Thursday, January 10, 2013

CHRISTMAS: The pleasures and pressures of

I had a choice to come home to Sapele, Nigeria this Chrismas but a few harsh realities ensured I stayed put. Seriously a Naija boy goes abroad and America for that matter where if you look closely enough you might see the pearly gates and where the birds that fly are angels...and that Naija returns for Chrismas. You tell me what then is expected of him. In fact I am looking at my inbox now and checking out a few messages from people I do care a lot about all asking me to come for Chrismas with a caveat "Bros, if you dey come, bring....."

The girl I barely know that asked me for an Ipad I have discussed before on facebook (Of course I never reveal names of messages sent in my inbox) and if you remember, I told her what I can conveniently afford to give her is a "brake pad" or "sanitary pad" and she can put the letter "i" in front of it.

Turning down people you barely know is easy but when you truly care about them from the years you have spent growing up playing Kelekele or of some loyal male smallies that say "bros if na PS3 make we take open small game centre". Or maybe a few female smallies who grew up right before you but seeing their pictures on facebook now you are like "shoooo. Na small.... of that day done set like this? See waist!" and she tells you she is in final year in the University and they stole her blackberry and "Bros you will bring one for me when you are coming this Chrismas" and then you find out you are actually chatting with her in good English as opposed to the dismissive pidgin English you used to talk with her as a kid. JUNGLE DONE MATURE!!!

So by the time you tabulate all your loved ones and their requests, by the time you calculate how much they will cost especially with the fact that even your blackberry is "contract" and you didn't pay a lump sum for it. And if you add that to the fact that "No be as them think say America be....seriously a lot better tan naija on average but..

So this Christmas, I know it is going to be very cold and Wintry and I will carry my loneself to the Baltimore harbour for their fireworks.

Now Frankly I can escape the pressure of Christmas cos I do not have anybody I am beholden to. But what about boys with girlfriends they really love? You want your girlfriend to look good and to love you don't you?
Now to please your girlfriend, whether you live in Nigeria or hustle the cold overseas, certain things are constant
1. Your girlfriend wants to wear Brazilian or human hair. The least that she can manage is 50 thousand.
2. There are these nice Louboutin shoes her friend got. It is just 150 thousand.
3 Her Mary K make up is giving her pimples. She wants to try MAC and 30k or so may be enough.
4. The Louis Vuitton bags are really nice. It is 100 k for a moderate one
5. I think long artificial nails are sexy...especially when she is using it to scratch your back during....em em while you are... em em...(let us concentrate) These nice long artificial nails cost only....
6. Long eye lashes. When your girlfriend wears them and looks at you with "corner eye" from under them. It is racy isn't it? It costs.....
7. Then the little money presents to her mom and younger sisters and brothers so they know you will make a good son-in-law. Why dont we just budget 70 k for the bag of rice and drinks and meat and groundnut oil along with the "small kola" to "wedge" it? It is imperative her folks love you is it not?

I just imagine a brother Tosan who just got a teaching job at St Malachy GRAMMAR SCHOOLSAPELE earning some 50 thousand a month with a bill like this from his girlfriend. EKWAKWARAKPOR!!!! ORITSE MOBIE!!!

I mean he seriously loves this girl and would give an arm and a leg to please her. So he literally offers his arm and leg on Craiglist and Ebay and he finds all the bidding for his arm and leg falls far short of moneys required to give his girlfriend a merry Christmas. WAHALA DEY!!!

That is when he reads about how much is paid to kidnappers and he remembers his aunty is a commissioner and she can afford to pay the 1 million dollar ransom if her dear mama is kidnapped. He thinks about it some more and screams "God Forbid. woman that helped pay my fees? God forbid" he says to himself if he has any sense.

So knowing he cannot afford these things and knowing how pretty his girlfriend is, he walks to her house and of course she is not home. "where ...." he asks the mother "she commot. Wetin happen???" The mother would reply. It is hell being the broke boyfriend I assure you.

As he walks home, he wonders if he should behave like his friends who break up with their girlfriends around early November and make up February 16th, the following year two days after Valentine.

Igho his friend faces same dillemma. He has shouted at, stopped calling, and even knowingly called his girlfriend another girl's name just to break up with her but she is absorbing it all. He has no idea what to do anymore to effect the break up.

So Tosan continues to ponder. He gets home and finds Omono his girl waiting for him. He sits her down on his bed in his mother's apartment where he still lives and tells her "Omono, I do not have the money to buy you Brazilian or Human hair. I know your friends are wearing Louboutin shoes but I cannot afford it and you know." Brings out a carton. "I got you this blackberry bold 2 and it is actually not very new but it is in good working condition. You know we have not been paid since"

Omono with a dead-pan face says "Tosan, If I wanted a man to buy me all these things, I am sure I can find one. Abi you no see Alhaji motor for my house wey you dey escort me last time? I like Brazilian hair. I like every fine things but I like and value my boyfriend pass all of those things. This Chrismas, anyhow e be we go do am. And thanks for the phone. I wasn't even expecting it."

I imagine Tosan's mom hearing this in the living room and upon Omono's leaving, not caring if she is Esan or not, she says to Tosan "I done phone all your Uncle them for Ode Itsekiri. Them dey come make we go see Omono parents. You done reach to marry. Good girls wey their eye no dey shook scarce like okporoko head"

I can imagine also the wedding with Tosan's mother and her friends fawning over the bride cos she has tosan's mother's stamp of approval. Tosan's aunty the Commissioner who Tosan resisted the temtation to Kidnap comes with her "honourables" and they spray money like it is going out of fashion. Also I imagine all Omono's single friends looking super-fine with their Bottega Vonetta bags, Adeanna Couture tops and Bissou Bissou pants...only problem is they aren't even certain if they have a boyfriend or not or if the man/men they are sleeping with even has any plans to take them to the altar.

Indeed my fertile imaginings may have created the above but I can assure you that this is a very likely scenario. A lot of people will break up this Chrismas, not because their sex-life isn't great, or they and their Boyfriend/girlfriends aren't compatible, or that they do not believe their partners love them. They will break up because they will give in to the pressures that is Chrismas. They will place material things above emotions and solid sensible financial planning. The girls will so desire these things that they will do things to get them that will cost them a lot more than they can calculate....including that broke boyfriend whose being broke has an expiry date.

I have often said this and I ask that you on your own do this research. Stand with five guys in front of a Mr. Biggs or church on any given Sunday and ask the men to identify the various weave ons and wigs and human hair. Then go to any store and hide the price tags of the bags and ask the men to choose the bags they prefer. Then have a girl walk past them and look if the men stares at her hair, nails, lashes (if they even notice the lashes at all) or if their eyes do not gravitate to her boobs and as she passes follow her buttocks like it was twitter.

The truth remains that women wear very expensive things because of other women. When they quarrel or gossip you hear "wetin she dey wear sef? her kpalasa shoe abi wetin? You done see my Gold? My Gold go buy everything wey dey her body"
It is women who, as other women enter, they immediately become cash machines and you can practically hear their brains calculating "her shoes 5k, bag, second hand 3k, Necklace GL 12k, Dress, Uche Douglas 15k. Me....only my bag 150k, she is not my standard. I cannot be her friend. And when another woman enters with even more expensive apparel, she says"mtchewwwww. She is wearing a COURRAGES and it doesn't fit her at all with her k-leg"

So just to please or rather displease other women, ladies would risk their honour, reputation, health, financial stability, and especially their relationship.

And yes your research with the men I asked you to do, if any of the male test subjects actually looks at female fingers and notices when the nails "colour block" or the amount of the hair the girl is wearing or if her lashes was well done, he is either a fashion freak or he is gay. I repeat the above for emphasis. IF HE LEAVES BOOBS AND BUTTOCKS AND STARES AT FINGERS AND COLOURS ON THEM, HE IS GAY most likely.

We men are simple creatures. Come to us looking fine and neat, not with too much make up, clothes that actually fit you, a smile, good behaviour, and a readiness to....em em. We never ask for much. I am yet to see a guy break up with a girl cus she had a low cut hair that cost her 500 naira only to maintain. But I have seen guys walk away from girls they would have asked out just by guessing how much the gold on her neck cost and immediately disqualifying themselves.

Now do not get me wrong. I love expensive things and designers. A look at my pictures on fb will show I have worked with a few Nigerian designers like Uche Douglas (who I am knowingly giving free hype herein) to see beautiful clothes made. But I will not support fashion that will ultimately do damage to pocket, love and happiness. I am too practical and down to earth for that.

So this Christmas. "do not do pass yourself". What you can buy for the girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, children, friends etc, buy. Show as much love as you can. If you can afford it all, why not? No be person dem make Louboutin for?

But again,"no do pass yourself. Let Christmas be about pleasure not pressure. Remember the reason for the season is CHRIST not CHRISTian Dior