~Vanguard Nigeria. Sunday, January 8, 2017.
SOME years back, a close friend invited three of her friends to lunch to mark her husband's birthday. Just the five of us, she warned on the phone – a subtle way of telling us not to even think of bringing any hangers-on to her 'exclusive' do. We all three knew Bose and her no- nonsense attitude. Even Oba, her husband tread on egg-shells whenever she was in her foul mood – which was often. Anyway, we were all looking forward to what we imagined would be a delicious spread of local and foreign dishes – Bose, whatever her fault, was a darn good cook.
We were a bit on guard when Oba was the one who welcomed us as we pressed the bell, screaming 'Bose, Bose, your friends are here o!' Bose appeared, dressed in pants and a very sexy blouse, a defiant look on her face. In the mean-time, no aroma of any kind wafted from the kitchen.
"If my friends are here nko?" Bose sneered. "It is your birthday, you entertain them" . The gist of it was there was no celebratory lunch of any kind. Bose glared at her husband, yelling she hadn't done any shopping and she wasn't up to cooking anything – all of us should go and stuff ourselves!
As she flauced out of the living room, her eldest daughter surfaced, looking extremely embarrassed. But Oba quickly took charge. He gave some money to her daughter to make a quick dash to the nearest fast-food spot and get us some assortment of food. Then with Bose still raving and ranting, he served the food his daughter brought back in the formal dining room as if it was the most delicious feast in the world, all the while regaling us with entertaining stories as if nothing was remotely out of the ordinary.
Now, were we surprised by this turn of event? Not in the least. We were all aware of Bose and Oba's volatile marriage. Bose often attacked her husband, subjecting him to a string of battering. Oba often regaled us with tales of how he was scratched, punched and even hit over the head with a bottle, as well as having the windscreen of a favourite vehicle smashed by his excessively jealous wife. The rows were never-ending and spilled into his official duties. On one occasion, he alleged Bose was waiting for him outside his office after he'd just finished a meeting with his key staff. "When I came out," he said, she confronted me about something and when I didn't give her the type of answer she sought, she sank her teeth into my hand."
Another time, Oba claimed Bose threw a glass of wine all over his best agbada. "I'd been getting ready for this wedding reception which I was to chair. At the last minute," Bose opted out because we had some disagreement and I went to the toilet to put some final adjustment to my cap. When she charged into the toilet to speak to me, I gave her some smart answer, and this really brought her back up. She went back to the room, picked up the glass of red wine I was sipping and threw it all over my clothes … "
The million dollars question really is: Does Oba bring out the worst in his wife? Bose might have a volatile temper but it seems Oba often feeds on that to show her up as a cantankerous woman. Once they had a tiff and it came to light Bose was enraged because he found a love letter in her husband's briefcase. "You knew there was the likelihood of her finding the letter so why did you bring it home, I asked him as soon as Bose left the room. He shrugged, a mischievous glint in his eyes.
Bose had always told her friends Oba was a very difficult man to live with. That his 'throwaway’ comments were always meant to be hurtful and they get under her skin – and there is nothing some women like more than a blazing row to prove that their men are at least paying attention to them. Oba admits he could be hurtful and selfish at times.
But how does that make me different from most men whose wives don't beat them up?" Despite Bose's 'unreasonableness', Oba remains fond of his wife. To every one on the outside looking in, Oba is not a villain but a real gentleman being constantly maltreated by his wife. But then, they are not married to him!