Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Own Your Blessings

The other day on Twitter, I was scrolling through my timeline and read a tweet from someone who opined that when people make statements such as “I’m blessed”, it comes off like such people think they are better than everyone else, which is offensive.  According to the Tweeter, a statement like “I’m fortunate” would be more appropriate than declaring how blessed you are.
I read it, thought to myself “na wa o” and jejely waka’ed on my merry way.
Later on in the day, I hopped back onto my timeline and of course, there was a whole discussion on blessings, being blessed, being lucky, being fortunate and all that shabang.

Well folks, here are my thoughts…

1. For one, nobody should have a say in how the next man feels about his life. As much as even I am guilty of rolling my eyes at people who constantly want to hammer my eardrums with declarations of “I’m so blessed”, “Blessed and highly favored” (mainly because I'm like oya na, let us hear word), I can’t take their blessedness away from them. If they feel that they have God's favor, then who am I to disagree? If they feel blessed, then Glorayyyy! I sure won’t be the one to pour sand in their garri or be mad that this person has declared his/her life’s blessings. I’ve also never felt that such people are better than me, so me thinks that if you are feeling some type of way because Jane your neighbor said she is blessed then na you sabi. In fact like someone put it during the discussion, "If you feel offended because someone said that he/she is blessed, then that one don pass their paygrade. Take your issue up with the God that blessed them". #KpomKwem

2. Situations are constantly changing. People don’t have it all together and wonderful 24/7/365 so if someone is currently enjoying what they deem to be the goodness of God in their lives and declare themselves blessed as a result, why should his neighbor who has been praying for the same thing be offended, or feel inferior? I encourage confidence even in spirituality. I also encourage the acceptance that not everyone was born on the same day, so comparisons do us no good.
Yes, you and someone might have been competing for the same job, he got hired and you didn’t. If he thinks he is blessed, you should also have the mentality that you are just as blessed. Maybe your own blessings might be in a much more prominent and higher paying position than the one that you got rejected for. Or maybe your own blessings will be in an entirely different path than what you anticipated. But regardless, be happy for the person and don’t feel “offended” because he has boldly declared his blessings…after all, there is probably something in life that you are be blessed with, and somebody else is praying for. That’s life for you.

3. Let’s address the plane crash/fatal accident example that I keep seeing in reference to blessings i.e. “Does surviving a fatal crash/accident mean that you’re more blessed than the others who didn’t make it?”…My answer is: I doubt it. I mean… look at the instances of all his servants who have died in such scenarios e.g. Dr. Myles Munroe, Pastor Bimbo Akintola etc. I’m sure that they were indeed very much blessed by God. But His ways are very mysterious.
As I recall, there have been conversations around the perceived insensitivity of people coming out to declare their blessings amidst such tragedies. But when you think about it? Can you blame them?
I think that if I just survived a fiery crash, my first and immediate reaction would be to thank God for blessing me with another chance to live. If this offends a family member of someone who hypothetically doesn't survive, that would not be my intention but would be out of my control. I would consider myself blessed to see another day, and because I believe in a higher power, I would attribute my survival to God's mercy and blessings and not “I sat at the back of the aircraft” or some other type of rationalization for why I survived. Does the fact that I would consider myself blessed in such a scenario, mean that I think I am better than someone who didn't survive? Not at all.
In a more recent example, a lot of people have been dealing with the aftermath of the Bristow Helicopters crash and the unfortunate death of what seemed to be a very promising and nice young man. I noticed that after the crash and the co-pilot’s passing, some people were tweeting things along the lines of “Thank God for blessing me with another day”. Should that offend anybody? I hope not. Like I said above, I believe that life and the opportunity to see a new day, are blessings. Every morning when I wake up, I say "thank you Lord for blessing me with the chance to see a new day", so its not today that I will start to censor my thanks in a bid to please anybody.

4. Last but not least, the power of positive confession and gratitude. This is something that sooooo many people talk about so it must mean something right? If your parents are the most awesome and always provide for you, shey you will always sing their praises and declare how blessed you are to have such parents. Such is the same for people who always hit us with the “I’m so blessed”. Again, I definitely roll my eyes at these people for not letting me hear word. But it is their reality, and if that is their way of expressing gratitude then alrighty then. Maybe that is why they seem to be so blessed sef. Baba God don see how they keep hailing them and continues to send more blessings their way. Who knows…

That concludes my musings for the day. I’m no bible thumper but c’mon we can’t entirely police ourselves in order to be politically correct and please everybody. If you feel blessed and want to let the world know, then please do so. The highest you will get is an eye roll here or there, but it’s cool…an eye roll never killed anybody.

And that is all she said.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bleachers Gonna Bleach

I’ve always wondered why people get so up in arms about bleaching, bleachers, and the whole “chillaligans” (in my Joseline Hernandez voice). Case in point… As long as I’ve been aware of the oh-so popular Toke Makinwa, I’ve also been much aware of the fact that she supposedly bleached her skin.  I mean, if Toke bleached skin in 1999, it’s 2015 and people will still not allow the girl to rest.
You see a post like “Toke stuns in new photoshoot” and one Ajayi will come and comment “ehnn, why is she hiding those dark knuckles?”, or “Toke at a charity event” and someone will say “She’s so fake with her over-bleached self”.  Me I just be observing  like make una free the girl abeg. She bleached and so what? Did it affect your own melanin or the lack of it? Let’s move all move onto other topics. Her yellow is here to stay. Shoot if you ask me sef, I think that if people are going to go the bleaching route then they need to even hit up Toke for her strategy. Her own bleaching job seems to be well executed. No coke and Fanta behavior per the pictures that I have observed of her.
But seriously sha, you go fear Naija people aka the Bleaching Police. Someone cannot come and be forming yellow and fresh without one other person coming at them with allegations of bleaching. I’ve read so many comments on blogs where the conversation would go like this:

Commenter 1:  Ehnn, isn’t this the same Mary that was so dark in Uni? Na wa oooo, awon bleachers, God is watching una o *insert judgmental rant*
Commenter 2: That’s a big fat lie. Mary has always been light skinned and she obviously lives in London now, so duhh the air there makes people’s complexions fresher.
Commenter 3: Tahhh, she bleached jare. Look at her knees and knuckles (apparently the quickest way to spot a bleacher is be peeping the knuckles)
Commenter 4: I’m light skinned and have dark knuckles and I’ve never touched a bottle of Jik in my life. You guys need to stop jumping to such conclusions, it’s ridiculous!

*debate ensues*
Me in the cut: *facepalm*
Side bar: Do people get as much in arms about other body modifications i.e. breast implants and such? I wonder.
I definitely will not drink Panadol ontop of what someone else chooses to his/her skin? You are an adult and you understand the potential repercussions abi? Okay, go ahead and do what makes you happy. The thing wey you dey chop no dey make me mess. My only plea to #TeamJik is, abeg do the job well and don’t assault us with eyesore color-blocking skin behavior. I dey beg una.
In the same vein, I’m not mad at people like Dencia who have chosen to profit from the bleaching/skin lightening industry with her Whitenicious line. That’s her hustle so she should go ahead and make that money. I know that she gets a lot of flack for brazenly promoting that line, but much as a lot of sanctimonious individuals choose to insult and criticize her, it seems that she is still doing very well in the business. Despite all said and done, the “Laiskin” industry seems to be trending, and a lot of folks want a piece of the action.
Now, if we drill down to the reasons for why people bleach…I think that a commonly stated assumption is that people who bleach are insecure. And they could very well be… who knows. Or they might be a Caitlyn Jenner* and claim that they’ve always felt like they were meant to be light skinned but were born in a dark skinned person’s body .  Again, who knows.
Everyone indeed has their reasons. Some may indeed be borne out of wanting be more attractive to the opposite sex i.e. “I want to be more attractive to men, because most men I meet say that they prefer a light skinned woman”, or some just might think that light is right, and they never want to be wrong.  Na only them sabi and in the end, despite all the outrage that some people express over in the matter, in the end, bleachers still gonna bleach and I won’t waste valuable Panadol ontop of their headache.
*On that Caitlyn Jenner matter, someone had a tweet that was the WORD during the whole uproar about Bruce/Caitlyn’s gender change. She asked why everyone was so accepting on Caitlyn, but would be the first to slang and haul all types of insults at people who bleach. So so true.
So, like I said…going forward I don’t want to hear any pim, pam, pom about the likes of Toke and co, ‘cos when it comes down to it, all na the same modification of self.
In the end, if you are comfortable with your skin color and not about that bleaching life then that’s truly what’s up. If you want to bleach for whatever reasons known to you, do you (be sure to research the implications and remember to keep it as flawless as possible #Saynotocokeandfanta). Like the boy Meek Mill said, "I aint judging though, they aint on trial", so no judgment from me. I have bigger fish to fry than worry my pretty head over what someone else chooses to do with his/her body.
And that is all she said.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Some Married Men and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy

A while ago, I attended a friend’s wedding and ended up sitting beside a fine young man in church. We got to chatting and I found him to be a nice fella. At the reception, we went our separate ways but reconnected again at the bar where we got to talk some more and made plans to meet up the next day.
The next day, we met up and in summary probably spent a good 5-6 hours together doing nothing but innocent chilling and gisting. I was simply enjoying the company of a fine young man without thinking too far ahead into the situation.
So errr, when a well-intentioned friend who had seen us hanging together at the wedding, hit me up that next day and asked me “How do you know Mr. XYZ?” I responded that I didn’t know him from anywhere, and was just meeting him that weekend. She then hit me with the “well, be careful sha because he’s married” advice and I was like WORD? Married ke? I never hesperrerit.

And so since he was in “my very before” (aka presence), I digested the information and turned to ask him… “Mr. XYZ, word on the street is that you’re married. Is this true?” and he said “Yes I am…I figured that Jane would tell you eventually”.
I can’t even explain the type of side eye that I gave him that day. Like hold up dude! We’ve been in each other’s’ presence for how many hours, and you needed me to hear about your marital status from a 3rd party? BRUHH.

To be honest, ol’ boy never said anything to me that was out of line or that screamed “trifling”. Our interaction was truly just great conversation with some refreshments and small chops in the mix but I just found it really questionable that we had literally spent hours together and not one peep, pim, or mention of a wife entered the equation. The thing really get as e be o. 

Ultimately, he gave some explanations… “I just wanted to get to know you independent of the marriage tag” and asked me… “Would you have been as open with me if I said told you that I was married from the jump?”. An explanation that I thought was just tales as I pointed out to him that when I met my closest male friend, in 5 minutes he had already told me that at the time, he had just gotten married to a gal in Nigeria. And that didn’t stop us from flowing and geling as friends.
Me, I sha said that I would have appreciated some transparency and honesty cos that deliberate omission was shady. But in the end, we cleared up the situation and spent the remainder of the hangout session in good company albeit an increased awareness of the situation. Shady non-disclosure aside, I still think that Mr. XYZ was a very cool individual, definitely the perfect gentleman at all times, and I don’t regret the interaction at all.

But that definitely got me thinking about some of these Naija men and their coded policies. It’s literally a “don’t ask me, and I won’t tell you” situation these days. That situation that I described above was not the first time I had met, interacted and flowed well with a guy and then belatedly found out that he was married. What is up with that?
When I get married, first of all I need my husband to wear his damn ring 24/7 (Like seriously, why don’t these men wear their rings?), and even with the ring, he gotta namedrop “my wife” like 2 seconds into any interactions with females. LOL.
But on the real…Dear Husband can’t be out there kiki-ing it up and spending significant time with a woman with zero mention of me. Nope, that wont fly bruv. SAY MY NAME and make sure the girl knows it very well. 

That’s how some of these females get entangled with married men and they don’t even know it at the beginning. By the time they find out, some of them are too sprung to walk away. I’m in no way justifying those relations but I can see how some situations can get real complex. I had this ex-coworker that dealt with a married man for about 4 years, and she said she only found out that he was married about 8 months into their relationship by which time she was way too sprung to leave the situation. Now why she carried her leg and stayed there for 4 years, na only she know ooo. But sometimes these men stay on that non-disclosure and deliberate omission behavior and then women get all caught up and can’t flee from the devil. Again, I make no excuses for the side-chick behavior but I’m just saying.

Sha sha, based on that deal with Mr. XYZ, I have decided that going forward, I’m going to straight up start asking dudes “Are you married?” before continuing any conversations. These days it’s not only by bare ring finger that you will know o, as a lot of bruvs don’t wear their rings out there on these streets. Sha, I can't even guarantee that all married men will be truthful about thier status but I know that the Lord on the Throne will definitely give me the spirit of discernment in these matters. Aminnnn.

Knowledge is power, and it’s good to remain aware. That’s how you will be innocently minding your business and some random girl is mean-mugging you and you’re wondering why. It just might be some man’s disgruntled wife who thinks you are after her husband, meanwhile the man didn’t even tell you that he was married.  That is how wahala starts.

And that is all she said.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Random Yarns on Travel

I recently went on a vacation to Capetown, South Africa, and on my way to the airport to catch my flight, I ran into a 50-something year old lady on my shuttle who was so excited to be traveling. She said that she hadn't left the U.S. since she was about 18 years old. She was heading to India to get certified as a yoga instructor...or something along those lines.  That conversation had me thinking about how people like me who have gotten some chances to travel, tend to take it for granted that everybody else hops on a plane and travels. I remember being so shocked when someone at my old job told me that the only time she had left the state of Maryland was on a trip to New York for a friend's party. And even more recently, someone else told me that she hadn't been out of the U.S. except for when she traveled to Jamaica for her honeymoon. I found that to be so interesting.

I'm no world traveler but between 2008 and present, I've managed to check the following new cities/countries/places off my list:

1. Costa Rica
2. Kuwait
3. Aberdeen, Scotland
4. Cancun, Mexico
5. Dubai, U.A.E
6. Toronto, Canada
7. Barbados
8. Capetown, South Africa
9. San Jan, Puerto Rico

To the travel gods and the main G-O-D, thanks for making these trips happen.

I would love to do more/go more places but iraintalwaysheezy. There are a lot of factors that hinder the wanderlust spirit within...such as other financial commitments (pepper never rest to be flying up and dan yanno), vacation time available from ze place of employment, and as I recently discovered since switching to the world of Consulting, how your client utilization hours are affected by too much time off and how this subsequently affects the profit your managers can make on your head. This trip to SA alone had my manager slyly hinting to me on some "you can always work evenings and weekends to make up your hours" (as if I had a choice) so yours truly was indeed working 10 hour days plus some weekends to boot. Chai, I sometimes miss the stability of 40 hour work weeks at the Government.

I think that one other factor that affects grand travel plans is if going to Nigeria for Christmas enters the equation. My mom has some huge delusions that I should be visiting home every Christmas, to which I silently yimu. Nigeria is an expensive waka, and definitely not the relaxing, scenic vacation that man pikin needs sometimes. To you guys who go to Naija every December, then throw in 2 other exotic locations per year, I definitely salute.

In other travel yarns, during my layover at Heathrow on this Capetown journey, some lady lost her handbag and literally fainted from a panic attack. She was so distressed. Poor thing! I really hope she found it and everything turned out okay for her. On behalf of my fellow absent minded, forgetful people, I definitely empathized with her. I've had my crazy forgetful travel moments too...

...like the time I was to catch a flight from JFK to Aberdeen, drove all the way to my friend's house in Jersey, and while trying to check in online, realized that yours truly had forgotten her passport in MD. So guess who woke up bright and early the next day to make a 6 hour round trip just to grab the damn passport?

...or the other time my friend gave me a ride to an airport an hour away and I realized that I forgot my hand luggage at home. WHO FORGETS THIER HAND LUGGAGE? *raises hands*. What had happened wasssssssss...uh huh! I can just hear my mother scolding in the background "You are so so so absent minded" as she usually does. What can I say mama? I'm working on it! We can't be great at everything yanno! The good thing about those experiences is that I now triple check that I have my passport and hand luggage. In fact I actually write a "to pack" list before I travel and this really helps to keep me in check.

Last but not least, in these travel related yarns...I have a travel "bucket" list which is as follows:

- Randomly get upgraded to business class on an international flight. It's happened to my mom and 2 other people I know. Like heyy, can the people who man the check-in desk just see me and shine their light of favor upon me?? I'm still hoping...until then, na economy class wey we dey tanda for.

- Visit at least 35 of the 50 U.S. States, last time I counted I was at 20.

- Knock off the following more cities/places/countries off my list: Rio De Janeiros, Brazil; Greece (hey Santorini!!); Tokyo/Hong Kong/Somewhere around the continent of Asia; South of France; Hawaii. There's more but these are on the top of my list.

- Fill up my passport with stamps before it expires in 2019. And then replace it of kerse.

- The obligatory Eurotrip.

Dassit in a nutshell. I hope to check each and every single one of these sooner than later. But until then, it's back to the grind and back to trucking along until the next vacation opportunity arises. C'est la vie.

Peace and Love.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rich or Poor, Swag or No Swag, a Jerk will Still be a Jerk

First of all, can I just say a very belated happy new year to you all? My happy New Year wishes on this blog are always quite belated…but you know my mentality of “better late than never” which definitely rings very true this month. January never even finish and I’ve heard of more than enough deaths and seen more RIPs that I’ve cared to see. We thank God for his mercies in keeping us thus far and I pray that we won’t have cause to mourn any of our loved ones this year, AMIN.
Now onto the gist of the day…

Recently I was having a conversation with 2 male coworkers about men and their levels of income, and what I was willing to accept based on such levels. They asked if I could date a man who I made more money than, and I said yes.  They then followed up with “would you date a man who made X dollars less than you?” And my response was No.
Nna ehn, you go fear vex. They started preaching to me about how superficial we women can be and blah blah and ended the tension-filled rant with “A lot of you women miss out on a good man who can treat you right because you are so focused on money and finances”.
Ultimately their rants fell on deaf ears for 2 reasons:
1.  I am far from materialistic.
2.  A woman is still allowed to have preferences yanno.
3.  I’m so over people tensioning said women about their preferences and then pulling out the  "a man who makes less money/doesn’t have swag/isn’t fine/[and all the other “disadvantages” that he may have] will treat you right so stop aiming high"

It’s like the formula for a good man these days is one who falls below a woman’s standards and expectations because “OMG, Swagger boys are trouble (which I admit most of them are but still…), Accomplished men are entitled azzholes, and a simple guy will treat you like a queen”. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is where I have to call BS on such tales by moonlight. What are we basing such cool tales on?
It has not gotten to the point where it is a sin for a woman with an MBA to say that she wants a man who also has an MBA because "gosh, relax your standards...besides men with MBA are jerks. Go for the LPN or CNA instead, he will love you well well", "or go for the man with an Associates degree, he will treat you better". Such yeye talk.

After talking to my family friend about a recent relationship that didn’t end too well for her, and how she heavily relaxed her standards for the guy who turned out to not even be worth the hassle at all, I said that I’ll be darned if going forward, I open my mouth and advise any woman to compromise on what she wants from a man. I might not find it to be reasonable but you know what, your life is yours to live and my 2 cents doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme. If any woman gets up today and says that she won’t marry until she can snag a Dangote, I won’t vex because what she chop no dey make my bele run. There is no guarantee that she will find happiness with broke Mufasat from the street so who am I to advise her to give up her dreams of snagging a Dangote type? In the end, even if she never finds what she wants and chooses to stay single because of that, that’s her own concern and nobody else’s. Folks might be sniggering behind such a woman’s back on some “that’s why she’s still single” but hey, she’s single and probably happier than settling for a man who didn’t meet up to her expectations and constantly having to compare him to other people’s richer husbands. Her choices are her choices.

Men can be the most superficial individuals but nobody tells them “Give up your dreams of catching a Beyonce, because a Beyonce will not treat you right but a Whoopi will”. Nope, never heard that before. So why do we preach to women to relax their standards on some phantom theory that the man that they relaxed their standards for will be the knight in shining armor? Idongerrit.
Sha sha like I said, I sure as heck won’t be the one to tell a woman that she can’t want what she wants. #Yesshecan2015!
 What’s that saying? Aim for the stars and you will get the moon or something like that…
 It’s not ontop singlehood that babes will just fall for any and everything on top of “he will treat you like a queen”. Cool stories that chill the bones.

Come to think of it, all the extra superficial, high-azzed requirements babes that I know actually ended up with their exact spec so who said that its not good to want the better things in life. And hey, even if their husbands might be jerks, like I’ve said and will say…isn’t it better to cry in a Maserati than cry inside Molue cos the way I see it is this…rich or poor, a jerk is still going to be a jerk so don’t be there heavily relaxing your standards for any bruv that aint cutting it for you.

*Steps off Soapbox*

Now before I peace out, I just want to quickly shamelessly plug my girl Taynement’s website over at www.taynement.com. It’s definitely my go-to for new shows to watch e.g. Jane the Virgin, The Affair, and it's gingered me to get back on old abandoned shows like Masters of Sex.
 She also features great episode recaps (Scandal, anyone??), movie reviews, and everything relevant that you need to know about pop culture. And since its award season, www.taynement.com is definitely the place to camp out since she usually posts predictions that are pretty darn accurate, as well as great red carpet features and commentary (Check her out on Twitter too: @taynementdotcom). So head on over, get your entertainment fix and thank me later!
Peace and Love brethren.