## 80 over 20 is 100

I’m about to let you in on a secret. I’m really bad with numbers, Me and some other great people like Bill Gates, Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. Some people refer to it as Dyscalculia but it’s really just a ‘slight situation or mix up with numbers and simple calculations’. So much is always expected of us great people so It’s a relief when we discover these flaws really. It means we’re human like the rest of you.

Despite my ‘badness’ with numbers, I’ve always passed all my maths and calculation classes, hey, graduate of Economics here (with a glorious B in econometrics if I might add). But I really mess up the simple stuff. Like the question if Barack is 6 and Michelle is half his age, how old will Michelle be when Barack is 100? Options were 200, 50 and 97. My first answer was NOT 97. So yeah, that kind of bad. But there are more pressing issues in life like ‘How many wigs does Donald Trump own?’ (That’s a maths question, solve that geniuses).

I was watching Tyler Perry’s ‘Why did I get married?’ And one of the characters spoke about the 80/20 rule. I had already rolled my eyes in preparation for some confusing maths. As if Relationships and marriages aren’t tough enough, they had to add maths to it. But I didn’t zone out and I learned a very valuable lesson. The Sermon:

My understanding of what he said, you’re with someone who’s really amazing but like all humans,  imperfect and after a while, routine or life as we know it sets in, you get bored and discontent, and suddenly the imperfections start to glow like J.Lo’s bad attempt at a perfume or her butt. You choose. (See what I did there? Y’all know J.Lo’s perfume ‘Glow’ is really bad right? ). You forget all the wonderful things (the 80) that you love and have enjoyed with this person and start to focus on the missing 20. At this point you stop enjoying your 80 and are overwhelmed by the lack of the 20 and anything outside seems more appealing. This drives some people to cheat. You think you’re completing the sum when in reality, You’re about to forgo the 80 to get 20. Like the Olodo that you are.

Some of us miscalculate not just in regards to relationships but all around. We’ve got quite a lot going well for us, we forget to be thankful and take time to enjoy what we have, we’d rather focus on what’s missing which may be little in the grand scheme of things, cheating ourselves in the long run. The joy of the 80 is lost in the pursuit of 20.

My lesson from Tyler Perry’s homie, Focus on your 80. As for the 20, I don’t know what will happen to it, do I look like a maths teacher?

## From Venus with Love..

We do not have a choice in the matter, we do not get consulted, We are not given a coin to flip or a basket of options to pick from. The doctor just has to announce, ‘It’s a girl’ and from there the journey begins. The journey to being a lady, woman, female, citizen of Venus. We come in colorful forms too. With several roles to perform, doing each with the dexterity and pride of a juggler at a circus. We are daughters, sisters, friends, wives, mothers, support systems, world leaders, diaper ninja’s, etc. Now there’s a lot to love about being a woman but just like every fish has its bone, there’s also the bit that we’re not too fond of. But there’s too much nay in the world, lets stick to the positive.

We have several gifts, attention span is one of them. Its a great mix of being a good listener, observer and remembering with ease. It’s our thing and if you’re in doubt, try passing a message to the opposite sex during an all important game of football, you will realize that a pregnant teddy bear or a raccoon in heat will do a better job of comprehending. Women are attentive, we pay clinical attention and remember everything and I mean everything, from the chipped nail polish on the toes of the old school mate who hugged our man too tight at the mall the other day to grandma’s special pepper soup recipe to feed the same man. We forgive easily.

There’s also the multitasking power that has been vested in us. We can cook or at least microwave food, watch Wendy Williams show, skype with our best friend, rollers in the hair, nail polish drying off (cant be caught looking like the old school mate from the mall), clothes in the washing machine, tweet, pull the ear of an erring child, scream at a flying cockroach, help the kids with quantitative homework while preparing a mind blowing presentation for work the next day. We do all of this without batting an eyelid, because if we do, the eyelashes which we just DIY’d could flutter off.

In character, we adapt. We can switch from being bold like Cleopatra or firm like Margaret Tatcher to being kind like Mother Theresa and forgiving like Hilary Clinton. We are flexible. I love how flexible we can be to different situations, I saw this somewhere, ‘Women are angels, and when someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly….on a broomstick. We’re flexible like that. We are also perfectionists (try finding a woman who saves her first selfie) But hey, our quest for perfection drives us to be better.

Being a woman is deep, its beauty mixed with complexities, from our brains to our feminity and vanities, our love and patience, our strength and fragility, our intuition, our know-it-all attitude, our charm, our wit, our creativity, our nurturing nature, being the multipliers that we are, it’s a list that’s endless.

Women really rule, it might take a little longer for all of us to realize, seeing as we have to wait for our collective nail polish to dry, but once we do, and we will, life would be a much bigger blast than it already is for us.

## ‘Demanded’

I had a job interview a few years ago. We were about 2000 candidates at the first stage. Only 20 of us got selected for the next phase of interviews and the few available slots. I was one of the reasons some folks asked the question ‘So those selected, do they have two heads?’ No I don’t have two heads. I’m just really really really smart that’s all. It’s who I am as a person. I can’t help it. I prepared for the next phase, read all manners of difficult likely topics related to my course and the role, rehearsed my swag, all that jazz. I felt ready.

On the day of the interview I was sure I was getting the job. Some spoke about how scaling the first stage was the main thing and we had already been selected but this phase was just a formality to see our faces and get to know us so the questions would be easy, I had prepared well so come hell or high water, I was ready. If I knew the difficult levels then I would swim right through the easy ones right? Mhm. I went in all smiles, ready to dazzle and slay my way in. After the preliminary courtesies, the following ensued;

Interviewer: Impressive CV (like I expected to hear anything less) So you’re a graduate of Economics?

Me: Beaming like a solar panel (duh! If I studied pole dancing would I write Economics?)

Interviewer: Define Demand.

Me: Excuse me? Pardon? Can you please repeat the question? Shed more light maybe?

Interviewer: *Slowly* In Basic Economics, What is Demand?

Me: Blank stare (Solar beam slowly dimming)

Wait, she just said Demand now?

Yes, Demand she said. Demand. I put it to you that I could not remember. Demand. I had nothing in my head. Demand. In Economics kindergarten (SS1) that’s the first thing you are taught after the definition of Economics. I could not define demand. All the preparations plus really really really smart me and I couldn’t define Demand. Simple Demand. I tried but no words came out. Awkward. I started bargaining. I offered to define other terms, monetary and fiscal policies and tools, solve econometrics, analyze the effects of WW2 on the German and Russian economies, give a comparative analysis of the U.S. Capitalist economy vs China’s Socialism or a brief synopsis of Adam Smiths ‘Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of Wealth of Nations’ But no, all she Demanded was that I define Demand.

I did not get the job but I learnt a very valuable lesson. No matter how much you think you know, or how far you’ve come, never despise the basics, In other words, pay attention to the little things.

Ps: Demand is the quantity of goods and services a consumer is willing and able to buy.

## Friday the 13th

ICYDK today is Friday the 13th. It is a day which comes before Saturday the 14th. Saturday the 14th is Val’s day. Val’s day is upon us! After my failed attempt at romance in primary four blue when I made a special card pouring out my feelings for Deji and wrapped my special crayons in a fancy hand designed paper, torn from the middle of my quantitative reasoning notebook and he didn’t reciprocate, I became a cynic and couldn’t stand Val’s day. But this year, some powers that be (in the form of set muscles, deep voice, deeper eyes and mmm lips) beckoned and I drooled along. So here I am, a victim of the universe looking out for its own.

I’m a love child. Born in November, so by calculation, conceived in February (most likely the 14th) so whether I like it or not, Love loves me. I have decided to try and connect with my love side even though I have been accused of being unmushy. If you are slow, unmushy means not mushy. I’m nice so I will define mushy

Mushy (one part mush + one part y)
: semi liquid, pappy, sloppy, squashy, squishy, mawkish, mushrooms, gross, sentimental, emotional, sickly, sugary, tender, yielding, romantic, tripping, sappy (insert squiggly annoying words till infinity).

Anyway, in the same spirit of curiosity that led man to step on the moon, I want to challenge myself and try this mushy thing out with Valentine’s Day as an excuse. But I am a bit confused, I don’t know how it works and the day is inching closer. I have asked family and friends for suggestions and this is what they said.

Go out on a date. Why? We’re already dating.

Go on a boat ride, there’s something romantic about cruising and staring out into the horizon or each other’s eyes ( before the wind joins the staring contest and ruins the mascara) sounds like fun till I remember I’m afraid of drowning seeing as I can’t really swim plus I don’t like fish and mami water is real.

Go to the cinema and watch a rom com, hold hands, cuddle, giggle and steal kisses in the dark like teenagers; mhm, till I feel a foreign object try to cuddle my feet as well and look down and stare into the big bold brown eyes of a rat! All that popcorn being dropped, who do you think clears them up? Besides, cinema’s are too cold and I can’t rewind or pause to pee and some humans chew louder than bushrats! Very distracting!

Stay indoors (nepa will take light) cook for him (I will sweat, because nepa) drink wine (which will make me sleepy) watch old movies (when I’m asleep?)

Exchange gifts. Well I just recovered from January austerity so this might be hard. I’ll pray for him or we can share a mix of the other four love languages (Quality time – I will stay awake instead of sleeping, Touch – hold his hands, Words of affirmation – say ‘Baby you know I care about you’, Acts of service – ‘can you please pass the remote control?’)

It’s proving tough! And I know all my buts are valid. You know, reality and what not. Maybe I shouldn’t force it, you know what they say, Force a fart and it becomes shit so I guess this mushy thing should stay in the dictionary where it belongs!

Ps: I promise, I really started out wanting to talk about Friday the 13th, I really did!

## Finding Billings Way

This is about the time I got lost, ok this is just one of the getting lost stories, I should actually start a series on getting lost because it happens a lot. How else would we discover new places if we don’t take precious time out to get lost?

I got back into the car and sped to the airport (where I was told the yellow card would be waiting to jump into my arms like a long lost lover, easily). I was hoping to get the card within minutes and no, I did not get lost on the way to the airport from Billings way, the guardians of my road galaxy must have been in a good mood. At the airport, I was redirected to the new location of the Ports Authority (so much for easy lovers). I dashed down there, precious minutes passing by. This mouse was running low on that confidence boosting cheese. There was a long queue and this wasn’t good in the general scheme of things so I met a staff of the place and asked him to kindly speed up my process as I had an ‘appointment’ I couldn’t miss. This cost me an extra one thousand Naira and a prayer of forgiveness. You can drop the stone you were going to cast people, all have sinned.

This is where the real story starts, I headed back to Billings way, you know the one I told you about earlier that I found so easily. Dearly beloved, it wasn’t there. It had disappeared. I drove round and round and round and round and round. I did not find Billings way, I fumed and prayed and asked those guardians of the road galaxy but they were probably hung over from the wine I gave them as appreciation for not getting lost earlier. Two hours later and still no Billings way, I swallowed my pride and asked for directions. Have you ever asked a Lagosian for directions? Someone should make a documentary on that. One petrol station attendant denied the existence of a place called Billings way, she said and I quote, ‘There is nothing like Billings way’. A bike man I stopped said he did not know any ‘Bilikisu’. A cab man I asked said I should drive behind him, we got to a point and he shouted from his car, ‘when you get to that junction, turn ……beep beep beep, loud horns blaring for us to move as we were obstructing traffic. So I didn’t hear if he said turn left or right before he zoomed off. I turned left, it didn’t work so I went back and turned right and behold, like an oasis in the desert, Billings way appeared before me.

Why did I need to be at Billings way again? Oh yeah, to submit documents. As you can guess, the Visa office had closed for the day. So I headed back home and hoped that Billings way would be there on my return the next day. The story would not be complete if I don’t tell you how the car suddenly went off because it had run out of petrol. I was not too far from home so I did not activate panic mode. My indicator said I had some petrol. It lied. A ‘Samaritan’ passing stopped to offer help, I gave him one thousand Naira to please jog down to the station ahead to get some petrol. Till date, the ‘Samaritan’ is no where to be found. But as the good person that I am, a cab guy that I had been nice to in the past happened to be driving by and saved the day.

Note to lost self – learn to use maps, GPS, Apps or simply know my left from my right!

Second note to self – Samaritans live in Samaria and the Bible not Lagos.

## I Wrote..

‘Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself’

I would love to tell you that my dear Grandfather held my hands, looked into my eyes and said those deep words to me on his death bed and feel like a deep character with a deep Grandpa from a deep movie. Come to think of it, it’s only in movies that a dying man still has time to share profound words of wisdom. Anyway I stumbled on that quote while searching for inspiration. It’s flying around somewhere. If you’re really eager to know the source, as always, I’m an advocate of the use of Google. Help yourself. I really hope in some smarty pants way, I’m able to link up what I’m about to write with the quote, if not then I’d have wasted a really good quote.

There are gazillion reasons why people write. I don’t own a crystal ball (yet) so I can’t tell you why other people write what they write when they write. I can only speak for myself. I write when I’m bored, or I want attention, or I’ve witnessed some incident I wish to share or I can’t sleep at night or I’m trying to channel my inner Marian Keyes (she’s my favorite writer). Sometimes there are so many thoughts in my head and I need to let them out, you know, share some of my awesomeness with the world through my words. It’s an escape. I write with the hope that people will read, other times I really don’t care, really. I lied about the last line. These are just a few reasons why I write.

So when I get stuck, it’s very frustrating. It’s called writers block in some circles. I’ve been having mild bouts of this writers block, it is a condition that occurs when I want to write, I have to write, I need to write, I must write and yet there is nothing to write. Well, it’s not like there is nothing but I’m staring at a device or sheet of paper or ‘kpomo’ bound journal (‘kpomo’ equals leather in Nigeria) and after one word, one line or one paragraph, I’m stuck like a fat prisoner trying to escape through a small hole in the prison wall and I’m found by the warden who throws me in Solitary confinement and I’m still stuck because now I’m in a room with four walls and a locked gate and I can’t get out because that is what being stuck is all about. So I start to reflect on my sorry stuck self and then I remember something that happened a while ago and try to make that up into a story.

If the story isn’t coming together as I like, I get in the shower for inspiration, (shower is a euphemism for you know what) while listening to music or I take a long drive on Third Mainland Bride (the longest bridge in Africa and one of my favorite landmarks in Lagos, while wondering where the first and second mainland bridges are). Some ideas come, but you see I can’t just stop in the middle of the bridge to write so I recite the ideas till I get back home and then I really can’t remember what or why I was reciting again. And the cycle continues. Till I stumble on a quote in the middle of my internet trolling, tell myself that I’ll incorporate it into my next write up so I can appear smart and deep and then end up not being able to link the quote up with the actual article.
I’ll just share another irrelevant, unrelated and totally cheesy quote with you and call it a day – “The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese”.

Ok fine, I’ll share a related quote: You cannot think yourself out of a writer’s block, you have to write yourself out of a thinking block – I would love to say I came up with that but John Rogers, some cool writer somewhere actually did and as for me, I wrote.

## TPL Experience

I had a chilled out Saturday. You see I haven’t been very social lately. I always have an excuse not to go out, its either the sun is too cold, the rain is too wet, the diseases flying around are too real, I have nothing to wear that hasn’t been photographed, I may be required to hug people, they aren’t serving real or free food…I’m like the professor x of excuses, see what I did there? No? Ok nevermind. Well this paticular Saturday I decided to brave the sun, rain, diseases, hugs and head out. I had seen a few tweets during the week about Twitter Premier League (TPL) ofcourse my first reaction was to roll my eyes and do an inward bleh! I’m not a football person. There was a time I thought Ozil was a peppersoup ingredient or a drug for indigestion. Peppersoup actually aids indigestion but this is not an oldwives tale.

Back to my Saturday. Tank top, khaki shorts and face cap ready, I got to Campos stadium at Lagos Island. Registered at the gate, had a blue gun-like efizzi device pointed at my forehead and was declared Ebola free when it didn’t start beeping like crazy. I walked in to the DJ playing dorobucci while the green guys were playing the black guys. Saw a friend of mine in the black team, he waved at me and I felt like Victoria Beckham, I even had the shades to prove it. I sat down and was rewarded with the satisfaction of watching various sizes of male Maximus Gluteus run up and down the field. I knew I made a good decision by coming. I pretended to pay attention to the games, while actually checking out the buff players and interesting looking spectators. Number 7 of the black team seemed buff enough (see eh, I can rhyme). There was also a blue team (the players kept falling right in front of the goal post, dudes that trick is old with gray hair and wrinkled skin), and a red team (who scored the first goal of the tournament, at that point I knew they’d win. They did win). There was a lot of lazy running and less scoring and I was almost getting bored then the ladies came to play. Now that was some game changer. The crowd became lively as body parts were flying more than the ball, we cheered them on. The red female team had this unshakable four (wo)man squad that stood in a horizontal line in front of the penalty box and DID NOT MOVE! Defence at its finest.