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Eight Days and Eight Nights

There’s this perception, real or actual, that Ghana is the place where single Ghanaian women can quickly and easily find husbands. If you’ve been away for years, and you’re gnashing like crazy in whatever foreign city you’re in, its best to pack up and go home and you’ll surely scoop a man. Some women, within months, weeks or even days of arriving, land hubbies. And I actually know quite a few women who’ve nabbed within a year max of arriving in Ghana. So is Ghana really bursting at the seams with eligible bachelors? It’s possible. I get more direct stares and double takes in Ghana than anywhere else (although it could be that Ghanaian men are just rude and like to stare). In any case, I did have more attention and possible suitors in Ghana. Since I left, it’s been incredibly dry. And everyone just keeps saying, you need to go back home to find a guy.

So I’m in Accra, impromptu visit. I landed late Thursday night, after the worst travel experience ever. Delta sucks, big time. And unfortunately, there was no one interesting to fraternize with on the flight. Excessive ‘boga’ swag and lafa was rampant. I got home close to midnight, incredibly jet-lagged so I logged online to check emails and chat. And my friend in the U.S. says to me, ‘you’re in Ghana, what are you doing at home. Go out. Find a man.’ I argued with him a bit, and said it’s not that simple. He insisted that within a week, I could find HIM, and I shouldn’t slack. That had me thinking. A week – is it possible? Possible or not, I’ve decided to put the perception or myth to the test. I’m in Ghana, and apparently my man is somewhere here. So for the next eight days, I’m going to be looking for him. People keep insisting there’s a lot of fish in the sea here. Wonderful, let’s find out.

So that is what this blog is going to be about, a true and honest account of my week-long quest to find HIM in the wonderful Ghana market. Each day I’ll write about my adventures, and tell you what happened, and if I met any potentials. Since I’ll be posting on a daily basis, please feel free to advice me if you feel I’m heading in the wrong direction. And for all the single Ghanaian women living abroad, thinking of moving back home to find HIM, maybe my adventure will help you out, a little. Here we go, people. Fingers crossed. Wish me luck!!

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Day One – Friday

I could barely wake up this morning. I slept close to 3am GMT and my eyes just wouldn’t open. The househelp came in around 8am and asked what I’d like for breakfast. Ah, I had missed that. You don’t have to have a boyfriend, husband or high-income status to get fed breakfast in bed! I asked for eggs and tea and went back to sleep. The eggs and tea arrived 30 mins later. I ate and went right back to bed. My mother’s driver, another Ghana luxury I have missed, arrived to take me on my errands. The day wasn’t starting out so bad, except I didn’t have luggage and I had to wear the same clothes I’d been wearing since Wednesday. Delta lost my luggage in transit. They’ve assured me it will be here within the next few days. It better be. I’m on a manhunt, and that ideally requires freshly laundered clothes.

I got a phone and chip from my cousin and decided to call a couple of old flames. They weren’t under consideration for the quest but I figured I could start from there. One of them was taken, but I had a soft spot for him, and nothing in life is permanent right, except my single status it seems. That’s been around forever. So I made the calls, and chatted a bit. Two were excited I was back and one was totally nonchalant. Ah well, I shrugged it off and then stepped out.  My first stop was purely official business. I couldn’t even ‘shop’ at that location if I wanted – the selection was just old tired looking civil service men in their 40’s. No, no. Next stop, I sat outside the Adabraka VAT office waiting for my brother to get his VAT done. Nothing to see there either. Next, my brother and I went to meet some cousins and friends for lunch. Going out to lunch is getting really popular in Ghana. It surprises me. I’m not a ‘going out to lunch, or dinner’ type of person. Hanging out at home or the movie theatre will suffice. Hint, hint. Lunch was fun. I stared at almost every man seated there or walking in and most of them were like 40+ and wearing wedding bands. Where are the single men?

After lunch, we made a couple more stops. Nothing major. I went to Silver Star. I’m trying to get them to sponsor my book launch, so it was purely business and they had no eye candies either. After Silver Star, I went to Silverbird Lifestyle bookstore to check out my books and possible venue for the launch, also purely business, and highly uneventful. By the way, there are only 2 copies of CIRCLES left at the bookstore, which is great. I will replenish tomorrow, so if you haven’t grabbed a copy, please do :) . And email me, I will find you and sign it. Promise!

After Silverbird, I came home, drained by the heat and lack of men to ogle. One of my long-time girlfriends came by. Girlfriends, they’re such a rare breed. I’m trying to hold onto them a little better. And of course we talked about men. Is there anything better to talk about? She’s on the look-out as well, but I doubt she’ll be single for long. She’s super hot. Anyways, she said the single eligible men in Ghana are not as plentiful as people think. There are lots of men in Ghana, she said, but only 30% or less are serious potentials. That’s a disappointing statistic, but I’m not about to give up. After she left, I made some more phone calls. None led anywhere. My little brother went out without telling me and my cousin went to a party after work and got home tired. I really didn’t want to stay in on a Friday night but I had no choice. However, my resolve remains strong. This is only Day ONE!

Day Two – Saturday

My mother, very sly woman, tried to hide Coke from me. I woke up this morning in her room and saw this little fridge tucked in the corner. I didn’t notice it at all yesterday. I reached over, opened it and there’s this lonely 2-litre Christmas labeled bottle of Coke sitting right there. I cracked up. Was this the only place she could think of to hide Coke from me? In her little fridge? Hysterical. This lonely bottle needed company, so I liberated the cap and took a swing. Ah, Coke is truly a beautiful thing.

So the Coke discovery was a great way to start my day. I didn’t have breakfast in bed this time because I just couldn’t wake up. I really couldn’t. I finally managed to get up after noon. Life had to be lived, and it couldn’t happen in bed – well, maybe it can :) . Anyways, so I left home to go deliver 40 copies of CIRCLES to Silverbird. If you haven’t gotten a copy yet, Silverbird now has 40 brand new copies! Please go grab one as soon as you can. And of course inbox me on Facebook and tell me all about it. After Silverbird, I went to visit one of my long-time bffs. Like I mentioned yesterday, I am attempting to hold onto some girlfriends. It was a really good visit. It was good to catch up and talk and just relax. I miss my girlfriends. Long distance isn’t just a strain on romantic relationships but it’s also hard on friendships. After that, I went to visit my nephew. My life is primarily about family. There’s always this cousin, or that cousin, or my brothers, or something of the sort. I kinda like it that way. They have your back, always. The visit with my little nephew was great too. It took him hours, but eventually he managed to smile, just for me. That was awesome. He has a super cute dimpled smile, it’s just ridiculous.

After the two nice visits, I had to come home and get ready. I was going to meet an old friend at a concert. I wasn’t quite sure what this was. Was it a date? A meet-up? When we spoke on the phone, he said, ‘hey so I’m going to be here tomorrow night, can you come?’ That’s not a date right? There’s never been anything between us so I figured it was just a little meet-up, no biggie. I didn’t dress up, just a shirt and jeans and a little attempt at make-up. It was really nice seeing him. We hugged – tight. And within three minutes, I realized maybe this was a little more than a meet-up. It’s weird how you’re totally platonic with someone, no flirting whatsoever, and you see each other after a long while and then things are different. We went straight from kinda knowing each other to hand-holding, hugs and cuddling. I’m not sure what that was about, I was only wearing a checkered shirt, jeans and slippers. The concert was cool though, different, but cool. An hour or so into it, a couple of friends joined us, and then we all left to go check out some other spot. The tension between us was pretty high then, so we excused ourselves and sat in the car to talk. That’s another thing I’ve missed – sitting in a car with a boy. It beats a lunch date anytime. So we talked, trying to figure out what this attraction was, coming out of nowhere. He said maybe the events of the night should be the opening chapter of my next book. Hahaha, very funny. I told him I was going to blog about it when I got home and he was all for it. We talked for a really long time, it was cute. He’s a nice guy. And it was a really fun night, totally. I loved the attention completely. I soaked it up! And I just kept thinking, this is day two? Seriously? I need to move down here ASAP!

We went back to the concert briefly and when that was over, we decided to call it a night and made plans to ‘meet-up’ again. I had an absolutely good time. If I was back in Atlanta, I’d be heading to the movies by my lonesome self, drinking Coke Icee and swooning over some guy on the big screen. This is way better. The best part about hanging out with a guy is when he sends you a text when you get home. I particularly like the one I got tonight, ‘hey sexy’. Two words. That works for me, for now. End of Day TWO!

Day Three – Sunday

A friend of mine said, ‘what else is there to do on Sunday but to drink tea and lie in bed?’ I don’t like tea, but I definitely like the bed part. I spent half of today lying in bed. To be honest, I think it was more than half the day. I woke up late, as always, with a very serious craving for Auntie Muni. By the time I got there close to 2pm, there was nothing much left. No salad, eggs, fish and plantains. You just can’t get anything at Auntie Muni after 2pm. I’m not sure if that is on purpose or it’s just bad demand-supply planning. She needs to look into it ASAP. I was very disappointed. After my wakye brunch I went back to bed and stayed there till 5pm or so. I know, that’s just ridiculous, but it’s Sunday. I’m allowed. One of my oldest truly platonic male bffs came by and we just hang around and talked. I respect and admire him a lot because he’s totally himself. He does what he wants, and he is true to his interests, talents and beliefs. That’s pretty rare and that’s where I want to get to. To live the life I want to live, not dictated by what others think, believe and assume. It’s not about how others see your life, it’s about how you see your own life and the direction you’re on. Each time I talk to him, I feel like I’m interviewing him, because his philosophy on life and love is open-minded and mature. He had some pretty interesting insights about my situation that were kind of spot on. I’m stuck in a rut because I’m looking for fireworks. That feeling, that builds from the pit of your stomach and overwhelms you and you can barely breathe. That feeling that cripples you and you know without a doubt how you feel about the person. And he said a level of fireworks is required, but it shouldn’t be the whole deal. He acknowledged that it’s hard, when you’ve experienced the fireworks before, the pure unadulterated feeling of love and you just can’t seem to experience it again. Then you’re stuck, and nothing measures up. Ditto, my friend, ditto. So why can’t I have that level again? Must I settle for the Ghana December 31st fireworks or should I keep holding out for the Macys July 4th extravaganza (Macys spends a reported $8million minimum on their fireworks). I don’t know what the answer is.

After that creative, artsy, philosophical chat, we went to African Regent to check out the poolside – venue for the CIRCLES book launch in May. African Regent is a key sponsor of the event and I have never been to the poolside so I wanted to go check it out. I really want the launch to be casual, nothing uptight and stiff. I’m thinking a cocktail so a relaxed venue is important. I was at Silverbird yesterday, and their venue isn’t bad, but I think it works more for a book-signing. So the plan is to do cocktail book launch at Regent and then a book signing at Silverbird the day after or something. After checking out the Regent poolside, I had to head home. An old flame was waiting for me there.

This old flame is truly a special person. If there’s any ‘heart’ I could possibly clone, it’d be his. Don’t you sometimes wish you can create your man? With a heart from that one, and that one’s mind, and that one’s height and looks and so forth. Anyways, this old flame is a genuinely good guy. We hang out with my brother and cousin and had one of THE MOST INTERESTING debates/discussions I have ever had in my life. And funny enough, it centered on what most of you have posted on this blog – the level of education of the woman.

The men said honestly, all a man wants is a woman who won’t stress you out. Someone who will make you feel special and appreciated. Someone who acknowledges your hard work and effort. Someone who celebrates your successes and as well as make you feel better about your failures. That doesn’t sound so hard does it? But the catch is, they think most educated women in certain demanding professions don’t give their men that support. It’s the ‘me wura’ factor. My cousin said imagine a situation where you get home from work and you’re damn tired, and your wife puts your feet up, and brings you your hot meal and a chilled glass of water. Then when you’re done, she brings you water to wash your hands and says, ‘me wura, is there anything else you need?’ That’s bliss. And of course they said someone like me wouldn’t do that. I’m definitely not calling any man ‘me wura’ so I’m sorry if that is a pre-requisite. But I think showing love and appreciation for a man takes different forms. I may not serve him in the exact way my cousin described it, but I will ensure that his needs are met to the best of my ability. Why not? But they argued that most women have lost the value of appreciation, simple basic ways of showing a man you care. They gave an example of a girl who cooked banku and okro for her man because he’d just completed a very grueling exam. I was impressed though. I have to admit that. Women may hate me for this, but I think they have a point somewhere, a little point. Career-minded women may be losing sight of the little ways to make someone content and happy. The little gestures of appreciation go a long way. It’s like the work environment. In a recession particularly, it’s not all about monetary rewards. Managers can show their appreciation for their employees through little things, pizza/beer night, thank you written on post-its, birthday cards, etc. Likewise, no matter how hard you’re working in that corporate job, both men and women need to remember the little things. Another interesting thing they said was, what changed the game is when women started to move in packs. That just destroyed men totally. When women roll in packs, two things can happen. If two of them in the group don’t like you, you don’t stand a chance with the one you want. If they like you, you can have the one you want, plus an additional one or two. Hilarious, and true, you have to admit.

So far, it seems what I’m getting today is an education in life, love and relationships. But enough talk, I needed to de-stress, and not think too much. The old flame and I said bye and arranged to meet tomorrow. He called me his girl, that was sweet. Perhaps I should quit the quest now! But not yet, I need MACYS, I really do. After the heavy conversations, I went to East Legon to visit a couple of friends that I knew wouldn’t get on the deep bandwagon. It was exactly what I needed. I got my mind temporarily off the quest and just had a relatively good time.

The night was still fairly young when I left East Legon, so I went to pick up my cousin from home and we went to Bella Roma. BR was closed. That was disappointing. And everything else in Osu was closed, at 11pm. Don’t people drink and eat on Sundays? We went to a little Italian icecream joint a few metres past Papaye. My cousin had arranged with the owner to sell my books at his café, so we stopped by to say hello. One of the girls at the cafe had a copy of the book. She brought it out and I signed it for her. That was really random but very nice. I think signing my book for a total stranger was one of the best parts of my day, honestly. I told the owner I’d bring copies and fliers to the café tomorrow. I can’t remember the name of the place now, but I’ll post it on the blog as soon as I take the books. I know Silverbird isn’t very convenient, so I’m working on getting the books into more locations.

My cousin asked if I was going to blog as I was heading up to bed, and I said yes, but it’s been a lazy, slow day. And he said that’s all part of the experience. I like that – that’s all part of the experience, the excitement of hand-holding one day and the safety and security of old friends and loved ones another day. C’est la vie!

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