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10 personal lessons 5 years of marriage have taught me (5)

Hope it isn’t raining where you are, the rainmakers are having a ball here and it’s so cold…anyway before my fingers get stiff here’s the 5th personal lesson I learned from being in the marriage business for the last 5 years!

5. Have a united front in public

You and your partner have to agree early in the union that there will be no public drama and no fighting with an audience. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect or pretend, it just means you respect your partner and your marriage enough to keep your issues private. Wounds hurt so much more and run so much deeper when there are witnesses. It’s like having someone observe you at your lowest moments increases the pain and bruising that your pride must seemingly endure. Many people react much more dramatically to issues when other people are watching than they would have if they were in the privacy of their own bedroom plus people never ever forget fights and careless words uttered between partners in public. The very next time you happen to be singing his praises they would happily open up the history books and tell you all his weaknesses as compared to his apparently limited strengths. It’s also harder to take words back when uttered in public even if you immediately realise you are wrong. 

I’m a bit self conscious and arguing with le boo in public was always one of the things I swore I’d never do but there’s a great spectrum of public don’ts that encompass ‘drama’. Hubby is generally a very free person but he learned early enough that correcting me in public or worse still, chastising me would get a negative reaction that might lead to a row later on. He didn’t mind adapting because once or twice he’d been on the receiving end and he had absolutely hated it so we made a truce to either correct each other in a manner or place where there would be no third party involvements or just wait till we got home. There were also other ‘no drama’ rules like no arguing in front of family or friends, no posting ‘shades’ or outbursts on any form of social media, no obvious ‘attitudes’ when in public following a fight, no snapping at the other person  or any other acts of unkindness and definitely no leaving the other person hanging for whatever reason in public. The rules weren’t written or spelt out but they were discussed and internalized usually after an episode and we both learned that treating each other well in public was just as important as treating each other well in private and that more importantly we did not need third parties in our conflict resolution whether the third parties were casual observers or played a more active role. We also realized that we did not need people forming negative impressions about us or how we handled our business especially since it wasn’t any of their concern.

Many times people are watching for signs of turbulence in your marriage to determine if you have a good marriage or not or if they can take advantage of a certain aspect of your marriage or even infiltrate it (in the case of infidelity). Having a strong, united front is so important. Knowing your partner has your back no matter what can bring so much joy and confidence to a marriage but for many couples this doesn’t come naturally and it’s something that needs to be discussed and certain boundaries put in place so that the other person doesn’t unknowingly cross those boundaries and hurt you badly. When I was in the University I noticed that my friends who had public breakups found it hard to go back to their boyfriends after a private reconciliation simply because the whole world now had an opinion about the breakup. Likewise, celebrities that have made their marital issues public have realised that it’s virtually impossible to move past it or celebrate their spouses later on. Your marriage is your personal life, nobody needs to know the intimate details. Be like a duck, look calm on the surface but paddle like mad underneath the water. 

Don’t let someone be able to describe the supposed ills or weaknesses in your marriage simply by catching you and hubby at a bad time or witnessing some supposed-to-be behind the scenes footage. Protect your marriage like it was a classified document. I learned that early enough and many people wonder why hubby and I are always cool, calm and collected. It’s called having a united front. We still have our squabbles and issues but we have realised that it’s way easier to move past them when we are not performing for an audience. 

So in a nutshell, keep your marriage drama away from prying eyes!


Have a lovely day, Chutzpah fam, 

Xoxo

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Posted by on July 17, 2017 in Inspirational

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 8

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This was a mess and frankly it couldn’t get any worse.

Mamus had just caught me lip-locking her ex-fiance. Ex didn’t make it any better and the icing on the damn cake was that she had come into the room with guess who? If you thought Barry then you are an evil person geez! Anyway it’s not like you were that off the mark, she walked in with Ifedayo, Barry’s nosy P.A who happened to have a message for me from my hubby.

This was bad…Azeez seemed annoyingly unperturbed! I needed to fix this like yesterday. I slapped Azeez hard. I swear this slapping thing never gets old. Azeez howled, his eyes round like saucers but thankfully he was too stunned to thwart my plans. Mamus seemed shocked and Ifedayo jumped, he didn’t do much to hide the smirk on his face.

“How dare you Azeez? Mamus imagine this useless man, he walks into my house asking me to help get you back and the next minute he is jumping me like a hungry ape. Hisssssssss”

I held my breath…

Ifedayo didn’t look convinced but for now he was small fry. I needed Mamus on my side.

“Azeez I am ashamed of you, please leave now.”

I had never seen Mamus like this. She seemed eerily calm and Azeez obeyed her immediately without even looking at me. When he got to the door he looked at Mamus and with a voice that sounded very sincere though you can never tell with Naija men, he apologized to her and then left.

Mamus walked to the bar and poured herself a drink. I took a deep breath and faced Ifedayo.

“Come with me Ifedayo, Mamus please excuse me.”

I picked up my purse on my way out.

“What was the message you had for me?”

“Oga said the man that wants to service the generator will be coming at 12.30 instead of 4pm and he couldn’t reach you on the phone so he sent me to come and tell you so you don’t leave the house before the generator man comes.”

“OK thank you…Take this…”

I handed Ifedayo twenty thousand naira.

“What is this for madam?”

“That man in there would have raped me if you and my friend hadn’t walked in. I am just showing my gratitude. You know we women couldn’t have stopped him but once he saw another man he had to stop. Also I wouldn’t want your oga to hear about this because he has a heart condition and this might kill him if he doesn’t kill that man first.”

“AH, Olorun maje oh. Ese ma. I promise that oga will not hear a word about this but ma please be careful oh. The world is wicked.”

“Thank you, take care.”

As he walked away I took another deep breath. This was Lagos for crying out loud. I knew Ifedayo hadn’t bought a word of what I had said but he would not spill because I had paid for his silence besides this wasn’t such an uncommon occurrence after all, I was sure he had seen worse.

I know you are wondering how I got here. How I became part of the large percentage of majorly undetected, Lagos married women who were having extra -marital affairs? God knows I tried to resist Azeez but damn that guy had all my mumu buttons and he was bloody persistent. I think the turning point was when Mamus had called off the wedding three weeks ago. Yes, I had been having an affair for three whole weeks. Barry hadn’t suspected a thing because I was if anything, more loving, caring and attentive now and no, I did not do all those cliche infidelity things like buying new lingerie. Mamus too hadn’t suspected a thing because she was too blissfully in love with Gerald coupled with the drama and gossip that ensues after a wedding is called off. Speaking of Mamus, let me give you her gist. After weeks and weeks at the gym, Mamus had lost tons of weight and gone down to a size 14 (there wasn’t enough time to get to her beloved 12). She had set up a meeting with Gerald while Azeez was outta town and the hours before the meeting I had hooked her up with a stylist, a makeup artist, the works. Mamus looked like a yummy mamalet. According to her Gerald had barely recognized her and couldn’t stop staring, they had had a nice evening and when he hugged her goodnight, she had kissed him. She swears the alcohol gave her Dutch courage and that she had carried a knife in her purse to slit her wrists if he had rejected her advances (yeah right). Anyway he hadn’t rejected her. Apparently Mamus had always had his heart and now they were a couple. Azeez had been hurt when she broke off the engagement or rather his ego was wounded as he always imagined he would be the one breaking things up if that ever happened. He had come after me with a vengeance, what was a poor girl like me to do ehn?

I walked back into the house. I couldn’t stand outside day dreaming much longer. I didn’t want Mamus to come outside and make a scene before the whole estate would be discussing me at dinner. I closed the door and Mamus got off the phone. I figured she had already reported me to Gerald sweetheart. Geez!

“For how long has this been going on?”
“Mamus I am so sorry…”
“FOR HOW LONG?”
“Barely a week, it wasn’t what it looked like…”
“Toke do not lie to me”

Sigh…Mamus was one of my closest friends and she deserved the truth. I told her about how Azeez had been my one true love but fate had kept us apart and how I had had nothing to do with him till after she broke up with him. Well that was basically it! I held my breath.

“I have two questions for you Toke. One, did you advise me to break up with him because you wanted him? And two, what is gonna happen to Barry?”

“Of course not Mamus, I advised you to break up because it was obvious your heart was with Gerald I swear. I love Barry Mamus, I know it may seem like such a joke now but getting caught with Azeez brought me back to reality. I don’t wanna lose my marriage please…”

“You should have thought of that when you started cheating on your husband. Gosh I can’t believe you were the other woman my instincts kept shouting about, the one I was so sure had Azeez’s heart. SO much for friendship.”

“Please forgive me Mamus, I should have told you about my past with Azeez, maybe that would have helped keep my feelings in check. Please find it in your heart to forgive me.”

“Forgive I shall, but it would be quite hard to trust you again. You hurt me Toke, I am not gonna lie about that. Barry is a good man and I hope for your sake that your act of infidelity does not ruin your marriage. You don’t deserve him anyway.”

Ouch…I deserved that sha. I hung my head in shame.

“I am sorry for hurting you with my actions Mamus”

Just then Amaka burst into the room, tears in her eyes. She looked like her heart had been ripped out of her chest.

“What’s the matter Amaka?” Mamus and I asked in unison, concern written all over our faces. Our quarrel momentarily forgotten.

“My husband has impregnated our maid…”

“Jesus!!!” Mamus and I exclaimed.

Just then I got a text message. I glanced at the phone and froze…

“YOU WILL HAVE TO TRY MUCH HARDER THAN THAT TO GET RID OF ME LUV, WE HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS! STILL HAVE A HARD-ON…X”

I clenched my fist, e gba mi oh! “Father Lord help me”, I whispered.

….To be continued….

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 5

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Modinat knew in that instance that he was going to kiss her. The unmistakable tilt of his chin and that dark, smouldering look in his eyes caused her tummy to lurch and she knew she had a choice; close her eyes and give in to the heady emotion or step away. There was no time to think…

“What is it babe?” He asked softly with the confusion that comes with getting mixed signals from a person you want so bad.
“I…I can’t. I am married and you are engaged!”
“But what we have transcends time and ties, I know you feel it just as strongly as I do”
“I feel nothing Azeez, we are not teenagers. This is crazy!”

Azeez grabbed my waist with a sudden aggression his breathe ragged in my ear.
“I will have you Modinat, I swear to you. Making you mine shall be my life’s mission…”
He kissed me deeply and with my thoughts in a maze of shock and unbridled passion I did the first thing that popped into my head.
“Ow!”
“That’s for kissing me without my permission”
He grinned and rubbed his cheek in a way that was all too distracting. I turned and walked towards my car. I needed to be home with my husband.
“I am moving into your neighborhood hon, I hope you won’t get into the habit of slapping your neighbour…”
His deep chuckle was the last thing I heard as I drove off in a hurry.

******************************************************************

“Having connections is koko in Naija”
Amaka smiled at my remark. Siki’s husband had been picked up and harassed by her father’s men and then he had signed an agreement never to come near her again. He hadn’t resisted and was just grateful to be allowed to leave without any permanent scars. We had all been shocked to realise that he wasn’t her ex. Siki had never divorced him. If the guy was more influential he could have made an issue out of it but instead he came after her. Siki was just a big bag of secrets. Almost as bad as I was lol. We waited patiently for her to be strong enough to talk while speculating about why she would choose to be a bigamist seeing as it was against the law. The only reason we could think of was the physical abuse. We watched over our friend like mother hens and her husband was grateful for the support. Siki could see the questions in our eyes but she was assured of our devotion and support. We were friends and friends stuck together no matter what. Which was of course one of the main reasons I couldn’t have anything to do with Azeez. I hadn’t seen him since that night but the way Mamus was carrying on, I knew she was in love and happy. I couldn’t take that away from her. There was also my Barry. The only real love of my life. That man’s love and devotion made hurting him a bizarre thought. He made me feel safe, secure and wanted and there was no way I was going to give up my marriage for a tall, dark stranger. There were too many stakes involved.

One bright Saturday morning Mamus, Zainab, Amaka and I were sitting around Siki’s bed making small talk when she took a deep breath and told us she was ready to tell us the story we were all itching to hear.

Siki’s story:
“Sometimes one mistake can haunt you for the rest of your life. I met Wasiu at a party in Lagos some years ago. He looked nice and talked like he was somebody and we felt the attraction immediately. Wasiu had told me he worked in an oil company and I had been blown away by the car he drove and his sweet tongue. We started dating soon after and I tried to be a good girl for him. I never asked him for money because I had all the money I could want from the business deals I did and I didn’t stress him in anyway. Our love was a fairytale and one day he asked me to marry him. He told me straight up that he didn’t believe in big weddings and that a court wedding with dinner afterwards with a few friends was his ideal wedding. I agreed. I didn’t need a big wedding anyway. I had visited him in the modest apartment he shared with his friend a couple of times and when asked about the modesty, he had told me he was almost done building his house in lekki and didn’t want to waste money paying for an expensive apartment. The day I became Mrs Ajibade the truth began to unfold. We had skipped the honeymoon because he had to be at work and soon after I had settled in the modest apartment with his friend as a flatmate based on the premise that his mansion was almost complete. In two weeks being the sharp babe I was, I began to get suspicious. He never brought his car home, one excuse after another. He was always broke though he blamed that on his mansion in progress and he was always fast to ask me for money. The love began to wane and one day I confronted him. I asked him to tell me the truth and the truth was shocking. He was a driver for a big shot who worked in an oil company, he had no house anywhere and he was currently squatting with his friend cos he hadn’t had money for rent due to some other pressing issues. I had almost fainted.  I shouted and cursed and insulted him. I couldn’t believe I had been hoodwinked. I always considered myself a sharp babe. I guess I must have really bruised his ego because soon he was raining insults on me telling me he knew I slept with men for money and wasn’t fooled by my pretence and had only married me because my ‘business’ was so lucrative. I had cussed and thrown a stool at him and it must have triggered something because he beat the hell out of me. That night as I writhed in pain, he told me we were gonna move out of his friend’s apartment and that he had found us a new one and I was to pay for it the next morning or he would kill me. That was the beginning of my nightmare. I constantly walked the streets looking for men who would have their way with me in exchange for money at my husband’s insistence. He took all from me and left me with just enough to look good for the men and take care of any wounds I incurred from his constant beatings. He eventually quit his job and became my pimp, dictating who and who I was allowed to sleep with and even making me steal things from the men. I knew I had to escape. I had already met Tosin and he was quite smitten with me. One day I made up my mind to leave. I drugged Wasiu’s drink and ran. I lay low for a month avoiding all the places I usually hung out and didn’t pick any calls. I was constantly afraid he would find me and his threatening text messages had clogged up my inbox. I finally decided to change my SIM and move on with my life because I was seriously low on cash. I sent Tosin an sms with my new number and told him I had been kidnapped by unknown men and only just released. He came to get me and the fear in my eyes made him not doubt my story. He brought me here and in no time he made me his wife. I actually thought I was safe here till Wasiu broke into my home…”

I squeezed her hand as big fat tears rolled down her eyes. I wasn’t surprised at her story. I had encountered worse in my hustle. We were Lagos girls and we all had our sob stories. I looked at the other three, born with silver spoons- daring them to judge!
Amaka was the first to speak.
“I am so sorry Siki luv. I spoke to my father and Wasiu has been handled. He will never bother you again. You are safe here.”
Mamus dried her tears and Zainab seemed genuinely pained. Silver spoon or not, love and friendship prevailed. They may not have understood all of her pain or the reasons for some of her actions but they were behind her solidly. I smiled a grateful smile.
“Thanks guys, what would I do without friends like you? I hope you don’t think me a fool for not seeing Wasiu for what he was before marrying him. I truly fancied myself in love and love makes you do stupid things…”
We all nodded, lost in thought. Love did make us do stupid things and I was determined not to allow myself fall in love with Mamus’s fiance.
Just then Mamus looked at me and said;
“Toke I have been meaning to ask, how well do you know Azeez?”
My eyes widened, kai yawa don gas oh…

……………………………………………..to be continued………………………………….

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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Baby Mama Drama: The 411 about dating a man with kids!

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Good men are hard to find so what do you do when the good man you found has kids from a previous relationship or marriage and a very disgruntled ex-wife or ex-girlfriend or simply put baby mama? Women all over the world will testify that it’s easier to date a man with kids when the mother of those kids is dead, on Mars or happily married but only a few women are that lucky.
So what do you do? You love this man and you know he could be the one but all that’s ringing in your head is the negativity that comes with poking your head into baby mama drama and your worldly wise friends keep telling you it’s no big deal (Same friends who encouraged you to stalk and beat up the chick your last man was cheating on you with). Well for the peace-loving, drama free lady, this is a big deal! You close your eyes and imagine the kids warming up to you like they did to Fraulein Maria in the Sounds of Music and hope their mother will just disappear but the reality is that kids don’t just warm up to daddy’s new love interest (unless they are very little) and baby mama’s wage a new war when there is a new woman on the scene (they fear that the man will use her as an excuse to run from his responsibilities)!
Here are five points to help you deal with this situation:
(In no particular order)
1. Set boundaries: Okafor’s law states that; if you have been involved with a girl for a period of time and did a good job in and out of the bedroom (mostly in…), you can always go to the girl at any given time and sleep with her again no matter what situation arises (breakups, different lover etc). [Culled from the urban dictionary].
This means that there’s a high possibility that your man was still sleeping with his baby mama howbeit occasionally before he met you. He and his baby mama are used to acting a certain way towards each other and the first thing you need to do is set boundaries. Baby mama needs to realize that there’s a new woman on the scene and that even though your man will still be available for his kids, he will cease to be available for her emotional/sexual needs and whims any longer.
2. Conflict resolution: A friend of mine dated a man years ago who had a baby mama and a kid and at the start of the relationship the man was not on speaking terms with his baby mama, had never even seen his child although he admitted the child was his and had never given a dime for child support. The first thing my friend had to do was work on her man and get him to extend an olive branch and step up to his responsibilities (it wasn’t a small task). She never got any trouble from the baby mama throughout the relationship because the baby mama clearly saw the positive changes in the man and was grateful for the help. Today the guy has a strong bond with his daughter which would not have been there if my friend hadn’t helped resolve the conflict.
3. Develop a relationship with his kids: Don’t be the aunty who is only nice to the kids when daddy is watching. Kids can smell a fake a mile away. Also don’t be the aunty who they only see when they see daddy. Spend some time alone with the kids, be nice, buy them stuff but don’t be a pushover. Kids can be bullies too and if they sense that you really need daddy’s approval, you may end up jumping to their every whim. Love them like you would love your own because one day they might be half yours. Lastly if the kids have a favorite aunt or uncle, make friends with the person. They are more likely to trust you if they see that the person trusts you too and never ever bad mouth their mum.
4. Avoid personal contact with his baby mama: You don’t need to be all up in her face. The less she sees of you the better. Quell the urge to seek her out or talk to her. Don’t feel like you are sizing up the competition. He chose you not her and being secure about your position in his life and heart will take away the joker she thinks she has. And if you do meet her, be cordial but firm. No fighting for whatever reason, walk away. If she disrespects you, talk to your man and have him take care of it. If he loves and respects you, he will protect you.
5. Don’t make his baby mama an issue: Always punctuating your sentences with baby mama this and baby mama that and how he already has a ready-made family etc. is going to wear your relationship thin in a hurry. Men want peace and this sort of behavior spells insecurity. By constantly reminding him of his baby mama you make her important and soon he will be thinking of her just as often as you do which would spell disaster for your relationship especially if she is still available. Don’t try to be like her or compete with her. He knew of her existence long before he asked you to be his woman. R-E-L-A-X and most importantly stay prayerful!!!

Have a great day chutzpah fam,
xoxo

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Relationships

 

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The Christmas Break…

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What breaks in a moment may take years to mend…Swedish Proverb

The holidays are upon us. Christmas brings with it days off work, endless feasts, merry making and all sorts of new and exciting adventures for both young and old.

Like all holidays it is a time for family and like all family gatherings friction is often not too far off. This holiday be mindful of the words you utter to those nearest and dearest to you. Words are like knives and a person once cut may end up nursing that
festering wound for the next 365 days.

Remember how you felt the day you broke that glass ornament after your mum specifically asked you not to touch it? You wished you could fix it, you prayed the pieces would magically come together and offer you the second chance you so needed.

Many things in life once broken, take years to mend, others are forever destroyed; Trust, Confidence, Friendship, Family-ties the list is endless. So as you delve into this wonderful holiday be careful not to break anything(or anyone). Family is like a pack of Skittles, every one is uniquely different but you get such a zing when they unite in your mouth. Don’t let a cherry ruffle you up!

Season’s greetings chutzpah fam!
Don’t drink and drive…
Xxx

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 1

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Hi Chutzpah Fam, due to popular demand, it’s all for the money has been continued…thanks for the feedback readers ♥

People say that when one chapter of your life closes, another begins. I sighed dreamily at the words ‘The End’ that signalled the concluding scene of our wedding video. The guys who did the video were incurable romantics and the priceless scenes captured on film along with the 80s love songs had me squeezing Barry’s hand in a way that clearly showed my emotions were on overdrive. They really don’t sing love songs like they used to…I really wished that was the end it would have been a most perfect ending but unlike real life, the end wouldn’t come till I was 6 feet under and right now I had way too much to live for. I couldn’t believe 6 months had rolled by so quickly. Marriage was beautiful. I had friends who would say otherwise but really life had a way of throwing you lemons and peaches and if I was eating peaches at this stage of my life it didn’t mean I hadn’t sucked my lemons dry.

Most of the women who had become my close friends had lived with a silver spoon all their lives. Amaka’s dad was an ex-governor and she had never worked a day in her life. The husband and the spa which were her two most prized possessions had been handed to her by daddy. She was your cliche fairytale princess. She reminded me of Bree in Desperate housewives, Barry had loads of DVDs and I’d spent a good part of my days catching up on the series I missed in my hustle days. I laughed because watching Friends or 24 now when people had moved on from them reminded me of the fact that even though late, I had definitely arrived. I couldn’t imagine any of the girls I had hustled with sitting down to watch Desperate housewives. The English would have been an issue and as for our mindsets, we would have never been able to identify personally with what we watched. Thank God for Bukky Wright and Yoruba movies jare. Anyway back to my friends. Amaka had a life everyone outside envied, she was regularly featured in magazines and was a style icon. Her yellow skin was pampered and spotless and she had a body that would make you jealous. Her husband was tall, dark and handsome and was the oga in charge of one of her father’s most successful businesses but things weren’t what they seemed. Amaka didn’t talk much but it was obvious to me that something was amiss. They had no kids and Amaka said they weren’t ready which was kinda odd to me cos they had been married for 5 years and then there was the little issue of Amaka’s love for coffee. She drank about 30 cups a day, I kid you not and while I used a teaspoon of decaf coffee downed in milk to make mine, she took hers strong, black and very bitter judging by the way she heaped the coffee grains into her cup like it was sugar sometimes I could swear she was high on caffeine. I had asked her once about it and she laughed in that way she always laughed, a laugh that sounded toosh and gentle like it had been practiced and perfected and told me that she needed the bitterness in her cup to remind her of the realities of life. Well like I said before she was perfect.    

 Then there was Siki, I had bumped into her at a supermarket one day and she had shouted ‘Modinat’ which had me quite embarrassed since I didn’t go by that name again. I had wanted to get rid of her fast and did all I could to form busy but this childhood friend of mine was not going anywhere. Ever the slut, she had used her bottom power to get herself out of the ghettoes and was dating a famous Ondo state politician whom she proudly pointed out was just one of her options. This girl knew me from way back and trust me when you’ve struggled to get a new identity the last thing you need is someone from your past wanting to be chummy. Anyway fate has a way of stirring things up. She’s the biggest drama queen in the universe and true to type, she brought Siki into my life a few months later. She moved into my estate, newly married to Tosin, Barry’s Nigerian boss. She had failed to mention that he was one of the people held spell bound by her powerful toto. I wondered why the yeye thing hadn’t slacked since. Her hubby had opened her a big supermarket around the corner and I had been forced to embrace her or make an enemy of her and trust me nobody wants a loud-mouthed Yoruba girl as an enemy. As a Yoruba girl I should know. Anyway I had to welcome her into the group to keep Barry happy since she was his boss’s wife and Amaka wasn’t too pleased. She was all for pedigree and pedigree was the one thing Siki and her expensive perfumes, bleached body and Brazilian hair did not reek of.   

      Mamus hadnt minded the new addition. We called her the mummy of our little group. She had lost her husband some years ago to cancer and her son lived abroad with his wife. She travelled a lot but when she was around she made us her business. She was nice and very accommodating and people said she was the first person to move into our estate and that she owned some of the other houses in the estate. Mamus knew everybody and everything. People tended to open up to her when left alone with her for a few minutes. She was the one who had warned Zainab that her hubby might be taking a second wife soon and also advised her on what to do and a few weeks later Zainab’s hubby had realized he couldn’t love two women equally and had called off the Nikkah. We loved Mamus and she loved us back. After Zainab’s incident we hid nothing from her and the more she knew the happier she was. She always teased me that I held back, I guessed she must have spoken to Barry at some point and realised he also had parts of my life he had no information about. I always wondered why Mamus needed to know so much, maybe her older age made her feel like it was her right but that secret was my secret and it was bad enough that Siki was in the picture, I wasn’t ready to let on anymore about me than was necessary.   

     Zainab was the last girl in our circle. She was also the only one with a 9-5 job. She left her twins at home with a nanny and drove to her job at Zenith bank every day. She refused to get a driver the same way she had refused to allow her widowed mother-in-law come take care of the kids. She hadn’t forgiven the woman for trying to get a second wife for her husband. When she had tackled her, the woman had said she wanted a wife who knew her place was at home taking care of her husband and kids. Zainab had been so outraged and would have acted rashly if not for Mamus’s timely advice. Now she had her husband eating out of her hand and was polite to her mother-in-law which only made the woman more afraid of her. She even sent the old hag a card and a basket of fruit every two weeks and nobody would have ever suspected that she detested her mother-in-law save for the woman. Zainab was ambitious. She was a goal-getter and a workaholic. Her husband was a business man but with the money she brought in from the other businesses she did outside her 9-5, her hubby was content lounging about and rarely brought home any money. She didn’t mind though, contrary to her mother-in-law’s opinion she was very much dedicated to her man and kids she just didn’t agree that a woman had to take the backseat in life just because she was a wife and mother. I agreed with her jare.     

     I looked around at the four women sitting at Mamus’s dining table drinking cranberry juice and vodka and gisting nonstop and I smiled contentedly. This was my new life. I was a responsible married woman and had friends who loved me. Even Siki had grown on me and sometimes I was actually grateful that there was another ex-hustler in the group. Mamus considered herself single and on nights like this she would regale us with tales of the men she dated. She was quite discreet especially since she had a penchant for younger guys but she always saved all the juicy details for us. Thursday nights were our nights and we took turns hosting the girls. That night as we sat drinking, the door bell rang and since I was sitting closest to it, I got up to open the door.

“Who is it?” I called out laughingly as I unlocked the door
“Mamus darling-”
Our eyes collided and time seemed to stop…

….to be continued…..

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2013 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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The Little Bird…

Have you ever been caught in a drama that started with ‘one blasted little bird’ or ‘one yeye horse and his mouth’ or per chance a little fox? If you haven’t caught my drift yet, relax. I’m not finished but before I continue, if you are a lone wolf you better stop reading here because I don’t want you using this to validate your sociopath ways. 😉
We all need people. But sometimes our association with other people can be a bit *scratching head…complicated!

How so?

I’ll be there in a minute but let me give you two illustrations.

First there’s the ever popular game called Chinese whispers (or telephone in the United States) in which one person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. Errors typically accumulate in the retellings, so the statement announced by the last player differs significantly, and often amusingly, from the one uttered by the first (not amusing when it’s bad info involved #drama). Reasons for changes include anxiousness or impatience, erroneous corrections, personal misinterpretation and that some players may deliberately alter what is being said in order to guarantee a changed message by the end of it! (WIKIPEDIA)

Catch my drift? Keep reading…

The second illustration-
Bola and Bisi are friends.
Bola and Tolu are friends.
Bisi and Tolu are not friends.
Bisi confides in Bola and Tolu confides in Bola.
Bola in animated conversation unconsciously mentions some things in passing that Tolu told her to Bisi. Tolu hears about it from a random person and gets angry with Bola. Bola is shocked by what she’s hearing because she doesn’t even remember saying such plus it’s been so remixed that it sounds hurtful, cruel and malicious and she would never say such things.

——What a hot mess——–

Now back to the beginning!

For centuries men have enjoyed labelling the average woman as a gossip (research shows men looooooove to gossip too) 😉 However many times the men have been spot on. There’s never equity in information sharing and there’ll always be someone who knows a little more than the others know and wants to be the little bird who heard it from the horse’s mouth who was last seen with the little foxes!

Now before you start feeling self-righteous, I am not talking about keeping secrets. Most people are able to keep information that starts as; ‘This is a secret, please don’t tell anyone’…. unless they have malicious intent but most of the wahala lies with the info which the sender believes is confidential but does not communicate its confidential nature to the receiver thereby giving the receiver a free hand to disseminate it consciously or unconsciously at will.

Nobody likes to hear their name called up in matters of she said, he said, they said neither do they like the drama that ensues because many times it leads to a tell-all phase where even unrelated secrets are exposed as self-defence as well as a lot of hurt and betrayal and at the end of the day who is left to clean up the mess that remains of the friendship?

Whether in the office, at church, in school or in a social gathering, here are 10 tips to keep you drama free and to protect you when it comes to disseminating information.

1) A secret is a secret. If someone tells you a secret and states categorically that it is a secret then keep it a secret. If you have conflicting interests and need to keep your plate clean to prevent compromise, kindly ask the person not to tell you the secret.

2) Try to divulge the motives of the person giving you the information. You must realise that some people tell you things about others because they want to spoil the other person’s name or sow negative seeds in your heart. If the person’s motives are in any way questionable then take the info with a pinch of salt. Sometimes information disseminated are as a result of people’s thoughts and not actual events. For example; Thought: Tolu always has so much money, maybe she gets it from men. Word: Do you know Tolu sleeps around? #error

3) If the gist could only have come from one source or is obviously pointing to one person, telling it to someone else and saying- ‘a little bird told me’ or ‘I heard it from someone’ or ‘I had a dream’ or ‘I’m just advising you for your own good’ or ‘I’m not gonna tell you who it’s about or who told me’- isn’t clever, it is lame because tracing it to the source isn’t hard so if you must recount a story be wise.

4) Where information is concerned- the friend of my enemy is my enemy and the friend of my friend is my friend because that’s what usually happens. Like Bola in the second illustration, when people are in lighthearted conversation with their friends, they hardly guard the words uttered from their mouth so if for example you don’t want your story becoming front page news, don’t share it with someone who has a close friend you do not want knowing your business. Bola may have had no ulterior motives when she spilled the not-so-confidential gist to her ‘other’ friend Bisi but Bisi had no loyalties to Tolu and who knows, may not even have liked Tolu very much so Bola has unintentionally armed Bisi with info she can use against her other friend Tolu and guess who gets caught in the middle?
5) Don’t say things about other people that you would never admit to their faces. Now this clearly crosses the line from gossip to slander. If you say “Hey I heard Tolu stole Bisi’s boyfriend”. Tolu can choose to explain herself or ignore when she hears the story and may even laugh it off depending on the gravity but if you say “Tolu is a ho, keep your boo far from her. The last person who fell victim was Bisi”, then you have tried and sentenced her to a crime she may not be guilty of and when she hears, she’ll be angrier about the name-calling and slander arising from your cruel generalisations than the accompanying case study. If you must retell, keep it simple.

6) Anyone who gives you gossip will gossip about you. Shikena! You think you are immune sitting there enjoying the gossip she keeps bringing to you. Be careful hon, you ain’t that special, she’s probably using your life as a case study in her entertainment of her other friends!

7) Your comments matter. You don’t gossip but when you hear gossip you are quick to comment or even share similar stories you’ve heard. “So disappointed in Amaka, that’s how I heard Seyi did the same thing some weeks ago”. Don’t act all shocked when you hear you’ve been quoted out of context or your name keeps coming up. Remember sometimes these people are only looking for one word from your mouth- ‘Anything you say shall be used against you in the court of law’. Silence is golden.

8) If it means that much to you, don’t share it. The only information you can keep in check is information you haven’t told anybody. Now many times it’s hard to keep it all in but you can find a select few that you can trust with your life and unburden your secrets on them. Feel free to test them with an outrageous-must share-not dangerous to you if shared- secret to see if they can keep it. If they fail to keep it then you know you can definitely not trust them with your life’s dramas.

9) Be wary of people who seem overly concerned about you and want to know all that’s going on with you. If you are not moved to voluntarily share information with these people then don’t. Trust your instincts. Most of these people may camouflage as your most caring friends but really don’t have your best interests at heart and giving them information empowers them to hurt you.

10) Beware of technology! With the advent of tape recorders, phone voice recorders and others, you can be caught in a hot mess if you say something you shouldn’t. You may not be able to deny the voice on the recorder and many times the way it is played back may not be the way you intended to say it or the meaning you intended to convey. #drama

Most people have at least once in their lives been involved in such drama. Sometimes like the little foxes, it ruins promising friendships or really old ones. If you’ve been hurt by a friend who spilt the beans on you, remember that sometimes the person may not have intended to hurt you but by being careless with your information has exposed you to hurt and ridicule. Forgive the person but be more careful about your personal info in future and if you are the one who has inadvertently said, shared or re-broadcasted something you weren’t sure of, humiliating as it may be, own up and apologise. Nothing kills drama faster than a heart-felt apology.

Before you share something about someone, verify the story, ask yourself- Is it hurtful? Would I like someone to spread such stories about me? What if it isn’t true? Even if it’s true do I wanna get caught up in this sorta drama? What are my motives? How would my motives be interpreted if sh*t hits the fan? Think before you speak!

Philipians 4:8 says “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

If your mind is full of these things above, it will reflect in your conversation!

NO MORE DRAMA #NMD

Have a great drama-free weekend chutzpah fam,
Xoxo 😉 🙂 😉

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2013 in Inspirational

 

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