Hi Guys, it’s been a minute, or maybe lots of minutes lol; I have no excuse except laziness and just not felling the urge to write, call it writers block or maybe writers stack of blocks. Anyway, I’m here now and that’s what matters. I usually have thoughts, long thoughts that turn into movies in head, today I will tell you one of those thoughts…..let me know what you think.
I used to follow my dad to the barbing saloon, it was our thing, when we got there I would sit and watch him get his hair cut while watching whatever boring Nollywood movie was showing on the TV. When he finished I would pay, he just wanted to say with pride that his daughter was paying for his hair cut (not because I had any money, he would usually give me the money before we get to the saloon). He was a good man, my dad but he was controlling far too controlling and that was what would eventually drive me out of his house into the reality of the cold hard world. On one the bright afternoon in September my dad told me to follow him to the barber’s shop, I didn’t think anything of it and I was happy to go because that was our special time (we didn’t have any deep conversations or anything of the sort, I just liked it), I was an unemployed struggling freelance nail technician so I really didn’t have anything doing. I thought it would be the same old trip to the barbershop but daddy dearest had other plans. On our way back, I looked ahead and saw a not so small fire in front of our house and I wondered why someone will bring their refuse to our gate to burn but as we got closer something caught my eye, the man stoking the flames whom I had never seen before was pushing tubes of acrylics into the fire, they looked like mine but I knew they couldn’t be mine because I didn’t know this man so why would he want to burn my polishes, then I saw this nail lamp that looked way too familiar and something in me snapped, I jumped down from the car and ran through the house to my room, it looked so empty, my nail stamping kit was gone, my rhinestones, all my acrylic polishes were gone! I ran to my sister’s room to check but I knew, I knew they won’t be there because the strange man outside was burning them. I ran outside and screamed “those are mine, why are you burning my things!” as I frantically tried to save whatever I could, I was using a stick I had found to grope the flames blindly because the tears had already blurred my vision, I heard myself scream “STOP!” but the man refused to stop, he just kept stoking the flames, making sure all my acrylic paints were properly burnt…..To be continued.
Let me tell you a story that irritates me whenever I think of it…
So my brother had appendicitis and while in the hospital one of our Priests (my least favorite one) came to visit, you know, priestly duties. He was discussing with my brother and I intentionally stayed out of the conversation because well I like to be by myself but he started talking about the events that happened when he got married like how he told his wife basically how everything should go down that day (I’m an Anglican not Catholic) which got my attention and somehow that led to him talking about this couple he had to counsel. So he said when they met the woman was very outgoing, always going for social gatherings, weddings and such while the man was an indoor person and would only go out once in a while (even that was a struggle) but after they started dating, she encouraged him to go out with her and socialize with people. After a while he became quite the social butterfly himself and they got married – this should be the part where I say they lived happily ever after but this is not that kind of story – well after they got married, the lady got pregnant and flew out of the country to have the baby while her husband in all his glorious wisdom stayed back instead of going to witness the birth of their child, and support his wife.
It was while she was preparing for the birth of the child that she received news that her husband was cheating on her and even brought the side chick to live in their house (if I can remember correctly). Irritating as this sounds that’s not even the part that got my goat, it was the fact that my Priest blamed the woman for her husband’s infidelity, he said “she’s the one that made her husband to like going out, he didn’t like going out before so she should’ve left him that way, she should’ve known that anytime she’s not with him when he goes out he can misbehave because he’s not used to going out”. I was beyond perplexed, here was a man of God, in charge of counselling couples, absolving the man of adultery against his pregnant wife because “she taught him how to go out”, as per she has to watch a grown man outside the way she would watch a toddler to keep him from misbehaving? I was so angry, my brother just smiled and threw his face because he knew I was about to argue till Jesus comes but I swallowed it and against every bone in my body decided not to argue because I knew he wouldn’t listen and in the end I would be the one feeling angry and bruised on behalf of my fellow sisters. You don’t want to know what he said when I asked him what if it’s the woman that cheated *sips tea*
So I saw a post about women in Nigeria and wearing trousers in the church and I just want to share my thoughts on that.
People say things like “if a mosque says cover your hair, you won’t complain”, I personally don’t think the uproar is about not following the rules, (apart from the fact that some rules are unnecessary) I think it’s about the inconsistency of the rules. I went to a church owned school; we weren’t allowed to wear trousers and our skirts had to be below the knee so imagine our surprise when the wife of a visiting Caribbean pastor (from same church) wore a fitted short dress, she looked so beautiful but it made us wonder, were we given these crazy dress codes because Nigerians like to be extreme? Then I found out that in our sister school abroad , girls were allowed to wear trouser, our vice chancellor said “it’s because of their weather, my wife almost got frost bite because she was wearing skirt” and it made me wonder, if it’s about the weather and climate shouldn’t we be allowed to wear spaghetti straps? I mean the heat IS intense. It definitely cannot be because of culture because before the missionaries we were practically naked.
Then one day I was watching a Catholic channel and saw the choristers wearing trousers and none of the ladies covered their hair which was a surprise to me since I’d known catholic churches to have strict “no trouser and cover your hair” policies, I have literally been given handkerchief to cover my hair when I was a bridesmaid at a Catholic wedding. I remember going to a certain church branch and realizing I didn’t have to wear skirt like the branch in Lugbe or Ogun state. It’s also funny to me that a lot of churches will not allow ladies wear trousers or uncover their hair especially to the pulpit EXCEPT when it’s a visiting pastor or music minister from “the abroad” so does it mean members of that church abroad are going to hell or wont have a good relationship with God? I heard of a church that wont allow ladies wear jewelry, trousers or open their hair but an abroad minister climbed that same pulpit with all of these. Personally, I have no problem with rules, if I can’t deal I’ll leave…..where I get confused is when foreigners can do as they please while we have to deal with so many unnecessary restrictions. Is it mental slavery? Or are we just accustomed to making life difficult for ourselves in Nigeria? I would really like to know your thoughts.
As a Christian, to me, the argument of women not wearing trousers is like the argument of circumcision. See Gal 5. *sips tea*
The struggle with body positivity is real in Nigeria because it’s quite normal for people to just open their mouths waaaaaaa. For as long as I can remember I’ve had to deal with unsolicited comments about my body from friends, strangers and very unimportant people. From “your nose is too flat” to your “lips are too big” to “you better stop growing taller or you won’t find husband”. These are just tips of the iceberg to say the least. One time in Js3, a teacher legit called me ugly to my face; it made me sad but I was just twelve so I didn’t think anything of it. Then I got into senior secondary school and the comments about my feet started;I wear a size 45, that’s a 12 wide so it’s very frustrating to get my size of shoes, as if that’s not bad enough I have to smile through people’s very dramatic response and laments about how I’ll have to construct shoe for my wedding smh. In SS3 it became about my height, I was nicknamed “agric” because of how tall I was by some teachers and friends, I felt like a giant and before long I was looking into height reduction surgeries lmaooo.
When I got into the university, my first year was such a tough one, puberty had hit and I had pimples ALL OVER, it was on my face, arms, back, chest…one time I thought I had chicken pox, the doctor that attended to me was very amused that I legit mistook pimples for chickenpox. I was so insecure about my face that I would always walk with my head down and would never go anywhere by myself. I saw the way people would stare at me like I had a horn in the middle of my forehead and the “that girl is fine but see how pimples spoiled her face” side talks didn’t help, I passed by a group of three girls one time and they started laughing ugh! Then if I dared to go out under the sun the pimples will be shining bright like diamonds and everyone will have an opinion on what is causing it and how I can fix it, “have you tried avocado”, “soak your face in milk” “there’s this cream that worked for me”, “maybe you’re not washing your pillowcase” *intense eyeroll*. The most embarrassing was when a lecturer told me to go to the hospital because she didn’t think it was acne anymore, maybe it was an infection….in front of the whole class!!! People would see me and the first thing out of their mouths is “what’s wrong with your face” or “you have pimples” uhm yes Patricia, I know that! *another intense eyeroll*. Some people even had the audacity to reach for my face and try to burst a pimple like the nerve! It was so frustrating but I learnt to deal and after spending my first summer with the most fabulous roommates ever,my confidence level sky rocketed. Now when people make unsolicited remarks about my body, I just ignore them….or school them if I’m in the mood. Humans please learn to mind your business, if you cant say something nice then don’t talk. *sips tea*
I know you are God of Mercy and Hope
Always there to help me, with life, cope
And ensure that in the end, it is dope
But as a flawed human, the enemy did, with my piety, elope
And in the enveloping darkness, I blindly did grope
Therefore causing, in our relationship, an interlope
I have realized my errors and in a shameful shock, I now mope
Surprised at how I could not, to the enemy, utter a nope
Instead I let him drag me down with a rope.
My weakness and unculturedness I do acknowledge
Please have mercy on my soul and restore the fire-hedge
Because without you, I’m so easy a target for the enemy to again throw off the ledge
And achieve his aim of driving between us a wedge.
Please have mercy on my soul and restore me to that special home in your heart, Father…