Chewing-gum Boyfriend (CGB)
by Onyinye Muomah
You know those “small boys” who don’t know their mom’s age-mate? The kind that would come up boldly to you in his saggy jeans, T-shirt and I-pod and say “what’s up?’ like he cannot see from the more mature crowd around you in their sedate clothing, that the difference in your ages would make for a good algebra question? Your friends call them chewing-gum boys or when it is serious, chewing-gum boyfriends.
Chewing-gum boyfriend (CGB) is different from sugar-boy o! Sugar-boy is almost equivalent to gigolo except that a gigolo is more equivalent to male prostitute and highly equivalent to high-class aristo chick/prostitute. A gigolo could also be your age-mate, younger or older than you. (Sugar boy na small pikin wey dey date him mama and the mama feeds him.)
A CGB, on the other hand, is that guy who wants to date you even though you are so obviously out of his league financially and intellectually. Based on achievements alone, he is a baby compared to you. Then again, he is so much younger than you that you could be his mom.
Anyone can see that he was learning to make sentences with two-letter words while you were posing proudly for your matriculation picture. Even now, he is wondering about the best place to go for his industrial attachment while you are working this correct nine-to-five job. And this is after earning your Master’sdegree.
He is what you and your friends call “sweet and mature for his age” and you are flattered that he would even give you such attention. But he is serious. He hates girls his age or younger. He prefers a “real woman.”
Still, even as he gives you your respect he wants his own respect. He wants to be the man in your relationship. Age is nothing but a number, he tells you. He has set certain standards for himself and if you give him time he will get there.
He will not collect your money (not like you would be foolish enough to give him) instead he buys things for you – more expensive stuff than an average boyfriend would ever have given you. You wonder where he gets his dough. Well, CGB has turned hustler just because he wants to take care of his “mature babe”.
He sees himself as more serious minded than his peers. And for the mere fact that he can afford to date you, he gets serious respect from them, which is something he is proud of.
You are tempted to fall for CGB because while you were getting that degree and earning those big bucks you forgot to also invest in a relationship. Now all the guys your age are hooked up and older guys want much younger and fresher girls- the ones with pointy breasts that look almost like virgins.
Age is nothing but a number, CGB keeps drumming into your ears but by the time he is through with school, gets a job and is ready to settle down your child bearing days would be over. And you want kids, abi?
Then, there is the issue with your friends- those well-balanced “wise” friends of yours, who can’t help thinking that out of desperation, you are considering getting serious with a man-child when a man is really what you need.
Chewing-gum boyfriend is a derogatory and condescending term that was coined by not so enlightened people like your friends. It is their way of describing the most expensive gift an “overly ambitious boy like that” would ever be able to woo his woman-love with.
So, in trying to figure out this dilemma you suddenly find yourself in, ask yourself these questions: By what standards is a man judged a man? Is it by his gender, his achievements, or his age? Is it by what he can afford to buy a woman? And speaking of age, does it tally with the maturity of his mind?
Finally, ask yourself this most important of all questions: what really do you want from your man – love or his birth certificate?