One fine weekend in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, some friends and I decided to hit the club for some fun time. It was a Friday and Saturday had little work for us so why not dance it all out and struggle with hangover the next day? There were four men on the ride to the club. Some of us loved loud music while others wanted to dance and have some fun. I wanted to look around, make a couple of friends and nod to the music since my dance skills were almost non-existent. We drove in and headed for a vantage position, to see and feel all there was for the night.
When we settled on our drinks and kept our eyes around, to see greatness and all that beautifies a weekend in an oil rich city, our eyes met a group of ladies whose eyes never left our table. We got stuck there – our attention. We could barely look away. It was a crowded table with women of all sizes and if we were to dance with two ladies each, we would not run out of dancers. The accompanying smiles lured us into having more members on our table and sooner than guessed, the drinks were replaced. The ladies drank and we sipped.
In less than twenty minutes of having the new friends over, the older men amongst the group had ladies dancing with them cheeringly. I could not understand why the older men got the women and the younger men were left to dance alone. Why had they all come out to our table if they would not dance with us, the younger men? Why had I done the Maths in my head, of having two or three ladies to one man and here, these ladies were on our drinks and my other friend and I could not dance? While I battled the many thoughts in my head and managed some smiles to ease up displeasure, I walked up to one of the ladies, the chief pimp and asked why it was so and she gave a mischievous laughter. She told me that the older men paid more for their services. They did little work and cared more. She said that the younger men, though they were full of energy and may be witty, they barely paid reasonable sums and that was not part of their plans since they had rents and other bills to cover. The men were pre-selected to take care of bills! Wow!
I eased up since I was also struggling with my own bills. It didn’t matter if I did not have a dance partner anymore. And besides, I would not want anyone to bill me after a dance session. I listened to the music from the speakers and enjoyed the vibration each song came with but could not still believe that the older I become I would be growing into paying debit. That I was working to be seen as debit-clearer, someone who was designed to ease debts of people who I admired or bothered to share drinks with at a bar or club.
Society has made it easier for men to be seen as those with divine mandates to clear debt. A man is first seen for his role to lead and work tirelessly and with little appreciation from the women folks, just a tiny portion of today’s rights conscious women appreciate and compliments some men. Others would love to keep their rights and still ride on men and use men and dump them. Religious houses have marked responsible men from how much weight they carry on their shoulders. If you are of a certain age and you have not done some expected things, you’re irresponsible. And it continues until the man breaks down.
It is ideal to pay bills if you have so much to spare. But whatever sum that is being spent on anyone should be birthed out of goodwill, of sheer free will, not some indoctrinated consciousness that only makes you aware of how much of a beast of burden you are. Have fun but it should be something that would not be regretted and you should be free to walk away when you wish to. You were created to also have fun and be taken care of too. A balance wont kill.