Let’s say you are having dinner with your closest, wife or girlfriend, or whatever. Date night.
You don’t want to be those Kenyan men who are called unromantic because they took their women to a loud bar that has a man with headphones dangling from one ear, going around with a plate of samosas and another selling trousers, shoes, swords, nail cutters, hats, jackets, and a tennis racket that also kills flying insects.
You pick a good restaurant, somewhere with low lighting, a thick carpet and eccentric paintings on the wall. You call them up and say, “can I get a romantic table, something in a corner, and if there is a window and a view even better.”
They say, “Sorry sir, but all the window tables are taken, but we have something else that isn't too bad.” You say, “who am I speaking to?” He says Naftali.
You tell him, “Naftali, this is a very important evening. I want to make it right, are you sure you can’t get me a good table? You will be doing me a massive favour, my brother. One man to another.” He says, he will see what he can do.
You even wear the one and only blazer you own after having a haircut and shaving your stubble; and applying a manly shaving balm.
You are going all out. You get there and when you pull her chair she says, “my, what’s going on today, what have you done?”
Yeah, because a black African man can’t be romantic, he must have done something. You ignore her because the devil shall not win tonight.
You pour her wine and you are being charming, and attentive, and cracking all your best jokes, and rubbing her hand or kissing it or saying things about her eyes and about her earrings, and how her eyes collect all the light in the room.
She’s eating it up, albeit sceptically at the beginning. You let her speak because she likes to speak, and you listen with rapt attention to the stories she has told you 20 times before.
Then the food comes and she says, “its delicious”, as she cuts into something expensive. Up to this point everything is going according to book until she looks up and says, “by the way, whatever happened to Jennifer?” [Jennifer was some girl she thought you liked but you didn’t].
You swallow your food and say nonchalantly that you don’t know how Jennifer is, haven’t heard from her in months.
Then to herd the conversation to a topic that won’t give you ulcers, you say, “oh, how do you like your steak?”
She says, “I love it,” then adds, “so you haven’t heard from her? Are you not curious to know how she’s doing?” You say almost indignantly that you are not curious one bit.
You disown her. You don’t care if she started a cult. Or she got married. Or she has the cure for cancer.
“Hmm,” She says. “Do you sometimes wonder how she’s doing?” You look up; with that look of, “woman, what is it?! You want to talk about another woman right now? Over this candle light?” Instead you say, “I don’t actually.
Can we just enjoy this moment?” She says, “Oh, I was just asking, why are you so defensive?” You say you are not defensive.
She says you are. “I know you when you are being defensive.” You ask her to stop this obsession with her [You can’t even dare call her name out] because every time her names surfaces there is always a fight.
She says she finds it strange that you haven’t been curious to know how she is doing. Strange here means she things you are lying.
And because you are not, you get annoyed. You get annoyed because you moved a small anthill to get this table tonight.
You even wore the only blazer you own, and all she wants to talk about are these things that don’t matter? Of course a fight ensues.
You two speak between your teeth over your glasses of wine. Eyes are rolled. Voices are hardened. There are long exaggerated sighs.
Napkins are slapped on the table. The bill is asked. “Shall we?” You say, ready to leave the damned restaurant, which has been a complete disaster.
Of course the evening is ruined. Why do women do that? Why do you pick the best time to have the worst conversation?
Why do you rain on our parade? Is it that sometimes women think, “my, this is just a wonderful time, let me make it even better- by ruining it!” Why can’t we all just get along?