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Category Archives: Perils and Pleasures of dating after thirty.

Perils and Pleasures of Dating after Thirty V

Perils and Pleasures of Dating after Thirty V

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Amaka was boiling.
She was on the verge of going stark, raving mad.
She was mad at God for making her an African woman, mad at the world for their ridiculous social norms and mad at her brother for asking her not to buy the car of her dreams!

“Buying a Range Rover will intimidate all the men you meet, buy one of those Toyota saloon cars instead…”

Why on earth were women so marginalized? Why did she have to lower her standards just because she wanted to be ‘in the market’?

This was not the first time it was happening to her. Two years ago she had wanted to move out of her parents’ house but they had resisted; their only reason being that a good woman married from her parents’ house and nobody wanted the sort of woman that lived alone.

Amaka really couldn’t take it anymore. Soon they would be asking her to pass up promotions and ask for a pay cut just because she wanted a friggin’ husband. Was this what the women who were her age and married had had to sacrifice? Was it an unwritten rule that for a woman to be socially acceptable she had to kill her dreams, clip her wings and succumb to the inferiority that her man’s ego demanded of her? She wasn’t sure she wanted to get married under these circumstances but even as she thought those traitorous thoughts, she knew that her mother would rather die than see her unmarried.

She had spent a full day with her mother praying on the mountain and had been pushed (under the anointing), baptized, anointed with oil, made to confess her association with mammy water, exorcised and prophesied upon and now she was supposed to be on a compulsory 7-day dry fast. Why did marriage have to be such a difficult goal to attain? Working hard or in this case being good, could not assure you a husband. There were girls she knew back in school who were serious ashewos but were now happily married with kids to well to do men. Secretly she wished that their men were vile creatures who punished them daily for their youthful sins but their happy faces on social media told a different story. She had developed a penchant for hearing and decoding married people’s gist. It was like deep down she needed to convince herself that marriage wasn’t all that since it was all her family ever talked about but the truth was marriage was as dicey as relationships. Some got it good, some got it bad but no one ever got it hitch-free.

Speaking of relationships, she thought of the new guy on her case. Daniel was fine, had an ok job and was soft spoken. She was starting to like him though she knew that she had to find out more about him first. She wondered if Daniel would like her driving a Range Rover, he hadn’t minded when he walked her to the taxi park the other day and he drove a 1999 Toyota Camry which had seen better days but she didn’t mind his car at all. He had dreams and there was nothing more attractive to her than a man who was a big dreamer because she strongly believed that people were a product of their dreams. She wondered if her new car would intimidate him. He was a good, hard-working man; just the kind of man her brother said the car would chase away but then again was he enough reason to put her dream car on hold? He had not even asked her out yet and this was their third date so technically they weren’t exclusive plus she had asked him about his long term goals and he had been vague especially where settling down was concerned. She thought about taking the bull by the horns like Bunmi was doing; Bunmi could definitely help her keep Daniel but she would wait first and see how the Bunmi-Tito drama played out before taking expert advice from her.

Her phone suddenly rang and she snapped out of her reverie.

“Hello…yes I am still interested in the car, will make the deposit tomorrow. Thanks”

Yep! The deed was done. Her new baby was coming whether the world thought it proper or not. She had worked hard and deserved to splurge a little and if for any reason she had to choose between Daniel and her Range Rover, Daniel would have to go- or she could always sell it!

“Sorry bro!”

…to be continued…

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Perils and Pleasures of Dating after Thirty IV

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Bunmi was sure Tito was the one.

Well it hadn’t been Kunle, Seun, Bariyu or Emmy so this was just a logical case of elimination!

Tito was the last man standing and she was basically tired of dating. All her friends were married with kids and she was tired of being the ‘aunty’. Most of her friends were no longer even called their names. They were either Mrs This or Mrs That or Mama Tolu or Mama Ngozi. She was tired of the match making too. She had been match made with every man there was, even her friends’ exes. Why God saw it fit to keep her single at thirty was hard to fathom.

The name calling wasn’t even funny. Old cargo, akugbe, big girl, older woman in fact sooner or later they’d be referring to her as ‘elderly’. Geez. Thank God for Tito. Yea he wasn’t faithful but at least he was fine, successful, hard-working and ready to settle. The thing was for some reason he hadn’t put a ring on it despite the fact that she had only agreed to date him because he had said he was ready for marriage. Naija men could teach the devil a thing or two about telling lies geez!

Now she had devised a plan. She named it OPERATION P.A.R.O.I (Put A Ring On It). It was just too bad that her sidekicks Amaka and Fikayo were not in support. Well they would be sorry when she sold them aso ebi at the end of the year. Tito didn’t stand a chance. He would be begging to be her husband by the time she was done.

She had eliminated the competition and that was just the beginning. Next on her agenda was to get him to announce her to the world. She was talking bbm, Facebook, instagram, his office, his church, his extended family. Tito’s birthday was around the corner and she had a plan…

She knew his younger sister was getting married next month but he was yet to invite her and seeing as she was his only sister, she knew all his friends were going to be there and the wedding would get great social media coverage, now she had to find a way of getting herself not only invited but decked in family asoebi. She picked up her tablet and scrolled through Tito’s Facebook page till she found his sister on his friend’s list. She added her on Facebook and then sent her a message.

“Hi dear,
This is Tito’s girlfriend Bunmi. Congrats on your upcoming wedding dear. Tito and I are so excited. I bought you a really lovely Marc Jacobs reception dress with shoes to match. I hope you haven’t gotten a reception dress yet, I was hoping you and I could meet up for dinner one of these days so I can give it to you, I know you will be mad busy in a couple of weeks as the D-day draws closer. Please don’t tell Tito I contacted you, he wants to introduce me formerly at your wedding, I just needed to give you this early wedding present. Buzz me soon.
Xxx
Bunmi”

She read it, smiled and pressed ‘send’ before she had a re-think. She hoped the girl would come with asoebi so she wouldn’t have to bring it up. Meanwhile she had a phone call to make.

“Hello”
“Hi dearie”
“You know how I said I would one day need that favour you promised?”
“Bunmi Kai what do you need?”
“Don’t worry I know you can deliver. I need a Marc Jacobs dress with a pair of shoes to match for a wedding. Actually the bride’s second dress and I want it to be fabulous.”
“You are getting married? *screammmm”
“No not yet hon, it’s for my future sister in law”
“Are you sure you wanna spend that kinda money because I am looking at the perfect ensemble and it costs 6 figures”
“Great, I will take it on credit. Ask your girl to wrap it up and send to my office today”
“We don’t sell on credit madam”
“And that’s the favour you owe me. A size 8 dress and size 6 shoes BTW. Thanks hon, kisses”

I cut the phone before Amina could change her mind. I knew she would deliver. She owed me big time. I was the only one on this planet who knew that her precious son did not belong to her precious husband. I was great at keeping secrets and she knew that.

Now I know you are wondering how I knew Tito’s sister’s sizes? Well I have a penchant for that sort of thing and I had some help. Apparently the babe loves to shop online and I read some of her comments on fashion pages on Facebook where she kept asking if they had the dress in size 8 or the shoes in size 6. Omo, people had their entire lives on social media nowadays…

3 hours later.

“Dear Bunmi,
You really must be Tito’s best kept secret. I am so excited he has a serious girlfriend now. Here’s my BlackBerry pin, 26ba77f. Add me on bbm so we can chat more, I don’t do Facebook so often. Can’t wait to see the dress. I know you haven’t been introduced formally to the family but I am gonna keep 6 yards of asoebi for you at no extra cost.
Take care dear,
Tosan”

Bunmi grinned. By the time she was done, Tito would have no idea what hit him. She thought of the 120k she owed Amina and dialed Tito’s number.

“Hi baby”
“Hi dear, how are you?”
“Not too good hon, I am in a bit of trouble. I need 120k urgently to pay for something but my salary isn’t coming till the end of the month and I am totally broke. Please help me baby, I will pay you asap.”
“Babe you know I would have loved to help you but with my sister’s wedding coming I am so cleaned out right now”
“Please Tito, I wouldn’t ask you if it wasn’t important. Please I have no one else to turn to, besides you know you owe me after you cancelled the Ibadan trip…”
“…sigh. OK babe, will see what I can do”
“Thanks dear, love you and to show my appreciation I am gonna make you your favorite amala and ewedu soup with ogufe and guess what’s for dessert?”
Tito laughed a naughty laugh and then she made kissy sounds over the phone before hanging up.

She wished he was that malleable where putting a ring on her finger was concerned. Anyway her plan was bound to work. That evening just as she was leaving work, she got the credit alert. They were her very best type of text messages. Tito had come through for her. She used the mobile banking app on her phone to deftly transfer the money to Amina.

She smiled…mission accomplished and this was just the beginning…

…To be continued

 

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Perils and Pleasures of Dating after Thirty III

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Fikayo couldn’t believe her friends were going on and on about thirty like it was a plague. She had just turned thirty and she felt fabulous. In her opinion, thirty was the new twenty. She checked out her outfit in the mirror and smiled. She had a great figure, extra pounds aside and she had a date with a man who tickled her brain intellectually. He was hot, accomplished and suave and they were in no mood to hurry things. Tonight they were going to have a long conversation over a very expensive bottle of wine at a luxurious wine bar and giggle like high-schoolers and then her date was going to walk her to her car, kiss her goodnight and watch as she sped on home. She didn’t care that he might want something more from her; she didn’t stop to think for a second that he could be husband material. No she was long past the phase where every man who as much as walked past her was a potential mate.

She picked up the bottle of her signature scent and smiled. What wasn’t there to love about turning thirty? The new decade had brought with it an appreciation of the finer things in life. She had spent her twenties hustling, working long hours for horrible bosses and getting pay that wasn’t nearly enough. Now she was a small madam at the office, having paid her dues and could go and come as she pleased with all the perks. In her twenties she had focused on meeting the right men and keeping track of myriads of friends but now she realized that quality trumped quantity every time. She had only a select few that she called friends and they valued her just as much as she valued them and now she saw that husband aside; there was no person as important as the family God had given her. She saw her parents become her friends and looked forward to evenings spent with them. Her mother’s concern for her single status was born out of love and a longing for grandchildren but the woman always calmed down when she held her in her arms and said “Mother, He makes all things beautiful in His time”.

And the men…in her twenties she had learnt lessons for a lifetime- From books, from others and the unforgettable personal experiences. She remembered Thomas, the guy who had stolen her heart at 27, their love had been beautiful but alas, it had not stood the test of time. Thomas had wanted a child before wedlock and she had refused to oblige despite the pleas of he and his parents. She hadn’t wanted to be married for the wrong reasons and Thomas had mournfully exited her life. She remembered how long it took the hole in her heart to fill up, she had asked God why so many times but the thing is life really was funny. Now she wouldn’t even consider marrying Thomas. He was perfect for Fikayo at 27 but absolutely wrong for Fikayo at 30. She shuddered to think about what would have happened if she had married him at 27. Would they have drifted apart as she evolved or would she have failed to evolve into this beautiful, self-assured person who knew exactly what her purpose was on this earth because her wings had been cut in the name of marriage? She felt a certain sadness for women who had felt pressured into marrying before 30, they would never understand this. Now the men who came into her life realized soon that she was not to be put in the box labeled ‘Thirty and searching’. They stayed because they were intrigued by her, because they enjoyed her company and were wowed by her blatant unawareness of the social expectations of this modern age. She only spent her evenings with people who added value to her; memorable conversations, shared laughs and exciting adventures. She no longer had to endure a boring conversation because ‘he may be the one’ or put up with his conceit and vain talk because ‘he was considered husband material’. She had done all of that in her twenties and look how that turned out.

She chuckled to herself as her phone buzzed. It was time for her date and she felt so serene. She said a prayer by her bed before slipping on her shoes and she picked up her car keys she thought of God, the one person who had been with her every step of the way-Through the heart aches, the fun times and the uncertainties. He was really the one who boosted her confidence because a long time ago when she was in a dark place he had said unto her “I know the thoughts I have towards you, thoughts of good and not evil, to bring you to an expected end…” She knew that that expected end would be fabulous. She didn’t care about the journey anymore, if she was going to be married then she was going to be married to the very best man there was for her. She wasn’t gonna settle because she was the daughter of a king. Tonight she would focus on the pleasures of dating after thirty. She turned on the radio and sang loudly as she drove into the sunset…I gotta feeling, that tonight’s gonna be a good night

…to be continued

 

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Perils and Pleasures of Dating after Thirty II

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Amaka seethed as she tried to block out the animated chatter filtering in from the kitchen.

“What happened to the other guy na, the one that worked in that bank and drove ochuzo?”

“She didn’t like him either oh. And he was so nice, used to call me everyday.”

If only you knew Emeka was a cheat and a liar

“Hian! How about Mazi Eze’s son, the one in Amerikah?”

“She said he wasn’t her type of person, biko that girl is driving me mad”

Mum you wouldn’t be so mad if I told you he was a 419 boy, but if I told you Aunt Chichi would hear and soon the whole village including Mazi Eze would know what their son was up to!

“My dear, you need to talk sense into her oh. Does she not realize she is over thirty? Her mates have given their mothers five grandchildren”

Five ke? Aunty Chichi can exaggerate for Africa chei!

“I plan to take her for special prayers in church this week. Talk to her too na, she is your favorite niece, maybe she will listen to you”

“I will try. Meanwhile have you bought the wrapper for Mama Nkechi’s daughter’s wedding?”

At this point, she got up, walked out of the house and wasn’t a tad bothered that the rickety door had slammed shut on her way out. Being thirty wasn’t a sin, as far as she was concerned it was the best year of her life except for her man-less state but that had been ongoing since she was 28 so she was used to tables for one. She sat down in the shade and started making a mental note of all the great things about being thirty.

1. Great job

2. I don’t live at home anymore

3. Drive a fancy car

4. Self-assured and can enjoy my own company

5. Have a career

6. Freedom

7. Money in the bank

8. Few, good friends (most frenemies have been eliminated)

9. More spiritual (God seems to be the only one that really gets me)

10. Wiser (made most of my mistakes in life and learnt from them especially where men are concerned)

Thirty was a great age if she did say so herself. There were downsides and she reluctantly conjured a list of some of them in her head.

1. Most of your friends are married and now act like aliens

2. Your family is constantly on your neck to get married

3. You are marginalized and treated differently because you are single. (Amaka remembered the day the doorman at a new restaurant in Lekki had refused to allow her in just because she was unaccompanied by a man. For heaven’s sake eating alone wasn’t a crime, as long as she could foot her bills and she sure as hell wasn’t man-hunting)

4. The chronic bridesmaid/asoebi buyer

5. Guys feel you are desperate for marriage and try to use that to play a fast one on you or expect you to lower your standards because of it and even your friends feel you are too picky. (sigh..,)

6. Sometimes it gets lonely. (Like when she had malaria and had to take care of herself alone in her apartment)

Well thankfully her list didn’t run to 10, so obviously there were more pros to being 30 than cons. She thought of the last two suitors she had shoved aside. The ones her mum and aunt had been discussing.

Emeka had stolen her heart completely. He had a sexy baritone that made shivers run down her spine and he shared her love for art. They had had so many fun times together and she was a hundred percent  99% percent sure he was the one until she had asked to hang out with him one fateful day and he had been forced to let the cat (cat being his girlfriend of 6 years) out of the bag. She had been devastated to put it mildly and was very close to giving up on love but she had eventually moved on. She was a mature woman and she couldn’t let a man, no matter how dreamy he was, break her. She had learnt a valuable lesson after that: ALWAYS ASK IF HE IS IN A RELATIONSHIP RIGHT AFTER HE OFFERS TO BUY YOU A DRINK! Straight talk, no chasers. She was a grown woman and grown women didn’t waste time with men who wanted to play games.

Then there was Okezi, Mazi Eze’s illustrious son and the pride of the village who had caught her eye and she his, during the Christmas break. He was a tall, light skinned brother with a foreign accent and a very successful business abroad. He had wined and dined her and her dear mama had started picking out wrappers for the wedding. Thankfully she had asked her friend Kanyin to do a background check on the guy, she was actually looking for secret girlfriends but what Kanyin uncovered made the possibility of another woman the least of her problems. Nna the dude was a scammer, 419 yahoo boy. He was popular in Europe and probably on a ‘Wanted list’ somewhere. She hadn’t even bothered confronting him, she had heard many stories of the lengths criminals would go to protect their true identities and she didn’t want to be in harm’s way all on top toasting matter. She had severed the ties abruptly and the guy had spent the rest of the holiday serenading her mum. She just wasn’t interested shikena!

She wanted to be married, really she did- but she didn’t want to have to lower her standards or settle for less just to be called Mrs Somebody. She wanted love and happiness and if she had to wait another ten years for it, she would. She got up and decided to go for a run, if she was gonna wait ten years for her man then he was gonna meet her looking as sexy as she was twenty years before.

“Time to burn off the calories from that ofe akwu

…To be  continued…

 

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Perils and Pleasures of Dating after Thirty.

Perils and Pleasures of Dating after Thirty.

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Bunmi rolled her eyes as Tito cheered loudly. It wasn’t even a goal. She had been rehearsing the speech in her head since he got home from work. She didn’t wanna sound like a jealous, insecure girlfriend. Since she turned 30, she had become acutely aware that everything she did where men were concerned suddenly had new meaning. A 30 and unmarried woman was one of the anomalies of life according to Aunty Shola. She rolled her eyes again. Just when she thought Tito was the one, now this…

“GOALLLLLLLL…..”

“Okay that’s it! I have been waiting for you to say something but since you are going to act as if nothing happened, I am outta here!”

“No, no, no- really, I was just about to tell you everything- GOALLL!-”

“…just after I finish watching the match baby”

Bunmi had had it, this was ridiculous. She snatched the remote and switched off the TV

“This is more important Tito, it affects us directly.”

“Arsenal affects me directly too! Besides why are you making such a fuss? I already told you the lipstick probably belongs to Bisi my cousin’s friend. I gave her a lift yesterday; she was going to her B-O-Y-F-R-I-E-N-D! Ah.”

Bunmi could see Tito was angry, she had clearly crossed the line but so had he when she discovered lipstick in his car!

“How come I have never met this Bisi girl and I read your messages yesterday; why on earth were you asking her if she got home safe? Why is she even on your BBM?”

“Chillout Bunmi, really you are overreacting. This girl is like a little sister to me, I was just being friendly besides she isn’t even half as beautiful as you. Wouldn’t I have ‘passworded’ my phone if I had something to hide? Come here my ololufe, you know you are my one and only…”

Bunmi squealed as Tito grabbed her, his lips claiming hers. She pretended to struggle but soon her straight face was sporting a huge grin and she squealed as Tito tickled her. The boy was cute sha, she definitely could see herself marrying this man. For the sake of her sanity she hoped he was telling the truth.

Five hours later

Bunmi tiptoed into the bedroom. Tito was fast asleep and snoring, she got into bed and turned off the bedside lamp and was just about to snuggle into Tito’s sleeping frame when his phone beeped.

Who on earth would be pinging Tito after midnight? She silently wondered. She stealthily stretched out her hand to pick up Tito’s phone from the bedside table on his side of the bed, making sure she didn’t wake him.

Blackberry messenger:

Bisi: Hey hun are you awake?

“What rubbish why is this same Bisi honey-ing my man?” Bunmi covered her mouth when she realized she had spoken out loud and then watched Tito intently to see if he was still asleep. She smiled to herself as a thought crossed her mind. She hastily began to type a message on Tito’s phone, his loud snores gave her courage.

Tito: Yes Bisi, how are you?

Bisi: Why so formal? LOL. I missed you. Baby I forgot my lipstick in your car yesterday.

Bunmi gasped. BABY?!!!

Tito: Yes you did. You almost got me into trouble you know I have a girlfriend.

Bunmi smiled. Gotchaaa!

Bisi: Yes I do but can’t wait for her to be history baby. I hope you will break up with her when you guys travel to Ibadan just as you promised oh. I don’t like sharing my man, I miss you soooo much 😦 😦 😦

Bunmi couldn’t believe her eyes. WTF!!! The son of a ??? Arghhhh! She picked up a pillow intent on strangling Tito in his sleep. Then she paused midway and smiled; there were one thousand ways to die….

Tito: Yes dear, that’s still the plan but there is something serious I need to ask you…

Bisi: Don’t tell me you want to propose over BBM, Tito!!!  🙂 🙂 😉

Bunmi hissed, Ode!!!

Tito: No I prefer the old fashioned way. There’s an issue that has been weighing heavily on my mind, even making me lose weight because I can’t sleep and I can’t eat.

Bisi: Baby, I thought it was all the wahala that your girlfriend was giving you that was making you lose weight. What’s the matter luv?

Tito: Do you love me?

Bisi: With my heart and soul, I would do anything for you.

Tito: I haven’t been feeling well and after I dropped you yesterday I went to seek help.

Bisi: Is it malaria? If you need me to come and take care of you I will come.

Tito: It isn’t malaria, Bisi do you love me?

Bisi: Tito you are acting strange of course I love you. What’s wrong with you?

Tito: I am dying.

Bisi: God forbid. What did the doctor say?

Tito: I didn’t go to the hospital. Bisi I am going to be dead in a week.

Bisi: Jesus! How? Why? What do you have? Cancer? Tito no, don’t tell me this.

Tito: Not cancer, remember how it was after I got that promotion and bought this house and my second car that I met you? Well I joined a secret cult- The Eternal Mystical Order of Glorious Darkness in the Ogboni Fraternity. They are responsible for my wealth and success but I haven’t kept my end of the bargain. They want the blood of the woman I love and the woman must be someone who loves me just as much. I am supposed to make love to her during our meeting after which her hair will be shaved and she will have to drink a full cup of her own blood. Baby I chose you because no one makes me feel the way you do; you can do this for us can’t you? They won’t kill you, it will be just a small cut and it will make us richer. I will marry you baby and you will only have to repeat this every 3 months for the rest of our lives but other than sacrificing our first born we will be free to enjoy our wealth forever…Bisi are you there? I know it’s a small price to pay but…

Bisi: Oloshi! In your life do not ever contact me again. May you burn in hell! My own blood ke? I am deleting you from my BBM and my life, God punish you!

Bunmi stifled a laugh as the chat disappeared, she double checked to make sure Bisi had deleted Tito. She scrolled through Tito’s phone till she found Bisi’s phone number and hastily composed a text.

“Dear Bisi, please do not disclose the details of our conversation to anyone as long as you live or even discuss it ever again with me. It is taboo for those words to be repeated and the penalty is instant, irreversible and total madness. I understand that you do not love me enough to make the sacrifice but keep this secret to your dying day for your own safety.”

Bunmi deleted the message as soon as it was delivered and quietly returned Tito’s phone.

“That will teach you not to mess with my man! Hiss…”

With a big, triumphant smile she fell asleep, with her arm possessively around Tito.

 

The next morning she woke up to an empty bed and frowned when she remembered last night’s escapade. She walked cautiously into the living room not sure what to expect and there was Tito fiddling with his phone, a gloomy expression on his face.

“Morning darling, why so sad?” Bunmi gave him her very brightest smile.

“Nothing”

“Are you sure?”

“It’s nothing really, just that one of my business partners deleted me from BBM last night and won’t pick my calls or return my texts and we had important business to do together. Don’t know what I did to anger the person.”

“Maybe God doesn’t want you to do business with the person, don’t worry dear, the DEVIL IS A LIAR! Are you hungry? I’ll make us some pancakes!”

She pecked him on the cheek and started humming as she walked towards the kitchen, aware of Tito’s eyes following her; she knew the precise look he had on his face. Confusion! Well he would never know… It wasn’t her fault really; this was simply one of the perils of dating after thirty. Any other age and she would have dumped his sorry ass but now his pros definitely outweighed his cons so she would watch him. They were going to Ibadan in a few days, she’d see about his plan to dump her now that there was no Bisi! Hiss…

 

To be continued…

*For my friend O…xxx

 

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