Chioma is a 35-year-old project manager who lives in Port Harcourt. Of herself, she says, “I’m stylish in an upbeat, fresh way without being a victim of trends and brands. I like mixing vintage in with modern pieces.” Chioma describes herself as “positive, energetic, fun, smart, funny … I’m direct, yet diplomatic. I like to do everything from hosting dinner parties to playing hockey. I love biking, running, yoga, seeing live bands, and going to film festivals.
Most of which are not readily available here but I have got to earn a living” Chioma has been single for three years and “I now have a ‘no date’ dating policy: I only do something on dates, like go for a walk or to a cooking class, not sit across a table listening to someone talk. No, I’m done with that.”
I met James at a bar, where we were drinking with mutual friends. He had some interesting stories to tell, and was kind of cool. As the conversation progressed, he started flirting with me. I tried to ignore it, as did our friends. When he got up to leave, he went to shake the guys’ hands, and when he came to shake mine, he leaned in and kissed me on the cheek instead. I was somewhat horrified, not because I have something against kissing, but because of his overfamiliarity.
Later that week, he emailed me a video related to a story he had been telling me at the bar. I responded with polite acknowledgment, and then he responded with “Get a drink sometime?” I decided to go into the situation with my new life philosophy: high hopes, low expectations. And, for all intents and purposes, Jamie is “a catch.” He is gainfully employed, he is fit, and he is good-looking, by societal standards.
We decided on brunch, which was actually his choice. I thought it was odd that about 20 minutes into the date, James had referred to his age multiple times. He seemed uncomfortable with it, even though he’s relatively young. To put him out of his misery I told him I had him beat, and was two years older than him. His eyebrows shot up to his forehead, and he yelled “You look great!” and went in for a big, expressive fist pump.
After that, I put my hands under the table. He told me that I barely made it into his acceptable age range, the one that he uses to determine who he will message online and on dating apps. I had to tell him that I no longer waste my time dating online, because I think it can be dangerous to one’s sexual health and mental state.
It was awkward, but I was glad this all came up. James’ a player, and I’m a confident woman looking for a relationship. That’s fine. I actually thought at one point that maybe we could be buddies, but realized that men like James don’t usually want buddies who are girls.
At the end of the date, as we were walking towards my car, James suddenly said, “We all have preferences. I wish people would just get over it and admit that they have preferences.” He said that he hates it when women don’t shave, down there. He told me about an experience he had with a woman that left him traumatized: she had so much pubic hair that he had to change positions during sex with her, only to find that she had even more hair on the other side. He told me that he “almost” couldn’t perform.
I was somewhat stunned, wondering how a Sunday afternoon date had taken such a turn. When I finally realized that it was my turn to respond, I coughed up “Well. I have to say that for me, the only thing creepier than a grown woman with no pubes is a grown man who shaves off all of his body hair.” That was it, for the date and for us.