Illusions of a Bachelor: Men!
By Aaron Aroriza, Uganda:
Women, it would seem, look for more than devotion; look for more than love. They seek, in the men they love, a strength that need not be always moral; a strength that need not be always honest.
Quite often you will see a good woman in love with what society has come to term as a bad boy. And just as often, you will see a number of good men unable to impress anyone of the female species. Perhaps it's on this premise, among other things, that men have over the years asked themselves – in taverns, locker rooms, urinals, strip clubs, brothels, church aisles and battle front lines – the question: What do women want?
That question will keep men busy for eternity. And I don't like eternal business. So I will leave this at that and instead tell you about my recent little rendezvous with Helga.
Helga has been hovering between girlhood and womanhood for as long as I can remember: sometimes almost decidedly landing on the womanhood side but most times steadily having her eyes on the girlhood turf. When I met her with a little angel, I thought the father had finally helped her completely cross over to woman hood. Solomon: she said, “His name is Solomon” and before I could conclude she was saying it with a little sweet shyness, she wryly winked at me with infuriating boldness.
I asked her to tell me more about Solomon. Helga's face beamed with a smile that gradually faded into a wistful gaze in space. Then, as if she had finally found the word in that space, she slowly turned her gaze at me and in a rather dramatic tone, said, “Men!”. The expression on my face must have been a questioning one; one that showed interest in knowing more. “He is a typical man. He doesn't help with the baby. He never cooks. He sits comfortably in the couch, feet on table, arms on bare chest watching T.V while I wash the dishes alone. And he never wants to lay the bed. He is just a lazy man who has no regard for how his woman feels.”
“But you look good,” I said: With all the suffering you've narrated, one would imagine you would be looking like you lived in hell. I thought. “Does he take care of your beauty needs?” As if I had asked the most stupid question, “Dah, I'm his woman. He has to ensure I keep looking good.”
Then she let it known to me that her dear Solomon single handedly pays their rent, pays the electricity bill, buys the gas she uses to cook-when she once in a while cooks, pays for the water she washes the dishes with-if she washes the dishes, buys all the food she cooks, prays to God before he eats it and thanks Helga after eating. What Helga seems not to want to note is that Solomon doesn't make that money fall on his laps while he watches T.V and she doesn't thank him every day for putting a roof over their heads like he thanks her after every meal. I also asked about the baby she carried nine months without Solomon's help. Turns out Solomon actually helped in the baby making chore. He shifted up and down, sweated and perspired while she lay on her back in pleasure savoring the moment and occasionally letting out a little groan. And during the subsequent nine months-nay for her it was eight months; first born babies have a way of crashing the party quite early-Solomon had to take walks with her and get her whatever tribe of food 'Helga's' baby demanded.
But he still doesn't deserve to take a little comfortable rest and watch T.V while the hard working Helga who has ensured their survival washes the dishes. He's now labeled a ne'er do well, a complete indolent, a good for nothing man who just wakes up in the morning and without laying the bed, goes to work only to come back in the evening to slouch in couch and take his cold Heineken beer as he watches super sport channel while he plans on what to tell the landlord: Men!