I failed. My born-again friend and my other born-again friend never got to the second date. The heavens failed us. Or saved them. We will never know.
In case you are joining us now from reading about birds in Rupi Mangat’s column (Hey Rupi, been a while!) and you are wondering what I’m on about, I’m afraid I can’t rehash the whole story because I already wrote about it a few weekends ago.
But because I’m nice, I will give you a little background. I had a teenage-hood friend. We met in the gym, were friends for a few years. He got married. We lost contact. Then divorced. We found contact but he had also found Jesus. He wanted to dip his toes into the marriage scene again so together I hooked him up on a date with a friend of a friend, which didn’t go too well. A second date was floated. This is the date that I now refer to that never happened.
Why didn’t it happen? Here is what happened. The man called the lady up and said, “Listen, maybe I didn’t make a great impression but I would like to have another crack at this and see if there is something we salvage.” The lady said what all ladies who are not quite keen like to say: “Sawa, we can talk next week, let’s see how the week looks like.” As if the following week might be so swamped as she gets in the middle of a breakthrough in finding the Ebola vaccine.
Anyway, she didn’t commit to that second date. She was beautifully aloof; replied to his chats after many hours and even when she did, she sounded like she was just coming out of anaesthesia. He’s been around this block. He knows how this cookie crumbles so he pulled the plug.
He reported back to base and told me Operation Naomi was a dud. “She sounded like she had better things to do, and I wasn’t one of them.” I didn’t offer him sympathy because we are men; we only offer you sympathy when you lose your mother or a close loved one. When you lose a woman, we refuse to acknowledge it, to give it life. He sounded stoic, as he should. He said, “Well, the search continues.” And I said, “Aluta continua.” And that was that.
I asked my friend for intel on her girlfriend. What did she really want? Why didn’t she feel my friend? I didn’t really care that much to be honest, but I needed closure on behalf of my friend. Plus, I’m a writer, I’m curious.
“The truth is, my pal said, she likes light guys.” I said, “Light? Jesus, like who, Otile Brown?” She said, light and cute. “Your friend wasn’t bad looking but he wasn’t light.” I was dumbfounded. OK, that’s the wrong dramatic word to use. I was gobsmacked. I said, “Oh wow, your friend is very deep. What else?” She said, “Stop raising your voice at me, Biko. I’m not the one who likes light guys.”
That broke my heart – that she wanted those cute boys who carry combs in their pocket. Who on earth marries such men? I always thought that those are men to date and to take to Blankets And Wine or to drag to house parties where you can show him off to your friends.
I thought that when women want to marry, they marry a man. A man who can carry shopping from the car. A man who wakes up when you hear a suspicious noise at night, not one who says, “Si you go check?” I thought when women were ready to marry, looks didn’t matter at all, that what they needed was a man who doesn’t look fragile with his sleepy eyes, a man who doesn’t post more pictures of himself on social media than you.
I didn’t know that skin colour was a thing for some girls, that you can actually be disqualified by the very concentration of your melanin. In fact, if there was a list of things that a woman would write you off on, skin complexion would never had featured on that list because in my head, women are very deep when it comes to relationships. They look beyond the physical. They look at your passion and ambition and your heart and values and who you are, not how light you are.
Why marry a man who can be described as “beautiful” or “gorgeous”? A man you will be asking; “Babe, have you seen the pedicure kit? No? But you are the one who used it last!” (Wait, is there a home pedicure kit?) But then I’m told there are women who will marry you for the kind of look they want their children to have. That they’d rather have cute children but a terrible marriage, than have normal looking children and a marriage that they enjoy.
Anyway, I wish her well. I hope she finds her light, cute man who is born again and who wants to settle down and have children. And why not? The Lord never forsakes His own.