Monthly Archives: April 2015

A Trio of Randomness

Here is a trio of scribbles that the Universe has managed to trigger in the past 2 days.

Monday morning, I’m on a train, heading to my chemistry exam. I’m reading Americanah (I have around 100 pages left) because who studies an hour before an exam and this man (it’s always a man) is sitting opposite me. Nothing dodgy, nothing obscene about a man sitting opposite me, it is how it is. 10 minutes in, his legs are about 10cm apart. A bit wide but hey, I continue reading. Another 10 minutes, I glance up and he might as well be doing gymnastic practice across two seats, his legs are that widely splayed. You may or may not have seen my tweets about it. Here’s one:

It was so disturbing, I gave him the screw-face of life and that still didn’t stop him. What made it even weirder was the fact that he wasn’t channelling pervert pheromones; he was just on the train. I don’t even think he was aware of what he was doing but still, who the hell does that? No pair of ballsacks is that big, I don’t care. The only reasonable excuse would be if he had the clap or elephantitis (Google it at your own peril). I was almost tempted to mimic him. I read somewhere that when men do that, the splaying of the legs, it’s to demonstrate dominance and when they notice someone else doing it, it creates this sense of defeat; of them becoming the beta male.

I should have done it, shouldn’t I? There’s always next time.

***

I was in the hair salon on Tuesday. I had been waiting for 2 hours (standard), I was hungry, I was kind of tired and finally, I was beckoned to have my hair done. The stylist was African, obviously, but not Nigerian. I have no clue where she was from but her English wasn’t the best. She starts sectioning my hair so she can start the cornrows and suddenly she looks at me bewilderedly through the mirror. For a second, I think she’s going to tell me I have a bald spot or something, her expression is so grave. Then, she clucks her tongue in that disapproving way every African knows, parts away my front baby hairs from the rest and dismissively says “your hair not grow.” I know my front hair is shit, years of tight braids have wrecked it, it refuses to grow more than 2 inches unlike the rest of my hair even though I nourish it as if it were a human being. Still, her saying that almost pushed me to tears, right in the middle of a packed out hair salon. I had to blink at the speed of a hummingbird’s wings in flight to stop myself from blubbering in front of this woman and a room full of other people whose heads and ears were also at the mercy of these stylists. She didn’t notice and she continued braiding and I started typing this because there’s nothing like immediate emotion to spark sincere creativity.

Despite me knowing my hair is a problem and a half, her words still hurt, I don’t know why, even though she was just stating a fact. Maybe it hurt because I didn’t know her so having a stranger validate what I already know just made the situation even worse internally. I should be a psychologist, no? A part of me knows I should just cut it all off but I don’t have the balls. I would rather stuff my hair into braids or entangle it in weave than leave it out. I’m not bald, my hair isn’t obscene, I just don’t like it. It’s too short to do anything with, it’s just about shoulder length. I would post a picture to go with what I’m saying but

1) The only picture I have on my phone with my hair out, I look like roadkill in it. I am not plastering it on the internet, hello.

2) I ain’t got nothing to prove, yo.

***

Another unarmed African-American man has been killed by the very people who are paid to protect him, an earthquake has killed over 5000 people in Nepal and the Chibok girls amongst many others have possibly been found. Even though there are so many things happening around you and to your fellow citizens of the Earth, do you ever feel useless, in that you can’t actually do anything to alleviate anything that’s happening because a single you just isn’t enough? If I stopped everything and cloned myself so I was a part of the protests in Baltimore, helping out in Nepal somehow, being with the girls who have just been rescued, what does that really do for anyone? I can’t singlehandedly do anything to help anything, not even my own damn hair. It’s all just sad and if an existential moment like the one I seem to be having right now doesn’t make you feel puny, doesn’t make you feel the smallness of being one out of seven billion (and counting) human beings, I don’t know what will. What I need is an intervention, so it seems.

 

Song of the Week (thanks to my new friend, you know who you are. I didn’t know Nigeria had music like this to offer, it’s not all afrobeats after all.)

 

And, this gem here:

It’s my birthday next week Wednesday. I expect cake from all of you.

See you on the other side,

Georgina ❤

 

 

What’s In A Name?

I’m still reading Americanah and I just finished this bit in the book in which the white Americans kept asking the protagonist, Ifemelu, whether they were pronouncing her name properly and how it was such a beautiful name and all that. The book then went on to talk about integrity in keeping one’s God-given accent and Nigerian name and that’s where I paused and had a rather existential moment.

We all know my name is Georgina, it is the name my parents chose for me, it means “farmer”, it’s the female variation of George which is actually Greek. But, it’s weird because, I’m Nigerian. Growing up, I used to ask my mum why I had such a name, not that I don’t like it but all my fellow Nigerian peers have Nigerian names as their first names. She would tell me that was the name they liked and it suited me but of course, as I got older, I asked again and my mother told me it was to make my life in the diaspora easier.

Secondary school in Nigeria, however, wasn’t necessarily easy with such a name. I know for a fact that I made people uncomfortable just with my name: it was too hard to pronounce, too foreign, too pretentious. I cannot count the number of times I’ve told people my name for them to ask me where I’m from ethnically and then see the abject confusion spread across their face almost immediately. Some people even think I’m lying, they tell me “No, for real, tell me your real name” or “but you said you’re Nigerian, what’s your name?” as if I’m one of those fake people who come to the UK and completely reform themselves, with an equally as unrecognisable accent in tow. Don’t even get me started on the way people butcher my name, the mispronunciations would be hilarious if they weren’t being directed to me. I have to choose which name to use, depending on what, who and where. It’s not confusing, I’ve grown to be adaptable and to answer to either of my many names. There was just something about that book that struck a chord – does me having an English first name make me a cheater? Does it reduce my sincerity, my Nigerianess, my integrity simply because I do not bare the pleasure and sometimes burden of having a Nigerian first name?

Nowadays, I feel like I have a point to prove by assuring people that I do have a Nigerian name, just to fit in. It’s absurd, I know. I’m not the first Nigerian with an English name as a first name but come on, the ones that you know have nice and easy names like David and Joshua or Sarah, they have Bible names, not peculiar names that you don’t hear everyday.

I grew up feeling an English first name was the way to go, it set you apart and it was what I would do for my own children: they would reap the benefits of having an easy to pronounce, simplistic name, to ensure their survival in the Western world. My brother and I are the only ones out of all the cousins from my mum and dad’s families to have English first names, isn’t that saying something?

With all this being said, it still doesn’t ensure a smooth ride. I was in Starbucks with my friend after our exam yesterday, ordering Frappucinos and standard, the barista asked “You want cream?” “Yes.” “Your name?” “Georgina.” She paused and glanced at me, as if I was actually fucking with her. I proceeded to spell it, “G-E-O” and she put her hand up, motioning for me to stop and she says “G is enough.” Like, bish what?

I can’t help but feel a slight pang of betrayal towards the motherland when I really think about what my name is. I feel like I’m letting my peers down, like I’m taking the easy way out by having an easier to understand name whilst they have vowel-rich, syllable-overloaded, beautiful, lyrical names with the most wonderful meanings whilst I’m just the farmer. It doesn’t make me want to start using my second name on a first-name basis because, well, better the devil you know. It just makes me think. And no, I don’t know what names my future children will bear, I haven’t decided which burden I will bestow upon them yet.

Song of the Week

#ThrowallthewaybackTuesdayTune

Don’t miss me too much,

Georgina ❤

Flirting With The Eyes

I’m sorry for my flakiness with this blog lately. I made an oath to post every week and I will keep trying my hardest to keep that oath. I’m just swamped in exam revision which is sucking me dry of creative juices. Don’t tell me that sounds dirty. Bear with me, please and thank you.

The 15th of April was the hottest day of the year (for the UK) so far. It was around 26 degrees and it was lovely and naturally, my skin had to breathe so I dressed down. I wasn’t naked, my chesticles weren’t in anyone’s face but I felt pretty so it must have exuded from me. That’s my big word for today – exude.

And here, we can see Georgina unashamedly seizing the moment to post a selfie in her post because, as you can see, she was indeed feeling herself that day.

And here, we see Georgina unashamedly seizing the moment to slip a selfie in her post because, obviously, she was indeed feeling herself that day.

I got on the train and I was minding my business, reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which is going so well, listening to Deathcamp by Tyler, The Creator which is also amazing and I noticed this man. He was not my type at all. Well, I can’t really say that because I don’t truly have a type. I thought I did but opinions change, growth happens, eyes open. But, I wasn’t attracted to him, let me just say that. But, like I said, I paid him no mind. I couldn’t have even heard him with my headphones in so if he was confessing his love for me, I would have missed it. The train was rolling in to my stop so I got up and walked to the train doors to wait and this man got there before me and he was on the side of the doors with the buttons so me exiting the train was down to him pressing them anyway. Train stops, he presses the button and I get off the train. I’m standing on the platform, looking at the departure board for my next train and as I look away from it, the man is staring at me as he walks away. He’s not looking at me in a stalker, I-will-kill-you way but in a I-see-you way, in a damn-you-could-get-it way. Now, I’m a bit of a jumpy person, I cannot be helped. The time between me looking away from the departure boards and me acknowledging this man looking at me was half a second and he was quite close to me, not in my bubble but close so I did a little leap accompanied by a little yelp, a quiet yelp so he probably didn’t hear. And you know what he did? He chuckled at me and walked down the platform, looked at me one more time, got on his train and waved goodbye to me.

The whole thing was endearing but I want to break down the mental chemistry of what goes on in my mind when a member of the opposite sex gives me the eye. Just me, I can’t speak for every woman in cases like this, to avoid stereotyping, I don’t want trouble.

On one hand, I am losing my mind with self-pride. My thought process is simply “YES, YOU’VE STILL GOT IT. SLAY THESE BISHES.” It’s a confidence booster, I can’t lie. I’m that person that can live off my own confidence but silently craves assurance from other people. I won’t beg for compliments but I really want them. Even if the person looking at me isn’t someone I would go for, it still gives me a sense that not all hope is lost, you know what I mean? I feel desirable, I feel sensuous, I feel womanly. Is it sad that a simple look of interest can evoke feelings like this in me? Possibly. Am I ashamed to own up to it? Not in the slightest.

On the other hand, I’m also losing my mind with how socially unjust it is. Hear me out. My thought process is “AM I JUST A PIECE OF MEAT TO YOU? DO I LOOK EASY? IS IT BECAUSE I HAVE THE MOST GRABBABLE PAIR OF MELONS YOU’VE SEEN TODAY OR BECAUSE MY ASS FILLS OUT MY JEANS AND MY THIGHS HAVE NO INKLING OF A GAP BETWEEN THEM, IS THAT WHY YOU’RE LOOKING AT ME, WONDERING WHAT MY MOUTH DOES, WONDERING WHAT I LOOK LIKE UNDER THESE ITEMS OF CLOTHING, WONDERING WHAT I’D LOOK LIKE SPRAWLED OUT NAKED ON YOUR BED? IS THAT ALL I AM TO YOU?”

It’s all very conflicting. It’s incredibly gratifying yet totally unwanted all at once. I want to be the object of someone’s desire but I don’t want to be this object that is only meant to be lusted over. I want to be more than a thought that generates arousal for you. I want to be approached, who the hell doesn’t? I’m not about to die alone. It could be anything: you can slide up in my DMs, you can smile at me, you can do anything. Just don’t look at me as if you’ve already conquered me in the bedroom of your imagination.

But yeah, that’s just how it is for me. I’m a hot mess but a mess nonetheless.

Album of the Week: Tyler, The Creator isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I know. He’s loud as hell and he says “fuck” as many times as I say “like” when I’m trying to explain something. But his music is good, I can’t say why I like his stuff, I just do. He’s grown so much from the Goblin era. He’s calmer, his music is a lot less angry. Give Cherry Bomb a try.

Georgina ❤

P.S. I made a Facebook, a bit late, I know but I’m trying to make a page for the blog but I want to make it all pretty so when it’s ready to be liked, I shall let you know. And you better like it, or I’ll kick your asses.

Writing Everything Down

Hello everyone, hope you all had a restful and meaningful Easter.

I always say writing is therapeutic because it’s never let me down. There is only so much you can vocalize to another human being and besides that, their emotions will get in the way of whatever is it you’re trying to convey. They will judge, they will give their two cents, they will have a response that 9 times out of 10 won’t be what you want to hear or what you even asked for. That’s why writing is so needed: it’s just me and a blank canvas that won’t betray me or rebut anything I say, it will retain my words, hold them for me, display them back to me, speaking louder and wiser than anything else.

I say this because I keep a diary. I’ve always dabbled for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until I was carted off to boarding school around 8 years ago that I took journal-keeping seriously, almost religiously. Again, my diary wouldn’t betray me. I could write about anything, about anyone and that would be it. To today, I still write in a diary, a little less frequently as before but this blog serves as another diary for me nowadays.

I’m always typing little things whenever they hit me, for posterity’s sake. Memory fails but once it’s been stored somewhere, that is it, it’s final. I was going through my laptop aimlessly, nostalgically and I found this document titled “Time” and you know what it was? I had written down my entire experience with my ex. Everything, from our first date, to our arguments, to what the sex was like, to when he broke my heart, every little thing. Everything that I could remember, I had written it down. Call me crazy, call me overly-attached, call me whatever. I am an investor: I invest my time, my feelings, my entire being into things or people that I love. Being in love with him was brand new, we experienced a lot of firsts together. I had never felt how I felt with him with anyone before and I know that at the time I wrote all of it down, I felt I would never achieve that feeling with anyone else. I read it over and I could feel the hurt through the screen, it was that tangible. I just had to share some of it, simply because it was like a gift from past me to now me: a me who is forever wanting and will, one day, be rewarded and I felt like that little narration of my first love was something that would benefit future me, one day. It could serve as a reminder of what was and what will never be, to keep me going and keep me hoping and to remind me that the love I have (hopefully) is all the more worth fighting for just so I won’t have to write something like this ever again.

“Unhappiness is a gulf. It is that patch of thin ice that you inevitably walk over during winter. It is clenched teeth during dreams that end as nightmares, sleepless nights that can only be ended by crying yourself to sleep. It is being unable to look at yourself in a mirror for months. It is not having the self-love or even self-belief that your picture is worth being taken. It is looking sullenly out a window or at nothing in particular while in deep thought wondering where the hell you went so horribly wrong. I was consumed with sorrow because I believed I just wasn’t good enough. I don’t want to say I was depressed but I didn’t smile with my eyes for almost 2 months. I watched the video tape of Christmas that year and I didn’t smile wholeheartedly once. Love is unrelenting in every aspect: when you’re in it, you are in it. There’s no side-stepping it or half-hugging it. When it breaks you, it doesn’t just break you – it destroys you, it disintegrates you. It ruins you from the inside, crumbling down everything you’d been so careful to not become so dependent on I don’t appreciate people saying “he’s just a boy, get over it” because it’s not just the boy, it’s what he brings about. I won’t be able to understand why God made it so that one person has the capacity to complete us but we still meet those who are almost the exact match to our missing jigsaw piece, even let them test their compatibility, let them wedge themselves into that space even though it is not a perfect match, but it is decent so we settle. But decent isn’t perfect, it isn’t good enough, so we are left exposed. We go through a lot in the name of love because it provides feelings and sensations like no other has ever been able to recreate. I know why girls take so much shit from their lovers. It’s very easy to say “if I were her, I’d leave”, hey, I say it all the time but anyone who reads this will say the exact same thing and wonder why I didn’t just get out intact but how could I? Love is everything yet life would be so much easier without it.”

Song of the Week

She needs to bless me with another album, pretty please.

Until next week…

Georgina ❤

Twenty-Five Questions.

Kaabo, eniyan mi (Google it, my non-Yoruba speaking peeps)

Sorry for the lateness of this post, Nigeria’s current state of affairs just sidetracked everything for me.

I really wanted to write about Nigeria this week, I felt this overwhelmingly patriotic pang over the weekend – due to the elections, no doubt – but I figured I shouldn’t even bother for multiple reasons:

1) I probably don’t know enough to write anything meaningful or seemingly intellectual.

2) Half of you wouldn’t care what I have to say anyway.

3) I’m really out of touch with what’s really happening back home, despite how hard I try to stay afloat and I’m not trying to insult my own country people.

So instead, here’s a tag no one tagged me in. You’re welcome.

What is your middle name? I’m Nigerian, I have at least 5 middle names. Have you ever been to a Yoruba naming ceremony? Literally, the parents ask everyone in the room if they have a name they want to give to the child, it’s that liberal. So yes, I have many. The lucky one that made it on to my passport is Mobolade (pronounced Moh-boh-la-dey) which means “I brought wealth with me”. Google won’t pick it up, I’ve already tried.

What was your favourite subject at school? In secondary school, it was English. For my A-Levels, I think it was Chemistry, simply because I started out hating it, not having a clue how to get my head round it but by the end, I was pretty good at it.

What is your favourite drink? Non-alcoholic? Out of necessity, water. Alcoholic? Baileys, just because I’m sophisticated like that.

What is your favourite song at the moment? This really beautiful song.

What is your favourite food? Anything (mostly anything) my mother’s hands have created.

What is the last thing you bought? So, I was looking for a pair of high waist jeans and I had left it too late to order them online and all the other shops I usually go to were asking for £25+ for a pair of jeans. I mean, I am a baller but jeez. I found myself in Primark and I hadn’t been there in months. Walking around, it was like finding an old video tape with all these memories recorded on it. I lost my cool and binge-bought a bunch of stuff, including the jeans.

Favourite book of all time? The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. That book is everything to me. The movie doesn’t come close to how enlightening the book is. A close second is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Favourite Colour? I don’t really have one. All colours are beautiful and necessary.

Do you have any pets? Currently, no. I had a chicken called Rocky (after Rocky from Chicken Run) but I don’t think he was meant to be a pet. I got him for Christmas from one of my grandma’s friends and well, my grandma ate him. I didn’t even get to taste him, she ate him after I’d left. This was in Nigeria and I must have been 11 or so. Where else would you get poultry as a present?

Favourite Perfume? I get fixated on things and I feel like I need them but give it a week and I’ve forgotten about it. The last perfume that did catch my eye was probably Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs. I use Heat by Beyoncé now though, obviously.

Favourite Holiday? It would have to be Amsterdam last year, so cool. Only because I was very aware of what I wanted to do and I made it my mission to take many pictures of not just myself but my surroundings. And no, I didn’t smoke weed.

Are you married? Not yet, no.

Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times? Yes and so many times, I can’t even remember.

Do you speak any other language? I could speak Yoruba if I had to but I don’t want to. It’s not even a pride thing, it’s my accent, makes it sound so dodgy. I can say hello in quite a few other languages, I could scrape together a few tidbits of French but I wouldn’t last long if I was lost in Paris or any French-speaking country. Also, I can’t decide which one I should pick up later this year: Mandarin or Japanese?

How many siblings do you have? Just the one, little brother.

What is your favourite shop? Again, I am ever so disloyal so none.

Favourite restaurant? There’s this bespoke restaurant in Thornton Heath called Blue & Orange. It’s Mediterranean, small menu but amazing food.

When was the last time you cried? On Red Nose Day. I was watching this 9-year old Ugandan girl whose parents had died and was living with her very frail grandmother in this shack. Expectedly, my eyes swelled with tears. But a full-on cry? That’s been a while.

Favourite Blog? I have quite a few and I’m still finding all these different gems every day but for now, I am loving Life of A Nigerian, No, YOU Go Outside, Barefoot Confessions and Anu AgboolaaThe Lagos Project has a short fiction series called The Nightshift, which is amazeballs. And I literally just found Quality Durex which is so profound too.

Favourite Movie? The Lion King, the very first one. Gets me every time. 

Favourite TV show? I have way too many to even begin to list but currently: The Walking Dead and House of Cards (I gave in, I have Netflix now. So addictive). And, EastEnders, naturally.

PC or Mac? Loyal to PCs but I will be joining the Mac cult sooner rather than later.

What phone do you have? A Samsung Galaxy Alpha. Suck it, iPhone users.

How tall are you? I actually don’t know, I haven’t been measured for a while but I think I’m about 5’9 or 5’10.

Can you cook? Is that a trick question?

Tweet of the Week

As always, I appreciate all of you who put up with this blog, honestly. It’s good to know you haven’t abandoned me… yet.

Georgina ❤