“Good afternoon sir” I said
“Good afternoon my dear ” (with a stern expression)
“Tayo has just informed me of his intention to marry you”
“ You are a foreigner and I’m sure you don’t understand what you are getting into”
“Marriage in Nigeria is serious business”
“I understand that, sir”
“A Nigerian wife has responsibilities”
“Can you cook?” (I thought it was a rhetorical question)
“My dear! Can you cook?? (with his voice raised)
I stuttered a “Yes Sir” I actually couldn’t cook but Tayo’s dad scared me at this point.
I wasn’t sure if my inability to cook would end a marriage that hadn’t even started.
I told a couple more lies out of fear …
“ A LOT of Kids?! Why would I want “A lot of Kids??
Wearing “iro” and “buba”? OMG!!! That wasn’t even as scary as being married to the Omotosho family …. He explained that in Nigeria, family didn’t ask for permission before visiting and staying in a hotel wasn’t even an option…
I finished my meeting feeling ruffled as I walked towards Tayo…
… Phase five
I was definitely unnerved by my meeting with “papa Tayo”
(that’s what everyone called him)
I could barely eat my Jollof rice …
Meeting the Omotosho’s didn’t go as smooth as I had envisaged and next was our visit to the Watsons’ (my folks)
We arrived Kansas and I helped Tayo settled into his hotel room while I went home…
The tension in the house could be felt and guess who was there?
My aunt; Daniela. She just couldn’t stop explaining to me why I wasn’t the “type” to marry a black man … blah! Blah !! blah !!!.
I just had to stop her!
“Aunty Daniela!! I’m not trying to decide, I Have DECIDED”
“You will meet him tomorrow and so will everyone else”
I had a quick bath and went off to dinner with Tayo.
It was a hilarious date. One I would never forget.
First of all, Tayo had a silent scream when the pizza arrived.
“The size of this pizza is copious, Dominic why na?”
hahahaha, I laughed really hard as I watched my Nigerian fiancé handle the culture shock with humour… The humour went through the night with Tayo opening his eyes as he watched the waiters serve humongous food portions …
When the dinner was over, the real drama commenced.
Tayo refused to give the waiter 20% tip as it is customary in the restaurants.
“No Dominic I don’t understand,
we already paid for the food.
Why should I give an additional 20% because he served me graciously?”
“Tayo, please just give him! Please”
He did, but he looked like a toddler whose candy had been snatched.
Did I mention that he didn’t stop talking about the “extortion” … hahahahaha
Tomorrow is the “meet the parent” day.
I said a fervent payer before drifting off.
My prayers actually weren’t answered.
Tayo’s description of it was that my family basically ” a cut and pasted a smile” just to make me happy. On the other hand, my nieces and nephews totally loved Tayo. They couldn’t stop touching his hair.
Tayo had the chance to speak with my dad and from a distance,
I could tell that my dad liked him (he had that dimple on his cheek).
I heard them laugh out loud a few times and I was ready to shop for my wedding dress…
I hung out with my brothers and cousins and was asked questions that made me wonder if I was ever that naïve.
“NO! Tayo doesn’t live in a hut”
” NO! he has never played with a Lion, an Elephant or any other wild animal for that matter”
“We communicate just fine because he speaks perfect English”
“NO! I haven’t seen his BBC and so I can’t tell if what we hear is true!!!”
After everyone was gone, I watched Tayo go to mum to assist with tidying the dishes.
She totally ignored him and I could sense that she didn’t want him around.
This didn’t deter “my Naija boy”. He finished and cleaned the yard.
Mum watched him from the kitchen…
Tayo was a bit worried about mum’s disposition and the next day, he wrote a letter and asked that I deliver it to my mum. I did and my mum read it in my presence…
She had tears in her eyes…
My Tayo had charmed her with his wit.
The most striking thing for mum is that he totally understood her sentiments…
He even promised to “sign a Prenup” agreeing to “hold on to his Nigerian passport forever”
Mum immediately took to Tayo but the disdain from people as they passed by us got me really sad. Not as sad as being called by the police. Tayo had been abused by Jayhawk and Muzzou fans that had been drinking …
He went into a part of town that he shouldn’t have strayed into.
“My Naija boy” was all bruised.
… that was his worse experience in life and next to that was the taste of Dr. pepper.
He got my parents’ consent and nothing else mattered.
The wedding would hold during the summer.
Nigerian Traditional wedding in Akure and
Christian wedding in Kansas…
… to be continued