Well I recently celebrated another anniversary of my arrival here in this beautiful city. I love this city so much. However, from the perspective of
finding a husband, sorry, being found by a husband I must admit that I’ve also been wondering whether I should just move back to London, and be done with it. And yet on reflection, I think I might just stay put here!
A funny story
I am not entirely sure that it would be appropriate to share this story: I was actually in London not too long ago, and I found myself in a situation involving lots of young people around my age. I’ve recently written a post about how I love colourful make-up and jewellery. Well, that particular day I was deliberately trialling a no-make-up look, and I wore the simplest earrings I own – a pair of coloured glass studs. So for once in my life I was wearing absolutely no makeup whatsoever – no eyeshadow, no lip gloss or foundation. I was wearing nail-varnish though! Two men who were around my age, and both actually very handsome, happened to sit in front of me. I had chosen my seat first, but I had decided not to sit to close to the front, so they came later and then sat in the seats immediately in front of me. Then these two men both proceeded to stare at me for the duration of the evening, more intently than anyone has ever stared at me in my life. It was as if neither of them had ever seen a woman before. One of them walked away, but then later contrived to be directly in front of me in a queue. I was surprised at the staring in general but at this particular thing I was amazed! I myself am so capable of such behaviour. However, I have never seen a man acting like this in my life – never! On one hand the focus was so intent that I almost felt uncomfortable. On the other hand it was extremely flattering to be the object of such fascinated male attention! (A rather less flattering interpretation is that they may have recognised me from somewhere – perhaps from one of my blogs?)
I am ashamed to say that my own behaviour towards these men was not friendly in the slightest. I noticed straight away of course that they were looking at me but I pretended throughout the entire evening not to notice, and I completely blanked them both. I did not even smile at them even in a casually friendly way. At this I am kicking myself a little when thinking back on it. I could at least have smiled to acknowledge them, I could have asked a few questions, been friendly, been sociable. It was not like I had to marry either of them right there and then, was it?! And as I say they were both very handsome! In my own defence I am a little bit out of practice in such gatherings, even though I grew up thoroughly immersed in them. And it was so unexpected that I did not know how to deal with it other than to revert to my default shyness mode, although I was not actually feeling shy. Actually there was another event that also happened that very same day in which another man kept staring intently at my face. So I guess taken together these two incidents seem to firmly answer the question: “Do I need make-up (to attract a man’s attention)?” Apparently not!
Going back to those two men – as it happens I am furnished with both of their names, both of which appear to be quite unique, like my own name, so who knows, I might shortly find my fingers wandering over to Google…! However, part of the reason why I was so much less than friendly is because I instantly felt suspicious. However, on reflection, I’ve realised that my suspicions might not be so well-grounded after all. And it all has to do with being in London.
Whenever I am discussing with my Uncles and Aunties and they ask me “How is the husband thing” (which African Uncles and Aunties will invariably ask), and I say “I am still trusting God…still praying…” or whatever else I can think of at the time, these Uncles and Aunties will almost invariably recommend that I should move back to London. And in a way it seems to be a pretty obvious move to make, even though I’ve resisted it all these years. That is because there are more and bigger churches, with more young people, more men, more Nigerian men, a bigger Nigerian community, a better social life. To be honest, to have any kind of social life at the moment would be a great improvement. I was recently sighing to myself and thinking “Lord, I Need A Social Life!” I need that hum, that buzz, that thrill, that I’ve somehow managed to survive without for so long! Getting dressed up, being surrounded by young people, talking, laughing, eating, smiling back at cute guys who stare at me! Expecially as Nigerians/West Africans, even as Christians, my goodness, we party! (I should quickly point out that I am strictly teetotal, as are many, many Nigerian Pentecostals, and many of these parties are completely alcohol-free. I guess there’s partying and there’s partying!) And yet she refuses to move back to London! And as it happens the event in question was a Christian event, and I can safely assume that both of these men had a certain level of Christian exposure.
And yet this is the catch with London. Yes, on one hand, there are potentially hundreds (or thousands) of attractive young men who might themselves be looking for their “Mrs Huggie-Wuggie”s. And yet, London life is necessarily so busy that to actually meet and get to know any of these people might be very challenging!
So these were my immediate suspicions about these two men: I asked myself:
“So why are they (apparently) still single?” It is an ongoing truism that there are far more available girls in the church, especially the Nigerian church, than there are men. So the men who are available can in theory have a great selection of beautiful women who are eager to attract their attention. So I thought about these two men that they were probably surrounded by beautiful women week in, week out. Instead of staring so hungrily at me, an absolute stranger, why had they not just picked one of these beautiful women and proceeded to settle down? Hmm. I smelled a rat. But then it later occurred to me that it might not be so straightforward.
London is expensive
I obviously find it easier to see things from my own perspective than from a male perspective. And yet it occurred to me that one of the issues is that London is so expensive.
And then of course, many guys expect to be the ones to provide financially for their families. So many guys will not approach girls until they feel comfortable and secure in their financial positions. Unfortunately London is not the kind of place which easily confers feelings of financial comfort or security. So when I was looking at these guys and judging them and thinking “Why have you not just picked someone?”, it could be that they have not reached a level at which they feel sufficiently comfortable in their careers. The thing about London is that someone could actually be thriving in their career – and yet not feel sufficiently financially secure to move on in life.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Do you live in London? Please share what you think of the pace of life in London, and how that might affect friendships or romantic relationships!