Friday, February 26, 2010

TTTEC: A C-SECTION

It seems that I am getting more and more issues about Mother-in-Laws and their wahala. Here is another one and it seems that this lady, lets call her Chichi, is determined to deal with this problem once and for all. Please give her some serious strategy on how to handle her situation.

Thank you.

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My husband and I are expecting our first child and my mother in law is coming from Nigeria to stay with us pending the arrival of her grandchild. My husband is her first son and she is quite excited, but even though she is yet to get here she is already causing me sleepless nights.


I have elected to have a cesarean and it seems my MIL is not happy about that. She believes that the procedure is simply a way for doctors to make more money and even argues that it will be harmful to the child. Now mind you, she is no doctor, and she is not a nurse. I have spoken at length about the decision with my doctor and I am comfortable with the decision. My husband was comfortable with it as well but now that his mother is complaining, he is beginning to stress me out, asking me to reconsider.


I have chosen for now to not engage either of them. My husband is easy, I simply need to put my foot down and he will let this go. We tend to not argue and know how to solve our issues. But my mother in law, that is another issue. She has been known to cause trouble in the homes of her daughters. Her oldest daughter, Mary, is now separated from her husband over some stunts my MIL pulled over there, but I rather not go into that. All I know is that I cannot allow her to sow seeds of destruction in my young marriage.


She has accused me of wanting to take "the easy way out", of wanting to waste her son's money (mind you, my insurance is covering the delivery) and even has made comments to my husband's aunts over here prompting them to call me and say rude things about how real mothers do this, or that. Anyway, I am seeking to aggressively deal with this problem because it is my right to discuss with my husband what decisions we will make regarding our children and our home. I don't want someone else, MIL or not, interfering to our detriment.
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Okay people, let me just say that I had all 3 of my children via C-Section and it is no big deal. A recent conversation with a friend revealed that some of our mothers believe that a woman is not a real mother until she has "pushed out" her children. *eye roll*. C-Sections are life savers for some children, particularly those suffering from fetal distress during labor (as was the case for my diva TE) and many mothers simply do not want to entertain the possibility of vagina tears which sometimes require surgery to fix. I just don't understand why some people won't simply allow other people to live their lives jeje. Anyway, forgive my rant. May I simply add that Chichi's hubby, (let's call him Michael), is not the sort of man to 'challenge' his mother, so there is little expectation that he will discourage her from making rude comments.

Alright, over to you guys...

Monday, February 22, 2010

"REBUKE IT!"

So, my fellow Nigerians, and those familiar with Nigerians, know that Naija folk are extremely religious. I once had a classmate named 'Christian' - cute kid, but like any mortal, he likely participated in un-Christian-like events. I also once knew a primary school classmate named 'Innocent'. Personally, I think his parents set the poor boy up for failure as he could never live up to his name, at least in primary school. He always managed to get into trouble and those where the days when teachers whipped students with kobokos at random. Once, during Physical Education (PE) class, as we ran around in the school yard, pieces of newspaper started dropping from Innocent's PE shorts. He had padded his backside in anticipation of that day's spanking - he knew it would undoubtedly come. And he was right. A fellow student sold Innocent out to a teacher who promptly got rid of the padding and punished him for it. Poor Innocent, I am sure he is probably doing great now though.

In general, Christian names are not a problem, even though my father refused to give me one. Nor is Christianity an issue, I am a Christian who has managed to give all my children at least one Biblical name. However, the way some Nigerians use Christianity is a real turn off for me. Like the term "Rebuke it", for instance. "Rebuke It" is a heavily used, and probably overabused, term in churches and Christian circles. Feel like the devil is trying to steal your shine? "Rebuke it". Think that mami wata lady at the office is trying to grab your promotion from your clutches? "Rebuke it". It so sweetly and succinctly surmises the evoker's refusal to claim anything negative in their life. Yoruba speakers would simply say "lai, lai" [never] or "Olorun maje" {God forbid}. But, "Rebuke It" is likely the shiny, new way to say the same thing.
Why am I writing about this term, "Rebuke It"? Because recently, I discovered that I never want to hear that term used out of a proper context again. During a conversation with a close family member in Nigeria, I made the mistake of telling the person that I and my children were sick with coughs and colds. No sooner had the statement been made than did I receive a shrill reprimand.

"Ehn? Don't say that! Rebuke It!!!!!!!"

Lost in a head fog and coughing away, I quickly realized that I missed something and repeated that my family was unwell to another swift scolding, this time much louder and longer-

"I said REBUKE IT!!!!!!! Haba, that is not your portion...."

And from there, the speaker descended into a 5 minute speech on how I should not "claim" sickness and other matters, punctuated with several "Amens".

Now, let me make it clear, I understand where the speaker was coming from. Yup, I get it. Before new-age gurus started making money by teaching self-help junkies that speaking something into the universe makes it be, Nigerians have been aware of this. It has to do with the way we use religion, our own traditional religions and even pseudo-science to understand the world around us. So, I understood that saying I was sick would somehow make it okay for me to be sick (get it?) which is what the speaker did not want me to do.

However, it was too late to worry about all that. I had spent 4 days sick, not eating (though a discussion with Folake Huntoon about grilling eventually spiked my appetite), coughing, blowing my nose and praying to everything holy to get my strength back. When that finally began to happen, I had my hubby drive me to a store to buy a phone card to call this family member, only for that person to not empathize with me and mine, but instead, give me a religious lecture. It just sounded uncaring - not very Christian-like.

So, it was no surprise that the rest of the conversation was nothing more than grunts and "hmms" from me and that I considered various techniques to bring the call to a swift end. But, it turned out that I didn't need to worry. Simply putting the thought that I needed the call to end into the universe was enough. I had a miracle. The phone card shut off prematurely bringing the one sided discussion to a blessed end. And, imagine that, I didn't even have to say "Rebuke It" to make it happen.


DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended to condemn any individual, any religion or any group of people. It is also not intended to be a reaction to the recent "prayer" discussion that took place during TTTEC: A Missing Ring as this post was written before that TTTEC installment was published. Also, please do not blame that heathen Azazel whose blog I read frequently. This is simply a reflection of the writer's feelings in reaction to a personal incident. Take it, or leave it. Thanks. And if you get offended, just "rebuke it".

Friday, February 19, 2010

TTTEC: A MISSING RING

Hello Easier Crew, I hope your week has been a good one. Today's TTTEC installment involves a lady who, in my opinion, likely knows what is going on around her, but needs the push and encouragement necessary to take certain steps.

But, what do I know. Let's hear what you think and what suggestions you have for Ayo.

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Dear SolomonSydelle:

I have been married for almost 9 years and so far I have had a good marriage. My husband is a hard working man and we have twin girls Taiye and Kehinde. Like many others, my mother-in-law did not like me,claiming that because I am from Ekiti, I am stingy and would not make a good wife. Despite this and other issues, my husband, Niyi, and I got through the criticism and married.

I do everything I can to make my husband happy and he used to do the same. He would sometimes give me gifts for no reason, take the girls and I out for lunch and in general, be a loving father and husband. But, about 3 months ago, I noticed that things were changing. He didn't give his children the elaborate gifts he usually does for Christmas, and for me, well, I got nothing. When I asked him if something was wrong, he told me he was too busy to figure out what to get for the kids and I. I said no problem but cotinued to notice that he was getting distant with each passing week, coming home late from work and taking more and more business trips.

At the beginning of February, I noticed that he came home one day without his wedding ring. It was a Sunday evening and for the first time in 9 years of marriage, my husband made me cry. I couldn't confront him, and didn't. However, since that day, I have noticed that he continues to not wear his wedding ring. And when he did not give me even a kiss on Valentine's Day, I had had enough. As has become usual, he came in late on Friday evening (Valentine's day). I was waiting for him as I had made a spread of his favorite foods, and the twins were with my parents in Ikeja. But, I was so upset and asked him if he was cheating. He looked at me, laughed and told me not to worry about that. I then asked him where he left his wedding ring. He continued laughing and as he walked off to the bedroom he told me he lost it.

I don't want to believe that Niyi is cheating on me. We are both committed Christians and we pledged to both be faithful to each other and our marriage. What am I supposed to do? I worry that he is cheating but, my friends keep saying that it is not a big deal if he is cheating, it only becomes a problem if he has a child outside the home. I feel I have nobody else to talk to.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

HOOKING MY MOM UP...

Okay, my Computer friends and fam, this is going to be interesting.

As you can see from the title, I want to hook my mother up with someone. Now, my mom has been single for a while but she's the kind of babe that is always out having a good time. I have been threatening to find her a boytoy for a while. At first, she used to blush and dismiss it, but I think she is now considering the idea, lol!

I love my mom. She drives me nuts sometimes, but I love her and I know she needs companionship. My mother is one of those ladies you see on the wedding circuit in Naija. Gele/headtie reaching the ceiling, wearing aso ebi for all her friend's daughters/son's weddings. Bag...check. Shoes...check. Party here, party there. Serious peperempe. And, I don't mind. You see, I believe that when you have raised your children and others children as well (as is the case in most Nigerian families where everybody raises everybody's child), you deserve to enjoy retirement. So, I say, party it up mommy, but stay safe.

Anyway, I met someone I think would be good for my mommy. My family and I call him Farmer J and he owns a large farm right next door to my community. I have been stalking his farm for sometime now, trying to get an aloe vera plant. When I finally met him, I was with the boys and he took them and taught them how to feed his cows. He has quite a bit of them. The boys had so much fun, that Bomboy took to picking up huge balls of cow poop and chasing me with the stuff. *shuddering, remembering the experience*

So, yeah, the kids like him. I like him. Even my hubby likes him. And did I say Farmer J is very nice? I have seen him a few times and spoken to him on the phone quite often. He wants the kids to come by and name a baby calf that was just delivered on his farm. I think he would be good for my mom. A man who enjoys putting his hand in the dirt and being in touch with nature. Hahaha. I'm laughing so hard right now, because my mother's nickname is "Shine, Shine" if that gives you some clues, lol! My mom can't get over the fact we go camping, lol!!!!!

Farmer J's very down to earth and extremely kind and well, yeah, I think they would be a good match. Even though he runs a farm, he's an artist (has a very cool little studio that TE loves), teaches sculpture and photography at the neighborhood university and is involved in the community. Did I mention that my mother was an actress way back in the day? So, she has her artsy/creative side as well.

Now, how to hook them up? My mom is in Nigeria. She lost her passport and now needs to get a new one, plus a US visa. And, we all know that in the post-Abdulmutallab world, visas have become even harder to get. I'm hoping that given her age and extensive travel history, it won't be a problem for her. Geez, this will be the first time I have tried to hook my mommy up with anybody. There was a guy who liked her a while ago and she refused his advances because he was younger. I scoffed at her and told her to reconsider, but you know Naija babes, "How can a small boy be chasing me like this..." lol!

Ah, this post is getting far too long. I am going to get my mom in the US as soon as I can and when I do, I will introduce her to Farmer J. This is bound to be interesting....

I'll let you guys know, okay?

PS: Um, if you read this blog, happen to know who I am and happen to know who my mama is, YOU BETTER NOT TELL HER OF MY HOOKUP PLANS OH! It has to be a surprise hehehehe... And, if anybody has a responsible and charming older gentleman that they think would make a good date for my mother, I am accepting applications. Yes, oh, she too should play the field, go out on dates with other guys until she figures out which could be her boytoy, hahahaha

Friday, February 12, 2010

TTTEC: ALKALI

Hmmm...todays installment was told to me by 'Peju' and it turns out I know the people involved. Nigeria is a large country but I swear, when it comes to Nigerians, its only a matter of 3-4 degrees of separation, not 6.

All I can say is that it is important for people to be honest. It is also important for us to take what our partners tell us seriously. Ladies, if a man does not want you, please, let him go. And, yes, you will know. But if you don't please contact me for the Senior Girl's Handbook. I believe that what happened below was a direct result of a woman thinking she could change a man and make him love her more than he actually does. Mind you, I cannot heap all the blame on this lady. The guy in this situation should have had more balls and extricated himself from this relationship because he clearly had no interest in being monogamous to a woman who wanted monogamy. Men, be honest with your partners. Anyway, please read and see what I am talking about. I had to cut some stuff out because the story was long, but I hope you get the drift of it all.

Have a blessed weekend.

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My cousin Albert is a royal bastard. Like his father before him, he is a womanizer and will chase anything that moves. He met one of my bestfriends Morenike at a party some years ago. Morenike and I went to Corona together and we even went to the same secondary school. I came to the US first, but when she came, she transferred to my college and we are like sisters. 

Anyway, I was there when she met Albert and I warned her to stay away from him, but she did not listen. Anyway, one thing led to another and after 2 tumultous years of a relationship filled with cheating, she was impregnated by him. Unlike Albert, she was ecstatic and believed that by having his first child, he would marry her and change his cheating ways, blah, blah, blah. Albert refused to marry her and her mother and sisters came from Naija to force her things into his house. Yes, I definitely mean force. WIth all that, he refused to marry her, but he allowed her to live in the house. 


One baby turned into 2 babies and during this time, Albert was not faithful to Morenike. I would get phonecalls in the middle of the night from her, crying and asking me where my "brother" was. I would console her as best I could and let things be. 


3 months ago, I received a phonecall from her around 4am in the morning. She called to tell me that I needed to meet her at a motel almost 30 minutes from my house. When I told her I could not leave my house when I had work in a few hours, she told me that if I did not come, she would kill Albert. I had never heard her talk like that before so my boyfriend drove me to meet her. The minute his car pulled up, Morenike jumped from her car and ran upstairs. I have never seen her display the strength she did that day because she used her leg to break open that door. I ran in behind her only to see her holding a knife, screaming and about to stab the people in the bed. I still had no idea what was going on so I grabbed her. I got cut in the process but, with all the commotion the people in the bed jumped up. It was Albert and this girl, Chima. Now, Chima, is kind of known for being loose. Anyway, my boyfriend and I wrestled Morenike out of that room, but she warned Chima to stay away from Albert and threatened that if their paths crossed, the next time blood would shed.


Unfortunately, Nike has kept her promise somewhat. Last week Friday, she asked me to babysit for her. I said yes. She told me she and Albert were going to go away for the night. Like a mumu, I believed her. Unbeknownst to me, she told Albert she was spending the night at my place with the girls (which she has done many times before). Instead, she waited for him to bring Chima to the house, ran inside in the middle of the night, poured alkali on the girls face and was arrested by the police.


Albert refuses to pay her bail. Nike's mother has come from Nigeria to take care of the kids but everything is a mess. Her mother is blaming me for hooking them up and keeps saying that I "allowed" Nike to get into trouble. Back home, Nike's older brother attacked my younger cousin at a party over the weekend and her family is badmouthing my family, saying that because they trusted us, they allowed their daughter to "marry" Albert. Mind you, Albert never married her. Her family kept telling everyone in Naija that they were married but that was never the case.


I just don't know how I have become the sacrificial lamb in all this. For years, I warned Nike to leave Albert alone. Even his own mother begged her to take the children and leave. After all, Albert would have taken care of his children, no question. He is a very well-paid lawyer and can afford to put Nike and the kids in a nice place. But, she refused. Please what can I do? My boyfriend says I must not bail her out and that I need to mind my business and let everything cool down. But, how can I? Albert refuses to do anything and her family is insisting that my family "do something". I can't believe the mess. Nike might go to jail for a very long time. I just don't know what, if anything, I can do.
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If I may be honest, I advised this lady to listen to her boyfriend. There is nothing she can do. Nike refuses to take Peju's calls and the amount needed for bail is very high. To get that money, Peju would have to literally rob a bank or put up collateral she does not have. Well, I hope you guys have something more to give her than I did, because I just didn't know what else to say.
*smh*

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FUNNY NAIJA SPOOF VIDEOS

I just couldn't resist putting these up -



And this skit is super funny!!!!



We are still snowed in over here and car's keep getting stuck around here. We have plantain, yam, rice, fruits, snacks and today, I think we will bake some brownies. I love eating warm brownies with Twix ice cream (which I can't find anywhere), and chocolate syrup. Ooh, i can't wait. Anyway, enjoy the clips and I hope you laugh a lot!

Monday, February 8, 2010

THE WINTER STORM TO END ALL...

As I type, I am wearing two pairs of pants, a sweatshirt and a large bubble jacket just to keep me warm. No, power holders have not struck, thank goodness, but the freezing temperatures are just no fun. Add to that the approximately 3 feet of snow that surrounds the entire region - can you feel me now?

It snowed for approximately 24 hours non-stop. All one could do was snack on Doritos, drink aloe tea, snack some more, eat coconut rice and curry chicken (you know how my people love chicken). Now that I think about it, I should have cracked open my bottle of Hennessey 44, a special edition bottle manufactured to celebrate Obama's inauguration. Hmmm, I think I'll see how much I can get for it on Ebay instead.

Anyway, so back to the gist - it is freezing cold. Brrr. All I want to do is drink some more tea, curl up in front of the fireplace with my human teddy bear and pass out while he watches his team, the West Indian cricket team, try to beat Australia. It was hard sleeping by him yesterday as he was watching his team lose. Lots of angry grunts, yells and dissatisfied sighs.

Gosh, I can't stay focused. All this cold. And snow. Anyway, here are pictures of my neighborhood post blizzard.

That is what it looked like outside a bottom floor window. Excuse the grimy paw prints on the glass. =)

That is my neighbor's car covered in snow. You can barely make out one of the tail lights in the back.

The snow at my front door.

And my backyard looked like this -

Argh! The question is how long will all this snow take to disappear seeing as we are expecting another 5 inches on Tuesday this week?

My guess? Forever!

Have a great week, people! See you on Friday for a new TTTEC installment.

Friday, February 5, 2010

TTTEC: OF HOUSEHELPS & ABUSE 2

Happy Friday to everyone. I want to take the time to say thank you to everyone who participated in last week's installment. It appears that the tenor of that discussion was very good because I have received 2 emails from readers with advice and one with a personal story to share.

So, today, 'Priscilla' shares her story in the hopes that it will encourage someone to do the right thing for another person if and when the opportunity presents itself.

I hope all is well with you all. Have a blessed weekend!
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I am glad that I stumbled upon your blog. I was reading another blog and saw the title of your blogpost and after reading the comments, I knew I had to share my story.


I am the 4th of 9 children that my mother and father had. Daddy died when I was 14 and at first, we depended on relatives. But, soon, the burden was too much for my mother and I was sent at the age of 16 to live with a relative in Lagos.


Upon arrival, I immediately became the househelp for this family of 5. The 'madam' was a distant relative of my late father's and well, I was glad to be in Lagos and see flashy cars and wonderful things. However, things got ugly when my 'oga' started coming to my room at night. Like the story you shared of the girl who discovered her father with the housegirl, I was also warned to not make any noise or else I would be beaten. And yes, you can imagine, I became pregnant, at the age of 17. He insisted I have an abortion, and one day gave me some sort of concoction. It made me very sick. I thought I was dying. When 'madam' asked what was wrong with me, because I was vomiting everywhere, her husband offered to take me to a neighbor's house, as that neighbor was a doctor. It was late at night and luckily, the neighbor was there. They soon drove me to his clinic and well, I lost a lot of blood and the baby as well.


Believe it or not, I was abandoned at that clinic with nowhere to go. My 'oga' and 'madam' never came back for me. I was given transport money by one of the nurses and when I got back to their house, 'madam' told me to never come back. Just like that. No money. Nothing. I had no way to get back to Calabar.


For some days, I slept outside. A househelp in the area had pity on me, fed me and  encouraged me to speak to the doctor that saved my life that night after that man tried to kill me in the name of abortion. I walked to their house and luckily, the doctor and his wife where there. I think they suspected what had happened even though their friend told them I was sleeping with maiguards in the area. Thank God for that family, because from that day, I stayed in their house with them and their children. They sent me to school and I managed to get my first certificate. I then went on to get a job as a secretary and soon met my husband at Church. Today, I am a mother and wife, and I still cannot believe what I went through to get to where I am today.


I chose to share my story (and I hope you will not reveal my name) because far too often, what happens to househelps is ignored. But, it is the kindness of absolute strangers that can make or break a human being. In my case, I was fortunate to be 'adopted' by a kind family and a man who literally saved my life so many years ago. Even though I ended up on my feet, my life is not a Nollywood film, I am just a simple woman who has seen extreme wickedness and extreme kindness. And just so you know, that same 'oga' that raped me, his son impregnated a neighbors housegirl. After living for months in shame in that neighborhood, the son's actions redeemed me in a way because from then on, many people treated me differently. They realized that something was wrong in that house and not with me. We in this country can be very, very wicked to those who are of a different level and I pray that anyone reading this will not turn a blind eye if they know of a girl being raped by a friend all because that girl is a housegirl. Please, I am begging.
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So, there you have it. I promised 'Priscilla' that I would share her story, and I have. DO you have any thoughts on the matter of househelps and sexual abuse? From last week's comments, it seems Lagos State has some facilities for victims, but I wonder if there are similar options in other states, or would a victim have to find an NGO? Anyway, I will read your comments and learn form you all. There are so many causes to support and champion in Nigeria - this issue should definitely be one of them. Thanks!

By the way, 'oga' refers to a boss, 'maiguard' is the word for a gateman, 'housegirl/househelp' refers to a live in maid.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

EGGSPLOSION

What happens when you have a boiled egg that has gone cold and you want it reheated?

Well, if you opt to put it in a microwave for longer than 5 seconds, this is what you get -


A disgusting mess!

I mean, I know eating eggs can cause some gaseous explosions of the stinky kind (i.e. farts) but and eggsplosion? My, people, I had absolutely no idea.

Ahhh, my life!

Monday, February 1, 2010

#SSDSWAG #2: THE WINNERS ARE...

The winners of Swagevent #2 are NigerianQueen and Cali.

Congratulations to you both!!!!

Both of you will be receiving an item from the fabulous WeWe Clothing collection.
Wewe Clothing

Please send an email to me with your address using my contact form so you can receive your prize.

Thank you to all those who took the time to participate in this swagevent.

Once again, congratulations to the winners. And, a special thank you to Folake Huntoon of WeWe Clothing for making this giveaway possible!