As a single lady you learn to deal with a lot of things, one of which being the ability to deal with the past…your past. The words ‘tell me about your past’ could be a nightmare for some because it means recounting tales that she may not be proud of. I’m not saying we are all ‘high track record’ holders but you have to admit that sometimes referring to the past brings memories that you may prefer to keep where they belong…in the past.
In a society of pretence like ours where women are assumed to be saints and men suffer from satyriasis, it’s no surprise that a lot of Nigerian women are afraid of talking about their history; in some cases, young ladies brag about their ‘pastless’ life
or their ability to keep secrets in the dark because they have been made to believe they own trophies and may have earned a high premium on their bride price. Once I was having an open conversation with a group of ladies about childhood crushes, first kisses et al…. until one of the ladies said ‘I thank God, I’ve only had sex with one man so I don’t have much to talk about’, as much as I could see her innocence in that comment, she failed to realise that she had just opened a container load of drama. As you would expect, a few of the other ladies felt slighted while the others retaliated with questions on her abilities to please a man in the sack due to her ‘inexperience’.
Not everything about the past has to do with sex, it could be failed friendships, crushes and anything non-sexual but you have to admit that when to comes to talking about it there is an emphasis on sex and number of sexual partners, especially in a big city. As we know, Lagos is big but it is also very small because everyone knows everyone so it only takes a few questions to get to the juicy gossip, in recent times, all you need is a twitter fight (with or without pictures) and Lagos would be the least of your worries.
Recently in the salon (yes salon!..I see you rolling your eyes), I overheard a group of ladies brainstorm on how to deal with a ‘past’ situation. One of the ladies had started dating a guy whom she believed was ‘the one’, they had been together for about four months and now Oga wants to know about her past in Lagos. As a man with an ego, his rationale was that he wanted to know everything without the fear of getting any ‘surprise gist’ in public, you know the type of gist where his boy goes ‘Oh boy na you dey knack that babe now’ or ‘Isn’t that Yemi’s ex? I didn’t know they had split’
So here is homegirl in a confused state because she had something to do with one of his not-so-close friends a few years prior to meeting him and she’s not sure if she should tell her boyfriend or not. I listened as her friends gave their different opinions, their advice ranged from saying the whole thing to saying some and saying nothing at all. To back up their opinions, they expressed concerns on the possibility of Oga being uncomfortable with the idea of his woman having something to do with someone he knows so it’s best she keeps that information to herself.
I could try to understand them because no woman wants to come across as the shitlock that has been opened by every key in the neighbourhood but at the same time I believe there has to be some form of open communication for there to be trust in a relationship (I could be wrong). In situations like these, I often wonder should the past even matter and if it does, how much and when do you tell your partner? I’ve heard sayings like a woman doesn’t say everything she knows to avoid drama that could be avoided.
As for the young lady, she decided not to talk about her past, I really hope that works out for her because mehn it won’t be funny if Oga finds out later. I also learnt that the magic number is 2 when talking about your past…not more than 2 sexual partners….that is if you want to marry a Naija man….
Hmm the things I learn in Lagos.