What every single Ghanaian 30-something year old woman needs
Remember that list that was so popular a few years ago? About a woman needing enough money to rent out her own place, owning a Black and Decker screw driver and a lacy set of underwear etc etc. It’s a pretty useful list actually; but as a Ghanaian woman who happens to be single and in her early 30’s I know there’s at least two other things a single woman needs.
Firstly, she needs a mother who is not obsessed about getting her daughter married at all costs. Like my mother; my mom wants me happy, healthy and whole and to be in a healthy relationship with a man who loves, adores and respects me. And if he’s taking a while to show up, no need to panic. God still makes everything beautiful in His good time. Not to say she’s not itchy for grandbabies (that is a constant refrain) but she’s not stressing me out about not being married. And this is a huge relief because in Ghanaian society, if you’re single at 30 it’s looked on as a curse.
How can a young beautiful woman not be engaged? Wait – you don’t have a boyfriend? Not even someone in the wings? Buei.
So the fact that I have a mother who doesn’t stress out about it makes it much easier for me to block out the snide comments.
The second thing a single woman needs is a gang of married girlfriends who tell her that having a husband is not a walk in the park – it has its own set of rules, ups and downs, challenges and laughter and a dollop of stress.
A friend shared a story with me a year ago that still makes me laugh; she and her hubby are Ghanaians and they were heading home for a visit. She arrived in Accra a week before he did. She says (and his mum swears it is true), a few days after she arrived he rang her and asked where he had left his belt.
He was in London, she was in Accra and he was calling to find out from her where he left his belt. And she told him. And he found it.
Their advice to me is always this – marriage is beautiful but its hard work; hubby is and can be a 5 year old in big boy trousers about a lot of things; you will pick up, you will cook, you will clean and you will spend as much time organizing his life as you will your own.
Not to say their husbands are completely useless (none of them has confessed to me that they want to divorce because they’re fed up); but they want me to understand when I’m feeling broody and worried that marriage is not the dreamy, froth-filled fantasy of movies. Plus, if you’re Catholic (as all my friends are) it’s a forever deal.
So relax and enjoy your singlehood as long as you can because when it’s gone its never coming back.
I’ve always wanted to marry my best friend and raise a horde of children and that dream hasn’t diminished over the years. And I’m so grateful that I have a mother and sisters and married girlfriends who remind me to appreciate where I am now, on the journey to where I want to be.