He didn’t propose. I bought an outfit and spent Rwf 30.000 on a surprise birthday party for my rich cousin at a fancy hotel. With that money, we ate a few skinny chicken wings, a handful ofchips and some shrubs.
I lost my emotional balance when the waiter got my drink order wrong because I was hungry and frustrated. And my cousin’s boyfriend didn’t propose.
They have been dating since she was in high school and now she is 27. He has a good job and her family stinks of money. And he won’t propose. At the end of every year since she turned 24, she’s been going to church to pray for the miracle that is an engagement ring. But I think she has finally realised that God is far too preoccupied with world hunger to care about her loneliness.
So now behind the Instragram posts about a loving boyfriend who organized a fabulous surprise birthday party on Friday, is a girl who has been going on dates starting this year with the hope of finding a man who’ll want to marry her in the foreseeable future.
But my cousin’s situation is far less chaotic than the one of the other 20 somethings that I met at that party.
There isAngel, for instance. Pregnant for the third time in three years. I hadn’t seen or talked to her in months so when I saw her bulging stomach, my mouth almost dropped on the floor.
Three years ago, she won the battle between her and another contender. The prize was a man. She won by getting pregnant and blackmailing him into choosing her. She keeps him by getting pregnant every year.
Yet Angel is still not the most chaotic 20 something to have attended that party. Because there is Glaze.
Glaze appointed herself as the party planner and decorator to pinch some cash while she waits for the situation with her married boyfriend (okay manfriend/sugar daddy because he’s 43) calms down. His wife found out. She made threats. He told Glaze to wait while he sorts out the situation. He says he loves her. She believes him.
And then there is Mary. Mary is engaged. Congratulations to her, right? I don’t know. Her fiancé is in outside countries. She was afraid that he might leave her and she wanted some sort of reassurance. So she asked him to propose. He said he didn’t have money to buy a ring. She bought the engagement ring and put it on her finger. She posted “I said yes” on Instagram and we “aawwww”ed.
And I, having observed the seasons and times of my fellow 20 somethings, said to myself “sit down and be calm.” So for the next few days, I am taking black tea for dinner to compensate for recklessly spending to keep up appearances at my rich cousin’s birthday party.
And next time I lie on my bed staring at the ceiling, completely aware of my aloneness, instead of crying out to God, “but why won’t you send me a man?” I will give thanks for my uneventful life.