Every man knows at least one such woman. Or two. That girl from college, the estate/neighborhood or the village who used to make heads turn. She was explosively beautiful whose beauty defied convention. She had everything in place, physically speaking. A subject of many an adolescent and youthful wet dreams and other soap-jelly perverted fantasies of young men. She was a natural and universally accepted that she was too stunning, it hurt.
Then something happened. It could be time. Biology. A toxic pregnancy. An abortion. An abusive relationship. Heck, even marriage. Whatever! It wrecked her looks so irreparably bad, it is unbelievable. It could be entirely out of her own doing or forces beyond her. But that is not the matter here.
Where she had a flawlessly, smooth skin now exists visible freckles almost making a leopard skin out of her. You will think that mosquitoes dine on her forehead daily. She had a perfect body, every model’s dream. Now, there is nothing outstanding. That cleavage that she used
to expose always is now tucked under some hideous top. And gravity has severely brought down her once erotically pointing boobs. Those coveted hips are now covered with monstrous pants and like giving up completely; she replaced her natural hair with a shocking wig. What
In a murky coincidence, as a man you seem to run into them in that lift, or some social gathering when you are on the other end of the spectrum. Your three-month working out in the suburb gym is paying off and that fitting shirt seems to be working just fine. You finally found someone younger who could be deceived by your lame lines and a cheap car. You have finally fixed that small matter of the hairstyle and fashion sense and single ladies in the office have fancy adjectives to describe your fashion or looks. And then you run into Lucy.
Frankly from a man’s point of view, there is something instantly heartbreaking about meeting a woman who was gorgeous in her prime but now the ravages of nature have served her wrongly and all the beauty is gone. You can’t disguise it upon discovering that the Lucy that boys and men so much fantasized about is now human. Well, we always hold them in highest esteem and often came up with corny expressions that they are excluded from certain duties of nature like farting or pooping. They were graceful and incredible, always.
Of course, in their prime past, we tried our lucky and disastrously failed. But the grudge is kept. Hoping that one day you will have the last laugh. Sometimes, they end up successful in life and you see them on billboards and you hear that they are the corporate beauties in town, it hardly shocks you. May be they had beauty and brains. But often, you find them in extremely unappealing circumstances.
Of course, you will shake hands, have some small talk for ‘ol’time’ sake, exchange numbers( we never call each other anyway, why do we insist) and the next thing a man does is call all the men who knew her. This is how such a conversation is likely to go…on the phone, or
through a Facebook chat… (Sounds better in Swahili).
THE MAN: Hey wassup, long time, you can’t believe this?
THE FRIEND 😦 Ready for something juicy to make the Monday afternoon
boredom bearable) What?
THE MAN: Men, I met Lucy!
There is always one Lucy that they will always talk about in this context. The friend will mentally predict she is either married, pregnant or well, doing well.
THE FRIEND: What with her? (Trying not to be excited about the
gossiping. Being manly. Right?)
THE MAN: Maze amechapa!!!!
THE FRIEND: (Genuinely shocked) WACHA!!!
Then the floodgates for a historic gossipy afternoon will be opened and while not trying to be openly celebratory, they will tore into her peahen days. They will uncover the days she was too snobbish and snubbed them invariably. They will be merciless in the choice of their adjectives and hyperbolic in choosing the adverbs. In this scenario, eight women in a saloon or a Chama meeting cannot even contest in the gossip.
It is simple. More quite than often, there are beautiful women who carry themselves as if they are goddesses. OK, they are. Everyone around them makes them believe so. The relatives have a silent bias and always spoil them. Every young boy in the hood wanted to touch. Later on in college, every man must at least have a Crush on her, even if in vain. But we somehow lose them to that youthful, money- flapping lecturer, those bad boys and the so-called hunks. Throw in the
charmers who invariably raised the stakes. Somehow, these men leave the country, die or disappear to God-knows-where as we don’t seem to run into them regularly in town.
The nerds, the simple village men soon take over the corporate world or go into business and they are always the conspicuous lot in the life after college. You know the guys from Nyamira, Bondo, Mukurew-ini and Kwale who went to the government provincial schools.
Once they take charge of the city and discover that the once inaccessible women from the yesteryears are actually, human, very accessible and for their convenience all the youthful allure and vanity is gone, it is surely a cause for celebration and that odd 17 minute call to his old friends with whom he shared the fantasy for quite inevitable.
The Germans call this celebrating of other people’s misfortune as schadenfreude. It is Biblically repugnant (Proverbs 24:17-18). Very human. But for men, it is about how the biological clocks serve us in the long run. I just wonder if women gossip as much when they will bump into a past male friend who is balding or a belly seems unstoppable.