I am single at the moment and there’s one thing I have resolved to put on my Mr Right checklist, should I ever decide it is time to get into a relationship. I have been in the dating field long enough to have experienced some of the little things that mean a lot to women. One of these things is how a man addresses his woman. My very first long relationship had that ‘fuel’ that kept the fire going; he always called me ‘Baby’. It was enough to make me fall in love afresh each morning. That experience has never left my mind and, inevitably, it has become my standard.
So when I currently meet potential suitors who ‘scoop’ my name even when they should be sounding romantic, I shudder. I freeze when I wake up to a “Beryyyyyyyyyl” phonecall. My name, by itself, sounds like some car spare part and when that’s coupled with an African accent, I am finished! I find it better to be addressed using those titles that make your heart race. When I wake up in the morning, I want to switch on my phone to a welcoming message at least starting with ‘Babe’ or something of the sort. You just don’t call your one and only and address her by her name as though she was some blank flag being raised on a cruise ship in the middle of an ocean. Somewhere in-between that relationship and the next, I met a man who decided to always address me by my surname. Imagine having a romantic talk and, suddenly, your father’s name pops up.
I always got irritated but tried my best to change his perspective of how things are done when in love. I started addressing him by all sweet names, hoping to pass a subtle message, but still ‘Itindi’ kept popping up even in the middle of an argument. I know this might sound petty but the 26-year-old me, at that time, couldn’t stand such ‘humiliation’ and so I ended the relationship. Not only because of the name but also because he just couldn’t read between the lines of any form of communication. He was one of those people you might try to secretly wink at romantically while in a crowd, and he would cluelessly ask aloud if you need help removing a speck from your eye! Dealing with such people is not a walk in the park so I rose my ‘Itindi’ behind and hit the road at the highest speed. Now that I am beginning to see 40 from a distance, I am even more afraid. Someone once said life begins at 40 but, from what I have seen in my fellows, reality hits at 40.
Like now, I am beginning to convince myself that I don’t really have to be called ‘Sweetheart’ to feel the love. A part of me keeps telling me not to worry about such things. Still, another part of me tells me that I have the right to feel what it’s like to be called ‘Cutie’.
So there’s no way I am lowering my standards because 40 is around the corner. I will tackle 40 the way I tackled 30; with full enthusiasm. All I pray is that Dr Love keeps me away from those humans who have not mastered the art of being romantic. I once tried being romantic to my man by preparing him his favourite meal, complete with candles. I had on my best lingerie and switched off the lights as I waited for him to get home. My plan was to surprise him once he opened the door and flipped the light on. Let’s just say I am the one who got surprised. When he switched on the lights and saw the candles, he took off his coat and quickly started swinging it left and right trying to blow them off as he shouted at me that I was going to burn the house down. I have never been so disappointed in love! I grabbed my sweater and slipped it back on as I fought tears. This man wasn’t worth freezing for. He walked right past both his cooked meal and me, his breathing meal. He didn’t even sit at his favourite. Then he sat me down and, again, warned me about dangers of lighting a candle in the house. Dear God, lead me not into the arms of such suitors!
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