Conversations: A Single African Woman’s Clap-Back Guide

“If any boy/man walks up to you, tell him ‘Get thee behind me Satan” (My mother to me, when I was 13. Now she hounds me for a husband. I still love her though.) Get thee behind me? It’s not everyday I get to hear that I’m beautiful, even if it is a half-hearted and…

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“If any boy/man walks up to you, tell him ‘Get thee behind me Satan” (My mother to me, when I was 13. Now she hounds me for a husband. I still love her though.)

Get thee behind me? It’s not everyday I get to hear that I’m beautiful, even if it is a half-hearted and tongue-in-the-cheek compliment from someone who is just as naive as I am.

“If you don’t learn how to cook and clean now, your husband’s people will send you back after you get married. And it will be your own disgrace. Not mine”

But I can pay a cook or a cleaning lady.

“If any man starts telling you are beautiful, it is because he wants to sleep with you and ruin your life.”

What if it’s just an honest compliment? What are you afraid of? The fact that someone else told me when you wouldn’t?

“Don’t let it get into your head.”

Which of the “its”? That I’m beautiful? That I have a head that thinks? That I know who I am? That I’m proud of the woman I’m becoming?

“All my friend’s daughters married as virgins. Their husbands worship her (their mother)”

My purpose in life is not to make my mother proud. And the husbands, did they marry as virgins too? Who issues these virginity plaques?

“Time is not on your side”

Nah! I have nothing but time. You’re the one who is in a hurry for grandchildren. I still have a long way to go.

“A man is a woman’s crowning glory. If you have everything and you don’t have a husband, you’re incomplete.”

Women like Oprah? I am whole, on my own. Not an appendage to anyone.

“Don’t tell him you won’t cook. He won’t stay”

Bait and switch? But I hate cooking. Along with many other women duties.

“What do you mean you’re not sure you want children? Have you lost your mind?”

I’m not sure I have the “mother gene”. Besides, there are millions of children who have no home. I can adopt.

“The way to a man’s heart is his stomach. If you don’t take care of him, someone who knows his value will snatch him from you.”

Let them take him. I don’t want a man who lives by bread alone.

“Wait. What will you people be eating?”

Sometimes I buy soups from Ebe-Ano. Or I get take-out from the office cafeteria.

“So tell me, if you don’t cook, what will you be doing at home with your husband?”

We’ll have conversations about making the world a better place, and sustainable energy, and depression. We’ll argue about politics. And if Chance the Rapper is a gospel artiste or not. There are many other things we could be doing.

“You have no home training, how do you want to live in your husband’s house?”

Does my husband have any home training? Is he learning to live with his wife?

“You are not changing your last name? What has gotten into this child?”

How does keeping my name make me any less his wife? Why can’t he change his last name too?

“You are too opinionated. I don’t think any man will want to spend the rest of his life with you. A woman should be submissive.”

I think, therefore I am. (After all of these years you still don’t know I can’t be silenced.)

“This dress! What is your mission in this dress?”

Don’t tell me what to wear. Tell your sons and husbands not to stare.

“Don’t show your laps!”

Just go home and pray against strange women.

“A well brought-up woman does not live alone. She should stay with her parents or guardians till she is ready for marriage. Society frowns at it.”

Who is this society you speak of?

“Always better when he loves you more than you love him”

LOL! Yeah. And when he stops loving me?

“Are you being mean to men?”

Nah! I just want what I want. And I’m not very good at pretending.

“Don’t be too picky.”

I see why you ended up with your … uhm, never mind.

“A woman’s beauty fades quickly. Like a flower”

Ha! I don’t think so. I’ve been getting better with age.

“What exactly is wrong with him? You just don’t like him.”

He types like a three year-old, and he has a sense of entitlement. And I just don’t like him.

“Did you ever read the Urhobo folk tale about a girl named Oyeghe? She was so picky and ended up marrying a goblin.”

If I marry a goblin I’ll divorce him.

“The problem with you is you think too much. There is nothing to think about. Just let’s make this work”

Are you afraid that if I make a logical decision I won’t pick you?

“Anyone you see, just bring him home. Let us meet him.”

I am not anyone-ing my life.

“You’re looking at the body when you should be looking at the engine”

At least I’m looking at something. What did you look at in your time?

“You’re getting closer to thirty. Don’t become an old maid like Mrs. Lagbaja’s daughter”

Who made thirty the cut-off age for women?

“When I was your age, I already had you and your younger brother.”

When you were my age, you didn’t know about finding yourself, and purpose and all the things we care about now.

“You’re now a veteran single girl”

At least I’m good at something.

“So there is this vigil on Friday for the singles in church. We have to break every yoke that’s preventing our sisters of marriageable age from getting married”

I think our sisters just know what they want now.

“What of the other man they introduced you to after service last Sunday?”

We’re an obvious mismatch. I told him I was a Writer and he said “Wow! You do work with computer?”

Why did you say your last date went terribly wrong?

He said he doesn’t believe women should work.

I thought you met someone? Have you chased this one away too?

He went away by himself. Was I supposed to chase after him?

What is a girl like you looking for on Tinder?

Options. A larger dating pool.

Responses

  1. Buchi
    This is awesome. I like. A lot.
    “So tell me, if you don’t cook, what will you be doing at home with your husband?” – Sex. Having lots of it, waiting for the ordered food to arrive. Sha don’t give that answer to your mother.
  2. Tito
    “What of the other man they introduced you to after service last Sunday?”

    We’re an obvious mismatch. I told him I was a Writer and he said “Wow! You do work with computer?”
    Lool this! Nicee

  3. Miss N
    Hmmmmmmmm…… Preach it, let them know the conflicting message that has been passed on for years!!!!!! Nice Article plus hilarious
  4. Afrolady
    Dear writer, thank you! Who even shares these bull shit ideas? Don’t be choosy, etc. A woman actually told me the same thing at my younger sister’s wedding last year; “ah don’t be choosy o, I am not saying marry just anybody but don’t be choosy” I was eh hen, okay ma. If not because I didn’t want to embarrass my parents, I would have told her off in very colorful words. The other amusing one is “time is not on your side” e se o, a won time keeper. I don’t know where they are all rushing to, and on your behalf too.
    Long hiss.
  5. ME
    Hehehe…..she says : All my friends are now grandmothers’
    I say : they never told their daughters that If a man ‘smiles’ at her, she will get pregy. I’ve been accepting ‘smiles’ from men since u started ‘wanting’ grandchildren but nothing has happened yet, some I’m still ‘seeking’ d face of the Lord..Oh look!, that dude jst smiled at me, I’m sure U’ll be a grandma in 9months time!
    Loved this article, really funny.
  6. Blaqlotus
    Just seconds ago. A convo between myself and an aunt.
    Aunt: So are you dating anyone now?
    Me: No ma.
    Aunt: Why? And what are you doing about it?
    Me: I’m praying and fasting ma (Haven’t been doing either of the 2)
    Aunt: Did you attend the last holyghost service? You know what the bible said about multitude?

    And on and on it goes…
    It’s worse when your younger sister is married.

  7. mayriehanne
    Do the questions ever end? I can totally relate. Sometimes you wonder if it’s a crime to have older women in your life.

    Posted from TNC Mobile

  8. RACH
    Lol!! Totally love this! Tell them writer! (especially mothers and nosy relatives)
    “At ur age I already had you and your younger brother “.
    Me: you were bored then that’s why, as you can see, I am busy.
  9. Mercedes
    Followed my mum to see her pastor and the guy decides to focus on me instead of the woman who came to see him.
    “You’re not in a serious relationship?! At 28? Why?”
    “Because I just want to be single right now.”
    “What?! Don’t you know a woman is not beautiful until she is married?”
    Couldn’t really be bothered to carry on the conversation after that
  10. Ibiela
    Lmfao… you made my day Gbemi. I totally love this. It’s just that the people who ask me these questions don’t deserve any response at all.
    1. Abike
      Now my mum knows I can’t be bothered. Especially when she goes on about seeing her grandchildren soon.I just answer with but so and so have children already. They are as good as mine. Children is children! She will be like I want to see yours too. I just smile then she knows she ain’t getting any more info from me. Lately she stylish ask her sisters to talk to me that it seems I have sworned off getting married ever.lol
      Then they start with its good to have a career but it is also too to have children early so you can reap the fruits of your labour,am like Issok

      Posted from TNC Mobile

  11. tellanslem
    Like I was saying”
    Mother : The way to a man’s heart is his stomach. If you don’t take care of him, someone who knows his value will snatch him from you.”

    Daughter:Let them take him. I don’t want a man who lives by bread alone.

    Me: Who constructed the highway leading to the Stomach?

    My Mind: Is it every man that is worth snatching?

    My Spirit: Must A man be taken care of? What was his Nne’ doing since he had been 0-29 years? Was he playing koroso?

    My Body: Ermm, my mom stopped robbing me cream since I became wise” so I don’t get WISE’ and be spoilt.

    My Second mind: Write a clapback to Ero-Phillips

  12. Laddidi
    Love this!😂 .The one about changing last name,I don’t know why people do that.What if some historian wants to do some check on my lineage?
  13. Mee
    Story of my life. Turned 27 some weeks ago and the entire family looks at me like my eggs are 2 months from being rotten. Trying to hook me up with the entire world. I need space to breathe.
  14. Kay
    The problem with you is you think too much. There is nothing to think about. Just let’s make this work”

    Are you afraid that if I make a logical decision I won’t pick you?

    This is Epic!!!!

  15. Shy
    This is really hilarious. One told my sister recently that the both of us should start preping to get married that she wants to eat rice. She’s just fortunate that i wasnt there. People ehn.
  16. Nki
    Its amazing that I can relate to this article .. At least I’m not the only one

    My mum comes at me with things like “I dunno how your going to carry his behavior to your husbands house” or “better keep yourself for your future husband” is he keeping himself for me mbok???
    The one that really pissed me off was when I said I wanted to pierce a second ear hole and she told me “you can’t do that in my house when you get married if your husband allows you then you can do it” for my own ear again??? I’m already enslaved to someone I don’t even know yet.. I told her I dint want to get married again she said blood of Jesus

  17. Omo Onyeoma
    Don’t be choosy
    You will be stuck inside the home of a man who doesn’t get you staring at the wedding ring, wondering where you went wrong.

    It is not about those things though, it is about the Lord leading you to the right man…

    I am so going to slap him when I meet him, LOL!

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