If you are single, and have breezed through your 30s to comfortably settle at the ‘big four-Os,’ you must be familiar with rebukes tantamount to wrist slaps for ‘opting’ to take the celibate route.
You’ve oft been subjected to snide remarks from elderly relatives who compare you to the married daughter of so-and-so, and moan that had you not been ‘so choosy’ in your 20s, the age when your girlfriends were snapped up in droves; perhaps round about now you’d be happily enjoying wedded bliss with a brood of pimply teens in tow.
If there’s one thing rolling into the 40s teaches you, it is not to sweat out the small stuff. Life has begun or in the words of Victor Hugo, you’ve entered “the old age of youth.”
People have had varied tales of how they met their Mr Right, and how they knew in their heart of hearts that he was the one, so sometimes you find yourself sitting really still and trying to second guess what your heart is saying and if you really feel that this guy may be the one, but instead you keep on pulling out the joker card. Sigh.
You recall your 20s with a peculiar fondness, and all the singles meetings you faithfully attended in Nairobi; always armed with hope, sharp ears, a thick King James bible and luminescent yellow highlighter pen. When it was preached that kingdom service was the master key to walking down the aisle; though you already served in a couple of ministries, you added more for good measure, so that this time, God wouldn’t pass you by. Of course you immediately blotted out any time-wasting evening outings, sijui coffee dates and what nots, and replaced all that time with church activities. So it was prayer meeting on Monday evenings, visitation ministry on Tuesday, choir practice on Wednesday, cleaning group on Thursday and Fridays on your agenda were kesha nights. Naturally, your weekends were spent milling around church for services, hospital visitations and handing out witnessing tracts.
Within no time, some lanky dude noticed you, and you noticed him noticing you, but thought he had no sense of fashion and he kinda walked funny. You immediately deemed him incompatible based on that, plus you checked your heart of hearts, which throbbed weakly meaning he wasn’t the one. So you spent a good amount of time avoiding the poor fellow being the good christian sister that you were, so as ‘not to hurt his feelings.’
Then someone suggested you should read up more, that simple minds would only net other simpletons, whose mouths were full of shallow discussions; so you went on a shopping spree and bagged a haul of second-hand novels from the street vendors. You also got yourself a thesaurus, so that if you met someone who would engage your brain muscle, you would throw in some complex words and have him think you likewise had the perfect combo of cute, candescent and clever.
A fellow christian suggested that you stop wearing blingy rings because a ring symbolized some sort of commitment, and if not in this world, perhaps in the unseen world, some foul incubus spirit with red horns and hoofed feet had claimed you, while you were ignorantly being dandy here on earth. This malevolent spirit was scaring off Mr Right. So you hastily flung the rings away like they were on fire, and kept your fingers free.
Still..the years rolled on without Mr Right in sight, and you had done everything you knew to do and because you were constantly being harangued by your folks to settle down, despite you wondering aloud whether you should marry the air because no one was on bent knees asking for your hand; you shook off every reminder of your spinsterhood and the ever deafening tick of your biological clock by applying for further studies out of the country.
Escaping abroad was liberating for a while but it quickly dawned on you that “wherever you go, there you are...” Of course pangs of loneliness set in, and you craved companionship, more so in Europe where there were very low fences or none at all, but people bolted their doors shut and there was no casually knocking the neighbours door for an idle chat, a slice of cake or a pinch of salt, without appointments.
Then a girlfriend flaunted the idea to you, of seeking Mr Right through cyberspace.
Duh! How did I not think of it before? You smacked your head in disbelief.
So you cleaned up real good, took shots in your favourite outfits, in bright lights and at angles that “accentuated your best features.’
You paid to be a gold member of an interracial dating website, so that you could feel free to wink, send kisses, write messages and flirt to your heart’s content, without the constant interruption of a reminder to upgrade.
The swiping right and left, gazing dreamily at tanned chiseled blonds with hypnotizing granite eyes, was really happening, and how surreal it would be if you marched down the aisle with one of these guys who seemed to be breathed alive right out of a romance novel.
You begun to chat with one and everything seemed to fall in line. He fit the qualities you were looking for in Mr Right; he had the height, the looks, was well traveled and career-wise; was the head of a financial consultancy, with oodles of spare change to share.
He seemed sweet and spoke kindly, until he broke down what he was really looking for in a mate.
You see online dating is pretty much like a two-way interview process. While you’re asking questions and nodding in approval, having your heart of hearts thump in unison, as you imagine sharing a home with this beautiful creature, the guy is asking his own set of questions which will be entirely different from yours.
He asks whether you’ve ever heard of BDSM, role playing. This powerful C.E.O quickly confesses to you that there’s a huge part of his psyche that craves a spanking. He needs to feel enslaved, needs to be ordered around like a servant. He needs you to tie him up in chains, yell your lungs hoarse at him and punish him for ‘wrongdoings.’ He blurts out that he is completely frenzied by the thought of a dark chocolate dominatrix garbed in a leather corset and fish-net stockings, with knee-high black stilettos, a weave flowing down her shoulders and a pouting mouth painted with wine red lipstick shouting out commands and flicking a whip to smack him into submission.
He sends you links to images because up until now, you’ve never heard of sadomasochism. You recoil in shock at the cruelty your eyeballs are subjected to. You ain’t freaky like that.
The next guy you chat with is elderly; a silver fox. His receding hairline is interrupted by shocks of stubby white hair, you note that he has a passing resemblance to Albert Einstein yet your heart’s desire was for a fox with the sleek looks of Amitabh Bachchan. He’s divorced and still works at his engineering business because ‘If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.’
You want to give him a chance, as he makes you deliriously happy by his corny jokes and compliments, and you feel the chemistry. Could he be the one? Age is nothing but a number, you repeatedly mutter to your mind like it’s the new mantra.
You have to wonder about the stigma attached to girls marrying guys old enough to be their uncles; what with folks back home unleashing names like fossil, ancestor, kandeshi, concubine, sugar baby and so forth; and frowning at cross-generational relationships which they assume is swayed by the fact that older guys tend to have thicker wallets.
You shrug and daydream about other stuff, remembering King David in his old age, of whom the Bible says, “they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.” So his servants brought a young virgin to cherish him and just keep him warm. Maybe all this dude requires is to be ‘kept warm.’ Maybe it’s do-able, though at the back of your mind you imagine introducing him to your brothers and being the butt of jokes at family functions for the rest of your life.
As your chat continues, you realize that this dude is no King David, he has a list of things that he’d love to be done to him; tea-bagging, being blown and a curious range of bedroom acrobatics. He could get hitched even tomorrow, but you have to sign a pre-nup. Ermmm….
There’s this other guy you begin to chat with, who anxiously comes to meet you. He slowly unravels himself as a certified psycho, and you think that some of the behaviour that you watch on Investigative Discovery: Stalked – someone is watching, is at your doorstep. He constantly calls and chats on endlessly which takes a good chunk of your time. He as well seems not to have the ability to keep his hands to himself when you are together. He gropes you like you are a ripe mango he would like to swallow whole. He is needy and pledges his undying love every five minutes making your skin crawl in discomfort. He morphs into this little boy when talking about his exes, and how much they hurt him. He expects you to constantly offer therapy sessions and pat his ego like you are some kind of shrink. You’ve had it and feel suffocated, so you break it off. Then it turns really ugly, the phone calls at any hour of day or night are amplified, he parks his car outside your apartment with it’s lights on and waits like a predator getting ready to pounce, you get harassing emails. You decide to ignore him and he eventually stops his nonsense and vanishes from your life.
Then the Kenyan facebook buddy who constantly messages you with pitches about ‘setting up businesses together’, you will be in charge of the funding, he in charge of negotiation..and if possible, ‘our relationship’ can evolve into something more than just business. When he lets you know he’s 28, you clearly tell him your age, hoping he will be back off. He doesn’t budge an inch and calmly communicates back that, “Age is nothing but a number.”
He relishes in the fact that you are permitting him airtime, and he uses that to his advantage. You get turned off by listening to his grown ass self constantly bitch about his bills and expectations for you to shoulder his rent, his feeding, the clothes on his back and most of all to keep his lights on. After all, wewe ni dame wa majuu..
Obviously, you are unwilling and unable to slide into the role of couger. Bye boy!
There are those well meaning European bachelors who have felines as their housemates, and are so ready to settle down with a human, but looking at them you have the gut feeling that they’d be better off in the friend-zone than any other zone, you foresee heartbreak and are about done with waking up at 4 am to stare in the darkness and think angry thoughts about past relationships that went awry, so you are content with the platonic relationship, but they are anxious to clamber out of the friend box as they are ‘looking for something deeper.’
It’s quite tiring not to mention time-consuming wading through the very murky waters of online dating, trying to feel for your Prince Charming among all the myriads of frogs therein, so you deactivate your accounts and hand everything over to your Creator.
You swipe right…to serving Him with all your heart because you love Him and He is worthy of your praise and adoration.
You swipe right..to advancing His Kingdom because you would love to see your relatives and friends come to the knowledge of His saving grace.
You swipe right to..walking upright before Him because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
You swipe right..to being a kind person, to accepting you are already whole and need not to be completed by another.
You swipe right to being content in every situation, whether or not Mr Right comes to be by your side.
You swipe right ..to helping the needy and less fortunate in society.
You swipe right…to travel because your head is in the clouds, your heart on your sleeves, your feet are on ‘ready-steady-go’ mode and you just want to take territories in your heart and experience all that the world has to offer.