In spite of what I learned in Bible Study yesterday about being happy and content with our lives and thanking God in every situation, I feel so miserable and ungrateful today; I have been crying since I got back from work.
Why is it that everyone believes my being single implies that I have nothing tangible to do with money and all my hard earned money should be theirs? Friends, neighbours, acquaintances… all seem to have a tracking device that tells them when my salary is coming so they can line up with their ‘children’s fees’, ‘house rent’, ‘maternity bill’, ‘I-never-chop-for-3days’ problems. They don’t stop until the last penny leaves my account.
Just today, a member of my church came with her tear stricken face and lamentations of her poor health, unfed children and rent issues all at once. In fact, they had been thrown out of the house as she spoke to me (by the way, her problems are real, not just made up to extort money from me) and guess who was expected to solve her problems? Me; after all, I also teach her children in Sunday School. Meanwhile, the only money I had left was the one I had decided to use as miscellaneous (that just-in-case money for myself). Well, it has gone! No ‘just in case’ money for me. This means I will have to borrow money (from God-knows-who this time) before the month is out. This happens almost every month; I work, get paid, they collect and I borrow. I never have any extra money like my married friends who, after all, have Mr.’s money to collect.
It isn’t just the money palaver that has got me depressed; it was the events of the whole day. When I got to work, there was Kelechi on the phone having a conversation with her husband. This was exactly what I overheard:
Kelechi: Nonsense, as far as I am concerned,you can stay in that Lagos you went to and keep running around with your numerous girlfriends. As if having you around brings me any joy.
Then there was a pause. Apparently he was replying her attack with his own missiles.
Kelechi: Go on and call me names, you useless he goat! I regret the day I married you.
She cut the call, looked at me as if I was in league with her husband and she hissed for a whole minute. She then began a discussion with her sister on the phone about how single girls in the city were the most miserable bunch on earth and how they spent their time sleeping with other people’s husbands; all this while glancing at me. She even went on to say how she was so lucky to be married. She made my entire day at the office uncomfortable.
As if my bad day at work wasn’t enough, on my way home after a tiring day at work, I got stuck in rain and traffic (you know how bad traffic can get when it rains), got home, saw that there was no power and remembered that there was not enough fuel in my ‘tuke-tuke’ generator. I struggled with my front door key to the amusement of my young, freshly-punched-faced black-eyed neighbour who sat in front of her well lit house, waiting for her husband who was by the generator. It was the look in her eyes that made me feel the burden of being single. That look that suggested that I was missing something; not having a husband to beat me blue and black, provided he could put the generator on for me, or not having a husband who could run around in Lagos with numerous girlfriends, provided I could at least get extra cash when every needy person has had their bit from my salary. In short it was that look that said, “You are the most miserable person on earth because you are single.”
Thank God I managed to get into the house before I began to cry.
I want to pray now, but all I can say is, “I need Jesus now more than ever.”