I had a very interesting discussion last weekend with some of my family members. We were discussing how we met our respective spouses and what we said and did around each other that set off the ‘spark’ that eventually ignited into the full blown flame of matrimony. Simply put, we were discussing the various methodologies and schools of thought of ‘Toasting’ (or ‘tuning’ or ‘chaiking’ or whatever you want to call it) and we came up with several methods.
1) The AGGRESSIVE approach: This method is usually favored by the ‘alpha-male’ type. This involves ‘coming on strong’ to the girl…even if she doesn’t like the guy. This type of guy believes that by bulldozing his way into her life, he can make headway. The typical method of approach for this specie would be something like this: guy walks up confidently to a girl and before she has time to think or gather herself he launches into his speech “I’ve seen you around and I think I like you. I think we would make a good couple. So where do you live and what time can I come and pick you up tonight?” Yes girls, that type does exist. The girl stares at him, gaping, and he thinks she is blown away by his aura and confidence and he starts to feel very good about himself, believing he has made his conquest. In reality, she is wondering where the nearest place of shelter/protection is so she can dash away to safety from this loony.
2) The PITY approach: This guy will approach with a sob story and sad face. The guy will then proceed to appeal to your greater sense of altruism (if you have one and you no be hard chick!) and sense of good. He may do this over a period of a few months or even years (yep, some of them are very persistent) and gradually wear your resistance (and maybe sanity) thin until you capitulate. You will basically look at the dude and think “Kai, omo dis guy try o. He’s not so bad ( yes, he is) and maybe I should give it a try (no, you shouldn’t)”. He will toast you to the point that you will end up going out with him because you feel very sorry for him…which is ALWAYS a bad idea.
3) The ENCIRCLEMENT Strategy: This is by far the most ingenious method as far as I’m concerned. The guy circles his prey slowly, studying her habits and nuances and then he pounces…on her friend, sister or even in some cases her mother. No, I don’t mean he turns his attentions to them – my guy is still very interested in the chick. It’s just that he would rather break down the walls of defense that surround her, and those walls usually comprise of her mother, sisters and friends. He will do this by buying them gifts, lavishing them with effusive compliments and being the general all round nice guy. They will be impressed by him and gradually soften up: pretty soon all the chick will be hearing from them is ‘what a great guy Mr So-and-so is and oh-so-polite and such a gentleman and won’t you go out with him?’ Hah! Mission accomplished! With circle of friends mollified and appeased, my guy now has almost free access to the chick without having to worry about anyone doing ‘black belle’ for him- and thus, our chick almost has no choice in the matter anymore because if she doesn’t go out with the guy, her homies will harass her until she does!
4) The PERSISTENT TO THE POINT OF CAPITULATION Approach: This is one of the most annoying (and common) methods of ‘toasting’. In this case the guy is of the frame of mind that ‘yes’ means ‘no’ and ‘no’ means ‘yes’! Simply said, he believes that the girl couldn’t possibly mean ‘no’ when she says ‘no’ when he asks her out. “She’s just ‘forming’”, he thinks. “She’s playing hard to get”. My guy…the babe doesn’t want to go out with you!!!! But no, he persists…and persists…and persists! This method can easily merge into the PITY Approach because in some cases the girl will agree out of a sense of pity, in a sense rewarding the guy for his endless efforts at pursuing her by going out with him. However, it can also end with her shouting at him, crying, threatening and even in some cases arranging to have him beaten (or a vicious combination of all of the above!) This type of guy can come around month after month and in some particular cases, year after year. Now there is a thin line between true love and obsession (but more on obsession in the next method) and this guy is fast on his way to crossing it. This guy will write love letters (using some fantasmagorical words he got from the dictionary) , burn ‘Love Songs of the 80s’ CDs, buy annoying fuchsia teddy bears with ‘I Love you Beary Much’ written on their tummies, serenade her with “No One like You” by P-Square, and even shed a tear or two when and where the occasion requires- all in a bid to win the girl’s approval.
5) The PSYCHO Approach: This guy isn’t funny: he’s borderline sociopathic and dangerous. He may suffer from delusions and mild to severe schizophrenia- believing himself to be King Arthur and the girl in question his Fair Queen Guinevere. This guy would stalk the girl, sometimes watching her when she is unaware of him and getting obsessed with her. Most of the time this fascination with her fades with time (or he finds another victim) but at other times it doesn’t. This guy is creepy- he can walk up to her and say “You are my Guinevere and I am your Arthur and together we shall live and die in our love! No one can separate us because we are meant to be together FOREVER!” Omo, you say wetin?! Forever ke? DIE KE?! This is her cue to start running and maybe even go to the Police Station (and…ahem…’arrange’ to have him ‘dissuaded’ from his ‘love’ for her, Naija style!).
There you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen! Please feel free to add your own comments and brief me on any School of Thought I have missed! BTW, girls toast too…HER version coming up soon…