Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tales About Naij - Part 1

Thanks again guys for reading the Tales From Naij series. I received another volunteer from someone who spent time in Nigeria, the focus in these series is more about the lengths Nigerians go to, to show a certain kind of life that is usually far from the truth. so here is Part 1 of Tales About Naij

It's actually really easy to develop a 'twitter crush.' A fine avatar pops in your mentions on twitter, they tweet something witty, and before you know it, DM's turn to bbm's, then feelings grow based on mostly written words. This is exactly what happened to me. I found myself deeply in like with a man I had met from Naijatwitterland. 

In our "getting to know each other stages," I found out from him that he was 6'1, he played soccer a lot so he's fit, and he had just moved back to Lagos from England where he studied law. Listen, all that meant to me was that he was tall enough, with a nice body that I could possibly carry a conversation with. Call me superficial, but I was down! Plus I knew I would be in naij soon and would be there for a while, so I definitely didn't mind getting to know him. We started off by messaging each other, then every few days we would speak very briefly on the phone. We would tweet subliminal inside jokes and discuss them later on bbm. Most of our communication was done via bbm and I didn't mind. I loved waking up to pictures from him, sweet messages, and voice notes with his lovely accent.

Things were going well and a few months later, it was time for me to finally leave for Nigeria. I couldn't wait to see him in person! I felt like we had a connection and I wanted things to be more between us. But I also always had it in mind that I'll have to see him in person to really know how things would be between us. Arrangements were made for him to meet me at my place so that we could go out to eat later that evening. I couldn't have him come get me from the airport smelling like airplane fumes and remnants of an airplane blanket. I had to freshen up! 

I got ready and he called me saying that I should meet him downstairs. This was it! This was the moment I had been waiting for. We had often discussed what the moment would be like when we finally get to see in person, and now the moment was finally here. I went downstairs, walked outside the gate, and didn't see him. A black Range Rover approached and wound down the window, I smiled really big watching that window go down only for the guy to be another one of my friends passing through my street. I greeted him and sharply sent him off on his way. Still no sign of my guy. I called his phone and he told me that he was just a few seconds away that I don't need to go back upstairs. So I waited, and sure enough, about 30 seconds later, here comes my guy, on foot, smiling from ear to ear, strolling right towards me. 

To be honest, I didn't even know it was him at first. He looked like a slight remix of everything he had said. His 6'1 looked more like a 5'10 with an elongated forehead that might have reached 6'0 at the pointed apex tip of his head. His baritone accent from the voice notes and phone calls was clearly his phone voice because his voice in real life was about 2 octaves higher. I was underwhelmed. He didn't look bad, he just wasn't who I envisioned him to be. Especially compared to the pictures that he used to send to me. But our convos were always on point so I was still happy that we could go to dinner and gist. But there was one problem: the only form of transportation I saw him with, were his own two legs. How the heck are we getting to dinner? I just decide that I was going to follow his lead. After all, it was his town, not mine.

He hailed down 3 different taxis and sent them all away. He was telling them that he wanted to pay 800 naira to go from Victoria Island to the Palms in Oniru. The taxi drivers were saying 'last last' 1200, my guy sent them away. Finally, a raggedy, no a/c having, yellow cab came down my street and my guy flagged the thing down. He negotiated price and motioned for me to enter. Now this cab was literally doing azonto on the street and was clearly a death trap. But I figured, my guy knows what he's doing, I won't say anything. 

I get in the cab and we take off. He notices immediately that I am not comfortable. He leans in, kisses me on the cheek, tells me that everything will be fine, and holds my hand. For a brief moment, I believe him. Car ride is over and we walk hand in hand into The Palms. Now, there are enough nice restaurants in this Palms, but where does my guy take me? He takes me to KFC. KFC. KFC that they have in America, that's where he took me. Even when we got there he was complaining to the hostess that the 'chips' were too expensive. What really pissed me off, was when he asked, "how much last last for the Zinger Shrimps?" And he was serious. 

I decided that I would stick our situation out for one week and see how I felt afterward. He was still someone I could speak to which I liked, he was also a tad awkward in social settings, but I felt that I could deal with that. I would help him pay the bill on our dates, or I would pay it myself, and I would pay for his taxi to come take me out. I didn't exactly mind doing those things, but I just wish I had some kind of warning. The height was when we were in the back seat of a taxi after buying ice cream. Without any warning, my guy rubs his ice cream on my face and starts to try to lick it off. I was like what are you doing?! The taxi driver then turned around and said, "eh oga mi? why u dey try lick madam nostril nah?" I was so embarrassed. 

I avoided him for the rest of my trip. He blew up my phone, every time I tweeted he would DM me, I let things happen like this until months later I finally picked his call and told him that I just wasn't interested anymore. I would look at his tweets and compare it to the person that I had experienced in real life and I just couldn't understand it. He wasn't necessarily lying to people on twitter. I mean, its not like I expected him to say, "hey twitter, my forehead gives me height, I'm a bit low on cash sometimes, and I like to rub ice cream on girls faces inside raggedy taxis." But it just makes me wonder, who all is faking the funk on social media? You have to be really careful because some of these internet people are not the same people you meet in real life. Especially... if they live in Nigeria.  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

To Be or Not to Be

So before I try to flesh out my thoughts to make sense into this blog post I feel like I have to put in a disclaimer that this is not a self deprecating or factual post but just an honest post of my thoughts.

If you are an unmarried, boyfriend-less Nigerian woman in her 20's or 30's you have to know that when one other is gathered with you the talk of marriage/men/dating will come up at some point or the other. I was talking to a guy friend of mine the other day and naturally the talk of my single-dom comes up (honestly, when people ask you that question of why you are single, how are you supposed to answer? Will you ask yourself out? Do people will boyfriends/husbands into their lives?). Anyways the convo continues and at some point I tell my friend that honestly, if I am being honest I feel like me being myself/who I am is cockblocking me from Nigerian men. He asks me to explain and I am like I really don't think I am what Nigerian men want. See let me explain, of course I don't mean all Nigerian men but I think Nigerian men like "meek" women lol. You know the ones that are ladies, don't curse, aren't dancing like crazed person on the dance floor, completely okay with serving their man etc...you know, wifely people. So my friend in question begins to protest and say it is not true and I presented him with a scenario at a recent social event we were both at. I asked him if he was considering me as wifey and he saw me then, would he still consider me and he said he wouldn't. I was like my point exactly.

Which brings me to my post title. What's a girl to do? Pretend and be what you think they want or be yourself? I have had people advise me (yes all based in nigeria) on not showing myself to a guy 100% but instead to be what they want or that places me in the best position and show your true self slowly in the hopes that by then you'll be in and it would be too late to back out. See to me that just sounds silly and sounds like a set up but you will be amazed how many people believe in that. A friend of mine said she has tried the being herself route and felt she was judged and those days are long over. She's putting her best foot forward. I dunno man, I just can't subscribe to that idea. I can see why some people would though. I mean you have men who have ideologies like there are certain sexual acts they can't do to their wives and mother of their children because it is disrespectful. It also reminded me of Obinze's wife in "Americanah". He admitted that he wasn't exactly excited by her like he was with Ifemelu but she was "a good wife" but then he loved Ifemelu because she wasn't apologetic for who she was and was herself. It's like this thing in their brain that the mother of your child can't be a fun exciting woman or a fun exciting woman is "trouble".

I did do a random poll and asked a bunch of guy friends if they'd rather a woman show herself slowly haha 100% as expected said they'd rather she's up front and it would be stupid to be deceptive. On the flip side of it all, I have heard of some people who switched it up and got the MRS degree but I don't know if they are happily married. Oh one more thing to add -  I also group women into two - the simples and the complicateds. The simples have no wahala, they meet a guy he's a good guy they get along and dassit. The complicateds are usually looking for more. What that more is, its not defined but they want the clicking, the connection, is he into xyz, should be able to handle himself in social and professional settings and just a whole bunch more that just makes it complicated. Honestly, I always harp on about how there is no science to this thing because most of the stories I have heard the man met the woman and "just knew" that this was the woman they wanted to marry, without knowing all about them yet. I think having that "just knowing" feeling allows them to be up to handle whatever baggage you come with. A friend of mine said she does believe that there are people out there that can accept women like "us" but you just have to be more patient and I am going with that. Besides, if all else fails, woman shall not live by just Nigerian men alone.

Yall have anything to add on this?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Friday Randoms

Hi Guys. It has been a minute since I did a random, huh? Busy Busy Busy, not enough hours in the day. Lately, I have been saying I am #tvoverwhelmed. Way too many tv shows to catch up on. Used to be a time when summer was when one could catch up because shows are on hiatus but now show are popping up left, right and center. I know, I know I don't have to watch them all but if you know me well then....you know the rest. Speaking of good shows my current obsessions are Fargo, The People's Couch and Little Women LA. Loves them. It's summer yall! I have trips planned and I am broke yall!! but Jesus will provide. And the people said: AMEN! Aite let's random:

I was on a flight and the black flight attendant was making rounds and said "You need to put your seatbelt on, girlfriend" that irked me. I wondered if she used the girlfriend on other non black women.

I really gotta work on this self confidence thing.

A guy friend on mine called me a hybrid. He said I was half girl, half one of the guys so sometimes they forget I am a girl. Can we say screwed?  Aight.

I associate the word explosive with diarrhea. Like, everytime I hear it, I think diarrhea.

I keep saying that we have functioning sociopaths walking among us in our society.

I don't think I have ever met a Naija guy who didn't consider himself a freak. Have you?

My brother says that I have too many friends that are younger than me. I don't know why he thinks that. I mean I do but I also think I have friends that are my age or older. I do remember there was a point when I was usually the youngest. It reminded me of some quiz or list thing I was reading that asked "Do you find that most of your friends are married and have kids?" "Do you find that your friends are now getting younger?"

That being said, it is a blow to the ego when you are out with 3 other females and you are the only one who doesn't get carded.

Speaking of aging, that moment when you suddenly realize your parents have aged and are old and you are so aware of their mortality, is a somber one. It's also a strange feeling realizing that one day you will be a dead person.

You meet a guy, you fall in love and you get married. 6 months later you find out he is into 419 activities. Is that enough reason to leave? or would you stay?

Watching Louie, I see these pre pubescent kids acting a scene about smoking weed. How do you let your kids act that and have them separate reality from tv?

There's this women's clinic by my church. I pass by it every day on my way to work and unfailingly these group of old people are there protesting abortion, saying their rosaries and holding up these gory pictures of fetuses. One day, I was driving by and say a young lady who had just driven up and got out of her car in her cutoff. I wondered if she was getting an abortion and wondered what happened as one of the people walked up to her. I wonder if they've been able to change anyone's mind.

Someone tweeted about her upon the many #gymflows people be tweeting they still look the same. I've never understood the grand hoopla and announcements - or maybe I do, our generation needs the approval of strangers online. Although, I was told once that it is not about that its about encouragement and being accountable. I still feel it can be done offline but maybe I am overthinking. ANyways, abeg I am not brave enough to be announcing to the world and body saying otherwise. I say just do what you do without the hoopla and your body will speak for itself.

That's all I got for you guys. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Stay safe and stay blessed!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tales From Naij - Part 5

So this is the final part of the series. You can catch up on Part 1 - Part 4 on previous posts. Thank you guys for reading and following the series and thank you to the author for choosing to share this part of their lives with us. Happy Hump Day!

A friend and I were supposed to be hanging out one night. Instead of having to go back home late, I decided to just spend the night at her house. After the hanging out and we got back to her apt, she informed me that "her guy" (maga) was gonna stop by for a bit. She needed some money from him, but she said she'd just go outside when he came. I was like cool, whatevs. A few minutes later, he came. She went outside to see him, then shortly after she came back inside...with him. She was like he wanted to come and greet me. We said our hellos and then I kept watching what I was watching. In my mind, I was like ok well is he gonna go or not? Next thing I know he's like I should excuse them so they can be alone. I'm looking really confused, my friend is giggling and I'm like um, ok well I guess I'll just go home. Then they both laugh and say, no he's joking, that I should please stay and he's gonna just chill for a bit then leave.

This chilling for a bit was turning into a long time and it was already late like 2 or so in the morning plus I was ready to sleep. Mind you we're all sitting on the bed, them on one half and me on the other. They're over there being extra flirtatious with one another. I finally get up and go to the bathroom. I come back and these two are under the covers and I see movement and hear moans and heavy breathing. I'm like no way this is happening. All I can think about is where the heck am I supposed to sleep now?? I wished I could leave but going out at this hour to get a cab is just asking for trouble. So, I find a tiny corner on the bed and sit down, grab my water and go from watching tv to watching them. They clearly see me, as they both look right at me and continue. I'm actually trying not to laugh cos I just can't believe this is really happening, but I continue to watch like its a movie.

Her guy starts smiling at me while he's still pounding her and I look away. Then he reaches to touch me, and she's like "no, leave her, she's on her period". As though if I weren't?? They finally finish and both go to the bathroom while I create a small spot on the floor to sleep for the next few hours till I can dash outta there. They come out and he gets his stuff to leave then turns to me and says "nice meeting you, hope to see you again and under better conditions" and laughs. They walk out together. She comes back shortly after and hands me an envelope saying he said to give me as she has her own also. Hers is supposedly 500k and mine is 100k. She says I can thank her later.  She gets in bed and I get back on the floor to sleep. In the morning, as I'm about to leave she wakes up to say bye and says she hopes I wasn't embarrassed...as though I should be the one embarrassed. I haven't seen her since that day.

Prior to that day, we'd actually never talked about magas or anything of the sort. To my knowledge she had a boyfriend who she was head over heels for. There was no shame in her game at all, I mean with me watching and all. I was just like whatever, I'm not getting sucked back in to this.

The End.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tales from Naij - Part 4

It's Wednesday. The Series continues. Next week will be the final part from the series. If you are new, catch up with the previous parts here:

PS - If you have any such stories and would like to share feel free to send me an email at taynement@gmail.com. Everyone would be anonymous.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Here's Part 4:

Mr. O and I became pretty cool. Not cool like that, but he was always willing to help with no strings attached even though I didn't think that would last long. I still posted him a lot and he would get upset cos I didn't give him the attention he needed. While my cousin was still around, he would always want to hangout and although she didn't mind hanging out, I just used her as an excuse, saying I was busy doing stuff with her, etc. I remember one night I was out at a club with my cousin and some guy friends, I got a message from Mr. O asking what I was doing and I lied that I was with my cousin and aunt at her house. He was like ok, but he hopes I'm really there cos he's a jealous lover. In my mind I was like uhhh...what's that about? I started looking around the club to see if he was there because his message just seemed weird. I didn't see him so I continued the lie, swearing I was with my aunt meanwhile I was really turning up. The next day I called him and he didn't answer, sent a text and he didn't reply. I called Nicole to gist her and she was like she was about to call me also cos her friend (Mr. O's friend) had called her earlier that day and said he was out the night before. Coincidentally he was at the same club I was at and she knew I had gone there so she wanted to know if I saw him. So now it seemed like either Mr. O was with him and saw me the whole time, or his friend saw me and snitched. I actually wasn't that angry about it cos I felt like he shoulda just straight up told me, but then again I shouldn't have lied. Later Nicole said she reported Mr. O to his friend and his friend said I wasn't a sharp babe, that didn't I  know how rich Mr. O is and how much money he has and I'm messing up like this. That I should go and apologize and beg him. I was like nah, I'm not doing that. So I just didn't hear from Mr. O again...at least not for awhile.

By now I had broken up with my boyfriend and was just dealing with my own personal issues. I was going through some crap and so I got upset one day and deleted every "maga", potential maga, and just pretty much every guy that I met in Naij's number. I was just over it all. Or so I thought. Then one day I get a call from a number I didn't know. I checked Truecaller and it showed Mr. O's name. I was very surprised to say the least so I decided to call back. He goes into this 2-3 minute convo of how he's missed me and I just abandoned him and there must be some other guy in my life taking me from him. Never mentioning anything about the club so I didn't bring it up either. Claims he never saw my missed calls or texts cos he took an impromptu trip out the country to relax. He was like just cos my cousin was around, didn't mean I had to leave him alone, he could have taken us out and all of this other mushy stuff. I apologized then and he also apologized for what I don't really know. He said he had some loose money around and would put something in my account and to call him when I had some free time. He later transferred I think about 100k.

I called him a few days later and said we should do lunch. He said ok and to meet at his place. Went over and he had a friend over again (I really hated when he had people over there). Apparently he had gone out already and bought food so the three of us ate lunch in the apt. Another friend came over as the other was leaving and Mr. O decided he wanted to take a nap on the couch. His friend had the bright idea that as "his baby" I should move closer and rub his back to make him fall asleep. Not saying that's doing too much but it was just awkward with his friend there. I looked at him like he was crazy, and after he kept insisting I hesitantly got up and did it. His friend then started chatting with me about how he can tell I'm a good girl and I look like I need to be takencare of and his friend (Mr. O) is the right person for that, I just have to be willing to take care of him in return. We talked a pretty long time as Mr. O slept. When he finally woke up, we went to his room to talk (yes, just talk). He was basically like he likes that I never ask for anything and because of that he feels he should do stuff for me. He said he had just finished some work and when he got the money for it the next day, he'd give me some to get whatever I needed. The next day, he sent over 250k and said if I wasn't able to get everything I needed, I should let him know.

I still kept posting him after that. He was becoming too needy. He said he didn't like that I wanted to hang out in the afternoon because it meant I had another guy that I was with at night. He wanted me to either come over from weekdays 6pm-7am the next day or Fridays from 6pm to Mondays at 7am (I kid you not, he really gave me that schedule). I said we'd have to compromise cos I had other things to do as well. Honestly I had kinda started dating someone by then so I wasn't interested in Mr. O anymore, regardless of the money. He was still being a baby about it so I just started ignoring his calls and now we just chat on the phone occasionally. I think we're still cool, but I don't reach out, only he does. I kinda just wanted to leave it all alone. I mean ok yea I've experienced the lifestyle, not really a fan, but the money was cool when I got it even though it wasn't as much as some people I've heard about. Either way it helped when I really needed it and I'm definitely not judging people who make it their norm. It's very easy to be sucked in, but I just wanted to move on...so I am.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tales From Naij - Part 3

Hi Guys, the Wednesday series continues today. For those of you who don't know, these are stories sent to me by a reader about her life in Nigeria. If you'd like to catch up, you can catch up with the previous stories here:

Part 1

Part 2

And here's today's:

My birthday was fast approaching and I’m normally a birthday celebration, super excited type of person, but this year, it was just about to be another day. I wasn’t in the mood for anything at all. My cousin came to visit and I was hoping that would help make me happier but, she was just as broke as me which made it worse cos I had to provide for both she and me with barely nothing. I picked up a horrible habit of smoking cigarettes (still struggling to quit) which was just unlike me. I used to HATE it when people smoked around me…at bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. Whenever I would come to Naij to visit, it always seemed like the “in” thing to do and I lowkey would judge all of those people. Now look at me. Funny enough, I used to joke sometimes when I was stressed that “I’m so stressed, I need a cigarette”, then one day Nicole was over and I jokingly said it and she gave me one. I smoked it and it actually wasn’t so bad. From one cigarette every maybe 3 or 4 days, to one a day, to 5 or 6 a day, to…well y’all know the rest. I literally would be in my room smoking, looking at myself in the mirror and wondering what the heck was happening to me. I couldn’t stop though. I’d finish a pack and say I won’t buy anymore, but next thing I know, I’m sending my gateman to go buy me a pack. *shrugs*

We were supposed to hang out with Nicole one evening but I wasn’t in the mood and cancelled. She was calling because one of her friends (a guy) had a friend that wanted to meet me and wasn’t taking no for an answer. I agreed and said we couldn’t stay long cos I wanted to go to bed. Plus my cousin was still around and I didn’t want to “be a bad influence”. She came to pick me up shortly after and we headed over to her friend’s office. We get to the office and meet the two guys. She does a quick introduction, we’re sitting in the conference room all just talking then she and her friend leave us alone. We chat a bit then they come back and the two guys go talk. Shortly after they come back and the one for me, let’s call him Mr. O comes and says he has to leave but I should walk him out. We walk out and talk some more, he tells me what he does and we exchange numbers and agree to meet up soon. He was actually pretty cool. He’s not old like that, mid 40s and has swag for days. Like he’s so smart and easy to talk to. I didn’t feel as bad. Once I got home, my cousin was still awake so we were gisting and she starts telling me about her “maga days”. I was so shocked cos she’s my 23 year old cousin.  She was actually giving me advice and was like be careful but do what you gotta do.

I can’t remember when I called Mr. O next, but whenever I did, he said to come meet for dinner. I’m thinking a restaurant, but he gave me his apartment address. Can I just say how nice the apartment was first. I mean, that alone would make you know he had serious money. Those apartments go for about N9million (yes, I researched it). I go over there and he has a friend over, we all just sit and watch tv then he tells me I can order food if I’m hungry which I did. His friend leaves and we’re chilling then he says he needs to go to the barber shop. He’s like lets go together then come back, drink and smoke. I’m like ok I guess.

We go straight back to his apartment after the barbershop.  He has a fully stocked bar with ciroc, moet, Hennessey, etc so he said I should pick my poison.  I was actually supposed to meet up with some friends to go clubbing that night. Wasn’t planning on being with Mr. O for that long, but apparently he was. I mentioned my plans and he was very firmly like no, you’re not going. Alrighty then. I don’t know why I decided to just stay without an excuse, but oh well. So I get comfortable on the couch with my drink and tell myself to just keep drinking so it’ll make whatever was about to go down, be easier. Being around him wasn’t so bad I guess cos he was so cool. He asks if I want to smoke cos he was about to. I’m like sure why not, that’ll help with the “feeling”. We smoke and drink and talk and when we’re both clearly pretty high, we watch a movie and “cuddle”.

Mr. O is actually a pro in the game, I’ll give him that. I don’t know if I’d be right blaming it on the alcohol, but all that went on that night (which was a lot), I must say was not bad at all. Bright and early the next day, I was up and ready to go. He gave me 50k to use to have my birthday dinner (I had mentioned to him that I was planning one, which I chopped the money and didn’t do anything for my bday). When I got home, I didn’t feel bad at all (or at least not as bad as the other time) and I was wondering if that was a good thing or not. I mean was I an official “runz babe” now? I thought about the person I was becoming many nights before I went to sleep. I felt bad praying or even being at church sometimes cos I felt so guilty. I’d said I’d stop soon, but not just yet.