“You know you should be paying me for all my photos you use on your blog?”
I was jolted from the clothes I was arranging in the box. “What did you say?”
“You heard me. When will you start paying me for my pictures you use on your blog?”
“Seriously?! I never thought of it.” I laughed.
“Better begin to think of it. I’m looking for multiple streams of income. And it looks like I’m really useful in your line of work, I need to be making money from it.” She continued packing.
A huge grin was plastered all over my face. she couldn’t be serious. “So are you calling this a talent or skill?”
“It doesn’t have to be. Maybe I should even do some training in modeling. But, anyway, you are using my photos, pay for them, simple! Talent or no talent!”
“Okay, mummy. So how much are we talking about?” I picked three books from the shelf and threw them in the box.
“Not much, we can start with 50k for one picture.”
“50k! Ole ni e! You are a thief! Are you for real?”
“What is 50k? When I learn the basics of modeling, it will increase.”
“What about pictures that has you and I?”
“Ermmm, I can let those go for free because we are married. But if it’s personal, you pay.”
I giggled, picked my shoes and cleaned them. And I saw the many clothes she was putting in the box. “It’s just three nights, baby. I don’t need all that. I’m even thinking I would wear the same cloth back. I don’t want to carry too much.”
“How can you do that?” She continued to put the basics in the small red bag and ignored my complaint.
“Don’t make this look more than it is, abeg. I’m only away for a few days. Please.” Traveling had never been my thing. She was a guru in the business. She would fix you up well from the moment you conceived the journey to the time you returned.
“Okay. I just want to make sure you have everything you need in place.”
“I will be fine, baby. By the way, all these people you book flight for every now and then, you have not thought of making them pay you, it’s the pictures I take with my phone you want to make money from.”
“That’s true, you know. A traveling agency could be my second line of business. Awesome! We are talking multiple streams.”
“And how much will you pay me for this idea?”
“I will make all your bookings free. That’s a good deal, right?”
“I hear you!”
We finished packing and I was good to go.
“We would miss you.”
I’d been a beneficiary of wifey’s love for making many journeys. Many times I didn’t look at my air ticket till I got to the airport. Many times too I didn’t join the long queue for check-in. She always had me covered. And when I landed, I didn’t have to wait to flag down a cab to drive me to my destination. Some Tunde, some Charles, some Leke was always on standby waiting for my arrival. She had my back like that. And they wonder why I carry your matter for head! They don’t understand. We need to start this Travel Agency asap.
“How was your flight? And how is the hotel?”
“We just got to the hotel.”
“Don’t tell her you just got here, please!” Saheed snapped like an enraged tiger. “You know these women, she will begin to suspect you went somewhere else.” He reprimanded.
Saheed and I worked together. We would both be in the hotel for the three nights scheduled for some work-related assignment.
“You just got there? But you called that you landed three hours ago. I thought you would have settled in by now. It’s 9pm already.”
“We made a detour…”
“Ha!” Saheed was not relenting. “You have put us in trouble, Juwon! I warned you! She would not believe you, I tell you.”
I could not talk to two people at the same time and I was wise enough to know where my bread was being buttered, so I moved away from Saheed.
“…we went to a few places from the airport. Our first stop was at the ATM. We needed cash. Then we went to the supermarket because Saheed needed some toiletries and I wanted pastries. He insisted he had to check his cousin in Surulere. She was apparently expecting us, he didn’t deem it fit to inform me ahead of time. Anyway, we went and she already prepared dinner, wheat and ofo-owerri soup. It was there we spent some time.”
“Okay. I was wondering if traffic was that bad.”
“No. It wasn’t traffic.”
Saheed had gone quiet, his eyes were dark pools of fear. He stood by, a bit agitated, and just watched.”
“You are at the hotel now?”
“Yes, we are at the reception. We are waiting to be attended to. Seems things drag here a little.”
“I told you about that hotel. They are not so efficient.”
“Sometimes, efficiency costs money, you know.”
“I know. Anyway, I just wanted to check on you.”
“Thank you. How are the kids?”
“Fine. They are sleeping. We miss you already, evening prayers was brief, I didn’t have their energy like you do.”
“Pele. Miss you too, baby. See you on Sunday, by His grace.”
“Juwon! You don’t know these women! You don’t tell them everything!” Saheed couldn’t wait for me to cut the line. “You should have just told her we have settled in and leave it there. It is enough information and there won’t be trouble.”
“But there was no trouble. Was there?”
“You were just lucky today. You may not be lucky next time, trust me. There was no need for all those details. If you tell her we have settled, all she would say is Okay, she wouldn’t come here to verify. And there will be peace.”
Just as we were about to relax on the sofa at the reception, the porter came, picked our boxes and ushered us to our rooms. Saheed was given the room adjacent mine.
“Take a quick shower and let’s go downstairs. These guys make the best asun in town. You would love it.”
“Alright. I will be out shortly.” I answered and shut the door.
As I pulled off my shirt, Saheed’s sentence kept ringing again and again in my head, ‘Juwon, you don’t know these women! You don’t tell them everything!’ Those statements were loaded.
Which women was he talking about? Was Saheed using his wife as a general rule for all wives? And more than using her, was he using his relationship with his wife as archetype for how every man should deal or relate with theirs? I zipped open my box. ‘You don’t know these women. You don’t tell them everything.’ It was worrisome. The writer in me was piqued. I dropped my box and brought out my laptop and I started typing.
How often do we lay claims to things we have no right to lay claims to?
How often do we make hasty judgements based on one person’s singular action?
How many times do we use our relationship as the gauge for what others share?
How many times do we use our experience with just one woman as basis for understanding all other women?
What you have with your wife is not completely a model for what others should have.
How you are to your spouse is not entirely the symbol of how every other man should be.
It is shortsightedness to use one woman’s idiosyncrasies as judge for all other women.
It is thoughtlessness to submit that you are the pattern for how every other man should behave.
I married only one. And one was and is enough.
I know her enough to give her details.
I give all the details.
If I chat till late, she is reading it.
If I give you a ride, I’m telling her.
If I promise you a cash gift, she’s making the transfer.
If I have the conversation with you, she will get the gist.
Don’t bring me if I can share it.
Don’t tell me if you don’t want her to know.
Don’t ask me if you don’t want her to hear.
Don’t offer me if you don’t have her in the picture.
I don’t have all the energy for otherwise.
I don’t want to make a panicky dash for my phone when it rings.
I don’t want to be calculating how much I said the last time to know how much to say now.
I don’t want to be sifting and sorting what she should know and not know.
I don’t want to sleep with one eye open. It’s too stressful.
Details are niceties that add colour and beauty to life.
I saw a boy is not the same as I saw a tall, energetic boy wearing a red cap.
Details make conversations more interesting.
Details make dialogs longer and sweeter.
Details paint pictures and build images.
Details are the fabrics amazing discussions are made of.
It may be hard to get the picture if you have a rather small screen.
I choose the comforting peace and bond in giving all the details.
I’m a Confirmed Woman Wrapper. Guilty as charged!
And there are many of us. I just happen to be the one who writes.
Sleep came and took me away. I missed the asun.
Do you know these women?.
Share your thoughts in the comment section. Will love to hear from you.