BACK ON THE SHELF: THIS IS NOT AN INTERVENTION

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Will you eat yam for lunch?

I looked at my phone and smiled.

Yes please, I replied.

K. Just let me know when you head home so I’ll put it on the fire.

I just have this meeting with Royal and I’ll be heading home.

I scrolled through my last dialled numbers, touched the phone screen and waited for the call to connect.

‘Hello,’ the voice on the other end of the line said.

‘How far? I’m at Maryland now, where are you?’ I asked.

‘I’m in the GRA, shey we should meet up there?’

‘Cool. Where there?’

‘Let’s meet at Spurs. You know Spurs right?’

I thought about that for a second. ‘On Isaac John, abi?’

‘Yes, Isaac John. Just opposite The Place.’

‘Okay, I’ll see you there.’ I said then hung up. I watched the speedometer needle climb from 30km/hr through 40, 50 and come to rest on 60km/hr before I eased off the accelerator, P-Square’s ‘MMS’ playing in the car.

I arrived at Spurs, parked and called again.

‘How far, where are you?’ I asked.

‘I’m just driving into Spurs.’ I looked up to see a red Range Rover sport drive through the gates, the driver drove one-handed – the other hand was held to the side of the driver’s face.

The car parked behind me, the driver side door open and the driver alighted.

I sat in my car a moment longer, watching slim high-heeled legs swing out and touch the concrete. She smoothed down her gown which stopped just above her knees. Her signature cornrow braids fell to her shoulders and the ends bobbed about when she moved her head.

I was out of my car and walking towards her when she slammed her car door.

‘Hey you,’ she beamed.

‘How’ve you been?’ The hug was a little over long, but she didn’t seem to mind.

We walked into the restaurant, took a table by the window and she told me what it was she wanted me to do for her: a friend of hers wanted to open a bank account and she hoped I would be happy to sign a referral for him.

‘Why not?’

Then we ordered lunch.

By the time we were done with lunch, lunch we couldn’t finish, I felt like a stuffed bird.

On my way home. I messaged the girlfriend.

Okay bae. See you soon.

I hope you haven’t boiled the yam. I had lunch with Royal.

I saw the message go from D to R and still had to wait fifteen minutes before I got a reply.

I did, but it’s okay.

I knew it wasn’t okay, but there was nothing for it but to go home and face whatever awaited me.

This happened yesterday afternoon. This morning I woke up and reflexively reached for my phone where I left it beside my pillow to check the time. My searching hand met with cool sheet. I opened my eyes to see my girlfriend sitting by my head. She was dressed for work, my phone in her hand.

Something cold clutched hold of my stomach, inside, and squeezed. My senses came instantly awake, but I lay there trying not to give anything away.

‘Hey,’ I whispered in a pretend sleep-filled voice. ‘What time is it?’

‘5:02.’ She answered.

‘Set for work?’

‘Yes, but just waiting till it’s quarter past, then I’ll head out.’

‘Okay,’ I said even though what I really wanted was my phone back. ‘Let me know when you’re heading out.’ I closed my eyes, but the wheels in my brain were working overtime.

‘What has she seen? What is she even doing with my phone? Should I ask her? Or wait for her to ask me? Did I delete my chats from last night? I think I did. Wait, maybe I didn’t. See why I prefer older generation BlackBerrys? Close chat and the chat disappears. This dirty BlackBerry10 will just continue the chat. Wait, what has she seen?’

She left for work a few minutes later. I went out to move my car so she could drive out.

Drive safe… I messaged her about thirty minutes later to test the waters.

Bobo I am not stupid. Came her reply.

Mehn, things escalated pretty quickly from there on. Before 7 o’ clock I was single. Again.

My name is Bobo Nkiti, and I am back on the shelf.

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Well Hello there!  

Allow me to introduce to you the newest member to the SIG team,  Bobo Nkiti (yayyy!!!)

Back on the Shelf (BOTS) is Bobo Nkiti’s account of being single in Lagos, which will be exclusive to the SIG blog. His posts will be up every Wednesday so make sure to check the blog for gist and a lot more, also feel free to follow him on twitter @_BoboNkiti 

So please show Bobo Nkiti some love by leaving a comment below. 

Love,

 

When love is not enough

You’ve met someone, a few dates, hour-long conversation on the phone, social media stalking and you think you’ve found ‘the one’ until you face one or more of these annoying ‘deal breakers’.

*sigh*

Having to deal with deal breakers is one of the toughest things in this whole dating experience especially when you are the one with the deal breaker and are faced with the decision to cut loose, try harder or ignore. While you may be certain that your deal breaker makes complete sense, the other party involved may be wondering what could be wrong with your mental state…and they may be right.

Over time, I have come to learn how to differentiate between my preferences and my deal breakers; preferences being what I would like but are not deciding factors and deal breakers being things/traits I could not live with for the rest of my life.  Needless to say, that I as I get older, my list of deal breakers have become shorter and more specific compared to 10 years ago when my deal breaker list was just a long list of physical qualities I preferred in a partner.

We all have deal breakers but having to deal with them is not as easy as it appears. Some people may choose to ignore them and latch on the concept of love (or getting married) and façade of the happily ever after that comes with it but the real question is, when it comes to deal breakers, is love ever enough?

I once listened to a friend rant about how he met the perfect girl but had to stop seeing her after 3 months of dating because they both had the AS genotype, meaning they had the sickle-cell trait and it would affect their future forever. He was devastated but at the end of the day, he chose to let go for the sake of the ‘future’. At that moment, I felt bad for him but I understood because it was something that bothered him from the first day he found out but could not find the strength to end the relationship.

On the other hand, I know of a lady who ignored her deal breaker and married a man who had a different belief system from hers. Two years into the marriage and a kid later, she wants to leave because she can’t seem to find a neutral ground with her husband on their beliefs. Truth is, this issue was always there but she ignored it hoping things would change after they got married…something I find that a lot of women do (i.e. ignoring significant issues that should be sorted before marriage).

So again I ask, when it comes to deal breakers, is love ever enough? Can you overlook significant issues that could affect your life forever when you meet who your heart says is ‘the one’?

I still have ‘should have a broad shoulder’ on my deal breaker list….it affects the future …right? #dontjudge

 

The Art of Subtlety and Doublespeak by SIMS

Today’s post is by SIMS, if you’re  no stranger to the blog then you know Sims but if you are new well Sims is my male voice of reasoning and each time I want to understand what’s going on in a guy’s head (which is a lot of times) I turn to him. Feel free to show him some love on his blog, The WordSmith’s Journal.

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How do you know when she’s asking for it? Like actually asking for it? And by it I mean that stuff Marvin Gaye was singing about. Raunchy bugger he was.

The truth is, with women, most of the times you really don’t know. You women out there might disagree, but keep in mind you ladies are all about sending signals and doing subliminal things to send the message that you want some. The truth is though, that most times men have absolutely no clue. For us there are a couple of default settings: 1) Assume she always wants it or 2) Assume she doesn’t want it until she asks.

Duh, you say, for #2 but again I point to this question: how is a man supposed to know when you’re actually asking for it? Without of course actually asking you verbatim, which from what I understand, is a bit of a turn off. Turn off because a lot of y’all, despite evidence to the contrary, still expect us to be able to pick up signals and understand when you’re trying to tell us that you’re in the mood.

But again I say, we are men. Men, by and large, are not well versed in the art of subtlety and this is where y’all and us are at loggerheads because we are used to coming out and actually saying stuff. Most of the time, men say what they mean. Most of the time, you have to look for hidden meaning with what women say. So for instance, “I’m fine” when asked if anything is wrong, 99% of the time means you’re NOT fine. On the other hand, “no” means no, but any man who doesn’t understand that is a fool because it’s more often than not that if a girl says she’s not in the mood, it’s not code for “try harder”. But often times, “I’m fine”, is code for try harder because, from what I’ve been able to decipher, asking over and over if a girl is ok is your way of showing you care and you actually want to know what was wrong. Don’t believe me?

Men, how many of you have heard or experienced something like this:

“I’m mad at you because you knew I was upset and you didn’t ask me why!”

“But I did. I asked if you were ok and you said you were fine!”

“Obviously I wasn’t fine! You should have known I wasn’t! This is why I say you don’t care enough about me”

I understand trying to cope, but I think it’s a bit wild when you’re asked if you’re ok and you can’t simply say “I’ll be fine” or “Not really” and then have your heart to heart. Why the double speak? Now ladies, am I actually lying? Don’t lie, you know I’m not! Most of the time, y’all engage in double speak, morse code, and braille aka “how the heck was I meant to know that!” Lol.

Then again, there’s the off-chance that I’m fine really means I’m fine, but from my experiences that’s rare. I once dated a girl who chastised me for always asking if there was something wrong, when it was painfully obvious to me that something was wrong. From my experience and in hindsight though, that was simply double speak for, “I’m really not ready to tell you”.

So again I ask: WHY THE DOUBLE SPEAK?

I’m hungry means, I’m hungry. I’m tired means, I’m tired – not I’m pissed at you for something you did. I will speak for myself in saying that whenever I open my mouth to say something, I mean EXACTLY that. If I’m not sure, then I’m not sure and I will tell you. Maybe some men might not admit to saying they are unsure or some form of weakness, but by and large, we do mean what we say.

One of my favorites though, is when a woman says she likes something, but she absolutely can’t stand it. Why the lies? Why the subterfuge? If you hate it, tell me then I can work to improve it or to do something else. The excuse I’ve heard before is, “I didn’t want to hurt your feelings”. Well I say it’s better that than lying to a guy. When you’re telling us stuff, don’t think like a woman, think like a man.

Because when it comes to double speak and subtlety, Picassos we are not!

Mr SIMS

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So ladies, Why the double speak? Would it kill to be straightforward? 

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Don’t worry, be happy!

This week has been very busy and I have not had the time to sit and write…okay that’s just an excuse for being a slacker especially since we had one day off (Happy Independence Nigeria!!)) and we have a long weekend ahead woohooo! As most bloggers/creative people, I believe I am in my season of having a ‘writers’ block’, you know that time that you can’t figure out what to write or the right words can’t seem to get to your fingers from your brain…what I’m trying to say is that I am sorry for dulling this week (I guess I should have said so from the start)

2014 has been an amazing year so far, almost all my friends (male and female) have gotten engaged with some getting married and I am usually the first one to scream for joy and post pictures on all social networking sites I can think of including picking the perfect hashtag for the wedding (because obviously ‘hashtaging’ is the new black). To show support, I have actually spent quite a bit buying aso-ebi this year despite my rant and I still have 5 more to buy before the year is over (that’s if no one else gets engaged this long weekend and sets their date in December). But the real highlight of my year so far was last weekend when I got the news of the engagement of a friend who means a lot to me.

It is a highlight because a few years ago we became closer to encourage each other in this journey of life. Through ups, downs, heartaches and my occasional mood swings, we still found a way to encourage each other and found solace in our relationship with God. Even though we hardly see each other we have successfully built a bond like sisters that some days I attempt dodging her so she doesn’t sense that something may be wrong with me….but this post is not about her (I’m yet to figure out what it is about actually)

Recently, a friend of mine said ‘It’s amazing how you celebrate the happiness of your friends…it’s rare’ those weren’t his exact words but it went something like that and I realized that I had spent almost 5 minutes gushing about my friend’s engagement, what an amazing guy she was getting married to and how excited I was. Again this is not about the engagement or my friend.

After that statement, I realised that it is actually rare for women to celebrate their fellow women especially single ones when their friends get engaged. There’s always that moment of silence after the good news, that period of ‘Why not me God?’ or the ‘Na wa o’ which often leads to some form of animosity and subtle jealousy at the engaged friend. If not managed right, it could lead to an obvious rivalry which leads to backbiting and remarks on the size of the rock, the authenticity of the diamonds to analysing the husband to be and finally evaluating the wedding if it was a great one or just average or quite recently, if it was a ‘money miss road wedding.’

I guess what I am trying to say is that we women need to learn to encourage each other and be happy for one another. Whether it is a promotion at a job or owning a successful business or getting married to their life partner, it is important that we learn to celebrate one another and be genuinely happy not looking for loopholes and reasons to downplay the happiness of the other. It doesn’t matter if the man she is getting married to is your taste or not, all that should matter is that she is happy. And if you happen to be a bridesmaid, please don’t whine about what you are going to wear and how it doesn’t suit your body type, it’s not about you, it’s about your friend the bride-to-be so suck it up and be happy in the most horrendous looking way you could ever be.

At the end of the day, the institution of marriage is not a competition, no one is taking attendance of who comes first and who finishes last. Forget the pressure, forget the ticking biological clock, dance your behind off at every wedding and enjoy each day of being single because you won’t be for long.

Love

P.s – You should see my friend’s rock sha…dang! it’s blinging!! And I promise to be back with a bang next week 🙂

Oh and this weekend be sure to check out the stage play MYOPIA by Chidinma Uzodike, which will be staged on the 5th of October 2014 at Swiss International, D’Palms Airport, Ajao Estate, Off International Airport road.

MYOPIA, is about a young girl’s determination to overcome family and societal discrimination against the female gender.

MYOPIA, is about a young girl’s determination to overcome family and societal discrimination against the female gender.

Do you see Single in Gidi on the printed backdrop? 🙂

The Marriage Ultimatum

While driving this morning, I heard the song ‘Marry me’ by Falz featuring Poe and Yemi Alade which basically illustrates the desperation of most single women with a very catchy tune, of course Miss Gidi being Miss Gidi, it made me think about the whole ‘ultimatum’ and how most single women these days have a time frame with the expectation that when it elapses, their partners better be on one knee asking the famous question ‘Will you marry me?’

A while ago, I had the opportunity of having a conversation with a lady who was in a new relationship. Like most women who are in fairly new relationships, she talked about all the wonderful things this man had to offer and how she really liked him but then ended everything with the statement ‘with the way things are going, I’m sure he will propose in another six months’, and in my usual manner I had to ask the reason behind the ‘six months plan’ of which she answered ‘Ah! How much longer does he need? abeg I am not 21 for him to be wasting my time and I already told him I don’t have more than one year to give him’

It’s not news that most women (and some men as well)  are scared of being hurt, scared of being taken advantage of but most of all scared of the length of time they would spend in a relationship that would not end up in marriage. I once heard that the number of years you spend with someone before you marry them is a sunk cost and should not be considered when making future marriage decisions. If you don’t know, a sunk cost is defined as a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered, which basically means the six years you spend with a partner should not be the criteria for deciding whether or not to spend six more years with him/her, what’s done is done and there’s no going back. Although this example is unconventional, I am pretty sure some of you will never forget the definition of sunk costs for the rest of your lives (sunk cost is an accounting term by the way 🙂 )

The marriage ultimatum (either direct or indirect) is quite popular with the women, young ladies give their men a time frame, requiring them to propose or they walk away by a set time because they cannot afford to hang around with the hopes of getting married. Granted some men need the push and may be slow to consider marriage but should an ultimatum be given? Doesn’t that take away from the excitement/surprise of being proposed to? Or am I missing something here…

I remember when an acquaintance came to me with the wonderful news of her engagement and as expected I asked how he proposed of which she replied Miss Gidi, we’ve been together for a long time now and I told him to propose before December or it would be over, what else is he waiting for?. You can say she replied me in the typical Nigerian manner of replying a question with a question but it looked to me like even though she was ready, he was being pushed to be ready based on her ultimatum.

It’s obvious that the older a woman gets, the more impatient she becomes in a relationship and is often ready to skip the dating stage and run straight into marriage. This impatience usually begins once she has hit her late twenties and as expected the pressure from her family has been turned all the way up. I mean ‘older married friends’ have said statements to me like ‘at your age, one year is too long to date o, if after 3 months he is not talking marriage abeg move on’

Of course the timing of a relationship is relative, for some 3 months is enough while for others it’s too short, but my question is when is a marriage ultimatum important ? why should it be given? or is an ultimatum simply a sign of  desperation? 

By the way, the ‘engaged acquaintance’ is still single and the man is married to someone else

We’ve got mail: He won’t marry me until I lose weight

I don’t seem to get emails a lot but when I do I get very excited…(sad I know). Anyway here is an email from Miss Jay and as usual she needs our thoughts and input

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dear miss gidi

Hello Miss Gidi,

I really like your blog and that you come across as a very strong and opinionated woman in this our Lagos that can bring you down. I have a concern and I would like to share it with you and other readers of your blog.

I’m 29, Igbo and the first girl out of four daughters that my parents have, my parents live in Imo but I live in Lagos with 2 of my sisters while the last one is in University. In the last year, my younger sisters have gotten engaged but my parents have refused they get married before me which has brought a lot of quarrel in the family. I have tried to convince my parents to let them get married but that has not been successful because they consider it to be a disgrace on the family. I know you are probably wondering how this is possible in 2014 but this is my reality.

I’ve been dating my current boyfriend for about 5 years now and he has said he wants to marry me. He’s a nice guy but has a bad temper which has led to a few quarrels, he never hits me because I will never tolerate it but sometimes he makes me feel bad about myself through his words because he says the meanest things without thinking. I used to complain a lot but I have gotten used to it now and I just ignore him when he says some things because he may not mean them.

About a year ago, when I brought up the issue of marriage, he said the reason why he has not proposed was because I was fat. That became the beginning of our problems and now he is always quick to call me fat whenever we have an issue. For my birthday he bought a dress 2 sizes smaller (I am a UK 14 now) and said I have until December to be that size before he proposes.

To be honest, I have tried all the diets and none of them seem to work. When I lose weight, our relationship flourishes, then he would call me beautiful names and take me out to hang out with his friends and family but when I add anything back, he gets upset and starts avoiding taking me out. I wasn’t always this big, I was a size 10 when we started dating but taking birth control pills has contributed to my weight gain over the years.

Sometimes I am unhappy because it’s not like he’s exactly an Idris Elba himself, he has developed a pot belly but has the audacity to tell me to lose weight or he won’t marry me after all these years.

I know this may seem like too much but I don’t know what to do and I can’t start from scratch again in the dating world.

Help

Miss Jay

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Usually I have a response but this time I asked for Miss Jay’s permission to publish her email on the blog without telling her my opinion. To be honest, it is a tough one and I can somewhat relate to her situation but I want to know what you think of her man asking her to lose weight before proposing or do you think there is more to it ?

Use the comment box below and let’s discuss 🙂 

If you want to reach out to me or share your own story on the blog, you can send an email to singleingidi@yahoo.com or follow SingleinGidi on Facebook, twitter and instagram 

For Love or For Papers

This post is very tongue in cheek and should be read with some sense of humour

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Now that I have the disclaimer out of the way, let’s get down to business…

So you live abroad, this hot guy who lives in Nigeria sends you a friend request or maybe you met him on your recent trip to Nigeria. You have no mutual friends/acquaintance with him but you think you may have found the one. He is tall, dark, handsome so even though you have concerns about his rush towards marriage,  you go ahead to take the risk and then he ‘suggests’ moving to be with you because he is ‘considerate’ of your career and wants to be by your side.

Girlfriend, before you take that plunge, please note he may only be in it for the papers! (Yes I said it!)

Once upon a time wives were being exported to ‘the abroad’; during that time, relatives would find a wife for their son living in America (for example) and then send him pictures/contact details of the lady or ladies in question. Of course these young ladies would have been briefed of this development and she would then wait patiently for his first call and the start of their very own love story.

It is now 2014 and the tables have turned a little bit, instead of potential wives being picked from Nigeria, young women who live abroad are being targeted by men who are in Nigeria as potential wives. The criterion is pretty simple, you must have no adult ties with Nigeria (and by this I mean a potential career/business here), which also means you have no plans to move to Nigeria in the nearest future. Luckily social media plays a huge role as it gives certain ladies a sense of ‘familiarity’ through pictures and end up falling for these men in search of love and ‘a happily ever after’.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to fuel the already existing paranoia with some people who have foreign passports neither am I saying it is impossible to find true love but I am tired of hearing stories of ladies who have fallen for men that are obviously after them for anything other than love. So Oh Ghel before you decide to emotionally commit yourself to that man in Nigeria you barely know here are a few things you should do:

  1. Find a mutual friend/acquaintance – it is very important that you know someone who knows his guy in question and can vouch for his character or maybe lead you to someone who can. It helps you know a bit more than what he tells you because at this point, all you both are doing is ‘selling market’.
  2. Don’t believe everything you see on social media – this is a no brainer but all that ‘luxury’ and title you see could be lies, so take it with a pinch of salt and hold off bragging on how your boo in Nigeria is an Electrical engineer when he really is an electrician.
  3. Ask questions – this is very important because when you ask him what he does and he says ‘business’, you should be able to ask what nature of business it is and expect to get an understandable answer not ‘general contractor’ or ‘hustling’. Still on this, ask how his day was, know what he has been up to, ask about his family…get as much information as you can get out of him.
  4. Do your due diligence – this goes with #1 but you need to have some level of FBI skill in this matter before you marry someone else’s husband. If possible, have a friend or member of family you trust meet this guy, there are things those of us in Nigeria see that you will not (your eyes are not sharp like that…sowwy)
  5. Talk less about your immigration status in the beginning – for obvious reasons.
  6. Do not entertain conversation on relocation – Yes it is important and Yes it will come up but try as much as possible not to be the one to bring it up. If he is quick to bring up relocating under the pretence of being with you then back to #3 (ask questions) what is he going to do for income? Has he done any research? How is he going to cope? Answers like ‘when we get there we will sort it out’ should not be tolerated, he should have a plan, after all he is the ‘man’ in the relationship unless of course you are interested in having a house husband.
  7. Don’t be in a rush – I know you are getting older but marrying a man the second time you are seeing him in person is suspect. Don’t be in hurry, visit him in Nigeria, see him in his own comfort zone, let him visit you as well; if you can, relocate for a bit, evaluate your lives and then you ‘both’ decide what would be best. These things take time and all of that won’t happen in 3 months.
  8. Do not send MONEY – This is open for debate but I believe that before he comes to you for funds he must have exhausted all his options in Nigeria so lines such as ‘my clients are owing me’ ‘I’m having issues with the bank’ ‘I need this real quick, I will pay you when you come to Nigeria’ should be scrutinised…again ask questions!

It’s amazing that in a country like Nigeria where there are so many single women claiming not to find men to marry, some of my Nigerian sisters living abroad are able to meet, date, marry and ship their men over. It’s obvious that those of us in Nigeria are missing something or our oversabi is causing us to strike out a lot of potentials.

Whatever the case, ladies, when in doubt…ask questions!

Love and Running Shoes

I strongly believe that Lagos must have the highest number of potbellied ‘runners’, most of which you will find on the famous Lekki-Ikoyi suspension bridge on a Saturday morning. These potbellied runners are usually soaked in their best fragrance, dressed in their matching gear (some with face caps) and all have the arm bands showcasing their variety of expensive fitness gadgets.

Lagos also has a high number of bra-less ‘runners’, most of which you will find on the famous Lekki-Ikoyi suspension bridge on a Saturday morning. These bra-less runners are usually soaked in their best fragrance, sporting the lightest possible tights and tops and are usually eager to hop jog a few kilometres, showcasing the variety of ‘cup’ sizes and sensitivity to the windy environment.

Welcome to Lagos, where everything is another way to get hitched!

I’ve been told I need to go out more in order to meet potential suitors. If you’ve ever lived in Nigeria, you would know that as a single woman, your mission when you step out of your house is to meet a potential husband (I’m only being sarcastic by the way). Not once did I ever think that working out would be another way to ‘spouse hunt’.

For the record, I’m not a fitness junkie, I run power walk daily to keep fit because I tend to sit for long hours during the day. I prefer power walking outside because walking on a treadmill looks lazy and my naturally competitive self is slightly irritated by the random skinny chic who decides to ‘fly’ on the treadmill right next to mine. I mean why abandon all the other equipment and come next to someone who is clearly struggling with anything more than a powerwalk on a treadmill? WHY? What’s your point? So you think you can fly? … *deep breaths Miss Gidi, deep breaths*

Anyway, being fit has become one of the most popular trends in Lagos, from celebrity personal trainers to Shaun T’s insanity routine, everyone who is anyone wants to be fit and/or have that bikini body even though most of us don’t wear bikinis to the beach and are subconsciously  addicted to jollof rice and eba.

Although this has become a city-wide trend, some parts of the city (*cough* Lekki), have taken it a bit too far by turning it into an avenue to meet their potential partners with  the newly constructed suspension bridge being the perfect location for such matchmaking. I guess the idea of 1.36km (0.85miles) of potential suitors excites them.

As most things Nigerian, there is always someone who has a story of how they got hitched and the story of meeting someone on the suspension bridge is fast becoming a trending topic. I always thought they were stories that could never be true until my size 6 friend who resides in Phase 1 said she only goes for a ‘run’ on Saturday mornings because that’s when the big boys come out to play. Of course, as the curious cat that I am, I decided I was going to experience this lekki bridge transit dating.

My friend and I agreed to meet up at about 9am at the Lekki end of the bridge. Upon arrival,I noticed she had matching gear from top to bottom hugging her well-proportioned curves while I, well I had on an over-sized slight faded t-shirt covering the folds from the twix bars I won’t let go of  and a scarf to put my weave in place. As I walked towards her, I subconsciously prepared myself to be scolded for my nonchalance as I clearing missed the memo on dressing etiquette while working out in Lekki.

After a few minutes of stretching, we decided to start slow before increasing our pace. The bridge was packed as expected with people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels not to forget the cyclists with top of the line bicycles and all the fancy gadgets. To be honest, it was a sight to behold, seeing so many Nigerians being health conscious or so it seemed.

While some were running the full length of the bridge, others were exercising their eyes on the variety the bridge had to offer. I couldn’t help but notice the occasional pot-bellied runners walking in pairs and smiling at every good-looking lady that walked pass or the bra-less runners passing by in what seemed like hopping instead of jogging; I almost tripped watching a pair of Double Ds have a life of their own while their owner hopped ran towards me.

At the other side of the bridge, there were certain newly acquainted couples who were taking out time to get to know each other while pretending to brisk walk across the bridge. You could tell they weren’t talking about fitness because I am certain  a conversation on sweat, miles and pain is not enough to make a young lady laugh flirtatiously while tucking back the strand of South American hair the wind keeps blowing in her face…or maybe it’s just me.

I noticed my friend had picked up her pace so I got out of my state of shock and focused on burning the twix bar folds I had accumulated. I was only a few minutes into my increased pace when I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard my friend say

‘Abeg slow down! How do you expect to get a toaster when you are running?

*sigh* What can I say?  #girlsarenotsmiling

MAN VERSUS AMBITION

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Halfway through a conversation between Miss Gidi and Mr A

Me: Mehnnn I need to make Forbe’ list in this life

Mr A: So where will your husband be?

Me: Ummm Forbe’s list too duh!

Mr A: Abeg Miss Gidi, you need to chill on all this your over ambitious goals, at least play it down because most men don’t like women that look like they want to compete with them

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Well friends, welcome to another day in the life of a single sister in Lagos, today we are discussing being ambitious and how that affects your ‘man market’.

In a country like Nigeria where there are a lot of female entrepreneurs (including your fish and pepper sellers in the market) I wonder why most Nigerian men (not all) have a problem with a woman who is driven. Fortunately, I happen to be one of those women who aim for excellence, to be the best at everything I do. While in secondary school I ran the school’s tuck shop for about a year (or was it a few months) under the Junior Achiever’s program and ended up winning an award for the best company run under the J.A. program that year.

Even in Uni, I was elected the president of an organisation and with the help of a fantastic team, we were able to transform it from nothing to one that was recognised for excellence and I was awarded with the highest leadership award for my efforts as the President of the organisation. I’m not trying to blow my trumpet here instead I am saying that excelling at what I set my hands to do has always been my motto in life and with parents like mine being mediocre has never been an option.

Unfortunately though this trait of mine does not seem to help my ‘man market’ because as a single woman who wants to get married I am told I need to tone down my drive for excellence and never discuss some of my life goals such as being on the Forbe’s list. Apparently, my physical appearance already intimidates men so being an NFA (No Future Ambition) should balance the equation.

For the record, this has nothing to do with having a demanding job, this is about being a woman who is driven to succeed.

Don’t get me wrong, some Nigerian men love a woman that is entrepreneurial and driven BUT she cannot be better than he is or more driven than he is, so while he deals in oil/government contracts, she should stick to selling shoes and bags in the marketplace, never aspiring to have her own brand or expanding into being one of the top shoe producers in Nigeria (heck Africa!) …a few shops here and there should be height of her aspiration.

Each time I have this discussion with people, I am often reminded that most women who are supposedly ambitious are single, divorced or widowed. There is the misconception that a woman who aims to be excellent in anything other than being a wife and mother cannot be ‘tamed’ because she may forget her role in the home while she aims for success in other aspects of her life.

Our society gives me the impression that being mediocre or pretending to be is what makes me more of a ‘marriage material’; I must learn to slow down to be accepted; so don’t be too educated (unless you are a medical doctor), don’t aim for greatness, don’t own properties, don’t drive luxury cars (unless a man bought it for you) and in my case, don’t dream of being on the Forbes list.

My question is with the number of female entrepreneurs we have in our country why is being an ambitious woman a threat to the average Nigerian man? Who says a woman cannot have it all? Or is ‘having it all’ something only men can aim for?

Sadly for ‘our society’, I was not trained to be mediocre, I was trained to be the best that I can be, aim for greatness including being the best mother and wife…surely there has to be a man who can handle all of that.

Staying Neutral

Sims finally got to answer my question on being neutral in female drama.

The WordSmith's Journal

Guys, I’m sure this situation has happened to you before. Your female friend who you’ve been friends with for quite a long time, introduces you to another female friend of hers. You all become friends, it’s all good, all of a sudden you have another female friend to hang out with. And then one day, your two female friends fight. Opari.

By the way, this is a request by Miss Gidi. I always get excited when she asks me to write, though this is quite late. E ma binu Ma.

Ok back to this scenario. So what do you now do? Easiest thing would be to ignore them both right? But we kind of know that’s not exactly possible. So then, who do you owe your loyalties to? In fact, should loyalty even come into the equation? Maybe not, but it does anyway; these are women we’re talking about, and…

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