Illusions of a Bachelor: The Power of a Woman

Illusions of a Bachelor: The Power of a Woman

By Aaron Aroriza:

I could have sworn I wasn’t going to buy anything that evening, I could have sworn I didn’t have enough money on me. Yet I ended up paying a lot of money for her shoes, money I could have earlier sworn I didn’t have in the first place. Whereas I had resisted my own urge to spend on myself, I had given in too easily to the persuasive power of this girl. And she hadn’t even tried hard. Or had she?

You see, this isn’t the first time I’ve fallen to a woman’s persuasive and negotiating genius. And neither am I the only man that has failed to comprehend the woman’s brain! First it was Adam; the serpent knew that if it managed to convince Eve, convincing Adam would be a piece of cake for the woman. And so it was, right from the beginning!

A few years ago a door-to-door sales man managed to sell to me a shaving machine when I didn’t have any beards. I was sure I wasn’t going to buy anything from this guy the moment he entered office. In fact my wallet was even empty, but when he walked out 30 minutes later, I was a proud owner of a shaving machine, shaving cream and indebted to a workmate. I just couldn’t comprehend what had happened to me in those 30 minutes, but I was determined to find out. So I ran to the nearest bookshop after work hoping to get a good book about sales men and their tricks. I perused through a few but couldn’t afford any. As I was about to get out, I saw a small book about negotiation on the discount shelf. If I couldn’t discover the power this salesman used to sell to me a product that I didn’t need and didn’t even have the money to pay for it, I at least was going to find out what I would do to ensure I got a better bargain the next time I ever made an impulse purchase. I bought the book, at what seemed a very good price. I was later to learn that I had fallen for another sales trick when I visited another branch of this same bookshop and found this same book on the regular shelves costing less! Maybe I hadn’t gotten a good price after all but at least I had gotten a good deal out of that book!

The book outlined some negotiating techniques. I took keen interest in the following techniques: Salami technique, Fait accompli, Standard Practice, Deadlines, Feinting, Apparent withdrawal, Good guy/bad guy, and Limited authority. I even started using them myself with a lot of success and hailed the book in awe. But there was something familiar about these Techniques. Of course there were – women, and that included my mother, my sisters, my friends, our house help, my illiterate grandma and her friends, my nieces, had always used these techniques with a lot of success. How had I been so blind all these years? How could i not have noticed way back in 1998 when i was in high school, that my sister used to get a lot more pocket money simply by just saying, ‘I’m a girl and girls have a lot of needs!’? And my dad, who wasn’t very easy on money, always gave her whatever amount she requested, nay, demanded while I settled for whatever amount he chose fit for me. Was she not using the technique of standard practice?!

Oh, and those teenage girls! When they don’t like a guy who is pursuing them, some will always claim ‘my mother warned me against those things’! hahaha…limited authority?

A friend of mine, while studying development economics at Makerere University, used the technique of Fait accompli quite often. She always reminds me of these lines in Mathew Arnold’s poem:
‘…she smiles and smiles, and will not sigh,
While we for hopeless passion die;
Yet she could love, those eyes declare,
Were but men nobler than they are.’

She would date married men, sleep with them without protection and then claim she was pregnant. The hapless men, in haste to solve the problem would ask her how much it would
cost for an early abortion and she would gladly name her price. Her price was never low and she made quite a good business out of this negotiating technique. Is it not amusing how
men always want to throw money at every problem? Is it not a weakness that women have exploited to the full? Men always use money to get women. Women on the other hand have
learnt to use men to get money!

But I could not believe the salami technique when I read about it…jeez! I had already fallen victim to it. My girlfriend had always wanted to move in with me but I kept giving excuses. Then one day she came with her toothbrush since she was going to spend the night. When I came back from work the following day, my house was clean, my clothes washed and properly pressed. She had already left but now I had two toothbrushes on my toothbrush holder and knickers in my bathroom. Well, not to worry, she would take them the next time she came. But she never took them and I noticed my closet was slowly but surely getting filled with clothes that were neither mine nor of any male species! Then she bought a gas cooker and cooking utensils and started cooking for me, my washroom started smelling very fresh and whenever she wasn’t around I missed her terribly. By the time I noticed that three quarters of the house hold property that was in my one-roomed apartment belonged to her, it was too late and she had already found her way into my stomach, my heart and my apartment! One piece of salami at a time until the whole Salami was gone or in my case until the whole salami found its way into my house!!

Yet this was nothing compared to the power of a woman that was played on my university friend. Though he is Christian, we used to call him Haji because he had so many girlfriends.
One of his girlfriends, even when she was aware of his manners, loved him so much and wanted to get married to him as soon as they completed their final year of study. Haji could never have imagined losing his ‘freedom’ that fast but he did lose his freedom under very powerful persuasion and negotiation tactics! The girl told him she would be going abroad after her final year. She told him they had to have as much fun as they could before she left since she would not be coming back (DEADLINE technique?). Haji’s idea of fun apparently involved no protection. The girl got pregnant (FAIT ACCOMPLI).She told him she wouldn’t be leaving the country after all. Haji proposed abortion but the girl told him she had already told her parents and that would now not be an option (FAIT ACCOMPLI again). Haji wasn’t yielding, so the girl wrote a suicide note and made sure he saw it. Was she FEINTING or was she serious? He rushed to her rescue and begged her not to do it. She then suggested they fly out of the country to avoid her parents’ wrath and shame. She would be going to some aunt of hers in the United States.

All haji had to do was help her process a passport (i thought she already had one since she had already been planning to go abroad!), visa, clear her transport fares and he would never see her again. She told him how she loved him but had to leave him (APPARENT WITHDRAWAL?). Haji couldn’t raise the money and he was even beginning to see the light. He was beginning to feel bad that this girl was about to sacrifice her life for him and he decided to man-up and take on his responsibilities. Haji was brought down to his knees with an engagement ring in his hands. The instinctive persuasion and negotiation powers of a woman had brought the mighty Haji to his Knees!!

This girl used four of the negotiation techniques I was reading in this book and yet for the entire 2 plus decades I had lived I hadn’t ever used any. I was then, just reading, getting this knowledge from a book and getting very amazed that these tactics indeed worked. Women have them in-built, the rest of us just have to patiently and painfully learn about them. The dumbest and most illiterate woman would still use these tactics any day and beat even the smartest intellectual. (I almost saw that happen to our own great intellectual at Makerere University). If these powers are harnessed and systemized, women could indeed rule the world not so long from now. Aren’t we complaining already?

‘My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become a Pope. Instead I became a painter and became Picasso.’ Pablo Picasso. Was he not inspired by a woman’s well crafted words? Didn’t Picasso’s mother auto-suggest to his mind (persuade) that he would be the best in whatever he chose to do? Can we deny the potency of a woman’s words if said at the right time? After I had updated my facebook status sometime back, Cynthia Ayeza wrote something that reminded me about my intentions to write something and share it through the reader’s cafe. I gave a lack of inspiration, time and self belief as an excuse for not having written anything yet, to which she said, ‘….if Nick believes you can, so do I…:)’ and within a few minutes, the page that had been blank for a whole month came to life with ink! Told you….the power of a woman!!? Hmmmn!

Founder and Editor in Chief of the Readers Cafe Africa

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