Thursday Shenanigan: Maturity and Being Just Friends with Exes

When it comes to life, I believe simple is better. I don’t like complications. So I put that belief into everything and whatever I do. Relationships included. Friend equals friend. Ex equals ex. Boyfriend equals boyfriend. Toaster equals toaster. Let’s-not-mix-up-roles-let-everyone-know-where-they-stand thingy.

However lately, I’ve been caught up in conversations about having contacts with exes and sharing throwback gist with them every now and then. Tête-à-têtes in extreme cases. Now as much as I’m an advocate for to-each-his-own, I don’t believe in being friends with exes. In fact, when someone tells me we-can-still-be-friends after a breakup, I see it as insulting because the end result of that (usually) is the friends-with-benefits zone and at best, a situation where you tell me everything going on in your life including your heart troubles (things you told me when we were in a relationship). Why would I want to put myself through such misery? Just why?!!

Bandaged Heart

Let’s say I even go ahead to chuck my feelings at the time and listen to the woes, the best I’d give is “sound” advice which will obviously not be sound or a couple of eh-yahs rightly interjected in necessary places. So for me, it’s best we go our separate ways. It’s not about being immature. It’s about self-respect and then mutual respect in the afterthought. It means I respect myself enough to give me time away from you to heal and I respect you enough to not come to you with stories about how I have things going good or bad (without you).

Here’s where maturity and civility can come in. If after said relationship, we see each other anywhere and everywhere, I’ll personally take it upon myself to ask about all the months in between the last time we spoke and that day we met again. In fact, give me the full download and I’ll be the best sounding board you’ve had in months. Also feel free to call me up three or more months later to tell me how my advice worked and ask how I’m doing. But do not, I REPEAT, do not call me the very next day to ask if I’d like to hook up sometime or if I missed you in the time we’ve been apart. Nna, please don’t make me wire you shiko there.

Moving on, as much as I realize that examining one’s life from time to time is needed, I don’t think reminiscing with Exes is the way to go. Yes there are days when you look back and say, “Oh! I had it good with so-and-so person” and there will be days when you’ll say “I’m not going to act in so-and-so because that was my mistake with this person”. But in all of those I-wish moments and now-I-know-better days, don’t share them with the characters involved.

image

Usually when the past reaches out, it is for a feel-good moment. So if you’re reading this, please know that moving on without the baggage of let’s-be-friends is maturity too.

My 25kobo!

The Things You Thought You knew

As Bayo left the house that afternoon, you saw the spring in his steps as he headed towards the Red Toyota Camry packed just outside the building. At first glance, you saw a gentleman. Another look at him didn’t tell you he has a wife and two beautiful boys at home as he wasn’t one to put on a wedding band. Many a time, you’ve seen ladies stare at him with hearts in their eyes. You noticed that Bayo wasn’t extraordinarily good-looking with his thin lips, large nose and squinting eyes. But when he smiled, he could be the most beautiful being as the wrinkles at the corner of his eyes beckoned you to just live in the magic of that radiant smile.

Unhappy woman lying on a couch
Unhappy woman lying on a couch

Everyone called him a wife beater. You too have heard the screams and shrieks coming from the room he shared with his wife. As if those weren’t proof enough, almost every other day, you saw telltale signs on his wife, Teni. The black eyes ill-covered by layers and layers of concealer, the almost blackish two lines that seemed a permanent tattoo on the side of her neck as well as the obvious limp in her step all of which weren’t there before.
But that afternoon, all you saw was the good-looking Bayo in a deep-blue Polo shirt with matching shorts and nice brown sandals. His appearance was of someone out for a fun afternoon. You saw him debate with himself for a while before he went back into his apartment.
Earlier you had seen his wife get back from her mother’s place where she had gone visiting. She had told you she was visiting the night before when you met at the supermarket.
What you however didn’t see was Bayo coming back out of the apartment and sneaking back in through the Kitchen which was at the back. You didn’t know he had to quietly sneak into the room he shared with his wife to get his wallet from the pair of trousers he wore the day before. Neither did you hear Teni call “Bayo” as she entered their room in that graceful way of hers- the one that bellies her limp. You didn’t see him almost jump out of his skin in surprise while he watched her pick up the vase by the bedside, testing its weight.
You didn’t hear her ask “Where are you going, Bayo?” without a trace of emotion in her voice.
You didn’t hear him say “Oh Teni, not today please”, almost pleading in that sultry alto voice that reminded you of melting ice cream.
You didn’t see her eyes go darker as he said that. You didn’t sense him quickly gauge the distance between himself and the door knowing only by sheer fate would he reach it before the vase in her hands sought him out.
You were not there when he gently walked towards her, choosing his words carefully as he said, “Teni, it’s just a hangout. You can come too, if you want. But it’s…just a hangout.”
You were not there when their 4-year old son walked into the room, crying; giving Bayo a chance to escape.
What you also didn’t know was that Teni wasn’t the victim. Bayo was. Bayo was the one who almost got scarred with a steaming Iron because he didn’t pick her call while in a meeting. He was the one who had narrowly dodged the kick she threw his way, dislocating her knee in the process. Bayo was the one on the receiving end of a thrown knife that had chipped the wardrobe door and one of the pieces had flew back at her, almost blinding her in the process.
Bayo was the one who had learnt to run when Teni was overcome by the very thing she had sworn not to be- a woman who beat life out of her husband like her mother did.
But you only heard the noise from the room and saw the scars on her.

Concussion the Movie; Worth Seeing or Nah?

Hi guys, it’s been a minute you saw me. How have you been? Okay before I get carried away with all the Valentine gist you can’t wait to talk about, let me tell you about this movie I saw on Valentine’s Eve; Concussion.

First, before you call me weird for not doing the usual lovey-dovey movie that any normal person would have done on Val’s eve, here’s what prompted the choice of Concussion.

Early Saturday, I somehow got involved in a discussion with friends on the movie Beasts of No Nation (click here to read my review on it), and one of them said she didn’t enjoy the movie because she didn’t think Idris Elba’s West African accent in the movie was that great. In her words, it was a rather poor imitation. My mind went on a spin. “What?” I gasped, just before another friend said he thinks BoNN is a rather great movie but Concussion now that is a movie that should get the accent-not-right hammer.

So imagine the hand of fate when getting to work on Saturday for a radio production, I found some of the guys watching Concussion. Out goes my Flash for a copy. So here is what I think about the movie aside the obvious Will Smith-your-accent-doesn’t-say-Nigerian-lest-talk-of-Ibo-Nigerian feeling I had. Or better still, let’s talk about it.

Will Smith as Dr. Omalu
Will Smith as Dr. Omalu

The first turn off was Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) pronouncing “Enugu” the way a foreigner would. His pronunciation didn’t convince me of his Nigerian-ness because Omalu supposedly spent years in a medical school in the Eastern part of Nigeria yet he couldn’t pronounce “Enugu” properly, the way my Eastern brothers would. Nah, Will, just stop right there. But basing this review on that alone is like making comments on the design of a package without a critical look at the content of the package itself. Unacceptable.

Concussion tells the story of a Nigerian migrant and Pathologist Bennet Omalu who finds himself as a coroner at a county office in Allegheny. While working, he is assigned a Mike Webster to perform autopsy on. Unknown to Omalu, Webster is one of many professional NFL players who would meet their deaths at a young age for playing American football. Omalu called it Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Prior to Webster’s death, Webster lived his post-football life trying to get his head to quiet down so he could sleep; doing a lot of hurtful and disturbing things like pulling out his teeth and gluing them back in or stunning himself to unconsciousness with a Taser gun.

Will Smith with Mbatha-Raw in the movie
Will Smith with Mbatha-Raw in the movie

Amidst the issues and drama of trying to concretize his (Omalu’s) discovery (about the danger of American Football), Omalu’s personal life is also dragged into the turmoil. In the end, his study is accepted, the NFL Committee moved to carry out further study and do more for the players, and Omalu lives happily ever after. Okay, I exaggerate but you get the drift.

The story itself is good but the plot is unbelievably flat. It reminds me of a mash-up you just want to get over and done with. There were times the transition from one scene to the other left me asking ‘what just happened’ (insert confused emoticon here) and other times, I find myself looking for the connecting thread between one scene and another. The dialogues were watery a few times and forced in some others. Throughout the movie, I kept waiting for the tension to happen. Perhaps because the movie attacks America’s favourite sport, producers of Concussion decided to not give it their best shot (all pun intended). For a movie that supposedly earned about $33.9million in Box Office, there’s just something (maybe many things) lacking.
In all, I didn’t get the wow effect I expected and if I were to rate it; I’d give it a 5. Just for effort.