The coulda boyfriend

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realIn a world of perfection, the idea would have been to meet, greet, click, date, marry, live happily ever after. But we live in an imperfect world, marred with flawed people and flawed situations.  Between the meet and  happily ever after, we swing between coulda, woulda and  shoulda circumstances. Am I sure? Can I stand this? Who does that? What kind of girls has he been dating? He is so clueless it hurts…

So the magnifying lens is prominently on the coulda boyfriend today. This is that one boy who could have been your boyfriend if he behaved right; better than he does.

He puts in just enough effort to keep you coming back, he forgets just enough times to keep your patience, he lies just enough times in the pretext that he is ‘protecting you’ to make you remotely believe that he pro’lly cares about your emotions…he keeps just enough mystery to keep you curious: to make you want to unravel the mystery for your own satisfaction. He has mastered the art of keeping his options open perfectly enough to trigger you to put in work to try close the other options. Continue reading

Diaries…of social media

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socialWhat had started  as a casual relationship with social media became something serious when I started stopping by at least one social media platform once every day at a bare minimum. I was hooked, still am. 

***

In my daily visits, I made a world of virtual friends and idols. I took interest in what they were upto, and I selectively let them know what I was doing too. I liked them and they liked me too; I double tapped, and they double tapped right back. They reacted to my status and posts and I unfailingly returned the favor. I developed a special connection and interest with people I met in this virtual world and I enjoyed popularity in the virtual space. It follows that I developed a  shallow understanding of people’s circumstances that I so blindly believed.

love this girlIt is of such visits that I discovered one trophy couple: Daniel and Dannieller. But then one day I woke up to the news that they had broken up! How? Why? I felt cheated. I had looked at their life and admired it in every way. They looked happy, they went on holidays and publicly displayed their affection. He took time to appreciate her and confess his love for this woman who had taken his heart to a captivity he would gladly live  in for a lifetime. And she said he was loyal, smart, her dream come true and all the sappy sentiments a girl in love possibly could…. Continue reading

Diaries…of imperfect perfections

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fairest.jpgI met Raz back in 2003. A half Madagascan half Luyha girl with the body of a goddess. (I recently got that ‘body of a goddess’ line from ours truly).  I looked at her in adoration and ran to Winnie. “What can I do to look like her when I grow up? I want that body… hips like those, curly hair like that, same everything. But mostly the hips.  She laughed. “She’s Luyha. And besides, hips are determined by the pelvic bone. I doubt we have those genes’.  Everyone has a different body structure….She went on, but I was no longer interested in what she was saying. At 11, I had just discovered my body idol and nothing would stop me from getting such. The idea of an hour glass body became an obsession from that moment. I can’t say that boys were my motivation then; my head had not yet started reacting to their presence. I had not started getting the tingly feeling from boys’ stares which leaves your head feeling lighter and I did not even imagine that there would come an age when boys’ comments and opinion on my body would matter.  story for another day…All I wanted was that perfect body and height. I went through my teenage years and early twenties with that picture-perfect figure all in my head, waiting for the hour of body tranformation! 

But the giver of bodies had another design for me. In fact, he gave me the complete opposite of what I wanted. I grew up to be a small girl. I endlessly wished  I was taller, wider, more visible… I look back and realize that I always wanted to be more than I was. When it came to my body, I was never enough! My weight was never enough, I never left the presence I wanted to leave. My hair never turned curly, my hips never got the perfect curve I had in my head…and my height never went as high. I spent years waiting and hoping that I would bulge out. Then there was Granny who said I was sickly thin. It got to my head and I started eating like a pig. The only part of my body that responded to the heavy feeding was my fingers, they became nicely fat and evidently well fed. In high school, they teased that all my fingers were thumbs. In campus, they baptized them sausage fingers.  And they know how to stay loyal to those names: these fingers.

But it was in campus that I started learning how to accept my body. Mostly because 5-Ways-To-Finally-Get-Over-Your-Body-Insecurities-For-GoodI realized that every girl around me had a body struggle. Even the ones I thought were picture perfect in every dimension did have things they hated about their bodies. No one seemed  comfy with their body. There were those who complained of their tummies,(obsession with flat tummies), sometimes foreheads, sometimes big ears(IKR), uneven skin tone,mostly love handles, and predominantly small boobs/small hips.

Ironically, it was in campus that people would ask me what I did to keep such an amazing body. HOW?! Clearly they did not know the finer things in life if they considered my body amazing. I took the compliments on my body as blind flatters. Such is the reality. No one ever seems to be in perfect terms with their body. We are always looking for that which we feel that we are short of. Small girls crave to be big, the big ones sweat about losing their weight. There is the obsession with beach bodies, and the obsession of perfect curves. The desire to break necks just by passing by.

http---mashable.com-wp-content-gallery-famous-womens-quotes-about-body-image-oprah.jpgSo this goes to all the girls out there battling with body insecurities. When you love your body, it loves you right back…and the world retaliates in a hundred fold. All you need is to understand your body and know what to flaunt and what to keep in low key. You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. But tell you what, it is because of this that you are uniquely beautiful.

 

***

Up next>>>Diaries…of social media

 

Diaries…At my age

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good-eI am guilty of having periodic attacks of ‘at my age’ disorder. As a typical mid-twenties millennial stuck between making the best out of her life, and doubting her capabilities just because her peers seem to be doing better. As a corporate baby struggling to strike a balance between settling in her career or pursuing other fields of interest. But most predominantly, as a girl trying to strike the delicate balance between her career, family, relationship and personal development. One moment I feel that I have it all figured out, the other moment it feels like I am stagnant… Either socially, mentally or spiritually.

I remember how it felt when one of my closest friends got engaged. I scrolled through the mind blowing photos with alternating shades of jealousy and excitement. She was 25! How does it feel? Are you ready? Are you sure? Goodness, we have grown…I sighed. She looked at me and teased…’who’d have thought I’d get married before you? What happened ma’?’ We laughed. My facebook news feed did not make it any better on that particular weekend. Of baby showers, engagements and weddings of peers. At 25 I was supposed to be married. Socially stagnant now…. I thought.

I have had replays of such conflicting tints of emotions on several other occasions. Just the other day, when my friend got a new job and called me to break the news with evident gusto, I was happy, really happy. As soon as he dropped the call though,  I yet again sank into self-evaluation. Had I resigned to fate? What effort was I making towards my career growth and personal development? Was I happy? Was I settled? What really did I want with my life and what was I doing about it? At my age, where had I planned to be? 

At least once every month, I battle with this disorder. I sweat small things, I make plans and forget about them, I set goals and miss the mark.  I have moments of self doubt every so often…Then I look at peers and for some reason, they seem to have it all figured out, they look as though they are doing perfectly fine. How do they do it at their age ?

***
A week ago, I came across this short piece, which I spoke to my soul…

AMA “At My Age”

Don’t ever allow your emotions to tell you what should be happening “At your Age”

At my age people have kids,  At my age people are married…

At my age people have licenses, At my age people have degrees and PhD’s…

At my age people are working,  At my age people have cars…

At my age people have houses!

That’s a disease!  YOU NEED TO LEARN TO SAY:

controlAt My Age God is with me! At my age God still has plan with my life! At my Age Abraham and Sarah were still fresh and waiting. At my age I am exactly where God wants me to be. At my age I am doing everything I am supposed to be doing to be where I am supposed to be. AT MY AGE God is my Refuge, God is my Strength, my Comfort, my provider, my everything. I refuse to panic until age puts me in a mental cage.

And so at my age, I choose to believe that I am right on track! And so should you!

Diaries…of relationships

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Hello brilliant readers!

marryToday, we shall talk about those questions which do not have answers and leave you doubting your brilliance. When parents, grandparents and the larger society gang up to ask you why you are not getting married. You have the job, the house, the car, and you are a nice person. But then, why can’t you find a husband or a wife? The biological clock is not friendly either. You know things are starting to get thick when your next of kin start suggesting the viable bachelors and bachelorettes and telling you that you probably need to revise your standards as though they were there when you were setting the standards. What matters, they tell you, is simply a respectful person you can start a family with,  humble beginnings never killed anyone and blah!

A friend of mine suffering from lack of a woman to marry recently told me that nowadays, once you hit 30, it becomes a taboo to still call you single. marry-2

Your new title becomes an ‘unmarried man’ or unmarried woman’ and a small graduation ceremony should be held where you meet men and women of your cohort to revise strategies. But I  will be the adorable writer who will just call you single, whether you are 20, 25, 30 or 40…

Why are you single? Or why are you in a relationship you see no future in.Take a few seconds and think about the people you choose to date. What they do differently, how they treat you,  What you see them for, and why we date them. In the grand scheme, why do we choose one person over the other as a partner?  What really makes them better? And why do we settle for convenience relationships or say that we cannot find the appropriate partners?

We spend time lamenting about the lack of men and women to settle with, the lack of eligible life partners. Paradoxically, we live in a world and a generation full of single men and women who insist that they cannot find marriable women and men, leaving you wondering whether the problem is the men or the women. We find solace in failing marriages and opt to lie that we are taking time to ensure that we make the right choice.
***

whyI recently got into a  small fight with my good friend. Reason? He had just gone through a pregnancy scare (Yes men do also go through these things)…But then, his worry was not the possibility of getting an unplanned for child, but having a child with that particular woman. ‘Certainly not the type of genes I want for my babies’…he said. Offended (more as a woman than a friend), I gave him some short tiff on how vain he was, asked him why he was with her in the first place and reminded him to keep his mentality that  he was God’s gift to women in check. (Sorry by the way). Thinking about it later though, I realized that we all trend on such acute double standards at one point or another. We possibly have been with people who we either feel are not good enough for us or vice versa.We settle and compromise, but conveniently hope that somewhere along the way, we will get better. That our prince charming or our fairy tale princess will appear and sweep us off our feet and eventually find our happy ending. We consider the possibility of marrying our current partners with faint hopelessness. We cannot admit that we are dragging them along to a future that possibly does not exist, or a future that we do not necessarily look forward to. But we keep the options open so that in the unfortunate case that our happy ending does not eventually show up, we will have a fall back plan.

Sad as it is, most of us date people…not for who they are and the combined synergies we have that would ultimately make us the power couple; but for how good they are for us. Because they are good for our profile, socially acceptable, appealing to the eye, good for the babies…As you climb the corporate ladder, standards rise and we automatically draw the profile for the people we consider for possible partners. And naturally so. When our friends come to us all smitten, we first seek to put a face to the name. We discuss their sense of class, their looks, their background, their brains…and seldom how they make us feel. We subconsciously find ourselves defensively inserting ‘buts’ in every single line at the slightest thought that they will not be accepted warmly into our circles.

And then, we start dating the idea; that they are this, but they will be that; or they have the potential to be that…we get into relationships that we have already played over and over again in our heads. We settle with the expectation that they will treat us in a certain way or they will grow into being our dream partners. (FYI, People never change, much less for others).

deliverWe know what he is capable of doing judging from the kind of things he claims to have done for his ex, he has conveniently talked about the kind of life he ‘leads’,  his potential, and his grand life scheme. He has mastered the art of talking about his life plans alluringly and he is gifted with the striking ability to make you buy into his dream and vision. Complementarily, as a woman, you have the natural ability to buy into a man’s dreams blindly and to believe all his promises. The world temporarily stops when you meet a man who tickles your fancy. #husbandmaterialalert#suitablefatherformychildrenalert#weddingbells#patiencepays and all those sappy hashtags.

loveBut reality kicks in as soon as we get into the comfort zone. As we get deeper, we get frustrated when it turns out that they are not as ambitious as we thought, not as romantic as we had  imagined. The richness lustre probably falls off as we realize that they are tangled up in loans. For men, you start realizing that she is not as brilliant and loving as she seemed. She is more nagging than you expected and more demanding than you can tolerate.  You both start noticing possible greener pastures forgetting that the grass is only greener where you water it. You occasionally stalk seemingly happy  couples on social media and wonder how they do it, how they remain sane while you are suffocating!

happyMost relationships end out of frustration. Not because their partners are bad people, but because the idea that we had bought in the beginning fails to materialize. When he stops putting the effort to win you over, and when she stops the pretence of trying to act as a wife material. ( By the way, women work for that ring, a big deal)! And then there is the money/romance issue. Effort starts being gauged on the price tags and pricey gifts are taken to replace emotional connection. We envy couples who seem to have a certain kind of life, and even pressure our partners to plan for similar things..

ladiesSpeaking of which, I cannot possibly end this without mentioning this in passing. Ladies, do not become a gold digger in the name of being a high maintenance woman or having standards. In fact, run if you find yourself deep in a lifestyle you cannot sustain if the relationship tumbled. If the only financial decision you are involved in is the sort of gift you get, you clearly do not belong there, and if you do, you are part of his wealth/property.   There will come a point when life decisions will become weighty, when you will not be judged by the ability to receive gifts but by your ability to hold the home together and remain grounded.

But perhaps, the problem is never who we date really, but the motives behind which we date.Good luck in finding your genuine happy endings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diaries…0f being 24

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Somewhere in the middle of 2016, I turned 24! Over dinner, they asked what my plan for the New Year was. And right that moment, two things dawned on me: That 1. I was a few months away from being 25 (a lot has been said about quarter life crisis)…and 2. I was already halfway past 2016, with little to show for the new year resolutions I had so ambitiously set.

I will take you back a little bit. Somewhere in the beginning of 2016, I had sat down and carefully written down my plan for the year. My New Year resolutions, my goals, the mile stones to look out for, the mantra to drive me for the year, my aspirations and all. Being a July baby meant that my birthday was some sort of interim self-review. Of where I had pictured myself, and where I was. And a time to reevaluate the plan if necessary.So I went back to the drawing board. This time, to plan for my last year before hitting 25. That very night, I turned 24, as a whole new person! *I kid you not:-)

***

At 24, I made many conscious decisions on what I was doing, how I was doing it, what I was going through and how I would go through it. I intentionally took charge of the friendships I kept, the life I led and each single path that I took. I can’t say that I had a smooth sail, it’s far from it. The highs were peak high, but the lows were real deep! But by far, this is the one year that has been the most fulfilling. Here is a sneak peak of the top lessons I learned.

0001Attitude is everything. A lot changed when I adjusted my attitude to streamline it with the present situation. I get more involved in tasks and I am more in touch with those around me.  At work, I take assignments with ease, complain less,  and delve more in the present moment. Consequently, I enjoy more and deliver better results.  My advice is that attitude is contagious, be that breath of positive energy.

validationSelf-validation:

I consciously decided to believe in myself and my abilities. Beyond a certain point, you realize that the only person who has the right to make you feel bad about yourself is you. While at it, I realized that you do not need validation from other people; and that you do not need to be thirsty and eager to impress other people. Do what you are required to do, give it your best shot and the other things will fall in place. And it is very okay to walk away from that which does not add value to you, from they who either do not value you, or you do not value, from habits that do not build you, from relationships which drain you rather than build you. Because the most important person to you really, is you. So whatever pleases your soul, do it.

Mistakes are part of growing. As you grow, you learn to accept that it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s okay to mess here and there. At 24, you find yourself making the tough decisions. Financial, social and career choices. Things go wrong, plans fail, businesses fail, you lose investments, money comes and goes…it’s a roller-coaster. But always remember that it’s better to make those mistakes now than later. Make those decisions now, make those mistakes now, experiment now, fail now. But LEARN! No matter what you do, no matter how many times you screw up, no matter how many people tell you what you can’t do, keep going. Never quit! You learn that we can have little glitches here and there without being labelled dysfunctional.

Patience is the master key to every situation. One of my all time favourite quotes is that when you walk through hell, keep walking. You will soon get to the end of the fire. I learned to have empathy in every situation, surrender to everything, but at the same time; remain patient and forthcoming. Watching my boy Bob battle with cancer taught me what patience and endurance meant. It taught me to appreciate every second of the present moment knowing that it could always get worse. I still struggle with accepting that he succumbed, but I pride myself in a hero who fought for his life with all it took. Of someone who valued every second and every breath. Of someone who changed my attitude in ways I cannot explain.

familyFamily comes first.

If there was a lesson I had previously  picked in 2015, it was to put my family first. Through the year, 2016, I had my family first. I consulted with them more, talked more and hanged out more. We discussed issues. I told Mom almost every decision I made. When people say that Moms are always right, they are right.  Every golden piece of advice came in handy.

 

Wishing you, my dear readers, a happy festive season full of God’s grace.

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer” – Albert Camus

Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

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Yesterday.

Image result for yesterday today and tomorrowThe hospital has become my every evening chill out place lately. It has taught me how to appreciate my health and life in profound ways. I am starting to get used to the fact that death is a close reality. But my boy is all good. There is CAN in CANcer, he says. And so he can handle it.

I recently started keeping a diary for him. When the storm is all over, I plan to tell him how much of a difference he has made in my life in the last couple of months. He has taught me how to love, laugh, and endure. I have learned how to care. After the prognosis, I was at a loss. We all were. Cancer had struck right home. I cannot say that I have had a moment’s peace after that. Most of the time, I am on the net reading about bone cancer, and cancer in general, how to deal with it, what to eat and what sort of talk the patients want to hear. He has lost weight considerably over the last months and this hurts me.  Just the other day, I  started online tutorials on how to give a massage: my daily duty to him! And while at this daily duty, every single day,  I look at him and realize just how fast things can change.

His name is Bob! My favorite peer cousin and a cancer warrior. The tumour has been getting worse by the day. Massaging it has been getting harder by the day, it scares me even. Nowadays, I faithfully wear glasses to conceal my tear struck eyes most of the time. He is now comfortable with me tagging my friends along. Sometimes, he scrolls through my phone pics and asks if I can tag a specific friend next time, and I do. Always. Despite the pain and the strain that he is going through, he still affords us jokes. He wants us to talk like all is well. I forgot to mention, but he is admitted in a sick ward! Patients here die every day and he dreads it just as much as I do.

Before the clock struck midnight yesterday, he  left for home. For palliative care…

The day between yesterday and today,  I picked a diary entry extract. Of the day after his vein raptured and tore the skin. He bled to near death. I went to see him the next day.

Tuesday 11th October, 2016.

I barely slept yesternight and my eyes are tear struck. Yesterday, his vein burst open, he lost a lot of blood. He is now back in the hospital.  I can’t imagine how he is. Is he in pain? Has he eaten? Has he gotten blood? Is he still bleeding? And a lot of why’s fighting at the back of my head. I can choose to stay here and pretend that all is fine or find a way around it. I take a leap of faith and leave the office. At the hospital, I find him holding up quite well. He is happier than I have seen him in a long time. Talks about his stay home and the kind of pain he has gone through away from the hospital. What is palliative care without a doctor by your side? He glances at his thigh, then at my shy hips and back to his thigh.

“You know this tumour is bigger than you hips now?!” He teases. He adds something to the effect that the stomach has changed its alignment to only feed the cancerous leg and that’s why it’s growing like an elephant. I don’t get it, but I pretend to. As I feed him, he complains that the ward is full of old men. He feels like his life is 30 years ahead, some diseases are not for the young.

Then out of the blues, a priest comes. He has come to give him the sacrament of anointing of the sick, it’s a sacrament for the dying.

“They think I am dying.” He says almost inaudibly. I look at him in shock, struggling to keep it together.

“C’moon, I don’t think so. It’s just a matter of time and you are back on the pitch”. I know he misses football a terrible much.

“Then  why would they be giving me this sacrament now??” He asks, both firmly and with a faint stench of anger.I know him well enough to understand that he is angry with whoever it is that has lost faith in his battle, and at the priest for giving him a premature annointing.

I am also at a loss. It’s the first time reality strikes me real hard from my bubble of blind optimism. The first time I ask myself the what if questions… what if he succumbs? What if he doesn’t make it…what if. Stage 4 might be deadly, but not for him. This whole process and period hurts me he has no idea. But I trust the process, and even more, I trust in his fighting spirit.

***      ***

Texas cancer centre came…

Out of all the hospitals you have ever been to, this one has been the most challenging for me to visit.

Either way, I come: still, every day. Cancer patients are special. Next to you is Apolonaire, a fairly old Burundi man. His wife never lets him out of sight. Sometimes we converse in French. She is uncertain that he, Apolonaire, will survive. But all she can do is hope. This kind of love is pure bliss. But she worries more about you, you can barely turn without help. She is sad that cancer started the fight on you at such a tender age. She thinks you are amazing, you talk and laugh despite everything, you breathe positive energy. It’s a ward of 4. Two patients have succumbed in the last few days. But you are determined to live. Chemotherapy just started.

I have been stealing a lot of time to try understand how chemo works, and what options we have. I also seek medical advice from M., he answers all the questions I ask.  I call to ask what is wise, and what is not. Sometimes, I sneak out of the room to talk to him. Ask why you are sweaty, and in pain, and grumpy. What to do, how to do it and when to expect your tumor to disappear. Will it really disappear even?He understands both of us and what we are going through.

But chemo has made you a grumpy boy. I can no longer pick or make calls during my visiting hour. You don’t get why I can’t give you 100% attention. So I choose not to make or receive calls at all. I have been tagging more friends for the evening visits. Nowadays, we all pray together before leaving the ward.  We all have faith in you, we all want you back on your feet. Chemotherapy has given you a kind of pain we never knew existed and it breaks us apart. You tell us that it is burning your entire body in a sort of fire you cannot quite explain. And it also gets you tired and sweaty all day.  We come, see you, get weak but feign strength. But as soon as we step out, we lose ourselves in near despair. How can we not when pain, sweat and more pain is all what we see in the patients?… And now, you have repeatedly told me that you now want the leg amputated. Anything is better than this kind of ache. Then you ask if I will help you get a girlfriend if you only have one leg, petite like Chi preferably. I promise to. 

Today

Image result for accepting deathThings were all good yesterday And then the devil took your memory.

And if you fell to your death today I hope that heaven is your resting place I heard the doctors put your chest in pain,

But then that could have been the medicine,

And now you’re lying in the bed again.

Either way I’ll cry with the rest of them…

…I could look into your eyes Until the sun comes up and we’re wrapped in light and life and love.

Ed sheeran’s Afire Love has been on replay mode for more than an hour.

 ***

Seated by a corner window listening to this jam, over and over again. The sun decided to set in the morning today…and I have to deal with it. I received the news of your demise with repulsion. I feel nauseated and weak….and no, I have refused to accept. Maybe it’s a lie. You are a fighter.. The flight is taking forever, all I want is to get to the hotel and lie down. It will be a tough assignment this one. I uneasily scroll on my phone, back and forth. Our latest photos, our latest chat. But why do I call them latest? Those were the LAST chats that I’d ever have from you, last photos! But how did this happen? It was just the other day.

It feels like yesterday, just the other day when you were recovering from the second surgery, limping and in pain, but recovering well. We both were in agreement that the tumor could not be carcinomas. Your Dad let you drive his car around then, and you behind the wheel looked all good. Then life changed real quick. The swelling started, the admissions started, the complications came and you could not walk anymore. It’s an uncomfortable kind of a memory. I won’t lie that I will be fine, or that I will get used to you being gone, and me being here. It will be a lie. I  feel betrayed to the bone. Death betrays. He ought to have prepared me psychologically that the last visit at the cancer center was the last. Will acceptance of your untimely demise replace denial of your absence?

 

Tomorrow:

Image result for till we meet again

And tomorrow, you will be laid down to eternal rest.  I will try get accustomed to the fact that I do not have you anymore, that I will not have evenings fully booked by you.  I will find a balance between remembering you as a lovely memory of hope and resilience: and a sad memory of the sort of  pain I saw you fight with undying strength. But until then, until I know how to reconcile between your absence and the hopeful anticipation of seeing you again, I will only hope that you found your resting place.

Appreciation to everyone who walked the journey with us. And to my visiting partners, Cii, Drew, Chichi, Lily, Faith, _Serah, Josh, Winnie & all..you made the last days a whole lot more meaningful. To the medical staff, every  effort is deeply appreciated.

Hopefully, we will all find the grace to believe that God’s timing is the best.

 

 

 

 

 

Dear current or future pursuer…

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I salute you in utmost reverence!

Until I say yes, until I have that ring on my finger, there are basic rules I feel that you need to know. You are free to contest and amend a few clauses here and there, but this, my beloved one, is the blueprint. The apple shall not fall too far from the tree.

  1. Asking me out!Image result for How to ask a girl out

Your predecessors did a painfully amazing job in asking me out. They would text me and ask if I was in the house, or if I was in town. As time went by, I met the cream that dropped one liners… ‘Hey pretty, I wanna see you: Your place or my place?’ After exchanging notes with my girls, I realized that this was the new way of asking a woman out. Decent dates for who? Let’s bow for all such predecessors. In fact, let us do a small chant in recognition, a few hearty claps as we sing : “Well played all ye such men , well played*2”

But I know you are not one of those. In the unfortunate case that you are, however, here are a few guidelines:
a) Asking me if I am at home is not synonymous to asking me out.

Until we have had a proper date, even if it’s a walk in the park, or at central park under the quixotic shade of a tree, I will neither invite you nor come over to your place.
b) Plan!

If you ask me out, I expect you to run with it to the end… Do not ask me what my suggestion is. If you do, I will look at you with delight, with all the admiration a girl could ever have for a man… and ask you if we can fly to Miami that very moment. I will tune my head to my bucket list and pull out all the places I have ever dreamt of, all that I ever wished for in a date; and I will expect you to be able to step up and make my dreams come true. If you are not ready to match the bill, (and I know you most likely will not,) allow me to buy into your vision or definition of a proper date.
c) And finally charming one, learn how to follow up. Never ask me on a date and then go silent. I will not follow up on dates you initiated. I will not call you on the material day to ask you if we are still meeting, and where and at what time. I can’t and I won’t. You either pursue me 100% or stay away from me

2. Communicate!

I feel that I should highlight to you what could possibly go wrong with communication. What used to happen is that we would meet: potentials. And then the calls would start, soon drift to late night calls. All good, all fine.New flames burning all hot! And then, the calls would come to an untimely death. Sooner than expected, they would be reborn in the form of WhatsApp messages. From there, WhatsApp would solely become the mode of communication. You know how it goes, chat all day, all excited, all sprung….until such a time when they would discover that they could actually blue-tick zone you. They would learn how to read and close the chat without responding, they would swipe left and ignore your message. Life would go on. Later, approximately 36,000 seconds later, they would text you as though there was no problem at all. Besides being good at lying that they had not seen the message, they would also be good at saying that they had lost their phones. On their desks! HOW?! For the love of me, do not play this card on me charming one. Thanks in advance for listening.

Before we leave the whatsapp topic, let’s agree that forwarding me messages, videos, or what you think are funny whatsapp images does not amount to communication, and thus does not warrant my response. If you cannot start a meaningful conversation with me, I’d rather you maintain the silence.

Finally, whether you spend three months checking on me every hour, every second, trying to get me to smile on good and bad days…without communicating with clarity what your objective is, without telling me what you really want from me…you will forever be just another boy! You cannot start accusing me of neglecting you or taking you for granted if I do not even know what you want with me. With all material respect for your intelligence for picking up fights like these, I beg to advise you to pick useful fights! (Fights which I will look back and realize that they actually have made me a better person). Also, if I do you wrong, tell me! The queendom of sulking without a good reason is mine, it’s a womans territory.

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If I call or text you, I expect you to to treat it with the same importance you would treat an emergency. (Okay, not necessarily an emergency, but give it the importance it deserves). If I start a conversation, I expect you to keep it going. You do not expect me to keep talking to you if you give me one word answers, or do not even respond in a manner that prompts me answer you. I expect you to be interested in my day and in my business. If you have done me wrong, I expect you to apologize. I am one of those girls who accept flowers and small gifts as apologies, or as kind gestures. (I thought you should know). Pretending that you do not know that you wronged me and talking to me as though nothing has happened is just very wrong. In fact, this behaviour will provoke the lioness in me. I will not act as though all is fine when I am mad at you. And baibe,kindly initiate conversations.

3. 50/50% rule

I will not lie to you, this does not sit well with me. It’s now an open secret that I will have to work extra hard for our relationship once I say that yes. That men will forever want to have their cake and eat it. They will want to have you stay loyal to them, while they look out for possibly greener pastures. Only a man can ask you why you are being territorial while you watch them flirt to your face! Or openly tell you that there are younger prettier, less nagging women out there. I see girls who threaten their boyfriends, and then they leave. But afterwards, after realizing that this man of theirs is not about to make any effort to woe them back, they bring themselves back to the box they had tried to escape. They take the initiative to tell the man that they have actually forgiven him already even before he apologizes… A man can be as slippery as a toad when he wants to be, and I already know that…. and Woe unto you if you bore him a child before he married you because he will conveniently make it look like marrying you will be a favor! Story for another day. But you, loving future pursuer will be cut from a different cloth.

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My womanly instinct tells me that you might join the table of men, sooner or later. Before that point comes when you will join the table men, before you go back to the very cloth of your fellow men, I refuse to switch roles. If you take me out on a date, I will truly appreciate. I will look entertained and laugh to your jokes, corny, dry and meaningful jokes alike. I will enjoy your company or appear to enjoy it. I will make people think you are one of the rare men who know how to keep a woman happy. But then, this does not mean that you have met your 50% part of the deal, and now I am obliged to start looking for you, waking you up to house deliveries of breakfast, showering you with gifts and checking up on you whenever my eyes blink…it does not mean that next time ati I should come to your place with pretested recipes so that I can win your love through the stomach. I am not one of those women with an extra dose of masculinity, those who know how hunt. I refuse to run after you before you even catch me.

For purposes of this post, we shall take a quick jump and assume that I am now your girlfriend. Officially. Let’s say you have given me a commitment ring, or popped the big question…or whatever traditional ritual you plan to perform to make me your girlfriend.

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I am psychologically prepared that the graph of attention will drop at a steep slope. But charming one, I beseech you to smoothen it a little bit. We will have busy days sometimes, we will have days we will have almost had enough of each others, there are days you will face my tantrums and days you will feed me with the bitter side of your tongue…and I will bear it. You are allowed to go rant to your boy. (Just one boy, not all of them.) PAUSE! You are forbidden from sending your friends to talk to me, you cannot bitch about me to your friends and further send them to me. That is called disrespect.

Dating you, my heartgonger, does not mean that I will not go out on a dates with other people. Let’s be realistic, you and I will not live in a bubble. We are bound to meet other people, we are bound to catch up with long lost friends and we bound to look at and appreciate eye candies here and there. But I promise to stay true to you. Our relationship will be based on loyalty and the trust that even in the absence of each other, we will be mature enough to know and respect our boundaries.

Secondly, if you will be jealous, be jealous of things you have done.

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Grapevine tells me that nowadays, men throw tantrums when a woman is gifted. You think it’s a joke until you realize that the veins on the man’s forehead are pounding visibly. Then they threaten you that they will never get you a gift because other men are gifting you. Mark you, this is a man who has never bought you any tangible thing. The most thoughtful thing he ever did was take you for dinner, most likely in one of these fast food joints. This is a man who buys you gifts mentally and with every word that comes out of his mouth. KEY word is mouth. So now he is mad because so and so gifted you… a choker or some priceless jewelry. Something tangible, something longlasting. I can tell you for free that if you don’t buy, someone else will/might. (this is the female version of ‘if you don’t cook or submit to your man, another woman will😬). Us women love gifts, they solve all problems that words have failed to and men know it!…But who am I kidding? Men were not born to naturally buy women gifts, it’s something they learn. I expect you to be a normal man, my beloved. If I talk about gifts, thou shall take it as a hint. And thou shall act on the hint and surprise me. Fullstop. Threatening that you will now never gift me will be met by an arrogant answer that you can as well threaten to stop talking to me because others are also talking to me too.

Friends. The same way I will not ask you to drop your boys is the same way I will not expect you to ask me to drop any of my girlfriends. My life will not be centred around you, and I expect you to know that before I met you, I did have a life. My friends are my chattels, to be guarded with my heart and soul.

As a woman, darling one, I am naturally not easy to satisfy. We always want more. However , I will try very hard to stay content and not to compare you with other men. I will try to be patient, to grow, and to watch you mature, just like wine. To bring out your best as your life partner. But if you are comfortable in the average zone, we will disagree. The problem with us women is that we walk into relationships with our expectations, plus those of our unborn babies…and the ones our mothers have for us! I might tolerate an average beginning, but not forever. You cannot afford to be comfortable there when other men are working hard and smart.

Above all, I promise to respect and dedicate my life to bringing out the best in you..in madness and in happiness. In poverty, and in wealth. In tantrums and in joys. And for you, I promise to be the best person that I possibly can.

Signed

With love..
Current/Future babe 😃

Of frogs and humans

Comments 6 Standard

In a world of frogs and humans, a story is told.

indexThat a frog of reasonable intelligence was put in a vessel. A wicked  human then filled the same vessel with water and started heating it. The storyteller did reveal secretly that the human derived pleasure from seeing the frog in boiling water.  That even in the real world, we humans inwardly laugh at the suffering of others. 

But then,this was a reasonable frog with a functional mind. It thought fast and made the first decision. As the temperature of the water began to rise, the frog adjusted  its body temperature accordingly. It kept adjusting its body temperature with the increasing temperature of the water. Just when the water was about to reach boiling point, the frog could not adjust anymore. At this point the frog finally made that critical decision. It was time to jump out. It tried to jump but it was unable to do so because it had lost all its strength in adjusting with the rising water temperature. Very soon, and sadly so, the frog died.

In a world of reasonable humans, the question was asked. WHAT KILLED THE FROG?

The boiling water, they said. (Incorrect)

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What then killed the frog?! You ask.

 The truth about what killed the frog was its own inability to decide when to jump out. We all need to adjust with people & situations. We all get pushed to the limit at one point or another. By our families, friends, partners, bosses and the general public. More often than less, we tolerate it, in the pretext that tough skins are grown from such limits. However, we need to be sure when we need to adjust and when we need to move on. When to take the heat, and when to take the leap.   There are times when we need to face the situation and take appropriate actions. When we have to choose what deserves and what does not deserve our energy.  Because really, if we allow people and situations to exploit us physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually or mentally they will continue to do so. Until you make that  critical decision.

 

 

Nillionaire

Comments 15 Standard

There was a time when dreams were hallucinations. Those days when you would wake up wondering if people with salaries used the same purses and wallets that you used, or if their purses were as big as back packs. You were a student surviving on lean budgets then. You questioned if they wore the same kind of linen as students, because you knew for a fact that the money was so much. So much that it could tear your cheap campus linen. There were days you would dream that your first salary would be used to travel the world, and the second one would buy you a car, then you would become a millionaire and billionaire shortly after…  Subsequently, you would buy a big piece of land in the prime South Coast, and another one in the leafy suburbs around the capital city. You would embark on the construction of the century. An  impossibly imperial castle or a chalet bungalow! On the beach piece of land, you would put up a private beach, a royal one. You imagined that the child of the child of Queen Elizabeth would propose to his girlfriend on this land. You would have this proposal scene well figured out in mind, and the royal architects that you would hire to design it would have to get the grand picture right. You cannot have room for disappointing a royal prince, helloo?  All the things money would buy you would be of the century because you used to think that the people of this century did not how to spend their salaries. Who works for a year without building a home? Or buying small toys like cars? Image result for millionaire dream

In your life as a hallucinator, you did not have much respect for people who defiantly refused to upgrade their lifestyles despite being fatly salaried. You often caught yourself wondering what their problem was, and if it was clinically treatable. You sometimes asked silently if they had some forces that stole their money, if their bank accounts had some holes which leaked their money out. Was it possible that they made an agreement at birth that they would pay for all the air they breathed between the second they were born and the second they got their jobs? Must be billions of billions by now!. Or maybe they were repaying ancestral loans for their clans.  As a dreamer, you blacklisted one friend because they confided to you that they had taken leave on the last week of the month because they could not afford fare. Keeping such a friend would mean that you were exposing yourself to the risk of becoming a nillionare. You were born with the blood of a millionare, and as such, you needed people of similar blood and same dose of halucinations around you.

The good Lord was faithful. He granted you that job. In a multinational…in a globally recognized company ! It was a mega shift, from managing pocket change, to managing a salary. A salary that was so much that it had to be confined in the walls of a  24hour secured bank. Imagine that!!!   It was a massive shift! You were becoming a tax payer, you were now eligible to advise the ministry of finance. After all, you had a Finance/ Accounting background, and your taxes would be a material part of the national budget…Back to the jumbo shift.  You were about to become a rent payer or a home owner, an electricity bill payer, a water bill payer, a designer wear buyer, a car owner, and a business class traveller around the world. The paradigm shift was a few days away. As you sat in the job orientation, you deaf listened through the financial management session. You knew what you were waiting for, the etiquette session. This session would tell you how to carry yourself around, as the young millionaire you were just about to become. Gusto and drumrolls! And those people truly knew how to massage your delicate ego and rejuvenate your dreams.  Ray mentioned the kind of suits that the society expected people of your calibre to wear, the kind of shoes and jewerly, the hairdo and the kind of people who were allowed to shampoo your delicate business head… He talked about the kind of perfumes young people of your stature were allowed to use- eau de perfume, not anything less. Eau de toilette for who?? You kept nodding heavily and smiling villagely as you took notes in the global notebook. On that bright day,you forced yourself to sleep in traffic: because that session had touched you somewhere where only a dream could take you back.

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NOW. No car, no house, no land. Not much has changed. You have defiantly refused to upgrade, just like those people you thought needed clinical attention!

There comes a point when a person starts blaming their brains for having the ability to conceive such deceptive dreams. For faithfully making them believe that such a life is of this world, and attainable through months of work. That it is even attainable by a person purely depending on a single salary and no side hustle.

 

139561934314.jpgYou sit in traffic, in a matatu- as a nillionare. You moved out recently, after very many months of working. If your folks had not looked at you badly, if they had not insisted that you needed to take responsibility of your life, if they had not quarrelled you for getting home at 3 in the morning and accused you of treating their home as a bed and breakfast thingy, if you had not realized that were not saving despite staying at home…you would never have moved out. You did not move to a leafy suburb, ( Did you even think you would afford it?!). You moved to a neighbourhood just good enough to accommodate a starter who knows how to operate a budget. A starter who knows the complex math of fixed costs and can clearly differentiate between a luxury and necessity. One who knows how to classify a TV and a home theatre  as a luxury. Those ones will be bought later. Besides, you have a functional phone with earphones to keep you updated on what is happening around the world; and you have a laptop to keep you watching the latest movies released everywhere in the world;  Nollywood and Hollywood alike.  A starter, who now calls themselves a ‘self starter’ …( ‘I started from the bottom kind of vybe) . Needless to say, you do not have a car, at least not yet.

You look through the window, through the rain.Those dreams start haunting you. Your life is not where you used to see it. You feel like you are behind schedule. You have not afforded any holiday so far, and no matter how hard you close your eyes, you cannot see yourself affording one anytime soon. It is the last week of the month. You hate this week.  It is the week of revising your borrowing skills and taking honey to sweeten your voice lest someone decides to pay you for massaging their ears with your sweet voice. This week finds you so broke that  you could almost call your ex demanding for payment for all your time that they wasted.  It is the week where you spend a considerable amount of time refreshing your contacts and breaking the silence with long lost potential financiers. You invest time dropping a few texts here and there to cushion the reception of the borrowing text. You write down and rehearse ways of asking for money  without making your financier think that you are THAT broke. Mostly, you find yourself picking all manner of excuses/ small lies. Sometimes, ati you lost your ATM card, others you lie that you lend a huge amount to a friend and they have not paid you back, or all these other lies you people borrow money with, sometimes you want capital to grab some business opportunity. Any wise person will read through the lies and show some empathy. But you have to butter the right side of the bread so well that you cannot be denied that loan.

 

Capture.PNGIronically, this is the same week your next of kin will call you with all their financial needs. They ask for small money like 15k and over. Did the definition of small money change by the way?! How is 15k small money to a starter who knows mathematics? You cannot disappoint them anyway, you would rather take a loan…you know you are their child, they educated you and you are undeniably doing very well financially. They expect you to have a quarry of money. In fact, your parents believe that you, yes you penniless one, can open a bank for the entire village to provide financial aid to those people who cannot manage their finances at a small interest- if you wanted to. You cannot admit your financial strain lest they suffer a cardiac arrest. Understandably, you are mostly in a bad mood before you are paid, especially when you see your kin calling-calling you. And you cannot even tell them what a luxury is when they ask for money to buy handbags or shoes. Before end month, why oh why?! You are tempted to call that friend you blacklisted in your life as a hallucinator, you want to find out if they finally got their finances right and stopped booking leave strategically.

 

The sun is starting to rise. As you alight the matatu, you start having a constructive monologue, far from halucinations.From today henceforth, you will redeem yourself from this shackle of pay cheque slavery. “Get thee behind me satan” will be your favourite verse in the bible. You will use it when your hands feel like they should pick designer things which are meant for people who throw notes of small value in dustbins. You will use it when these friends who help you celebrate that salary which is as tiny as the small finger of a newborn child call you. You will confidently ask them if they will foot their bill, and meet you halfway in meeting yours. You will also adjust your tongue to appreciate low budget foods, until such a time when you will not know the difference between the salary sunup and salary sundown (Read as payday and end month before payday). You will be comfortable saying that you are comfortable eating life in a small spoon. You will stop living to the societal expectation and create your own bar, based on your financial height. Holidays will be enjoyed during the company holidays so that you can savour every moment. Scarcity creates value, so the fewer, the more valuable! You will create a mental switch. You will switch your mind off when people ask you foolish questions. Like “Kwani where do you take your money?”/ “Did you get a paycut?/ “Why don’t you have a car yet?”Then you will start humming the ‘started from the bottom’ anthem.

 

Somewhere between the financial plan, friends happen, and unplanned-for events and other small emergencies. You resolve month after month to have your finances in check, unsuccessfully.:-( Sometimes, the pressure to catch up with peers mounts and you end up spending unnecessarily, trying too hard to measure up to the profile that the society has set for you. As time goes by, end month draws further and further. Reason? You pay off debts and settle bills as soon as that salary kicks in. By the end of the first week, you are broke. Like properly broke/broke!! Loans shift from soft loans to long-term ones. Eventually, you realize that you are tangled up in loans and lifestyles beyond your reach.  But you have an image to protect, you have a way you want people to view you. Because of this want, you end up broke while trying to look rich.  Problem with our generation is that we want instant success… we want to live large without a back up plan. We want to enjoy our youth to the fullest and get the finest of experiences now’now. I stand to be corrected, but the way to wealth is simple. Spend less than you earn, and invest the difference wisely. In the grand scheme of life, we will all get there. Of course, with the right financial decisions  now. So SAVE and INVEST! The golden rule is that you spend what remains after you have saved.