Sigmund Freud. A controversial figure in the world of psychoanalysis -primarily because of his views on women- spent the entirety of his life analyzing the human psyche but he never found an answer to the question posed. What do women want? The question of wants and desires of women is one that is as difficult to answer as an advanced calculus equation. Pondering over the matter is like fighting to escape the clutches of quicksand. The more you struggle the faster you sink. Women, unlike men, are not simple creatures. They are continually evolving and changing. What was sufficient yesterday may not be so today and that is where the problem lies. Understanding. Men and women are fundamentally different in every aspect, more so emotionally. Physically men have a stick where women have a hole. Size varies. Matters of breasts, hips, and beards are debatable. I know a few men with wide hips and large asses and a few women with beards. Human physiology is interesting in that way.
I was sitting with a group of friends the other day. Three guys and two girls. The numbers will become relevant later. We were having nyama choma on the Eastern by-pass. The best place to have ‘choma’. Reminiscing on good times. Envisioning where we were going to be in a few years. We discussed life and its complexities. One of the major complexities in life is dealing with women, for men and women alike. Does anyone honestly know what women want? One of the guys, Bonnie, said that he had ambitions of becoming the greatest civil engineer of all time. A few years down the line he was just happy to get a D and move on to the next level. He got drawn into the lifestyle that comes with campus. Partying. Drinking. And of course, random sexual encounters but hey you only live once. Right?
This wasn’t always the case. He was broken by some girl he met along the way. Her name was Juliet or Juniper or maybe it was Jane. It started with a J. She was the devil. She took a vibrant young man full of life and love and spat out an empty shell held together by sheer grace. I should probably introduce everyone at the table. I will start from my left. The table is oval shaped. We have Bonnie, Charles, Marlene, Steve, and Sandra. Marlene and I sit at opposite ends of the oval table. Facing each other like foes in the days of King Arthur. The rest are in pairs. I wonder whether it was some form of symbolism. Poetry 101. I never really knew whether Marlene had any affection towards me. We would have heated arguments, frequently. She had a strong poker face. Half way through the meal Steve got a call from his girlfriend. I really wish I could remember her name but I can’t. Yes, I am noticing a pattern. I will take magnesium supplements ASAP. I don’t like her very much. She is a bitch, or rather she has bitch like tendencies. Steve has been made putty in her hands. The man has been whipped so hard by this girl it makes Lupita Ny’ong’o’s scene in ‘Twelve years a Slave’ look like child’s-play. I wouldn’t want to propagate a stereotype but she is from the land of ‘kula nyasi’ so there may be some juju thing going on there. Just saying. Apparently, she was tired of their relationship and needed time to breath because she was being suffocated.
‘Suffocated?!’. Steve gasped in disbelief.
I’m pretty sure everybody in the room heard. We were on the first floor of this wooden structure. An improvised log cabin of sorts. Cool air rushing in through windowless frames. The ‘makuti’ roof dry and scaly from the assault of the overhead sun. Ours was an unobstructed view overlooking cars overtaking one another on the road below us. Marlene thought the view of the clear sky and trees in the distance was soothing. I thought different. No surprise there. Normally such terrible news would dampen the mood at the table. Normally fish don’t fall from the sky (this actually happened in Denmark) but it was no normal day. It was as if a match had been lit under Steve’s feet.
“Waiter, ongeza kilo mbili hapa, na ukuje na tusker mbili.” A pregnant pause followed. “Sandra, tell me what women want”
Steve is a nice guy. I’m not saying that because he is my friend or to earn him sympathy points (if points are earned no harm done). He treated that girl like a queen. They had dates in fancy places with names I can hardly pronounce. Places I know for a fact he had to really break the bank for. Late night phone calls. Good morning texts. Hell! He told that girl he loved her more times in a week than I have uttered in my entire lifetime. Sadly, it wasn’t enough, or was it too much? She did say she felt suffocated after all. That was the big question. It was like a mundane day at the office being electrified by a saucy scandal involving the big man on site. Imagine the CEO of your company hooking up with the CFO and collaborating to embezzle funds. Have you got that in your mind? Now imagine the person who caught onto this deal was the CEO’s bitter illegitimate love child. That’s the stuff that makes soap operas right there. Fill in their gender as you see fit.
Sandra is the one who has had sufficient experience with men if you were wondering why she instead of Marlene was asked such an important question. The drinks came first. He downed the first tusker in about 20 seconds. A disgusting loud burp followed soon after.
“There is something really refreshing about a cold one.”
The extra ‘choma’ followed not too long afterward. Before I go on I need to tell you something very important. If you are going to eat choma along the Eastern by-pass and you are a fan of ugali, in other words, if you prefer ‘ugali mlima’ to ‘ugali saucer’ you have two options.
1. Carry your own and hide it in a bag. Covered in a foil of course. Hot ugali just ties everything together.
2. Have a nice long chat with the ugali guy and tell him that you come from the land of Kuku so he should sort you out properly. Proceed to slyly hand him 50 bob. You know how we do. ‘Chini ya maji.’
“I can’t speak on behalf of all women; different women want different things.” Sandra said finally.
A very confusing statement, in my opinion. I have been told that adding ‘in my opinion’ when I say something that might cause a stir makes it more palatable. I can confidently say that I speak for all men when I say there are three things that all men want. Aside from a mama who can cook a mean chapati.
3. Love and support. Yes, they are one thing as far as I’m concerned. If you have a problem with that you know where to find me.
Bonnie and Charles almost simultaneously chime in, “What does that mean?”
Marlene in her caviler demeanor stated with some sense of certainty that it meant exactly that. Marlene is single. I wonder why? (Read sarcasm). Steve ordered two more beers and took a big swig at the one he had in hand. Coping mechanism at play. Charles, Sandra and I were wolfing down meat like it was the last supper. Bonnie just sat there staring into the distance. He has a tendency of zoning out. I wonder what goes on in that Afro adorned head of his.
“Women, just like men. want different things when it comes to how they want to be treated. There is no mold to fit us all in. Some like bad boys’ others like good guys. Some enjoy being treated like shit. I think they have daddy issues they need to deal with, while others want to be romanced. It’s up to you to figure out what your woman wants.” Marlene clarified.
I hate to admit it. Honestly, I hate to, but Marlene made a lot of sense. There is no exact template that people fit in so it is understandable that they would want something more specific to them. The question then becomes why does it takes us so long to figure out what we want? Steve had been with her for two years. I think by the first year she should have figured out that he wasn’t prince charming. She certainly wasn’t sleeping beauty. It’s not rocket science after all.
Charles interjected, “Steve, let me tell you. These women will make you go crazy. The last girl I had liked to take long late-night walks and swim. She loved trying out new foods, which was especially bad for my wallet. What is worse is that she hated my jokes, called them stale. Yani she couldn’t even sugar coat somethings. She would throw tantrums if I refused to take her out because I was broke. She even hit me sometimes man. After putting and I put up with all that drama she left me for some sponsor with a MasterCard and big ass”
We all laughed. It was how he said biiiig aaaasss. He had not finished his thought so he continued.
“The girl I’m with right now just wants to stay in, cuddle and watch movies (remember when I said its cold out here). She doesn’t throw tantrums, she doesn’t complain. This girl even makes better chapos than my mum.”
This mystery woman sounded God sent. A bit too good to be true. I think he may be pussy whipped but if she makes better chapos than his mom she is THEE one. The day I find a woman like that I might take out my junk and pee all around her to mark my territory. Fisi ni wengi.
Bonnie, the ladies’ man of the group, finally decided to put in his two cents.
“Women don’t know what they want. They think they do but when it comes down to it is up to you as the man to show them what they want. If you start the relationship and treat her like a queen you have signed your own death sentence. That’s setting the bar too high for yourself. You will always be measured against that bar. A smart man will treat her well sometimes, just sometimes. The rest of the time just treat her normally, be mean sometimes, be an ass. That way when you treat her well she will appreciate it more. You will give her everything she needs to stay interested and occupied. Part-time bad boy, part-time nice guy.” Sips soda.
You better believe the girls did not agree with his opinion at all. All hell broke loose. There was a lot of cursing. Voices were raised. A beer bottle was launched through the air and a glass got broken. I don’t know how all this happened exactly. It was like I was having an out of body experience. Everything was happening around me and I was merely a powerless bystander. During the chaos, somebody threatened to call FIDA and that’s never a good thing. The girls won in the end. I say win because it felt like it was a competition. Men vs women. They insisted that they know what they want. Only the problem is they often change their minds.
Bonnie said almost the same thing. In my opinion.
What do women want? If you have a definite answer please tell me in the comments box below. Remember to like, comment, and share if you enjoyed.