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Recently, quite a lot of people I know seem to want to marry me off and I do not know why.

I have been accused of being no different from my Igbo brothers, waiting to turn forty-something before snatching up an ‘innocent’ twenty-something year old to wife; some say I have the George Clooney complex – chronic bachelorhood. I have even started claiming TuBaba as my role model, just to humour them; then there are those who know nothing about me, but are quick to conclude that my problem is that I want a ‘perfect’ woman.

Who does that?!

I don’t mean who talks about, and tries to live people’s lives o. Those abound aplenty. I mean who spends their life waiting for a perfect person? Surely not I. Heck, I am not perfect either.

Proud, opinionated, flirty, flighty, sarcastic. These are some of the nicer words that have been used to describe my flaws.

I once had a specification, a mental picture of my ideal woman.


#She would be fine

She had to be a looker; even better if she was a stunner! In my twenty-one year old society where women were to be seen and not heard, that was key.

Beyond aesthetics, was procreation. Hopefully our kids would favour her looks.

#She would be articulate

Where it is generally agreed that men are attracted by what they see, my brain begs to differ. While I am not particularly exceptionally brilliant, I crave the occasional intelligent conversation.

#She would have a sense of humour

Imagine telling a joke to your partner, and then explaining the joke to them because they did not get it first time.

#She would be a fairly good cook and be sexually compatible with me

My appetite is healthy, though I prefer to feed in little doses. I do not feed just to feed, it has to be enjoyed all round. And it doesn’t always have to be a thoroughly planned gourmet feast; the occasional impulse feeding keeps everything fresh.

#She would be organised, and know how to keep house

I am organised in my scattered way, and know how a well-kept house looked. Not looking for a house help, just someone to occasionally pick up after me.

#She would be independent

True, I would be the man of the house, but all decisions would not necessarily pass through me.

#She would be appreciative of the little things

Life rarely happens all at once. Neither do I. She had to take what I had to give at the time and be willing to grow with me from there.

#She would be Catholic

I am.


My life’s experiences over time, however, have coloured this monochromatic picture of the ideal. I have come to learn that these things do not play out in black and white, but that there is a whole spectrum of colours in-between – not to mention the shades of grey.

While a lot of things have changed, not a lot has really changed.


I once fell in love with a voice. I used to hear it over the radio, and purposed to meet and woo the said voice. I eventually got introduced to the owner of the voice, and even though the person introducing us pointed at her when he said her name, I still looked beyond her in the hope that the owner of the voice somehow was lurking behind her in a room that clearly contained only three people: me, her and the hook up guy. My initial dismay at her looks gave way when her lips parted and she said “Nice to meet you”.

Frankly, she was not ugly or unfine, just not as fine as my mental picture of her. We got talking and four hours later I was reluctant to leave. By that time, I was not thinking looks anymore. We have been friends now over ten years and, when my friends who are meeting her for the first time say how she was not particularly pretty, I look at them and think that they need to have their eyes checked!

I have also met very beautiful girls. Drop dead gorgeous divas so fine, I get heart palpitations just from thinking of ‘stepping up’ to them. Then they open their mouths and speak, and it is all downhill from there. The ‘beauty’ jumps out the window.

My girlfriend at one time had a lot of wonderful qualities, but then she had a mind like a cash register. She was not overly materialistic, but she could look at a gift and put a monetary tag to it. I could see a key ring, or fridge magnet with something witty on it and think to buy it for her; or a costume jewellery, but she would pass it through her ‘retinal scan’. What was worse, I would know.

One time I was at a Rotary convention and I bought her a brooch I really liked. It was blue and shaped like a swan with tiny clear stones for its plumage and a torquoise stone for its eye – it was cast in profile. When I returned from the convention, we went to the movies and I asked her what she thought of swans. “Stuck up,” came her reply. I spent the minutes before the movie trying to say how graceful, elegant and beautiful I thought they were, to which I got a scoff and a “huh?”

In the cinema, I put the brooch in her popcorn when she wasn’t looking, in the hope of surprising her. She eventually found it and said to me, “Look what I found in my popcorn. I think it belongs to one of the girls at the concession stand. Let’s sue them.”

Up until this moment I had a smile on my face waiting for her recognition of what it was and making the connection. “It even looks cheap.” Those words wiped the smile from my face and the mirth from my heart.

Let us just say I never again bought her anything she did not personally select herself.


Another girl I dated was a good house-keeper and cook. What’s more, she did these things willingly and as a matter of course. With her I knew the kids would be raised right. Something like the upbringing Mama gave me, maybe not with the brain-resetting slap Mama has become famous for, but then that is why God created me.

Thing was, we did not share that many interests together. Where I wanted Movie Magic, she was crazy for Africa Magic. So a dual view decoder would take care of that, but on her birthday that year she was at mine and I was playing a lot of mellow tunes that evening to set the mood for what I had planned. It was either Jeremih’s “Birthday sex”, or Slim’s “Heels on” or R. Kelly’s “Sweet tooth” (I forget which) that was playing off my brother’s laptop when I went into the kitchen to serve a dinner I had prepared – complete with cake and her carefully wrapped gift – when she closed the playlist and instead played D’banj’s “Igwe” which was followed by “Olorun ma je”!


My point is, I have met a lot of different girls with different mixes of my desired qualities, but never one with all of them.

People have thrown the 80-20 theory at me, and I have continuously batted that out of the park.

First question is whose 80%? Then there is the question of arranging the qualities in order of importance from top to bottom. Now if a girl scores 80%, but failed your top 20%; and another girl scores 60%, and failed your bottom 40%, whose percentile works better for you?

So no, I am not looking for a perfect 10. I am just looking for a package that rouses a certain feeling in me. My friends have written this off as chasing the impossible dream, but unfortunately for them, I have actually felt it twice before! Differently yes, but it was there all the same.

PS: That feeling is called love. All those qualities: looks, brains, outlook on life, sense of humour, faith, sex, genes, they are mere words until they are cloaked by love. That then will be the total package not because it is a complete package, but because love shores up their short comings and mellows their excesses, and believe me, you are better off waiting for your TTP no matter how long it takes, than sell yourself short.

PPS: This is not a Want Ad.



"Franque is in aviation, which by the way is not his job, just a lifestyle. If he ever kept a diary it would read like his articles will. Unfortunately he doesn't. Scratch that. He didn't.AIRtiquette is a walk in his shoes. Since regular isn't in his vocabulary, brace yourself for a bit of airwalking!" Follow @franque_521 on twitter.


  1. Friday def took its time coming but this is nothing short of amazing(the writing o) but I totally agree there’s no hurry if u settle for less then u’ll regret it but that being said don’t set the bar so high no one ever scales it. Know wot is important and what is just icing

  2. Its not???? Dang it! I was about 2 offer my shortlisting services…tee hee…good morning franque…I think everyone has a mental “checklist” though, and some of that stuff has 2 click before love comes in…great job as usual

  3. Lovely lovely post. I had a huge grin when I Saw ” #She would be Catholic” cos I totally get the feeling and I cant be going through the hassles of bickering over my faith, moreso, as I’m female and have to be the one switching denomination. I made it a point of duty to only date people or open up to people who are Catholics to avoid falling in love so bad and having to change my mind.
    However, Life plays a big game on us all and some how sets us up against our ideals. While i was busy checking and scanning for all other qualities plus “catholicness” my bestie (a guy) was Anglican and I’m sure you can figure out the rest of the tale.
    Now, I pray to God subconsciously that we get married cos all other qualities fit just right which is why we were besties for a long while anyway. He compliments and completes me, I don’t know if I can find this neare perfection elsewhere cos I still wish to remain Catholic.

    Lovely lovely post Frank. Jes so you know love your outlook on life. I read but rarely comment cos I’ll end up writing too much 🙂

  4. I totally get dis post. IMO derz absolutely nufin wrong in havin a check list 4 d kinda person u wud wanna settle down wif.
    While I may bend d rules a little once in a while der r some qualities dt re just so compulsory. While I may bend in d looks dept, I wudnt give in wen it comes to wit…
    Anywayz lovely write up. Enjoyed every bit ov it.

  5. I have the perfect bride for you. Infact, I can already see the two sorry three of you as a family 🙂
    I had an uncle just like you. It got so bad that at weddings, when the pastor would call out single ladies to pary for them, my aunties would go and stand on his behalf…
    There’s nothing wrong in setting an achievable standard, and your list has no outrageous feature on it… But life’s funny, it may throw you a curve ball. So don’t be surprised if when you meet her, she’s nothing like your list…
    Nice one Franque, you’ve made my friday morning 🙂

  6. I totally love this piece. Your swan girl was quite hilarious too tho. Who doesn’t love the elegance of swans! Their color, the neck, the grandeur!
    Anyways, I think that as we mature, we realise that most of the standards we make up for our future spouses end up changing. Love really does make u forego shortcomings. Great piece, franque.

  7. My mother once accused me of breaking up with a guy because I didnt like the way he ate, she thinks I set the bar too high and she truly believes I need deliverance, truth is, until u meet that one who u feel is the ying to ur yang, nothing or noone else will feel right……….Love really does make up for all the other short comings

    P.S.Just so u know, i honestly think am the TTP u r looking for, lol no jokes……

  8. Perfect write up for a perfect weekend. Lovely post and true i feel you. What i dont get is why society calls u choosy and they say time aint on ur side when ure waiting for that TTP. They say ur biological clock is ticking. Its so annoying, i mean, i’m only 24 but my family and friends think i have a problem with men. Once again, lovely writeup, ur posts always make my fridays.

    P.S: I totally love the P.S part

    PPS: Tho this is not related to ur post, this is for Nobs, I’ve totally dumped him, i mean, how can u not post dis week.

  9. Nice and very funny piece. Nice to know I’m not the only one that list’s being “catholic” as a good quality”. There’s no such thing as a perfect partner there are only ideal matches. So there’s nothing wrong with having standards ESPECIALLY for a woman, just don’t have outrageous ones and there’ll be a lot more happy married people out there. Nice weekend everyone.

  10. aww.,.,.cute !lets get married.,.dats if u dont mind fulani/shuwa arabs!lol! on the reals though,.,my mantra always is DONT SETTLE, i see men and women do this again and again and i’m like plzzzzzzzzz stop,stop selling urself short.,u deserve better seriously!nway each to his own!
    ps,.,i love love love ur posts!
    pps..,and maybe u too,.lol!but really,.,u know how u mentioned fallin 4 chick’s voice,,.,i once fell for a guy’s writing,.he just had a way with words!***okbye***

  11. Dear Franque,I totally agree with you that no one is perfect but I think I meet all the Qualities you’ve set out in your post today. I’m catholic too. 😉

    PS: this is not a I’m AVAILABLE Ad

    PPS: Great Post!

  12. So family, it’s yet another Friday. It started early for me, but then thots of y’all kept me goin.
    @ Stranger: iSee NYSC has it’s plus – early wake up n 1st to post rights (Y);
    @ Kay: no it’s not o. E ku ife ma;
    @ Chubaba: iHail;
    @ Mike: Anythin for your readin pleasure sah:
    @ Chicasa: Bear the PS in mind. There’s a reason he’s ur bestie. Not a lotta married ppl can boast of that;
    @ Miz Parker: iAgree with u totally;
    @ Nengie: Who run the world? Mos def not lists!
    @ Mo’: To each their own o;
    @ Deevagal: DM me the name jare
    @ InLove_With: Remember it’ll be u with him at the table breakfast, lunch n dinner;
    @ Miz O: Glad iCould help ur Fridays. Nobs got ur PPS, he’s been under the weather;
    @ Mia: Noted;
    @ Louisa E: Gbam!
    @ Neesha: u ff @franque_521 on twitter n u’ll find out;
    @ Mabijo: Noted;
    @ Lorlah: TTP o.Hmmmm…
    @ Everyone_else: iFeel a fatherWOOD Friday comin next week. y’all have a blast tonyt – if the rains permit

  13. Thank you Frank. I know I’ll be meeting you someday cos we have a mutual friend, and how I’ll love that. have a great weekend too.

  14. there is nothing wrong wit having a list as long as its not a long ridiculous one. Wen i eventually get married,d lucky dude must have a sense of humour,speak well ,must look good and love God above all. And i totally agree with ur P.s. P.s,ur swan girl no try

  15. LOL @ “This is not a Want Ad”; funny, quite a few readers didn’t seem to see that line 🙂
    Anyway, awesome as usual and certainly puts things into perspective for those who like to lie to themselves that they don’t have lists.
    As for the swan-hating babe… anyway, you already know how I feel about her.
    Beautiful piece!

  16. Sigh. I used to be first on here. More importantly i would have gladly offered myself but i am not catholic and it sounds like it will be in your important 20%. O well.

    May you be granted all your heart desires.

  17. @Sweetest: Thank you dearie;
    @Chidinma: Seein ur name up there means more than words to me;
    @ Chicasa: Ifur friendreally is a friend of myn, then the meet will happen;
    @ Sean: It’s either that or a Cougar. Do u supply either? *wink*;
    @ Uk: Everytym iSee a comment from u, iSmile n think “ahh, shefound her way back”. Bless ur heart;
    @ M.E: yea, iDo kno how u feel about her. As for the not Want Ad bit, iAm lettin it slide since it seems my P Settin is lookin up;
    @ Neefemi: if this was a Want Ad, u’d make the short shortlist. U have stayed with me from the early days when iWas an unknown n helped me grow with ur comment. That is an important part of my 20%.

  18. Hahahaha. The comments are more hillarious tho!
    PS: u still have that ‘wow’ factor in ur write ups Franque. Kudos..
    PPS: this is a want ad o! Franque. *yimu* for ur PPS. Rme.

  19. Lovely piece Frank (go figure)….

    Yeah “settling” is never the business.. It’s all in due time..

    I really love this—> “but because love shores up their short comings and mellows their excesses”. True talk..

    I take it since I’m a devil worshipper, i shall not be “smelling the list” talkless of making the list.


    The perils of life…

  20. @ Omidan: osé dear, but shey iHav to look first;
    @ Nena: Believe what u will;
    @ iBetapass: It’s more important that u read it *hug*
    @ Shade_NonCon: So u worship d Devil n iPlay his advocate. #YouGoFigure

  21. well said! d swan babes *and dis is cheap..* rly got me laughing, very funny how we overlook d lil things even w d babe who changed d playlist… thank u for always sharing ur thots w us franque, ur writing is so unique,beautiful, fun, educating and entertaining..i rly luv

  22. I can’t believe I’m just reading this…. Had to lol @ some point but above all it’s the honest truth. Waiting for TTP might take a while but the wait is totally worth it…

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