Month: January 2014

Two Become One Problems: Who Ate My Rice?!

If you think you’re the most selfless person that ever lived, I dare you to move into a house full of people and promise to be there for you when you realise just how selfish you really are. Don’t judge yourself too harshly though, communal living brings out the worst in us all. The manifestation of your selfishness will take different forms but today, we’ll be focusing on food.

A couple of days ago, I had a Facetime date with one of my girlfriends. At some point during the conversation, I noticed her opening up cupboard after cupboard, making a right racket. I almost died laughing when she confessed that she was looking for somewhere to hide a packet of biscuits from her husband! I couldn’t judge her though because heaven knows I have on occasion, rushed home from work to make sure I got to the leftovers in the fridge before my Yoruba boy. First come, first served!

Thanking you very much for your prayers, it will be well.

When you live with people, the contents of your fridge develop hands, legs, wings, propellers and all sorts of agents of transportation. But when you get married, it’s a whole new ball game. You see, when you live with strangers or even siblings, you can set boundaries. The boundary lines might be crossed by the brave amongst them but when you’re screaming at your sister for eating the bowl of rice you left in the fridge, you will feel justified. Try screaming at your husband when (and not if!) he eats the bowl of jollof rice you left in the fridge and if you don’t feel foolish as the words are flying out of your mouth, I envy you!

You see, the concept of two becoming one creates all kinds of problems in a home. It implies that what’s mine is yours and vice versa. There’s no more me, it’s now us. It means you cannot claim sole ownership of ANYTHING , especially things in the fridge, after all, OUR money paid for them. Never mind who journeyed to the supermarket, who stood sweating over the cooker and took the initiative to pack up the leftovers. All that one is for your pocket. Na who carry sense go market na him dey chop bellefull! In other words, you snooze you lose!

jollof

There are few things more painful in life than spending all day dreaming about the jollof rice in your fridge only to get home and find out it is no more. Such was my fate the other day. If not that shame would not have allowed me to cry, I would have wept for England. Alas, these are some of the problems that arise when two people are targeting one bowl of rice.

I have learnt my lesson.

I’m up and out of the house before my Yoruba boy gets out of bed so if there’s anything in the fridge I’m feeling particularly proprietal about, I get in there and take it to work with me. I will leave him to come up with his own strategy.

Every man for himself, God for us all!

xXx

Waila

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Back and Forth and Back and Forth

We had breakfast together like we always did but I couldn’t eat, hadn’t eaten much since she died a month ago. I watched him swallow mouthful after mouthful of boiled yam and corned beef stew, with the occasional sip of water to help pave the way. The temptation to pray he choked was overwhelming; I envied his ability to satisfy his hunger. The fist of grief that had made its home in my throat, making it impossible for anything to get past it, had obviously not paid him a visit.
I wanted to ask how he did it, how me managed to make it from one day to the next with such ease, but I didn’t know how. We didn’t talk much, we never had, and we certainly didn’t trade confidences or dabble in emotions. I wanted to ask if he also lay awake at night, the sound of her voice gliding gracefully in his head until he was convinced she was lying next to him, whispering softly in his ear. Did he see her when he closed his eyes? Did her scent dance under his nose too? Did he stand in front of his bedroom mirror watching his snot and tears collide, feeling sorry for himself, and intermittently bursting into laughter at the idiocy of it all?
Nothing seemed to faze him, not once in the last month had he deviated from normality. Her journey to death was sudden, we didn’t see it coming. One Tuesday morning she woke up with a headache, by night fall she’d died of a brain haemorrhage. Three days later, she was buried. Screams and sobs, wails and paranormal expressions of pain, echoed throughout the grave yard as her body was lowered into the ground. Yet, not a sound did he make, not even a dignified sniff. Not as much as a lone tear fought its way past his eye lids. Hadn’t he loved her, didn’t he care enough for the barest tinge of sadness to cast a shadow over his expressionless face?
“Your father is not the emotional type,” she always said when I complained about his matter-of-fact approach to life, “but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, he just doesn’t show it.”
My heart was getting crushed under the weight of my unspoken grief. I wanted to talk about her, share my memories with him. I wanted to tell him I wasn’t coping, couldn’t cope. I’d woken up a few days before to find my underwear and bed sheet soaked in blood. I’d started to panic before realisation hit me; I’d become a woman. Who was I supposed to tell? I’d been walking around for three days with my underwear lined with my old tank tops.
The tears I’d been struggling to keep hidden from public view began to slide down my cheeks. I tried to stop them, to make them retrace their steps, but the harder I fought them, the faster they flowed. I gave in to the grief and wept so hard, my chest felt like it would burst open. Eyes blinded by tears, I didn’t realise he had moved to sit beside me till his arms embraced me. I lashed out in anger, pounding my fists against his chest. How could he be so quietly calm when my whole world was falling apart?!
Gently, he lifted me off my seat and settled me in his laps, cradling my head against his chest. Slowly, he began to rock me back and forth. Back and forth, back and forth, till my fists stilled. Still he continued to rock me, back and forth, back and forth. My breathing evened out. Back and forth, back and forth, till the tears subsided. Eventually, I looked up. It was then I saw the stream of tears flowing steadily, silently, down his face. I wrapped my arms around him and squeezed as tightly as I could. My heart felt lighter. I knew I was not alone.

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Some Things Never Change

Some Things Never Change

It’s the start of a new year and change is in the air. Shingalinga (educate yourself here) is at an all time high and women like me who have never shot a hoop are hoping to be drafted into the NBA by the end of 2014. I mean, who wants the WNBA when the NBA is alive and paying millions. Aim high, aim impossible!

In the spirit of the New Year, I have been assessing the year(s) gone by and in the course of my assessment, I made a shocking discovery. Yes shocking because while it is widely agreed that the only constant in life is change, it is also true that some things never change.

Things like…

  • my mother being a women with skin heads activist

Since my mother was forced for medical reasons, to get rid of her hair twenty odd years ago, I have known no peace. The woman is hell bent on getting me to join the gorimapa (skin head) club. I was in Primary 6 (Year 6 to my fellow *cough couch* Brits) when she succeeded in temporarily converting me. I lived to regret it. Such was the horrendous teasing from my two evil brothers (they took to calling me Mike Tyson!) that I took to wearing a baseball cap everywhere. Everywhere of course included school, for which I got many a flogging. Is it any wonder that till this day I have an aversion to short hair?! *shudder*

  • being opinionated

You don’t want to ask my opinion on an issue if you really don’t want to know what I think because you will regret it. I have strong opinions on almost everything under the sun. It gets tiring being so passionate about so many things in this world. Can’t a girl just be blasé about life?!

  • losing umbrellas

Buying an umbrella is like ripping up a five pound note and chucking it in the bin. You’re a better person than I am if you have ever managed to hold on to an umbrella for more than 24hrs. Perhaps I am exaggerating but it’s not far from the truth. I have taken to helping myself to lost and found umbrellas, resting in the knowledge that someone somewhere is doing the same with the hundreds of brollies I have misplaced since I was born.

  • forks and teaspoons eloping

Where do all the forks and teaspoons go? To Vegas to get married, that’s where! I think. Today you have six of each, tomorrow, you have none. Please, if you know where they go, kindly inform me so I can head down there with a trailer to reclaim my lost property. My Yoruba Boy is prohibited from taking cutlery out of the house and worse still, from bringing home strange forks (that do not match our cutlery set) from his office. Let it never be said that I harbour fugitives.

Knives on the other hand, are friends that stick closer than brothers. When the rest of your cutleries do a runner, you can be sure your knives will stick around. The world would be a better place if one could use them to shovel mounds of rice into one’s mouths without stabbing one’s self.

  • hating my behind

I hate big butts and I cannot lie. This is why the likes of JLo and KimK never make my celebrity bodies to be envious of short list. This people, is a problem because I am one of those that the Lord has blessed with a derriere. No matter how slim I get, the bad boys stick out like a giraffe on an ant farm.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

xXx

Waila

The Obligatory New Year Post

It’s fair to say 2013 wasn’t a great year for me as far as blogging is concerned. I was as inconsistent as inconsistent can be. I’m not trying to make any promises for 2014 lest I fall flat on my face but I am working on managing my time to make room for Waila to do Waila and write more regularly.

Last year was unforgettable in many ways, getting married being the highlight as most of you already know. But it also sucked in many other ways; the stumbling block that planted itself in the way of my getting married being the lowest point. My 2013 was consumed by my transition from Miss to Mrs and much as I’m grateful and happy to be married to my Yoruba Boy, I’m looking forward to the new things 2014 will bring.

Yes, I know round about now every blogger is expressing gratitude but as cliche as it may seem, we really cannot take our readers for granted. If it wasn’t for you guys, I’d still be unconvinced that I’m any good at writing. If it wasn’t for you guys I’d still be on my knees asking God what I ought to be doing with my life. If it wasn’t for those of you that harassed me, my sporadic posts would have been even more sporadic. So when I say thank you, I’m not saying it to tick any boxes, it really does come from the bottom of my heart.

I’m praying 2014 will be the year my relationship with my God reaches new depths.

I am praying that in 2014 I will become a better me, a better wife, better daughter, better sister and better friend.

I’m praying 2014 will be the year I find the courage to pursue my musical aspirations.

I’m praying 2014 will be the year I write that book.

From my living room, clad in my alumni sweatshirt and track bottoms, my hair bound by the most ratchet of durags hidden under a pair of tights turned cap, I wish you all a happy new year.

May 2014 be the year you find truth, courage and hope.

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Love Always,
Waila