Please wake up

I went to the canteen this morning to get my breakfast before I started a gruelling day of work and I overheard the following statement from a lady perched on a high stool near the automatic doors – I assume to get better phone signal – who uttered the following words down the phone:

 

“Sometimes I just wish I was single. Everything about him now irritates me, his face, his smell. Sometimes I just want to tell him ‘for the sake of our marriage please shut up!’”

 

Yikes!

 

Even for the most optimistic of us, hearing such a statement will surely induce some level of concern about the romanticised ideal of conjugal bliss that we’ve become accustomed to fantasising about. I for one am guilty of such fantasies. My gated 4 bedroom detached house in Richmond with my 2 kids (one boy one girl of course) and my uber perfect husband with his ripped abdomen, suave demeanour and ever romantic gestures *swoons* and his large bank balance that’s ALWAYS in the black with a minimum of 6 figures at any point. I’ve always been a dreamer.

 

Lately though the possibility of such an ideal not occurring has started to dawn on me and I’ve found it hard to cope with. I blame it on growing up. The pressure of financial resources, the apparent scarcity of ‘good men’ and the continuous worry of one’s ticking female body clock (a thought that paints an image of my ovaries drying up egg by egg) are not the ideal backdrop to start dreaming up the perfect marriage.

 

I’d imagine that I-wish-I-was-single lady (henceforth IWIWSL) didn’t feel the way she feels now when she first met her husband. I’m sure she was well and truly loved up, head over heels with him that she saw all his imperfections but still loved him anyway. But at what point in the marriage did the blind eye to the imperfections start to have 20/20 vision? I’m sure his voice used to lull her to sleep and create many ‘tingling sensations’ when he spoke to her and uttered sweet nothings. But when in the marriage did she suddenly stop hearing birds chirping and started hearing the deafening vibrations of a construction site drill? Where is this point of conjugal decline? And more importantly how does one recognise it and turn it to a J-curve instead?

 

Could it be that the point of conjugal decline was present from the beginning but was conveniently stowed away as all other romanticised ideals superseded our conscious, rational thought? Surely there were signs of imperfections in the beginning. Surely the person had irritating habits in the beginning. Surely the person’s voice could not have varied by so many octaves automatically following marriage. I think we have been fed an unrealistic expectation of marriage. Once where once you walk down the aisle in your beautiful sweetheart neckline ivory dress, with your 6 bridesmaids and cushion cut platinum engagement ring on your left finger (*ahem* future husband please pay BIG attention to the ring detail here), you live happily ever after with no financial hindrances, no arguments and no flaws. Perfect!

 

Please wake up from this dream. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. Of course it does. But have you prepared yourself for the possibility that it won’t? Have you built up the mental strength to deal with the pressure if your 6 figure earning husband suddenly gets made redundant and you become the main breadwinner in your household? Have you mentally prepared yourself for the possibility that in the beginning you may have to settle for a 1 bedroom council flat in a grimy estate because it’s cheaper than the £2000 a month 2 bedroom/2 bathroom with walk in closet apartment in Chelsea you’ve coveted all this while so you and your Mr can get yourself on your feet? Or ladies, have you mentally prepared yourself for the possibility that the holidays in Antigua and the Bahamas may have to wait a few decades because things are ‘tough right now’?

 

Like me, you probably hadn’t, but I think you probably should. Because while some girls are lucky enough to have it all on arrival of their dream man, you may not be so lucky. So what will you do? Face reality square on and do what’s necessary, or bury your head in the sand, only to resurface years later and utter the words IWIWSL did?

 

Please wake up!

If you REALLY liked her…

Everyone knows the song ‘Single Ladies’ by Beyonce; and while I’m not an advocate of taking every word from these popular culture songs and applying them to my life verbatim, there is one line in the song that I wholeheartedly agree with. “If you like it then you should have put a ring on it!”

 

I agree with this line because I have noticed the tendency of some men (I am a woman, I can only speak from this angle) to creep up out of the woodwork the minute they discover a girl is in a relationship/seeing someone/about to get hitched. Suddenly they start calling you 3 times a day instead of 3 times a year. Suddenly they ‘remember to call you back’ after all those months. Suddenly That – to them – appears to be the convenient time to start spitting lyrics and blowing up her phone like no tomorrow. Meanwhile the new guy she’s with can’t get enough of her and had made his intentions clear from DAY ONE. You waited until the following millennia to start showing interest…really?!

 

If you liked her THAT much, you should have taken her off the market and made it clear to both her and the world that she was very much ‘taken’. However you chose to wait until someone else saw the value in her before you ‘realised’ how much you like her. You have many screws loose, please find them.

 

LADIES! Please beware of these men. They are not out here trying to offer you something better than what you currently have. The grass is NOT greener on the other side with this indecisive-i-only-want-you-now-coz-someone-else-does man. The grass is greener and will grow tall right where you are so long as you and your present Mr nurture it. The power of the incumbent on THIS occasion is and ought to be stronger than the one you don’t have. Yes this other guy may appear on the surface to be ‘better’ than your incumbent. But how is he going to treat you when he didn’t really want you in the first place and now that he does it’s for all the wrong reasons.

 

Remember the nights you spent talking on the phone with that other guy, the many ‘dates’ you went on, how much TIME and EMOTION you invested in him, with what result… NOTHING!…. do you REALLY want to go there again? Just to be faced with false promises.

 

Please please please, be content with what you have, don’t allow these false dream offering guys to lure you from the comfort of the blissful reality you’re currently experiencing….IT’S NOT WORTH IT!

 

Bye!

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ terriroty when…

A list of things that indicate you’re in a ‘serious relationship’ This list if not exhaustive. Add yours as you see fit.

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ territory when the concept of ‘breaking up’ just isn’t an option. By God’s will you gotta work it out!

 

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ territory when the other person’s retarded idiosyncrasies are endearing rather than irritating.

 

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ territory when you have nothing constructive to say but your other half listens anyway and feigns interest so well it only gives you more ammunition to keep talking.

 

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ territory when you put their photo up on BBM (it’s a pretty big deal).

 

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ territory when having a Skype conversation with your other half with your night headscarf and face mask on isn’t a conversation starter but a norm because he’s seen you in almost every state.

 

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ territory when your other half borrows a random persons phone to call you just to let you know their battery died hence why you can’t get hold of them.

 

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ territory when you constantly tell your friends “please let me call you back, my boo is calling me!” and never call your friend back! but they understand :)

 

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ territory when he/she becomes your new gossip partner.

 

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ terriroty when statements like “I’m addicted to you” don’t make you want to run a mile.

 

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ territory when all your friends are tired of hearing about your other half.

 

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ territory when your pray for your other half!

 

You’re in ‘serious relationship’ territory when all your preconceived ideas of courting times, courting methods and general relationship standards are thrown to the wind.

Third Class Women

They failed to hesitate in reminding us of our societal status. Our M.S was not compared with their M.R.S. Adorned with platinum or gold, their metal of choice was insignificant.

They failed to hesitate in offering us words of advice on how to be more marketable, how to ‘catch him’ and ‘keep him’ after-all they graduated from the school of MS and are rightly positioned to advise us thus.

They failed to hesitate in removing us from their conversations, as we are perceived to incognisant of the analogies and turmoils attributed to MRS. We were after all one letter short.

They failed to withhold their blasé comments about our sorry state. Meandering through life with a letter missing from our titles and a metal on the wrong hand.

The didn’t fail in their consolatory tones and their analysis of our state and consequently diagnosing us with symptoms of ‘picky’ ‘inflexible’ or most endearingly ‘unlucky’

They classed us second to them. I correct myself, third. For in the Olympiad of MRS, our singledom is a mere bronze, we still need to ‘find him’ to attain a silver before we graduate to the grand prize so coveted by many. The gold MRS with all the trimmings.

Govern Yourself Accordingly by Kalamu Ya Salaam

This Poem arrived in my inbox this morning from a gentleman I met on the train a few weeks back. He asked me what I had in my shopping bag and our conversation revolved around the bunch of bananas I had just purchased. I’ve recieved a poem every week since then from him and thought I’d share this one with you all.  It’s reflective of where we all ought to aspire to be and I in particular need to make this my mantra to life…and to love. I hope it makes you smile as much as I did.

Thank you sir for making my day.

Enjoy.

Govern Yourself Accordingly. By Kalamu Ya Salaam

i have dismissed 
the minister 
of emotional defenses, 
distributed 
confetti to all 
the guards and given 
faithful and ever vigilant 
caution 
several days off
the city 
of me is well ready 
to joyously receive and 
rainbow celebrate 
your unanticipated but 
nonetheless profoundly appreciated 
arrival into the intimacy 
of our space

know that you are warmly 
welcomed for howsoever long 
you should choose to stay 
here, you need no keys 
no door is locked to you 
every window is open

feel free 

I was happiest when I was suspended in Oblivion.

6’3 with the brownest of eyes. Widest of smiles and an all encompassing of embraces. I was smitten, often bemused by him yet I was drawn to the warmth of his soul which did a terrible job of attempting to hide from me. He loved without resolve or recompense. He just did. His face always twitched when I looked into his eyes and I was all too aware of the unfamiliarity of this occasion to him. His hands, double mine in size, eased from tension when our fingers interlocked. A motion we did to reassure ourselves of our commitment to this. To us.

He often looked me deep in the eyes, in a way I’d never experienced before, the stare piercing, but the intentions enveloped with love. A look of admiration and pride, that always on his left hand side stood his dame. Head to shoulder with him, ready to take on the world together. My love for his TGC was unflinching, the stormiest of weathers were to be faced. The longest of journeys were travelled, bouquet of flowers in hand, or a rose, or simply a kiss to say ‘Welcome’. My face would always beam as the two souls were reunited for all to see. We talked about the world. Things we saw and things we didn’t. Our fixation on things we didn’t know would later be the source of our demise. Where he saw here and now, him and I, lovingly involved. I saw tomorrow, blurry as it was I always saw tomorrow and  steered him in that direction. His voice was the lullaby I fell asleep to at nights, while his words of endearment for me made the mornings the brightest of all, even on a grey day. My TGC had me, and I had him. We worried not about facts and figures, and earnings and projections. We worried not about where we would live or who’s status was befitting to who. We worried not about the flashiest of possessions or who would say what. We just worried about love. Our love. And how we would enrich it. He said once ‘I love you because you chose me’ words which remain etched in my heart til this day. I chose him then, flaws and all. Not caring what the world would think or how we looked together. He was mine and I was his. He was grateful that I had chose him, when I could have said no. I said yes. When I could have walked, I stayed.

I was happiest when I was suspended in oblivion. An oblivion which only recognised love and nothing else.

We were both novices at this, leading through, blindingly treading on eggshells, lovers before friends. But we cared not and feared not the consequences of this leap of faith. Because love surpassed all. Our journeys on the black line were filled with giggles and smiles and head on chest, arm around waist, kisses to forehead with eyes closed. I always had a seat, the ‘safest seat in the house’ he would call it. Perched comfortably on the most athletic of thighs with a shoulder for resting my head. Nothing felt safer than his embrace. All 6’3 of him was for lil old me. I was lucky.

I was happiest when I was suspended in oblivion. An oblivion which only recognised how I felt and nothing else.

Then I sought knowledge, or better yet, it found me. My expectations sky rocketed. This ‘love’ was no longer sufficient I would tell him. I begin to wean from him. The distortions of Planet People began to get to me. The sealed ears began to receive noise. The heavy eyes lids which shut out views of the idyllic were now slowly raising. All I saw were mechanisms which detached us. Swung me out of oblivion to knowledge. Knowledge of class, knowledge of the Conversation, knowledge of the Expectation, knowledge of the Culture, knowledge of the Language. Knowledge which only perpetuated a dissatisfaction with what was once all right, although he only ever saw it from the left. The 4 a week rather than the 7 a week escalated to ridicule. Our emotional contract was being broken, by me. Slowly, consciously, for I thought the grass was greener there, over in that tomorrow that had always been blurry; I fashioned an oasis. On closer inspection a mirage appeared. But by which point all I saw was the back of my TGC. Head hanging low, shoulders slumped and a shockingly visible teardrop landing on the floor, it’s splash echoing higher decibels than the weight of it ought to warrant. My knowledge of the previously unknown had turned our love into an inconvenience. Our journeys on the black line were not so comfortable now. Giggles turned to silence, tears streamed down both our eyes as the reality I had made for us without his consent dawned on us. That this will not go on.

I was happiest when I was suspended in oblivion. An oblivion which only recognised two rather than many. An oblivion which allowed the heart to lead and not the eyes or the ears.

Take me back there.

My Hair has a life and mind of it’s own.
Here it’s impersonating Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons.

My Hair has a life and mind of it’s own.

Here it’s impersonating Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons.

Submit you Request for Proposal (RFP)

Good day all. For all those in Sales the term RFP has some familiarity. For others…I’ll explain.

An RFP: Request for Proposal, is a document a customer issues to potential suppliers in order for them to bid for a particular piece of work that will see the winning supplier providing the service/product required to the customer. So for example if I am customer X and I need to buy new phones for all my employees, I will put an RFP to the market requesting all mobile phone providers to submit their best solution to my problem. The supplier that wins the business will be awarded the contract and consequently proceed with delivering my product/solution. How I (Miss Customer) choose the supplier will be down to a combination of variables ranging from price, service history, references from other customers etc etc…you get the point.

I began to think about how this business ritual translates into our personal life. After all a business interaction is deducible to a human interaction, so there must be some remnants of similarity in how we pick life partners in the same way we pick suppliers (crude comparison…but humour me.)

Selecting a partner is very much like an RFP process. The main participants:

Guy (Mr Customer)*

Girl (Miss Supplier)*

*For all the feminists out there…calm down, the roles could easily be reversed. I’m not suggesting that the onus is simply on the man to select the girl, this is a quid pro quo situation where no one party is completely in control of this process. Often times the supplier has to go through some form of qualification process too to work out whether or not this customer is worth the effort in bidding for the business. I rest my case on this disclaimer…back to business.

1.      Guy approaches Girl and introduces himself – Girl has already been qualified as a potential partner just by virtue of her being approached by guy. However there remains much work to be done.

2.      Girl responds to introduction and in turn introduces herself.

3.      Guy and girl converse – both parties are listening for buying and selling signals (‘what does he want’ vs. ‘what can she offer’)

4.      As conversation progresses Guy and Girl begin to specify preferences – this is what we call ‘Requirements gathering’ in Sales parlance.

5.      This back and forth continues until through a process of mental tick boxing Guy can decide whether or not Girl qualifies as partner.

Simple right?……..WRONG! What is missing here however is COMPETITION! Good old healthy competition. A customer would not put an RFP to the market if they already knew who they wanted as a supplier. Equally when selecting a partner we don’t allow one person to monopolise our time. We encourage competition; or at least we should!

Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting that once you have picked your preferred supplier you continue to seek the service of other vendors – there is a degree of customer and supplier loyalty that is needed for the duration of the contract, which of course is dependent on KPI’s (Key performance indicators) being met (decode that as you wish).

But the point is that anyone currently speaking to a guy or girl they happen to ‘like’ in the hope that it will progress to something more serious with the assumption that you are the only person monopolising their time is….well….I won’t insult anybody. It’s critical to recognise from very early on where you fit in this persons selection process. Are you a potential preferred supplier? Are you just a prop? (a faux-competitor, someone who is just included in the bid process to make the other competitors feel threatened but would never gain preferred supplier status) and use this to ascertain how you want to progress. As I mentioned earlier, what was missing from my scenario was competition. Guy will often be talking to more than one girl at a time and girl will equally have a number of potential suitors banging down her door. In both situations, I think this is fair game, particularly if there is no commitment between either parties.

The assumption has always been (and this is specific to females I think) that just because you are speaking to him and you guys are talking on those levels he is automatically yours….darling wake up. Girls begin to get upset and irate because the guy is talking to other girls. That’s because he’s clever and you’re not. He’s not a sleaze bag, or a jerk, he’s just sensible. What makes him a sleaze bag is if the both of you have agreed to sign a contract of exclusivity between the two of you and he continues to ‘shop around’.

I suspect that this may come across as controversial to some people in that I’m advocating promiscuity. I’m not. If you take in what I’m saying with reason rather than emotion, you would deduce this too.

What is crucial however is to be careful. Strike a balance in that you have to know when the time is to pick a preferred supplier. Some people get caught up in the fun and games of watching several people competing for their attention that they never make the decision to commit to one. In the end the whole charade blows up in their face and they’re accused of being a ‘player’ or ‘commitment phobe’ or they play the game for so long all competitors lose interest and disappear.

A partner selected amidst a competitive landscape can work out in your best interests. You get to use the other competitors as a yardstick for what you think is ‘ideal’ and are therefore more guarded in your approach. You are less likely to jump in head first without thinking about the decision thoroughly. But tread with caution here, realise that people are different. And the fact that competitor A lacks a particular quality to competitor B may not necessary signal competitor A as a bad choice.

Whenever you choose to issue your RFP to the market, have your requirements in mind first. After all, what good is a customer who doesn’t know what they want?

Losing one for the team.

I don’t know how I feel right now. A lot goes on in this big head of mine which I sometimes find difficult to articulate into words. Sometimes sounds suffice. Sometimes images. Sometimes smells. But words, my most prized possession seem to do me a massive injustice on occasions like these.

When my emotional state is a tumultuous wave that remains uncontrollably independent of its physical carrier. It seems to control me from time to time. Catches me unawares just as I’ve managed to put it away in my little mental reservoir of emotions on permanent detention. Nonetheless, when it does take hold of me like this  I can’t fail to acknowledge it. Because I’m bad at that you see. I’m bad at pretending things don’t bother me, because they do. Probably more than they ought to. But I’m a sentimental person. Driven by feelings rather than rational thought. And on occasions where rational thought is required and feelings attempt to supersede I just shut down temporarily and try to reboot in the hope that this time around my thought process will be configured a little more correctly.

On this occasion my emotions are unsettled because a memory I thought I had buried resurfaced again. It always seems to mainly when I start to feel insignificant on this gargantuan planet and when I start to question my current state of existence. Sounds depressing, but I lost what made me blissfully happy for a long time in the name of conformity. The decisions were not driven by me at the time, they were driven by spectators who didn’t participate in the gruelling sport of keeping things alive, but felt obliged to spectate and comment at every given opportunity - or shall I say at every given opportunity that we gave them. That I gave them.

Because I was warned you see. But I failed to take heed and felt I knew best. I felt that I knew what would work. But unfortunately I knew nothing at all. I was new to this level of emotional activity which was no longer passive but required active engagement to see the process through to the end, though we hoped there wouldn’t be an end.

So I listened to white noise and didn’t listen to my gut, or my heart. I got sidetracked, over excited and misaligned in understanding what truly mattered at the time; that I was loved, unreservedly and without compromise.

I think I’ll stop there. Tears just hit the keyboard.

Words of endearment

I’m back again!…not that I will ever leave, I have far too much to say and Tumblr has given me far too much space to do so. So you’re stuck with me…ha!

My post for today is on words of endearment. Before I get into it though I don’t want this post to be misconstrued for something it’s not. I’m not making a ‘case for…’ or and ‘opposition argument against…’ I’m just making a statement based on my EXPERIENCE which all my posts are. Most, if not all of them are a reflection of something that has happened to me or a person close to me that I’ve sought permission to write about. Nothing is fictional. Ok? Good.

So words of endearment. You’re seen them used, you probably used them and they’ve probably been used when people converse with you. Below are examples:

Baby, Hun, Darling, Sweetie, My dear, sugar, babe, my love, pumpkin.

I’m sure there is an endless list of other - particularly if you’re Nigerian. In Yoruba alone you could be called anything from 'Ololufe mi' (my love) to 'Olowo ori mi' (the owner of my head….it’s a form of endearment I promise!).

I am guilty of using these terms of endearment when speaking to people. Most often it’s to people I’m close to and the degree of closeness with determine my choice of word. You would never catch me calling an acquaintance 'my love' - this is reserved for my siblings and my closest of friends. I have a special word that I’ll use for THE guy…you know, the main man! but I won’t put that up because it would be between him and I. An acquaintance would possibly receive a 'Hun' and nothing more…if that! With that said then I would rank the people in my life by order of affection and intimacy and refer to them accordingly from my collection of words.

However it didn’t strike me that not everyone does this! Here I was thinking that my referring to someone with a particular form of endearment and their subsequent response was a direct reflection of their level of affection towards me…ummmm…NO! Little did I know that these precious words which mean so much to me and which I use with such caution and aforethought (you like that word don’t you? go on…Google it lol) was not equally used by those who said it to me. I refer here in particular to men. This is not a generalisation but I’ve witnessed that the tendency to use the words of endearment loosely is more common among men than it is women.

Before you catch a woman calling a man 'darling' she would have done a very thorough examination of where this man falls in her life and what he means to her. A man on te other hand is less likely to give this kind of thing much thought and would just use the word that comes most quickly to his brain. Or so I’ve noticed.

Because I didn’t know this before I would grin from ear to ear thinking "oh my God!! he likes me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" every time a guy would refer to me as 'darling' or 'hun' not knowing that while he’s not doing it intentionally the words mean nothing to him in the same way that they carry weight with me. So now I’ve stopped going crazy and swooning every time a guy uses a term of endearment when speaking to me. It doesn’t mean he likes me (how sad!) it doesn’t mean he fancies me (how even more sad!) and the incremental progress from ‘Babe’ to ‘Darling’ is not an indication of his progressive emotional commitment and connection to you (how depressing).

I wish words meant as much to others as they do to me. I think that’s why I write so much. Words dance around in my head and their like balls of wool to me…waiting to be knitted into whatever shape I want them to.