My cell phone is vibrating off the hook, I look at the screen and notice its some random London number, I choose to ignore the call (must be my cousin Debo and I’m clearly not in the mood for his phony British accent), two minutes later, a text makes my cell sing again, it’s my old friend Bimbo. I haven’t spoken to her in almost three years; I cringe inwardly before I read her text message because I already know what it says. Call me psychic but in Nigeria, when a girlfriend you haven’t spoken to in donkey years gives you a hola outta the blues…it’s only for one purpose, “she’s getting married and you’ve been chosen as one of the victims…
You’ll have to buy her wedding uniform popularly known as aso-ebi with your hard earned cash and parade around her wedding in this designated outfit. This outfit provides ample opportunity for people to judge your singleness and why you still insist on being a victim at every one’s wedding….
With all these thoughts racing through my mind I decide not to read the text message and roll over in bed.
Finally drag my lazy self up outta bed and watch the red light on my phone blinking in a crazed frenzy, figure I should read my messages…
I brace my fragile heart for the worst, grab my bank card in my other hand and plunge headfirst into my text message folder,
‘Hi Vivian, getting hitched in two months in Lagos, my aso-ebi is on sale for nineteen thousand naira (approximately ninety pounds) “,
Sweat breaks out on my brows ….like do this eager brides realize the country is in a recession? I ignore her text and hope she’ll see that as a clear sign to bounce already!
New text beeps on my cell …
”Hi Vivian, I got a delivery report on the previous text I sent you, can you please confirm when you’ll be able to make your payment”,
I groan out loud, talk about a guilt trip…GET MARRIED ALREADY and give me room to save up my salary while I patiently wait for my knight in a shining armour…(who am I kidding…I’ll take a knight with no armour), I’ve bought six aso-ebi in the last couple of months and ‘darn….these brides are madly insistent…
When I tried to explain to Mimi why I couldn’t buy her aso-ebi last month, I read her the entire Riot Act and calmly tried to make her see my point of view…(of course I was immediately labeled ‘hater’, jealous, unmarried and bitter), I promptly paid for Mimi’s aso-ebi.
Yet another text,
“Vivian are you ignoring my text??’’
….I’m still silent, I refuse to be bullied into this inhumane ridicule of my single state, another text rolls in…
“ Vivian aren’t you happy about my wedding?”
…yeah that’s the hater approach, I grudgingly pick up my cell and reply Bimbo:
“Text me your account number so I can make payments now”…
Aso-ebi is a necessary nuisance in Nigeria and single or married, I have to respect this obscene attempt to get me bankrupt…sigh.