My mum always tells me that if I’m to choose a suitable guy to date, he must be at least 5 years older than I. I have always been one to argue with her with a feeble argument of age is nothing but a number, maturity is all that counts. I used to actually dismiss her statement as so 70s after all, she’s from that generation. Until very recently when I finally came to the conclusion, that guys my age or falling in the 20 something year old age bracket, are actually still
Just the other day, I was reading a very interesting article from one of those controversial columnists in my country, who never shy away from hitting the nail on the head, no matter how destructive it will be. She was talking about how nowadays, it has since been proven that boys are the weaker sex.
How then do you explain a 27 year old still living at home, with no investment plans in mind, still savoring the benefits of Instagram albeit exceedingly and boozing like there’s no tomorrow? Well, for once, I totally agreed with her and especially when she went ahead to refer to such
men boys as “blueband boys”.
I’m a considerate blogger, so I will explain what “blueband” is for my foreign readers.
Blueband is a margarine brand in my country, which was missing in many homes some 20, 25 years back. You see, it has taken a while for several African homes to totally embrace such luxuries as jam, margarine and butter. You will be surprised that some Kenyans still think that cereals are only for children, as evidenced by a certain shopkeeper who gasped when he heard me confess that I was buying Weetabix from his shop, for myself and not my child (which he thought I had).
Apparently, such things as blueband only serve to kick out any remaining sense from the minds of children, who have been brought up layering their bread with it. Perhaps replacing it with more cravings for blueband, I presume? Anyways, if I carry on like this, I will probably turn this post into an essay of “the history of margarine usage in Kenyan homes”.
Anyways, I think this columnist has endured the kind of frustration I have equally endured, when you realize soon enough that you are competing for an eligible bachelor’s attention with his booze or partying lifestyle. No wonder the inspiration behind that particular article.
If you fall in the 20 something female age bracket like I do, you have probably been led to feel like you are simply a misplaced, marriage anticipating
girl woman, perhaps once or twice, by a guy whom you were trying to get serious with. These clueless 20 something year old men boys are experts at making women feel as if they are such total bores just for demanding for exclusivity. They will blow you off at the slightest hint from you that you are thinking about the future. And when you end up thoroughly disappointed and decide to date the older, established and more grounded men, they will be the first to point fingers at you that you are simply golddigging.
So how did this phenomenon come to be?
Methinks that education and improved financial status in recent times among many Kenyans, is a huge contributing factor. Don’t look at me that way, I have nothing against education or acquiring wealth! However, if you look back at how our fathers grew up, you will notice that most began fending for themselves quite early in life. If they made it to post high school education, they probably earned a diploma then left home soon after acquiring jobs. With home being a small house or hut separate from the main house, which had been occupied by them from the time they got circumcised. Not a bedroom in the same house as their parents, mind you.
You will be surprised that some were already married while studying for their diplomas, with a wife up country. So obviously, this 22, 23 year old was not only thinking about booze, bedding the lasses and how to splurge his pocket money from a rich daddy somewhere. He was probably thinking of how he will earn his diploma, get gainful employment soon after and take care of his aging parents, wife or young family.
If some were too poor for their parents to even afford a high school education for them, the very education oriented ones resorted to doing all kinds of menial jobs just to make some money to pay their high school fee. The business oriented ones came up with farming or business ideas to get themselves out of poverty. Some cultures actually demanded that young men build a house for themselves before they could settle down in marriage. In that era, by 25, most men were already financially capable to some extent perhaps with a young family in tow.
Fast forward to the late 20th century and boys finish high school, get enrolled into campus with their parents, get a degree. Nowadays, see the need for additional education in the form of a Masters degree, which the financially able dad offers to pay. In all that time this guy is depending on pocket money from his parents since the dad deems it fit that he attains his higher learning certificates, before he can start applying for jobs.
The guy attains his Masters degree, starts job hunting while under his parents’ roof. Since he has made his daddy proud, the dad has no qualms letting him use one of the cars in the compound lying idle, no qualms having him come home late in the night drunk as long as he doesn’t make a racket. By the time the guy hits 27, probably in his first job by then, he has tasted the sweetness of pocket money from parents and not having to hustle much and therefore, living at home and enjoying his daddy’s riches isn’t such a huge issue to fret about for him.
Then come this mid twenty something year old lass whose motherhood instincts are starting to get stronger by the day and she has been anticipating for a serious, future oriented man who will sweep her off her feet and transform her into a Mrs someday. By bad luck, she hooks up with such a guy above who has since grown used to everything coming easy in his life. Before long, this poor lass suddenly realizes that this was only a short lived romance. The guy had no intention whatsoever of getting serious. He’s still having himself some good fun while leaving crashed lasses in the wake of his fun deluded mind.
You see, a lot of emphasis has been placed on the girl child being prepared for her future roles as a wife and mother. If she can’t cook by a certain age, her family members will probably be going something like ” What kind of a wife will you make if you can’t cook?” If she is forgetful and careless, she will be asked, “What kind of a mother will you make while that careless? Your baby will burn in the kitchen when you are not looking.” Such statements only serve as a wake up call to girl children that they must hurry up and mature by the time they hit their 20s in preparation for their future roles.
Who asks the boy child ” What kind of a husband will you make if you are still dependent on my (his father’s) money?” Or better yet, ” How will you budget your family’s funds if you still live at home or frequently party wild?” And yes, we placed a lot of emphasis on the girl child, empowering her and constantly reminding her of her future responsibilities, to the extent where we forgot all about the boy child who is now wallowing in oblivion. I’m sure if you compared these days’ 20 something year old men to men in the same age bracket 20 years ago, there is indeed a very huge difference.