The Dangers of Being Cheap and Other Stories

THE DANGER OF BEING CHEAP AND OTHER SHORT STORIES

THE DANGERS OF BEING CHEAP

I’m that most endangered species if you listen to Nigerian comedians. I am a cheap girl.

Let me expound:

1. In all my life, I’ve never asked anyone but family to buy me recharge card/airtime/credit. The one family member I have asked, was in jest because he used to work in a Telecommunication Network Company.

2. I’m considerate- Whenever I’m on a date/outing, I’ll ask the person whether they can afford the items on the menu. (Which is incredibly silly in retrospect because THEY brought me there).

3. I keep my promises, no matter how long- Once a couple of years back, I made my cousin a promise. He’d send me a document he had already prepared, I’d take him out for pizza. That was 2 years back. This year, he was in Lagos, near Law School. So we talked, I came over, we went out, I got pizza, we shared an ice cream and when we got back in the car, he excitedly told the driver; “She paid!”

4. I’m nice- I give presents to people. People I barely know. People I’ve known for years.

5. I’m cheap- Case in point, someone offends me grievously, returns after a bit, asks me what I want. What do I ask for? Gala/Shortbread. *facepalm*

In summation, I’m a mugu. Here’s why-

1. While I don’t ask people to buy, send or give me credit, several people, usually guys do ask me. And I comply. Others use my phone to browse, call and text. So not only am I giving credit, I’m paying for other people’s calls and texts.

2. I keep my promises but often no one keeps their promises to me. So often I’ve made deals with people- I’ll do this for you/help you with this and you’ll take me out. I remember about 60 such promises. And only 2 follow throughs.

3. This one is funny. Apart from my friends no one reciprocates. Eventually, I instituted a follow up rule, you don’t give me a present on my birthday, don’t expect me to give you one on yours.

4. A recognition of your willingness to accept any and everything spurs people to give you the stupidest birthday presents ever. I’ll just leave it at that.

This year, I’m turning a new leaf. Someone called me cheap early last week. And I no longer am. In fact, here’s a list of not- so- cheap
things I want and fully intend to get this year.

1. Various fabrics: Dry lace, Cord Lace, Plain Ankara- Grey, Brown, PEACH, orange, red, yellow, indigo, blue, etc, Patterned Ankara- I fell in love with one black, white and red patterned one in the window of the DaViva stall at ICM. All (DaViva) patterns welcome, Brocade, George Material and this:
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2. Books- Emilie Richards, Terry Bagshawe, Terry Macmillan, Richard North Patterson, Amy Gail Hansen, Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury etc. African novels, African- Christian novels. Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie (yes I know I carry last), any and everything by Lola Shoneyin and Umari Ayim, Sixty percent of a True story (Osisiye Tafa), These Words Expose Us (The Naked Convos Anthology) etc.

3. A full CARTON of McVities Shortbread.

4. A full CARTON of Farmfresh yoghurt.

5. A laptop; must be an Ultrabook. Current favourites-
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6. A private jet.

7. $10 million given to charities such as The Destiny Trust, Slum2School, Stand to End Rape, The Nigerian Police Force’s account for the renovation of their Barracks (if/when they choose to open it)

8. $10 million dollars in my personal account.

9. Share Certificates (1000 shares in SEPLAT and Nestlé respectively), for a start.

10. About N1million naira in my Dealdey wallet (yes I know I’m addicted :|:?:evil::oops: but still ;))

11. A show or 10 at Terrakulture.

12. World Peace.

This is not a joke. I’m serious.


10 SIT UPS A DAY WILL DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FOR YOUR WAIST

I have a big stomach. This is not a confession. I don’t have body image hangups. Other people have them for me.
Recently though, I’ve been seriously considering getting waistbeads(jigida) and making or buying a crop top. P.S- if you’re going to tell me how waistbeads are evil, please state a personal experience, not that of a friend thrice removed. Thank you.
As these will highlight my waist and my motto of comfort over fashion does not extend to letting people see my big stomach exposed, I needed to tone up.

Once, (May 27th) I followed my mother to work and from there I went to CSR-in-Action. When I returned, in the midst of chewing small chops,
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cake,
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cake

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Chocolate dipped pineapples- DELICIOUS

and pizza (not pictured), a lively discussion sprung up about health and fitness matters.

In the midst of this, I happened to mention that I was okay with my body but I was looking for a foolproof way to tone my stomach. Then my mom’s colleague said, “That’s easy, do 10 sit-ups a day”

I considered this for a long while. I had my reservations because:
1. I had done sit-ups many times before and it had absolutely no results.
2. The thought of doing sit-ups can be prohibitive to doing more.
3. I was lazy.

At that time- my lower waist straddled 34/35 inches and my upper waist was 32/33/34 inches.

One day, I just did it. I also interspersed it with various types of planks:
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, lunges, burpees,
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skipping and this special exercise:
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I excitedly checked my waist afterwards. Same thing. I was quite discouraged. Then I remembered how many shortcuts I’d taken. 4 burpees today, none for a fortnight, 10 lunges today, none for 3 days.

I decided I was doing too much. So I focused on doing 10 sit-ups a day, increasing them in odd numbered increments on the daily. That was late July/early August.
I measured my waist a week later- lower waist- 33 inches. It spurred me to continue. I’m currently on 49 crunches and this is my waist-

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32 inches- lower waist

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31 inches- Upper Waist

So I guess she was right. 10 sit-ups, crunches, burpees, push – ups, planks etc will improve whatever body part you want it to, if you do it CONSISTENTLY.

As for the crop top and jigida, I plan to make and get them when I have a waistline, upper and lower of clearly defined abs. 🙂
Also, remember to DRINK WATER after exercising. I. CANNOT. STRESS. THIS. ENOUGH.

MY SEWING ABILITIES OR LACK THEREOF

I’m a really lazy sewist. Truly. Last year, I decided to start sewing. I asked for recommendations on good tailors who could teach me and I found one. He specialised in making suits (really good ones and quite cheap too). He and I spoke, agreed on a price, he gave me a contract to sign one of the terms of which was that I’d show up at 8AM and leave at 8PM and some other terms I found disagreeable. I cancelled those out, made certain adjustments, signed them, paid an initial deposit of a certain sum then we started. That was September 2014. I went regularly in September and October. Irregularly in November and not at all in December (there were way too many rough drivers and it seemed they all meant to hit me).
In January, my parents told me to chill and face my books. February, March and April, I was facing book.
10th of May I called him. He told me that his mother had died and he was going to bury her. In June he was burying her.
July, he was still burying her.
27th of July, I went over to his shop. He’d been back for a month 😐

I decided not to sweat it. And lessons resumed in earnest. He gave me instructions for the cutting and sewing of native trousers over the phone (my idea) and I made this:

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LOL

The problems were multifarious. The waist was too large, the sides not fitted, the trouser too short. It reluctantly brought to my knowledge an issue I would have loved to continue avoiding. IT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO LEARN SEWING REMOTELY.

And I hated going to his shop. Truly. I had my reasons too:

1. He was busy. Incredibly so. Some days I’d go to his shop, sit down and watch and he would sew clothes and take orders for more sewing jobs all day and I’d return home after a long day of doing absolutely nothing.
2. While I was doing nothing or was seen to be doing absolutely nothing, I became an object of curiosity to people. Men. One followed me from a nearby bank. I think he thought I would go home, another used to come into the shop specifically to ask for my number. I received a marriage proposal. From a Hausa yam seller. I do not kid.
3. I’m just better suited to learning online. By the way, there’s this Facebook group- Valisimo Fashions Sew for Fun. It’s awesome and I’ve learned so much from there.

Eventually though, I made a 3 step plan-

1. Create a budget for going there and for sewing supplies.

2. Be busy. Or appear to be busy. It will discourage conversation. If it doesn’t, use this face to squelch the conversation-

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Would it discourage pointless conversations, do you think,

3. Make sure you learn something every day.

It worked enough for me to to relearn how to make the native trouser. See:

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The only problem with this- It was too short.

There will be more detail on my sewing adventures in later posts.

BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD

So I was recently given another award. This one was given me by the awesome LafayetteAngel. Of the many rules, the only one I intend to keep is the acknowledgement one. I hope you don’t take that the wrong way dear.
She has been one of my most regular subscribers, not only does she comment and share, she links to pretty much all my articles. SHE IS AMAZING! The award is great but it is made all the more awesome because you gave it to me. Thank you honey!

By the way, she blogs here

Have an awesome Sunday everyone!
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I read this amazing article yesterday- you can check it out here-
http://notofthenorm.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/the-murderer-who-wrote-the-bible/.
And i found 2 blogs that i think are awesome- Graciemama.com and ghanafeminist.com

💛

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MY LITTLE BROTHER MADE SAUSAGE ROLLS AND OTHER SHORT STORIES

Sausage Rolls

2 weeks back, my brother approached me and asked if we could make sausage rolls. I stared at him for a couple of minutes, remembering the last couple of times he’d asked this question- I’d bought and cut up the sausage meat, spiced it and added onions, made the pastry dough, rolled everything, glazed and baked it, all by myself or with some help from my mom and he’d eat so much more than anyone else. One time, he actually took them to school and sold them. Budding businessman. From then on, I made him buy the ingredients himself so he would have a cost price to deduct his profits from :).
This time, I was not in a baking mood at all, I was still trying to master some things I’d learned in sewing classes. Pictures on that soon. I didn’t forget, Nedoux. He pestered me for a couple of days so I gave in. I had one other condition: He would make everything himself and I would simply direct him. He agreed. I smiled. The haste in which he agreed showed me that he still believed he was going to talk me into doing the work. Well, I thought, we’d definitely see.
The day came around, he asked me what to get, I told him, I made him cut all the sausage meat (the experience has taught him the advantages of using minced meat. LOL 😜), then the onions, then sprinkle ground pepper and salt and mix it all. The process took him 3 days within which he begged and pleaded for my help. I just stared. Then he finished. Time for the dough.
I told him the measurement to use, to sprinkle salt on the flour, mix with the margarine and add water gradually. He did everything right but he dumped a cup of water inside the flour mixture at the last minute. Again, I just stared. I touched the dough, it was firm but watery. He was tired and whiny so i asked him to put it in the freezer until he could roll it. Then it got to evening time and my mom who’d just returned from work saw the mixture and helped him mix it with more flour until it was simply firm and floury, she also helped him roll it and added the beef mixture. He helped her a bit though. Then it was time to glaze. I cleaned and preheated the electric toaster oven. He glazed some, plead stomachache and ran to sleep. I put the rolls in the oven and between me and my mom we polished off 10 that night. (They were small sausage rolls oh). The rest we kept in the fridge. Everyone had some and within 2 days, the lot was gone. It fascinated me to see that he had the same aversion to eating things he had baked had a hand in baking too. It fascinated me but not enough to still my fingers from snatching some more rolls.
I would have liked to conclude this by telling you that he now has a healthy fear of the word ‘No’ connected with baking, but he’s attempting (minced) meat pie now. As before, he’s mostly doing it alone. If nothing else comes from this, at least he’d have learned how to bake. And I’m proud of him.

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I’m no longer a Miss

Tell me congratulations!
No, not because I got shacked up with a dude and am expected within 10 months to show proof that I did not damage my womb. No. I’m no longer a Miss. because I’m now a Barrister (Miss). 😁 👋
If you read this, you might have guessed that last year was a terrible time for me. I had multiple physical and mental breakdowns, plus I cried myself to a loss of 15kg. As I told someone, 2014 was a nightmare I’m grateful I woke up from. Anyhoo, what you probably didn’t know was that I failed my Bar Finals. A little background; I didn’t get a First Class in the University and in Law School, I was determined to get one. I had a strategy-
Step 1: Buy recommended textbooks. Check.
Step 2: Spend a miminum of an hour a day reading one or two of those books. Check.
Step 3: Do the group work on behalf of your group members a couple of times so I got a feel of the practical side of what I’d been reading. Triple check. (I did so much group work, I was up at 3 am most times. I did the work for my subgroup as well as other subgroups. And the questions were HUGE. Extremely voluminous, extremely winding. But one of our lecturers promised that if we did the group work and studied, we were certain of at least a Second Class Upper). Not only that, I tutored 4 people. 3 passed, one with a Second Class Upper.
Where it all went wrong:
1. I read so much and did so much, I stressed myself into forgetting a lot of what I read.
2. I got really sick a week before the exams. With externship and all, I frantically needed a brush – up. And when you’re puking constantly, and your temperature spikes unexpectedly, it’s not difficult to see what your priority is. Stay Alive? Pass Bar Finals?
I hoped I could do both. It turned out that I couldn’t.
So this year, given last year’s brouhaha over the results, Council of Legal Education (governing body of Law School) mandated all resit students to attend a compulsory 8 week lecture to be brushed up and licked until we were bright, shiny and spotless enough to write the examinations. And pass them. Going through “trauma” and failure is okay, WHEN YOU LEARN SOMETHING. I recognised that stress was anathema to me. This time around, I did no Continuous Assessment (it didn’t count towards our grade, there was no guaranteed continuous collection and they were all recycled, already answered questions from last year). But I drafted (can account for 50- 90% of your grade), I solved the necessary equations and read privately. I spaced everything out, had a vision board and used a quota system so I didn’t get swamped. I tutored some people toward the very end, sure, but it was dependent on me and my schedule. Am I saying that it was because of what I’d done? Definitely not. In fact, this time ’round, I worked a lot less, did a lot less, and played a lot more.
After the exams were written, I  remember waking up some days with a gripping feeling of fear: would I pass? Would I have to return for a 3rd try at bat? Was I sure of my answers? What if Law School didn’t send my script to the markers because of the people surrounding me who kept talking to each other during exams? …
When I got those thoughts, I’d spend some time on my knees and confess Isaiah 61:7 over my life; I’d reject all thoughts like those. Once I called a family prayer session because the fear was like a thick cloak surrounding me (Prayer changes things y’all. It changes things). I’d declare Jeremiah 29:11 and hold God by His Word. I’d tell Him, “Big Daddy (God) I refuse to let you go if you don’t bless me. I absolutely refuse to”. I would have “Miracle Worker” by Glowreeyah Braimah and Nathaniel Bassey on repeat (that song had healing, calming qualities like no other) and I would play it until the crisis of faith subsided. And look; it paid off. *fist bump*

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I’ve thanked God. But now I do have a favour to ask of you, my blog readers- Thank God for me. Praise Him for the Miracle he has done. In my family, this will be the second graduation this year. The first, was my big brother’s Induction. Just call him Dr. Chike.
And secondly, please pray for all the people who are going back a 3rd time. I experienced the pain, the shame of going back for a second time but I cannot imagine their feelings now so I don’t. I block it out. But I pray for them. Please, join your prayers with mine and lift them up to God. And offer them a shoulder and a smile? The loss is crushing. I’ve had firsthand experience.  Thank you.
Meanwhile, help me sing this song: “You (God) deserve the glory,
And the Honour,
Lord, I lift my hands in worship, and I praise Your holy name. 2x
For You are Great,
You do miracles so Great,
There is No One Else Like You, 2x
Lord, there is no one else like You”

And for your shame, I prophesy that you will have double. 🙌 Say Amen!

The Re-Enactment of The Merchant of Venice

I found out about my result in the very early morning. I remember going to the living room and telling my dad, “Results are out but I can’t seem to access mine” He later told me I almost gave him a heart attack. Funny man. I finally accessed it and when I saw that I had passed, a flood of pre- celebration calls went out. The first was to my mom, then I dive bombed (Dr.) Chike on his bed and woke him up. Then we prayed.
Then I went on a micro mini shopping spree on http://www.dealdey.com (Nigeria’s Premier Price Slash Website). Then to sew. Then back home where I made fried rice. Then I went to sleep. Apart from an aborted sleep of 2 hours, I’d been awake for 2 consecutive days (Insomnia is a bitch oh! Take it from me). Then my mom woke me up. She wanted to hear one on one about the result.
Then she asked me what I wanted. I asked for a bag she had that matched the shoes in the pic below exactly.

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Dealdey.com is a lovely place to be

She agreed to the monetary request but refused to give me that bag (it is a Michael Kors, and insanely beautiful. I can and have stared at it and stroked it for minutes on end. Not hours oh. I have a life).
But, she agreed to give me a bag. She brought 2 out. One a deep, cobalt- like blue, the other primarily black with touches of aquamarine at the sides. And she asked me to choose, maintaining a secret smile all the way. I asked my dad, he chose the cobalt. I asked my brother, he said the shoe aside, he’d take the cobalt. Then I stroked both, looked at the tags and everything considered, I chose the primarily black.
The choices:

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MK in the Building!
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The cobalt, almost purple one. It feels even better than it looks.
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Winner 🙂

And that was how I ended up with my Steve Madden bag.

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Winner 🙂

By the way, Steve Madden > Michael Kors.
Tell everyone I said so!
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Happy Sunday y’all.
Hugs and kisses!