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It Is Not About What’s Gone – But What’s Given

May 28, 2012 15 comments

In the dead of night, Sam was lying awake with his hands clasped behind his head. He had not gotten an ounce of sleep since got into bed. He picked up his phone to check the time. It was 3am. Four hours had elapsed since he got beneath the covers. The cold harshness of reality would not let him drift off. Every time his eyes got heavy, thoughts of his misfortunes would come surging through and all traces of sleep would be dissipated. Sam’s world was being rocked by relentless, malevolent waves.

He could no longer ignore the pounding on his head. He threw the covers to the side and groped in the dark for the pill container. He grabbed it and popped it open only to find it empty. Not even a dosage of prescription pills could numb his pain. He sat on the edge of the bed with head between his hands. He was shrouded in the darkness of despair. He had hit rock-bottom. Sam had been left by his wife of thirteen years, barely a month after losing his job.

Having been working in the procurement department for many years, Sam had known that the company he was working for was going through financial difficulties. Suppliers were not being paid on time and on more than one occasion, a cheque had bounced. But he never expected things to turn out as they did. Not even when the human resources manager called him into his office. He had given the company seven years of his life and he had been working with such dedication. Over the years, he had risen from a clerical position to a head of department. He even thought the white envelope being issued to him by the HR was his bonus. He was smiling broadly as he received it with both hands.

When his employer said that the company was letting him go, he was nonplussed. Words departed him. He stared at him with his mouth open. His thoughts were scattered like sand in the wind. He thought about his newly acquired house. He still had just started paying the mortgage. He thought about his wife. After an extensive discussion with her, Sam had agreed to set up a catering business for her. He thought about his daughter. He wondered if she would resent him after he pulled her out of the distinguished private school she attended. His world was shattering right before his eyes. He sat there hoping to wake up from the awful nightmare. But that was not to be.

The HR tried to be polite about it. He talked about downsizing and cost-cutting, and that they regretted having to let him go. But the more he spoke the more worked up Sam became. The company was discarding him like unwanted trash. It was putting him through a shredder. When he could no longer contain himself he gave vent to his anger. He demanded to know if the nine years of service meant anything to his employers. Nine years of unwavering loyalty and devotion, and he was being let go without prior notice. Sam was furious as he left his employer’s office. He was disheartened as he cleared his desk. He walked out with his chin on his neck. The sympathetic looks on the faces of his colleagues made the situation even worse.

One month later, Sam got home and found his wife sitting on the couch. She looked gloomy, like she had been crying. On closer observation, he noticed that her eyes were red and swollen. He had gotten accustomed to coming home to a dull, lifeless house but not once had he seen her in that state. Before he could utter a word, she asked him to sit and he sat beside her. She seemed to struggle to find her words. This only intensified the tension in their living room. When she finally spoke, what came out cut through Sam’s heart like a sharp blade.

Sam’s wife couldn’t even look at her husband as she began to speak. She stared at the coffee table as she told him that their marriage had become dull. That their once warm home now felt cold and unfamiliar. That she had not signed up for the kind of life she was being subjected to. When she finally turned to face him, she disclosed that she felt that she had fallen out of love and it was time for her to move on and see what else was out there for her.

Sam tried to talk her out of it. He told her that she was still the love of his life and apologized for seeming distant over the past few days. He tried to make her understand that he was simply going through a rough patch. That it was only a test. That he would pull through. That they could still work things out. He reminded her of the vows they had made thirteen years ago when they tied the notch. He even brought up their beautiful daughter who was at that time in a boarding school. But his wife would not hear any of it. Her mind was made up. There was nothing Sam would have said to change her mind. That same night, she packed her belongings and walked out of their home. Watching her walk out of the door tore his heart into pieces.

Once again, Sam was bereft. His heart was shattered. The woman that had once won his heart had discarded it like a piece of garbage. His wife, the woman that had sworn to stand by him through the good and bad times, had turned to be his executioner. An angel turned foul. So many questions ran through his mind. He had given her everything she had ever wanted. He had provided for her and treated her like a queen. He had tried his best to keep her happy. But his best had not been good enough. She had left him; miserable and alone.

Three days later as he sat on the edge of his bed, Sam wondered how the life that was once full of bliss had turned to be so brutal. The lush and beautiful world he once knew was now filled with darkness and despair. He felt forsaken and abandoned. His chest was heavy with grief. The pain was unbearable. He could no longer keep it together. That night, Sam sobbed.

After his well of tears had run dry, his t-shirt was soaking wet. He got up and switched on the lights. He rummaged through his wardrobe for a clean t-shirt. He then stood in front of the mirror to see what was left of him. He was frail. He looked much older than he did a month ago. His spirit was crushed. He glanced at the sticker right above the mirror that had some words printed on. Words that were about to change his life. They read:

It Is Not About What’s Gone – But What’s Given

He had seen that sticker countless times before but not once had he given them much thought – probably because they had never been of any relevance in his life before. But that Sunday morning those words registered in his mind. He stood there and looked at them intently. He let them sink. And when they did, he felt his misery being enshrouded by a warm coat of reprieve.

Those words made him realize that he had not lost everything. He might have lost his job but he still had a sound mind and well functioning limbs. His wife might have deserted him but he still had a daughter that reminded him of all that’s beautiful and delightful. He picked up his wallet and took out a portrait of his daughter. He held it between his fingers and gazed at it. Her smiling face relieved him of his anguish. For the first time that month, Sam let out a warped smile. For her sake, he resolved to pull himself together and to work tirelessly toward getting his life back on track. He said a silent pray and thanked God for what He had already given him. When he got back into bed at the break of dawn, he immediately fell asleep.

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Categories: Inspirational

I hate sissies

May 21, 2012 19 comments

Sissies have a special way of getting under my skin. I do not like them one bit. I see a sissy and I’m tempted to smack some manhood into him. Urban dictionary defines a sissy as guy that is ‘a wimp, *a P word that I cannot put here*, and weak.’ The definition is spot-on. It however does not cover all the little annoying characters that compose a sissy. I will therefore expound on this definition over the next few paragraphs.

You can easily spot a sissy from a distance. He walks like Tyra Banks. Heck he even looks like her (only difference is the moustache). He has a girly hairstyle and he wears scarfs that look like shawls. He wears tight T-shirts and shiny/colored, skinny jeans. If a guy that looks (or sounds) like Jimmy Gait drove up to me and lowered his sun-glasses and offered me a lift, I would decline so fast. I don’t care if it’s raining cats and dogs or if I’m late for a job interview, no way I’m getting into that car.

A sissy is a wuss. He is scared of saying what is on his mind and prefers beating around the bush. He will look at a beautiful chick and utter the weirdest of compliments. Instead of simply saying you look beautiful, he says something like “Wow! who does your pedicure?” or “That’s a cute handbag.” A sissy will like a chick but he will not tell her. Instead, he will hang around her and listen attentively as she whines about her jerk of a boyfriend. A sissy will take a chick he likes to the rave and by the end of the night he will be sitting alone at a corner, sipping on his Black ice as he watches ‘his chick’ getting intimate with another guy.

A sissy sings along to tunes like ‘oh na na what’s my name…’ A sissy will spend his Sunday afternoons in the salon getting his eyebrows tweezed and his skin toned. A sissy talks like a girl. He uses words like woishe, and oh my gosh. I don’t care how good Chris Brown is on the dance floor but no man should ever refer to another man’s act as hot. It’s just wrong. A sissy sees a kitten and goes like, “awwww sho shweet.” I just smacked myself for writing that.

A sissy is full of issues. He is constantly on his ‘monthlies’. He is always talking about his haters and how people seem to be all over his business, while in real sense no one cares. He is in constant need of attention and approval. He updates his status on facebook more times that he blinks. He will put a status update and if no one likes or comments, he will put another controversial one minutes later just to draw some attention.

A sissy takes a lot of crap. A sissy will see his chick openly flirting with another guy and he will not do anything about it. In fact he will look the other way and try not to cry. He is a pushover. He cannot confront anyone. A stranger will step on his shoes but he’ll be the one apologizing for putting his foot on the way. He cannot stand up for himself.

A sissy is very insecure. He does not believe in himself. He calls his girlfriend after every half hour because he fears she might be with another man. He is always snooping and he whines more than she does.

A sissy carries his girlfriend’s handbag.

If you cohabit with your girlfriend and you have a schedule for cooking and washing dishes between the two of you, then you are a sissy. I’m not saying that a man should never go into the kitchen. If she’s admitted in the ICU for example, then it’s okay to step in. But if on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays it’s your turn to put on that apron and step into the kitchen, you are a big sissy.

I do not like the sight of a man shedding tears. It’s never pretty. But even the toughest men weep from time to time. Life is full of agonizing experiences. But if a man cries like a small girl because ‘the love of his life’ won’t give him the time of day, then he is a big sissy. Dear men, if you get your ass dumped, please save the crying for your bed. That’s acceptable. But when you meet the boys, please man up. Whine as much as you want and feel free call her a female dog but don’t break down in front of the boys because you’ve been dumped. That’s being a sissy.

For God’s sake unless you are a self proclaimed sissy, don’t cry at the end of one of those romantic comedies. Don’t be caught watching a Mexican soap even if you’ve been abducted and you are tied to a chair. Unless you spent the better part of your upbringing in Thara Nithi, any man who watches Nigerian movies is a sissy. As hard as it is to comprehend, not all men love soccer. I respect that. But if your boys are hooked on the finals of the Champions League and you’re asking if it’s the World Cup final, then we have a problem. The problem is that you are a sissy.

A sissy has weird taste. His favorite movie is Twilight. He thinks Expendables is too violent. He would rather watch Gossip girl than 24. His favorite radio station is Easy fm. His favorite drink is Snapp. His favorite color is pink. Tyra Banks is his role model.

Guys, sissies are on the increase. Before long you’ll see a sissy vying for presidency and if he wins (God forbid) that will be the end of manhood as you know it. Men will be forced to apply mascara. If this post does not make any difference, I will organize a walk. I will mobilize a crowd and we will walk around town with placards to protest against sissies. What happened to men being men?

Categories: Behavior

MY MOTHER’S DAY

May 14, 2012 11 comments

It is 9pm on Sunday, just got home, my team has lost the EPL title, but I feel great. I feel great because I spent the afternoon with my mommy. On Saturday night she called and said that she’d missed me and asked if I could visit her the following day. For a minute there I considered telling her that I had already made plans. See I like spending my Sundays indoors so I can just eat, sleep, watch movies and sleep some more. But my conscience was eating me. I knew Sunday was Mother’s Day and the least I could do for my mommy was spend time with her. So I asked her if she will be cooking chicken.

I didn’t go to see my mom because she cooks finger-licking chicken; I went because I feel indebted to her. There’s no doubt that I would not be half the man I am were it not for my mom. Her affection, her belief in me, her kind words and her painful pinches shaped and moulded me. My mom has been there for me ever since I came into this world. She has loved me unconditionally. She has seen the worst of me and still stood by my side. She sees the good in me and appreciates it. I had to go and see my mom simply because she is my mother.

I walk with confidence because I know she can never fall asleep before praying for me. My mom is a pious woman. She has such unwavering faith in God. I’m sure whenever God looks at her He can’t help but smile. There are times I feel like my prayers are weak and the farthest they go is two floors up then they drop. But the fact that my mom puts in a good word for me is comforting. It makes me feel invincible. It makes me fearless. Where would we be without our mothers.

My mom believes in me exceedingly. She thinks there are no limits to what I can accomplish. There are times when she says things and I wonder if she’s talking about me or some imaginary child. I even try to read her face to see if she’s just talking for the sake of it, but the conviction in her eyes says it all. You cannot convince my mom that I am not nearly as smart as she thinks I am. She should have seen me at that Cisco boot camp last week. I was clueless. I imagine that’s how Lady Gaga would look if she opened her eyes and she was in church – utterly confused. My mom has been my greatest source of inspiration.

My mom has always been on my side. This one time in Primary school I used foul language on a fellow student and the teacher overheard. What ensued was a beating of a lifetime. The teacher took me to the staffroom and released all his life’s frustrations on my tiny behind. When my folks got home from work and I told them what had transpired, my mom decided it was a Police case! Even I thought that was a little extreme. But she wanted full retribution to whoever harmed her son. That’s my mommy!

There are unique qualities I see in my mom that make me admire her a great deal. Mommy is the calmest person you will ever meet. She does not panic. She never loses her cool. Even in the face of adversity she is always calm and collected. We have gone through misfortunes as a family, but even in loss, my mom was always the pillar. She has this angelic side in her that is just amazing. She has a way of expressing herself coupled with a warm smile that is simply assuring and comforting.

Earlier this year thugs broke into their home. They went into their bedroom and scared the life out of them. I visited them the next day and my mom would laugh as she told me how shaken she was the moment she saw some blood-thirsty, machete wielding strangers entering her bedroom in the dark of the night. They had taken cash, laptop and phones among other valuables, but she could still afford a smile the following day. If I were there that night I would probably have started wailing hysterically. But my mom remained cool. The hooligans left them unharmed.

My mom has a big heart. There’s never a time in her life when she’s not trying to help someone. I’ve seen countless people (including relatives) turn their backs on her as soon as they can stand on their own feet again. But my mom would move on and find someone else to lend a hand. There’s a time I even asked her why she even bothers helping people. She said she does not do it so as to get gratitude. She does it because God expects her to do it.

I do not talk to my mom as often as I should. There are times I go for more than a week without calling her and she calls and asks if her son still exists. I take things for granted and I do not say some things that I ought to say to her. My mom loves to sing. She’s been singing ever since I can remember. I do not pay much attention to her singing though. But during my sister’s wedding she sang so beautifully and for the first time I told her that I loved her performance. Even though she’s been told that countless times, she was so elated when I complimented her that she hugged me tight. That’s when I realized I needed to up my game.

All said and done, your mother will always be an icon in your life. You are the most important thing in her life. You are invaluable to her. Some of us find it difficult to show our mothers just how much we appreciate them. We go home with a bagful of groceries, damp it on the table and that’s as far as it goes. Try uttering a few words of appreciation and see how her face lightens up. She deserves to know. She deserves to hear you say it. After all she’s done for you, it’s the least you could do. She is the only mother you have. The only one you will ever have. The sad truth is, one day you will wake up and she will not be there; or you will not be there.

Categories: People

THE AVENGERS ON IMAX!!!

May 7, 2012 10 comments

I feel compelled to write a post in honor of this impeccable movie, The Avengers, and the mind-boggling technology that is IMAX. The Avengers on that monstrous 3D screen is the most remarkable thing I’ve ever set my eyes on. I am grateful to the Almighty for allowing me to live long enough to see this spectacle. The angels definitely deserve a big high-five. If you haven’t watched the movie, don’t panic. There won’t be any spoilers in this post. If you have, you will get what I’m trying to say here.

I am not the biggest fan of marvels. In fact, I wouldn’t have gone to watch The Avengers if it were not for my colleagues who had gone all hysterical since seeing the trailer a few months back. For once I am glad I can be easily swayed. My high school Social Studies teacher needs to be told that peer-pressure is not such a bad thing. The experience you get in the two and a half hours spent in that cinema theatre is something out of this world.

I have been looking forward to the IMAX experience for a long time. Three years ago my pal who lives in Canada made me believe that IMAX is the best thing to have happened to the universe since bacon. I expected to be stupefied by that huge screen and the amazing 3D experience. I however didn’t expect much out of the movie The Avengers. I thought it was just another flick where hero beats the crap out of villain and saves the day – Nothing I haven’t see in Power Puff girls. But *insert favorable curse* that movie is out of this world, and IMAX technology takes the movie to another level!

As soon as we took our sits in the theatre and the screen opened, we all put on the huge glasses. The first trailer was on 2D and I remember my pal going like, “Umph I don’t see any difference.” Then right after the trailer, there’s a message on the screen that reads, “You may now put on your glasses.” I quickly took off mine then took put them back on slowly. They just had to make us feel dumb, didn’t they? But I forgive them.

That’s when it all begins. The first trailer is for the movie Spiderman. He jumps off the roof of a sky scraper and we go down with him. I think I heard Jacque say The Grace. The size of the screen and the way it portrays depth does make you feels like you are falling down. At this point Joram went like, “F*cking hell!”

I didn’t expect the IMAX screen to have much difference from the normal 3D screen. I only thought the difference would be in the size of the screen. But the most amazing thing about IMAX is that people in the movie seem like they are just right there before you. You feel like you can reach over and smack the smug off Loki’s (the villain’s) face. You are right there with these folks. Thanks to IMAX I got an eyeful of Scarlett Johanssson – from her beautiful face to her shapely behind.

The storyline is fantastic and the acting, sublime. Each role was acted out perfectly. Special tribute goes to Robert Downey Jr., Mark Fuffalo (The Hulk), Scarlett Johansson, Tome Hiddleston (Loki) and Samuel L. Jackson. These guys were phenomenal.

It’s not every day you come across a movie that is so action packed and extremely humorous at the same time. The conceited and sarcastic nature of Stark (Robert Downey) and some clever lines spread throughout the movie will make you laugh so hard popcorn will end up in your nose. I am yet to find the will to watch another movie after the IMAX experience. I’m afraid I might start crying.

I hereby wish the writers, producers, directors, cast and anyone else involved in the success of The Avengers, not forgetting all the brilliant minds behind IMAX technology, a long and happy life so that they come up with more dazzling stuff.

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