Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Single Couples

Ever since my folks and my sister left, I've been returning home to a big empty house. One of the things I miss is coming back home to a warm meal, lol. It got me thinking yesterday. There's a common belief that most bachelors 'suffer' because they have to eat out or survive on indomie, dunno where that idea came from. And a common debate/argument still goes on about whether a guy would marry a girl who doesnt know how to cook. Now I personally don't believe cooking skills should be one of the criteria for marriage, but considering the modern generation we are in, my reasons for thinking so have changed.

I'm an excellent cook and I can handle myself as efficiently as any woman in the kitchen, my mum made sure of that. Still I discover that when I get back home after a long day of busting my ass at work, I just want to sit down, relax and eat something good. Now there are 2 options, either I microwave some food I cooked earlier and stored in the freezer, or roll up my sleeves and start cooking dinner. On very very rare occassions, I might be too tired and just order food instead. Now, here's the funny thing, mi casa plays host to a whole crowd of regular 'visitors'. So sometimes when I return from work, tired and hungry, I have to step into the kitchen to cook dinner while a few 'visitors' lounge on my couch gisting, playing games and stylishly waiting for 'dinner' to appear. To be very sincere, it can drive me nuts! Not that I need much help in the kitchen, but the least I expect is a little 'moral support', a lil company while I'm in the kitchen.

Coming back to the debate of whether a woman or a man should cook or not, I do think there are a few extra factors to consider. If both the man and the woman have full time jobs, there has to be alot of patience and understanding. In my opinion, whoever gets home first should get dinner ready. There has been a paradigm shift over the years. Before men worked to take care of their families, while women ran the home and supported their husbands. That was the way we were 'traditionally' raised in Nigeria, women did most of the cooking and ran the home while the men took care of almost all the bills. But things changed gradually, people blame it on the birth of a new generation of 'career women' but I don't think that men were 'career oriented' in the past either. Most men worked for the sole purpose of taking care of their families, careers barely had much to do with it.

What I think happened is that as time passed by, the dependency of women on men waned, women wanted to be more independent (which is a very good thing in my opinion), and that hunger for independence led to more women pursuing careers. Now the men who had initially been in 'control' for so long were facing 'competition' at work, so their emphasis shifted from just providing for their families to preserving their 'alpha dog status'. Men AND women became more career oriented and the family harmony paid a little price for it. The key question is this, is it wrong to pursue your career? I think part of the problem with that question is that it is ALWAYS directed towards women. There seems to be an accepted idea that men ought to pursue their careers while women should sacrifice theirs for the family. It is a pretty complex debate and there are no clear cut answers.

My opinion is pretty straightforward, let's not sacrifice love and family harmony on the altar of our careers and ambitions. Can it be done? Yes, with careful communication, love and understanding. It doesn't matter if your mother always cooked for your father, that was 28 years ago, Barrack Obama wasn't president then. To round up my unprofessional rant, I came up with a few ideas:

For men

1. If you get home before your wife/fiancee/girlfriend, it doesn't hurt to prepare dinner. If you can't cook, you can always order something for you AND her. The common mistake most men make is that when it comes to food, they think only about themselves, but they expect women to remember them in their plans.

2. Be patient and understanding. Remember that she works as hard as you do and will probably get home as tired as you are. So don't grumble over the 'food choices' she offers you. A freshly prepared dinner is a luxury/bonus, not a right. If dinner consists of microwaved leftovers, dig in and relish the taste and do the dishes, it's a simple way of saying a quiet 'thank you'.

For women (I can't really advise women since I'm a guy, but I'll try)

1. If you can't cook, you should learn (lol). It doesn't hurt to be a good cook. Trust me, you can control a man with good food, he'll never come home late. So think of it as a 'bargaining chip', lol.
2. You must plan ahead of time, the kids will arrive someday and you'll be faced with extra responsibility. Get used to the 'habit' of taking care of someone, start practising with your man. Believe me, if you think men are demanding, wait till you have kids!

In general, communication is key. A couple ought to sit down and plan how they'll run the home "TOGETHER". Sacrifices will have to be made by both parties, the sooner you sit down and work out a plan, the better for everyone.

I'll go ahead and whip up dinner tonight, as for my 'visitors', the closest they'll get to tasting any of this would be in their dreams, lol. Go get hitched or be happy single.

Let me know your thoughts, opinions and ideas and feel free to share. I bet I said something out of line somewhere, so correct me if you have a different opinion.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Higgs Boson and the passage of time

This week, we were greeted with the 'exciting' news that scientists and nerdy gurus may have finally uncovered the Higgs Boson. For most normal folk who probably stopped paying any attention to science after high school, the Higgs Boson is the famously named "God Particle". It is supposed to shed more light on our existence and provide answers to critical questions such as: "Was Morpheus really telling Neo the truth in The Matrix?", "Is Nicki Minaj's body real?", "Does Kanye West really dig Kim Kardashian or are they just screwing with our heads?". The truth is, finding the Higgs Boson may be the best thing ever to happen to mankind, on the other hand, considering the amount of money and research that has gone into discovering just one minute particle, it better be worth the effort! If you are interested in knowing more, you can google it. :)

There was an incident that transpired a few days ago that shook my trust in people, I still haven't gotten over it. It has basically altered the way I look at life. There was a barbecue at my crib to mark the Fourth of July celebrations, wasn't a big event, just a few close friends. I was a spectator most of the time because I was too tired to take part in any of the planning. At the end of the day, after all the eating and drinking, one of my 'guests' ( I refuse to think of the person as a friend) took my iPhone(I don't want to use the word 'stole') . Of course everyone has denied taking the phone, but we don't need a scientist or Higgs Boson to realize that the phone didn't just grow legs and walk away (a la Craig David). The smooth operator not only removed the SIM card, but also reset the phone so I couldn't even track it. I've learnt 2 valuable lessons from the incident:
1) ALWAYS lock your phone.
2) NEVER trust people blindly, trust must be earned.

Coco has warned me before about trusting people blindly but I always argued that you have to give people a chance, I'm a changed man now.

Still hunting for a new apartment, but I've narrowed down my choices. Brick City is definitely out of the options. I think I'm taking my talents to the Parsippany axis this fall (cue...drumroll and applause). My 2 little angels are heading back to Naija in a few days, still haven't figured out how I'll switch back to being a single fella. I've made so many transitions in the past few months that sometimes I wake up not remembering if I'm hispanic or white. Time flies you know, tis one of those little tricks of life, the passage of time right before your eyes. You slowly fall into the rhythm of breathing and working, sleeping...while life slowly sweeps by like a dream...one day you look in the mirror and you can't remember when the dream ended and reality began, or when summer merged into fall...while you struggle to remember, time keeps rolling by...

Live your life...Forget the past...Just live your life...

As for Higgs Boson, I don't care about how we came to be, I'm more curious about what the future holds for us ...