Hi, I am Mimi Daniels, a C-Suite Executive in an investment bank, a non-exec director in 3 other companies and an accidental author. I love the adrenaline rush both in the boardroom and on my bike (I ride on weekends) – Oh did I mention that I am 29yrs old?.
It’s mother’s day, and I am dreading the family get-together slated for this evening. Don’t be fooled by the waterfront venue; it’s going to be an avenue for everyone to show off their latest acquisitions or conquests. What do I have to be worried about? Here is the gist – I am young, successful and but single. At 29, this should not be a problem, however, with aunties brandishing their newly wedded daughters and grandchildren, things get awkward.
I have been accused of being – choosey, or having incredibly high standards or outrightly being too successful – when did these things become a sin? If I was a boy, I am sure the story would be different. As a single ‘female’ executive, my life is a rollercoaster of – male colleagues trying to undermine my authority, jealous female colleagues hoarding information and overbearing aunties and uncles trying to marry me off to the nearest eligible bachelor. My dad has always been my rock, his arms acting as a shield when the ‘lovingly-hurtful’ words pour out from my relatives. My mum is usually too overwhelmed by the comments, and never seems to find the right words to defend me.
As I reluctantly picked out my outfit for this evening; I could already feel the eyes staring daggers at me; the heads shaking with pity as they gossiped about all the possible reasons for my predicament – ‘singlehood’. The popular tagline being – “better find yourself a man, – all man na man – and settle down, before you become an old lady with only cats for company”. Abeg, is there a market where I can shop for a good man?.
I have a very healthy social life, and a boat load of male friends. I have dated a few, casually, they never seem to be interested in commitment. They say all the right things, but usually get cold feet, when it’s time to get serious. As you can imagine, I have received a wide range of advice, from pretending to be poor in order not to intimidate guys, to relocating to another country where I am unknown, to deliverance and the likes. My sister, I don tire.
During the short drive from my Ikoyi apartment to the event venue, I called – me, myself and I, to a family meeting and prayed for the help of the Holy-Spirit to bridle my tongue and help me get through the night. I will do my best to be a good Christian, look inward and work on my character flaws – but do I need to downplay my intelligence, social status and finances to find a good man?
As women, we already live a life of trade-offs, either/or is the order of the day, we selectively streamline our options to accommodate the insecurities of others. We settle for some; because society frowns on us if we go for ‘the-kill’.
I might have to pray a little more, or see my pastor, or visit a counselor or… what do you think?