Sunday, February 09, 2014

My Knights in shining armour

Okay, the title probably got you a bit curious. Sorry, this post is not about men with whom I have had romantic relationships, it is about the men who have had a major impact on my life. I have had a number of very special relationships with many special men.

Mr A

One of my best memories was of a time when I was 10 years old, and Mr. A and his wife had come to visit us in Abeokuta. Mr. A and I took a drive, he needed to go get something from town (I can't remember exactly what now). We got talking (note that Mr A was a classmate of my dads and so was in his mid thirties at this time), and I had this weird feeling even then that Mr. A got me even more than my parents did at that time. He asked me questions about what I wanted to do, what interested me, got to know me as an individual, made me think about stuff I normally wouldnt have thought about. As the years have gone by, Mr A and I have had dwindling contact. The last time I saw him was in 2003, when I specially sought him out. He looked really washed out, the hustle of Nigeria had gotten to him. But his smile, his smile remained the same. he was really glad to see me. I went to his wife's office and she took me home. Afterwards I went to work with him and we continued talking. I have since lost contact with him, and google searches have not brought any Information up. Mr A., your kids are lucky to have you as a father.


The second man in my life was Prof. He was a friend and colleague of my parents. I was a stubborn child - I like to think I was just misunderstood by my folks(naijaspeak for parents). Anyway, I'm not sure but I think it is likely that my parents mentioned that I was giving them some grief and so maybe he decided to help out. We also clicked, funny since he was also mid thirties to forty and I was about 10 or 11 at the time that I remember meeting him. The funny thing was that Prof. had a daughter who was a junior of mine in school and we both had almost nothing in common and never really became friends. I remember once he picked me up from home and we drove to his house. Once we got there, he tried to get me to "play with his kids" . It was okay, but I missed talking to him all by my self, lol. For some weird reason, I was even less able to warm up to Mrs. Prof than I was to her kids. She was an academic type, and pretty cool. I lost touch with Prof. after 2001, but thanks to Google, I am now not only in possesion of a picture of him and madam at someone's wedding, I also managed to get back in touch by email!!!!!

Triple A.

Triple A doesn't really belong to the category of the men above, but he did have an enormous impact on my life. Triple A was a student who was under my parents care when I first met him. He has since become a sort of older brother to my siblings and I, and my parents regularly call him to report us to him. Se o ri n kan ti Marin tun ti se (see what Marin has done this time) kind of calls.

The reason why I say Triple A doesn't belong to the category above is because he and I had a romatic relationship. Well sort of. Triple A is about 7 years older than me. I was 10 when I first met him, and I totally worshipped him. When I became born again, he became my mentor in a way. It was great to have him on my side, because my parents, who were christians themselves gave me a lot of grief. My no earrings, no trousers stance was too much for them(I debated the no relaxer, no braids position, but with the texture of my hair, it was really no option for me, lol).

I can't remember exactly what the progression was, but A and I fell in love. Since I was about 14 or 15 at the time, that wasn't really very practical. He wrote me so many deep letters and poems - many of which I have saved somewhere. We almost made love a few times, it just didn't work out too well as I was too scared. We planned on getting married, shared our dreams etc. HE tutored me in Physics to my most "well earned" A - I say well earned because it was purely due to hard work; Physics is not really my kettle of fish, even though I got high grades at University in Physics again, oh well. Anyway, I finally got into Uni and had a bit of a distance between Triple A and myself, and I started to feel like he had taken advantage of me. This was because he refused to acknowledge our attachment in public(I was always "my guardian's daughter). There were some SU sisters who were chasing him and he even discussed them with me, but I knew he was in love with me, but couldn't face the wrath of my parents, and any scandal. Years have passed and I have forgiven him for preying on my innocence, while publicly being a bro who didn't believe in wearing jeans or shaking sisters hands. I have to admit that in many aspects, he is still my ideal man - in the aspect of making a home together etc. But, he always admits it even to his wife(who by the way doesn't know about the romantic part of our relationship), that he became who he is in many ways due to my "lessons" on etiquette. He only proposed to her when he knew I was getting married. Previously in my early twenties, he had asked me out, and I declined. I had overgrown him at the time I guess.

When dear hubby and I were having serious problems, I deliberately kept away from him as I knew the danger. I would not want two broken homes on my neck.

I still love him, albeit in a different way than I did all those years before. He gets me so much, he can calm me down in a way many people cannot, he can also infuriate me and disgust me more than many people. I am glad we didn't get married as we once dreamt all those years. I think hubby and I are better suited. And I love my husband - warts and all. My husband does know about what was between Triple A and I.

Bro. A

Bro A was a youth corper who also doubled as youth leader at the local RCCG during his service year. The year that I was fourteen. I had such a huge cruch on him, and he had a huge impact on my life spiritually. He eventually became an RCCG pastor, a youth pastor and funnily in the same church we attended in a different city. He is a real mighty man of valour and really had an influence on my life.

There are many other men who have contributed in positive ways to me becoming whom I have become. I dedicate this post to them all and I will hold them dear in my heart for eternity.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Questions worth pondering/ words to live by


No seriously, do. No one knows tomorrow.
The last few months have had some shocking high profile accidents and deaths like the terrible accident that killed Paul walker and his friend and the accident of Michael Schumacher. These incidents show us that death is no repecter of persons, it might be anyone's turn tomorrow.
A lot of young people are dying, since I'm Nigerian I'm quite aware of deaths of Nigerians, with the advent of Facebook, it's easy to see it is really about 3 degrees of separation in many cases. The death of a certain young man that I don't know, but who went to uni with my bro and knows a few people that I know is what has spawned this post.
Money, fame and love do not protect one from the inevitable end of all mankind. So may we number our days as is written in the bible in the book of Psalms 90:12

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3 What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
4 A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
7 All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
8 All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
These are some of the questions I have been asking myself and you should consider asking yourself too if you haven't
1) what footprints will I leave in the sands of time?
2) if today were my last day on earth am I ready to go?
3) do I have my priorities right especially with respect to work life balance? Remember, an employee can easily be replaced in most cases, but never a parent and only with difficulty a child, wife/ husband or friend.
4) am I in Gods will for my life?
5) am I taking care of myself like I should be ( adequate sleep, destressing, proper nutrition etc)?
May the souls of the departed rest in peace and may God grant comfort to the loved ones left behind.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Good daddies rock!

I came across the Daddy Doing Work blog via a post on the Good Men project Facebook page. Apparently, the photo below went viral.

I follow lots of mothering blogs and pages, but this is the first time I have been made aware of the also large ( it seems) community of daddy bloggers out there. It's awesome that there are men out there who are comfortable enough with their masculinity to be hands on dads. I think most men find it fulfilling, and more would find it fulfilling, once they break out of the boxes that society has pleased parenting into.

I'm glad when I see young Nigerian men stepping up to be the daddies they should be. My father was distant in some ways, but I remember him bathing us to get us ready for school in the early years and playing monopoly with us. In his sixties now, he still gets down on my kids level to play with them whenever he is around them.We definitely had a close relationship with him, perhaps closer arguably than the average Nigerian kid had with their dad ( he has gotten more traditional Yoruba as the years have gone on though, but that's a whole different story for another day).

I was facetiming with a younger male friend yesterday and while we were talking, DH was on the floor playing with my son. My friend said wistfully, I don't have any memories of my father playing with me like that. He will become a father soon, and I wish him from the depth of my heart all the best in fatherhood and that he breaks the cycle of passive fatherhood.

If you had/ have an awesome dad or if your DH/ partner is an awesome father to your kids, I would love to hear your story, so please leave a comment. Don't be shy, the cobwebs have come off this blog for good. Lol. Have a great week ahead.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dundee United

The words Dundee united, the name of a Scottish Football club has a hilarious claim to fame in Nigeria.
It is an insult.

Dundee buruku* - stupid idiot
Dundee united - absolute fool

Apparently this slang term for idiot came about after Dundee United FC lost several matches during a tour of Nigeria in the 60s and 70s. I grew up using the term without really giving a thought to how it came about. Apparently the rest of the world became acquainted with the Nigerian use of the words via the BBC documentary "Welcome to Lagos".

Hilarious! Read more here

*buruku is Yoruba for bad/stupid

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Back to the basics

I have been away from blogging for a while. I know that's quite an understatement.

Juggling children and a career in obodo oyinbo is not easy at all o, my people. Like I have mentioned in previous posts, I like to write, but can only write when I am in a certain state of mind. I am back to that place where I can blog. I will still be updating this blog from time to time,as the spirit moves me, in Naija speak. Please also check out my new blog the (Complete) Chatterbox Companion, with anecdotes about my family life. A link to the blog is under the Arins Odyssey 1.0 Tab on the pages panel above.

Lemme share this funny story with you my readers before I end this post i think it depicts the Nigerian obsession with marriage.
So I just had a baby, and my aunt came to visit from Nigeria. She met one of my friends, an American Lady.

American woman: how old are your children

Aunty: 26, 24 and 20

American woman: oh, so they are already very manageable

Aunty: yes o, they are marriageable

Me: Aunty, she said manageable.

Aunty: oh yes, indeed, they are manageable

Me( trying to cover my embarrassment: they are manageable and marriageable.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Nigeria@50 - a series

Its been a long time! I don't know if anyone still comes around here, but just popping by to do some PR for the Nigeria@ 50 series. Check Loomnie's blog for more details
BLOG WATCH!!!! Don't forget to give credit if you borrow anything from this blog.