A while back, a friend asked me to hook her up with one of my “interesting friends.” She had just turned 40, great job, mortgage, drove a German car and drank premium vodka, no man. Rather, there were men. Many men. So many that they were coming out of her ears, but they were the wrong men. Men who wanted to borrow her car, sleep in her house and empty her house bar. Oh, and jump her bones. You know, good time men. She was tired of good time men, and asked me if I knew some “serious” interesting men that I could introduce her to. So I picked this guy I knew; single, dapper, younger than her but mature, broad shoulders and sharp enough to open a bottle on a door. He carried a lot of philosophies in his head; learned, engaging and very Machiavellian. Just what her doctor ordered. Plus, he wasn’t a good time man, but I was sure he could show her a good time. They met. Dinner in a garden restaurant. A starless sky. A blind date. I knew my boy would kill it. I wasn’t even worried. The next morning I woke up to a disappointed sms from her, a rant, berating my choice.
“He had dirt under his nails, Biko!” She screeched. I thought it was a metaphor. Turns out it wasn’t. He really did have dirt under his nails. I was puzzled, I don’t recall him ever having dirt under his nails.
“Apart from the dirt under his nails, did you like anything about him?” I asked.
“He didn’t pay the bill. The bill came and he said something about only having dollars. Asked if the restaurant accepted dollars. What rubbish is that? Doesn’t he carry cards?”
I chuckled. Oh boy. The house of cards was a-tumbling.
“So are you ticked off because he had dollars or because he had dirty nails? Which one was the deal breaker?” I asked.
“What kind of a man has dirt under his nails? Is he a mechanic? Does he work in a cemetery?”
I rolled my eyes, such a storm in a tiny teacup.
Anyway, suffice it to say, it all went pear shaped for my pal. She never called him back. Eventually I had to tell him that it was his dirty nails that broke the camel’s back. That and maybe his dollars. But he’s now married. I guess he finally found a woman who accepts dollars. (Hehe. That’s a joke, baba. No offense to madam.)
That was three years ago.
Now there is this other friend of mine. She’s 27. A doctor. Chocolate in complexion. A good chocolate, like coffee beans slowly roasted over a kiln overnight. Sharp like a lancet. Reads nothing but those boring medical books. (She’s doing her Masters). She runs four times a week and swims often; physically fit and slender. She has bright eyes. She enjoys dancing, goes for those Zumba akia’angowa things. But you don’t have to know how to dance to kick it with her, you can just sit and watch. With your mouth closed, preferably. Her days are spent in hospital ICU’s saving children, from 8-5 and “hoping she has a made a difference.” She also told me that she hasn’t been on one date this whole year and she’s wondering if she’s losing her spark.
You must be wondering, OK, so why can’t this Cinderella get a man? She can. She has before. Her last boyfriend was a doctor. (Went tits up – There is a lot on inbreeding in hospitals, it seems – misery loves company etc.). She is just tired of that pool of medics who have hope swinging from their stethoscopes. She believes at 27 years surely there must be an interesting man out there, right?
She mentioned to me how she misses going on dates. “Kwani those doctors don’t ask you on dates?” I asked. She said she was taking a break from doctors. “All doctors ama just anesthesiologists?” I always imagine them to be very lonely people who drink gin and tonic. Every time I see someone drinking alone at a bar I think to myself, “I bet he’s an anesthesiologist.” He probably put five people to sleep today, now he’s drinking his gin thinking how he can score a new laryngoscope online.
She asked if I could introduce her to any of my mature friends. (Yeah, mature? Like I’m now so old?) I told her that all of my friends are married except for one whom I wouldn’t introduce her to because he’s a bad boy. He will tap her and move on even before her heartbeat normalises. A devil of a snake charmer. Bad for her. And here is the thing with most women; you tell them, don’t touch that, it will burn you, and what happens? They now want to touch it. She was intrigued by this bad boy. I told her, no, not him, he will poison your body. She said with a smile, “That’s OK, I’m a doctor.” I didn’t make the introduction of course, because that would go so bad and I’d be left picking up the pieces. So I told her I would write about her, cast the net out on my blog and see what we catch. Maybe there is a man out there who wants a doctor who swims and dances and has great skin.
To be clear she isn’t desperate; she is a self-assured go-getter and she is bold and fearsome, because I told her this can go anywhere once it’s out. She says, bring it. All she wants is to go on a proper date.
It has been a while since she has sat across from an “interesting” man, had a meal and talked about something stimulating, laughed at something he said, glowed under his awe and admiration, and felt a manly hand brush against her skin as he fills her wine glass. Note, she doesn’t want to get laid. Well, not after just one dinner at least. She says that she just misses sitting with a man that can make her laugh or intrigue her, because getting laid, come on, she can get laid before I’ve finished writing this article.
She misses the scent of a man who took time to try and make her have a good time. The slow burning ember of a man who wants to be approved and to approve. She doesn’t even want to go to an expensive restaurant (because she does that with her girls); she can easily sit at Diamond Plaza amidst the throngs of saris and curries and eat with her hands. She can sit on a plastic chair at a corner table in a late night fast food restaurant and watch the black of the night get darker. But if you can take her to a great restaurant like Dusit’s Soi, she’s down with that. Just don’t feel pressured. Or get a hernia over it. What she doesn’t want is to sit in a loud bar and try and have a conversation over Chris Brown.
She doesn’t want a man to marry tomorrow. Or to lay today. She doesn’t want a man who will show up on a white horse with a longsword, or man who rocks up in a tuxedo with gel in his hair. She just wants a guy who makes an effort. She’s old fashioned, which could be waterloo for someone out there or not. She loves to laugh a lot. Her tongue is always in her cheek. It would be nice if you are the kind of guy who can make her laugh. If you like to talk about your dad and what he owns don’t even bother you. Or if you are the guy who removes his shoes on dates, you definitely are way over your head. If you are below 27, you better have the soul of Otis Redding.
She’s stubborn. She doesn’t make excuses. If you are a buffoon, the evening won’t go past the first hour. Married? No, no. Single only. Poleni mafisi. Oh, she also wants a tall man, but you know how it is gentlemen – there is what they want and then there is what they need.
I’m certain there is a man out there for this chic. He’s probably out there; maybe in IT. Or he’s a Quantity Surveyor. Low key. Reads a lot. The kind of guy who uses words like “magnum opus” in a conversation to describe a musician’s work. In a party you wouldn’t notice him, the type to sit in a corner with his beer and talk to whoever talks to him. But once you engage him and his layers start peeling off, it will reveal a funny bone with a charming streak. He doesn’t go to Mavuno. He’s modest and a bit of a recluse. Maybe a Catholic. Likes an odd sport like Formula One.
I’m almost certain he doesn’t even read this blog, so a female friend will call him and say, “Stano. Did you read about that doctor chic looking for a man to take her on a date on bikozulu?”
He will be like, “What is that?”
“What is what?”
“Where I read about it.”
“What is that?”
“It’s a blog, boss.”
“I don’t read blogs, si I told you!”
“Let me forward you the link, I think this chic is looking for you.”
So he will read the link and not bother doing anything until two weeks later when he will send an email to her on XXXX. They will go on a date. He will not carry dollars. He will be polite and subdued and she will wear something that shows her collarbone, which he will want to kiss, one at a time. They will laugh a lot. She will like his smile and how big his hands are. He will let her bang on about boring medicine. He will sit there interrupting her narrative with lovely repartee and witty commentary. She will ask him about what he does, and he will try and not hog the evening with his career tales, you know, make it sound less glamorous or exciting than medicine. They will talk about this article. I hope they talk about me a bit and my pal should say that I’m totally cool and she is glad they met through the blog.
“Hey, you should read his blog, it isn’t half bad.”
He will make a face and say, “I tried. It didn’t really grab me.”
“You didn’t find it remotely amusing?”
“No. Don’t tell him, though, he already has a forehead to deal with.”
They will laugh.
He will pay the bill (in Kshs), and walk her to her car and make a backhanded but funny comment about her Subaru. She will laugh, her voice echoing in the now empty parking lot. He won’t hug her goodnight. Or peck her. He won’t touch her, even though her body language expects a hug, a squeeze of the bare arm. Hands thrust in his pocket, he will watch her drive off, his phonebook with one more number.
Maybe he will call her again for an encore. Maybe he won’t. Doesn’t matter. What matters now, and what matters for me, is that he doesn’t have dirt under his nails.
What does a girl have to do to get a proper date in this town? She asks.
Email her on [email protected]
No nudes, gentlemen.