Big Ben Reloaded

At the age of twenty, we don’t care what the world thinks of us; at thirty, we worry about what it is thinking of us; at forty, we discover that it wasn’t thinking of us at all- Anonymous

One of the questions that most Eves have to contend with at some point in life (sometimes several points) is, “So what are your plans for the future?” When this comes from an old aunt or older mates at work, you know it has nothing to do with your career path or anything else but earning the ‘MRS degree’. In many traditionalist settings, there is a certain age by which Eve should earn the ‘Mrs. Degree’ and a grace period is usually granted. It becomes extremely complicated when Eve is on her final lap of the said grace period and she is not about to sound any vuvuzela. These will be her trying times. Trying because, even when Eve is not keen on the answering the toll of the ‘Big Ben’, there are all these other voices, some familiar and  very unfamiliar ones that  she has to deal with.

One Eve captured my attention with her rather detailed break down of  the various stages of  Eve’s ‘Degree’ timeline.She has categorized women into four broad but loose groups (loose because not everyone fits into any of these). So yes, the disclaimer is necessary because truth be told, this can be very sensitive stuff for most Eves.

First, there is the 25-29 year old, who makes the big decision out of a genuine desire to get married. She is sober, she knows that it is what she wants to do, she has found the right mate and she plunges into it. However, there is a small group in this category which marries because she is with a certain guy and her age mates are getting married and she thinks it is ‘their’ time. Many will argue that this is the best time to make that decision because the eyes are still kind of shut to the issues that bedevil the maze that is the dating arena. At this time, one’s career is just taking root or gaining some direction and there is some sort of fulfillment from pulling through higher education and probably landing employment.  Therefore, it seems having someone to legitimately ‘flex’ a muscle with, night in night out does seems like a fitting idea – more like being given power to hold and to be held.

The next group is the 29-31 year old. This bevy of Eves is literally ‘scared into’ marriage because Eve is in her 3rd decade and it is feels like ‘now or never’. So, almost any man hanging around her who shows some interest at this time will do. Truth be told, for most Eves, hitting the 3rd decade with no Adam by her side wearing similar bands on their fingers begins to feel like a tragedy. People are popping out kids – cute kids, wedding bells rang (except they were not yours if you are still in the single+29-31 category) and then the circle of friends starts shrinking because priorities (their priorities) change and to be honest, you do not identify with those priorities – what do you know about changing diapers in the wee hours of the night or the chess moves that are characteristic of dealing with in-laws?

Then there is the troupe of 32-34 year olds otherwise known as the PRIDE of Eves. They have kissed enough frogs, they’ve seen it all and heard enough stories about marriage and are mostly disillusioned about the whole ‘affair’. This category often times wonders why get married in the first place. When she catapults her thoughts into the marriage arena, she is not sure that there is anything attractive about the traditional union; most likely, she has dated and the subject of nuptials arose either in passing or discussed in general terms meaning that somewhere inside her she has considered it. In other words, this is a tricky stage, because she is still open to the idea but she is also set in her ways hence the level of compromise needed for a meaningful relationship might be difficult to achieve – it will need a lot of bargaining.

Last but not least is the over 35 and beyond. She will tell you that, just like manna, the questions ceased from all concerned and unconcerned :). They are called ‘the independent women’. Her grace period expired and was ‘sentenced’ by some undefined tribunal to fate and luck. That is why when a 35-and-over Eve announces her big day, no one wants to know the tribe, religion or creed of her significant other, and no one dares object. Even her sickly grandma will travel to the city, to witness and quip, “she has done what she could not do at 26”. As we can all imagine, this woman could be happy to finally ‘settle’ down  but at the same time one has to wonder if she has all manner of mixed feelings because she is not sure if this bold move is a ‘life sentence’, or if it is a good bargain. However, given that she probably knows herself, she will be able to discern that.

So these ‘classifications’ reminded me of instances when my Eve friends (or myself ) have literally been ambushed with all manner of questions about tying the knot – and all manner of unsolicited advice comes your way like “you know time is running out, your eggs will freeze over”. You are given this frantic advice about how you need to just hook up with someone, or just get a baby etc. Often times, the feelings of the Eve in question are never put into consideration.

One may argue that there is never a ‘right age’ to get hitched – when the time comes, it comes (OK, or when you make the time come). Some marriage experts advise that in fact waiting till one is a bit advanced in age has its pros; one of them is that one will most likely have a good sense of who you are and what you want in life. This way, one is more likely to make the right choice (shrinking pool and all). One writer wrote that by 30, the woman has given up on marble and is now modeling her Adam with clay; after all clay is easier to model allowing for alterations as reality redefines fantasy and fantasy fades into oblivion – how true?!

This one is to all Eves out there, I think this is just a reminder that you are not on schedule – take your time. Some will ask, “Take time doing what???” Well, taking time to do things for yourself in the ‘meantime’ – loving yourself, going to the gym, taking to explore your hobbies, just being you, etc.I have heard some great rumors  that when you think it will not happen, that is when ‘the one ‘appears and you will most likely be glad you waited; it is during this time that you will realise that there was no need for ‘microwave relationships’.

To Adams, do not take these classifications seriously ;).

Have your say!

By Fridah


26 thoughts on “Big Ben Reloaded

  1. great piece! i think your pal is very much on to something!

    i think i need to join pottery classes cos that pic of the clay being molded has killed me…hahahahah – can i make of my own? 😉

  2. Great post! Reminds me of when my mother said ‘have a baby if marriage is not for you’. This is the same mother that used to bang on about not wanting to be a grandma in her 30s!
    And I know a few girls who have been told the same.
    Lol at the bit where a 35yr old gets married!

  3. Pray P44 gang, why can’t the modern lady play to the gallant coquetry like that character in Fitzgerald’s “ The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” who avers that:

    “You’re just the romantic age,—fifty. Twenty-five is too wordly-wise; thirty is apt to be pale from overwork; forty is the age of long stories that take a whole cigar to tell;sixty is—oh, sixty is too near seventy; but fifty is the mellow age. I love

    Then she goes on

    “I’ve always said, “that I’d rather marry a man of
    fifty and be taken care of than many a man of thirty and take care of

    Can’t wait to be fifty myself.

  4. Project44,awesome post,that said,age is mind over matter,if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter. It’s about time,we give up the illusion of a problem free life,the focus should be on what makes you happy.That way,it’s less work fitting into equations,instead of getting married for wrong reasons,keep on yo lane,endeavor to be the best partner,when the opportune moment arrives,be supportive and participate positively,and debunk any myths of age,how or when.
    Have fun in yo relationships..

    • He he @ Naomi,that is a new one for me – “mind over matter” But i agree with you about fitting into equations and keeping on lane ….i wish we- all Eves out there could just embrace this.I have always said that this does not mean refusing to accept that one is interested in relationship,it more about self awareness and knowing what one wants from and or in a relationship. Then it becomes easier to let the clock “die” ( chuckle)

  5. Hi some interesting thoughts right here. It is good that you remind the single Eves out there not to plan things going by other people’s watches. The right time will come. And for some (eves and adams by the way) it was not meant to be. That is no reflection on the individual – we are not all the same

    • Please do not! We do not want you tucking these into your pocket the next time you take Eve out and then start dissecting her to see which “classification” she falls in ,and then tell her ” so you are in the bevy” ha ha ha Have a nice day !

  6. This feels like it’s in reference to me but gladly and truth be told, keep yourself happy, enjoy your life and all will flow to your destiny.
    It’s true, you never know when it will happen or if it will ever happen, most important you did not hit 50s sad, waiting for it. You were busy enjoying your life.
    Keep well a’ ya.

  7. i just had a mini heart attack. Why oh why did you have to put age(s)? Now i know am on the …..leg. God help me. That pastor from Nigeria should be summoned asap

  8. I like what a friend of mine told me recently … he’s a guy and he’s married and he’s over 40, so I think his words are important for Eves:

    1. Don’t rush
    2. Don’t crush him
    3. If you think you’re ready and you’re with the right person, go ahead with it (might I just add here that you shouldn’t look back lest you turn into a pillar of salt hehe)

  9. I like that anonymous quote. At age forty you realize the world wasn’t thinking of you at all. How so true… So at whatever age you are at, work with your time. No need to get married and have kids, then get separated or divorced, all because you were on someone else’s ticking clock. Great read.

  10. @ Viva* no no no ,next time that Nigerian Pastor comes to town,i will riot 🙂
    @ Wa Makeri,that is great advise right there.
    @ Munene I like that quote too !

    Thanks for reading and taking time to have your say !

  11. Very inspiring article,
    just the other day my cuz ask me How and when did we get here? The age where if I should accidentally pose with a baby in a pic, everyone will automatically assume that the baby is mine. The age where any guy you are seen with will be assumed to be your husband. And if you are not married everybody wants to ask you why and when you are getting married…if you the tiniest pot belly you are asked when are you due……………………
    It has reached that point where i go for family gathering when its very necessary,tired of those nagging aunties
    there is a joke that goes. when at a wedding and those nagging aunties tell you ,YOU ARE NEXT ,you wait when you are at funeral and you tell them they ARE NEXT to shut ’em up …..yeah i know its a bit ruthless…..
    my advise is wait for the right time….if it is meant to be it will be….dont force things

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