Month: August 2016

For The Love of Titles

“Pork Chop, say hello to Aunty!”

“Who is Aunty?! I am not Aunty, I am Grandma!”

I stared in disbelief at my mum’s relative.

There I was trying to be polite only to be reprimanded because…because…?

Dear relative, I’ll concede and tell my child to call you ‘Big Aunty’ if ‘Aunty’ is too small for you, but forget that Grandma, it is NOT happening.

I can’t with my people! If there is anything that can kill a Nigerian (because you know we are indestructible), it is the insatiable hunger for titles which we associate with respect. We carry it on our heads like it will make NEPA bring light.

Having to call your fellow students ‘Senior’ in secondary school is the beginning of the madness. I can’t begin to describe to you the power trips it causes. Those of you that know, know.

A friend of mine got the shock of her life after she got married and was told to call her sister-in-law, who is exactly 10months older than she is, ‘Sister.’ My Yoruba brethren, but why?!

Another friend was told to call her cousin ‘Uncle’ (four year age gap). The so called ‘Uncle’ had the temerity to date her friend and still insist she refer to him as ‘Uncle’ while his girlfriend got to call him ‘Sugar Banana’ and every fruit under the tropical sun.

Like it isn’t bad enough that we  covet this form of respect in our personal lives, we carry on the title craze into our professional lives.

Yet another friend (because where else will I get gist from) was introduced to a potential gentleman friend but the relationship died an instant death when he introduced himself as “Pharmacists Chiemeka.”

Engineer Princewill.

Solicitor Ajayi.

Economist Bianca.

Scientist Okafor.

IMG_4877You get an idea of just how serious a matter it is when you see a man refer to himself as “Chief Barrister Apostle Mr Olawuyi”.

I can’t, I just can’t.

The end.

 

 

 

Dear Womb Watcher

Dear Womb Watcher,

You accused me of hiding my pregnancy. In your words, “We had been waiting for IMG_4752you to conceive and you didn’t tell us when it happened! Why were you hiding? You didn’t post any pictures on Instagram!”

First things first, who are the ‘us’ that I neglected to inform? Are you my husband? Mother? Father? Brother or sister? Friend perhaps? And why were you waiting for me? Do I owe you a child?

Secondly, I was hiding because you didn’t find out on Instagram?! Really?!

I am confused, I can’t lie.

You see, I got up in the mornings like all the other commuters in London and hopped on the train to and from work.

I patrolled the Canary Wharf malls on my lunch breaks (because assorted cravings) where I was spotted by many a friend and acquaintance. Shout out to the Naija massive in the wharf!

I was so robust, only lycra worked for me; so I lived in lycra dresses that advertised my ginormous bump.

I went grocery shopping, I went shopping. Heck, I spent half my pregnancy in Brent Cross.

I visited friends, I visited family.

I went to the cinema, I went to a few parties and weddings. At 32 weeks pregnant, I was in a club shaking my tail feather to celebrate a friend’s 30th. I even trekked to Winter Wonderland to chow down some hotdogs and gaze longingly at mulled wine.

I frustrated my poor husband because despite his concern, I was driving the streets of North London looking for everything and nothing…anything to get me out of the house.

I lived my life as normally as the fatigue, back ache and pelvic girdle pain would allow.

Yet, I was hiding because there were no pregnant pictures of me on Instagram.

You see that Insta life? It’s not real life. Real life happens OUTSIDE of Instagram. If you have been relying on Instagram to find out the intimate details of my life, I hate to tell you that there’s a hell of a lot you’ve missed out on.

If you had bothered to call me, you probably would have found out. Oh wait, you don’t have my number.

If you’d sent me a message to find out how I’d been, you may well have found out. Oh wait…

The crux of the matter is that you had no idea because it didn’t concern you. You need not have kept track of the length of my marriage. Telling me I’d been married long enough to have a couple of kids, who asked you?! Seriously, who you epp with your mathematics?!

And then you casually informed me that you’d assumed I was having problems conceiving! Some things are better left unsaid; that baseless assumption was one of them. Even if I was having problems conceiving, what a way to address the subject…not that addressing it is any of your concern.

I was so stunned all I could do was turn around and let you carry on the conversation with my back.

You would do well to focus on your business in the future and leave me to focus on mine.

Next time I won’t be so gracious.

 

All my love,

Waila.

 

P.s.

Your Instagram stalking skills are poor. I had a girl NOT a boy.