Thursday, 24 July 2008

The Woes of a Single Girl

I hate to announce to the world that I'm single but I'm sure the regulars of my blog know my story already so this doesn't feel much like am baring it all. Being single has been so full of drama, much drama than I anticipated and I don't know if a loathe or cherish it. You see this is the longest I've been single in my entire life of active dating which started about 8 years ago. Its not like I've ever been afraid of going it alone but I get so much attention from guys that its difficult to make a decision to be alone and of course fighting off the advances is real work. Even now sef I wonder if I'm truly single because I do have a love interest. To me 3 months of being single is a feat indeed. I've only ever managed a week in the past. It shows am growing more mature.

See men are a funny lot, I mean they never stop to astound me. In the past week also they've been coming out in their full glory and proving to me over and over again that one should only take their profession of love with a pinch of salt. Take for instance Kay, a guy I met when I was 13. I know what you're thinking and even I am aghast at the sort of dealings I had with men at that age. I hate to blow my own trumpet but I have been fighting away boys as old as 18 from the tender age of 12. I was a big girl for my koko (you girls know) started at 8 and by 10 my aunt will tease me that my abo (bum) is starting to be visible. I didn't take much notice of these changes going through my body because after all it was my body and I still sucked my fingers. Ahem, yes I didn't stop sucking my fingers until JS2 so yes I was a big baby. No one new my secret of course, except my brothers.

Sorry to deviate, anyway Kay was a guy I met in Lagos during the long break we have after the JS3 exams. We both liked each other but as we were both young we knew our boundaries even though he had finished secondary school by then. I remember us dancing to the song 'I swear' in their living room but that was how far we went. Well maybe we shared a chaste kiss sha...after all one does't become pregnant from a kiss even though our parents lied to us that we will. What bull thinking of it now. Anyways as I don't live in Lagos, I had to go back to my home town at the end of the holidays and inadvertently said my goodbye to Kay. I still haven't seen him up till today except that a few weeks ago we jammed on FB. Yes almighty FB. Naturally there was excitement and all. He's now a big boy and works for a oil company in Lagos. He called me and we spoke for hours. Next day I receive an email from him saying lets start again from where we paused except that he was forgetting a little information on his FB page that he was engaged. I was quick to call his attention to it and lo and behold man went to quickly change his status from engaged to networking. What gives? Men I ask una why bother?

The two other interesting encounter I had with men all trying to get into my pants involved one 24 year old guy. Admittedly I was the one who added him on FB but that was because I thought he was an old friend. By the time we got talking I found he was not the one but that was enough time for him to confess undying love. I told man that I was 2 years older than him that I preferred my men mature both in age and mental faculties and he went on about how he didn't know I was older blablabla that he cant even go there too cos his parents would not approve and that he just couldn't handle an older woman. Just as I thought I had seen the back of him he contacts me again to say he couldn't get me off his mind and that he wanted us to get married. All this happened within 2 weeks. Now I'm wondering if I give these men impression that I'm stupid or desperate because I felt rather insulted that one small 24 year old boy will attempt to get into my pants with the promise of marriage. I really don't know where I got the strength to send him on his way without cursing his father.

The last but not the least was another old time friend who had 'engaged' on his FB profile too only to spend 1 hour with me on the phone last night saying he thinks that his fiancée of 4 years is wrong for him. When I asked him why, he obviously didn't have any tangible reason. Long and short of it was that he's always had a thing for me and he feels that God brought us back together for a reason. Hello! So ri ila loju mi ni? (Do I look like I've got tribal marks on my face...a derogatory phrase that suggests one is not socially savvy).

Well that's a glimpse of what has been going on with me in that wise o and frankly its really making it easier for me to remain single. If these are the calibre of men available these days I'll gladly remain single. I really don't know why men think women are stupid. I know there were those days when women hung to every word a man said to them, believing his every promise and having their hearts shattered in the end. But this is the 21st century and it seems that men are still stuck in the mentality of the twentieth or nineteenth century. A man need not tell a lie about what he wants because a woman can see right through these days. I believe women today often go into a relationship with their eyes and ears open and they know what to expect. A decision to date is no longer reliant on the man's lyrics or empty promises but on what the lady feels is good for her at the time. So please men go back to the drawing board and do away with all your annoying wooing tactics. Frankly its so jaded!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Is the Holy Spirit a Man?

Okay…this article may not go down well with a few Christians so if you are sometimes averse to hearing other people's point of view it may not be a bad idea to pass now. This is not going to be a stinging article at Christians or Christianity because I am a Christian too, but I'm just eager to share some of my uneasiness with regards to certain happenings within the Anglican church now and no before you ask am not an Anglican. I'm just a girl who is interested in world affairs especially that which affects me in some ways.

If you've been following the news closely the past few weeks you will be aware of the storm brewing in this traditional church and one which threatens to divide it. First it was the ordination of a gay Bishop, second it was the solemnization of a marriage ceremony between two gay Priests and more recently it is the debate to allow women be ordinated as Bishops. The tradition of only allowing men to be priests in both the Anglican and Catholic stems I believe from the teachings in the bible. 1st Corinthians 14:34-35 reads that women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35, If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Take note of the reference to the law in the verse which means that long before Apostle Paul's teaching, it had been in place not to allow women take to the pulpit and this was widely practiced in Corinth. People who've read the story of the Apostle Paul will know how holy and spirit filled he became after God turned him into a new leaf following his persecutions of Christians in Damascus. He went on to write several letters to all the early churches in Ephesus, Galatia, Corinth etc and the letters he wrote them is what forms most part of the teachings of the new testament. No doubt Apostle Paul was highly qualified to teach what he believes was the mind of God in most matters. For this reason, are we then to accept that the holy spirit was sanctioning this practise through the teachings of Apostle Paul? Is this really God's mind or just an extension of a tradition and law that has for long relegated women to the back seat and to further manhood and patriarchal ideology?

Most indication from the bible shows women's role within the society as secondary. Where men are involved they are expected to play second fiddle. Proverbs 31: 10 downward describes the woman who is worth far more than rubies which obviously could be seen as the epitome of perfection and for other women to emulate. I struggle to find a similar passage for men. Someone help me out here. What happened to God's instruction about the man tilling the ground to provide for his family in Genesis when he booted Adam and Eve out of the Garden. Plenty of chapters down it is the woman who suddenly has to travel far and wide to bring her food like a merchant ship. I find it irksome that women are expected to dedicate their whole life to the service of their husband and keeping their home and must be happy to do so. Anything contrary to this arrangement and she's bound to incur the wrath of the law and its custodians. However God used women like Deborah, Ruth, Miriam Tabitha etc to carry out his work on earth and this to me shows that God is not gender biased no matter how much some of the teachings in the bible seem to portray this. To me this bias infiltrated the teachings of the bible through the laws and customs that already governed the people. It doesn't matter to me that God is often referred to in pronouns such as Him or He because I know that God is a spirit and has no gender.

Doesn’t the bible teach us that we all carry an anointing and all have gifts according to that which the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon us? So how come it is only men who just happen to have the gift of becoming a Priest or Bishop? What gives more right for a man to stand at the pulpit to teach the bible, prophesying, healing people and calling them to repentance that makes a woman incapable of doing the same? I know certainly that when there are two masters on a ship, there's a high chance of that ship capsizing but I'm saying there shouldn't be gender roles for men and women when it comes to profession. Anyone should be able to choose to do what they want to do provided they have shown the skills and mental aptitude needed to undertake such profession. I know order is needed in a society and there is a need to distinguish sometimes, but not when it comes to things that brings genuine fulfilment and that which God will not generally frown upon. I am a woman, I love being a woman and I recognise that there are certain things expected of me as a woman, but I will only do those things as long as it pleases me and I know am not displeasing God. I know Jesus Christ did say give onto God what is God's and on to Caesar what is Caesar's which means that he recognises some of the laws that govern peoples' lives but I doubt he recognises a law that persecutes and discriminates against women.

Women have always considered to being at the mercy of the debilitating condition i.e.. their monthly flow but does that make them incapable of handling the work of God. Perhaps some of it flow from the tradition that a woman on her period in impure in the sight of God therefore she cannot be fit to come into the presence of God all the time. Leviticus 15:19 " 'When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. I went to a catholic school and I know when all of our sisters are on their monthly because they don’t wear there normal attire which I find rather ridiculing because everyone will know she's got the pees. This may be the reason why men who have for as long as we can remember have been at the helm of affairs decided to instil an institution that will make it illegitimate for women to do certain things. There are a good number of female vicars but why cant they be made Bishops as well if they fully merit it? Don't men have discharges too? In Leviticus 15 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When any man has a bodily discharge, the discharge is unclean. 3 Whether it continues flowing from his body or is blocked, it will make him unclean. Reading further 'When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. 17 Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening. Now for Vicars in Anglican churches who are allowed to have wives and all, wouldnt it make it impure for them to be in the house of the Lord and carry out their duties. Double standards right there. One rule for women and another for men.

Am tired of typing but the whole point of my bleating is that let's not confuse the things that God is really concerned about with the pursuits or our own tradition or beliefs. Christianity is not about either. Its about the call of a people to be holy and to love God with all their hearts while serving him in spirit and in truth. It overrides gender or racial differences. It doesn’t matter whether you're man or woman and once God has given you a mantle to lead let no church tradition or society norm hold you back because the holy Spirit is not biased, neither is it man or woman.

Friday, 4 July 2008

My Cousin (Part 2)

Ah...I saw all the comments so by popular demand I've had to post the part 2 earlier than I planned. Y'all are forgetting that this story is not about me. I just gave this prelude so that you can understand how she thinks and how it came to be that am looking for her now. I didnt plan on advancing church guy story beyond the point I stopped in the previous but am gonna do a quick summary.

I liked the guy and she liked him but he likes me which naturally gave me a upper hand. However being cousins I didn't want to hurt her feelings so I spoke to her about letting me be with him but she wasn't happy so I gave up on my mission. It was pure torture seeing church guy every Sunday and not being able to talk to him. The torture was not to last though cos Spice on finding out that he will never look her side set her gaze on someone else. The guy lived on the other street to ours and to say he's a hunk is an understatement. The guy was fit, much more than church guy and even I got jealous. However the dilemma was how to get this guy to notice her. So every evening after doing up our make-up and wearing our minis we'll head up to the junction of the guy's street. The reason we did this was because we noticed he had a pattern of taking a stroll in the evening. It was as if he wanted to be noticed too because he always looked fresh and sharp. For days we would do our mini camping but the guy failed to talk to either of us girls and we were getting frustrated.

So one day I decided I had had enough. I wanted to seriously be with church guy and I was hoping that this guy will take Spice's mind off him for good. So on one of our camping trips I summoned up courage and walked up to fine boy as I have now chosen to call him. I was startled that he smiled broadly but then my heart started to pound loudly. I could have sworn he heard it but the smile on his face assured me that I was making a fool of myself. I told him my name, introduced my cousin and just basically told him that he seemed not to have lots of friends in the neighbourhood because he was always alone and we wanted to be his friend. Surprisingly he was more forthcoming than we thought and he asked us over to his place. Turned out fine boy was a pro in scrabble and chess and Spice had the same interest so that was sorted. Soon Spice started to go there by herself and I was left alone to go after church guy. It didnt last with Fine boy and Spice though because shortly after Spice went on holiday to Texas came back with lots of gift for him he promptly dumped her for her childish behaviour. I know Spice can be childish a lot of the time but Fine boy really hurt her because he made sure he slept with her one last time before announcing it was over.

Spice's claws was all out for me as if I was the one who made things go wrong. I mean I was with church boy and we were happy but she felt I was responsible somehow. Things just basically went from bad to worse and whatever was left of her self esteem took a nose dive. I think that was the point Spice became notorious because she then started to see the bad boy of the neighbourhood. Bad boy was not in school, was skinny as if he had HIV (in fact it was rumoured that he did), was blacker than charcoal and was a cult boy (it was also rumoured that he had a gun that he used to steal things from motorists on the third mainland bridge). Long and short, bad boy was bad news but spice was too in love to see. He treated her like dirt but she went back for more. One day I got fed up and scolded him to leave my cousin alone only to find a group of boys issuing me warning a few days later if I didnt back off. Scared for my life I shut up cos I found that everything I told Spice about bad boy filters back to him.

So I left them alone and went to uni. By the time I came back Spice had become pregnant for bad boy which was pretty bad because unlike the rest of us who had passed WAEC and JAMB and headed to uni, she was still struggling to pass hers. And y'all know that in Nigeria when a girl falls pregnant out of wedlock and without certain level of education it is automatically assumed that her life is over. We found out then that Bad boy had been hoping that if he knocked up Spice they will get married and she can file for him to move to Yankee. Clearly Spice was hurt when we found out and she planned to get rid of the baby but on the said day of the termination her mum got wind of it and barred her from doing it.

Things never remained the same again. I left Nigeria a few months after Spice put to bed and the next time I saw her was 5 yrs later when she called me to say that she was in London. I went to see her in the hotel she was holed up in and saw her with another good for nothing bloke. Basically it was pure mistake that I gave her my number because shortly after that I started getting foreign calls on my phone saying that spice took their $10k away and they are sending people after her to kill her. They threatened that if I didnt tell them where she was they were gonna send people after me too but I threatened them back saying the call can be traced therefore I'd report to the police. Spice couldn't give me sufficient information as to why these people were after her so I just kept my distance and she disappeared into oblivion.

2 months later I got a call from Spice's mum saying they didnt know where she was but I told her I didnt know either. Turned out Spice had done another deal involving $80k and was now in custody in the US. Somehow she made a deal and was let off. Spice resurfaced in my life again telling me she had cleaned up her act and we were even planning to meet up but the week we planned it for she disappeared again. Phone off and no reply to my messages. This was back in May and I still haven't heard from her neither has her mum. Now am scared she's got herself into another trouble. Should I be worried guys?

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

My Cousin (Part 1)

I promised I was going to do this, even though I really don't feel like anymore. So here's me trying to make good my promise.

How do I start to talk about the life of a girl born the same year as me but in different locations? While I was born in a tiny hospital in my home town she was born in a massive one in Houston, Texas where her dad had been a Pharmacist. Truth is I didn't know she existed until I was in my teens by which time she had been living with her mum in Lagos for some years. I moved in with them shortly after my secondary education while I was waiting to get into higher institution. She became the sister I never had and opened my eyes to Lagos life. You see I had never lived in Lagos before then. I was more of a tomboy having grown up with boys but she showed me the ropes of being feminine - Make-up, dresses, skirts and different hair do.

We had a few things in common like music and dancing but despite her size, she trounced me easily on the dance floor. Yes, Spice as I would call her was really big, she still had that American gene in her. She was not strikingly beautiful but she had all the curves in the right places. The rest of us in contrast were petite and somehow she felt that was the ideal size she ought to be, hence she suffered great self esteem which was to cause her several heart aches later.

You see Spice liked to eat and her mum absolutely spoiled her. It was in their house I first tasted American staples such as Kidney Beans, Aunt Jemima's maple syrup and Jif peanut better which till today has remained my favourite. Every time I visit the States I come back with Jif peanuts, standard! So even though Spice didn't like her figure, she continued to eat and eat and eat and ballooned and ballooned and ballooned. While the rest of us had plenty of male admirers, they were thin on her own side because of her sheer size. Picture a skinny pimpled face 19 year old bloke trying to ask out a woman that looks like she could be in her mid 20s. Definitely no go.

Things that happened the months following my moving in with them was to change that sister bonding we had and as you can all guess it’s a MAN!. She had been telling me about a bloke in church that she really liked but the bloke never looked her side. One Sunday we went to church and I went to the loo when my eyes beheld the most beautiful man I had ever seen. Our eyes locked and I smiled shyly at him and he coyly at me, then we went our separate ways. My heart was beating so fast and I coudn't wait to tell Spice about the guy that had taken my breath away. Finally after the church service, I had my chance to spill but as I was about to open my mouth she tapped me animatedly and said 'parakeet parakeet look at that guy, he's the one I've been talking to you about'. I raised up my head and I just froze. 'This cant be happening, not the same guy I've been shadowing', I thought. My heart instantly sank but I just smiled wryly and I said 'not to worry we'll do something about it'.

I picked up courage and walked up to him and his friends, he saw me from afar and I couldn’t help but notice the twinkle in his eyes while he was grinning from ear to ear and whispering something to his friends. I got to him with shaky legs and I said 'hey am parakeet my cousin over there likes you, can you come over and talk to her?' He looked at me amused but still smiling and said 'but I like you not your cousin so what do we do about that?'. Without thinking I told him not to worry and asked him for his number and left. I went back to my cousin and just simply told her he said he was busy with his friends. I mean how was I suppose to tell her that I was after the same man she had been agonising and now it looks like I have him. Who has more claim to him? She that saw him first or me whom he likes and I just happen to like him too?

This post of fast becoming my longest post ever so I'll stop here…will continue next week but am still looking for my cousin.

Have a great week all.