Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Biggest and Hardest Lesson is...

This is the final installment and it comes from a guy.

Q: What is the biggest and hardest lesson you've learned in marriage?

A: Biggest revelation: it's not about me (i.e. It's about oneness - the two shall become one. It's about me loving and caring for my wife as I love and care for myself, learning and anticipating her needs, helping her to become all she can be - God's plan for her). In this effort I have to be ever ready and willing to forgive her (and seek her forgiveness), I have to swallow my pride, I have to put her first - sacrifice for her... All this was news for me, and is an ongoing challenge, but awareness and understanding is half the battle.

Hardest lesson? Putting most of the above to work - despite my wife's stubbornness/pride. But I'm figuring it out better now (with her help). The other is raising kids... It's a unique and awesome experience (that I would do again and again in a heart beat, but it's no walk in the park either).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tales About Nigeria - Part 5

Hi guys, thanks for reading the series. This is the final part in the series. Thank you so much to the contributor. I have no other contributors so this is also the end of the Naij series. It was fun while it lasted!

Here's the last post:

They arrive at a hotel in Surulere. The hotel was full of ashawo prostitutes and more familiar faces from the dinner. They walked into the restaurant and sitting down were two men wearing suits. As soon as the guy sat down, the men began to tell the guy his life story. The guy was in shock, how did they know all these things? He thought to blame PA, but there was no time for the PA to tell the men in suits everything that was discussed at the previous meeting. 

One of the men in a suit asked the guy if he still wanted to be rich and powerful. The guy thought about it briefly, then nodded his head. They told him that all he had to do was come back to them with two million naira by next week and he will be granted the power. The guy asked, "I have never seen 2 million naira in my life, how will I get that money to give it to you by next week?" The other guy in the suit brought out a bowl of what appeared to be slimy indomie. He told him that if he eats this food, he will find ways to get the money by any means and bring it to them. He explained that in order for him to get the riches and power that he wants, he must continue to eat that food, give them money, and keep his ways to himself. 

The guy looked at the indomie, looked at the personal assistant, looked at the two men in suits, and devoured the bowl of indomie. The following week, one of the guys friends from the village said that he was sending him money to buy a car in Lagos. The friend explained that the car was 2.5 million naira and he would send the full money to him so that he can have the car by this weekend. The guy just knew that it was his opportunity to get the money for the men in suits. So as soon as he received the credit alert, he arranged a meeting with the men in the suits and PA. 

The guy explained to them that he had the money, but he stole it from his friend that wanted to buy a car. The men in suits told him that he shouldn't worry, that once he eats this next bowl of food, his friend will be angry with him but he will not have the courage to confront him about it. The guy gave the 2 million to the men in suits. One of the guys in the suit brought out a bowl of slimy indomie for the guy to eat. He asked the guy, "what is your heart's desire?" The guy answered him, "I want to be rich and powerful." They explained to him that it takes time, but if he is able to bring 7 million naira, not only will he find ways to build businesses to make himself rich, but he will also have the power to control the lives of people around him.

This greatly intrigued the guy, and he asked them what he needed to do in order to get the 7 million naira. They told him that more and more people will continue to give him money for favors and he must keep the money for himself. These people will never have the courage to confront him because of the fear they have for him. Once he has the money complete, they will arrange for another meeting. 

It only took him one month to gather the 7 million to give to the men in suits. During this time he stole money from his brother, his mother, and some of his close friends from the village. All of these people were angry with him, but never approached him about it. In fact, even though they were angry with him, they still spoke and carried on with the guy as if nothing happened. During the meeting with the men in suits, the guy explained to them how his month has been and how he felt powerful. One of the men in suits again brought out a bowl of indomie and told him that once he eats the indomie, that he will be able to open businesses and people will continue to fear him as he becomes more and more successful. This greatly excited the guy and he ate the indomie. 

Once he finished, the men in suits told him that from now on, once a month, they guy will need to pay them 5 million naira to maintain the life he will live. If he needs anything specifically, he should call them and they will tell him what he needs to do for it to come true. They told the guy that he was now some form of a wizard. They told him that he should forget about his soul, and continue to live the rich and powerful life that he has always wanted. The men in suits then got up and left the meeting. 

CRAZY STORY RIGHT?! Yeah I know, what on earth is going on in Nigeria?! Don't worry about this story though, I made it up... or did I? hehe. Perhaps I may have embellished or changed some details a bit here and there (You want make dem find me?!), but what is not made up is the fact that this very thing is actually going on in Nigeria. We all make fun and say how ridiculous Nollywood movies are but you will be amazed how close to true they are, especially when it comes to the juju/jazz storylines. We live in a country that is pretty much a "everyman for themselves" one. Combine that with greed and desperation and stories like this one are a dime a dozen. Ask people you know in Nigeria, I am sure this won't be so strange to them.  All I am saying is years on social media you see someone go from tweets like, "eh sexi gal, kfb," to "God is good!" in the driver's side of an X6 BMW. Makes you really wonder what, where, when, why, and how these people come up and "make it", so fast. It's always so sudden and drastic! The lesson here is, be careful who you envy, you have no idea what that person's story is.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Biggest and Hardest Lesson is...(3)

Q: What is the biggest and hardest lesson you have learned in marriage?

A:
Biggest Lesson Learned In Marriage
Respecting my husband even when he hasn't earned it. I've learned that his emotions, his confidence, is closely tied to how I treat him. And even when he makes wrong decisions, and I'm disappointed or upset I have to always respect him regardless. And it's hard because as a woman I tend to reward good with love and bad with dislike and I'm learning to reward every with Love and Respect.
Second thing I've learned is somewhat tied to the first which is not leaning to my husband for ALL my needs. I knew this before we got married but it's easier said that's done. After all we look at our husbands as the head of the families, king of our castles  so it's only natural to expect them to fulfill all of our many crazy expectations. 
 But a friend have me a book ( When I  Get Married) Bu Jerusha Clark and she ricocheted the idea of putting your expectations on the ONLY one that can fulfill them - GOD. 
 Your husband is human, he has flaws , weaknesses, issues as much as you do and he CANNOT and SHOULD NOT  be expected to fulfill all your needs. Have reasonable expectations for him and remember he is as human as you. Because when you don't then you start to resent him for not fulfilling your every every - Same Goes for the husband I presume. 

The Most Difficult Lesson
- Submission. 
Anyone that knows me knows I can be feisty and ready to cut you verbally ( I can't physically fight so I sharpened my mouth skills)   
It's hard being and independent opinionated woman to take a back seat to a man. It's easier for me because I trust and completely love my husband but it's still a struggle. Especially when your husband chastises you for whatever you've done wrong ( wether you think it's wrong or not). My instinct is to comeback with a smart aleck remark and I always have to remind myself it's not about who hits best. There are other ways to make my case without making my husband feel small or disrespected. If he feels that way not only will it hurt him, it hurts me and how i see him. It will affect of sex life our marriage and we will resent each other. So I bite my tongue, I chant "remember your god given role woman" and he eventually apologizes cos he knows it took a lot for me to not say anything back. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tales About Nigeria - Part 4

These are the final parts of the installments but they will be split in two. Feel free to catch up on the others. Here's the first part of Part 4


When you go on social media, most times what you see is the end result of something. For example, when someone posts "To God be the Glory" for a new luxury vehicle, all you are looking at is the end result. Most times, we, the audience, have no idea what was put into acquiring the end product. We assume that because we have jobs, and are hard working, these people also have jobs and are hard working. Well, we all know that sometimes this is not the case. 

When you are in Nigeria, you see Range Rovers and G-Wagons at the same rate that you would see a Toyota Camry or a Honda Civic in the states. You sit and wonder, how on earth can these people afford these expensive vehicles? Strangely enough, what I noticed was that my friends that I see in offices working hard spending 24/7 at their jobs are not the ones with these kind of cars. Most times, it's the bottle popping, designer clothes wearing, guy that clubs from Quilox Wednesdays until Elegushi Sundays.

You have to wonder what these people are doing for a living. And it's not just the guys. I've seen just as many girls with Birkins, Rolexes, and G-Wagons. And these same females will be the first one to judge you, that has job and are very comfortable with your life o! It's this same judgement that people fear that causes them to change character in Nigeria.

Years ago there was a guy that I knew that lived in the village. His eyes had never seen Lagos and we all knew him to be calm, nice, and extremely bush. On holidays when we were younger, he would dance with our uncles during masquerade festivals and teach us things that we didn't know about Nigeria. 

As we got older, he decided to leave his family behind and move to Lagos. His older brother had been living in Lagos for years doing business and made a name for himself selling cars. One day he followed his brother to a dinner for one of his brother's customers. When he arrived to the dinner, he saw cars that he had never seen in real life before. He examined every man there. Designer clothes, expensive watches, shiny shoes, everything to him looked like treasure.

There were some men there that he had recognized from the news as people in government, but he wondered, how did their assistants also have these expensive things? He wanted this life for himself and was willing to do anything to get it. The money, the cars, surely if he had these things, women too would follow.

He was sitting outside the dinner day dreaming about the lifestyle that he wanted when a guy came to meet him. He introduced himself as the personal assistant to Alaji. Personal assistant asked him why he was wasn't enjoying the party. The guy replied to PA that he doesn't belong here. Even he, as PA, is wearing the best clothes. He wants these things too. PA told him that if he really wanted the luxury life, then they should meet for a meeting. If he shows up for the meeting, then he will know that he is serious. PA gave his card to the guy and went back into the party.

The next day, the guy called the personal assistant and they arranged to meet that evening at Brown's Cafe in Victoria Island. After passing the place a few times, the guy finally arrived at the cafe and went inside. The place was dimly lit and he recognized some of the men from the dinner sitting down with cigars chatting about oil. He walked past them and there was PA sitting down waiting for him.

PA welcomed him and motioned him to sit down. Feeling very excited, but nervous, the guy started rambling his life story. He started explaining that he just recently came to Lagos to make a life for himself. He wants to be stinking rich and he will do anything to get the money. PA very calmly explained to him that to get the life he wants its very easy. After all, he was once in the very same position. But, he warned, this way is not clean. Your life will never be the same. You will be rich and have the power to do everything you want, but this way is not clean. The guy asked him what he meant by "not clean." He only said, "Money and power will never buy you happiness. But if you really want it, there is a way." 

"How can money and power not make you happy?" said the guy. All those things will get you women and anything thing you could want on earth! PA only told him, "once you go this way, it's difficult to turn back, the deeper you go, the more you must do." The guy was getting impatient and said, "I don't care what it is, money is what I want." PA smiled at him and said, "then let's go, we are late for our meeting." 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Biggest and Hardest Lesson is...(2)

Here's (1) if you are interested.


Q: What is the biggest and hardest lesson you have learned in marriage?

A: 1. Be comfortable with imperfection in everything, especially when close analysis will show that you are slightly imperfect too.

2. The feelings will change and mutate, don't freak out. There was a reason you fell in love, made the choice, took the leap, His/Her essence remains but life will happen and the mundane may suck some things.

3. Focus on making the other happy, consciously or else it is actually quiet easy to take the selfish route out of frustration and things begin to change

4. Focus on being happy, do not make any person solely responsible for your happiness..its a lot to carry

5. Sometimes the joy and happiness of this new phase can be overwhelming...remember and preserve those moments. 

6. You have a new responsibility and it can be challenging caring, supporting and providing for another person, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically but take it easy and pray/meditate or whatever needs to be done to keep balance

7. It is no longer all about ME..


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Friday Randoms

Howdy Ho. How are you guys? Can you believe it's Friday again? We say it all the time but time really is flying but I am not complaining as long as God gives me life and I can get weekends to bum out and relax. Guys, I have to say I am in such a good place in my life that I really don't believe it. Who knew this existed? After having turmoil-filled years, I think I got used to that but this is nice. Praises to God for everything. I am so glad it's summer. I will never understand people who complain about it. I am having a great one so far. Lots of activities and travel lined up. I had a great 4th of July. Got to see Nicki Minaj and Ed Sheeran perform and participated in a color run. Our team name was Team FixIt Jesus lol. gabble, gabble. Let's random.


I'd like to give a shout out to my best friend. We are separated by distance and we don't talk as often because she is a doctor and they have yeye schedules but we make it work. I appreciate how she always knows the right things to say to me. She sent me the sweetest text this week about my sister blog (which I sometimes feel discouraged about cuz it does not have the traction I'd like) and made my day. She takes the time out to always read and even comment on it and I appreciate it because she really doesn't have to. So Thank you and love you!

See ehn..I think I am an anxious person but when I see the people who live and die by the internets, its exhausting. They are quick to point out what will kill you, what is bad for you, what you need to ingest etc then I realize, maybe I am not as anxious as I think.

I wonder if people have "living abroad guilt". It always seems like it's the people who haven't been back home in a while that make the most noise about the state of our country.

A lot of people seem to have travel alone on their bucket list but I don't think its necessarily something I want to do. I want to share the experiences plus its cheaper to share expenses jare. I never hammer like that.

Its ironic that the place I feel most alone or rather reminded that I have no immediate family around me is at church. It sucks, especially during holiday masses. Everyone comes to church with their family and sit in groups.

When people are applauding, how do we know when to stop?

An old friend of mine came to visit and it was such a nice visit. There's something about old friends who have known you since way back when. Just easy.

If someone tells me they are dating a white man, I think it is perfectly normal for my first question to be whether they are circumcised.

People are scared of having and raising kids. I don't have that fear. What I fear is how kids will change my quality of life. I truly 100% believe that saying that Kids change everything. My fear was not quelled after I watched the HBO doc "112 weddings". Man. This videographer went back to couples he filmed 10-15 years ago. The difference between the smiles on their wedding day to the weariness on their faces now was so scary. The one common theme was how kids changed everything. God dey. Lerrus find husband first.

Cancer is a whole different beast. I saw something that said that we all have cancer growing in us and I believe it.

Would you rather receive a call letting you know that you have not been invited to a wedding due to costs or rather just not be invited?

You know how ndi Nigerian fit fam say they ran xyz miles, do you think they actually run all the miles or na jog, walk, run combo?

I don't think I can be 100% be myself with oyibos. I feel like I usually have to edit myself.

Why do people deserve to have gruesome deaths?

When men wear their id's on their belt, do they realize it stops right around their crotch area? I am genuinely trying to get your name but then it looks like I am trying to stare at your crotch.





Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tales About Nigeria - Part 3

Hello good folks, please find Part 1 and Part 2 from previous posts, if you'd like to catch up. Here's Part 3:


While I was in Nigeria, I used to go and visit my cousin at her job in a hospital. She was telling me about a cute guy that wanted to take her to the movies. The guy, according to her, was good looking, had a good job, and had a nice sized bum bum lol. She was skeptical about going to the movies with him because she could sense something off about him but she couldn't put her finger on what it was. My cousin agreed to go the the movies with the guy and he told her that he was coming with his friend from work. So she asked me to come with her so I could be the friend's date. I agreed so that we could use the opportunity to jointly investigate his "off-ness." Plus it didn't hurt that in pictures, his friend was good looking.

My cousin and I arrive at the Silverbird in the Galleria and the guys were already there waiting for us. They were fresh guys even in  office clothes. Well tailored button up shirts and fitted khakis. My guy had a perfectly sculpted goatee and an earring. My cousin's guy had a huge smile on his face as he greeted and hugged her. When she introduced him to me, he gave me a handshake, but with his fingers. Maybe its the yankee upbringing I have, but I had never had a man not give me a firm handshake before. It threw me off slightly, but I remembered that I was in Nigeria so I shrugged it off and went into the movie.

During the movie, my cousin and I were sitting on the outside of our guys in our row. Since they were sitting next to each other, all my cousin and I could do was steal glances at each other from a distance every once in a while. It was really awkward. My guy didn't even offer me popcorn or whisper anything to me. It was almost like I didn't exist to him. I noticed that my cousin was going through something similar although she at least had some popcorn. 

At the end of the movie, the guys said their good byes to us and left. My cousin and I stayed behind and had dinner in a restaurant in the lower level of the Galleria. As we were waiting on our drinks, two of our friends walk in and we tell them to join our table for dinner so we could gist. The girls said they had already eaten but they had come in for drinks so they sat with us. My cousin begins to download the entire gist for the girls. She added that during the movie that the boys were only speaking to themselves and she had to ask for the guy to pass the popcorn. I added my own bit about how the only time the guy looked at me was when we first met and when they both left. 

Our friends came to the conclusion that maybe the guys weren't that into us and they began to download their own gist. They had met up with two of their guy friends in a restaurant in the upper level of the Galleria for an early dinner. The guys said they might have a meeting in about an hours time so they would just grab a snack and pay for the girls food so the girls could stay and eat. The boys were gisting them about how their boss throws the best parties. They explained how politicians and big men would come and how there would always be plenty of alcohol. They described how the parties were normally in nice pent house suites with catered small chops. The girls asked them why, for as long as they had all been friends, had the guys not invited the them to those parties. The boys said to them that the parties were more like corporate gatherings, and that the girls would probably find it boring. Soon after, the boys left them to go to their meeting.

The girls stayed at the restaurant to finish their food and came to this restaurant for drinks. As they finished their own gist, in walked in another one of our mutual friends who was a guy and he sat and joined us. He has just come off of work and he was feeling down. He explained to us that his job pays really good money but he can't deal with it anymore. His friend hooked him up with the job one month ago and he already wanted to quit. We asked him why, if the job was paying such good money, would he want to quit. He told us that he found out that his boss was gay. He always calls him into the office to have small talk with him and he's tired of feeling uncomfortable. He said that he ran into a couple of his co-workers outside and they told him that the boss definitely has a crush on him. What's worse is that the boys said that he should man up that its okay. That the boss would pay him very well if he's obedient. 

The four of us girls were in shock. Who knew that in Nigeria of all places that guys went through this sort of thing? He asked us what we would do in that situation. We told him that it depends on his comfort level. If the boss is coming on strong, pressuring him, and making threats, it's better to quit. He explained to us that his co-workers said the opposite. When he spoke to them before walking into this restaurant, they told him that he would be a fool to quit just because a man is hitting on him. "What's the big deal?" they told him. He was on his 4th bottle of big Star when he said, "Anyways, I've always suspected those two."

"Which two????" said one of the girls. "You even know them sef, Bassey and Udo," said the guy. All four of us girls gasped at once. Udo was the name of my guy and Bassey was the name of my cousin's guy. Apparently they were the same guys that had met up with our friends earlier before our movie. In merging our gist together, we quickly realized that:
 
1. Bassey and Udo meet up with girls in public, to cover the fact that they are just on dates for themselves 
2. Those corporate parties, according to our guy friend, were really just gatherings for rich gay men. and 
3. Bassey's big bum bum?! :-O 

As all this gist was hot, and with the help of our guys 5th big Star, he began to open up to us. He told us that he had been bothering his friend for long time about the job and he was reluctant to put him on. After some months he found himself working at the company. Nothing really goes on there at work. He types some papers up, has meetings about nothing, but he gets paid good money. But every weekend there is a "corporate gathering." It was at the gathering that he found out how much gay activity existed in the company and how the company is funded by big men that are gay.  Its all super secretive and if you aren't on the same agenda as them, they fire you and make sure you are out of a job for a long time.  
 
 It took him another two weeks to finally quit the job. His boss offered him all types of promotions and extra money but he finally just said no and left. This was one year ago and he still doesn't have a job. There are several gay communities that exist in Nigeria. They are filled with people from all walks of life: married men, corporate guys, body guards, bankers, politicians, you name it. Some of these men are being followed by boys who would literally do anything to "hammer" even if it includes servicing these men sexually. It's funny how women get judged for doing this same exact thing, but when men do it for other men in Nigeria, its kept super quiet. Which is worse?