A rush of wind and leaves followed the women into the backdoor. Emily solemnly laid her bible on the coffee table and rested her head in the palm of her hand. Samantha rubbed her shoulders and cooed soothingly at her. Abiola looked around for something to do. As absurd as the whole affair was, she recognized that her friend was truly hurting, and that now might not have been the time to make light of her pain.
“How about I make a Starbucks run and get us some coffee?” Abiola offered.
“I have coffee here,” Emily said brightly.
“No offence, sweetie, but I can’t see myself drinking coffee made in your kitchen.”
“What? Why?” Emily asked. She was genuinely surprised.
“Well…because of the mice,” Abiola retorted.
“They don’t crawl onto the countertops where food is prepared, silly,” Emily chided. “They each have their own dishes to eat from.”
Abiola would not be defeated.
“Still, I think we need to change the mood of our circumstances. Why don’t we celebrate Minnie’s life, instead of mourning her passing?”
She made a dash for the closet.
“I’ll be back with pumpkin spice lattes for everyone!”
Thirty minutes later, the three friends were sipping their sweet, sticky beverages with their feet curled under them. Their conversation soon turned to life, and inevitably, men.
Of the three, Samantha was the only one that was married. Abiola understood why. She was a nurturing woman with good job. White men liked that. Abiola made too much money and intimidated Black men with her mouth and her success. And Emily, well, she was clearly just crazy. Still, that didn’t mean she didn’t deserve a chance at love.
“Why don’t you give Bill another chance?” Abiola interrogated. “He seems so nice. And he’s clearly very intelligent. You guys worked in the same department for years.”
Emily wrinkled her nose.
“I would, but there’s just no spark there,” she said pointedly. “You can’t have a relationship without spark.”
Samantha was about to speak but Abiola cut her off.
“I’m not suggesting that you have a sexual relationship with him,” she continued. “I’m just saying that you need to have some sort of a relationship with a man outside of work…so that you know how to relate to men!”
Samantha nodded in agreement. Emily looked at the two of them and conceded that they had a point.
“I guess you’re right. I don’t want to be an old maid surrounded by her mice.”
“Aha! Now you see what I’m saying?!,” Abiola sputtered excitedly. “You are pushing 40 and the only man you know how to talk to has a tail and poops in a cage.”
She eyed Otto suspiciously. Emily had placed him and his clan in a glass enclosure for their nap; but that bunch had shown that they were resourceful and could escape at any time.
“So what are you going to do about Bill?” Samantha grinned.
“Oh, I don’t know. I guess we can try to be a little more than friends,” Emily said absently. “He just doesn’t do it for me. He’s not hot…you know? He’s just average.”
Abiola chugged on her drink to force her from pointing out Emily’s obvious flaws, foremost of which was that she gave rats free range of her house, and secondly that she herself was no runway model. Her teeth were stained brown from an overindulgence in coffee and cigarettes, and her legs were riddled with varicose veins. She was hardly considered “sexy” at all.
Abiola took stock of her life. Prior to this moment, she had a number of complaints about the way things had gone. She had a son growing up in Nigeria and a part-time boyfriend whom she was not sure she wanted to commit to. As bleak as her circumstances may have seemed before, she was content to deal with them now. Emily seemed so clueless.
So MOM Squad: What do you think is wrong with Emily’s approach to relationships? (Apart from the fact that she has the entire cast from the Secret of NIMH living in her dining room.) As one of my best friends Nana Henewa used to say “Let’s analyze the situation.”
Conventional wisdom tells us that humanity has to date within your rating/range; the only exceptions being the possession of an extraordinary skill and/or loads of money. This is the ONLY reason ugly guys date and marry hot chicks. You can’t be rated a 5 looking to score a committed relationship with a 15. It just doesn’t work that way.
Emily, like most women in Western culture, is looking for a “spark” before seriously considering a committed relationship. They are looking for butterflies and that pit in your stomach when you think of your significant other. What a lot of people don’t seem to want to accept is that ‘spark’ fades and can sometimes be re-kindled in another individual (as Gen. Petraeus has so stunningly revealed to the entire world). What you want in a relationship is constancy and honesty. Of course physical attraction is important, but if that’s the only thing keeping you interested in your current or potential mate, then trouble is sure to be on the horizon.
What advice would you have for Emily? Once you’ve stopped laughing, leave a comment to help this poor lass out. She needs it.