As I get older I get more picky. More so since I got to the west coast. You would think I would be less picky considering I am getting closer to the menopause then I was when I got here, however the more I get to know my people the further I am to them.
In Britain, a man who has probably only got to secondary level education, a grafter e.g. blue collar worker, who is hard working, will work towards getting a mortgage, will look after his family, is very mature. Here because the mortgage system is a relatively new idea and you have to be making a crap load of money to be even considered, it is not even on the mind of the equivalent man here. As such, the blue collar worker is a hustler, he doesn’t care who he has to cheat out of money, even if he has to sell his own mother. I am putting all these guys in one box I know but really there are only a small percentage who do not conform to this. A girl like me, university educated and single will be seen as an easy lay and a means to pay the bills.
Furthermore, less than half the male population has been educated to secondary school standard with a larger percentage who have not gone to school at all. In Europe, you can get a good standard of education free up to secondary school, here, even if it is free there are uniforms, books, basic fees to be paid and if you are not lucky then you end up selling ice water on the roadside at a young age. There are some who make it out, who make money, but then there is the language barrier. If you meet a guy who has made it importing car parts at agblobloshie market, he has a car and a roof over his head, you have to think. How will we communicate? My mother tongue is English. Although I have a good knowledge of the Akan language, my cockney accent sometimes gets in the way and although I can say a few words at a time, I cannot fully converse I have to admit. It is not now I am going to have to learn to communicate with my would be husband.
So that leaves about 52% of the male population. With that almost 90% of those are within my age bracket. Most guys are married by the age of 30. So that means a very limited source.
In the west, I wouldn’t worry so much. Why, because, people in general mature faster. Whether you continue your education to university level or not, you are trained to find a part-time job at the least by the time you are 18. It is normal for a kid of 18 to rent a flat or have to pay rent to their parents. It is normal even before that to do chores around the house for pocket money. Even those like me, even though I didn’t have to pay rent, I had to work for my travel and entertainment. When my friends called me to go out of an evening and I was to ask my father if I could go, he wouldn’t say no, but low and behold I would ask for cash and his response would be “am I sending you?”, so I had to advise myself from a young age to find a saturday job to fund my out of school activities.
Here it’s a different ball game. For those who go further than secondary school do not work. The first time they would actually step into the “real world” as such is once they finished university where they do “national service” which is basically their first furore into the real world. It’s more like an internship, and if you are lucky you are kept on as a permanent worker. However it is normal for the guy to still be at home with his parents until it is time to marry.
As such, the maturity level of a white collar worker is not to the level of even a blue collar worker living outside of these shores. A lot of the time the guy doesn’t fully mature until he is married, and well that’s a whole other blog.
The only exception to this rule is those who are fortunate to live outside of Ghana. These guys usually go over during the university vacations. Some are rich men’s sons who have the means to travel, others manage to get a ticket on loan as they are out to make dollars or pounds so can pay it back on their return. These guys get on a plane to the west, get up in the early hours of the morning in the freezing cold and graft for their money. Those relatives who used to take them to trafalgar or time square to take the pigeon pictures do not treat them the same way they did when it was a mere vacation. If you are not lucky, that uncle who used to buy you t-shirts when he came to Ghana would find a one bedroom place to rent and wish you all the best.
These guys know that the streets are not paved with gold and that you have to work for your salary. Lunch is one hour and at the end of the day you are too tired to meet the boys for a drink on a Monday after work. These guys grow from 20 to 30 in 6 weeks. They don’t ask me where I’m from because they have seen a dozen girls like me. This is why I cannot go for a pampered young guy who has only known the 4 corners of Accra and no where else.
So I wait and I search, I’ve waited this long, what’s another year or 2. Although I have integrated into this society, I have to say, I have a certain standard, I cannot go for nothing less. I have seen too many marriages go down the drain because of a preconceived ideal which didn’t work out or because of desperation. If I am meant to be alone, well then so be it. Maybe that’s not in God’s plan. However, for those of you that are out there in my position, just a bit of food for thought. Maybe your situation might be different, but something to think about.
Well this is my 200th blog. Who would have thought I would have had 200 things to think about. For those of you who have been following thanks, I hope it has given entertainment and some education to my world. See you at 201 x
Even though this was not the point of your post, I LOL at your Dad’s response to your request for travel/entertainment money! Classic (and also very typical) response for Caribbean parents also.