ALARORO 2: Bridesmaid Palaver

@ilola: Good evening.

Mum: It is you I have been waiting for.

A statement I wouldn’t want to hear from my mum after getting home tired on a Tuesday night.

@ilola: Do you want to talk to me?

What a stupid question

Mum: Yes

@ilola: About what?

Mum: Your distant auntie’s daughter is getting married in December and ‘you are ‘one of the bridesmaid.

Shoo! I didn’t realize I could be a bridesmaid without knowing it.

@ilola: (With a confused look on my face) Why me, How does she know me…………?

Mum: Your auntie called and requested for my first daughter to be among the maids of honour.

@ilola: (My face has changed from confused to worried) So how much is the cloth?

Mum: 100 pounds for the dress and you will buy two sets of traditional which will amount to N8,000.

@ilola: Is that not N25,000 (I am a Nigerian so I always think in naira)

Mum: Yes, depending on the exchange rate.

@ilola: Am I the one that is going to pay or is it you?

Another stupid question

Mum: Ok, Ok, I will take the N8,000 burden off you. Pay the N25,000.

Naah, naah! Don’t you think it’d have been better the other way round?

@ilola: (Still annoyed at the fact that I had to spend N68,000 yesterday) Where do you want me to get that kind of money from?

Mum: From your salary.

@ilola: (Now grumbling seriously) Why would anyone spend N25,000 on a maid’s dress? Something one will never wear again. Why are people so extravagant? You people just want me to waste money. Oh ooooooh! (now pacing up and down my mum’s room)

Mum: Cool down, I’m sure you will still be able to wear it after that day, maybe because it’s being bought from London (who cares?). You know, all other bridesmaid are coming with the bride from London, you are the only Nigerian resident amongst them (I really wonder what I am supposed to do with that information).

At this point, I am wondering why I was chosen to be one of her bridesmaid, because I have never seen the bride in question in my entire life even though she is a distant cousin, I don’t even know her name neither does she know mine. Why the hell have I been picked for the unfortunate task of throwing ‘my own’ N25,000 into the fire. If she wanted me on her team so badly, couldn’t she pay for me? After all, we are family!!!

@ilola: Why do people spend so stupidly on their wedding and forget about the marriage? After everything, it will be over and we’ll all forget that day. (I kept on grumbling and sulking and my mum was just looking at me)

Mum: (Ignoring my grumbles). You are supposed to pay the 100 pounds into a domiciliary account, I will give you the account number. Tell Bose to pay the money into the account for you and reimburse her later.

Lailai, I no go gree for this one. It’s bad enough that I was chosen to be a bridesmaid, they even want me to start jumping about to pay money into one London account as if I am being done a favour.

@ilola: You pay the money, do it anyhow you like. Get the money across to the bride. I’ll give you N25,000 later (I really don’t care about the exchange rate). All I know is that once money leaves my hand, dress must show in December.

Mum: Ok

@ilola: And I am not giving you any money until October

Mum: October is fine

I looked at the woman who knew she had won the battle and kept on sulking and grumbling. As I wondered why it’s me that should be initiated into an unknown relation’s club of extravagance, I stomped out of the room!

ALARORO 1: My Accounting Standards

I always prided myself in the fact that I am not a materialistic and demanding person but recently, I have begun to think differently.

For people that know me well, they know that I am a serious money manager, I am not stingy in any way but I always like to get the best out of every penny I spend. And this is one of the reasons why I normally don’t eat out, I prefer to cook my food from home because I believe that there’s nothing I want to get outside that I can't make for myself, considering the fact that I get to spend much less. Another reason is that I believe the food sold in my firm is just too boring for me to spend money on everyday.

It happened that on one week day, I had a date in an eatery, it was about 3 weeks ago, during my break time at work. We went out, and I was asked to take my order. Without looking at the prices, I just ordered what I wanted although I didn’t order too much because I used to believe that I am a considerate person (now I know better), my date also ordered, by the time the bill was collated, it was somewhere between N2000 and N2500. I was like wow, this thing is just too expensive, ahn ahn, what did we buy? Anyway, the guy had money so I didn’t bother again and if he did not, I had the money (our net income falls in the same range but I just don’t like to spend), so I was sure we couldn’t run into troubles. Well, the date went well and was over.

Two weeks later, I decided that I wanted a day off my cooking and so I chose a particular day to go to the same eatery I went to earlier because I could not bear to eat the boring food in my firm. I budgeted a maximum of N1000 even when I know that I could afford so much more. The inclusion of a budget is the first indication that there’s a difference when I am the one paying. And so I embarked on the eye-opening outing. When I got there, the accounting standards I always live by came into full play. First thing I did was to check the prices of everything I was interested in so that I could get the best bargain. It was then I realized that most of what I ordered during my last date was what took a large percentage of my friend’s bill. I was so ashamed, my selfishness confronted me in the face.

By the time I finished using my ISA, SAS and ISRE IFRS standards (don’t think too far, I did not major in accounting), I ended up having to spend about N450, I thought it was too small since I came to ‘spoil’ myself, so I upped it to N730. I ended up with one small fried rice, one miserable goat meat, 5 pieces of plantain and a bottled water, I wanted to die. I could easily get all these from my mama’s cooking pot at home but no, I had to pay to be cheated. Anyway, I tried to forget about the money and enjoy my food.

You see, same scenario, two different mindsets. What was the difference? I was the one paying this time. I realized that this is not the first time that someone will take me out without me trying to correlate the price with the person’s capability but when it is me spending, the story changes. By the time I was through, I vowed not to go there anymore (at least not alone).

When does it become 'Cheating'?

The topic of this post speaks for itself. When do we cross the line that we can actually say that we are cheating on a loved one? Is it

(1) when you double date

(2) when you have a fling or one-night stand

(3) when you have fantasies about someone else when you are in a relationship or

(4) when you act on those fantasies?

I, personally,  think it is very difficult for one to be with someone for quite a while without being attracted to another person. Even if you are the most holy angel in this world, you will always find someone better in one way or the other than who you are with. It’s the commitment made that matters. I call this other person a ‘passing fancy’ and sometimes ‘useful distraction’. I believe we cross the line when we start acting on the attraction.

It is even worse when sometimes we seek advice when we find ourselves in this situation and the so called ‘advisor’ tells us “follow your heart”. We then get ourselves caught in a web of lies and deceit. I wonder when our hearts became something we could trust? No wonder our hearts and mind are at war most times.

And for those who believe that cheating starts when we are attracted to someone else in any way, then I’ll tell you that I am a born cheater. In fact, I will say I have been cheating all my life and I am still cheating as we speak!

Please drop your comments on this, I need to know your opinions. Thanks