The Hook

The Hook

 

“The first time . . .”

“Ahn-ahn, it’s enough, you’ve said it before.”

“Geez! The first time they invite us to their house—”

“Stop exaggerating, these things happen—”

“What were you even thinking?”

“How was I to know—”

“Ssssh! Ssssh . . . ssssh! Someone’s coming . . .”

“I think they’ve gone can I—”

“Ssssh!”

“Can I talk now?”

“Lower your voice, I think they’re still around. . . ”

“Why don’t we just ask them for help?”

“Are you crazy? I just wish I had something bigger . . . like a stick to push it down . . .”

“Should I go downstairs and look?”

“And leave me here by myself?”

“It’s not like I’m adding value—”

“You should have thought of that before dropping the bomb. Why didn’t you try to break your—”

“It’s not my fault! We’ve been here for twenty minutes, nothing is working. Maybe they have a handyman—”

“Do you know how much that would cost? At this time of the night? I just need something—”

“I still think we should ask for help.”

“Hmmmm . . .”

“But what’s the big deal about asking for help?”

“Move back! Move back! The water is rising! Is there a mop or rag?”

“I don’t know . . . no, I can’t see any—”

“Phew! Thank God! The water is receding . . .”

“I told you not to flush again. These American toilets are funny—”

“The tissue settles at the bottom . . . something is blocking . . . it can’t move . . . How can something so big come out from someone so small?”

“I’ll just pretend you didn’t say that.”

“Pretend all you want, that won’t make your shit disappear!”

“Peju, let’s just ask for help.”

“Can you imagine me going to say, ‘I’m sorry, my wife blocked the toilet, please can you call the plumber?’?”

“Yes, I can. Everyone uses the toilet!”

“Everyone doesn’t block it!”

“If you’re not comfortable with your friends, why did you accept their invitation to stay—”

“I have an idea . . . pass me the hanger.”

“Stubborn man.”

“What did you say?”

“Their bathroom is lovely. I love the way the ivory tiles and oak—”

“Please pass—”

“This one?”

“No, the wire one.”

“Here.”

“Thanks.”

“What are you doing?”

“Ssssh someone’s coming. Turn on the shower—”

“Why?”

“So they’ll think we’re taking a shower! Just do it!”

“We can’t stay here forever.”

“Turn it off. I think this idea will work. See as I’m sweating because of you!”

“Sorry, let me use a magazine to fan you, your highness! What are you doing?”

“I’m bending the hanger into a hook then I’ll use it to fish the tissue out. Pass the bin.”

“Here.”

“Goddamn! How much tissue did you use?”

“You’ve started again!”

“Damn! If we stretch them into sheets I’m sure we’ll make two rolls.”

Na you sabi. Please be careful—you almost dropped it on my feet!”

“Yes ma. Madam Bomber.”

“Night soil man!”

“I think I’ve got it all out. Flush—”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes . . . yes, yes!”

“Finally!”

“Please we’re only staying two nights. Hold yourself. Can you try not to shite until we leave?”

“You’re not serious!”

“First night at their house . . .  I’ve suffered! You and this your small yansh. Small but mighty!”

“Your mouth is sharp now abi? From now on, Small-but-mighty is closed for business!”

“Ahn-ahn, can’t you take a joke again . . .”

“Do not touch me with your shit hand!”

“Come, come, coooome, abeg stop forming jare, I’ve seen the size of your shit!”

 

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The End of a Series

vintage envelope

 

I grew up in a close-knit family, a middle child, disciplined and socialized within the same context as my siblings. Our mannerisms were similar and we shared friends the way we shared hand-me-downs. However, if you had asked us, “What do you think about . . . ?” our views would have differed.

So after I approached nine guys to write this series,  my fear that I would end up with a monologue—each writer parroting the other, was perfectionist-phobia. They were to distil their opinions (in 300 words or less without preaching), about a phrase, think like a man, end up without one. The phrase might be a tongue-in-cheek response to Steve Harvey’s book on what men really think about love, relationships, intimacy, and commitment.

When I told one writer that his submission was controversial and would draw ire, he said in essence, “What do you want readers to do—smile, turn over on their sides, and fall asleep or frown, stay awake, and ponder what they read?” He reminded me of something I had heard, that those who are least like us, have the most to teach us about ourselves.

Maria Popova says that a great story is not about providing information, though it can certainly inform—a great story invites an expansion of understanding, a self-transcendence. More than that, the story plants the seed and makes it impossible to do anything but grow a new understanding—of the world, of our place in it, of ourselves, of some subtle or monumental aspect of existence.

Because I read with an open mind, I embraced each writer’s invitation to stack his opinion against my experience and preference. My beliefs about why I’m here and what follows death as well as my present cultural reality shaped the points of consonance and dissonance I found. The comments showed me mathematics makes sense:  3+6 and 4+5 and 1+8 and 2+7 all equal nine, but not when it comes to the heart. Tomi captures it best: Perhaps love is our different similarity. We love differently, but we love all the same.

The first time I liked a boy whom I thought liked me back, I told a friend. She had acquired a worldly veneer from eavesdropping on the conversations of her many older siblings. Thus her advice, play hard to get, went unchallenged by me. I must have looked like a toy atop the Eiffel Tower because, with no ladder in sight, the boy’s hands hung limp and he left. I suppose the moral of the story is life is art, more fluid than formulaic, and a variable presents an opportunity or a looming threat. As Tola reminds us, embedded in every story are endless possibilities.

It seems everyone wants love and yet, in the words of C.S. Lewis, to love at all is to be vulnerable[;] love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. What to do then? Dela wants the predictability of drama. Ife sighs at the two hunters in the jungle. Samuel unveils a game of thieves; Ifeanyi makes it about egos. Tonwa advocates for less brain and more heart and Seun stresses, a human brain, please! Brian hints at the delicate balance of pursuit and protection: We want to be loved for who we are, but we fear the risk that comes with disrobing to be known.

 

Love slays what we have been that we may be what we were not. – St. Augustine

 

Relationships are oxygen. The post views, likes, comments, and shares, do not lie. If I had any sense I would start a series (written by women), dance like Cinderella, end up with the Prince!

What about you, what do you think?

 

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

p.s. Thank you Tomi, Ifeanyi, Ife, Dela, Tola, Samuel, Tonwa, Seun, and Brian!

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Think Like a Man, End up Without One [3]

gender

Game of Thieves

In the matter of love, men are thieves and women, treasure chests to be discovered. The thief braves thickets and thistles, his sharp eyes searching for the chest his heart desires. His ears, tuned to pick the jingle of gold coins, help decide which chests are true measures of the treasures within.

As the hunt begins, many chests rely on their bejeweled covering to attract the most skillful and dogged thief. So they stand immobile, waiting to be saved from true loneliness. These ones stick to the ancient wisdom that thieves judge a treasure chest by its cover.

But the woman who thinks like a thief waits not for the bandit of her dreams to steal her heart. She discovers his desires and then entices him, in small steps, to the place of her heart. When the thief’s eyes hit her trail of gold coins, the fires of his desire will burn bright keeping him in blind sight of the trail.

Time soon unwraps the thief in front of an open chest. Not a heap of gold he finds but a flight of gentle steps littered with more coins and precious stones. His curiosity will burn as forest fires. He will plunge in and the chest—hitherto open as a crocodile’s mouth awaiting prey—will then shut tight. The thief will keep descending unaware that his freedom and maybe loyalty to another has been stolen.

Perhaps he will find an abundance of gold, perhaps a nest of scorpions. No matter the find, the woman-thief finally would have caged the man’s heart in her chest as she had planned from the beginning.

© Samuel Okopi @ SamuelOkopi

If a woman doesn’t chase a man a little, she doesn’t love him.  ― E. W. Howe

 

Men think. Women think too much!

Let’s just get right down to the critical issue here, thinking. Men think. Women think too much, quote me on that. It’s not a bad thing until a man has had a single thought and moved on, and a woman is still having several thoughts about his single thought, long after.

Take for instance the following scenario. A young man and his girlfriend are enjoying a hearty meal and each other’s company at a fast food restaurant, when a stunning woman walks past. The man may think one of two things: what she’ll look like naked or what she’ll be like in bed. His girlfriend on the other hand may think many things including several variations of what her man was thinking about some seconds ago.

Paranoia could follow her dangerous thought process. His eyes lingered a little too long. He must like her. He said he likes women with assets and hers are bigger. Meanwhile the man has resumed munching his burger. His girlfriend on the other hand, has moved from paranoia to “casual” interrogation—“She’s very attractive isn’t she?” Wise men know this is a trap and the correct answer for peace to reign is, “I only have eyes for you, dear.” But if he loves you, why worry?

When it comes to love, less brain, more heart, or else a woman may just chase that man away. Men dislike wahala jo!

© Tonwa Anthony @ thecrazynigerian

Don’t be afraid to lose him, because if a man truly loves you, he’s not going anywhere.  ― Steve Harvey

 

A Bad Thing?

Think like a man, end up without one. The question that comes to me is: how do men think? I’m sure we all agree that pop culture doesn’t acknowledge that men even think at all. I mean, you have sayings like, all men are dogs, and memes like, in American football, the helmet was invented almost fifty years after the jock strap. So, why would a woman want to think like a man?

To expect a human being to think in terms of gender or sex is quite limiting. Once, at a friend’s place, I overheard his father telling his six sisters, “Don’t think like women. Think like human beings!” That pretty much sums my opinion on the matter.

I’m a bit uncomfortable with Steve Harvey’s book, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, or at least the title, because it’s misleading. Moreover, the movie didn’t portray women “thinking like men” but women pushing the bar by going the extra mile to understand their men. And I think this is what makes relationships work—understanding the person you’re with.

It’s also better to establish clearly, roles and who-does-what since gender equality is quite the hot button these days. While I have my thoughts on the matter, I strongly believe two captains cannot drive a ship. There has to be one leader. Who says it has to be the man?

So, the quote says, “Think like a man, end up without one.” And I ask, “In today’s world, how is that a bad thing?”

© Seun Odukoya @ SeunOdukoya
Seun is the award-winning author of Saving Dapo

 

Live as though life was created for you. ― Maya Angelou

 

A Thin Line

Sometimes we struggle to find the thin line between being vulnerable and gullible.  We want to be loved for who we are, but we fear the risk that comes with disrobing to be known.  This is the board upon which the proverbial game of love is played.

Because women are more emotionally open than men are (generally speaking), they tend to see inwardly, and then project onto their surroundings. The opposite is true for us. Men are simple. We connect with our surroundings visually, and then project inwardly to process it all. This disconnect causes problems when women seek to understand how men think. We may like at first sight, but we love when we see ourselves in you.

Understanding what initially attracts a man is one thing; but knowing what makes a man fall in love is totally different.  For many women, this is where the need for strategy becomes apparent.  As with any effective strategy, one must think like their opponent. But should hearts be used as pawns? I believe that the game of love should always culminate in both players being free to be themselves without fear of rejection. Herein lies the delicate balance of pursuit and protection.

Secure women who possess values epitomize sexiness and class. There is nothing wrong with “thinking” like a man, as long as you properly defend who you are as a woman.

©Brian Evans @ Wisdom’s Quill

Between what is said and not meant and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost. ― Khalil Gibran

 

 

 

 

 

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Think Like a Man, End up Without One [2]

couple

 

The Guy’s Girl

When Yetunde asked me where to meet up the following day, I didn’t hesitate before suggesting Babs, a sports bar. Calling Babs a ‘sports bar’ was dignifying the seedy, open-air joint in a backstreet in Surulere that sold cheap beer but also screened live football matches. I knew Yetunde wouldn’t have any qualms about hanging out at a beer parlour, surrounded by a crowd of raucous, sweaty, beer-guzzling men. I’d started giving her directions, when she cut in. She knew the place. I wasn’t surprised.

Yetunde was the quintessential guy’s girl. She loved video games, argued about politics and football and drank Guinness Extra Stout. But it was more than that. She understood men in a way that was uncanny. Whenever my girlfriend and I had a bust-up, Yetunde was my go-to-person. Majority of the time, she sided with me. I don’t think it was because we were friends. She would subject me to a grilling; she only wanted to hear the facts but didn’t want any important detail omitted. She would analyze the issues—a painstaking process that usually ended with her concluding that my girlfriend, Funmi was at fault.

Then she would laugh and say, “But you better go and apologize to Funmi. Forget about my analysis o; all that is English. I’m sorry, that’s what women want to hear.”

It was easier to apologize to Funmi after my conversations with Yetunde; that Yetunde agreed with me was enough vindication.

We had to raise our voices to hear each other above the din at Babs, but there was no lull in our conversation over the ninety minutes of the game. I couldn’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. I asked her, half-teasingly, if she now had a boyfriend.

“How can?” she laughed. “If I had a boyfriend, would I be here with you?”

“Come on, be serious. How about that tall, skinny dude I saw you with a couple of times at the cinema?”

“It’s always the same,” Yetunde replied, her voice dropping a notch. “He didn’t want a relationship.” The expression on her face suddenly became serious. She went on, “It doesn’t look like it would ever happen, Akin. I’ve started preparing myself for a lifetime of singleness.”

I faltered, unable to come up with an appropriate remark.

“Why are you looking so concerned?” Yetunde quipped. “Are you my father?”

I doubled over with laughter.

As I drove back home that night, light-headed from the beer and the euphoria of Arsenal’s victory over Chelsea, Yetunde’s remark about bracing up for a lifetime of singleness came back to me. It made no sense why a girl who got along so well with guys, shared our interests, and reasoned the way we did, seemed incapable of being more than just friends with any guy. Would I date her myself, I wondered, as I turned into my street. I chuckled. The thought was ludicrous. It was a question I had never considered, not even fleetingly.

It wasn’t that Yetunde wasn’t attractive. Far from it; boy, she nearly caught me staring at her behind on our way out of Babs that evening! I was also certain it had nothing to do with being friend-zoned or any such nonsense. Then why did the idea of dating Yetunde seem so incongruous? This was a girl I loved to hang out with, a girl who always cracked me up. Why would I not want to be with her?

Then it struck me with sudden clarity that defied the wooziness in my head, as I arrived at the entrance to my house: was it because Yetunde was too much like men that successful romantic relationships with them continued to elude her?

I haven’t been able to answer that question; neither that night nor in the six years that have passed. I am now married and I have two daughters. Yetunde is still single.

 

© Olutola Bella @ Bellanchi

 

 

Photo credit: SnapwireSnaps/ http://pixabay.com/en/couple-laughing-happy-people-598315/

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Think Like a Man, End up Without One [1]

Think

In The Beginning

The story: Eve ate the forbidden fruit and seduced Adam into a bite, na so yawa gas. The origin of male-female dynamics is rooted in the creation of sin and chaos. If Adam had not eaten the fruit, if Eve had not convinced him to, the world would not be a revolving globe of horrors. The blame game has ensued since, with both sides keeping score like umpires at a game.

The joke: God created the world in seven days and rested. He then formed woman and has not rested since. The difficulties in male-female romantic relations are caused by gender complexities, sensitivities or the lack thereof, and hormonal activities. Mr Lagbaja will probably never cry while watching The Titanic. Ms Jane Doe will probably narrate an epistle of random events if you ask how her day went.

The Conclusion: Paralleling the thought patterns of the opposite sex probably has its advantages, but men exhibit varying levels of machismo and women varying levels of femininity.  Perhaps Love is our different similarity. We love differently, but we love all the same.

Think like man; end up with none, or with one, or two, if you’re into that kind of thing. Think like a woman? Well, you really can’t if you’re a man; you’re not that clever.

© Tomi Olugbemi @ Poetry is Peace

 

Although the man and his wife were both naked, they were not ashamed. – Genesis 1:25

 

Think like a Man? Think Again! 

Ladies are different, but most men are the same. When a lady starts thinking like a man, she begins to have a big ego and two (big) egos can be bad for relationships. I have seen many independent, smart, and successful ladies, who want to get married, end up single.

Generally speaking, the ladies who end up with men exude care and use the power of submissiveness to full effect—the ability to massage the ego, while making the mind see reason. They create the impression of vulnerability thereby increasing the protective instincts of a man.

The way a lady makes a man feel, more than anything else, determines if she’ll end up with him. If she respects him and makes him feel comfortable in her presence, he will want to spend the rest of his life with her

If a lady thinks like a man and then acts like him, she may end up without him. Men are designed to seek conquest and when two people seek to conquer, one will be devoured. A lady who lets a man lead the chase without making herself 100% available, will either inspire his consistency, strength of character, and responsible side, bringing him nearer commitment or inspire him to walk away.

© Ifeanyi Ukoha @ Moments with my Mind

 

 Male egos require constant stroking. Every task is an achievement, every success epic. That is why women cook, but men are chefs: we make cheese on toast, they produce pain de fromage. ― Belle de Jour

 

My Move, Your Move, Checkmate!

Do we even think when we fall in love? Can we solve the mathematics of our hearts with formulas in our brains? Or is the man supposed to be thinking because he’s expected to make the first move?

Ah! Make the move, here lies the problem: game-play language used to define the parameters of emotions and attraction aka love.

If the man is expected to make the first move, but he’s more interested in winding down the timer, the lady has to force his hand. Then he has to lie and deceive while keeping his eye on the prize—sex, exclusivity, friendship with benefits sans responsibility, etc. Then she has to counter his moves to checkmate him, that is, to get his money, his ring, his commitment, etc. Two hunters in the jungle.

Why don’t we ditch the games, no scheming and no faking? Forget about whether the other person is playing fair. Forget all you’ve been told: men are evil, women are gold-diggers, if you don’t manipulate him, he’ll dump you, yada yada yada.

Focus on being the best version of yourself. Have genuine affection for another and risk trusting them with your emotions. Will you get hurt? Probably. Letting go to love another and trusting them to return your love is not being naïve, it is learning to be human.

The thing about manipulating love like a game is this: nobody wins.

© IfeOluwa Nihinlola @ ifeOluwa’s rambles

 

We all think that this relationship thing is a game out here. All I’m saying to women is, ‘Okay. If it’s a game, here are the rules that we play by.’ – Steve Harvey

 

Dramatically Predictable 

There are many men. I have seen enough to know that when women state their preferences, a good number of short, fairly ugly, and poor men are left languishing on the wait list. Very little is said about the thinking of The Chosen and there is good reason. Every next man thinks differently.

Men don’t know how men think. We just shake hands, grunt, and pat our backs. But when men deal with women, usually we expect a game, a chase, a lot more drama. It’s rewarding when the curtains close and you’re both backstage. And even though men wish the drama did not persist sometimes, we like the certainty that we will get drama. I suppose many men want their women to stay dramatically predictable. It is what makes women interesting and keeps men interested.

For the sake of ourselves, let women not think like us, whatever that means, please. Women who try to think like the men in their world are adventurously boring and they will certainly find boring men for themselves.

The thought that a woman who thinks like a man will end up without one is condescending to women and a joke to be fair. No woman needs to think like the next woman, much more a man. What are you doing thinking like a man? Think like you! There is nothing more desirous in a woman than independent thought. Men crave it and nothing will change that. Because in truth, even we don’t know how we think.

© Delalorm Semabia @ African Soulja

 

A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction. ― Oscar Wilde

 

 

Photo credit: Hans/ http://pixabay.com/en/bottles-imprint-glass-think-yellow-60336/

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.