The sun was so hot on that day that I felt like not leaving her office. Worse case, because there was no space in her office premises we had to make do with a commercial parking lot some distance away. That day I didn’t worry about our driver who must have been burning away in the hot car; well, the car had A/C but we do not expect him to put it on since he knew our meeting with the client may take some time.
The way I relaxed in lady Mercy’s office was beyond the ordinary. But I didn’t beat myself for it, sake of the torture I had in the sun for trekking to her office from the car park. We’ve had a business relationship for over a year and with the way we relate I hoped she would understand. The A/C in her office was almost freezing and it really relieved me. A young man hustling to make ends meet, whose business requires him to tie some ropes around his neck (tie) and be in suit for an official meeting with clients. It was however easier for my female colleague, Halima, she was not the sales lead in this case; she only came as a support, wearing a simple corporate gown. Lady Mercy on the other hand was also corporate, wearing a black suit on a sky-blue top, a high heel, and her usual recommended eye glasses just hung on her nose beautifully. From the way she cuddled herself and relaxed on her executive seat I assumed she was cold too.
At least that was my thought until Halima voiced out when we were leaving her office premises, “Olumide, I’m warning you, be careful with this woman o!”
“How do you mean be careful?” Indeed I was lost.
“You mean you can’t see the way she was looking at you? See, I am a woman and I know the way women think and react. From the way she looked at you I can tell she wants to have something to do with you…”
And so she went on trying to convince me she was right because she is a woman like the lady. Well, I still say with due respect that I disagree with her. I mean, if a lady likes me, one way or the other I often get to decode from her body language (Yeah. Reading too much of James Hadley Chase in my earlier days gave me that bad idea). But with lady Mercy I saw nothing. Moreover, she was older than me (if that matters), though I’m not sure if she was married I often hear her talk about her baby girl of about eight years in age. Now, at this point I just got married and I fear tampering with my marriage would be the least anybody would expect from me…
But that is by the way; anyway, just few weeks ago I encountered a female friend in a poetic gathering. We got talking. And we talked to the point where I invited her for a poetry event I host quarterly in Ibadan. When she told me she is no longer based in Ibadan and would find it difficult to come because she doesn’t have anybody she could spend the night with a day before the event - because she doesn’t like coming to Ibadan and leaving the same day, I told her she could come and spend the night in my house. The next thing she said was, “Ha! You are a married man. I don’t want wahala o!”
I was like “Wahala ke?”
She said, “See, I am a woman, and I know how women think: if your wife sees me she may think that there is something between us…”
Much as I explained to her that other ladies who are members of organizing team for the event also come from outside Ibadan and sleep at my place she was still jittery, stating my wife may not react in my presence but may react when I am not there. Of course, because she is also a woman she said she would see what my own eyes cannot see.
Now I get weary of the way women see things: What’s with the way women see women?
Yes. I know women are deeper and get better understanding of things in much more ways than men. But, what is it with the way they see? What about we leave fiction and face facts? … What worries me in these two arguments, with two different people, at two different locations, was that they based their judgments only with the way women see.