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What’s your Love language 

Sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep at night and when that happens, my mind just drifts all over the place [it tends to do that at odd hours]. I started reading old whatsapp conversations and one in particular got me thinking about how differently each of us receives & acknowledges the gestures of love/affection directed at us and where the disconnect that tends to create drama usually sets in. So I hit my twitter with a little dose of deep…. Question:

I got some pretty interesting responses [see below for a few].

 

  

All very interesting, right?

Which leads me to this thing about love languages; which I’m sure you’ve heard/read about. But if you haven’t already –  according to Gary D. Chapman in his acclaimed book – The Five Love Languages –  there are 5 love languages.According to Gary, every single one of us understands one [or a combination] but we all ultimately tend to gravitate more towards one.  [You can read more about it here www.5lovelanguages.com]. There’s even a test on there to help you determine your own love language. PS: Mine is predominantly – Acts of Service [I think it’s the only one that encompasses little bits of all the other languages] & Receiving gifts [not to be mistaken for materialism]

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Usually, when love languages are discussed, they are discussed from the POV of the receiver, i.e. the person who is positioned at the receiving end of the gestures that make up said language. So for e.g. because I prefer – Acts of Service – I expect that my loved ones or anyone looking to catch my attention in a love thing should show me how much via practical helpful gestures. It means that someone can tell me how much they love me day & night, even until hell freezes over but if those beautiful grandiose words aren’t accompanied by actual gestures that make my everyday day-to-day life easier, then we are both wasting each other’s time really.IMG_1473It then follows that I also tend to show my love to the people I love in the same way by trying my best to ease their day-to-day life – perhaps you need laundry dropped off and I have time – I will, perhaps I noticed your nepa units are running out and you’re out of town – I’ll top up so the stuff in your refrigerator don’t get to ruins, perhaps you’re out of town and the house got dusty – I’ll send someone to clean for you so you get back to a clean home feeling less overwhelmed. Sister needs new bras and I’m ordering mine – I’ll add hers, brother had a long day – I’ll leave a home cooked meal etc.  I know a friend of mine who said the most romantic thing anyone ever did for her for valentine’s was to replace the worn out tyres on her car that needed immediate attention. Very Practical.

However, I feel like we forget to think about this from the POV of the person on the giving end of the equation.  They have a love language too and what if theirs doesn’t match yours? For e.g. a person whose love language is – Physical Touch – expects tons of PDA from their partner but what if said partner is not into PDA? But they always send gifts [a language] and tell you how much they love you [affirmation]? In this scenario, they’re showing love in the way they know & understand it but is it connecting? When our loved ones speak a different love language, it may come across as though they aren’t doing enough but is that really true? And is it to fair to them that we are receiving it wrong?

CONTEXT:

I sometimes fight with my brother when I feel he’s just not pulling his weight when I need him to which can make me feel like he doesn’t know me at all. However, I have overheard my brother [without even speaking to me first] vehemently defend me in my ‘absence’ to someone. One time when I was doing my detox, he brought me a bagful of fruits, completely unsolicited.  What about that time when he mentioned in passing how his life has been so much easier since I moved back to Nigeria. Make of that what you will.

Then there’s my mother who has forgotten my birthday one too many times. I mean, who forgets their own child’s birthday? Does that mean she doesn’t love me? But before I answer that, who has held the forte for nearly 2 decades since our dad passed, who has consistently bailed me out of some tough moments, who has prayed for me every day of my life, who always asks me “do you people have enough?”, who thinks the world of me etc. But who also forgets my birthdays? Yea.

What about the guy whose vibe is too relaxed in his pursuit of you? Yes. How frustrating! You know he likes you; heck you like him too [a lot] and so you wish he’d be more brazen in his attempt to woo you. That he’d text more, call more, thirst more. You wish you’d wake up to loving morning messages that add an extra pep in your step the rest of your day and go to bed with a bump on your forehead because your phone fell out of your hands as you were giggling too much reading his messages in bed at night. Instead you get scheduled calls; you sometimes get grumpy mono-syllabic responses and a generally lacklustre turkey dance that makes you wonder if one of you is being forced to keep up the charade. Alas!

While I think all 3 scenarios have an underlying theme, they are also very different illustrations.

My friends on twitter make a great case that love is about making an effort to learn your partner’s style/love language and that stepping out of character/comfort zone in itself shows a willingness to bring what it is your loved one needs from you to the table. In addition, every time you speak one another’s language, you score emotional points that do great for your relationships. However, until that desired sync is achieved, does that mean they love you any less? I’d love to hear from you guys…..a0d3fb83def75c824958bda76373ade6

So lemme ask again…….

“If someone isn’t showing you love in the way and manner that you prefer & understand, does that mean they’re not showing you love?”

Please sound out in the comments please.

Besos xx

S.


26 Comments

Family, Life, musings, Randomness, thoughts

Hello….. It’s me

Hello…….. It’s me.

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Are you singing along yet?

Yesterday, I was pressing my phone rather absent-mindedly, trying to set an alarm when my eyes caught the date. I blinked rapidly and looked again – 1st November 2015. Wait what?! It’s not like I didn’t already know the date but we all know there’s a difference when you see with your eye and when you see with your mind [excuse the Game of Thrones speak, I’ve been catching up]. I had a mini heart attack for like 10 seconds because …. Where has the year gone? What did I do with it? Mental checklist, what was I able to tick off my 2015 to-do list? The answer is – not a lot. And that sucks.

It’s NOVEMBER! Of the year TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN.

Do you remember back when we used to talk about the year 2000 like it was light years into the future? We’d talk as if by year 2000 we’d be writing letters about the medieval years of the past? Cars will be flying, robots will be hanging in the air dispensing cash to mortals, babies will be born with full sets of molars etc. Well look! 2000 came and went, then added 10 years to it and now we are wrapping up the 15th and headed towards the twentieth – 2020.  Indeed one is getting old.

I know we all say this all the time and it’s become a flimsy cliché but time does fly indeed and with each passing day, one needs to realize that life is passing by. It’s not on pause till you finish school, it’s not waiting until you get that job, it’s certainly not waiting to till you get married [and have that kid]; it’s not for nothing…. Life is happening right now, in this very moment, life is happening.  Are you living it?

I know that speaking for myself, I put my happiness on hold for so long for so many reasons [that seemed justified in the moment] that it’s almost as though I had completely forgotten how to genuinely enjoy a happy moment. It feels like I’m always nostalgic, wishing certain times back and basically living life with one eye permanently looking back and that’s sad because if i’m busy living in the now, I wont have time to be mulling over the “used-to(s)”. Right?

Look how happy I seem, but in actuality, I was miserable about a boy the entire summer of this photo. LOL

I realized recently that even in those times that I now think were so spectacular, there was definitely stuff I was whining about and wishing on, so truly nostalgia makes one see through rose-tinted glasses and with lots of embellishment of facts…. 

Contentment and happiness aren’t about the current state of things, it’s a choice and a mindset.

Every year, I say this is the year I do better until the next year rolls by with me repeating the same thing and it’s become like a joke, laughable really. How can your year be different if you haven’t done anything differently from the last? Life is about CONSCIOUS LIVING. Conscious steps, conscious choices, conscious plans, conscious execution, one foot in front of the other…. every day. CONSCIOUSLY. That’s living.

BUT; If I learnt nothing this year, I learnt that I have to live my life for myself and make my choices based on what works for me first before anybody else. I simply cannot tell you how liberating that is.  Prior to this realization, I self-identified as a daughter and a sister before anything else. This meant that in making my life choices/decisions, I always prioritized the collective good of my family and that the pendulum always swung to the side of what was best for everyone[irrespective of how back breaking that choice is for me as a person]. I will always choose what makes everyone else’s life easier [never mind that it meant that it was going to make my own life a lot tougher]; I just always wanted everyone to be happy and okay. I think this comes from being a first child and my natural protective-motherly instinct and if i’m being completely honest – my Savior mentality. Captain Fix it Me. Perhaps it also made me feel needed/useful/wanted when I took charge and maybe there was a part of my sense of self that hinged on being wanted/needed/useful. It made me feel good & dependable when they’d say “Beezy will sort it out” and so I’d get into fixer mode and that dependency made me afraid of being otherwise disposed, of saying “I can’t fix it this time“, “it’s not convenient for me“, “not today” and saying “No“. But it was killing me, turning me into a shadow of myself and making me thoroughly stressed [I shared a bit about that pressure here]. Slowly at first, then it got to the point where the choice was simple & clear – fix up or break from the sheer weight on my back and so I CHOSE ME. Grudgingly at first, and with a lot of tears but I finally did it. I know it sounds simple but it was not an easy journey to this realization for me. As children, we don’t quite realize how hard we internalize our parents words/ideals until we start trying to actively break out of that zone. Truly. However, the moment this light bulb lit up, it’s like I’ve been walking on air. I feel so much lighter and quite liberated and it’s reflecting in my choices and in my daily life.

I still feel a lot of guilt when I choose to assert this new self-realization, especially within my family because these type of strongholds don’t break overnight but I’m consoled by the fact that I know without a doubt in my mind that I’m doing the right thing; and I know this because of my peace of mind and also because, now more than I ever, I have gotten so much support from my family, it’s like I just needed to break out first before things settled in and i’m so glad I did.

 

So I can confidently say on account of this ONE THING, I won 2015. It has completely changed my life.

Can I just say, 2015 hasn’t wrapped up yet, so even you can still score your own touchdown if you want to. I saw this text-gram below on Instagram and I was so moved by it. I think it says it all. Think positive thoughts!IMG_9572.JPGI cannot over-emphasize the importance of having the right mindset, the right attitude and the right mentality… trust me, I learnt!One of the most touching moments when I felt truly loved by a person happened this year; very recently actually and let me tell you, you haven’t experienced love until you’ve experienced the unsolicited/selfless/no agenda type of love…. especially when found  in the most unexpected of places. I say this to say, when the vibes you’re exuding change, the universe takes notice. Believe that!IMG_9011.PNG

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By the way; Guys…..

What monster human did this? Who shall we arrest for this? How can you put almonds in a snicker bar? Are you trying to kill me? I’m sitting here telling myself – “well, almonds are healthy” and rationalizing this shit like okay, its just 180 calories, I can burn that easy…. except I eat more than one at a seating. Christ! Somebody save me.

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2yrs, 4yrs and Adult something….

Picture above is one I just decided to share with you guys today just for bonus laughs to make up for being AWOL for so long on here. Go on…. laugh till your sides hurt. Then use your church mind and tell me honestly if you’ve ever seen a more badass mean-mugging child. I think I’ve always had that face that says “I’m not here for your bullshit“. I haven’t changed faces at all. #VintageS

I really did miss you guys, tell me this love is reciprocal 😀

Talk to me in the comments please 🙂

Air Kisses for everyone.

S.


14 Comments

Life, musings, Opinion, Randomness, thoughts

The art of diplomacy

“Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.”
Warren W. Wiersbe

Diplomacy: 1) The tact or skill in dealing with and handling people and managing negotiations

                              so that there is little or no ill will and no offense.

2) Approving skill in ​dealing with people without offending or upsetting them; used in a

positive way to show that you have a good opinion of something or someone

Synonyms: Tact. Subtlety. Finesse. Expedience.

Antonyms: Rudeness. Bad Manners.  Impoliteness. Ignorance.

I remember seeing a quote that read – “Diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a manner that they actually look forward to the trip” – LOL. It basically is the ability to say the nastiest thing, in the nicest way.

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One of my most obvious character/personality traits is that I am a very blunt person.  So much that it comes across in just a matter of minutes upon meeting me and it can either endear the newbie to me or completely turn them off, hardly in-between.  Now that’s not to say I’m walking around guns blazing looking for who to tell share scathing words with, it just means I don’t take the time to sugarcoat/rephrase what I mean to say in any conversation.

images (3)I can’t consciously tell you when I became that way but I know that I always hated when in interacting with people, I’d play blind/obtuse about something and  those people will in turn think me a fool for it, so I switched and now it’s the only way I know how to be. I tell MY truth as I see it, I never sugarcoat anything, I do not know how to pretend and I completely wear my emotions/thoughts on my face. Being this way translates into my dealings with people and in any situation, you can count on my real talk. I truly am an ALL OR NOTHING person so between that and being true to my TAUREAN/BULL personality, it’s a hard mix. I have opinions and I’m not afraid to share/stand by them. Strong opinions.

“People who keep their feelings to themselves tend not to know, after a while, what their feelings are.”
Paul Berman

But I look at it as me being straightforward & honest & a person with integrity [if you will] and in this world full of hypocrites and ass-kissers,  it has actually become something I take a lot of pride in – telling my truth the way I see it. HOWEVER, over time, one of the most consistent/recurring feedback/[constructive] criticism I’ve gotten from within my circle is that I lack diplomacy & tact and that I can sometimes come across as harsh.

HORROR!

Obviously, as expected, I don’t like to hear this but as the saying goes… once=happenstance, twice =coincidence and thrice… well! My dad used to say everybody else cannot be the problem, everybody else can’t be wrong – per recurring issues. And I agree. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s time to step back to re-evaluate for real. Why am I coming across this way, even though I mean well? Why am I always having to regret/be sad about an interaction that was not meant to be regrettable? Let me also point out that I try to never offer unsolicited advice as I hate it myself, it’s usually a situation of – you asked, I answered –  so I genuinely wonder why anyone ever comes to me expecting I’ll rosy it up, I’m just not the one. Also, usually by the time I snap and say something harsh, I most likely have tried many times to say it nicely/sweetly but it probably didn’t register so can I really be faulted when it becomes a tad spicier? And because people have selective memories, they conveniently forget all the times I tried to be sensitive but failed. Humans…sigh.

The truth is that I do care how I come across but also on the other hand, I can’t help thinking – are people just refusing to be accountable/responsible when they’d rather hang on to the delivery and ignore the actual point? I’m not a bullshitter. A spade is not a cutlass. I don’t have patience for people who blatantly refuse to acknowledge/deal with reality because I am the complete opposite way. If there’s an issue, I approach it head on and I think it’s cowardly to make like an ostrich and hide your head in the face of a problem. And yes, I understand that everyone isn’t the same but in that exact vein shouldn’t people then at least understand why my approach is the way it is? And I’m not one of those people who can’t take what I dish. I’m a big girl, I can handle it. So when someone tells me something I don’t want to hear, I still hear it anyway. I take it in and internalize it until I’m ready to do something about.  It’s not that hard.

I believe everyone needs that one person in their life who doesn’t sugarcoat shit, there’s a place/need for it; consider it my service to humanity LOL. I kid! But think about it, if all you have are ballons & rainbow type people around you, do you not need a balance in the equation?

However, as I’ve been told repeatedly, there is always a better way to approach stuff. ALWAYS! And judging by the guilt I tend to feel once I realize I’ve hurt someone’s feelings, I agree that perhaps my approach/delivery can be better. Infact,  if I’m being completely honest, even I tend to get defensive when I get this diplomacy criticism so it sort of sheds some understanding on how people must feel when I approach them a certain way, it’s hard not to take it that way. Nobody wants to feel like they’re being attacked, especially not from a friend/loved one; so perhaps tough love [however well-meaning] can come across as an attack and maybe that’s where the fundamental disconnect lies. Sigh.images (2)

To be honest, at this point, I don’t even know if I’ll ever learn this better way of being because I’ve been consciously working on it for so many years now and STILL get people telling me I was harsh in my delivery; so I don’t know if I’m making any progress but I do know that I’m willing to try [HARDER]. Sometimes I want to ask to be taken as I am but then what about self-improvement? If this is something that’s really a problem with me then I simply cannot ignore it [anymore]. However, I don’t think  it’s fair to aggravate someone and then turn around and ask them to be sensitive in their response to you. Still, I want to be better at this so tell me…. how can I actively practice tact and diplomacy in my everyday life and interactions?  I’m tired of being the wicked witch of Worchester…. Because I usually mean well. I really do.

“Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.”
Isaac Newton

Interestingly, I have been toying with the idea of a PHD in the field of Arbitration, Conflict & Dispute Resolution and Diplomacy for the longest. So when I get this “you lack tact” feedback, I wonder if I’m on a rollercoaster ride to nowhere. Epp me  plix *tears*

Suggestions are welcome but don’t be harsh with it 😀

S.


10 Comments

Life, musings, Opinion, Randomness, thoughts

What Makes You Loveable??

WHAT MAKES YOU LOVEABLE?

I read an article on Bellanaija yesterday that posed the above question and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. As expected, the ensuing comments ranged from the hilarious to the downright confusing but I found it all very interesting. As I went about my day, the question kept ringing in my head and it just wouldn’t go away, I thought about it so much that it got me a bit irritated with myself. Why? It worried me that I couldn’t answer the question immediately; that I couldn’t count on my fingers the reasons why I think I am loveable; that I had to think about it first. Did that mean that maybe I am un-loveable? Shock Horror!

It was particularly disturbing because while I had to think about it seriously before I could come up with reasons, I’m pretty sure if the tables were turned and I was being asked what I thought made me UNLOVEABLE, I would have answered very easily. Isn’t that a little sad? It basically means that I know and I’m more in touch with my flaws better than I am with my sweet spots, No? That without much thought I can recite my flaws/unloveable traits but I have to think before naming my loveable traits. Quite worrisome! And I am not alone, judging from the comments on the original article.

In general, I think most people [myself included] tend to be very critical of themselves viz-a-viz their actions/choices and less kind about this criticism. This is possibly why when you’re asked what makes you loveable, you’d mull over it first but if you’re asked the opposite, you’d answer without missing a beat. It doesn’t help that people would sooner pick others apart and chastise than be loving & kind; people will tell you everything that is wrong with you before acknowledging what’s right.

People tell you so many times [not necessarily in words] why they think you’re un-loveable. They tell you by how they talk to/with you, the words they use when talking about you, in the way they treat you etc. And because you are human, you internalize it all to the dangerous point, but, on the flip side, you also have people who tell you and show you in so many ways that they truly love you but for some reason we tend not to internalize and hold on to those as much as we would the bad. Why? Glutton for punishment? Think about it; for every – ignored text/cancelled plans/harsh words, there are also the – hey/have you eaten/are you okay etc but for some reason, we tend to allow the former dominate our thoughts and we amplify it to the point where it seems like there aren’t enough of the latter happening. Someone needs a mindset renewal.

I love you doesn’t always come out in those exact words. Did you hear any of the above today? 

I know you’re probably thinking – but I just love ABC for no reason. Nigerians even say things like “I don’t know but our blood just jam, my spirit and her/him spirit just jam” LOL. But I think there’s definitely more and you’re being naïve if you think people who love you just do. Beyond the physical, I think love is tied to the purpose you serve in a person’s life; that unique quality/element that you bring that nobody else has/can bring [even in a family relationship/dynamic]. And so based off that, doesn’t it follow to ask yourself – what will happen when you no longer can serve that purpose or bring that element? Will they still be there? Is that truly love? Is love even love? Perhaps there should be synonyms used in the stead?

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I’m rambling! But I know something for sure – that I love different people for different reasons, so it can’t be farfetched to think it’s the same way for other people in terms of them loving me – my sister loves me for reasons completely different from the love of say a friend.

So what makes me loveable? I think my answer is better categorized thus:

  • My Mother – Because I’m her child, her first born, her first fruit. I also think I’ve been a good daughter to her – dependable, responsible, hardworking and a good example to my siblings. I am big on family and it reflects in my daily decisions; I’d break my back for my family to be okay and I’d do it with a smile on my face. My mother says about me – “I never have to worry about you, I know you can survive anything/anywhere and you’ll take care of everything” and it makes me soar. Even though she and I butt-heads a lot, I know she secretly admires my strong will, my convictions and never-say-die attitude. She thinks the world of me and believes that I know everything and because of that, I make sure I never fall short.
  • My Siblings – Because I make shit happen. Even when I didn’t live in Nigeria, I still was on speed dial and I always came through. I anticipate their needs before the topic even comes up and they can sleep easy knowing Beezy got it! I am dependable. I make EVERY decision in my life with them in consideration and have been known to fight with my parents on their behalves. Don’t get me wrong, I can be a major pain in their asses and we fight but they apologise quick because none of them can go a day without needing me for something #FactsOnly LOL. But beyond these, I think my siblings have a lot of respect for me as a person, I try to set a good example and try not to be hypocritical/holy holy about real issues. It’s nerve-racking the amount of pressure I usually am under with them but I do my best and their appreciation makes it all worthwhile.
  • My Babies – Aunty Beezy, the fountain of Icecream, popcorn, indomie, Disney till late, trips and a generally fun time. This love is very cheap. LOL
  • My Friends – Because… Confidant, real talk, endless phone calls & instant messages, bitching sessions, fuck that nigga sessions, united in our love for ratchet shows, stay up all night and listen to each other’s fears/frustrations/problems/joys/dreams, makeup/fashion tips etc. I also tell my friends the truth as I see it, I don’t sugarcoat it [not because I want to hurt them but I tell my truth how I tell it and they’ve all come to appreciate that about me]; they’ll never have to worry about me telling their business. I am fiercely loyal, honest, protective, reliable and an all-round asset. You want me in your corner, trust me. I have been blessed with amazing friends.
  • Men – [There really isn’t any other way of writing this without it sounding like a #BrilliantAd but toh]. I am a beautiful girl no doubt but I’d like to think the men in my life all stayed longer for reasons beyond just my looks. I’m book & street smart, educated, cultured, know my different forks, can hold my own, fun/versatile, intelligent, can carry a conversation about pretty much anything, have a mind of my own, a fantastic cook etc. I’m a giver, I’m not a cheater, I’m not dodgy, I’m straightforward and pride myself for my integrity. In addition, as much as I can be civil & friendly, I am also VERY MUCH a pain in the ass [to keep things interesting], a mini witch if you will. LOL. I kid! [not]. Me in love will cater to my man, bend over backwards to keep him happy, always looking for what I can do to make his life easier. I’m still friendly with all my Exes [except for one] because long after the fluff is gone, I’m still someone they can be real with. I’m a baddie okay! I say so! Who am I kidding? They love me because….Huge Hansel & Gretel and I laugh at their dry jokes 😀

Looking at the above reasons and categorizations, I noticed that the reoccurring theme for me is – dependability, reliability, integrity and generosity [with everything] – My word truly is my batter and interestingly enough, these are the exact traits I look out for in others and the reason I love the people I love; I just don’t do well with flaky/dodgy/shady/unreliable people. Super Important!

I have to say though, judging by how long it took me to think these through and my inability to readily answer the question [plus based on the comments on the original article], it’s fair to conclude that – What Makes You Loveable – is a tough question to answer; if you’re being completely honest.

So let me ask you guys – if you know me [and love me], why don’t you tell me what made me loveable to you?       Also, what do you think Makes YOU Loveable?

Quick Pointer: No it’s NOT JUST your beauty/handsome, nor your money and certainly not just your fancy. Think about it terms of what distinguishes you from the next person [in your loved ones life]; the intangible but unarguably irreplaceable stuff that only you can bring.

YOU ARE LOVED.

NB: Aren’t #MidnightKaraoke Sessions the best? Enjoy! Fancy myself a Mariah Carey haha

 


27 Comments

musings, Opinion, Randomness, thoughts

Blurred Lines

A quote…. A plea…. An advice…..

“Treat women the way you would like to be treated

          the way you would like your sister/mother/wife to be treated 

**Emphasis on the second line highlighted boldly**

Awwwww.  How kind and thoughtful and sweet. Right?  Well…. I see that quote all the time, I see the sentiment shared in so many different ways by both men and women and while it’s an honorable and sweet sentiment, I find the underlying implications are worrisome.

I thought to myself, hang on! So basically, to get one human being to treat another with some decency, kindness and compassion, we have to have appealed to their sense of family? That essentially, there are people who in their dealings with others can only be decent if they see the person they’re dealing with [in this case, women] as their family member? I have to say “what if I were your sister/mother/wife and someone was treating me this way” before I can access & unlock the kind/decent/compassionate side of a man’s brain? So on the flip side, if a person[man] can’t picture me as his sister/wife/mother then good luck trying to get him to NOT treat me like shit? Wow! If we were to reach then it follows that as a woman, how you will be treated has nothing to do with much – not your conduct/interaction/aura – but heavily dependent on if the other person has a mother/sister/wife [and they have a cordial relationship at the very least] and can picture you from that point of reference?

That is so fucked up!!

How then can we access this special reservoir of this unique brand of gender-relative  courtesy, kindness and compassion from the people who don’t have good relationships with their mothers/wives/sisters? What can we say to them? Such people have no benchmark in the first place, so who will be their reference point in their interactions with me? Or the ones who simply don’t have the ability to stretch their imaginations that far? Say for example, a man beats his wife and/or insults the crap out of his sisters & mother on the regular [they exist] then comes to the workplace and slaps his female colleague; based on the above sentiment, can you really fault him? Isn’t he in essence treating his colleague as he would his wife/mother/sisters? What about those guys that we see on the news who shoot/stone/behead women [and children] in those extremist religious places.  Do you really think they give a shit about whether that could be their mother/wife/sister? Haven’t we even seen scenarios where its family members instigating and leading these killings for all kinds of fucked up reasons?  If they had any respect for people’s right to life and existence [which is usually the crux], we won’t even be having this conversation.  If being a decent person in your interaction with others is going to be based on appealing to people’s sense of family ties then we must also appreciate the fact that people’s interactions with their sisters/wives/mothers vary greatly. Right? It goes beyond that. IT SHOULD! IT HAS TO! The focus should be to teach people to respect EVERY human on account of their HUMANNESS; nothing more.

I think that these types of sentiments and reasoning for what constitutes [im]proper behavior and expectations is the sister-root from whence other unhealthy facets stem. You hear stuff like “we are both from Imo state”, “na my Muslim/Christian sister/brother”, “we are from the same village”; which is all fine and dandy but what about the other persons who don’t fall under any of these umbrellas, what then? Are they fair game for shitty treatment and bad behaviour? Like when an ex told me he was pressured because the girl he had been cheating on me with was from the same state as him; as though my state of origin had suddenly changed from when we first met.

I once got into it with some royally stupid security guys at the entrance of an eatery/clubhouse and after calling me every name in the book, one of them goes – “I just dey leave you because you fit be my sister” – LOL. If this is how you act towards a person who “fit be your sister” then I shudder at how you’d treat the one wey NO fit be your sister. I soon realized that when Nigerians say stuff along these lines, they’ve already been hella disrespectful and are just trying to wrap it up with some faux sense of nicety and/or are just being a typical Nigerian by bringing up stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with the situation at hand.  It means nothing. Hogwash. Don’t think for a second that based off that flouncy sentiment, that person will hesitate to do you dirty if the opportunity presented itself.

Come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever seen/heard anybody advising women to treat men as they would their brothers/husbands/fathers. And why not?  Women can be mean too, women can be badly behaved too so why not? Abi the menfolk don’t need gender-relative sensitivity and kindness? I daresay that the former advice in itself, as honorable and well-meaning as it is also has a colorful sprinkling of sexism but I’m not going to get into that right now.

The quote rubs me a certain way especially because, I remember dating a guy who was so big on family; infact, his sister & mother are his life and it was adorable; except it didn’t stop him from cheating on me repeatedly, didn’t stop him from lying every chance he could [and even using his family member’s as a crutch for more lies], didn’t stop him from being an all-round dodgy and shitty boyfriend even though he wouldn’t want any of that for his mother or sister. So what then?

The point I’m trying to make here is, why don’t we just forget the gender and advice human beings to treat other human beings decently? You know, from one human to another and cut out this “e fit be your mama/sister/wife” bullshit.  It’s not helping anybody and it does nothing to curb people’s propensity to be vile because frankly, if you treating people decently is based on anything other than the simple/most important reason – THAT THEY ARE HUMANS, JUST LIKE YOU – then there’s a fundamental problem with your socialization process. I think that while I appreciate the sentiment and see how well-meaning it’s usually intended, I’d rather live in a world where people are taught to treat others well because….. Human.

It’s tough being a woman, even tougher being a woman in Nigeria. So while I’m looking for a guy to escort me into some premises because “prostitute until proven otherwise”, I’d appreciate it better if society implored people to treat me with common courtesy and decency simply for being human, just like the next person.

Election Weekend

This one time, in a silly & careless but totally necessary move, I left a place I shouldn’t have been at in the first place and walked by myself on a lone, dark and quiet street until I found and got into a random cab back home at 4am [all the while praying to Jesus and promising to never be so foolish]. Now if you know me, you know that was totally uncharacteristic and in hindsight, very stupid – I would never get into a random cab at night by myself and I’d never be caught dead on a lone dark street by myself let alone at 4am [nothing good happens outside at 4am]but I had to. This happened almost a year ago and even as I type this, I can’t help but wonder how inconsequential and low a person must think of you to not even bother checking if you at least got home safe, knowing fully well you were out in the dark by yourself at 4am on their account. It basically says, you can be dead and your bits chopped in a bag folded in a cab’s trunk for all I care [yes, I’m dramatic and I imagine the worst]. You’re going to teach a person like that common courtesy and decency by that quote up there? Good luck to you!!

Oh and my apologies to the boy I once told in anger that somebody will treat his sister worse than he’s treated me. What can I say?….. I’m a hypocrite. Nothing will happen to your sister okay 😀

Oh btw, I am currently obsessed with this picture of Ms.Cookie….

So much that I made it my screensaver…..

To unlock my phone, I have to slide my finger right across her boobies 😀

Air kisses to all of you :* :* :*

S.


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