Is It Worth It?

Memoirs of Black Women

If another house could make a man less of a bastard
And another car could make a woman less of a bitch
Then everyone would be better off richer
Unfortunately, your inner demons don’t respond to retail therapy

I am a one-of-a-kind, super-fine queen who will accept nothing less than the best from any man. I was born beautiful. In fact the Queen of Sheba has nothing on me. Being treated like the goddess that I am is simply my birthright and all the aunts and uncles in my family can attest to this because they pampered me relentlessly much to the dismay of my darker siblings. Once I became a teenager, I was at the peak of my sexuality. Just a look from me would send the males into a frenzy. Everyone vied for my affection and it became widespread knowledge that I would only entertain the idea of a relationship provided that the person could treat me to the very best. So while the boys and men constantly tried to outmatch each other, I was being smothered in gifts week after week. You name it, I had it. Offers of overseas trips, money, new clothes and hairdos, free grocery, ready assistance to carry my things or do my house chores, new phones, tuition fees prepaid etc.

Of course, the competition would be so intense that sometimes fights would break out. I would either watch these conflicts from a distance (or get wind of it through the grapevine) which inevitably would result in me erupting in laughter. I was hated by the females especially the ones whose  husbands and boyfriends shamelessly engaged in this game but I simply ignored their vicious stares and cutting words. Very few would dare to fight me since I had enough practice fighting my siblings. So as much as I was a beauty, I could fight just as viciously as any lioness. However, despite all these different men who offered me gifts, the person I ultimately chose was an African businessman - Ade - who managed to buy me a car. At the age of 16, I had no idea about how to drive  and even less about how to begin applying for a driver’s licence and yet, I was already a car owner. Even the adults in my family didn’t manage to own their first car until they reached their late 20s. If I was hated before, I was certainly despised now. This time, by both the men who vied for my affection but were ultimately rejected and the women who continued to swell the ranks of my existing ‘haters’.

Ade was a dream. He promised me the world and for the most part, he followed through. He paid for me to have driving lessons, he paid for me to do my driving test (3 times) and when my parents and friends started to get really vocal about their disapproval of our relationship, he paid for an apartment so we could live together away from them. Before I completely moved out, my mother looked at me seriously and cautioned me that all that glitters isn’t gold.Truth be told, I didn’t care. Whatever I asked for, Ade gave me. I was so smitten with him that I didn’t care that he was 45 years old, had 2 more wives back home and had to be away every month. After all, he was a businessman. By the time we moved in, I made the decision to stop going to school. I was now a ‘kept’ woman and nothing would change that.

Once I got my driver’s licence, I began making routine trips around my neighbourhood where I would eventually end up at the local shopping centre. This was located at the heart of everything. From here I would make a grand exit from my car,  dressed to the hilt with mobile phone on display and cockily sporting a pair of expensive shades which did much to give me an air of aloofness. As far as I was concerned, everytime I made an appearance, it was proof to my naysayers that they were wrong about me never amounting to anything and that it would only be a matter of time before I became used goods. The more they mocked and jeered me in private, the more I strutted around like a peacock in public. Like clockwork, I would always go into the shopping centre empty-handed and hours later I would re-emerge with at least two attendants who would often struggle under the weight of all my shopping. This way, each time news reached me about another sibling graduating from school or finding a job or welcoming a newborn to the family, my family would in turn receive news about my last big spend and how wonderful I looked. I continued like this until I reached the age of twenty. By then, I had already managed to form a small clique of friends. They were like-minded girls who had expensive tastes just like I did. They also had no problem spending hours on their appearance and shared the same sentiments about being a ‘kept’ woman. Between them, they had an assorted collection of sugar daddies, rich boyfriends or just toy boys that they bounced between depending on their mood and needs.................