Man: Baby girl, give me this cookie now biko?
I once read a popular book Steve Harvey wrote, called ‘What Women Want’. It was from this book that the word ‘cookie’ got stuck in my head albeit in a very different way from the original definition of the word. (According to the 5th edition of Longman Active Study Dictionary, the ‘original’ definition is a small flat sweet cake/biscuit).
Now, from my interactions with various people, I’ve come to realise that most men want ‘the cookie’, and badly too. (I would say all men, but I was taught in school a long time ago that the phrase would qualify as a ‘hasty generalisation’. So I can’t definitely say that. But I digress.)
I was saying that I’ve realised most men are extremely interested in the ‘cookie’ and this interest regulates most of their interactions with ladies. For instance, most men won’t date a woman except they are assured that the cookie would be available in the relationship. Many even leave their cookies and go after others. A cookie is a cookie right? This cookie craze is astonishing and grows every day,it seems.
I have a friend whom some might term ‘a good girl’. She’s kept her cookie packed and locked down since she was born. For very personal reasons coupled with religious ones,she simply has refused to share out this cookie. Her friends have coaxed, boys have cried for this, and men have begged, all to no avail. Money and other desirable material things have been tossed, flung and shoved this lady’s way, yet she has not been generous with it.
She’s been in and out of relationships because of what our friend calls “cookie-stinginess’. Some men would act like they were indifferent about the cookie, and swear that their love for her was the paramount thing. After a few months and having realised that this cookie was really on lockdown, they would start behaving in weird ways and look for flimsy excuses to leave the relationship.
She had heard it all:
“I love you but I’m now born-again, and so cannot go out with you anymore except the Holy Spirit convinces me that you’re my wife. Surely, you understand”.
“This isn’t an issue but you’re older than I am, and I don’t want you to wait for me to get established before we settle together. It wouldn’t be fair to you”.
“I have very bad phone habits, I’m usually so busy, I don’t even have time to call or reply messages. But of course you’re always in my thoughts.”
“Ah ah, that girl I was with is just my good friend, that’s why we spend so much time together. There’s nothing between us oh.”
“Hian. How can we get married if we don’t share the cookie? How would I know whether I’d like it? Mba nu, we have to test/taste it first”. Etc.
She usually would have issues with them till they went seperate ways, or she would get so hurt, humiliated and tired of chasing them that she’d have to let go.
As a great friend, my shoulder was always available for her to cry on.
Recently, she met and fell in love with this charming young man. He made it clear from the start that he liked cookies. She however also warned him that she had never shared hers, and would not till she got married. She hoped he’d appreciate that. He sulked a little, but then they got on with good friendship. He was nice, had the sweetest words, and made her love him increasingly.
She gradually began to realise though, that she had become the sole rower of their ‘ship’. She made most of the communication efforts: the calling, texting, etc. He apologised a lot, acted sorry and did show enthusiasm the few times they spent together, but he never improved or made her feel very appreciated.
She came to my shoulder again one day, and sobbed real hard. She said she hurt especially this time because even though she knew she shouldn’t have, she really cared for this guy and she knew in her heart that though he cared for her, he wouldn’t be very interested because he could not have the precious cookie.
“Should I just share this my cookie”,she asked me, tears streaking down her face, using my favourite scarf to blow her nose.
“I’m tired of being treated this way, I know they care somewhat, but they lose interest the minute they realise they won’t get the cookie”.
She theatrically looked up at the ceilings, spread her hands upwards, and screamed: “Is there no one else? Is there no one who doesn’t care so much about this cookieeeeeeee?”
Sighing and rolling her eyes, she sat on my bed. “What’s with this cookie anyway?”
I smiled at her, noting that she observed the primary stress in the pronunciation of the word ‘realise’, and mentally educated myself.
“Nne, I may be wrong, as I usually am, but if they do love you, they would wait, cookie or chin-chin. Don’t share your cookie just because you want to please people, how many do you wanna please anyway?”
I cited instances of our friends who had shared theirs most generously and hadn’t still kept their men, stressing the fact that the cookie isn’t always the key to keeping a man.
I held her hands, and continued my speech. “You remember why you even got into this cookie-denial business? You know how important that promise is to you. That should be your motivation. People share their cookies for different reasons. You promised you wouldn’t, for your own reasons and strange as they may be, I respect them, and those who love you should too. You’re a great, amazing woman. Okay,I kid, you’re not all that.” She laughed and smacked my arm.
“Hold on to your cookie”, I said. “Someone ought to love you without getting some. Infact, the minute you see that your cookie has become the price for keeping a man, that’s when you should upgrade to a bigger padlock sef”. We both chuckled.
I reached for the bag of goodies some guy had had delivered to me, tossing a box of chocolates her way and snagging a pack of Oreos cookies for myself. As I munched on a crunchy piece, I thoughtfully said “What’s with the cookie anyway?”.
Adaora Nwajiaku, a hopeless romantic writes only when she’s not lazy. Follow on twitter @adaoralaura