I recently sacked my watchman. Although I clearly told him why I was terminating our contract, he still called me at 10:45 pm a few nights ago because he wanted to pick up some belongings he had left behind, and asked for the umpteenth time, “Madam, but what did I do? Why have you sacked me?”. I mentioned the time the watchman called because it was yet another sign of a complete lack of awareness of boundaries, a characteristic he had displayed on a number of occasions for the relatively short period he was in my employment. There was one particular occasion when he shocked me. He had been telling me in one breath about his Uncle who had dropped dead whilst at work (allegedly because someone had done juju on him), and in the next breath he was telling me about a conversation he had with his cousin (who also worked for me one day a week as the relief watchman). His cousin (the relief watchman) had told him, “I wish Nana was my wife”. I thought I had misheard. “What did you say?” I asked. Heheheheh he laughed. “He said he wishes you were his wife”. My face went still. “That’s not a conversation that the two of you should be having about me, and even if you had this conversation this is not something that you should tell me”. He tried to justify his comments by saying, “Oh but if something is nice you should say it.”
I work from home. One of the joys of working from home is wearing whatever I want, but the next day, just before dusk fell, I found myself changing from the short skirt I had rocked throughout the day to a bubu. I was annoyed at myself and my watchmen. I can’t even wear what I want in my own house I muttered to myself. It was doubly annoying because I know that men sexualise women regardless of what they wear, and yet I felt the need to protect myself by cloaking myself in a long garb. As if that would stop my watchman from ‘wishing I was his wife’. This experience also made me think of the interconnections between class, gender and safety. On one hand, I had hired a watchman because I felt that as a single woman living alone I could be perceived as an easy target by burglars, and on the other hand I was deeply uncomfortable with being alone in a house with a watchman who thought it was okay to desire me. At the same time, I get it. You fancy who you fancy, but sometimes you just need to keep your thoughts to yourself.
Adventurers, what has been your experience? Have you had people tell you they fancy you in completely unsuitable circumstances? Share in the comments below