Sunday, January 15, 2012

Entry nine: The Nigerian Marine

Egusi Soup

When I was on active duty, I liked to go to the Enlisted Club on the base from time to time for Happy Hour. One day, I went to a "wet down" to celebrate one of my fellow NCO's promotion. During a wet down, the person who got promoted buys drinks for friends that total up to the amount of increase in pay. (In layman's terms, I was getting free drinks)

At that time, my drink of choice was vodka and pineapple. I was having such a good time too. I didn't notice how late it was getting, but I did know that I needed to take a break on the drinks and find myself a dark corner to sober up in before attempting to drive home. How did I know that? Well it wasn't because I was super smart. It was because I nearly had gotten kicked out for dancing too raunchy while still in my uniform. And before you judge me, let me tell you that it was NOT my fault. I was dancing NORMALLY with this Marine, and he got the dumb idea to pick me up. He picked me up by grabbing my legs, so I was like sticking straight up in the air, like he was about to pile drive me. The bartender, who was married to a Marine, shouted over to us, "You should know better than that. Dammit, you're still in uniform, and should be acting like a lady." I was so embarrassed. You see, the Marine who picked me up without my permission was dressed in civilian clothes, so he wasn't held accountable. That really helped to blow my high, and so that's how I ended up leaving the bar, and the dance floor section of the E-Club.

Anyway, as I was sitting at a table, chatting with a girlfriend of mine, this guy walks up. He was a Marine who worked in transportation. I had never seen him before, but my girlfriend had, and she whispered to me that he worked in Motor-T. I said okay, but I wasn't interested. I was still brooding about what had happened twenty minutes earlier and was plotting my revenge on the fool who had gotten me shouted down.

The Marine who had approached our table stood there waiting for permission to sit. He was irritating me by standing there, so I said in the stankest voice I could muster, "Yes, can we help you?"

He smiled. I noted that he had a great smile, and I kind of softened up a little. I gave him the once-over. Tall, lean, dark skinned with almond-shaped eyes. He was attractive and that uniform was fitting! I noticed that he still hadn't said anything. I said, "Yes?"

He said, "I was looking at you for a minute, and decided to come over. My name is E." I said, "Okay," and shrugged as if I didn't care.

My girlfriend made her exit at that point.

I gestured for E to sit down. Now this is where it goes downhill. This man had the nerve to say (and yes, he had a Nigerian accent) "I am looking for a wife."

I was dumbfounded. I mean, who does that? I didn't say a word. He continued, "So, how old are you?"

I stuttered, "You're looking for a wife? You don't think it should be me, do you?"

He laughed and said, "Well, tell me how old you are, and I will tell you whether or not I think that should be you."

I told him how old I was, and he said, "We are the same age, you should let me take you out. What's your number?"

I said, "Are you serious, or are you just trying to make me laugh?" He said that he was serious, and then he told me more about himself, where he was from, how long he had been a Marine and all that. I was tuning him out though, because I wasn't past the WIFE thing.

I said, "oh, okay," as if I had been listening to him. I said, "Hey, umm, E. You really shouldn't tell a girl that you're looking for a wife in the first three minutes of meeting her. Because even if she's looking for a husband, you'll scare her away."

Again, he chuckled, and said, "Well, I like to get that out of the way as soon as possible so they know."

I guess I couldn't argue with that, so I gave him my phone number.

We went out a couple times, and he cooked for me. He said his mother would not like to hear about that, because in Nigerian culture, its a woman's place to be in the kitchen. But he told me that his true passion was cooking and he loved to do it. I enjoyed his food, and I that was how I got introduced to Nigerian culture, including Nollywood movies! I live for those films now.

Things didn't work out for me and E, because it turned out that he had a wife back in Africa. He swears that they were divorcing, but I didn't care to get in trouble with my command for dating a married Marine. It wasn't worth my career, but our few dates were nice, and he was fun to talk to on the phone. And I learned a few things, one of which is that I love Nigerian food. All Nigerian men aren't chauvinists, and some are even great cooks. YUM! I also learned to imitate a mean Nigerian accent. So, there wasn't any wasted time in my eyes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha!