Envy. That’s a word a lot of us women can relate with…TTC or not. We look from the outside, and think the other lady has it better. But a lot of times, this woman you are envying has it even worse than you do…much worse.
In the few years I have been relating with women, with TTC and otherwise, I have had the opportunity to hear about a lot of stories first hand…not to talk my own cases of envy that I struggled with as well. These are some of the stand-out stories that I have decided to share. As usual, the names have been changed.
Yanju sat across from Dara in their open-plan office. They had been employed within months of each other, and had bonded over their opposite work stations. When Dara got married, Yanju was torn between feeling happy for her friend, but yet deeply jealous of her changed fortunes. Dara had been a regular girl, from a middle-class family…just like her. But by marrying Adam, the son of well-known politician, Dara’s fortunes changed in a flash. Just like that, they were no longer on the same social class…well, at least that’s what Yanju thought. She envied the fact that Dara was chauffeur driven to work, whilst she had to wake up at an ungodly hour to catch the staff bus, because failing to would mean having to come by public transport. She envied Dara’s designer wardrobe and bags. She envied how frequently she got to travel out of the country, whilst it had taken her having to save for almost 2 years to have managed a very economical trip abroad herself.
And even outside of the material, she envied the fact that Dara had snagged a guy so handsome and eligible. Watching him sometimes drop her off at work made her want to wag her finger at God, and ask Him why some people had to have it so great, whilst others, like her, still wallowed. He had blessed Dara with a good looking and wealthy man! Whilst she, at the age of 29, didn’t even have a suitable toaster.
Soon, the envy had been all too consuming for their friendship to survive. Yanju found it increasingly difficult to manage the simplest of conversations with Dara. In her mind, she had managed to convince herself that Dara now felt she was better than her, and she was determined not to be the one to pity.
As the years rolled along, office changes and promotions saw them move to different parts of the building, making their physical encounters few and far between. Yanju got married herself, but as her husband wasn’t as wealthy as Dara’s, she still found herself comparing, from a distance. At times, when she and her husband struggled to balance their finances, she wept inside, and wished that she had Dara’s life…where money wasn’t anything to worry about.
If only she knew!
Beneath the pretty exterior and the expensive clothes, Dara was dying inside. It had taken only a few months into her marriage to discover that her husband had a drug problem. He was addicted to heroin and cocaine. In those early days, he had tried to hide it from her…but when he found out she already knew, he had thrown all caution to the wind and had engaged in his vice openly. His stash of drugs littered almost every corner of their apartment. People of questionable character trooped in and out of their home, regardless of the time of day; some of whom were his suppliers, and others his cronies who would join him to snort lines of cocaine off their coffee table.
But that wasn’t even the worst of it.
Adam was also bisexual. When their marriage was finally over, Dara disclosed how she caught him on several occasions, cavorting with different men, sometimes even on their marital bed. On one occasion, she had been awoken by a drunken, and possibly high, Adam. It wasn’t unusual for him to demand for sex after a night out with his cronies, but this time, it was different. He was with one of his male lovers, and together, they had raped her, whilst also pleasuring each other.
But there Yanju was, wishing she had what Dara had.
I was having a chat with a popular fertility doctor, and she told us the story of a woman, Anita, who, after several years of marriage, had given birth to a set of twins…a boy and a girl! The whole world rejoiced with them! Their families were overjoyed, and their Church members were thrilled. She soon became a reference point for the other TTC women. When they prayed, they asked God to settle them the way He had settled Anita.
Except her settlement hadn’t come from God.
After several fertility treatments had failed, Anita had tired of waiting, and decided to see a man in Benin, that her Aunt had told her about. She had been told he was a ‘spiritualist’, but we all know what that really means. He had assured her that she would conceive…but here was the catch. The ‘treatment’ from whatever deity he served required that he had sex with her.
I will never fully understand the level of desperation that will make a woman sleep with anybody who isn’t her husband, be it a Pastor, Doctor, or ‘spiritualist’, all in a bid to conceive a baby. Doesn’t that just defeat the whole purpose?
Anyway, Anita had sex with this dubious man…went home to have sex with her husband (as she was instructed), and truly, she conceived and delivered her twins. Alls well that ends well, right? Wrong!
Immediately she had her babies, no night was complete without her being raped by a strange, dwarfish, male creature. And apparently, it wasn’t just in her dreams. It was almost physical! She would be awake, and she would see the creature pumping away in her. She would scream to alert her husband, but only she would see the creature. Her husband has never seen it for one day.
So began a new journey for her. It was no longer about TTC, but about getting deliverance from this creature.
And there some women are, wishing they had what she has.
The women in Bidemi’s church thought she was the luckiest woman to walk this planet. Her husband was the most loving and devoted man any woman could wish for. Apart from being devastatingly handsome, and having eyes only for his wife, he practically worshiped the ground she walked on. He carried her handbag, ran her errands, and hovered around her like a hawk.
Apart from all the attention, he also showered Bidemi with an obscene amount of luxurious gifts. They were not the wealthiest couple in church, but she was properly the most well turned out, always in expensive clothes, and her skin glowing as a result of expensive therapy.
Even their Pastor’s wife frequently told her how lucky she was, and how she had to make sure she offered thanksgiving for such a wonderful man.
If only they knew.
Bidemi had gotten married a virgin. She had never had any sexual encounter with any man. Instead, she had dreamed of, and longed for, her wedding night. And the wedding night finally came. Here she was, finally able to make love with the man of her dreams…but it couldn’t happen. Her husband couldn’t manage an erection. And it wasn’t just that one night. He couldn’t manage an erection, period!
It was a rude shock to her, and she thought of leaving the marriage several times. Yes, she was a Christian, and yes, she hadn’t married him for sex…but her body was beginning to yearn this thing she had never tasted.
Her husband realised this, and so began his attempts to please her in every other way, to keep her in the marriage. Nobody knows how much longer it will take before Bidemi gets tired of being a 36 year old virgin.
And there some women are, wishing to have what she has.
I was in my mid-20s, when I saw the colourful pictures of this society bride in one of the glossy women’s magazines. I’ll call her Efe. I just couldn’t get over those pictures. Everything looked picture perfect! From the purple, lilac and pink décor, to the bride’s magnificently jewelled wedding gown, everything about those pictures made me yearn for my own wedding! When would my own husband come sef?! When would I be able to have this kind of wedding?!! I held on to that edition of the magazine for months, looking at those pictures.
As the years went by, I would see this couple in the news. This Day Style wasn’t complete if it didn’t feature them in some society event or the other. They were the picture-perfect couple. Good looking, stylish, wealthy…they looked like they had it all. And I coveted them…I coveted her.
So, imagine my shock when their messy breakup was all over the blogs. The stories highlighted years of mutual infidelity and eye popping scandals! I was gobsmacked!
And there I was envying her!
Things are never quite what they seem. So, the next time you are tempted to think the grass is greener on the other side, bear in mind that it might not be grass…but just synthetic astro-turf.
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