We watched as Toke struggled with telling us who Olumide was and my fears about him instantly skyrocketed. I hoped Toke wasn’t pregnant for some married man. The most intelligent ladies do the silliest things at times, when you least expect it.
“I met Olumide about a month ago. Very nice guy.” She took her phone from me and retrieved a picture from her memory card and showed him to us. The guy in the picture was on the chubby side, but chubby in a good looking Cedric the Entertainer kinda way. He was wearing a grey suit that looked good on him, and he seemed to carry himself well even in the picture. “This is a correct looking guy now”, Gloria said. “Exactly,” I joined in. “So why the hide and seek?” “You guys should wait and let me give you the background now, before I get to that point. At least you will be more lenient when crucifying me if you hear it all.” We nodded okay and she continued,
“I met him in company of another male friend, and I just enjoyed his wit and charm. He’s a lawyer, and he’s very intelligent. Very very. You know me, I’m a sucker for intelligent guys. And his imagination was just as active as mine. At some point, even my friend couldn’t keep up with us as we sparred with all sorts of puns. It was beautiful.”
I can imagine. Toke looked like she was having an orgasm just internally reliving the conversation. She always (I mean always) gauges a man by his ability to keep up with her, especially in conversation and talking in imagery. No attraction can happen if the guy cannot, and even if there was some initial attraction, if he cannot keep up, the attraction dies a natural death. She always said that if a guy cannot get jokes she cracks, he simply cannot get the rest of her. So I know the kind of heaven she must have been in when she met a guy who could keep up with her. It seemed he could do more than keep up with her. He challenged her. She rarely found such men.
She continued “we hooked up a couple of times, and he just has the most beautiful amazing mind ever. You will notice I’ve been happier and more motivated lately”. Very true, she’s had great energy level recently (as attested to by events of earlier in the day). I was beginning to get impatient because I knew she had not gotten to the gist of the matter. But I borrowed myself brain, make I no rush the girl. She was obviously having a hard time coming out straight with it, so I didn’t want to make it harder.
“He didn’t even need to formally ask me out. We just started dating, and I feel in my bones he is the one for me. I met his family and they are such wonderful people. He doesn’t make as much money as I do, but I don’t mind at all. He’s hardworking, makes his own money, and takes care of me in spite of not making up to me. Lord, I love him.” She held her head in both hands now.
Wow! The big love word. This was more serious than I thought. Toke was in love. For real. She was despairing seriously now, so I had to nudge her “All this sounds wonderful, but I’m sure
there’s something you haven’t told us”.
She raised her head and looked me squarely through eyes that were red from tears she was struggling to hold back “He’s 27.”
I nearly fell off my chair. The words “cradle snatching” jumped out of my mouth before I could catch myself. Gloria repeated, “27!” She was a clean eight years older than him.
“Yes he is, but he’s so mature. First, I met him through a friend who is older than me and they talked as colleagues and friends. I didn’t realize that men are not like us; they can relate with someone way their junior as friends on the same level. So I assumed he was at least my age on that first meeting. And it was so perfect with him I didn’t think to ask. It wasn’t until I had to get his driver’s license about two weeks into the relationship that I discovered. Then I confronted him with the fact, and he told me he didn’t have any issues with it, that he loves me and wants to make me his wife. He has never dated any woman younger than him, so he’s used to it already. And in all honesty, if you remove the age ish, he is all I want in a man.”
“Toke,” I said, shaking my head to emphasize my disagreement “he’s not even as old as Dayo, and if I recall, Dayo isn’t your immediate younger brother. There’s still Salewa between you guys. It just doesn’t seem right. Too many things can go wrong. How would you handle if Salewa or Dayo was rude to him? They are older you know? And then add another ten years to your ages, he’s 37 and still youthful and you are 45 and nearing menopause. A lot of times, these young guys will leave you at that time when you need them the most and go for a girl that is young enough to be your daughter (yes, a 45 year old can sha give birth to a 25 year old). What will you do then?”
Toke’s eyes blazed as she shouted at me “I know! Do you think I haven’t thought of all that? I wish I could just turn myself off and let him go. But it’s not that easy!”
I quickly hugged her “Sorry dear, I’m real sorry”.
Somehow I felt like life was playing a cruel tease game with us. It brought me a man who was my all I ever dreamt about but he turned out to be gay. It delivered Gloria to a man who turned her into his punching bag and cruelly killed their child. And now it had sucker punched Toke by delivering her the man of her dreams, with this big comma over him. I’m beginning to wonder if everyone always has to make some sort of compromise to get married, because it seems that is going to be the case here. Really, I want your thoughts on this in today’s comments. Is it absolutely necessary?
Back to Toke’s issue. She was near tears now. “I tell myself I should be proud of my man, and he’s been asking to meet my friends for like two weeks now, but I’ve given one excuse or the other. He’s too sharp not to see my excuses for what they really are, but I guess he is humoring me. But I really don’t know how long his patience will last. I want to be proud of my man in every way, but I cannot truly tell myself that even I am not struggling with this right now. My fear is that I’ll do something because of these struggles that will sabotage the relationship, and then I’ll then say it’s because of the age difference that it crashed when in reality, it’s my actions that caused the crash.”
My impulse is to tell Toke to end it and count it as a loss, but knowing how choosy she is, and how long it has taken her to find this, and then the fact that the guy is seriously considering marrying her, I really do not know what to say.
I looked at her and said “Toke, this is what we will do…”