FOR MEN ONLY: Woman at your
I attended a boys-only boarding
high school. In one of my poems from high school it reads, “wrote love letters
to sweet little Mary. Made photocopies to Lucy and Njeri.” I would like to say
that that was true. That would make a good story, now wouldn’t it? But it’s not. However, the idea behind the
humor is true. Girls. Such was high school: pursuing the shortest skirts during
school symposiums, writing love-letters to express immature puppy love,
boasting of the number of girls that visited you during midterm, just to name
the common. Everyone was in the get-a-girl game. Even the guys in the C.U. had
to show that Jesus had “vibe”. None was left out. In my high school, if girls
came to school and you were spotted talking to none of them, you would never
hear the last of the tormenting comments.
A breezer was a chap who could
not initiate contact and conversation with the opposite sex during social
events but stared as other alpha males handled two or three girls at a go. There
was a riotous hormonal activity within the school compound whenever a girl
school came for a symposium or a social event. The experiences would be
indelible. Something dramatic happened that became the talk of the evening. I
remember when one incident of mine was the talk of the day.
It was the Dettol Heart-run
marathon. Lots of high schools sent their students to participate. Needless to
say, the skirts were in plenty. That was a good thing. The odds were on the
opposite sex. One would have to be invisible to have missed a girl to talk to
in this event. I didn’t have a mind to make it on the ill list. Fate had other
plans and I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it. Half the marathon was done and I
was vibe-less, girl-less and hopeless. My high school was located along the
main road. The marathon was taking the same route. During the marathon, scores
of students were thronged on the fence to spot the activity. If I was spotted
jogging without an XX Chromosome by my side, I would suffer the shame of a
thousand Arsenal fans. We neared the shame-zone. I began falling behind. I
couldn’t face it. I was at the brink of despair when I bumped into her. Grey
sweater, blue skirt, green t-shirt and a lovely face. It didn’t bother me at
first that she initiated conversation. If anything, it sorted out my current
The convenience was impeccable in
timing. For some odd reason, her name escapes me. So let’s call her Sue. At
that moment, did we pass the school and I could see detective eyes collecting
useful information for the evening mocking. I was safe. She walked with me. She
talked with me. She was such good company; I could hardly believe my luck! The
marathon ended at the Carnivore Restaurant. Before the restaurant is a mega-supermarket
and Sue wanted to grab a few snacks. The unwritten rule is that XY provides for
XX during such social gatherings in high school. So I accompanied Sue to the
supermarket as scores of the marathoners headed to the Carnivore.
“I only want to get a soda,” she
That was good news for my pocket.
My quarterly pocket money was 500sh. I had already exhausted 100sh since the
semester began. I had carried the remainder for the marathon. A soda in a
plastic bottle would lower the security to 350sh. I didn’t mind it. If I was
lucky, she would stick with me for the kind gesture. Off to the supermarket we
went. It was here that my senses screamed “Run!” but I ignored them. The alarms went off but I
paid them no heed. Sue showed the first signs of danger.
She picked a basket.
It would only make sense to ask
her what it was for. But what folly! Of course it served one purpose: to hold
shopping items. As far as my memory of her words could serve, I was to purchase
only a soda. Money talks. Mine always says goodbye. Sue leisurely walked
through the candy aisle and picked a few lollipops. She proceeded to add a
packet of biscuits and a bag of crisps in the basket. She picked two sodas. I
was about to stop her when I imagined the worst. What if she had planned to pay
for them? What if I would embarrass myself telling her to return them yet she
had it covered? After all, she only mentioned the soda. I gave her the
charitable benefit of doubt. Little did I know she would give me the opposite:
the fleecing loss of hope. We approached the till. The money was done talking.
It was awaiting its fate. Time was nigh. I needed to know. With every beep of
the barcode reader on the items passed under the red infrared light, my eyes
became enlightened to the truth; I was paying for these items in the basket.
The cashier finished and looked at me. I looked at Sue. She returned the look.
“Well, pay already!” Sue said.
“Heh, of course,” I sheepishly
said pulling out my Reebok wallet.
I could have sworn having held
onto the cash and tugging it away from the cashier. You see, I had a plan. Run!
I dismissed it before it gained prominence and feasibility. I let go of the
money. The drawer pulled. The coined clicked and the lady handed me back 150sh.
The goods were 200sh. In a flash I foresaw endless evenings of penniless
pockets surviving on ugali, soup and if lucky a piece of beef.
Sue grabbed the bag of snacks and began
walking out of the supermarket. I caught up with her. She increased pace. I
hurried. She ran. I ran. She dashed into the crowd saying she’d seen friends of
hers she had to hang out with. I couldn’t believe it. I stopped running after
her. I had been victim of a gold digger. I wasn’t going to risk looking like a
stalker. I walked up to her school mates and asked if they’d seen her. They
pointed me in the right direction. I saw Sue in the throng. The music was loud
and the activity was heavy. She hardly noticed me approach her. When she did, I
was two inches away from her. I asked why she ran off. Her facial reaction bore
a scowl that if condensed into legible words could only read, “Oh, it’s you!”
She chuckled, not amused.
“I’ve just seen friends of mine.
I’m sorry. Gotta go.”
And off went the gold-digger for
the second time. I was persistent in knowing why she was acting like she did. Rejection
was clearly a new concept to me. I was having a hard time chewing it. So I
pushed through the crowds in pursuit and met a few of my own school mates in
“Hey Ernest! Where’s the girl?”
one of them asked.
“She’s gone to look for a spot
for us. I’m just catching up with her.”
So the lie was birthed. I bumped
into more of Sue’s schoolmates and asked if they had seen her. The response of
one of them marked the end of the pursuit for me. She either said it loud
enough for me to hear and get the hint or she was not a good judge of the noise
levels to the extent that I overheard what she said loud and clear.
“This is that ka-boy Sue was saying is stalking her. Hebu let’s leave.”
The blow sunk deep. I doubt I
held back a tear. The rest of the afternoon was spent breezing, hanging out
alone while cute girls were ubiquitous as Mpesa shops. The lie did not hold.
The truth of my predicament came into full light earning me a category worse
than the breezers. She broke my immature heart and she gold-dug me good. If I
could take legal action on her behavior I would have. You now understand why I
called her Sue.
There was a lesson in all that.
It didn’t come then but it does now. From adolescence, many men place a strong
identity in having a woman by their side. That identity is fueled a lot if the
girl has a nice face, nice legs or nice unmentionables. Yet, more often that
not it is done to show off, receive some gratification or prove some sense of
superiority that really achieves nothing. I am the first in my high school year
to get married. To imagine that I would play a similar game with Waturi leaves
me horrified. Why would I do that? Inasmuch as the risks may be on our side
once in a while (like a gold digger) many a times it is the girl’s heart that
gets broken. I look back to that high school incident and I say to myself,
“Hmm, maybe I deserved it.” My motives were to use her to make me look good.
Then I reason again, “But I was young.” And the right response to that is “Be
that as it may, you were young but you were wrong.”
|Image courtesy of
You see, youth is no excuse for
folly. Just as old age is no guarantee of wisdom. My motives may have been
harmless then. However, all men reading this know that our motives regarding
the opposite sex end up in the “unmentionables” box many a times. It involves
us being exalted and the girl a mere tool to our selfish goal. Christ Jesus
teaches us a better way. He asks us in Ephesians 5 to love our wives as he
loves the Church by giving up our self for her. He asks us in Timothy to treat
younger women as sisters with absolute purity. You see, the older you get you
don’t realize it’s wrong. Why? All those music videos portraying nude women as
part of the bling and the cars and the money are evident. And if we enjoy them
and derive some sense of identity in having women as objects to complete our
selfish look, we not only go against the creator's design but we show something else. That we really haven’t grown up. I believe this is the
male’s biggest phobia. Fear of growing up. The money may come, the cars may
come, we may even grow taller yet it only makes us older not more mature. I
challenge every man reading this to review their perception of a woman and to
seek the Almighty’s stance on it by first perceiving what a true alpha man is.
It’s not the bling. It’s not the cars. It’s not the rims and it’s definitely
not the women you call b***h and w***e hanging out in your crib. It’s the
cross. It’s the citadel of life. It’s the man called Christ. But don’t take my
word for it. Ask him to come into your life and experience it firsthand. It’s
the manliest thing you will ever do.