Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Memo to Single Girls: Go on That Date

I recently befriended this really cool Naija babe at work, and as a fine babe like her is concerned, there’s a good looking African American young man who works in the client’s IT department that is interested in her. He has asked her out more than once and she declined his offers. But since he’s a persistent guy, he recently popped up again with his interest and even asked the Administrative Assistant on the project to please put a good word in for him. I think that he gets an A for effort.
So one day I observed the guy well, and noted that he truly no bad at all and so I asked my friend why she was not feeling the guy’s ring tone. The first thing she said was “Abeg he’s cute and all, but I’m looking for a Naija man jare”. My response to her was that it shouldn’t be a do or die affair, and at least one lunch date wouldn’t kill her. In my opinion, it’s something different to do + nothing beats a free lunch, but that’s just me.

I find that a lot of us Naija babes (especially in the abroad) tend to restrict our dating lives because we have this long term vision of the single family home with the well-manicured lawn filled with 3 beautiful children that we created with our NIGERIAN husbands. One Jermaine with all the right credentials approaches us and it’s an automatic “Nahhh” because he’s not Nigerian and so based on that you also decline the invitation to go out somewhere for dinner/drinks/coffee. I’m not here to preach to anyone about expanding their dating territory, but what’s wrong with going on one date at the very least? Like I said, it’s something to do, it’s a free lunch/dinner, and it beats sitting home doing nothing while waiting for the Naija husband to ride up in his BMW and swoop you off your feet. Plus, you just never know…maybe that one date with Jermaine could lead to an unexpected sonthing. But look, even if it doesn’t…at least you went on the date.

My approach to dating is “just do it”. I might not necessarily think that anything major will come out of it, but if I find a man to be decent looking and decent seeming (important keywords as I won’t advocate for dates with every Tom, Dick, and Harry), I’ll give him at least one shot. I had this moment of randomisity in the past where the stars aligned in my favor and for a stretch of time; I was meeting a new dude practically every month. Ironically, they were Naija guys. And I was going on dates which were nice and not all the typical “dinner and movies” thing… It was a good and fun experience albeit a bit tiring (which is the downside of dating). Nothing concrete and lasting came out of those dates but I’m glad that I gave each of those guys a chance and added the different experiences to my book of experiences. When the stars stopped aligning and I went back to the life of being a dry babe, I was quite happy to revert to my standard Friday night dates of Jollof rice + IrokoTV/Netflix. Dating can indeed be tiring but it was a good experience and I’m glad I didn’t just sit at home and spend every Friday night indoors holding out for Mr. Right and missing out on some good outings and the chance to get dressed and look pretty.

Ultimately I’m aware that there needs to be a balance between having a full calendar filled with dates for every single Friday vs. sitting in and watching Redbox movies on DVD while waiting for Mr. Right to appear but the way I see it is – these are our single years and the time to “get out there and live it up” (in the words of my married friend* -To which I always tell her that its easier said than done, but I do get her drift sha). I think that a lot of us tend to not “live it up” as much especially as we get older and think that “ahhh, what am I doing going on meaningless dates when I should be focusing on the long term view of the walk down the aisle”. To which I would advise anybody thinking such to please get their date on if bobos are asking. The same way that most of us wouldn’t refuse to work until we land our dream jobs is the same way that we should accept more dates if they are offered to us, while keeping an eye out for the Tunde to arrive. Afterall, what does it profit a woman to be jonzing in dryness when you can be out there chopping steak on another man's dime and getting your socializing on in the process. Abeg abeg, me I like a free lunch and a good time sha...hehehehe. But jokes aside, ya digs my drift?

That’s all I’m saying really. The tori no be long.

*PS:- I asked said married friend what she would have done differently as a single gal and she said that she would have done more, lived more, and gone on more dates. According to her, you get married and realize that in the end, all the stuff you cared about or fretted about as a single girl doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme. She also wisely pointed out that you have years and years to be married (if God grants both of you long life), and not enough years to enjoy and live it up as a single girl. So listen to my wise friend ladies and do more to live it up…at least I know that I’ll try to.

Peace and Love.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Splitting Etiquette and other Money-Related Musings

The other day, I hung out with a couple of coworkers. We went to this spot for happy hour, during which 2 of the girls ordered steaks and a couple of the guys ordered plenty plenty drinks including 2 rounds of shots for the whole table. Me I jejely respected my small appetite for that night and ordered a side of fries and 2 drinks on the happy hour menu...which came out to about $18. So tell me why at the end of the night, when that almost $400 bill came, the girls casually threw out the "Do you guys just wanna do an even split?" and I had to give them the slow blink like...NAWL. I mean, that proposed even split was going to be like $45 a person, a whole $27 difference from my original bill. Nope. Nah. Nawl. Can I list all the things that an extra $27 in my pocket can do for me? Oooh let me count the ways:

1. Go thrifting and pick up like 6 baffs. Looking like a bag of money without spending a bag of money, Kimon!

2. A fresh to death pedi
3. Bunch of stuff I don't need from my beloved Target
4. 1.5 tubes of MAC lipsticks (since them clowns raised lipstick prices to $16 now), or like 5 NYX lipsticks...even better yet, an entire collection of Wet 'n' Wild lipsticks.

Errr....need I go on?


I could sense that the girls weren't exactly feeling my response, because there was some talk and mumbling of “I totally understand and wouldn't want folks to carry additional costs that they didn't incur but I really dislike the process of manually calculating everybody’s individual costs”. Eziokwu? Who are we forming for here kwanu? I mentally yimu’ed at alladat and continued to sip my drink. If I had wanted a steak, I would have ordered one but please please, $45 for some basic ass french fries and 2 drinks on the happy hour menu is plain ridiculousness. Meanwhile, on the other hand, one of those guys was pained at the idea of having to pay for his individual costs of the million drinks that he ordered for himself because according to him, “It should have been a split since he and one other guy bought 2 rounds of shots for the table”. I literally choked at that. Na who send am to buy shots for the table kwanu? Yimu on a hundred thousand trillion bro.  


Hey, maybe some thoughts of “see this cheapskate” or “Dang, just an extra $27…not that serious sis” crossed some minds but in the end, we paid for our individual purchases and all lived happily ever after. No lele.


So here's my stance on splitting: I’m not anti a reasonable even split if it falls into a very reasonable range but camaaan guys, I ain't finna pay almost $30 more than what I actually spent in the name of your convenience or me looking like it's no biggie, when it actually is. I just think that when presented with situations like that, there is no shame and game in speaking up. Worst case, you won’t be invited to the next planned outing at some expensive Steakhouse because folks think that you’re cheap, but in the end, your money remains in your pocket and you’ll be all the happier for that. 


Please, if you're one of those #teamsplit, abeg do it within reason or do it with people who won't blink at an additional $30 tacked ontop their bill. It's also really annoying when you #teamsplit huff and puff at people who aren't down for the split like they are cheap. Not cool, darlings. 

In other musings....
Recently, there was that big hullabaloo around Simi (Dr. Sid’s fiancĂ©) and her Vegas Bachelorette party that happened but aint really happen. Some folks on Twitter were mad, talking about “why would she plan a party in Vegas and put all that pressure on her friends to attend from Naija” and my response to that is: Why not? I believe that everybody is entitled to their dream destination location for any event that they plan to host, and I am also entitled to say no if my budget doesn’t agree with it. I am all for traveling and would try my best to attend a fabuloso destination wedding in some exotic zones but if tickets to your exotic location are out of my range, then it will have to be a no. By the time I spend like 2 grand on a ticket, how much will I now spend on food, a hotel, transportation etc etc? It will have to be an automatic decline, sorry. I think that all the drama surrounding Simi and her supposedly failed Bachelorette getaway could have been avoided if those flaky friends had simply said “Babe, Vegas sounds awesome but I won’t be able to make it because I can't afford it”. It could have been that simple, and awon "Sidney and I have excommunicated you" could have been avoided, but dah wellz. 


If more people weren't shy to decline or say no to things that are not in their budget, things would be so much simpler. If you're my people, I will do my best to show up and show out for you, and my peoples definitely gotta know that I'm no cheapskate by any means but I have my limits for everything and when things are out of my limit or just not on my radar, then it ain't happening. That's how some guy recently invited me to his upcoming cookout and asked me to bring a bottle of Ciroc or Grey Goose...I said "you mean those $50 drinks? You have serious jokes sha" and he quickly backtracked on some "Just bring whatever you can afford". As it should be! No be small Ciroc or Grey Goose like say I be P.Diddy. Na me dey host the cookout? 


Abeg no long thing for here. The moral of this entire cool tale is...Just say no. It won't kill you and it most certainly will not kill your wallet.


The end. 

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*