You and Your Kitchen

It’s a lethargic evening at Metroville. Mallam Hassan has, as usual, not arrived. Mr. Cele is also yet to arrive. Tokunbo is having a heated Twitter spat with someone, and so her concentration is divided between us and her phone. It’s just Eddie and I actively present.

We’re having a casual chit-chat about football when I get a beep on my phone. At first I am reluctant to whip out the phone in the middle of a conversation with Eddie.

But then, my phone beeps again, and this time Eddie catches the sound. He swears he knows that sound. I tell him it’s Tinder. He says no wonder. I ask if he knows Tinder.

Tokunbo looks up from her phone and answers that a philanderer like Eddie would definitely know Tinder. Eddie says in his defense that all the beautiful women in Abuja are on Tinder. Tokunbo says she’s not on Tinder. Eddie says that’s the point.

Tokunbo shoots a death-stare at Eddie. I choke on my drink.

Mr. Cele and Mallam Hassan both walk into Metroville. We greet them as they settle down. Mallam Hassan asks us what the agenda tonight is. Before we can say anything, Tokunbo answers that myself and Eddie are looking for women on Tinder. Mallam Hassan gives his usual, knowing smile.

Mr. Cele says he hopes Eddie can at least get a girl from there. Eddie asks what that is supposed to mean. Mr. Cele tells him that he’s looking skinnier. That he needs a stable woman in his home to make good food for him. That he has been warming his bed so much that he forgot to keep his kitchen warm.

We all laugh, except Tokunbo. She says that Mr. Cele is trying to infer that Eddie needs a wife before he can take care of his culinary needs. Mr. Cele says he’s old fashioned. That food from your wife hits differently.

Tokunbo says that she’s not going to be cooking for her husband all the time. That she doesn’t even like to cook. Eddie interjects that Tokunbo doesn’t like cooking because her kitchen is ugly.

Everyone bursts out laughing.

Tokunbo asks Eddie to explain. Eddie says that women love beautiful kitchens, and he knows this for sure. I ask how he knows this. He says when I get my own apartment and start bringing women in, I’ll understand.

Mr. Cele agrees with Eddie. He says that when he was building his own home, the kitchen was the first thing he built. I exchange glances with Tokunbo; Mr. Cele is being hyperbolic again.

It is at this point Hassan joins fully in the conversation. He says the kitchen is indeed, one of the most important parts of a home. He says he considers it the engine room of the home, and should be the most delicately designed.

He explains that rightly, people who may feel lazy about cooking tend to show more interest in cooking when the kitchen layout is splendid.

I add that a beautifully designed kitchen could make for an intimate space for bonding. Eddie says I have a point. That two of the last three women he had been with, he wooed in his kitchen. I tell him that is not what I mean. He says I should hold my sermon.

Anyway, we manage to convince Tokunbo to give her kitchen a new makeover. She says she’ll think about it.

Eddie says she can come use his kitchen for the meantime. She says she’s not trying to get pregnant yet.

Mr. Cele asks if it’s food we’re still talking about.

Mallam Hassan asks for a smoke. The night just started.

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