A couple of weeks ago I was at Abuja (the capital city of Nigeria) for the 4th Business Law Conference organized by the Section on Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association. Anyway, the last day was the Chairman’s dinner and it was red tie with an African touch. Everyone was looking superstar glamorous and I was not to be left out. Tottering in my six-inch heels and swaying with confidence, I made my way to the Hall of the Hotel, which was were the dinner held. The food was…well, ok; the entertainment fantastic! Even though I had no date, I was having an awesome time when I noticed this fellow staring at me from across the table.
He was dressed in an old pair of jeans and a T-Shirt that looked like it had passed through three previous owners. Did I mention that this was supposed to be a formal gathering of lawyers? And that the dress code was African? Anyway, even in Nigeria we have rebels – those who just refuse to conform so I shrugged it off and went back to being entertained.
Towards the end of the dinner party, I had to go back to my room for something . On my way back to the Congress Hall I got stopped by said jeans man. He asked for a minute of my time. I did not want to be rude but I was in a hurry to I told him to walk with me and say what he had to say. He began a monologue of how he saw me sitting opposite him and wanted to get to know me better and …girls, you get the drift. I was at the Hall already so I told him I needed to go in and get something from someone. When I came out again, there he was.
He walked back to the lobby with me. On our way, to make conversation, I asked him what he did. That was when he began to ramble. He said he does not like what he does and does it because he has to and bla bla bla. I cut him short and asked if he worked at all. He paused and asked me if he worked!!! I was getting exasperated and so I shrugged whatever. But I noticed he was still walking by my side. I decided to ignore it even when we got to the lobby. But by the time we got to the lift and he was still sticking to me, I began to get uneasy. Hey, do you stay here? I wanted to know. He began to hem and haw. I stopped and turned to him and asked very firmly if he stayed at the Hilton too. He kept quiet for a moment then asked if he could see me to my room. I said a resounding NO. Or at least, what I think a resounding ‘no’ would have sounded like, entered the lift and went up to my room still shaking my head.
Know what’s so funny, it was not until later that night that I realised why he had been hedging when I asked about what he did for a living. Goodness gracious! I had just met a gigolo…! I fell on my bed laughing, I could not believe such a thing would happen to me when my best friends were not there to share it with.