creatively sharing inspired thought one word at a time
I love being a woman. Believe me, it’s not because I’m beautiful and can have my way around people, or that I am delicate and can cry and be heard, or because I can make up and look great and can strut my stuff and get noticed every and anywhere I go, and be wanted and sort after. These are much too vain for me and far too simple and matter of fact. For, I tell you, being a woman isn’t easy, you have to be the giver and nurturer and keeper and preserver and maintainer and manager and this and that and so many things balled up in one….simply put, you have to be a magician! And while you’re at it, you have to smile and make people feel good around you and take care of you and others around you, all at the same time! Short of that, you aint even started!
So, I love being a woman. I’m blessed with that deep inner thinking that lets me know when things are going right and when things are just so off, the kind that is nowadays so active when my man leaves me in the morning and gets extra attention or a kiss from another woman on his way home, well before he starts getting distracted. Yes, that kind that tugs at my insides when my child is far away from me and in danger, that makes me have those dreams that seem so real till I have to place a call to my loved ones at 2 in the morning to pray with them and ask them to be extra alert and avoid certain places and things. It’s that kind that pushes me down on my knees, eyes cast heavenwards and the deepest stirrings of my heart bared at the foot of the Throne calling fort manifestations of blessings like Yes and Amen. Yes, I’m blessed like that. Little wonder I love being a woman.
And by now you know I’m a mutli-tasker. So it’s easy for me to be a sister and mother and lover and friend and business partner and planner and manager and house keeper even a slave where that’s what applies….all to one and the same person, all at the same time. I’m crafted like that.
And yes, I know, I know I am the woman. And I know I hold the reins!
It’s a man’s world. So it has been said for eons and eons. Indeed, it is, only it is run by women…into the ground. Sadly. Because when he wakes up every morning and heads out to work his butts off, it’s because he wants to come home with note bills to sort things out and make me comfortable, happy, protected, proud, respecting him, wanting him, fighting for him; me, the wife, the daughter, the lover, the mistress, the concubine, his woman. Earned…or not.
So I let him stay there at the top of his world, a world I control. And when my head is calm, I hold all the reins and all the keys. Intact. But, that is when my head is calm. So you see, I love being a woman.
So let me tell you about the game of the wrap dress.
I was at work one afternoon in August wondering how I would get home that evening at the close of work for you see, I had no dime in my purse, having come out with the last of it to work earlier that morning. That was when my boss called me to his office for what turned out to be a game of the wrap dress.
Now let me put my boss in perspective for you. He’s the all-time male ego, fun loving, women taking, big show off, the ‘cant be shown to be wrong except it’s a two aside’ type of man, a he-male who for so long wondered the shade of my lingerie. And asked as much. You just met my boss. But don’t get too fast. I need my job. So I let him wonder, while I thread on eggshells.
So there I was, wondering how the heavens I was going to get home, and I get a buzz, “the boss calls.” And despite knowing there would be no tangible reason why I’m called, I walk up to his office, a knock and I enter. He walks to the door, shuts it and then comes round to the other side of his desk, the clients’ corner, and seats beside me.
I’m wearing this green flayed wrap dress, a shade between army and peacock green, all up to my knees and an inch or two beneath. He looks at me for a while and so I conclude it’s not official after all, this call. And then he says, “Chloe, let’s play a game. I peel back the top wrap of your dress to the left and I give you a hundred dollar bill. I peel back the under layer to the right, another hundred dollar bill. I part your legs, one more and I feel your pubic area just atop your panties, the fourth 100 dollar bill and then I’ll top it up with the 5th, the bonus bill. That’s 500 dollars for a simple game. You game?”
Now I need you to remember my purse and its empty state, I think about those, and about how I was going to get home from work and return two more days, before the weekend, about the fact that I couldn’t be saved by the atm machine, seeing as my account was on red alert, about how this game would fetch me free 500 dollars…. But, I also thought how this game will quickly lead to another until every colour of lingerie I owned could be recited by this man, and how this seemed like Lucifer himself was playing a game of cards with my dignity. And then I said to him in as calm a voice as I could work up, “my private parts are not worth 500 dollars”. But he was quick to reply, I’m not saying that’s what it’s worth, it’s just a game.” But hinging upon the last premise of a game of cards and my dignity, I told him I was not interested in his game and I’d like to head back to my cubicle if that was all he needed me for. And at that, I stood up and I left, purse empty and none the wiser on how I’d get home.
Everyday women get to play the game of the wrap dress; the tough choice between the freebies which solve your needs on the instant and your inner worth. And every choice you make has its consequences that linger. It’s either the easy way out with the many strings, or the tough way in with the uncertainties that wind up good eventually…or not.
It’s there, everywhere you look, that tough choice, where you have to seat on his laps in his office at school, while he works his hands up and down and around you…or have your butts seated tight in class, racking your brains as you go through his selective course, knowing that no matter how hard you studied, you’d end up with a pass or something worse, yet you study anyway. That choice between telling them you saw it happen and that young man there didn’t do anything wrong and loosing that promotion that would have come with his recommendation in two weeks…when you might have kept quiet and let the dude suffer the false accusations cos after all what’s your business anyway! And here, you only need to pay him a visit, it doesn’t have to be at this residence, just a visit. Or two, maybe three, and that’s all you need to clear your numerous trips and training plus the allowances and bonuses….or you could do without all these because even though you’re due to have them, there’s a bait you ain’t catching and he still holds the keys to the goodies house. Also all the way home when it’s either him, or her, the help who has been repeatedly molested and might suffer psychological damages with the physical accompaniments and the societal stigma while on the other side, the father of your children, born and not yet, guilty but banking on your loyalty….and the list continues, the tough choices women have to make on the daily. I’m sure you can think of yours.
And we make them everyday, with due calculation of the pro and cons, thinking often of the immediate gains and the needs solved and sometimes, a few times really, of the long term stringy consequences that are hard to shake off no matter how hard we try to be good sports.
So that was why I scored a 40% in Critical Writing assessment tests instead of 69% that I actually got when I strategically refused to make the frequent visits into a certain office for the supposedly harmless banters that rarely ended up so and before that, another near 40% for Introductory courses that deserved nothing less than an 80 from me, for similar reasons, still I came off with a 2nd class upper degree at the end of it all. And then went up to working nearly 18 hours, 6 days every week where people worked less than 10 and all I needed do was be more “accommodating” and “accepting” because as it was put to me then in pidgin parlance, “that thing no dey carry meter” meaning, “there’s no meter running on that thing”and then I went off to a better deal in a better space and today, I’m playing this game of the wrap dress.
And I know that many have played this game before me, are playing this game around me, yet it’s quite amazing and instructive that I have this purple purse containing my 3 atm cards, all holding accounts on red alert and not a dime in my name, yet I’m the one who has that smile in my eyes and peace in my heart ringing out through my being, with sure confident strides and an audible voice that clearly answers to questions asked without a flinch, a hunch to my shoulders or embarrassed twitch in my eyes. I’m the one who’s so content even though the little I’m allowed is hardly enough, the one who never concedes to the game of cards with my dignity, my future, my essence. After all, I am woman and I know, I hold the reins.
And so, on that gamey evening in August, I got home in one good piece. I did not get up to one tenth of the 500 dollars offered in the game of the wrap dress but I did get enough to bring me to work for the next two days and sort my weekend out. And I got something else; my dignity untampered and extra regard from my boss. Of course, he’s still got wild ideas but he knows the kind of games I don’t play.
Here’s wishing a happy beautiful new year to all readers and friends of OurThoughtsandYou, those to come and others who happen by. May this year bring us all opportunities that we are proud and happy to take on and may all our choices have lasting values.