the table. But to get that N400 and N150 to buy juice, you’d go through a lot but we will get it somehow even if it is to start saving or borrow. Good thing was that dates were pre-planned, so no surprise visits.
We loved our exes and they loved us too. We really wanted to spend our lives with them; but then something happened. We were not ready. Even when we thought we were ready; we were just not ready. So, our exes left one after the other. We blamed them for loving money and not our potentials. We yabbed them for being impatient. We labelled all girls saying all they know is money. One evening during our men’s forum we discussed how our exes left us for guys who were already made. Then, one of us broke into tears and said “but aren’t we also tired of our condition? Are these girls really guilty?” At that point, what was a general assembly of men activists fighting for the emancipation of men whose heart have been broken turned into an introspection. We pacified each other and went to bed on our mats in a crowded one room apartment with five boys between the ages of 25 to 32.
Who wants to build a house without first counting the cost? The holy book asks! The following morning, we started counting these costs. The costs were huge: from renting a house, getting a car, setting up (TV, sound system, sofas, beddings, kitchen utensils etc) to setting aside funds for wedding, feeding ourselves, our parents and in-laws, among many others—we knew we weren’t ready neither would any lady date us or accept our proposals, we didn’t even have money for the ring. Our realities set in and we refocused our energies, but we still could not come to terms with the fact that our exes were not patient. The truth is our exes triggered what today changed our thinking and narratives around how men should view responsibilities, dating, marriage, and financial resources or – better still – the role of money in a relationship.
Wish it a way all you like, “love is sweet but sweeter when money enter”. This is not to preach money or to ask for money at all cost, but it is the reality. No activity within the framework of saying “I do” does not require money. Let us start with your first attempt to express your feelings, if because of COVID-19 you are going to do this virtually, you can’t call the lady on Whatsapp call, you want to do a regular call out of either respect or show off. I am sure you would not want your call card to finish. Imagine she has said ‘yes’, and you started chatting and then you switch to Whatsapp calls, you sha will not run out of internet data, you go fall your hand. Or let’s say for six months we have been talking on the phone and doing video calls, it is now time to hang out in a public place to connect, my brother even if she has her own money to buy her drinks, won’t you have your own too? Are you seeing my sense, don’t even see it o jare. Me I have seen mine.
Thanks to the ex that lent me sense by leaving, because of her I now have sense. We all love money!



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