Why women keep men waiting

UNDERSTANDING and coping with women can be, extremely, difficult if not impossible. For good measure, were a course of study called ‘Womanology’ available, as a discipline in any university, most men I know, would readily enrol, even up to Ph.D level. Just to be able to gain greater knowledge on women. Alas, that special breed of humanity called ‘womanhood’ is in a kind of way, comparable to an onion: The more of its layers you peel, the more you are drawn to encounter, even to the point of getting tearful.

    I think God, in good conscience, has been good and continues to be, to women. Indeed, this makes me feel, sometimes, as I am sure the womenfolk are aware of, the enormity of the power God has endowed them with, that they abuse this divine gift. If you doubt this assertion, watch closely how, dutifully, some men drive their wives to the market or salon and have to wait, patiently, in the car. Some of these men, who find no interest in ‘killing time’ by reading a newspaper or two, will surrender to the beckoning of nature, by resting their heads on their steering wheels and taking an unavoidable catnap. Reason is, women, habitually, take their time at doing anything. From shopping to visiting the gym or salon.

    Apart from spending a considerable length of time attending to any object of her desire, no woman ever allows the opportunity of being brought up to speed with the ‘latest 411’(let’s not call it gossip) by her friends, colleagues or acquaintances to slip by, at any time and wherever they meet. And by catching up with ‘the latest 411’, I hope the import of that congenital feminine undertaking is not lost on anyone.

    While men attend to their own needs with such military dispatch, women never do. For instance, when a man enters a supermarket, the items on his shopping list are certain to be few and predictable. If he is not picking up his favourite cologne and after-shave accessories, he is reaching out to put in his shopping basket, the regular toiletries, wine and his favourite bubbly. In simple terms, men are not given to frivolities.

    Indeed, if a man is caught engaging in impulse-buying, he must be doing so on account of things he imagines Madam may need. What is more testing and damning, however, is that, after ‘this labour of love,’ a woman tells the man ‘you’ve been had,’ as the Americans will say. Frankly, it hurts me no end that most women give the men no credit when it comes to bargaining or shopping. That is why some men now ‘use wisdom’ when women ask them: ‘How much did you buy that?’, they simply say: ‘Oh, it’s a gift from my boss.’ This way, a man is able to save himself the embarrassment of being called ‘knucklehead’ by his ‘shopping-savvy’ woman.

    But, chief among those things women do, which weigh heavily on a man’s tolerance, is spending such a long time at the dressing table, before an outing. If you happen to have a date with Madam or you both are attending a family function, you must be ready a clear hour before she is through with taking a shower. Yes, otherwise, you may end up going alone or just calling off the outing. It is even worse if she is tying a wrapper, after which she must do the long, frantic and intricate rounds of keeping her headgear in place. 

    Ah … how can I forget the anxiety that most brides often cause their grooms on their wedding days?

    Typically, the groom and his family arrive in Church, Marriage registry or Mosque, minutes if not more than an hour  earlier, while the bride and her family are still nowhere in sight. As you may very well imagine, it is the bride — attempting to look her stunning best on her special day — that must be behind the late-coming. Yet, a Yoruba proverb says: ‘A man whom we are bringing a bride to does not crane his neck, in unbridled anticipation.’ But, candidly, how would a groom delayed not get agitated, for the right reasons? Only he who wears the shoes can show the world where his feet are callused. And the irony of it all is that, on such a nerve-racking day, for the man, it is the bride who dances more. Why? The message seems to be sending to all present, with her infectious excitement, is: ‘Ah…thank God, I’ve found a shoulder to cast my burden on’ while the man, on his part, will be thinking: ‘My God, my troubles are now double!’

   Back to the issue of how women spend eternity getting dressed, a woman once said to me, in a tone close to combative that men are only ingrates. In her view, everything women do, is for the men’s benefit. So, why the fuss? In her words: ‘Which man is not proud and happy, when his wife turns out gorgeous?’ (Forget that ,oftentimes, some women can overdo the make-up regimen and end up looking like masquerades ). Of course, even men believe in the irreducible minimum standards of social graces and grooming. And who says we do not appreciate our women for looking ‘angelic’? But, must women spend a ‘lifetime’ getting ready for an event, even when they run the risk of getting there late or worse still, making it to the venue when the event is over?

   My experience, in this regard, even with women in Corporate Nigeria, is also instructive. Before a woman appears at a meeting, vision-sharing or strategy session, you can bet that she has stopped by at the ‘ladies’ to touch her hair and face, a number of times. Indeed, any man who thinks women only lug around those capacious handbags, as a mere ‘fashion statement,’ will do well to think again. In those ‘fancy bags,’ apart from sundry feminine possessions, you will also find some of the best make-up kits money can buy!

     On the vexed issue of being besotted with taking too much of men’s time, when an outing is afoot, women will need a tip or two on time-management. In my view, the object of looking good and attractive is to be seen and appreciated like a Ballerina, who takes the centre stage, at the opportune time, before an audience waiting to be entertained. When the ‘performer’ is late, what is there to be enjoyed?

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