Monday, March 24, 2014

In Defense of the Young'uns

I know quite a few women who have been there and done that with younger men and have sworn off them. They say that all the young’uns they encountered turned out to be jerks and so they have washed their hands off dabbling in that dating pool. My response to them has always been that a natural born jerk will always be a jerk, and in my opinion, age has nothing do with a man’s behavior.
Then there are the other women who have had no experience with younger men, but just instantly dismiss them because they are younger and God forbid, that’s a no-no. Which begs the question? – Why is the idea of dating or getting married to a younger man such a no go area to some women?
Imagine a scenario where the correct man of your dreams approaches you, and checks off most things on your list. But ring the alarm because he’s 26 and you’re 28 – Instant grounds for dismissal. And I don’t understand it, because if I ran into such a guy, I would snatch him up instantly. Young’un or not.

Let me just put it out there that I have nothing against dating a younger man. Now, this is a recent development, as the advantage of getting older is that you can afford to go younger and not seem like you are robbing the cradle. As a 30 year old, my ideal range/limit on the lower end is 27 and I can afford to do this now because I’m sure that there are quite a number of mature 27 year old men out there (if I carry torchlight to look for them). As you can see, I would have absolutely no problem dating a man who is 3 years younger than me as long as he can be the man, and is mature. Same applies to men who are older than me too…just be the man and be mature. I have a strong personality so even if you’re 40 years old, if I feel like I can walk over you then it’s a wrap. If I ran into a 27/28 year old who could hold his own, trust and believe that his age would be no hindrance to me. Age is mainly nothing but a number as long as you know how to act like a grown up. So I'm all about giving younger men a fair opportunity, and I promise you all that I’m no Lagos Cougar :-D.
I’m just the type of approach people and treat them as individuals independent of any stereotypes until they show themselves…this approach also applies to younger men. To me, they are still men and will act like a typical man every now and then but until they show their jerkish, immature ways, then they are fair game.

The good news is that these days some ladies are getting hip to the younger men and giving them a fair chance. I’ve seen about 4 marriages in my church where the age difference between the older wives and younger husbands range from 5-3 years. Still thriving, still surviving. In fact, one of them was even 29 when she married her 24 year old husband and I wasn’t even mad at that at allll. Age is just some digits my people. Just the other day, I hung out with my friend and her younger boyfriend and the girl was just shining 32 anyhow in love, cheesiness and happiness, as in she seemed so happy and I was absolutely loving it. The boy is so good to her and if she had discriminated against the guy, she would have missed out on that gem. So, I think that once we learn to let go of some stereotypes and what other people think, we can greatly learn to expand our dating pools and bring on more opportunities for ourselves. All my ladies, oya kukere!

One other thing that fueled my decision to not discriminate against the young’uns is that I realized how some men my age or slightly older stay discriminating against ladies in my age range. You see all these dudes that wait till they are 37 to settle down…and who do they go for when they decide to settle? Odds are they target women under 30. In fact, the other day I was teasing this 33 year old guy that I know who is boo’ed up to some 23 year old girl, and I said dang boy, you had to go all the way down to 23 though? The boy laughed and said “no offense ehn, but I was absolutely not checking for any woman in that 28 and up range”. And then some other guys in the group joined in on the fun talking about “I feel you bro, get them while they are still fresh”. See what I mean? The discrimination is real people, so might as well pitch your tent where people are actually checking for you.

However, I won’t end this post with a rose colored view on dating the young'uns. So I'm just going to acknowlede the challenges of dating a young’un and summarize a few pointers here:
  • I think that the main challenge of dipping in the younger end of the dating pool is opposition from family members. It's like "OMG, our son/brother/nephew/cousin CANNOT marry this woman and her shriveled up eggs". Even if you are 5 months older than a man, his family will probably be against it most especially if they are African. Not to mention being a few years older so I’ll recommend that y’alls age difference should be a secret between you two which you can feel free to reveal after y'all have tied the knot. But before then, please keep it under wraps and between yourselves. One of my family friends lost the “love of his life” because his aunties ranted and rebeled against him marrying the older woman that he really wanted to be with and the boy succumbed to family pressure. And you know what I realized? It’s always women in the family that will be blocking you and that younger man’s love. Like ahn ahn, as a fellow woman, do you not realize how real the struggle is? Smh.
  • One popular concern that I hear about dating younger men is "women age faster than men" and "down the line, I will be looking like his mother". I call bollocks on that one. I highly doubt that you’re going to wrinkle faster than him, or look like his mother in 10 years. Just stay fresh, take care of you (as you should be doing regardless of whether he’s 26 or 40) and you should be fine.
  • And ultimately, you need a young'un with a backbone. If you feel like he’s not the type of young’un that you would respect then don’t even set yourself up. You need a young’un that will stand up to you, call you out on your nonsense and tell you “I might be just 24 but I will put that azz in check” and you will promptly zip your lips and keep quiet. LOL.
So I hope that I have been able to convince and not confuse you regarding your next action when you run across a young’un in the near future. As opposed to saying “God Forbid” and picking race like your life depends on it, why not actually see what the dude is about. You never know, the man might be your future husboo that you would have dismissed because of a 2-year age difference. You just never know!
 
And that is all she said.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Social Media: The Oversharing Factor

I am hella late with this my new year's greetings but better late than never my dear people. I just want to say a quick albeit very belated HAPPY NEW YEAR. I had all this gist of how my Holiday season went (trip to Dubai with Taynement + Aberdeen to visit my dearest dearest sister) and how much fun I had + a mini review of 2013 but it’s too late now. Regardless, happy new year darlings…may your 2014 be the your best year yet. Amin!!!

Sooo onto the gist of the day and right in line with the recent departure of the almighty Valentines day aka Falemtines Day aka #Singleswereaware #Wesurvivedthetension #Netflixwasmyboo etc etc...I contemplated the oversharing thing and could only shake my head. I mean, we all knew that Valentines day would have our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter timelines fresh with the onslaught of pictures and gifts but at some point, I had to ask myself – What did we do before social media? Because obviously at this rate, everybody has the mentality of “If I don’t share it, then it didn’t happen”.
But look, I wasn't even mad at those Vals day updates at all. As awon babes dey post picture, me I dey balance to look. There was even one particular couple who had a Pre-Vals day treasure hunt, and ol’ girl posted every step of the treasure hunt for her Instagram followers (the end result was a box of chocolates). Somehow the screenshot of the hunt ended up floating across my Twitter timeline and after having a good laugh at the bants the screenshot caused, I was like “Wait o, so this babe really took time out to snap pictures of every step of this treasure hunt to upload to Instagram? Odiegwu”. Oversharing tinz.
That aside, everybody else and their mama had their flowers, cakes, chocolates, Louboutins, G-wagons, washing machines and refridgerators, Zanottis (true talk – these were all gifts that various babes recieved) proudly displayed on their various Instagram pages and I was chilling in the cut, observing it all. I could literally imagine these females getting their gifts, quickly pulling out their phones to take pictures and then uploading said pictures online before they actually turned to their partners to say thank you.

The shenanigans of Valentines day aside, I've realized that people just love to overshare the minute details of their lives on social media. All these celebs that give Linda Ikeji and other such blogs fodder for posts are a prime example. I mean, look at our sister Chika Ike's heavily documented shopping trip to Dubai. Sotay she had someone photograph her as a Michael Kors salesperson was handing over a shopping bag to her at the sales register. I had to bow.
Celebrities aside, we regular folks are just as guilty. I remember my friend once told me that someone on Twitter was surprised that she worked out, and it was like if you don’t flood your timeline with #fitfam #Gymflow #Spincycletinz, then nobody believes that you actually go to the gym. Tweet it or it didn't happen.

Long story short, you gotta share every bit of it or we won't believe you. This must explain some of the nonsense that I see across the various social media vehicles...

Like those people who manage to fly first class and like I said, if they don't upload a picture of their boarding passes, then that first class flight didn't happen. I've seen a few ratchets folks upload their boarding passes showing us that they have first class seats and premier flight status on the airline of their choice. I be like "K boo".

Or those other people who go out and buy expensive gadgets or expensive shoes/bags, and as true and tested social media oversharers, GOTTA give us an “unboxing video” with the appropriate caption of “My new baby/babies just arrived”. It's only science that they do this or else they didn't just blow a wad of cash for the internet population not to know that they made a big splurge. It’s only science.

Those girls that cook for their man and won't allow him to eat the food in peace. They must also let the internet know that they cooked talmbout "Just cooked for my baby...xxx". Okay sisters, we will surely add money to your brideprice you hear?

How about those guys who will buy a new luxury car and upload new Facebook album with about 20 pictures of the new car. You might as well include pictures of the title and registration for us too o. May your driver's license too sef. All join.

And the one that absolutely kills me is all these up and coming young’uns who think that it’s cool to upload pictures of them smoking weed because ya know, smoking anything that isn’t nicotine is so cool and everybody on social media gotta see how much of a badazz that you are. Oversharing fail. A real epic one. Why can't you just smoke your joint in the quietness of your home? If it doesn't enter Instagram then we don't know that you're the hottest/baddest abi? I'm getting you guys.

Look, I am just not one to overshare information, so it is easy for me to sit and wonder how some people do it. For the fact that most of us are on one form of social media or the other means that some elements of information about us will get out there. But we gotta draw the line between "elements of information" and "too much information". If you put a good percentage of yourself out there, then where is the mystery to your life? Everything doesn’t have to be displayed for the world to see. Let people wonder about you, as opposed to you feeding them every single tidbit of information. A word is enough for the wise but if you choose to be foolish, I aint mad. Your life, my entertainment.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Superficial Reasons Behind Why You Didn't Get Chose


Ya know sometimes when men reject us women, we go on a self-blaming spree…

Oh, if only I knew how to swing off chandeliers
Oh, if only I could cook like Lohi O
Oh, if only had been more expressive and shown him how much I cared
Oh, if only I hadn't been as thirsty and made him wait a little
"Oh, if only I was more of a wifey material"

Blahblahblahblahyadiyadiyadiya.
In our minds, if we had been a little more awesome or perfect and exhibited the traits of a true wife material, we would have gotten CHOSE.  But have we ever stopped to acknowledge our current and existing awesomeness and think that “Maybe it really wasn’t me. Maybe it was him”?

I’m not saying that we ladies should live in denial and not improve where we can but sometimes no matter how awesome you are, a man will still next you or not make it official with you because of his purely superficial reasons based on things that you might not be able to control. I've had pretty random convos with the guys in the past that opened my eyes to how superficial some men can be or how they have all these really nitpicky criteria that will get you a failing grade no matter how hard you try. For instance, some guy once told me that he nexted a girl in the past strictly because she had no nyash (booty). According to him, she was cute and really decent but he just couldn't get past the nyashless factor. I couldn't believe my ears, so I asked him “You mean to tell me that if you met a woman who had 9 out of 10 of the attributes that you look for in a woman but had no nyash, she’s dismissed” and he said yes. He then tried to explain that nyash is a pretty important factor for him in selecting a woman and that if he ends up with a woman with no nyash, he’s definitely going to cheat. He also said that he needed to feel proud of the woman that he had on his arm if he’s showcasing her in public and so her body had to be on point, nyash inclusive. I hit him with the O__O eyes and wished him good luck in his search. The sad thing is that this man will probably end up with some big booty dimepiece in the future because you know, men have the playing field with plenty options and can afford to be entirely foolish and get away with it. Such is life.

I’ve heard about other dismissal criteria that sounded really crazy to me, such as:
She looked like she had the tendency to get fat after kids
She was too tall. I wouldn’t want to end up with a woman over 5’9
She wasn’t Nigerian so I knew that I was definitely not going to wife her” – This came from a man who dated said non Nigerian girl for 3 years. When I formed Voltron defender of the Universe and berated him for leading the poor girl on, he simply shrugged and said that bodi no be wood. He was keeping her around until he found something better.
I wouldn’t marry a woman with darker skin tone than me
"She had no swag or presence"
Etc etc.

Yep, I've listened to men tell me all of the above and more…and no matter how irritated I was by their reasoning, I knew that my vex couldn't boil indomie because like I said, it is a man’s world and no matter how foolish a man might be with his reasoning, there’s going to be at least 20 women out there that fit his specifications and criteria. He's going to dismiss your ass and move right onto the next chick who fits his criteria and you have no option but to deal with it. Tough world mayne!
Because women outnumber men and because we are generally more accommodating, we aren't as critical or picky. We might say that we want a tall, strong, dark and handsome swaggalicious fella with a great job and doing XYZ, but if we meet a man who doesn't fall into our ideal height or weight range but happens to check off most of our boxes, I bet we would be willing to compromise as opposed to an instant dismissal. Heck, a lot of women will even work with a guy if he only checks off 5 out of 10 things on her list. It’s a tough life that we live in this man’s world but it is what it is.

Oh, and you know one thing that I realized? Men will have all their high end criteria for what they want in a serious relationship or marriage but when it comes to just kicking it and sleeping with you, alllll of that relaxes. For instance, someone once told me that while he had slept with a lot of Igbo women and had no problem kicking it with them, he knew that he would never marry an Igbo woman for a bunch of reasons.

So there you have it. No matter what you did and didn't do, some men will dismiss you for things that are beyond your control such as your height, maybe your weight, the color of your skin, your nationality, origin, and tribe, age and what have you. This is honestly why I'm never mad too mad at a woman who is supposedly "picky" or a woman who does her own dismissing and the world is looking at her like she's crazy. Like "omg, he looks good on paper and he has a great job and blahblah. Maybe he will grow on you". Umm no. I'm like look, a man will NEXT you in a heartbeat if you're not his spec so please if he's not your spec, don't be shy to say bye bye too. Sometimes we females can be over-accommodating on some "let me go out on this 10th date with him and see". Date 10 kwa? Me thinks that if you haven't seen that sonthing by Date 4 then it probably isn't meant to be. Remember, most men won't even give you Date 2 sef. No be small thing my people.

The good news is that there are also a host of other fellas out there who don't buy into the ridiculous mentality of being extra-superficial and who will be more than accepting of you and everything that got you dismissed with the last guy. Until you find them in their hidden locations, what can I say? Continue to do you. Any man who dismisses you for his own superficial reasons doesn't deserve your time and energy in the first place.

And that is all she said.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Social Media: The Oppression Factor

I was recently discussing social media with my friend and told her “Man, social media can be one hella oppressive place”. And this is the truth. It’s like no matter how immune you feel to it all, there’s going to be something out there in the cyber world that will find your Achilles heel and feast on it. There’s always somebody out there who has what you want, or seems to be doing way better in life than you are doing.

After years of wondering how the hell Instagram (IG) worked, I finally joined it and gotta attest that those visuals alone can work their magic. Everything just looks so glossy and fancy, and everybody looks “rich as f***” (in the words of my favorite Uncle 2chainzzzz). I just be perusing sometimes and wondering “which levels na? When I go hammer reach?” However, the funny thing is that not everything posted on social media is supposed to be oppressive but somehow they get to you depending on whether it’s your thing or not.

A few examples…

  • That person that stays posting pictures of their countless vacations and trips. You name the place, and they've been there. And you’re feeling the oppression because to afford one solo vacation requires you to give up so much while for some others it seems like they have an unending supply of money, time, and resources.
  • That other person that posted pictures of plenty plenty high end shopping bags and gave a shoutout to their wonderful husband/boyfriend on some “Shout outs to my baby for spoiling me. Love you boo!” and you can’t help but dash one side eye to your hardworking husband/boo who works so hard to make you happy but somehow his level of hard work never reach Neiman Marcus and Saks. And even if designer names aren't your thing, it could be something else that you would love to have in your life but you and your man can’t afford it (e.g. Macbook, Ipad, BB10, Samsung S4 etc etc. Pick your poison and there’s a woman out there posting a picture of it and hailing her boo.
  • That person that keeps tensioning you with pictures of their weight loss journey. It seems like they step on a treadmill and instantly lose 10lbs. Meanwhile you are out here struggling to lose weight even though you’ve been eating right and working out for the past 2 months. See, things like this aren’t even supposed to be oppressive but I know that sometimes they are.
  • That other one that is always doing #Himship #Goinghometomyman #Mybabyboo up and down the place with plenty coupled up pictures to boot. You haven’t even had a negro say hi to you in the last 8 months, talk less of a man to go home to. O diro easy.

Let’s shift from IG real quick and enter Twitter and Facebook…
You’re seeing tweets and status updates like “God is Good! I passed my MCAT on the first try and I’m interviewing to get into *insert the medical school of your dreams*” and you’re wondering when this same good God is going to do it for you. You’ve taken the MCAT at least 2x now…

Or

That husband that posts a picture of the brand new car that he just bought for his wife in honor of her giving him some bouncing baby boys and girls and you’re feeling that oppression because you and your spouse have been trying for children for God knows how many years.

I can go on and on but it’s so much stuff on social media that get to at least every one of us depending on the things in life that are doing you.

For some of us it’s marriage of course. Even for me who mainly doesn't feel the societal pressure of marriage, every single time that I log into that place called Facebook, the first things assailing my eyes are at least 3 people’s engagement photo shoots, traditional weddings, white weddings and all things weddings and I’m like “Whoa! Are there any single people left in this world?? Am I going to be the last woman standing in this single struggle?” I tire.

For some it’s career…folks be posting about working in places and fields that we would love to work in talking about “I love my job…so blessed.xx” and oppression sets in when you think about the million and one resumes that you've sent out and the million and one rejection letters/emails that you received. I remember when I was in college and wanted to work for PWC so badly (after they rejected my ass) and it used to pepper me when all the accounting kids in my school would update their professional networks on Facebook to PWC. It wasn’t a game yo.

For some it’s material goods. You’re looking at all the cars, gadgets, bags, shoes that your mates are enjoying and wondering when you will be able to afford to buy such fancy things without drinking garri for 2 months.

For some it’s the fertility issue. You really want kids and have been trying for ages, and everybody around you is sharing pictures or stories of their little ones. This is also not meant to be oppressive I'm sure but we are only human and I bet something like that would get to me every now and then if I was in that boat.

For others it’s just a person’s overall packaging. Some people just seem to have their lives so well put together. Great jobs, probably did something like buy a house when they were 25, if they are female they probably got married at 28, had their 2 kids by 31 and bounced back to size 4 frames in 5 seconds, seemingly great husbands, and a seemingly great life…and they are out there on your web feed of whatever your social media poison is, oppressing the heck out of little ol’ you who is trying to get a handle on something in your life.

E no easy my people.

What do you do? I have a friend who doesn't do Facebook or Instagram (very smart girl). I think that’s a definite start to curb the oppression in your life and learn to stay in your lane. But if you’re like me and you like to keep these forms of media open for small amebo purposes, the next best thing to do is to try and rein it in sometimes. You don’t gotta be on social media every single day. Sometimes a break is good from all the shenanigans, especially if you are down in the dumps and not feeling that great about yourself. The last thing that you want to see is somebody happily posting pictures or talking about something when you’re feeling some type of way about that particular something. My final word on this: In the words of my wise friend “Social media is filled with a lot of smoke and mirrors” aka things are not always what they seem. I remember a story about somebody who posted a picture of her brand new designer bag gifted to her by her “dearest husband” only for us to get behind the scenes of the story and find out that her so-called dearest husband had beaten her the week before and then bought her the bag to apologize for his behavior. Of course we saw a picture of the bag…a picture of the black eyes nko? Not so much. I’m sure somebody out there was feeling oppression on 3 levels: 1. Husband 2. Dear Husband 3. Expensive Bag. So just goes to show that while some people are truly living the life, not everybody is truly living the life so don’t be too quit to turn a bright shade of green when you read about or see how some people are doing it up.

And that my people, is all she said.

Have a great rest of the week.

Monday, October 7, 2013

What's So Special About Your Family Name Anyway?

I not-so recently had the following conversation with one of my male cousins:
Cousin (talking about my uncle who recently re-married after his first wife’s death): How is Ikenna’s new wife sef?

Me: I really dig her and I think she’s great with the kids.

Cousin: Hmmm, I hear she’s almost 40 and so I wonder why Ikenna married someone who was that old. I’m concerned about her child bearing capabilities because you know Ikenna really wants a son and so that was one of the reasons why he got married again.

Me: So I heard o, but abegi, after 6 daughters, what is he finding with a son again? I think that he just needs someone to help him take care of his girls…besides, in this same quest for a son, he ended up with a boatload of girls, so I think he should just relax and fashy this matter of having a son. What if the next one that comes is a girl too?

Cousin: You don’t understand. Ikenna wants someone to carry on with the family’s name and so I don’t see a problem if he wants a son. After all, most men want sons that can carry on with the family’s name…

Me: Na wa  for you men and your fixation with sons to carry on the family’s name. So if you and your wife have a bunch of daughters, would that be an issue?

Him: By God’s grace, I know that will not be our portion.

Me: *Zipped lips and quickly moved on to the next topic*

And that was that, as I jejely minded my business and dropped the matter.

And then in the more recent past, I was talking to somebody who has 2 daughters and wife who is expecting one more child. He said that he really hopes that the 3rd one is a boy as he wants at least one son. And so I posed the same question that I posed to my cousin – If you guys have a bunch of daughters, would it be an issue? His response was – “Houston, we would have a problem” before he quickly interjected with “Just kidding”. But I wasn't buying it…
I asked him why some men are so hung up on having sons and he gave me the very typical “I want somebody to carry the family name and to inherit everything that I’ve worked for".  He then added "My daughters will get married and join another man’s family and everything that I’ve worked for will go to another man’s son (i.e. his daughters future husbands), so I want a son who will inherit the fruit of my hard work” . I said ookay and kept it moving. I couldn't even pretend to understand it because I didn't and I still don’t.

All of this talk got me thinking about all these men that keep on harping about wanting a son to carry on with their family name. I mean absolutely no disrespect and all, but the pressing questions that I have are: What is so special about you and your family name? What is so wonderful about your legacy? What exactly are your sons supposed to be carrying on?

I totally understand wanting a son because you want to do daddy-son things like going to watch a basketball game or whatever it is that sons do with their fathers. What I don’t understand is wanting a son because you want them to carry your name forward.
The way I see it and with the way that our generation is going, I doubt that in the long run, anyone is checking for you and your lineage. Like someone once said, if you’re not a Dangote, Adenuga, or any of those big names, why should we be concerned about your so-called family name? I mean, what great thing have you done that you want people to be carrying on your family name? Like I said, no disrespect to you men out there and the family names that you hold so dearly to your hearts, but I think it’s beyond absurd to still be on about this whole “I want a son to carry my family name forward” in this day and age. Feel free to shed light if you want to help me understand.

Who says that your daughters cannot also bring recognition to your family and carry on your so-called family name? In my opinion, if I do anything epic in this lifetime, whether I am married or single, people will always say “that is Papa Mgbeke’s daughter”, or “she comes from so and so’s family”. Look at the Adenuga’s for instance…even though that he has a married daughter, I always think of her first as Bella Adenuga, the daughter of Adenuga. People know her as her father’s daughter first, before they recognize her as her husband’s wife…if that makes sense.

Now, imagine a scenario where you have a son who turns out to be some notorious serial killer or something crazy. That your precious son will send your family name that you worked so hard for, to the pits. So much for carrying on the family name, guys. So, really my dear brothers, I will keep this short…boy or girl, whichever one God gives you, please take it and be content with it. Treat your daughters with respect and view them as more than able and capable to take on and bring pride and joy to your family name. And really, if you haven’t worked for shiz and are just a regular average 9-5 Joe, sit back, relax and ask yourself what exactly you even want your imaginary sons to carry on.

*Rides my blazing chariot out of Blogsville*

Monday, August 19, 2013

30

A few weeks ago, yours truly hit the big ol’ grand age of three zero. For some unknown reason, I have always looked forward to turning 30. In fact, I've always looked upon the 30’s as the period where you start to really come into your own and really know yourself. The 30’s are when you go from a “spring chicken” to “fine wine” (Totally stole that one from Kelly Rowland). Plus, in my opinion, it’s that age where you can finally start claiming to be grown and people actually start taking you a bit more seriously. In general, I really can’t explain it but I was pretty excited to turn 30…and I had an amazing birthday as well. Big big shout-outs to my big sister who made it one to remember. I truly truly love that babe.

I remember my mom once told me that on her 30th birthday, she was so depressed. According to her, that was her worst birthday ever, because she was so sad that she was officially “old”. I had a good laugh at that one. In comparison, I do not feel old or anything close to it…I think that I will officially start to feel like I’m getting up there (but not quite old actually) when I hit the 40 year mark but till then, let’s rock and roll baby! According to Nigerian Twitter, I’m at the age where I should only be tweeting for “networking purposes” and not for bants as per old age stuvvs. To that, I say…who gon’ check me boo??? Watch me turn 40 and still be all up in there. There’s no rules or regulations to these things.

I was reading my most recent September 2013 issue of Glamour Magazine and Olivia Wilde has an article in there titled the “Do’s and Don’ts of Turning 30”. My interest was peaked even further when I read that Olivia is “defying all Hollywood stereotypes by being excited to turn 30”. I was like heyyy that’s definitely my type of girl. And I did enjoy reading her do’s and don’ts because it reminded me of something that I would write…so I figured that I would share a short, summarized version because I thought it was a fun read for anyone approaching 30, who just turned 30, or even well into their 30’s. If you want to read the full thing, then go and buy your own Glamour :-D
So here are Olivia’s tips (summarized and in a nutshell):

1. DON’T freak out about all the brilliant people who accomplished more than you by 30
2. DO enjoy your sexual prime – According to Professor Alfred Kinsey, women really start heating up in their 30s.
3. DON'T cut your face – Take care of yourself now that you’re old enough to know how. Drink water, get enough sleep, and don’t go near a tanning booth.
4. DO travel – This is probably the last time until retirement that you won’t be considered a bad person for booking a last minute ticket to Morocco because you damn well feel like it. You’re old enough to know where not to go e.g. Cancun but young enough to feel guilt-free being entirely unreachable.
5. DON'T propose to the next guy you meet just because you worry he’ll be your last chance at lifelong companionship– Sure, you might have attended more bridal showers than yoga classes, but that doesn't mean that you’re destined to be a craggy spinster, searching for roommates on Craigslist at 50.
6. DON'T feel pressured to pop out kids – Wait for the right partner and make sure you’re where you want to be in life before picking neighborhoods based on school districts.
7. DO reap the benefits of your accumulated wisdom – You’re 30: You know stuff now…your 20’s were for messing up and learning from those mistakes. Now you get to live with knowledge under your belt…and make it a nice belt too. You’re 30, stop dressing like a hobo.
8. DO learn a new skill – You’ve already lived longer than most women in the 13th century, so why not look at your thirtieth as a rebirth?
9. DON'T be bogged down by your past – Make this next go-around whatever you want it to be…consider your baggage (bad boyfriends, job setbacks, body issues) lost by the airline of life.
Her closing note? “That’s it. Now, go and be awesome”.  And I say a big amen to that!

So if you’re dreading the big 3-0 or just turned 30 and you’re hating it…why should you? It’s a great age group to be in so embrace it. And if you’re in your 30’s and you’re loving it then more grease to your elbows. Keep on rocking it and don’t feed into all the notions about where and what you should be doing in your 30’s.

And this is where I shall leave ye folks. Just wanted to peek my head in and say wazaaap. It has been a minute and I need to get my lazy butt off and actually do a real blog post. That, I will soon enough but till then...have a fantabulous rest of the week folks!

And that is all she said.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Your Priorities, My Priorities

As some of you may remember, I wrote an article for Jaguda.com back in the day on my views about moving back to Naija. As expected, a lot of people tensioned my life for stating that I consider America to be home and love living in this country. Years later, that view has still not changed.

I was recently talking to a U.S. based someone who was championing the case for moving back to Nigeria. Per the typical argument, he said “there is money to be made in Nigeria” and how levels really dey. According to him, an annual salary of $150,000 for a U.S. resident is “rubbish” after paying all your bills and taxes. Odiegwu. I said “rubbish kwa? That’s a very strong word o”. I had to bite my tongue cos the next thing coming out of my mouth was going to be "Have you ever encountered $150k in your life sef?" but I said let me chill for guys. Nigerians sha. Just be yarning real opaks to prove some non-existent points. As in, 150,000 annual salary never reach me finish and I’m still able to pay my bills, save money, and live a pretty comfortable life so for one to say that $150k is rubbish so we need to move back to Nigeria where there is real money to be made is some real bullshit. I agree that there is money to be made in Nigeria, but that is an entirely separate argument that should not involve bashing people's annual salaries in the USD. Voltron force has spoken.

That shenanigans aside...besides this recent conversation, I have had a lot of discussions with people who champion the move back campaign with the magic words – “There is money to be made in Nigeria”.  I used to know this guy who went to college here and then moved back to Naija some years ago. So post-move, he visited Yanks and I have to give it to him, he was looking like a fresh Lagos Island bigz boiz and exuding the corresponding swag. During our meet-up, one of the first things that he said to me was “You guys are struggling with 9-5 jobs in this country? Move back home, there is money to be made”. I said “I’m cool. If all of us move back home, we will finish the money for una na”. Abi no be so? They will all be shouting move back, move back, instead of them to be happy that we are allowing them gather all the money while we "suffer" in obodo oyibo. Might I add that he was able to quickly make his own money because his father is a rich man in Lagos with connects? Uhn uhn…

However...I am not blind to the fact that people seem to be balling in Nigeria (or at least have packaged themselves well enough to give that impression). You look at these event red carpet pictures, and everybody and their mama is carrying $1100 Celine handbags like Celine handbags is agbalumo. High end brands like Louboutin, Prada, Chanel, just full ground anyhow like it’s nothing. Now even Bentley has turned into pure water, and all the celebrities are buying Bentleys. To add to all of this, every other day on Linda Ikeji’s blog, there are posts about people dropping millions of naira for Range Rovers and all kinds of shiny SUVs. Trust that I do not doubt that there is money in Nigeria and some people’s pepper has seriously rested. Even on the “small scale” level self, someone that my friend knew came to America on a 3 week vacation and she brought $6,000 shopping money along with her. When my friend gisted me, I was like hohohoho! Where did it even begin to reach me that I would carry $6,000 for a shopping expedition to a foreign country? When I still have outstanding student loans, a car note and rent to pay?? That one surely fly pass me o, I ain't even going to front.

But even with the car note, student loans, taxes and all the obligations that I face as resident of the US of A, my complaints are minimal and I still love living in America. I acknowledge that I will probably never get to the Lagos or Abuja big babe level and I’m okay with it. I do like my relatively simple life and am not particularly driven to move back home and strike it big. Some may see this mentality as settling for less where I can be living a bigger and more ballerific lifestyle back home and they certainly are entitled to their opinion. See as I just listed student loans, rent, and a car note?… some people aren't here for that. Like the person that bashed the $150,000 annual salary pointed out, people making the big bucks back home are paying serious cash down for cars and eliminating debt with the scribble of a pen over a check (or cheque in Naija/Britico speak). When Linda Ikeji bought her 8 million naira SUV, I quickly pulled out calculator to see the USD equivalent and I had to mentally hail the babe. As for me, the ability to drop such thousands of dollars in cash down most definitely pass my power. If my Naija big babe counterparts are walking into a store and dropping $1200 cash on a designer bag, I on the other hand, would have to do a real opportunity cost assessment before I ever shelled out $1200 on a bag. So it’s all a matter of priorities and what you want out of life and personally speaking, my wants aren't on a kentro level.

That said, to people who do wanna move home and pursue the “let’s get this money dream”, I’m not even mad at that. Whatever works for you. I think that my biggest irritation with such people, or people that have already moved back is that they think you are crazy for not wanting to do the same. It’s all a matter of respecting opinions and recognizing that we have different priorities. Let it not be a long thing.

And that is all she said

PS:- I'm aware that not everyone that moves back home achieves the "Nigerian dream". I'm also aware that not everybody toting a Celine bag or driving a range is a legit baller...maybe they have Ariztos daddys, are involved in some shady business or something. For fair comparison purposes (because I work hard for my money), the money makers that I'm talking about in this post are the legit ones and not any 419 or arizto assisted versions.