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-
image

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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 NestlΓ© 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:
image

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, lunges, burpees,
image

skipping and this special exercise:
image

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-

image
32 inches- lower waist

image
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. πŸ™‚
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:

image
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!
************************************

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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23 thoughts on “The Dangers of Being Cheap and Other Stories

    1. I don’t know honey. I uploaded it. Then I tried to read it from my browser, but it had disappeared. I’m currently talking to WordPress support. How are you?

      1. Oh that!
        Happened to me a couple of times, I almost cried after one incident. I’d written 1300 plus words and the whole thing vanished. Now I type on my windows word then copy and paste on my wordpress.

    1. Aww πŸ’šπŸ’›πŸ’œπŸ’“πŸ’–πŸ’•πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ‘πŸ˜šπŸ˜šπŸ˜šπŸ˜š
      Thanks dearie.

  1. Hello dear,

    I clicked on the link when you first published but there was nothing at the time. Ndo, I usually type my posts on MS word, then copy and paste on WP.

    I am glad you found the zeal to retype this delicious post, I am really loving these medley of posts, I always feel well-fed after reading πŸ˜€ . I have to ask, did you type this with a straight face? lol

    1) I made my first intended-purchase of guipere lace last Saturday

    2) I have found that sit-ups don’t work in isolation for me, they work better when paired with other work-outs, especially intense cardio exercises. Ah! Burpees are a killer.

    3) The chronicles of your sewing instructor left me in stitches, your first attempt at native trousers made me laugh, not at you though, but with you. It was the peculiar curve in the crotch area that set me off. Mind you, I’ve never sewn trousers before but I’ve plan to do so soon. I love how you relearned, you did great eventually, practice makes perfect πŸ™‚

    4) Lol, noted! I will use that exact cute facial expression to quelch all unwanted conversation this week. It reminds me of an e-card I recently saw “People will stop asking you stupid questions if you answer back in interpretive dance”

    5) I will check out Valisimo Fashions Sew for Fun, thank you!

    Have a lovely blessed week.

    1. Hi love! (Nedoux),
      1.It was incredibly painful I tell you. And in the rewrite I lost so many of my jokes πŸ˜” but seeing as I made you laugh, it’s all good.
      2. Sewing trousers is actually quite easy. I relish the thought of teaching you something too. Guipure lace? I want to see pictures oh!
      3. Burpees are fun, for me at least. It’s the back twitches afterward that give me pause. And the hollow stomach feel. They seem to be working for me. Especially when I time myself to music.
      4. You can laugh at me. I dont, won’t mind. He’s actually really good. And I want to learn all I possibly can before NYSC. So fingers crossed for me?
      5. Interpretive dance? Lol. I’d be worried they’d join me.
      Please check it out. It is so helpful. Diagrams, instructions. It’s wonderful.
      Have an awesome week ahead. Hugs.

      1. The vivid mental image of them joining you in your interpretive dance was too much for me, I am laughing so hard XD

        *Hugs*

      2. And no, I hardly keep a straight face when in typing. I make myself laugh so hard…
        The gift of self-containment? Priceless.
        More hugs.

    1. Lol. But where’s the money? And more importantly, where can I withdraw it?
      Thank you for visiting, reading and commenting.

  2. I see you put Peach in capitals. I’m guessing that ankara color is up there with dry lace, abi?

    This was the first time I saw laptop prices in Naira. The 6 figures scared me!

    My only gripe with your list is the arrangement; Private jet should have been #1 and there should have been a picture to accompany it. You never know who’s giving these things away and trolling the internet. Lol! πŸ˜€

    You’re right: Consistency is key. And it pays off.

    I’ll use “the face” this week. I’m already practising sef. πŸ™‚

    I enjoyed reading this!

    P.S. The Hausa Yam Seller Proposal deserves a separate post o.

    1. Peach (according to the general public) is the colour that fits me the most. Is it my favourite colour? No. But why work against myself? 😊
      They scared me too. But I have had a computer geek phase and their features are quite amazing.
      @private jet at Number 1- I don’t want it that badly. Where to put it, the fueling costs. Let the person trolling buy me the gifts in the order I wrote them. I’d love that. Lol.
      It does. I have 53 to do today (I paused it for a while) and I’m shuddering in anticipation of the discomfort but then again, I could see a hint of abs. Talk about motivation.
      Use the face biko. Just ensure there is no expression; no frown, no smile. I find it disconcerts people much more.
      Thank you. And if I were to write about the proposal, it would be a three sentence post. And I wouldn’t want to do that. Thank you for visiting, reading and commenting. I totally appreciate it.

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