Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Do not call me dear, if I don't call you honey.

It's common place around here to greet an elderly person or 'egbon' as they love to bear 'good morning' and he or she lifts up a hand to give you a dismissing 'how are you?'.  Nigerians are well known for answering questions by posing another question, so it's almost permissible to respond to a greeting by asking a question.
When asked "how are you?", you will think the answer matters to them, they really do not want to know if you are fine, broke, busted, or hungry. Not like they care. It's just the 'egbon' syndrome. Egbons ask the younger ones 'how are you?'... I am yet to see anyone fire "how are you?" at the boss when he or she comes in and says good morning. The chorus would automatically be 'good morning sir/ ma'. "How are you?" has been reserved for the younger or subordinate.

Some add endearment to theirs, 'how are you, my dear'....Most occurrences, the 'dear' is a girl, woman, or a small child especially when it is coming from a non-relative. The younger men get "how are you my boy?",  "how are you my brother?"
Office environments are no longer kept official especially when it's a first name basis relationship, Nigerians go the extra mile to stop being official but endearing. That we relate on first name basis doesn't mean you are special to me or I am to you in  the office. Do not call me dear, if I don't call you honey.

So there is this new elderly man at the office security post, he should have been around for close to a month. For every 'good morning' or good 'anything' I extend to him, he replies with 'xxxxxxx my dear' , good morning my dear, good night my dear....I thought he was going to change.

Last week, 'the good night, my dear' almost spoiled my evening. I am your boss for crying out loud and I am not your sister or grandchild. Oh! yes! he is old! old enough to be a grand dad! old enough to be this and that...but this is an office, and you are not my dad and I am not your dear. I got into hubby's waiting car and told him how I felt with this oddity.

I was looking forward to the following morning for the greeting so as to deal with it. He didn't show up for another one week. Then this morning, he was there. As usual, he answered my greetings with a 'how are you, my dear'? .  So I looked straight into his eyes and told him, 'Oga, when next I greet you, just answer me good morning. Do not call me dear, I am not your dear'. He was shocked, his colleagues and supervisor were shocked, I was shocked too because normally, I endure all manners from the aged, but for crying out load, I'm tired of being everybody's dear.

Case closed!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

'You are a big girl now, forget aso-odun'

So 2015 is here, I must admit it kind of crept in. I still have some 'To do in 2014' undone, some goals yet to be achieved and some dreams still hard to pin down, but we move on.
One should be excited about the cross-over night especially when you chose your activity for the night. I chose to spend mine at church but I wasn't too excited; I did say my thank you's to Him who owns my soul but at a point it felt like a drag; I was forcing the gratitude out as I had flashes of many things that could have been but didn't. 

 The invited minister got up and started talking about me kind of; burdened heart, weary body, dashed hopes, bounced checks....he was just peeping into my heart and talking. Then he quoted Habakuk "Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation......"  oh! peace flowed through me.  Then I offered praises from my heart, telling God though I wanted the fig trees to blossom but still I'll praise him....it felt good eventually. It's hard to praise God when your Christmas check bounced. 

You see, my Christmas check was returned. Arrrr! My heart almost stopped beating, I've made plans. This period isn't just about the holidays, I have more financial commitments this period, some good works and some goodies for myself. I had been obsessed about 'aso-odun' for a while. I wanted a teal lace with bright-in-your-eyes yellow accessories, matching gele and maybe a 'bad' shoe to die for.  My buddy and I had made plans when to hit Balogun, buy the lace, buy neck and ear pieces with a matching gele. It was going to be a bright Christmas until the check was returned. 

But then, I consoled myself it would clear before the new year. I had called the account owner and he apologized telling me to represent the check. Then Christmas came and left, I fought the bad feeling that would come with that experience, I could execute every other plans but for the aso-odun. So I told myself, you are a big girl now, forget aso-odun. My friends and I had fun and was even at Agodi Parks and Resort Garden (That place is bliss, you should visit!) 

Presenting the check after Christmas holidays, I was fully assured I'll have money to blow around. I would console myself with a big pot of goat pepper soup on the 1st day of the 2015, boil ripe plantain, pop wine and blast music. Then cook a pot of rice for hubby's abokis; Abdullahi, Sanni and their friends. So imagine my despair when I got the bad news as a bank notification, the check didn't clear the second time. 

If I was White one would have seen the colour drain out of my face. My heart was sinking fast and before it got to my feet, I had to sit, then lie down. This time, I did the right thing between the issuer and myself; I ended our contract abruptly.
If the check was just about pepper soup, I can head to any 'mama ope' and buy me a steaming hot bowl of well spiced pepper soup, but my birthday would be in another 5 days and I had made plans too; host 30 friends, do some acoustic worship, dine, merry, take pictures, have fun. That would cost money too but the check was returned.
So, while in church, my mind was going to stay on that silly check. It was hard to concentrate but I won, if He won't withhold his son from us, would he not freely provide pepper soup and boiled plantain? 

So today is 1st of another 365. I'm home, I didn't make plans to go out, so I'm watching TV, popped wine, ate rice, stayed on twitter, revised goals, got angry, got excited, danced to songs without drums....and would maybe buy me that steaming hot goat meat pepper-soup later in the evening if the desire doesn't fizzle out.
It's the beginning of a fresh start, nothing would spoil the day for me. 

Awon onigbese jatijati!