Family, Survival and The List

If I start with saying Happy New Year is that necessary? Still, Happy New Year anyway. Nigerians love to greet and be greeted, they never get fed up of it. So I might as well say Happy New Year to you all even though I’ve told most of you Hap… Okay I’ll stop saying it now. I think you’ve all gotten the point. Moving on…

Family is that one word that can make us cringe and yet still make us have a sense of longing for a bunch of people put on earth to eternally annoy us. Has anyone else wished there could be an option of selecting who you wanted to be related and deleting the default members life came with? Anyone…?

*Sam Smiths “I’m not the only one” plays in the background*

You can all deny it as much as you like, we know the truth. We know how you put toothpaste in the pocket your big brothers best pair of jeans that one time he ordered you to wash them. We know these things, but playing happy families is a fun game, so please enjoy yourself, don’t let this post stop you.

Here’s the part I introduce to you The List. What is The List? It’s my compilation of a few reminders about how to survive family and the things we all know yet, never mention aloud and seemingly can do absolutely nothing about.

The List

1) Nothing is yours, not even your own thing.
From your clothes to your room to even that your favorite perfume your bae got you for Valentine, none of it is exclusively yours. You will shout, rant and dish out warnings of how the perpetrators will be dealt with but let’s all be honest, it never works. In the end, the shareholders aka family members will do whatever it is they wish and my darling, you will do nothing about. Perhaps sigh a few times or shout loudly about “all these people in this house sef” while taking care not to call names. Why? Because with family nothing is yours not even your own thing. Your best option is to own nothing, just be a shareholder.

2) First come, first and only served.
See ehn, this is real for anyone who has even one sibling. If you choose to stay in your room, pressing on your phone, reading that Yoruba demons pick up line he’s using on you, my friend, you’ve missed. It’s then you’ll hear tales later of how your Mommy bought plantain chips and it just wasn’t enough to reach you. You’ll even hear about how Daddy had N1000 change in his pocket and gave it to your sibling who welcomed him first, because of course, first come, first and only served. Just pray and fast that it’s not the day your Aunt Bisi that likes to dash money comes around that you’ll end up not being first. Just in case it is, don’t cry just take it like a man.

3) The side with the most votes is always right, even when they are wrong.
You know you’re right, you’re so sure you are. But one person has chosen to disagree. Before you can say “my pant don tear”, what was a conversation between two people has turned into a full-on debate between a group of people. So how can it be settled when there’s no one to judge? The side that outnumbers the other is the one that wins. Why? The answer is always that if they were wrong then they wouldn’t have that many people supporting the notion. It’s unfair, but do you want to argue and start another debate? Exactly, I thought not.

4) Everything turns into a competition you must win… Or end up losing.
PHCN supplies electricity, everyone dives for the remote, the person who’s quick enough to get it is the one who has rights of TV monopoly. Pray electricity goes again so you will not have to put up with ZeeWorld, it’s your best chance. Food has just been prepared, the person who’s got the best eyes, knows the location of the biggest meat. On and on it goes. Don’t try to fight it, you signed up for this whether you liked it or not. Your best option, which actually is your only, is to try and not end up losing too much even if it means cheating once in a while. Please don’t mention my name when they catch you, I only made a suggestion.

5) You are entitled to your opinion and our opinion.
Whatever may be the ongoing topic of discussion, everyone has an opinion. It might not sound like such a bad thing until you realize you’re entitled to everyone else’s opinion even if when it has got nothing to do with them.

    You: “I’m going to take an umbrella.”
    Sister Number 1: “It doesn’t go with your dressing.”
    Dad: “The big umbrella is the best one, take that one instead.”
    Brother: “It probably won’t rain, there’s no need to take one at all.”
    Sister Number 2: “I read on Linda Ikeji’s Blog that…*precedes to talk about something that’s unrelated to the topic*”

And of course the voice of reason in there somewhere…

    Mother: “You’ll end up poking someone’s eye out with it.”

You’ll stand there looking lost for a while as you wish that you had said nothing at all. If there’s anything worse that being entitled to so many opinions, it’s being entitled to conflicting opinions.

I could actually go on, there are tons of other things to add to The List but of course dinner is almost ready and so I… I digress. I’ll stop here for now and hopefully there will be another post on here soon. Yes, it’s got something to do with New Year (I said it again didn’t I?) resolutions and no, I won’t break them like most people do which is why you’ll all be reading from me soon. For now, take care and stay well.

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