That time I tried to change myself to make boys like me

I have realised that I am not a people’s person in the sense that I’m not every body’s cup of tea: only a select few can handle of all this ‘good good’ (in my Beyoncé voice from Drunk in Love) and I’m very fine with that. I wasn’t always fine with it though, in secondary school, I wanted people to like me. One day in class, a couple of classmates and I were having a discussion about everything and nothing as usual and the conversation somehow ended up on the topic of marriage (I don’t know why our small selves were talking about marriage), one of my male classmates told me he pitied the man that was going to marry me because I wasn’t ‘wife material’. According to him, I wasn’t ‘wife material’ because I cursed and I wasn’t domestic enough (I made it no secret how much I detested housework and cooking). For my non-Nigerian readers, being wife material is a big deal because in the Nigerian society because marriage is the most important validation a woman can receive: it means a woman is finally worth something. All the school certificates, PhDs and so forth mean nothing to the society if a woman is not married: In Nigeria, if an unmarried woman finds the cure for AIDS, people will still consider her a failure (This may be the case in other countries as well but I can only write about what I know). I say all that to emphasise how important marriage is in the Nigerian society and to explain why I felt some kind of way when I was told that I wasn’t good enough to be married to (TBH, it hurt a little a lot).

Upon hearing that I was unfit for marriage, I decided to inquire how I could fix that (IKR, it’s messed up that I had to think about such things at that age). I was very opinionated, I cursed and I was unwilling to take a joke (aka let people insult me) and I guess some most guys don’t like that in a girl hence why I was deemed unfit for marriage and I decided to remedy the ‘problems’. So yes people, I decided to change myself to make boys like me. You know what, try not to judge me too harshly, I was very vulnerable at that time because the boy I liked, liked a girl who was the direct opposite of me: she was considered the quintessential ‘wife material’. She was quiet, non-confrontational and all that good stuff and so I decided to emulate her. Remembering how desperate I was back then, I want to smack myself I have smacked myself. I can’t believe I let people’s words influence me like that: I was so gullible and stupid but hey, I guess that is part of being a teenager with medium to low self-esteem.

Throughout my wife material period, I absolutely hated myself for pretending to be something else just to get a guy to like me (the most difficult part was holding my tongue) and the most embarrassing thing or should I say the funniest thing (I guess it depends on your sense of humour, mine is pretty twisted) about the whole story was that he didn’t start to like me (insert face palm and smh emoji). Talk about wasted efforts: that is like going on a very strict diet and not losing weight. Gosh, I was so stupid in high school but fear not, now your girl has “open eye”. The experiment didn’t last very long and now I know I am a terrible actress so I guess the experience helped me realise that Nollywood was not a viable career path for me.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being wife material if that is what you truly are or even if that is what you are pretending to be ( that is your concern) but I am not wife material and I am not going to pretend to be something I’m not to get someone to like/marry me: I won’t do anything during the courtship that I don’t intend to continue within the marriage. If there is anything that I have learnt in my 20 something years in life is that people marry who they want so be true to yourself and you will find your person.

On a side note, I hate it when people say “swearing is not lady like”. If a person doesn’t like to use or hear curse words, that is totally fine but to consider cursing ok for only males is absolutely sexist (I say ‘absolutely’ a lot don’t I?).


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