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I Know I Bashed Your Car, But Have You Eaten?

The question has logical origins, I suppose. We Nigerians have always had near-maniacal levels of hospitality etched in our culture. I mean, you have a guest coming from far away, guest gets to the house by say, 2am. The first thing you ask is, “Have you eaten?” then proceed to offer him a wide array of “light” food to “manage” with. Like pounded yam and afang soup, correct jollof with heavily peppered snail, or the complete package; fried rice, chicken and salad.
You know, stuff one can “manage” by 2am, for quick digestion.
At some point, the hospitality got a bit weird though. Now it’s used in all kinds of ways :s
You get a call, goes something like this;
“Hello? How you dey? Enh? You had an accident?!! You’ve been in the hospital since yesterday? Oh my God. But have you eaten?”
Because food cures everything. Jilted at the altar by your lover of seven years? Tragic story, but have you eaten? Make sure you eat, you’ll feel better. Should we get you pap and akara?
And of course, you know I have to go there, this random post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t… Nigerian men cannot apologise. Even when they’re obviously wrong, and have had an argument with you spanning three days. When it becomes glaringly clear that he was at fault the whole time, your average Nigerian man will clear his throat, pause awkwardly for a few seconds, then grudgingly ask, “Enh, have you eaten?”
Ladies, sorry to break it to you, but that was your apology. Yeah. Right there. Just take it, and keep praying for patience, not strength. Because if you had strength, you’d have strangled the guy by now.
Same thing with Nigerian parents. You know how you watch Hollywood flicks and you have touching scenes where the parents admit their fault and say sorry to their kids?
Pah!
It is easier for our friend the camel to pass through the eye of a needle, brethren. You can have a quarrel of epic proportions with your parents. Such a huge fight that you are not on speaking terms with them for weeks, and even your siblings pick sides and only talk to you when Mom and Dad aren’t home. Only for your mom to walk into your room one fine afternoon, pretend to read the blurb of the novel on your table, do the awkward cough, then ask “Have you eaten? There is rice in the kitchen.”
This means that all is well again, and she and her spouse have seen fit to leave your name in the will after all. That thing she said is actually equivalent to the turn up arranged for the prodigal son in ancient times.
And of course, the most annoying one. When a guy is struggling to claw his way out of the friend zone, this is all he will ask you. Breakfast time, lunchtime, dinnertime.
Have you eaten?
Have you eaten?
HAVE YOU EATEN??!!
Until a girl gets irritated and insults the guy and he’s all, “But I was only trying to be caring…”
*EYE ROLL*
I liked when it was used to shut down voltrons arguing passionately about something that didn’t concern them in the least on Twitter. After their endless numbered tweets, one calm soul would retweet with, “Yes, but have you eaten?” Meaning; please go quietly away and do things of direct benefit to your existence.
Of course, the “Have you eaten?” question is closely followed by “When will you marry?”
But that’s a post for another day.
In the meantime, it’s already afternoon, and

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Yours,
@MsMeddle

2

Solo

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I’m the last of six children and we all lived together with our mom. I grew up accustomed to feeling the presence of others; always knowing that “someone is around”. When I hit puberty, I was grateful that my family, though religious, was still liberal enough to let me stay home from church once in a while, whenever I said I didn’t want to go. I craved that solitude back then; the knowledge that nobody else was around. The thrill of strange noises caused by unknown and possibly macabre agents.
I never lived outside of home during my school years, the main reason being that our house at the time was actually a trekkable distance from my campus. It was therefore impractical of me to schlep all the way to the hostels, which were even farther away than the school. Also, staying on campus would incur expenses that would be both cringeworthy and painfully unecessary for my mother. I knew all this, so I never pushed. Continue reading

2

Pepper

It was years ago when I realized I probably wouldn’t do very well in the “landing men who take me seriously” department. The year was maybe 2006, I was still mop-skinny; thin body, big head. To make things worse I actually had on this weave at that time which had been put together by a hairdresser who maybe was a carpenter in her previous life… Anyway, the weave made my head look much bigger, is the point I’m trying to make. Continue reading

0

Dear BFF

The stereotype is that all married women have to watch their single friends for fear they’ll try to snatch their husbands. The belief is that us single girls are mortally envious of the “luck” our married friends have,  and will do anything to make that luck ours. 
In actual fact, mami, I’m the one pulling up tired excuses to avoid being around you and your darling hubby.  I always knew he was a wild one but he made you happy and i figured marriage would calm him down some.  Continue reading

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Vaseline

I flash back quickly to that day.

We had gone on a road trip, and ended up in a little hotel in a quiet area, small city on the outskirts of a big town. The heat was doing our heads in and the constant airconditioning provided by the hotel was pure bliss. Nothing like vaseline, or body lotion of any kind had touched my skin in weeks. But of course, such skin-peace was ill-fated; soon I began to feel dried out, and it was embarassing going out because I had only packed short things but those short things showed off my white, scaly skin.

He woke me up one morning and asked if I wanted to come run errands with him. I said no, because 7am was an ungodly hour for me on holiday. So I slept, stretched languidly across the crisp white sheets, rolling cat-like from time to time, flirting with the idea of waking up, but never quite sealing the deal. Some minutes before 11 I decided I was ripe enough for a bath, and unhurriedly went about cleaning myself. When I was done, I made the bed because I could already hear him say, when he would eventually come back, “You can’t make bed?”  and I chuckled a little because I already knew  him that well. I settled in to watch Big Bang Theory, and was laughing softly when his call came in. How was I doing, what should he bring back to our lair for my breakfast, small talk. Looking down at my reptilian skin later, I texted him to buy me a little tub of vaseline, and even after I pleaded and he argued that he wouldn’t just randomly come across vaseline sellers where he was, we sort of left the topic open-ended.

I threatened him with the classic, “You think you are doing me, you are doing yourself because when we go out I’ll embarrass you with my whiteness” and I smiled as I typed that, because I wished we were in the same place so I could watch him laugh, and soak up the twinkle in his eyes until it passed…

He came back bearing food, which was great enough. Until he pulled out a tiny tub of vaseline. It was a brand I hated, but I really hadn’t expected him to buy any at all. I jumped up and down in excitement, pinned him to the wall and made kissy faces at him while he tried to push me off.

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“Are you this cheap, you shoulda just told me all it took is vaseline. Jeez, I wouldn’t have wasted all this time and effort.”

I come back from my reverie and focus my gaze on the tub of vaseline. I’d thrown it in a seldomly used handbag, and there it was…

And I guess, really, I miss you.

Yours,
@MsMeddle

2

Zero Plus Zero Equals Blog Post

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So I’m sat at the old plantation (aka office) today, when I hear my phone ring. I peep the caller ID without breaking eye contact with the old man before me, because old people are all sorts of annoying when they feel in the least bit abandoned. It is a strange number, one of those that makes you wonder if there’s a new network in town you have not heard of. I don’t know what makes me pick up the call, but I do.
Me: Hello?
He: Hello… Joy? How are you? 
Me: I’m fine…?
He: Why did you just push me aside, ehn? In fact, I’m so angry with you. 
Me: *scanning the mental voice recognition database, finding no match* Err… Why, what did I ever do to you? 
He: Why would you just forget about me… Do you even know who’s on the line?
Me: No, I don’t. 
He: Can you imagine. It’s Great.  Continue reading

1

The Way You Chew

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Frank rushed into Ola Mummy canteen in Bodija,  hungry as an abandoned baby elephant, and made his order of two wraps of pounded yam, fish and ewedu. So hungry was he that it wasn’t until he’d swallowed the first wrap that his eyes came down, and he could once again see like normal humans do. It was at this point he decided to slow down so he wouldn’t choke. He took his first sip from the 75cl Eva table water bottle the waitress with the blue Staff 24 tshirt had placed before him, and looked around for the first time whilst tenderly unwrapping the second half of his meal.
That was when he saw her. Continue reading