Saturday, December 25, 2010

Diminishing Importance of Christmas...?

When I was younger, Christmas day was very much a big deal. I was sure I was gonna get a new dress (which was usually one annoyin ball gown with puffed up sleeves and a belt behind to be worn with white socks and what we now call "Mary Janes"). I was assured of a new hairdo. I was sure my mother was atleast gonna buy one or two "live" chickens. I was sure they were gonna tie up christmas lights everywhere in the sitting room and place Xmas cards (old and new) on them. But wait sha, we were razz oh! Someone would give us a Christmas card in 1965 and we would still have it and use it to decorate the house in 1980! Chei!

Watching them kill the live chickens was always a delight for me (does that make me sound like a blood thirsty person?? Woreva jor!). After killing the chicken(s), we'd soak them in hot water to make the feathers soft and subsequently pluck out all the feathers one by one. It was so much fun for me doing all that. Enter 2010, tell me to do anything with a chicken (other than eat it :-D) and you wont even get a response, lol.

As recently as 2-3yrs ago, the town starts to get empty once it's 22nd December. On 25th December, you'd hardly see any cars on the road, churches were usually scanty because every1 would be in their village for Christmas. Everywhere would have a ghost-town feel to it and this also added to the appeal of the season; Even the harmattan added to it to give that special Xmas feeling.

Enter 2010. I went out this morning and I was amazed at the number of commercial activities going on. By the way, there was hardly ever any Harmattan this year, as a matter of fact, I have never seen such a harmatanless year since my mama born me! The jar of vaseline I bought in prepaation has just been wasting, maybe I should go back and demand a refund sef, abi?

As I was saying, when I went out this morning, I was blown away by the hustle and bustle. There were cars everywhere, people everywhere, buses everywhere. None of that ghost-town effect was there. Most shops were open for business. I saw about 150 open hair dressing salons, 300 boutiques, CD shops, Supermarkets, EVEN furniture shops were open. Na who wan buy chairs on Xmas day? Paint shops were open; who is gonna wanna paint on Xmas day? Markets were in full swing....people selling plantains, fruits, akara....Nothing was different...

It never used to be like this....atleast not on Xmas day gan gan...

And I'm wondering.....Is it that the value of Christmas is diminishing?? Or is that too many people are now too poor to be bothered? Rather than think of celebrating this special day, they think of how much sales they migh lose if they close shop today. Should they be blamed?

Someone might argue, it is a day to spend with family and just chill. But really, of what use is family time if they cant get decent meals to eat or decent shelter?

Or maybe, besides minimal funds, people are now scared to travel to their villages for fear of being kidnapped? Everybody is now a potential kidnap victim; whether you are rich or poor is inconsequential. Or maybe they are scared of travelling on roads that are now worse than ever before....or just maybe, they are scared of robbers on the road who increase per second largely due to the crazily high unemployment rate and/or an almost non-existent educational structure.....It gets worse in this country...

AND..... there was a bomb blast this morning in Jos. So while we're busy texting and calling to exchange greetings, some other are mourning the loss of loved ones, some others can't mourn, they can't text nor call, they lay somewhere unmoving, oblivious to the uniqueness of today....oblivious to the merriment....

I pray God gives the affected people the strength to bear their losses....My heart goes out to them...

Randomly Speaking....

It's Xmas day...finally. I still don't feel the Xmas feeling...mayb whn I start my cooking for d day, I will...

The people who live behind my house just never stop talking and their babies never stop crying...I don't gerrit. Even on Xmas day whn they are supposed to be soberly reflecting...

It's Xmas day and there's no light. Nepa sef *smh*

I went to the salon to relax or retouch my hair, as they call it. I think it should be called RETORCHING bcos my brain was on fire. Everytime I put myself thru this torture, I promise myself never to do it again. I felt like my brain cells were being shrunk by acid. See me repeatedly tapping my feet on the floor like a masquerade dancer. But then, if I don't "retorch" my hair, it will be so strong that combing it will also destroy my brain cells. Lose-lose situation. So now I've concluded that my brain cells will be more functional if I had NO HAIR (aka Gorimapa). Who knows I could have invented something by now if not for all this hair wahala I have had to go thru since I was six months old (retorching, drying, perming, weaving, braiding etc etc)

I'm blogging with my phone and it isn't half as fun as it i with my I'll be back...

Merry Xmas!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

You'll Never Understand Everything

In the past two or three days, some people around me have decided to go mad. As in full blown madness. During my long wait at the airport some days ago, I was reading "The Rules of Life" by Richard Templar.

RULE # 34: You'll Never Understand Everything

"Look, we are tiny complex humans in a huge complex world. It's all so unimaginably, fantastically strange and believe me, we'll never be able to understand everything. Once you grasp this rule, you'll sleep easier at night.

There are likely to be a few things going on around you right now, as there always will be, that will remain slightly out of your comprehension . People will behave oddly and you wont understand why. Things will go unexpectedly wrong - or right and it won't make any sense. Spend all your time desperately trying to work it all out and you'll drive yourself crazy...

Stuff is going on around us at such a rate we'll never get to the bottom of it.....Because as fast as we try, pictures change, new information comes in and our understanding alters.

Be curious, ask questions, wonder to yourself, talk to other people if you like - but know that this won't always give you a clear and concrete answer. People don't always make sense. Life doesn't always make sense. Let it go and discover the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you'll never understand everything. Sometimes it just is..."

I have a friend who has refused to talk to anyone for two weeks. Lol. She donmadt. I had been calling her for a week, she didnt take my calls. A mutual friend of ours called and complained about the same thing. I got into town and decided to go hijack her from her office. Even at work, she wasnt talking to any of her colleagues except necessary. I saw her and she looked mad. I asked why why she wasnt taking her calls and she said nothing. I asked her if I had done anything wrong. she said no.

We subsequently spent the rest of the day together, gisting like she was sane. And then she told me she was tired of the world and was just not in the mood to talk to people and that it was nothing personal against anyone. She said she wanted to go somewhere and lie down in a cold and dark place, unmoving.

That sounded like a grave to me and I told her as much. And she said she's much rather be in the grave than be alive :-O. According to her "life is hard, it's just so much easier to just lie down in one place and be obliged to move".

She don mad, truly truly. She has always been mad sha, so I'm not surprised. And she is one of the few humans whom I can't get mad at. Regardless of what she does. I just love her like that. Because beneath all that dark and twisted exterior, she has a really good heart....

Her case is just the for the others, like Ricard Templar said, I guess I'll never understand! So I'm not even gonna bother trying....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cheating & Blackberry

Cheating and blackberry. Or blackberry and cheating. I wonder which one sounds better. Anyway!

I was having one of my sleepless nights yesterday when my friend came out of his room at about 2am, panting like someone they were pursuing. And then he says, almost out of breath, "please I need to talk with you urgently". Na so I follow am enter my room and he shut the door for effect (there were other people awake in the sitting room).

At this point ehn, I couldnt wait to hear the gist. My ears were standing like mad. Finally, after plenty heavy breathing and sorrowful glances, he told me he'd just discovered his Nnwanem was cheating on him. I don't even know what Nnwanem means but thats what I call her cos she's Igbo.

And I go "o-o-okay! And you know this because?"

He went on to tell me how he had just "investigated" her blackberry while she was asleep. His motive was that she had been acting funny recently and being overly protective of her phone even when he wasnt interested in the contents.

For effect, he went back into the room, got her blackberry and showed me the shocking things he'd found. Even me sef, as I read am, my eyes became wide with surprise, my mouth was open and I had tears in my eyes. I really like(d) the girl, so I was/still am heartbroken.

She had a constant flow of communication with a guy who had just come back to 9ja and there were details of her going over to visit him in Lagos this weekend. Meanwhile, she had lied to her bobo that she needed to go submit some documents bla bla. They generally just had some pretty intimate conversations.


There was another guy who she had been chatting with on BBM.

Guy B: Do you enjoy kissing me? (and some other kiss related talks that I dont remember)
Her: Yes
Guy: How would you rate me on a scale of 1 to 10 (me, still thinking say na kiss dem dey talk about)
Her: 6
Guy: Did you have an Oh gee (and I'm wondering, is that a new ice cream flavour or smthn)
Her: Huh?
Guy: Did you have an orgasm (at this point, my eyes bcame so wide, I thot they wld pop out)
Her: Yes! (duh? If she really did, wld you need to ask her hours later, dumb guys! that's bdw)
Guy: I hope you didnt forget to take the pills? (at this point, my heart just broke into a million pieces)

She was just not cheating. She was cheating and intending to cheat with random people. She was just not having sex with other people, she was doing so without protection. If I hadn't seen these messages korokoro, I might not have believed.

This is a girl that has been forming church church. They started attending foundation classes together in church. She sleeps over almost everyday and she suggested they do morning devotion together. She'd even suggested to my friend that they start practicing abstitence and he shockingly obliged her because he genuinely liked her. Hell, he just stole her ring from her sister to get her finger size! My guy has been telling me how he can't wait to marry her and all. This is a bad guys who decided to mellow down for one woman. We live in the same house and I can vouch that he's been sincere with this lady.

And she had to go and break our hearts. Everyday, I see one more reason to be cynical. Why are human beings so untrustworthy. Why? Why can't people just be sincere?? Too many lies. Too much falsehood. Too much pretence. My friend was visibly shaking and he couldnt sleep for the rest of the night. I advised him not to wake her up nor talk about it just yet. Even me, I lay on my bed just going over everything, and I was just sad. I'm still sad. He wants me to say something, I'm short of words.

He still hasn't confronted her....can't wait for when he does...

I have a low tolerance for infidelity. And sadly, I'm so gender biased that my tolerance is even lower for women. It's not logical, I cant explain it but that's just the way I'm wired. I can stand a cheating man more than I can a cheating woman. I believe women are a stronger set of people, I believe we have been given more responsibility to uphold certain values, to show the men the right way when they are deviating...So it breaks my heart each time I see a woman deviating....

I'm not trying to be judgemental or anything. I'm just expressing my sadness. In as much as I am cynical, I also have my optimistic nature lurking somewhere. It's contradictory but na so I dey. Each time I see one more reason not to trust people, my heart sinks.

And this blackberry sef. I think it has more cons than pros. Half of the things people yap about on it are total rubbish. Just my opinion tho....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Still, Small Voice

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see"

I heard this gist about a man who was driving home one rainy evening in London and saw a lady stranded under the rain. He heard a still, small voice tell him to help her and he ignored the voice and drove past. After a few seconds, the voice prompted him again and he drove back and picked the woman up. She was grateful and told him she had never had anyone be this kind to her in all her years in jand.

She asked him where he was from and he said Nigeria. She was Somalian but married to a Nigerian, coincidentally. And after further conversation, she discovered the good samaritan even came from the same village as her husband. She went further to tell him they were actually in the process of getting a divorce due to irreconcilable differences. He probed further and discovered the reason for their differences, most of it stemmed from her misunderstanding of the typical Nigerian man, culture and otherwise.

He felt he should make an effort to explain certain things to her and after he was done with that, she had a clearer understanding of her husband. Subsequently, their divorce process was terminated as she made up her mind to make her marriage work after talking with the stranger that helped her under the rain.

After this, she was so touched by this man's impact on her life, she knelt down and cried to God from the depth of her heart to bless this man and as she prayed, she got a prompting to specifically ask God to bless this man and his wife with a child. Prior to this, she knew next to nothing about this man, didnt know whether or not he even needed a child. But she just had a strong conviction to do so.

Meanwhile, the man had problems of his own. He had been married for 9 years without a child. He had prayed, cried, fasted, waited, done everything. But he didnt share this with the woman he'd helped.

Five months later, it occured to her to share with him her prayer to God. She asked if he had a child and he said no. She then told him how five months ago, she'd had a strong conviction to ask God to bless him with a child as reward for saving her marriage. And at this time, his wife had miraculously gotten pregnant. And she was exactly five months pregnant. Exactly.

Sometimes, all we need to get our breakthrough is just one very little, seemingly inconsequential thing.
Obeying that still small voice to do that seemingly illogical or silly thing may just be it. All he needed to do was help someone under the rain.

I'm one of those people who dont believe in randomness. Life is not a series of random events. I strongly believe that for every person I meet, every sermon I hear, every book I read, there's a higher purpose to it than what I can see. I believe that God has already pre-destined for it to happen EXACTLY the way it is. Even the pain I've been through, it was destined to serve a higher purpose. Pain is a servant. That purpose might not be known to me immediately, it may not even make sense at the exact time it happens, but eventually God reveals those things to me. He lets me know why I met a particular person. He lets me know why He let me go through certain things. It doesnt have to be immediate. His ways areafterall not our ways and a thousand days are like a day to Him. I'm not much of a prayer warrior but one of my constant prayers to Him is to give me the grace to constantly be in line with His will and purpose for my life. If pain is part of what has been pre-ordained for me, Lord please let me not escape that pain. Sounds crazy abi. This is not a one-off prayer; It requires constant renewal. Because in this digital age, it is so very easy to deviate. Too easy to step outside the lines..

I have added a new prayer: Lord may I not miss that still, small voice.....

I'm feeling very spiri spiri this night...and for the second night in a row, I'm not's not like I can't sleep...I just don't wanna for no reason whatsoever. Maybe I'm supposed to be praying or something...I just feel a restlessness in my a good way sha. I'm giving myself like 30 minutes, if I'm still awake, I just might come back here!