That’s what I wanted to hear, but then, we always confuse “want” with “need”. That’s why people
seem to always tell us what we want to hear, and my dad isn’t just one of those people. To be honest,
sometimes it’s easier for the soul to deal with what it wants to hear, rather than deal with what it needs
to hear. My soul could have done better with what it wanted to hear.
When you’re thirty, and you get a call from your father, and after saying hello very briefly, he tells
you: “you know I married your mother at the age of twenty-seven…” there’s a brief pause, more
than brief – the pause is pregnant with confusion – and that confusion gives birth to silence. Short of
understanding the appropriate response to that, I just foolishly replied, “oh, congratulations, dad”. Now
let me tell you something – my relationship with my dad used to be very sweet, but since all my other
brothers settled down with their various partners, our relationship has been a little strained, so, I’m sure
he wasn’t expecting any sort of chummy conversation – and besides, I was in the middle of a terrible
fight with a female friend, in fact, I was just about to get into my car to run as far away as possible from
my apartment that night to clear my head, and yeah, to avoid any physical altercation – you know,
women are mean these days, since it’s uncustomary, ungentlemanly, and even illegal to raise your lay
your hands on a woman, I figured sitting at home would just be as good as committing suicide – ‘cause,
trust me, my female friend is just a curvy version of Tony Montana (with boobs), when she’s mad. I
didn’t want to wait at home and get f**ked up by a very angry female friend. Now, you’re wondering
what I did – damn, I (allegedly) broke the effing cardinal, yet unwritten rule of “friendship according to
ladies” – and that rule is simple, “for as long as we’re friends, please don’t try to have sex with my girl
friends”. You see the problem and why I’ve got to run – I didn’t want my neighbors watching a 2012
parody of Scarface – now, Daddy is cramping my style, slowing my run.
I didn’t want to be rude to my own father, so, when he didn’t respond to my congrats, I said “hello, I
think the network is bad…I can barely hear you”, but hey, I think he knows that line, so he just replied,
calmly, “son, what I’m saying to you is the earlier you find a woman and settle down, the more time
you’ve have to raise your kids before you’re too old and too senile to string two words together”
Wow. Papa Gangster. Now, I know where I got my wits from.
He knows I dread the subject of marriage, settling down, and relationships. But he just hasn’t been able
to figure out why, and neither have I. So, he laid it on me with the only emotional appeal I’d understand
– the fear of losing the ability to write. I wanted to hear him say, “Son, how much real estate (or even
petrol) would you like me to leave you in my will” – but heck, I guess I needed to hear what he just told
me. Despite the irony of the whole scenario – me, running away from my own apartment because my
female friend was mad at me, and my dad, several miles away, telling me I was getting old, and had
better got married.
“Dad, let me call you back please – the network is just too terrible here”. End call.
Now I’m wondering. Damn. I thought only female children were subjected to such pressures to get
hitched. So, now, where the hell do I start from – out of a modest number of the “female friends” I have
– I’m struggling to zero in on one with what I “need” – trust me, when looking for a date, it’s easier to go
with what you want – video vixen-like beauty, with a booty that make Nicki Minaj look like a teenage
boy – but then, when you get the kind of call I got – you begin to look beyond the tits and the hips, and
oftentimes, those figures are just too damn distracting to let you look out for anything else you “need”
inspecting. And even if you’re lucky enough to see beyond the glittering physical attributes, how sure
are you that what you’re seeing isn’t what the person-of-interest “wants” you to see – this paranoia is
eating deep into the bone marrows of men and women who are ripe for marriage – it’s like mind cancer,
of which I suspect I’m a level 4 patient, just waiting for the doctors to pull the plug off my life support.
Sometimes, I rationalize that the fear of marriage is the beginning of wisdom. And I tell myself that it’s
perfectly alright to avoid commitment – that way you minimize the risk of getting screwed. Crap!
And if you subscribe to the above-mentioned excuses (like me), my friend, it simply means you’re
either too paranoid and faint-hearted, too caught-up in a romantic fantasy novel, too obsessed with the
impossible standards and definition of beauty and sexuality as imposed on the Regular Joe/Jane by MTV,
and television in general, or you’re just not ready to stop being a kidult. (Like me, again).
By James Amuta