My friend of many years, Hassan Super-Glue called on me for a serious man-to-man talk. The love of his heart, Shylene, had finally agreed to meet him for Valentine dinner. The man went on a preparations spree and amongst these, was to consult me. We share a lot, but the episode of this day is peculiar to him.
So the man comes and breaks the sweet romantic news of the pending date. It was time to plan. We sampled top notch city restaurants for the prospective rendezvous. A garden restaurant outside town would have been fantastic, but it was fully booked. He proposed a middle class hotel bar around town. I protested, for the place was too ordinary. I preferred something out of the ordinary to give the young lady ‘shock and awe’. I suggested the 5th floor pool deck at the exclusive hotel opposite the Shell House. He protested vehemently because the prices are exorbitant.
We discussed on what drinks to take before the main meal. Champagne or chilled Chilean wine would be just right. That done, we worked on what exotic food to order. Sea foods would be a surprise for the girl. Trout Ceviche, a Peruvian dish with raw fish/seafood (in this case trout) marinated in lemon or lime juice. I thought that wasn’t too obvious and would make the girl eat her appetite out. We scanned dessert specials, and I proposed Blueberry pastry cream, which he was ignorant of. "Blueberry Pastry Cream tarts from Hershey’s Heavenly Delicious in Raleigh are quite difficult to forget for the young lady", says I. "The tarts take you to places you have never been before!" Super-Glue preferred Amelia Cake, a blend of coconut, pastry cream which is like the cosmic coconut cake at Blue Moon Bakery in Cummins which will consume you totally. His mouth was open and he couldn’t close it briefly.
Next we discussed his apparel. Regrettably, my friend has only one leather shoe which doubles as both formal and informal. I suggested he polishes it, and he immediately obliged. He took off-the-rake one black knitwear Mariela Burani long pants and matched it with a loose sleeve Sartoria Moderna Italian shirt. He looked fantastic. I lent him my Rolex wrist watch. All done and catered for, he was waiting for the time for the rendezvous. An hour before he left, Shylene sent him a text and postponed the date to the following day. Unbelievable!
When he called me, I could sense he was soaked in tears of disappointment. He dropped the bomb to me. I could not manage but laughed long and loud. He threatened to kill me and I take his threat seriously. He wondered why I was laughing, yet to me it was obvious.
The truth being told, Shylene had double dates. Super-Glue was second choice, or the standby boy. The fact that the first choice had confirmed his presence for the night tickling, Super-Glue fell victim to the postponement. When I tried to explain this to him, he thought I was making up things, but what else was there to justify this coup d’état on Valentine day? I actually didn’t know he had purchased a 4 carat diamond ring to propose. Now I understand his anger. I suggested to him to check if he had a Plan B, whom he could call and meet to soothe his fury. He was adamant for his heart was settled on Shylene. I reminded him that City girls are like the Biblical five wise virgins who had a Plan B ready for any eventuality. The wise virgins are praised more than the five foolish ones, whose foresight failed them.
The second thing that made me sulk was right from my teenage sister, Tariro. I asked her to write an essay on love, this being a love day. What I read nearly gave me a cardiac arrest. She writes of Platonic love, the kind of love she reads in Mills and Boons and watching a lot of Hollywood movies. Her concept of love is based on butterfly-fantasies. She wrote about large bottomed-ladies, who to me, have historically been a source of ridicule in many cultures.
The most striking example was the Hottentot Venus, a young African woman who was kidnapped. During our discussion of the essay, I made several comments. "She was paraded around and exhibited as an example of what made African women different. It was almost a freak show." My sister believed in buttock enlargement. Small bottoms are a problem of Westerners, not Africans, so I argued. The most desired is the waist-to-hip ratio standing like an hourglass figure. I couldn’t convince her enough that her structure was perfect; she thought she needed buttock enlargement.
I was made to listen to a new understanding of family which my sister calls modern family. It is not only a European tornado hitting across, but Africa is victim. The traditional understanding of family has shifted from the nuclear family to her modern family. We’ve tuned from Family Ties (nuclear family with five kids) to Modern Family (nuclear family with three pickneys, plus gay uncles and lesbian aunts, an adopted Vietnamese baby and a grandfather with a Colombian second wife and dorky stepchild).
My friend Hassan Super-Glue’s threat to kill me still hangs over my head, if this gets published. Apparently, I sympathize with him. I mused about Tariro and her generation. I lay the blame on no one but changing times.