Thursday, August 19, 2010

Love Vs. Romance


1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 says ’Love is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails’.

Rhythm FM presenter IK aka the Wild Child says “Love is a decision to give yourself to someone” while Dan Forster of Inspiration FM says “Love is TIME”.

Their definitions of love both strike me although I was more impressed by the fact that they could define Love somewhat unlike the majority of Nigerian men who say they are in Love but cannot define it. I guess for IK he continues to reassure the Vitamin O by saying ‘hey baby, there are so many hot ladies out there but I choose you!’. Am sure you’d be wondering where that came from, but if you are a follower of IK’s radio show you’d know him to drop lines that sound like that. He plays out to be a ladies’ man and a natural flirt so much so that even the Vitamin O has become his partner in crime.

But here’s what struck me even more; a guy once called into Chaz B’s show, sharing life’s issues and asked his fellow men to grow up. Why? According to him, Pastor Paul Adefarasin of the House on the Rock church defines Romance as this simple equation: ROMANCE = MONEY+POWER+SEX. When I heard that, I said to myself, wow! How profound. Really if that’s what romance is, then why bother about Love given that Nigerian men truly are incapable of loving?

I came to a submission some nine years ago that Love doesn’t exist, at least in this clime. Nigerian
men tell you they are natural polygamists and that that’s the way they were created. That they are genetically wired differently from Oyinbo men. They use lines like: ‘How can a man continue to eat only Egusi? Variety is the spice of life’, blah blah blah! So, I gave up expecting Love to happen and as a rule tell every man I have known since then not to make me any promises. And like Demi Moore in the movie Ghost, I vowed not to use the word LOVE. When men ask me what I want from a relationship, I say ‘I don’t know’. When they ask me about myself, I say ‘You’ll find out as we get along, let’s just have fun'. I have replaced the word LOVE with phrases like: ‘I am falling into you’; ‘I really care about you’; ‘You make me happy’ and ‘I am getting emotionally involved’. These phrases work just fine, as far as am concerned. My very last escapade can tell you that when he mentioned that he was falling in Love with me, I stopped chatting and laughed-out-loud and in my head I was thinking, 'who are you fooling?!

My girlfriends and a very fond ex-boyfriend tried to make me see or think otherwise but I refuse to.
Tell me, how many Nigerian men can achieve 100% or a close 80% of what 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 defines as love? Yet that’s the most quoted text on LOVE. Moreso, how many are capable of giving themselves to just one woman as IK suggests. As for TIME being equal to LOVE, that’s the most practical definition of all three mentioned, yet our men can't even achieve that.

The truth is that I cannot but agree with Pastor Paul because no woman wants to be with a man 24-7, 365 days a year if he hasn’t got JOB, has no money, is not in control of his finances, lives in his mother’s house, if he’s a mummy’s boy that does all his mother says, is not seen to be in control of something, hasn't got the suave or panache, doesn't make her melt at his touch, if he says YES to all his woman says but is available all the time to hold her hand, listen to her and meet her sexual needs. By inference, such men define love as: LOVE = BROKE+TIME+WEAK. But we no fit chop Sex na, check am!

Some ladies settle for such men because according to them you have peace and are guaranteed of his fidelity. But the truth is that such women envy the woman whose man is a suave Mr. Fix it. They also wish to be pampered because truly a little vanity doesn’t hurt. Nigerian women love strong men.

Like my friend Yinka Ijabiyi says…’whose mumu switch are you pushing?’. Is it the weak low-life or the high and mighty? According to him in his write-up keys, ‘If all you’ve got is some 'small-fry-hiding-their-tiny-head-in-a-puddle-somewhere-pretending-to-be-the-king-or-queen-of-the-zanga’s mumu switch, then you my friend are a bigger idiot than the mumu you’ve got their switch’.

As for me, I'm not really interested in the mumu switch. I settle for Romance because the only kind of Love I want is that between a mother and her child. Our mothers love us conditionally. Good or bad (pikin wey bad na im Mama get am); fat or skinny; ugly or good looking (monkey no fine, im Mama like am); tall or short, black or white. My mum Theresa, and I have quarreled countless times but we kiss and make-up so easily that the reason behind the quarrels cease to exist and stop hurting. But it hasn’t been so with me and the opposite sex. The biblical injunction of forgiving as many as 70x7 times has only applies to Me and my Mum but has failed to apply in my relationships with men. My roommate told me back in our university days that friendship is like a piece of china (tea-cup), once cracked can never remain the same. You may try to mend it but it will never be the same. My love for my mum and vice versa has defied that rule yet the rule holds true for my relationship with that particular friend and a lot of men I have come across in my life.

Ultimately, if Love with the man-in-my-life cannot be as it is between Me and Theresa; then I settle for Romance!