Unwise sacrifices ,by Funke Egbemode

Patty was in pain, deep searing pain. She was not supposed to be in this place, end up at this sorry pass. She gave Alhaji her all, the relationship her everything. Relationship? Was what they had even worth calling a relationship because looking back from her balcony of grief, all she could see now was a one-winged flight that eventually crashed spectacularly. The pain wracking her body and soul was made worse by the feeling of foolishness. You know how you feel when you finally realised you’ve been used, had, taken advantage of and you allowed it all happen, with your eyes wide open.


Patty wept and howled. She cursed and creamed but unless an uncommon miracle happens tomorrow, Alhaji was lost forever, her heart shattered into smithereens, her self-esteem in the mud.



What really happened?



Patty and Alhaji were an item for four solid years. Alhaji’s two wives and children knew Patty as the ‘latest sisi’ in Alhaji’s life. He’d set her up in a posh apartment in Abuja and spoilt her in every way possible. Indeed, everyone thought Patty was the third wife-in-waiting. But last Saturday, out of the blues, Alhaji took a third wife and it wasn’t Patty. No, Patty heard of the event just like the rest of us. How’s that for violence in romance, heartless blindsiding? How do you not tell a woman you’ve been with for four years that she is not good enough, not wife material? How does a woman miss all the signs that she’s not going to make wife cadre? Is it possible for a woman not to know the man she’s dating doesn’t thinks she’s nothing more than a plaything?




Okay, disappointments on the way to the altar happens all the time, as often as the wedding ceremonies themselves. But considering the sacrifices that Patty made, the things she gave up to be with and keep Alhaji, that cut was deep, very deep.



‘I almost died getting a BBL.’ BBL is Brazilian Butt Lift. Yeah, the rave cosmetic surgery girls are all doing to get bigger backsides, bigger breasts, slimmer waists. And yes, Patty had a surgery to look more sumptuous and voluptuous for Alhaji. Don’t gasp. Here’s the rest of the story, according to pained Patty.



‘Yes, Alhaji paid for the surgery but it was me under the knife, immobile and in scary pain because I had complications after the operation. He wanted me to have bigger butts and constantly made jest of me for wearing butt pads. I eventually went for the surgery. I changed virtually everything about my life for him. I resigned from my job so I could have more time for him. Whatever he wanted I did. I loved him, still do but I didn’t see this coming. How could he do this to me, take another wife, pass me over for another woman? What else didn’t I do? How did I not see this coming? He spent the weekend before the wedding with me for God’s sake!’


Mean, Alhaji was mean and cold but I still can’t find the right words to describe how Patty fell and stayed with a man like that. You must have ice where your heart should be to do what Alhaji did, right?


However, don’t you think there should be limits to the sacrifice a woman, or even a man should make in a relationship? How much should you give up? How much of yourself should you lose to please your partner? Should you even lose yourself at all? Yours sincerely can’t even get a tattoo to impress a man because from videos that I’ve watched, it is not a painless process and you can’t remove a tattoo painlessly. My take is: do not do what you cannot undo. Do not give what you can’t take back.


More and more women are making foolish sacrifices in relationships that are not guaranteed to lead to happy endings. And I ask, when you take out one of your ribs to achieve a slimmer waist, are you doing it for yourself or to please a man? Have you thought seriously about what the man you are getting cosmetic surgery to please thinks of you? A lot of men encourage their side chicks to do things they’d never ask their wives or daughters to do. If a man thinks your butt lift or tummy tuck will create medical or health challenges for you later in life, does he not reserve the right to ease out of your life so he doesn’t get sucked into avoidable future medical expenses? If you are vain enough to go beyond henna to please a man’s physical need, be brave enough to own the consequences.


I still do not understand why women do dumb things to keep men interested. Is it that we are just plain dumb or shamelessly desperate? Why do we bleach our skin, risk our kidneys and livers just so men can look in our direction? Is it that we skipped biology classes when we were being taught Excretion in secondary school or we just don’t care whether we live or die? You see women who sell roasted corn by the roadside bleaching until they turn dirty pink right before your eyes and I wonder if they do it for their husbands or concubines. A husband who can’t set you up in a shop is not the one you should risk or give up your skin or kidney for. The men are at this point going to scream “Not all men will be rich”. Fine, and I scream right back, “No woman should give up her kidney for any man, poor or rich”. But do my sisters listen? Do they learn? Do they care what happens to them beyond the few naira notes thrown at them for a few years men are interested?


He wants you to bleach or tone or you decide to ‘whiten’ your skin because you think a fair skin will keep him interested, ask yourself for how long will you bleach and for how long will he be interested? A new phone, a few aso-ebi and ‘woroworo’ jewellery? Maybe he even pays your rent for a year or two. Is that why you are assaulting your skin and kidney? A session of dialysis per session cost about N30,000 and kidney transplant can cost as high as N20 million. That is what you are risking for a foolish phone and cheap rent? Lady, if you have the sense God gave a goose, you will reassess your life, that relationship and draw up a table of pros and cons of what you are doing to yourself just so one man will not look at another woman. His mother did not have only you in mind when he took him for circumcision, so ‘borrow yourself some brain’ as they say on the streets.


You may even get lucky and never get to the road junction of compromised kidneys but have you not seen women whose skin look like rotting shaki (tripe)? Today is Saturday, every woman’s damaged skin will be covered with layers and layers of makeup. Wait till Tuesday when they are not covered in ‘foundations’ ‘concealers’ and bronzer and see gbege. Years and years of chemically processed skin on display. Burnt skin all over the place. Burnt face, peeling back of the neck, discoloured faces and elbows that make you want to puke. Why do we do these things to ourselves? The men eventually leave, look further afield or generally lose interest eventually, don’t they?


And the heartbreaking part? Men hardly ever marry or make life-long commitment or have children with dumb women who make these desperate half-thought out or outright have-brained sacrifices. You don’t agree? Send me a list of Nigerians you know who have proposed to or married their girlfriends who got Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)? Why are the men not all over these ‘new models’ with flowers, rings and marriage proposals? Does it mean BBL and bleaching are strictly for runs girls, aristo babes and hook-up business? Ah, I do not want to even think that the answer is yes. It will be a sad day indeed if it turns out that women are going under the knife, risking their lives just to be playthings, side-chicks? Aluu, God forbid. Let me console myself with the few men who have appreciated the BBL investments of our girls and have proposed. I can’t imagine a city filled with busty bumper chicks who are all single because the young men can’t take them home to mama and the married rich guys think they are good only as snacks.

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