By: KARIMI GATIMI
I knew he was the man I wanted to marry by our fourth date. It all started with a weaved basket which he now refers to as his ticket to a wife. One evening, I got a text from him;
“I will be at your school parking lot when you leave classgot you a basket from shags.” Sure enough, when my class ended, I found him at the parking lot, dozing in the car, but there as he had promised!
It was a large basket crammed with an assortment of fresh food stuff: carrots, green maize, a cabbage, spinach, dhania and greenpeas. I laughed at all that food, but as he placed that basket neatly in the boot of my small car, I looked at him properly. This guy was something extra!
“Do you mind if I escort you back to your house?” he asked, and immediately clarified what he meant when he saw the look of disappointment on my face.
“I meantdrive behind you and turn back once you are safe in your compound.”
I was not sure whether he was being honest with me, but I let him. That started a tradition. He would escort me up to my gate every evening after my classes or after our dinner dates. The guards must have wondered which mheshimiwa this was, who lived in such a humble neighbourhood, I mean, I had an escort car and a bodyguard!
For all those months he played escort, he never once asked to come into my house. Not even after those lingering hugs and kisses that abound with new love, though he now admits that he was dying to come in from day one (which kind of bursts my bubble).
Anyway, one of my girlfriends the other day regaled me with tales of her dating experiences, when I asked her how that was going.
“How soon can I wear my kitenge for your wedding?”
“I must have missed the latest memo on dating, going by the experiences I have had so far.” She said.
Let’s call her Lilian. Contrary to what many believe, she says that there are plenty of eligible bachelors in town.
“It is their courtship skills or lack of that is the problem.”
Lilian recalls what she calls one of the most off-putting dates so far.
“I thought it was a reasonably lovely first date, until he bluntly asked me to spend the weekend with him after he had paid for lunch!”
“You are joking!” I laughed, more so at her facial expression of horror than the audacity of that man.
After listening to her experiences, which ranged from horrible, funny, to plain ridiculous, I concluded that we urgently need a dating school. Our curriculum will be a rebranded, modernised version of what our African cultures had in place for preparing young men and women for courtship and inevitably, marriage.
It still holds true today. No sir, your house is not a venue option for a first date. Not even for the tenth date! Are you not the same people who claim that there are no marriageable girls today? Which girl wants a husband who’s had tens of girls know where he lives? Character, gentlemen, maketh a man. Ladies, please, it is never an emergency. A man who is husband material is choosy.
I wonder, do today’s bachelors still ask women out for simple, relaxed coffee or tea dates, with the intention of getting to know each other better? Do the women still play hard to get, to gauge his intentions or am I the only dinosaur left?
We urgently need to start that courtship school and clear this mess of single, clueless, though lovely people in our midst. They have got this dating thing all wrong. Anyone interested in this side hustle?
SOURCE: DAILY NATION