A LITTLE SOMETHING ON MOTHER-IN-LAWS, CLINGY PARTNERS AND OTHER THINGS IN BETWEEN

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Yeah, smoother and drool over him/her. Why not also pee like a mutt just so we know you're marking territory?

This started out as a comment on a friend’s Facebook wall but I just thought to post it here as well.

And yes, it’s about overbearing mother-in-laws, clingy partners and that type of shit other things in between.

Somehow I realise now, how it’s even us the children and our mom that scold pops that he’s been away from his mom for too long. His maternal family could be a pain and he knew, so he shielded us all with some distance. I remember when mom tells stories of her early years in marriage and how grams would interfere with her other children at every opportunity, including sneaking some girl in under the guise of being a maid.

If anything, I appreciate how she handled it and how I share some of those traits. Ariwo ko ni music – no insults, no long winding arguments or nagging; just this quiet stubbornness that tells the other person to back off. Those early days earned her my grams respect and till date she’s even the one that visits often – more than her husband.

Some women just smother their kids instead of mothering. For me it’s both ways. I’ll run from a girl who seems to be a mommy’s girl too because you won’t seem to do anything right. Nobody likes someone hover over them just because they’re in a relationship with that person’s child. It’s bullshit. If you’ve trained your child well then you’ll have very little to worry about someone who’s dating or married to them.

Sometimes I’m really scared of the kind of parenting we give these days. Always eager to troubleshoot even before there’s trouble. We eliminate every appearance of error and raise kids in a controlled environment – like culturing a specimen in a lab. We forget that we won’t be here forever and this is where I take the Magic School Bus mantra and apply it to raising kids: take chances, make mistakes, get messy. Let them learn but let them know that you’re with them.

If you know you can’t cope with such nonsense, run. You’ll know from the first few encounters. No man or woman is worth that headache and Jesus didn’t die for that kinda ish. Better to have a US drone or spy satellite over you than a hovering MIL.

That said, there are women or men that are like this around their partners (see picture). Makes the whole darn thing even more difficult doesn’t it?

Seriously, check yourself. It might just be that you might be the one that also wants to own him/her by shutting them off from friends and family, people who were there for him before you came into the picture. You can’t possibly make up his entire world. It just doesn’t work that way. They might represent his past and present but if that’s good, who says the past, present and future can’t mesh in this case?

Also, in reverse, who’s to say that the future can’t coexist with the past? It’s all about perspective. You see a husband or wife. They see a son or daughter. Make it work or walk away early. No point tying the knot if you know you won’t be able to live with it.

As for clingy, hovering parents too; sometimes the whole point of teaching your chicks how to fly is that they can leave the nest on their own…eventually.

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Hi guys,

Funny how I haven’t posted anything this year. Really sorry and I’ll get to it soon but there’s a lot of unfinished business out there right now. It would all be over soon.

So today is Valentine’s Day and everyone (almost) is basically a walking pole of mush. I don’t get it – I mean I’m all for love but this mass mushiness creeps me the hell out, like everyone got infected with a lovey zombie virus. Oh well…Cupid shot me once (the sneaky bastard) and I broke his arm and stuck an arrow up his butt. I digress, that’s a story for another day.

Here’s what I’m gonna do.

I’m posting a valentine worthy 30-song playlist ranging from the very mushy to the whatever. I dunno what I first fell in love with: books or music. Depending on whether you’re taken, about to be taken, pretending to be taken, taken for granted, believing you’re taken or simply not taken seriously, these songs might make you smile, muse or outrightly mess you up. Most of them are rock songs by the way. Here goes…

I don’t wanna miss a thing – Aerosmith
Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
Always in my head – Coldplay
No Words – The Script
I won’t give up – Jason Mraz
Let’s make it last – Brandon Heath
Sunburn – Ed Sheeran
Shirtsleeves – Ed Sheeran
Afire Love – Ed Sheeran
Love, love, love – Of Monsters and Men
Ariel – Anathema
Dear You – Josh Auer
Found – Phillip Larue
Lost in You – Three Days Grace
Anathema – Anathema
Cosmic Love – Florence + the Machine
Dark Paradise – Lana Del Rey
My Immortal – Evanescence
When you can’t sleep at night – Of Mice and Men
Another you – Of Mice and Men
Valentines Day – Linkin Park
Life After You – Daughtry
I’ll Fight – Daughtry
Skulls – Bastille
Someday – Nickelback
Battleships – Daughtry
You’ll be the anchor that keeps my feet on the ground, I’ll be the wings that keep your head in the clouds – Mayday Parade
Time bomb – All Time Low
New York – Snow Patrol
Rainy Zurich – The Fray

GOT A DREAM? QUIT PIDDLING AND START SOMETHING!  

“You cannot build a reputation on what you’re going to do” – Henry Ford

Uncle Tunde – we call him Bros T – is one of my favourite relatives; he’s the one who gets reprimanded by our parents for trying to spoil our milk teeth with too much chocolate and sweets. He’s also the funny one, always having a story to tell. We believed everything and enjoyed all the tales of what he’s seen, heard, read and experienced during his lifetime. As we grew older, the stories became less believable and we’d give ourselves knowing looks as if to say, “fabu” (the rough vernacular translation for fable).

Of all the stories, the one that stuck with me over the years was the story of his life. Bros T got a job with a shipping line in the early 80’s after finishing secondary school. His original goal was to get a degree in Law, practice for a few years and then move into the academic world to become a university lecturer. Unfortunately, he couldn’t because there was no money to finance his education.

Years later, after working his way up the ranks at the shipping company, Bros T was comfortable enough to chase his dream of being a lawyer but he couldn’t shake the niggling thoughts: “I won’t fit in.” “I don’t think I’m smart enough.” “I don’t think I’ll pass.” “It’s too late for me to go back to school.” Now, anytime a Law related topic came up for discussion, Bros T would say, “And I would have been a great lawyer oh,” a rueful smile on his face. There’s no mistaking the fact that he looks back with regret at not taking the bold step of going back to school.

The major reason he didn’t follow through on his dream was FEAR. That fear brought a lot of questions and doubts into his mind. But how would he find answers to all his questions if he stood rooted to a spot and didn’t take the plunge? Fear is the number one dream killer; it brings with it, self-doubt, worry, and feelings of inadequacy. Many young people’s dreams have been frustrated due to fear.

We all have our questions, “What if this?” “What if that?” Sometimes the enormity of our dreams scares us silly but we often forget that we don’t need to start big. If you’ve got a big dream, who says you can’t start small? The important thing is that you’ve started. There will be challenges and obstacles but if it is a God-given dream, those challenges will be stepping stones to help build you up.

In actualising our dreams, we sometimes forget that the first set of actions might be in the form of preparation. If you have to hold on to learn a few things before making the jump, why not do so? Preparation is key: what is the use of spending days cutting a big tree with a blunt axe and not succeeding, when you can spend hours sharpening the axe before the actual cutting?

If you don’t start where you are, how will you get to where you want? Start where you are, use what you have at your disposal and begin to do what you can. If you have put God’s in the picture, you will achieve it. In the Bible (Judges 3:31), a man called Shamgar was recorded to have saved Israel by killing 600 Philistines with a cattle prod (ox goad). Fantastic story, isn’t it? A cattle prod; not a sword! Shamgar didn’t wait till he had a sword in his hands, he had a cattle prod and that’s what he used. He started where he was and used what he had at his disposal. In the end, he made his mark – even though he was mentioned in just one verse in the bible!

What is a man if he can’t dream? Man is essentially wired to dream, to aspire, to become a better version of himself every single day and make his mark positively wherever he finds himself. Have you got a dream? Quit piddling and start now!

I’ll leave you with this encouraging picture I found…

In the end, it mostly depends on whether you want to, or not ;)

In the end, it mostly depends on whether you want to, or not 😉

What is a man if he can’t dream? Man is essentially wired to dream, to aspire, to become a better version of himself every single day and make his mark positively wherever he finds himself. Have you got a dream? Quit piddling and start now!

Why I Don’t Love My Fiance

Wanted to post something different before I came across this and I just had to share because it just captures what I really believe about love and marriage. It’s insane, really! But the core truth of it all is that love is a choice. And when we approach our relationships with this mindset – a mindset that abhors throwing things away just because it cant be fixed, we’ll begin to enjoy more wholesome and rewarding relationships with our loved ones.

I’m not married yet, not even close. Heck, I don’t even know when or if it’s gonna happen but If I’m gonna take that step, it’s definitely going to be a step of loving intentionally.

Read, enjoy and be impacted.

Cheers!

Michael J. Pittman

In 130 days I’m getting married, and a friend recently asked me why I love my fiancé. I wanted to share a deeper perspective on Amanda and I’s relationship, so before I answered why I love her, I had to first explain to him the reasons I don’t love my future bride to be.

I came to two conclusions:
First is, I don’t love Amanda for what’s on the outside. I know. It sounds cheesy, it sounds sappy. This perspective is not a novel idea by any means. How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t love you for what’s on the outside. I love you for what’s on the inside.” But that brings me to my second conclusion.

I don’t love Amanda for what’s on the inside either.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are many things on the inside and outside that I love about

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DEAR NOLLYWOOD (YORUBA)!

There’s isn’t much so I’ll get right to it. And no, this isn’t to disparage the Nigerian movie industry – the Yoruba segment – but an appeal to see things done right. Sometimes I wonder I it’s really that hard to write in simple, correct English – it isn’t! So why do we still get crappy subtitles? Is it so compulsory?

Yeah, I know English is a second language in Nigeria but it’s one we’ve been speaking now or almost a century. In any case, having subtitles in a movie production should be a professional undertaking so I expect a decent level o subtitling. These days, I cringe when I have the ‘misfortune’ of seeing a Yoruba movie. I’m an editor, so it’s really headache-inducing and embarrassing to see messed up subtitles on the screen.

The world is a global village now and locally produced movies aren’t restricted anymore. These movies are shown on satellite TV to audiences outside Nigeria who understand the English Language used in subtitling but not the Yoruba language spoken in these movies. People travel with these movies; you can find them on YouTube and blogs. So it’s not too much to ask for if a movie you know will possibly be aired internationally has correct subtitles.

I know these producers mean well but some things are only worth doing when done right. I can’t stand seeing a movie while my mind mulls over who’s laughing his head off in Ghana (those ones are always looking for fodder) or Kuala Lumpur. Yes, the aforementioned also produce movies with horrible subtitles but they’re not our movies and definitely none of my business. My concern is strictly about what we put out there and it really should be done with excellence as the watchword.

I’ll just put a few examples below for the heck of it.

Brace for impact…

I’m pretty sure we all know what he’s saying and what the subtitle should be. But by Jove, how hard can it be to spell armed robbery?!

I’m pretty sure we all know what he’s saying and what the subtitle should be. But by Jove, how hard can it be to spell armed robbery?!

Maybe I’m a bit slow. But there are tons of words to use here. A simple ‘relax’ would do. How the flip-flops am I gonna put my mind at ‘arrest’ when it should be at rest?

Maybe I’m a bit slow. But there are tons of words to use here. A simple ‘relax’ would do. How the flip-flops am I gonna put my mind at ‘arrest’ when it should be at rest?

Good Lord! No words here people. No words.

Good Lord! No words here people. No words.

Double slam right here. This right here is funny and I can’t really say why; is it the situation or the translation? But what does ‘tight together’ mean?

Double slam right here. This right here is funny and I can’t really say why; is it the situation or the translation? But what does ‘tight together’ mean?

If we’re gonna be literal here, this man is dead already – the prayer killed him. The Almighty should ‘Ill’ an ill person? Why not just write, ‘Kill him Lord!’? Obviously, we know ‘heal’ is the correct word to use here.

If we’re gonna be literal here, this man is dead already – the prayer killed him. The Almighty should ‘Ill’ an ill person? Why not just write, ‘Kill him Lord!’? Obviously, we know ‘heal’ is the correct word to use here.

Finally…

I’m not calling this one out because there’s no real blunder except that it should be ‘trousers’. That’s forgivable.  But damn, this is awkward.

I’m not calling this one out because there’s no real blunder except that it should be ‘trousers’. That’s forgivable.  But damn, this is awkward.

I understand that we might not have the best movie technology, we might not be able to afford the best cameras or best production quality but having to read subtitles without stress shouldn’t be too much to ask for.

LIMITLESS – A WAR VETERAN’S STORY

First published in gemMAN magazine, October 2013…

After serving in two World Wars, a certain soldier retired from the United States Navy to live in peace with his family. Since he had a degree, he was able to secure a job with an engineering company, supervising the construction of tract homes in San Francisco. It was a good job, the earnings took care of his family’s needs and he still had enough to save for the rainy day. For someone who had gone through the rigours of a devastating war, this was something good to fall back on. What more can someone in this situation ask for?

However, things hardly turn out the way we plan. In his case, it wasn’t any different. Six years after his retirement, a business mogul approached him – this was in 1954. The business man was looking for an engineer to help with an aspect of his construction project. The engineer accepted and at the end of the day, the businessman handed over the entire construction to him. It turned out to be a fantastic decision because a year later, the project resulted in one of the most breathtaking sites in the United States, and the world at large.

That retired soldier cum engineer was Admiral Joe Fowler; the business mogul was Walt Disney and the project is what we know today to be Disneyland. After construction, Joe was made a manager and he held the position for the first 10 years.

After this, Disney wanted something grander. Once again, he approached Joe – old Joe as he was already 73. Once again, Joe said “Yes, can do.” Four years later, Disney World became operational; till date, it is still a highly rated tourist/vacation spot.

Why didn’t Joe say he was tired, that the ordeals of two World Wars and an additional Korean war had worn him out? Why didn’t he say that the Disneyland project was more than he could handle – that he was content building houses? When he was 73, why didn’t he tell Disney that he was too old to oversee the design and construction of Disney World? He didn’t, Joe simply said “Can do.” This earned him the nickname ‘can-do Joe’.

I’ll mention three lessons from this: the first one is that whatever you’re going through now or wherever you are is in preparation for something in future. Joe was building gunboats as a junior officer, he graduated to building ships and when he retired, he was trusted with overseeing the construction of Disneyland and Disney World. If he didn’t go through the first stages, even undergoing the pressures of war, how would he have been able to cope?

Second, as long as Joe was alive, he felt he still had something to offer. As long as we’re human, death should be seen as the only limitation to whatever we want to achieve. We all have something to live for. Even death gets postponed so some people can live out their purpose. When there’s life, there’s hope – and something to offer. Barring engine or other mechanical issues, car will run so long there’s fuel in it. Examine the exploits of Moses do at age 80, Caleb at 85 and you’ll realize that every living person has something to offer.

Third, whenever Joe was confronted with something, no matter how big, he said “Yes, can do”. This should be our attitude; never write yourself off or believe you can’t do something. Limitations reside in your mind alone and you’re your only obstacle. God doesn’t have limits, we His children shouldn’t – but we think we do and this is a lie of the devil.

You can do it, ignore every voice telling you to quit or take it easy. Imbibe the can-do attitude today.

Keep Going!

I haven’t written jack in a while and it’s getting to a point where the words in my head keep tormenting me so much that I’m tempted to pick a pistol and fire, just so I could have some peace. But no, that wouldn’t be peaceful and my aversion to pain made me reconsider. It’s more painful when the major things keeping you away are work and school (now I know postgraduate studies can be a bitch). I get to write so much, just not stuff I care strongly about. So I decided to do anything, anything to get some words here. Hope you enjoy it and learn as much as I did too. I apologise for being away for so long…

I have come to accept the fact that there is no shortage of things to draw inspiration from in life. People, places, books and personal experiences are just a few among these things. But I now have a new category that is of inspirational worth also – animals. I was preparing a set of short inspirational quotes sometime last year when I came across a quote by Charles Spurgeon that never left me since then. I didn’t have to memorise it; it just stuck. It’s short, witty (and I love witty), and a whole lot more that I can go on and on playing with adjectives that catch my fancy.  Plus there was a biblical base. The quote simply read: “By perseverance, the snail reached the ark.”

Does this sound familiar? If it does, have you ever taken the time to really ponder beyond the witty wisdom of the author? I’m going to share a few insights from the above quote in the hope that it will resonate within you somehow.

Our limitations shouldn’t put us off from our goal
Consider the fact that the snails had to achieve their goal of reaching the ark just like the other animals. There’s just one problem, they were slow; so slow that even the tortoise would have had a laugh at their struggles. But they didn’t allow this limitation to derail them, they kept their eyes fixed on the ark and ended up on it just like the others. That’s the way it is with us too; we all have certain challenges on the way to achieving our goals but we shouldn’t let it deter us from what God has in store for us.

You are not alone in your struggles
There were two snails – they’re hermaphrodites by the way, but I’m not trying to play the numbers game or desperately looking for ways to make you see them as couples. What is instructive here is the fact that we’re never alone in our struggles. We all have that one (or more) person we can look to for encouragement: a spouse, best friend, pastor, mentor, family, etc. These people all have limitations and challenges of their own but they’re with us for a reason. By sharing experiences, we serve as a source of encouragement to one another in our daily struggles towards our goals.

The ark waited
As slow as the snails were, the ark didn’t leave till they got in. Now I don’t know whether Noah went out to scoop them or whether they got to the ark themselves. I would like to believe the snails got there on their own (hey, that’s much more epic). Sometimes it’s never too late for anything you really dream of achieving. Some people have, because of a perceived limitation, lived a life of regret; wishing that they ‘could have’ or ‘should have’. In as much as the ark was still in sight, the snails knew they had a shot, and they took it. You also have that measure of grace God has made possible despite any limitations on the way to achieving your goals; you always have a shot!

This is what I learnt when I decided to look a little closer at that quote. We all need to persevere and also be persistent in facing life challenges. While we must acknowledge our limitations, we shouldn’t allow them to rule our thoughts and prevent us from achieving greatness.

One last bit of trivia about snails: if their eyes happen to be cut off, they can always grow new ones. That’s how special they are.

As usual, I’d love to know what you think too… Do share.