TRUE ROMANCE

It was love at first sight.

Actually, it was more than love; it was something much more profound. He felt pain when he first saw her. The pain that comes with seeing someone who is the personification of all one desires and knowing that from that moment on, you are a willing slave to them. He had to make her his own. Take her into him. He desired more than her body, he wanted her soul. She would be his escape.

Tunji had always been a loner. He spent more time in his own head than anywhere else. Cursed with a face that was not attractive enough to be desirable and yet not ugly enough to be considered ‘of character’, he had never become a social animal. He had been bullied a lot in his adolescent days, which had only served to make him more shy and reserved. He had no friends save for Femi, his childhood friend. He knew Femi only stayed friends with him because of their history. They had been friends since childhood and so they continued to be friends: Circular logic. With no shared interests and only a few perfunctory text messages exchanged every other week, what they had was a friendship of function. For all practical purposes, he was alone.

At night he occupied himself with lesbian porn and masturbated his sorrow and loneliness for the day into a tissue. Every so often, he weighed his life on the scales of continuity and he found himself wanting. He would find himself contemplating suicide but could never summon the courage to end his life. His existence dragged on, he dreamt of the girl that would love him, unconditionally accept him for who he was and maybe give him a reason to die.

Kerna was a whore. At least that’s what they called her to her face. Many people said much worse behind her back but she cared little what they said. Their words were as empty and hollow as their knowledge of her past. What could they know of the pain that had been visited upon her by her Parish pastor Rev. Umokoro? What could they know of being flogged with a leather strap whilst being forced to fellate the priest at age 9 because she hadn’t swept the back row of the church properly? What could they possibly know of being tied with discarded wires to the pillar in the pastors quarters while he masturbated into her mouth and repeated Matthew 15:11 before forcing her to swallow. She would never forget those words.

“What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.'”

No. they knew nothing. So she pretended not to hear them when they drove or walked by her spot on Allen Avenue and sneered at her. She was doing what she could to survive. Waiting for someone, something, to take her away from the pitiful existence she called her life.

Their eyes met on a cold, cloudy night in September. Tunji had just finished his daily lap of the rat race and left the office late but there was no okada in front of his building to take him home as usual. He was walking toward the roundabout where he thought he could get one. He kept his head down as though hidden from God as his feet shuffled forward. It was dangerous to be out by this time, walking down the street alone, but he did not really care, what did he have that was worth being taken away from him violently?

As he looked up briefly to ascertain his location, he saw her out of the corner of his eye, standing by the road. He felt the pain of desire as Cupid’s jagged arrow tore through his soul. She wore a short blue dress, exposing almost all of her creamy thighs and rendering her considerable breasts more or less free of their jailer. She was dressed in the attire of her trade. But it was not her appearance that he was drawn to. Her sorrow called to him like a beacon, her weariness of life she wore on her head like a crown of thorns. His beauty queen: Miss despair. To him, she was beauty personified. She was the Mona Lisa, defiled and scorned. He ached for her. In that instant, she had become the unwitting queen of his silent supplication.

Panic set in. He was consumed with a mad lust and desire which he did not know how to react to. It was utterly irrational. He felt his feet begin to saunter forward, toward her, slowly at first and then faster with more purpose as a dark resolve which he did not know he had gained momentum. She saw him walking toward her and in that moment she knew she wanted to lie in and die in his arms. He arrived in front of her and stood close, very close, invading her personal space. She did not resist the invasion, she simply stood her ground and stared into his crazed eyes. As they stood there she looked into his eyes and knew he was her Angel of death. They stood there face to face, breathing into each other’s mouths for almost a full minute before he finally spoke:

“How much for a night?”

She smiled.

The walk to his house had seemed to last an eternity which was a good thing, because they had shared a lifetimes worth of stories in the two hours it had taken them to get there. Now they were in in his room, silently staring into each other’s eyes, lost in mutual despair. After what seemed like an eternity of comfortable silence, they both spoke at the same time in unison:

“I want to die”

It was the culmination of everything they both wanted, as though they had been waiting for each other, each one waiting for their escort to the underworld. They had no illusions about where they would spend their afterlives, but surely it could not be much worse that their present states. They kissed. A deep passionate kiss that seemed like the first time for them both. No other kiss in their entire lives had held so much fire, so much passion and desire.

They quickly undressed and fell to the floor in a sweaty tangle of fevered passion, sweat and desperate lust. Foreplay set aside, He slapped her face violently, repeatedly as he entered and thrust deep into her and she scratched his face in response, leaving deep cuts in his cheek even as she thrust right back from under him. They persisted. When his legs felt weak and he slowed the pace of his thrusts, she dug her fingernails into his side, below his ribs, dragged her upper body up to his neck and bit him until he bled. He howled as his fingers curled into a fist and he punched her in the face, breaking her nose. She moaned and screamed simultaneously. He thrust faster into her as they both began to laugh madly, bleeding, moaning, and sharing their bodies and diseased souls. As he felt himself nearing the climax, he bit her nipple and pulled her hair from behind, she reached out and dug her fingers into his neck in return, and then she ripped away suddenly, peeling away the skin and leaving four deep cuts. He came.

She rolled onto her side and curled into a ball. Fetal. He struggled to his feet, his ears ringing, and went to the kitchen where he found his large cutting knife, the one he used for cutting meat and fish from the market. He took three candles, the knife, and an old rope and went to the bathroom. He turned off the lights, plugged the bath and lit the candles, arranging them in a triangle around the dirty bath tub and lighting them before walking back to the room and taking her by the hand.

“It’s time” . He said

“I love you”. she replied.

“You are my queen”.  He said lovingly

They kissed and walked to the bathroom where he sat her by the tub. His hand was shaking but his heart beat steady with resolve. He must have her, all of her and then he would be free. They would both be free. He lifted the knife to her throat trying to remember where the carotid artery was as she closed her eyes and readied herself for the blade. He cut swiftly. She let out a gasp as her life essence sprayed onto his chest and torso and mixed with his tears and blood as he wept from the intensity of the emotion he felt. It was pure, undiluted joy.

He methodically severed the rest of her head from her body. He tried to be gentle with her but it required some effort to sever the spine. When he was done, he kissed the lips on her severed head and set it down on the bottom end of the tub before using the rope he had taken from the kitchen to suspend the headless corpse of the only woman he had ever loved upside down from the bar across the ceiling, draining the blood into the bath tub. He climbed into it and sat there, enjoying the feel of the blood dripping onto his naked stomach and the level rise around him. He gazed into the eyes of her severed head as he sat there, absorbing the spirit of her through her lifeblood as he thought about what he had to do.

Tunji was at peace and for the first time he could remember, he was happy. The events of the last four hours had been nothing short of amazing. Inconceivable, unbelievable, still, amazing. He slowly lowered his head into the tub of her blood, fighting the natural instinct to breathe, to survive. He went under and held his breath until he felt himself begin to feel disoriented. His lungs burned and begged for air but received blood instead as the darkness engulfed him and the last bastion of resistance in him surrendered. He gave into the darkness and let it take him to be with his one true love, draped in a garment of her essence.

He loved her.

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 Ok. I guess I’ve caught the story Bug. Thanks Nono *sideeye*. I wont pretend there’s a message here, I just thought up this story and wrote it. Feel free to make what you will of it.  

Trying To Mend The Broken

In the last 3 years of my life, I have become very close to more girls than in all the preceding years combined. Oddly, the one thing I have come to realize is that almost every single one of them was abused in one way or another as children. This abuse has ranged from the mild: Innappropriate touching, kissing, show-me-I-show-you to the downright diabolical: Vaginal and anal rape, forced oral sex accompanied by severe beatings and even death threats to assure their continued silence. 

They have all responded to this abuse in different ways. Some have let it define every relationship they have had with men, others have shrugged it off like it was nothing and some have made their peace with it and long since moved on. Even though I stand firmly against castration or any other form of penile mutilation in general, for these rapists and molesters, I would make an exception. I hope Cerberus, the 3-headed guardian dog of the underworld bites off their organ of defilement once they enter the hell which they so richly deserve. However, that is neither here nor there. The victims are the primary concern.  I have never been a victim of abuse myself so I am in no position to say much about it except to express my disgust with the perpetrators in a Rant which would not be very useful.

However,  I have a something written by a friend who was a victim of abuse herself. She has grown to be a remarkably strong young woman and I believe she has risen above her ordeals (mostly). She shares her stories  and opinions on abuse. When she sent this to me I knew I just had to post it up here.  So this is for everyone…

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…TRYING TO MEND THE BROKEN

“I remember the rocking game uncle and I used to play. Both of us would take off our underwear and I’d sit on the stick on uncle’s laps. Then he’d tell me to rock back and forth like I was on a horse, hitting me to go faster sometimes. I’d go fast and fast, as fast as I could go, then his eyes would behave funny and his head would fall back. When I became about 9 or 10, I would feel some sort of excitement when I sat on uncle’s stick. I’d go faster even before he asked. It was when I went to university at 16 that uncle and I stopped our private game. It was also while I was at university that I understood what uncle’s little game was and that none of my friends had played this game with their dads or uncles. I cannot understand how I didn’t get pregnant or get HIV all these years, guess I was just lucky.”

 These are the words of a very close friend as told to me.

Every time I remember this particular conversation with her, I relive the pain, the hurt, the sorrow over a childhood gone, an innocence stolen, a trust betrayed. Statistics have a lot to say about women who have been or would be sexually abused sometime in their lives. Personally, 50% of the girls/women I know have been sexually abused somewhere between the ages of 5-21. By people close to them; fathers, uncles, house maids, drivers, aunties, teachers, sisters, friends, brothers.

So this is for everyone (male and female) who has ever been a victim of sexual abuse/assault. First of all, trust me, It wasn’t your fault. Many of us are quick to blame ourselves. “Maybe I was giving off the wrong signals”, “maybe I seduced him”. “Maybe I was in the wrong place”. Trust me; none of it was your fault.

In the same way, you should never let sexual abuse define you. Never let it indicate what you become, what you would use your life to do. Of course ‘something’ has been taken from you, but you should, in no way, let it determine the course your life would take. You should not feel dirty or defiled or less than anyone else. It’s a setback, yes, but it doesn’t stop you from being whoever or whatever you want to become.

I also believe you should get tested, properly. You dont know much about the other sexual habits of the person who molested you and it would be prudent to have a proper exam to make sure you didnt get infected with anything that may hinder chances of having a normal life afterwards. 

Please give yourself some allowance to forgive yourself for and let go of whatever you believe you may have done to contribute to the sexual abuse. Then the next step is to forgive the person. This is probably the hardest step to take, but it’s the best thing you’d ever do in my opinion. Forgiving the perpetrator says ‘this has happened, it is bad, but I’m going to put it behind me and move on with my life. It’s important to realize that most of the time, the perpetrator is also a human going through some private storms (which may include, but is not limited to their own sexual abuse). You can start by saying ‘I forgive …(Insert name)’ … every day and gradually work up to a point where you feel you can let go.

Let me add here, that forgiving a person doesn’t say that you should not report the incident to the appropriate authority. That’s a personal choice, and that brings me to the next point. Talk to someone about it, whoever you feel comfortable talking about it to. Personally, the first person I ever opened up to was a complete stranger. I felt at peace with it. I don’t think I can ever tell my parents or some of my friends about it because I don’t think they can handle the hurt that accompanies such things. It might fracture them and their carefully constructed view of me.

Let me also mention that in making the decision to report the incident or not, you may want to consider how much of your life you want in the public eye. If you decide to report the case, you must be ready for the storm that may follow in its wake, especially in a country like ours. Going to the police station, writing a statement, talking to family, hiring a lawyer, maybe being on the witness stand and even being blamed for what happened (true talk).

Allow me to reiterate that sexual abuse is never your fault, and you have not lost any value by being a victim of it. It is very possible to have been sexually abused and recover from it. I did.

 

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If you have been a victim of abuse and need someone to talk to about it or you have victimized someone and would like to start talking your way toward redemption, I’ve been made aware that there is a great show on the air in Lagos – Inspiration FM’s “Sharing Life’s Issues” with Chaz B. Its on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:00 – 8:00 pm.  You can call and speak with Professional Counselors or just bare your soul. Call (+234) 2772923, 2773923, 7673923, 7668923. Obviously, there will be other helplines available depending on where you are: Churches, Hospitals, Community groups… Find one if you need to.

ENEMY

Ok, So a few weeks back, Nono challenged us to come up with our own stories based on a short first paragraph of a story by Thetoolsman as part of her ‘So you think you can think 3 (SYTYCT)’ challenge. A lot of very talented people put in awesome entries, click on this link, when you’re done here to check them out. Yours truly made two attempts. The first was a somewhat silly, playful story about a planking misadventure and the other, which I present below, was an otherworldly tale, partly inspired in equal measures by the movie ‘The Adjustment bureau’, a weird dream I had the night before about death and eternity and a short story I read in the annual Imperial College arts publication ‘Phoenix’, called ‘Design Flaws’ by Rhys Davies. I dont usually do stories because, well, I dont think I’m very good at making them up, but I want to have a record of this one on my blog, so here it is, albeit edited and refined a bit from what I originally posted on Nono’s blog. Enjoy.

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ENEMY

LIGHT.

His eyes fluttered open. The bright bolt of sunlight that flooded the room stung and he quickly closed them again. He tried to move his hands towards his eyes to shield them but the pain he felt was excruciating. Some seconds, perhaps minutes passed and not so distant sounds of movement brought him back to the present. He knew he had to move. He had to get up. He had to open his eyes. Using every bout of strength left in him he pushed up from where he had been lying and he opened his eyes, wincing loudly as he did so…

As he struggled off the floor to his aching feet, the pain radiated through his body in waves but he as he forced his body to move, the pain began to ebb away, slowly at first, then faster as he steadied his feet, until finally, it was all gone. He looked around and took stock of his surroundings. He was in a plain white room with transperent roof through which a brighter than usual sun shone through. He scanned quickly, looking for exits as the distant sounds of movement he had heard became less distant. There were footsteps approaching. He looked around frantically. There was no window and the transparent roof was high overhead, at least 20 feet above the floor. One door, he could tell it was solid steel. He tensed.

“Where am I?” he thought to himself.

“Where do you think”? He heard a voice say from behind him.

He turned to see a man in a brown, short sleeved suit and matching shoes that looked like they had been worn since the beginning of time, sitting in a wooden chair. The man looked like a civil servant and definitely was not there a few seconds ago. His mind struggled to comprehend what was going on. the footsteps had stopped.

And then he remembered the accident.

“Hello, Bode”. The man spoke with an ancient, rasping voice, interrupting his memory with a voice that sounded like he had been eating Kolanuts since his mother weaned him off her breast. Which was odd, because he appeared to be Asian.

Bode tried to speak but the words would not form. Then the man stood up.

“Bode, Come with me”. He said. He spoke with such confidence and command, that Bode could not help but obey.
They walked toward the solid steel door and it disappeared as the man neared it. They entered a dimly-lit, dark, damp room, populated by men in glasses and white coveralls, drawing, writing, designing…

Bode’s mind was racing.

“So at 12:34am, Monday the 13th of November, 2011, you were hit by a Yellow and black public bus, blacked out and died of an Intracranial hemorrhage at 12:36am, according to the plan. That is why you were in pain at first. I’m sure its all gone now, isnt it?” The man spoke in a matter of fact tone, like he were reading the news. Bode nodded.

“Lucky for you, your worst enemy died at more or less the same time. This presents us with a unique opportunity: We were just about to finish your afterlife design. Brutus over there is working on it” He pointed to a balding man in a white coveralls hunched over some A2 papers and drawing instruments.

“With situations like this, we like to allow people punish those that have wronged them: letting the punishment fit the crime…in a manner of speaking. We want you to design your worst enemy’s eternity.”

Bode was dumbfounded at this point and struggled to speak but couldn’t. He thought: “Shit! I’m dead!? That bloody Bus driver! Oh God! who’s this man!? Who is my worst enemy? am I in heaven? Is it that bastard Gbenga? He stole Somti from me…hmmmmm…Why now? Who could it be? How did he die? Why cant I speak?!”

As his mind raced from pillar to post, his guide spoke to him:
“I can hear and see your thoughts, that is how we work. Bear in mind that you have little time. So think quickly, we have a schedule to run and a plan which must be adhered to. We cannot allow your little matter delay our processes. Think up your worst enemy’s eternity and we will build it.” The man, turned on his heel, in military fashion, walked briskly to an armchair near the table where Brutus was working and sat down. He pulled out a small book from his jacket and started to read.

Bodes mind was a cornucopia of emotions. Fear, confusion, elation, relief, trepidation and curiousity all swirled around in his head. He tried to calm himself and thought:

“I’m dead.My worst enemy is dead. I have limited time. Okay. Calm down. CALM DOWN! Just accept it.”

And then he started to imagine…

“Well,  I guess I’ll give him a standard heaven”. He thought as he imagined a blue castle filled with beautiful women, books and the exotic things he had seen in movies. “Happiness, joy, his favorite foods, books, women…all will be his. And everyday when he wakes up, he will have forgotten it all so that the joys can be new to him again. For eternity”.

Bode smiled at his last addition, the new wonders everyday. It was quite the stroke of genius. “That would be pretty amazing”. He thought to himself.

He hoped his own heaven would be this great. It had to be. It was heaven  right? At least it would be nice….and then it occured to him: What if the bastard that was his worst enemy was the one designing his own eternity? Would that bastard Gbenga be as considerate? Probably not. The more he thought about it, the angrier he got. He remembered the time Gbenga had shown up at his home when he was having a fight with Somti. Acting smug and offering to help her find a place to stay. Bastard.

He wasn’t even sure if it was Gbenga. Could have been Willis or even his boss Lolade. They had both made him look stupid at all his company presentations. He didnt have any proof, but he knew it was one of them. From their faces. He had always been good with faces, he knew when people were out to get him and he could always see through their fake smiles. They were all wicked people out to get him. He believed he was a good person, a bit fickle-minded, but good and so whoever his worst enemy was, they must be bad. So, if they did not receive any justice for their crimes on Earth, you will make sure they get it now. They deserved no happiness. Especially not one that he would have gladly given himself. As his memory cycled back and his anger grew, his mind turned dark and he started to imagine a place of flames, brimstone and torture…and the smell of Izal!

Ha! Yes! he hated that smell. Let the bastard, whoever it was, smell that forever! And then he imagined a great dragon breathing fire down on a row of men in chains. Just like the painting of hell he had seen in that museum in 2004. Their flesh did not burn, but they were in pain. He smiled. Yes! surely, hell was what his worst enemy deserved, just as heaven was what he deserved. He only hoped they would tell him who it was before he went off into his own afterlife. He steeled his mind in finality.

“You’re done?” The man in the brown suit asked.

“YES.” Bode projected his thought with such firmness,  the man must have felt a small chill.

“Very Good”. He said. “Thank you for your help. Brutus is done with yours as well. Lets go, shall we?” The man picked up something from Brutus’s desk and they walked to a black wooden door on the opposite end of the room. He opened it and led Bode through.

It was a completely white room but the floor was transparent. Bode could see what was obviously a very busy city bustling below.  He hesistated for a minute to look down and appreciate the view. On the other end of the room, was another door.

“Your key” The man said, interrupting Bode’s downward  gaze as he handed him a golden key. “Go in”.

Bode took the key and walked to the door with anticipation. He put his key in and opened it.
Immediately, he knew something was wrong! He smelled Izal.

“No way”. He thought it was in his head, “it must be my imagination”, he thought as he opened the door opened fully. He was taken aback with surpise and yet, in the most unnatural of ways, he recognized the hellish vista before him. It was of his own imagination! He panicked and screamed a silent thought.

“Isnt this supposed to be for my worst enemy!!!??”

“Thats right” the man in the brown suit said calmly as he started to shut the door.

“Just who exactly did you think your own worst enemy was?”

DARKNESS.

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“Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people… So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly…  we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us”  ….. Walt Kelly, The Pogo Papers (1953)

THE DEATH OF GENDER-DEFINED ROLES

Quick question: would you hire a welder to do delicate carpentry work for you or a mechanic to mend your torn trousers simply because of his state of origin or gender even if the appropriately-skilled person is available? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, go to the next paragraph. If you answered ‘no’, skip it and go on to paragraph three.

So you answered ‘yes’. I’m sorry, you are a fool beyond redemption and you have failed life. In all likelihood, your villagers have put most of your sense inside a calabash somewhere and thrown it into a forest where it is equally likely that a hyena found it and took a dump on top of it . Accept my sincere condolences. Good luck with you truck-pushing, pit latrine cleaning or whatever other occupation you can obtain with whats left of your sense. You can stop reading now.

So you answered ‘no’. Hello and welcome to today’s post.

Optimization. Common sense. Utilize the best tool for a specific task. Get the most benefit for the least amount of effort. Whichever way you choose to put it, that’s what it’s all about. Optimization.

Seeing as how optimization is such a basic principle, I find it hard to understand why so many people seem to out-rightly reject and refuse to apply this in what is quite possibly the most important area of their lives: Relationships (and eventually, marriage). Instead we cling to ancient (and quite frankly, mostly misogynistic) preconceptions of what relationships functions should be. The man should do this. The woman should do that. Based on what exactly? How does the fact that you have a Penis make you wiser than the other members of the human race suffering Penile challenges? How does the fact that you have a vagina automatically make you more caring and loving than those of us suffering the curse of the perpetually erect organ?

Consider this carefully, Is there a special place where young people are taken and taught the skills that are ‘expected’ of their gender? No. Not really. At least, not any more. This may have been true of ancient civilizations past, where gender-based training was normal and consequently, gender-defined roles were assigned. For 21st century adults with no such rigid cultural, gender-based training, the idea of gender-based roles and functions is DEAD. As dead as the brain cells of anyone who has watched ‘Blackberry babes’ more than three times. All that’s left of it are the ‘feelings’ of certain myopic individuals stubbornly holding on to the relics of times past, in an era where they no longer have any real meaning or value.

YEs, this makes perfect sense... -___________-

Who says the man MUST pay the children’s school fees? Who says the woman MUST be the one to give up her job because the man has to move for his own career? Who says the woman MUST be the one to do the laundry and clean house? Don’t get me wrong, if it works for you then by all means, please go ahead and do it that way. But if it doesn’t come naturally, then don’t force it; optimize.

There are women that are natural leaders. They run million-dollar businesses, lead teams into dangerous terrain and possess organizational and analytical skills that would make even OCD patients drool with envy. Why then should they be relegated to play second fiddle to a husband that is obviously not their equal (in this specific respect)? In the same vein, there are men who are natural followers. They make great vice-presidents, team members and are pillars of support for several community/charity groups but they don’t have the natural leadership tendency, they don’t even want to be in that position. Why should they be forced to accept the role of leadership in the home? The most important unit of society? I put it to you that choosing the head of the home based on possession of a penis is about as foolish as choosing someone to manage your business solely based on where he/she was born. Gender-based role assignments are the last bastion of culturally accepted sexism in the world. Some men aren’t even qualified to be ‘head of Penis’ much less ‘head of home’. And some women should not even be let near dolls, much less actual children. Possession or lack of a certain organ does not equip you with the skills you need to perform a role. Natural inclination, interest and training does.

Ah! Wait, can you hear that? That lashing sound? Yes, I can hear the Religious adherents whipping out their ‘bible belts’ and ‘Koran canes’ to flog me. I hear some of you quoting the bible saying the man MUST be the head of the home and as such must take on the major responsibilities. Yeah, yeah, I know:

 “…and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” 1 Cor 11:3

I’m going to go out on a limb here and speak my mind. Being the head means being in a position to make the best decisions for your family. Sometimes the wise decision to make as the ‘head’ is to hand over authority to the more qualified person. Men, If you are blessed to have a wife that has more opportunities than you, is the wise decision not to let her take full advantage of them? Even to your own detriment? You say you’d catch a grenade for her, well then, leave the grenades aside, take a bullet to your ego and let logic win over pride. Women, you say you love this man more than life itself, do you love him enough to let him be himself without mockery, scorn, disdain or emasculation?

The real trick to all this as I said is Optimize. Let whoever is better qualified to perform a role, do so. That way, everyone is happy and no one feels forced to do anything. This is otherwise known as the “whatever works” principle. Let it the relationship work the way it should, not the way you imagine it should based on some prehistoric doctrines and baseless preconceptions.

I know some ladies will be waving their panties in the air screaming “Yes! Yes! Yes!” like a flag of victory and doing back-flips when they read this. I’m sorry, but it’s not feminist propaganda, it’s simply a statement of hard logic. I consider myself to be a reasonable person (perhaps too reasonable) and reason leads me to this conclusion. It has nothing to do with who is head or tail or intestine or tongue of the house or whatever. It’s simply a cry for balance and the removal of needless pressures from the necks of either party in a relationship (especially marriage). As much as we like to generalize, and say men are this or women are that, the truth is: We are all different. No two men are alike and no two women are the same. So why impose a one-size fits all policy of relationship roles? Adapt. Optimize. Its common-bloody-sense.

At least to me it is.

X and Y and more

So, a while ago, when I made the move from Blogger to WordPress, this post which was my last on the Blogger platform, somehow got lost in transition. While some of you have already seen it there, I decided to repost it here for completeness. Before you go ahead to read it though, a few obligatory notes:

1. This blog has been nominated for The Nigerian Blog Awards in the ‘Best Travel Blog’ Category. I guess my humble tale of my Bangkok adventures (1-5) had more of an impact than I thought they would. Thank you. Thank you all so much.

Whilst I wouldn’t refer to my Blog as a ‘Travel Blog’ per se, I will not argue. (least of all with my loyal readers/subscribers) Besides, like every other self-absorbed human on God’s green earth, I want to win :-), so please click here and vote for me. Thanks.

2. While you are there, please vote for your favorite blogs also. While some of my favorite blogs didn’t get nominated (Sorry mistress, I tried),quite a few did and I would like to personally endorse the following blogs:

The Toolsmans Blog (Blog of the year, Best new blog and Best Daily read) , Really Angry Onions (Best Group Blog), Twintopia (Best Parenting Blog), ObiSomto and Co (Best Photography Blog), Thoughts from a Mavericks perspective (Best Student blog),  Truth Don Die  (Most Controversial Blog), My scroll, you scroll (Most Humorous Blog) and Sisi Yemmie (Blog by a blogger based outside Nigeria). So, Go! Pless ya hand!

3. Being nominated for this award gave me an idea though. To share travel stories by Nigerians with you all, told in my usual semi-serious tones and with appropriate pictures and commentary. I am thinking of doing this once every month, but as you may have noted, regularity is not my forte. But I will try.

I already have friends who have been to exotic places, ready with stories of adventure to tell, so lets see how it pans out. If you have traveled to an exotic location recently, have awesome photos and  a story to tell, and want it shared, then let me know by commenting below, I’ll get back to you.

Now that all that is out of the way, please read and enjoy:

 X and Y
by @Nerdychique

Edited by @ThinkTank

I beg your pardon in advance so forgive me; this will be a bit of a nerdy post. Please read to the end, I promise it will be worth your while. Will you stay? Please….okay, you’re still here. Good.

I’m sure everyone reading this post did some sort of elementary mathematics; if you didn’t please accept my deepest condolences. if you did, the following question shouldn’t be difficult.

Question: Given the two variables ‘x’ and ‘y’ and a constant ‘5’; how many mathematical relationships (equations) can you write to connect them (e.g x+y=5). Take minutes to try this and see how many you can come up with. Try it…No really, TRY it.

(-_-)

I apologize for putting you through the stress, but there is indeed a point to all this mathematical calisthenics .
Okay, are you done? Your basic answers should look something like this: x+y=5, x+5=y, x-5=y, xy=5, y/x=5; and you could have more complex ones like x^5=y, x=y>5, x=5log(y), y=Sin(x+5), ln(x)=y/5; and then some progressing toward even more complexity like: Cosh(x)+Sinh(y)=5 or even x^7+x^5+x^4-x^3+5x+5 = y, …continua ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

If you thought about it carefully, you would have realized early on that there are almost an infinite amount of relationships that can be constructed. Some of you might have also observed that the amount of mathematical relationships you come up with is also a function of a number of other indirect factors. These are:

i.) How much mathematics you’ve been taught.
I’m pretty sure that @ThinkTank (an engineer) would have more advanced statements than me (aBiochemist). This is because he has been taught; or rather he has had to learn more mathematics than I have.

(@ThinkTank says: “You’re damn right about that sister! Do you know how many equations I have solved in my life time? I can write relationship between X and Y that will be so complex, they will have to get married. You go fear if I start to write equations for you o! We will not leave here till 2012! Jor oh!)

ii.) How much mathematics you’ve been exposed to.
This one is very closely related to the first. It differs only in terms of the fact that you may not have been taught, but you might have come across the math somewhere else, maybe from a friend or you may have had to use it to solve a problem outside school.

iii.) How much research and effort you put into solving the question.
For all I care, someone may have googled ‘mathematical statements’ and come up with a deluge of answers, while other people may just see no point, and answer based on residual knowledge.

My point is, our views on everything in life, much like our answers to the question above, are dependent on the same three factors: what we’ve been taught, what we’ve experienced or come across and what we are willing to find out. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m towing the line towards the third one which has to do with open-mindedness. How open minded are you? The Oxford dictionary (sorry I had to go there) defines open mindedness as “the willingness to listen to, investigate, think about, or accept different ideas”.

See, we are all different. Our ideas and opinions about different issues depend on our backgrounds, openness and natural predilections. It should be clear from this that everyone will have different views on the same issues.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but the great evil are the people with closed minds, who refuse to even think about the logic behind another person’s idea or beliefs. I think this is what is referred to as rigidity. Using the Mathematical statement analogy, the rigid student would probably have been the person with the least statements and the rigid teacher would be the one who refused to accept a student’s statements just because he hasn’t seen them before.

Rigid people are everywhere around us, they are the people who argue about issues blindly, refusing to listen or even think. They don’t even TRY to think. Somehow, their minds have been blocked by something: outright stupidity, religion, culture or just a tenacious unwillingness to change.

We all know how annoying it is to argue with someone who keeps who keeps telling you ‘that’s how it’s supposed to be’ or ‘It can never happen’. Personally, there’s nothing that grinds my gears more than people who always stick to the status quo, nothing.

I believe we would be doing ourselves, and the whole world, a whole lot of good if we just took the time to open our minds a little; question things more. Read, travel (you can ‘sort of’ travel online), engage in conversations with people from vastly different backgrounds, ask questions, continually question the status quo, use your brain.

Personally, I have imposed the ‘learn a new thing everyday’ rule on myself. When I realize that I haven’t learned anything, I go to the Wikipedia homepage, and just read. You can adopt whatever works for you. In the end, I believe that open-mindedness is what will bring us closer to unity as a species. But then again, that’s just my opinion, you would do well to have your own.