A few weeks ago after a hard day’s job, I got caught up in Lagos traffic and just as the traffic eased-off and I released my car brake in order to move,to my surprise the car began to jerk and gradually came to a halt. I watched as everyone else progressed while I was at a standstill. I sat in the car for a few minutes wondering the next step to take. It was 8p.m on a Wednesday night, there was no telling that the Kia service centre would have closed for business for the day. In the midst of my thoughts, I realised that I was soon to receive the outburst of Lagosians who had been enraged by the traffic, so the wise thing to do was give to an indication that there was a problem with my car.
As is customary, I turned on my hazard lights and got out of the car, opened the bonnet and looked into the engine in search of what was wrong. Unfortunately, I saw nothing strange. Perhaps, it was so because I hardly knew a thing about cars. For me, driving a brand new car was living the life! I never bothered with the daily top-up of engine oils or water. In my opinion, that was the burden of the driver of a fairly-used car. I would normally wake up every morning, get dressed and hit the road. It was my firm belief that as long as I was faithful with my quarterly car service I had nothing to worry about.
In my pandemonium, I looked up but there was no superman to rescue me so it occurred to me that the next best thing to do was call for help. So I reached for my Blackberry and as I scrolled through my address book, I came across the number of a friend that lived very close to the point I had found myself stranded. I called him and yippee, I was in luck! He was home. Being a reliable gentleman, he answered my call for help. I no time, he got my car back on the road and I continued home.
When I got home, I heaved a sigh of relief. It was good to be home. All I wanted was a quick dinner, a hot bath and some beauty sleep. I got into my bedroom, switched on the bulb and it failed to come on. Subconsciously, I switched it off and on again and it still didn’t come on. It was then that I realized that the bulb was burnt. I headed for the kitchen to light a candle and as I got into the kitchen before I switched on the bulb, I felt something smooth and swift run over my leg. I hastened and switched on the bulb, thank heavens, it wasn’t burnt; I saw a rat starring right into my eyes. How many troubles could a single lady handle in one night, I thought? I was in no mood to chase a rat let alone attempting to kill one. I had my mind set so I lit a candle, went back to my bedroom, took off my work clothes and slipped into something more comfortable. Thereafter, I went across the street, bought a new bulb and replaced the one in my bedroom. After changing the bulb, I decided to do a quick check on my pink halter neck dress which I was to wear to a Gala Nite at the weekend, and behold it had a golden-brown patch right in the middle. I had no clue where had the stain had come from? I had to get it to the drycleaners fast. It was a pink ball and since I wasn’t a fan of pink, I didn’t have any alternative so I had to get that dress dry cleaned before the event. It was Wednesday night; my itinerary for the next day was tight how then would I get my dress dry-cleaned before Friday evening, I thought to myself?
In the midst of it all, I was famished and I had to make a snappy dinner. I got a clean pot and I placed the pot on my gas cooker, struck a match to light the fire and alas! I was out of cooking gas. Could it get worse than that in one night?
Instantly, I had a quick recap in my head; first, it was my car, secondly; I had to change a bulb, then; I would have had to chase and kill a rat but for my decision to co-habit with one. Next, I saw a stain on my dress. And to crown it all, I tried to cook against all odds only to discover I had run-out of cooking gas. How I hated this life, having to remember and do all these myself and not having any help or shoulders to cry on. At that point I was very tired, more tired than hungry. I could have gone to bed without food, but my stomach rumbled badly so I decided to settle for cereal as my dinner.
As I had my lean dinner in misery, I wondered how the Beijing Conference or the agitation for ‘Women Liberation’ came about. So much for ‘what a man can do a woman can do better’; so much for women being great at multi-tasking; so much for not needing men. It was all a bit too much for me to handle. That night I had relied on a man to get my car back on the road. If there was one around, he certainly would have sorted-out the bulb and dealt with the rat. I came to the conclusion that despite how much we try to deny it, every woman needs a man. “It truly is a man’s world”.
I had always been very excited about living single. I bragged to my friends about how I enjoyed absolute serenity and had discovered myself even more after I took the bold step of paying for my own apartment. I guess that night was just a reminder that there are always two sides to the coin. Or like artiste Desree put it, "Life indeed can be fun if you really want it to…sometimes living out your dreams ain’t as easy as it seems”.