Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crawling Exes

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Long before I met Bo, I met Segun. Segun is the son of a family friend but I didn't really meet him until 2002. For some reason when I met him I just decided at my young ripe age then (ha!) that I was going to marry Segun. It was just meant to be and that was that. He wasn't particularly handsome or charming or whatever. In fact he was a bit of a personality and difficult at best. No matter, I started crushing on him from that very first meeting. I'm not sure it was an emotional thing but for some reason in my head, I thought, he and I would make a good match so I set about making it happen. We exchanged numbers and spoke very sparingly over the next few years. Our conversations were always very awkward, mostly it was almost like a young girl crushing on an older guy, and being thoroughly self-conscious throughout the whole thing kinda thing. Very odd. No matter, I was determined I would crack it, and we would still end up married somehow. I was so serious about this I had written his my name with his last name in my address book at the time, AND written his name and my name in my bible with the year I was thinking we WOULD get married. Yes, I was nutters. Absolutely nothing had happened between us at this point. Just a few awkward conversations on the phone.

Around 2003, I ended up having to travel to the state Segun lived in for work. Unfortunately the client had made an error in booking everything and I was a bit stranded, so I called Segun and ended up at his house. This was his family house, and his mom and siblings were around. After dinner Segun & I went downstairs to the basement but I think the attraction there was quite strong etc, and we finally ended up in a very heated makeout session. However it didn't get any further really than just kissing, of course his family was around and I ended up sleeping in the guest room quite far from any Segun danger :-) So that was it, right? We actually didn't keep up much after that. One or two phone calls maybe. Our conversations were still largely short and awkward.

About a year later, Segun moves to the same city I was living in and I think we both set out to maybe get a bit closer. I visited with him a couple of times (definitely the crush was very much MORE from my side than his), met his best friends and his other siblings briefly and that was that. Just as things were really getting heated up, Segun mentions that he has issues with our families being so close etc., and for some reason at that point I just gave him a look. I mean this is a man I'd been crushing on for AGES and here he is giving me the most simple of excuses. I decided that was that. I certainly wasn't going to put myself out there for him any longer and if indeed anything was going to happen then the ball was now COMPLETELY in his court. I walked away completely from the quasi-relationship (eyeroll) and didn't look back. He also didn't make an effort to call me or whatever. Great. I thought.

Fast forward to a week after my wedding, guess who calls me? I mean he actually picked up the phone and called ME? I was surprised and shocked. But okay, whatever. He calls me several times in that first week. And then I would run into him here and there, and magically Segun was now a more attentive nicer person to me. I mean the awkwardness and nonchalance on his part in our conversations were now GONE. I raised an eyebrow but left it. Then he calls me one night at MIDNIGHT to say he needed my help with a document could I help him proofread it, etc., he really needed my help. I said no and he went on about how he wouldn't let me down if the shoe was on the other foot and it was for work etc. This is when things started to go off in my head and I told Bolaji about my uneasiness with this "friendship" We decided to shrug it off. By now I was receiving blackberry pings very often from Segun, comments on every thing I say etc. Then last week he called me to ask if I could order something for him with my credit card. I agreed and went ahead, only for him to keep postponing pick up and payment time from me. Then he starts calling me frequently or apologizing and asking me to call him back. I mean what is THIS? So last week Bo finally said enough is enough. He's not comfortable with the guy and he thinks Segun's just trying to get my goose, to get me going. We sat down and really had a chat about this. I had to tell Bo that if he was uncomfortable, my "friendship" with Segun wasn't actually that important at all so I'd gladly let it go.

I've since deleted him from my BlackBerry and ignore his calls. I'm just baffled at how some men are. There are some things I see clearer about my single years now than I did then. One of them being that some men are ALL and ONLY about the chase, not the follow through. It is all some sort of game. Some men that are waxing all sorts of sweet nothings in your ear right now are just doing it for the fun of the game, and I don't mean sex, because I don't think it's about that all the time. I think it's just the game for some men. So keep an eye on this and watch out. A healthy, real relationship has no drama, should make you feel more comfortable about who you are, should be a refuge from the craziness of the world, should elevate you mentally, and spiritually, should never make you feel inferior or habor any of your self-esteem issues (we all have them). I truly believe when a man is ready, and shows that he is ready to move heaven and earth for you, just because you are you, then that's the REAL one for you.

I think only when you are in this healthy, real, relationship do you start to truly appreciate how ugly (emotionally) some guys in your past are, and even worse that it's not an anomaly, but many men behave exactly the same way.

Friday, May 20, 2011

More Income, Less Money

Friday, May 20, 2011
Bo and I have been having a bit of a rough time recently. We just can't seem to meet our financial needs and wants lately and a bit perplexed on how that is and how we can better arrange our finances. I think this weekend we're going to sit down and actually pull up an excel worksheet and do proper budgeting.

I tell my friends from my experiences it seems once you get married, your income increases (combined) but then it just seems you never have any money! I make a pretty decent income from my job and Bo makes twice what I make as salary. I've had my job for a few years and I was even making less when I lived alone. However as a single lady, I ALWAYS had more than enough. I travelled all across Europe and Canada and North America and Africa, and ate wherever as often as I wanted and I was quite content. Same with Bo, so how come now that we're married it just seems increasingly difficult trying to save. It's easy to say rent is the culprit but honestly from calculating it this morning when I sat in bed, our rent is not even up to one third of our combined salaries! So where is it all going?!!! I'm so perplexed.

If I were to guess I'd say we travel a lot and we do eat out occasionally as a treat. Perhaps the eating out all adds up? Traveling has been one of those things that's just a bit more complicated now. Before if I wanted to travel just saved X amount and went about my business. At the very least I'd bum off of some friends or family and would only have to worry about my flight. Now, now...first we have to double the plane ticket fees, which is a lot more effort than individually just trying to save up for a trip, then we probably have to find a hotel or B&B to stay at, and then of course, when there's two, you'd of course want to sight see and do more tourist-y things because, well, because now you have a partner. So off you go to wherever and all the while, the bill is racking up! Traveling just seems to cost a LOT more as a couple. We've already taken three leisure trips out of the country this year, a really big one is coming up as one of Bo's best friends from college is getting married in Napa (this trip costs us N800,000 in flights alone!), and we usually take a New Year's trip as well. Whew! And this is not counting some little trips we hope to go on in between: Calabar, Benin Republic. Even as I type I know we're going to have to really budget before adding any other trips. Just a few hours ago, I sent a text to Bo saying, "I'd really love to go to Turkey summer next year" and he responds, "Let's Do It!" See, this is the kind of thinking that gets us into trouble!

Apart from that we're currently experiencing some challenging times in terms of professional work and it's really interesting trying to hold everything together. I've read too many times that financial worry is the number one cause of divorce so I always try and sure that no matter what we're fighting on the same side. Yesterday Bo came back from work a little beaten down mentally and I had to really really encourage him using biblical references etc. Even this morning he was just tossing and turning in bed with worry. Men are amazing creatures, they really do get caught up in being 'the provider'. It's really important to them! Sometimes when other women talk about how much we sacrifice in a marriage I always make sure to point out that men go through very tough times as a result of being married as well. It's like they just naturally carry everything, everyone's worries, and place it firmly on their shoulders. It can't be easy. I think we're doing fine and I assure him of this all the time but he still feels this strong need to give me "the life of my dreams" as he says. There's no matter what a woman will say I think a man would still feel this way. A friend of mine who's been married for over 6 years put it this way to me, "It's not easy to bear that name husband."

Comments: I really appreciate the comments on my last post. One or two people said they thought we were basically planners on crack, lol. This is entirely possible I have to admit. I even discussed it with Bo and asked how he felt about that. I think bottom-line is, and I've mentioned on this blog before, I think we both actually are not terribly baby-crazy people so we approach having and raising children from a more pragmatic rather than an emotional point of view. Rather than just thinking we should have babies now, we're thinking "what kind of life do we want to create for our kids?" "What kind of environment do we want them to grow up in" Which may or may not be good approach but we're both are very much on the same page and I'm confident we will do what we think is best for us, and as always prayerfully consider what we think are the options in front of us.

Secondly, I'm amazed that it seems many people don't plan their families! I'm actually becoming more and more shocked about this. I'm not saying that is a bad thing but it just never occured to me that we wouldn't plan our families as best as we could! Once those babies come, they kind of have a way of controlling everything, at least for the first few years, surely, it's best to lay some plans and agree on the framework before building? Am I alone here? As an analogy and only an analogy, if you were building a house, you don't just say, right, I want a house, I've found the spot, "pour on the cement baby!" First, you draw up a blueprint, have it tweaked and approved by the team who would build the house to make sure it's structurally feasible, build a foundation, and so on, before you start. Because once they start pouring on the cement, it gets harder AND costlier, to say to everyone on the build site, "WAIT A MINUTE!" :-)

Lastly, I'm still looking for the blog I mentioned at the bottom of the last post. Please if anyone can help direct me to it, I'd be mighty grateful.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Baby Baby!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Got you!

No, not pregnant yet. :-)

I have been quite ill though. I've mentioned before that I have hormonal imbalances and sometimes that wreaks a bit of havoc around these parts. But I am feeling much better these days. Thank God. Things are pretty mellow in the BoKem household. Just a steady day-to-day ness of everything. I love that Bo and I don't fight much though so weeks can fly by without very much incidence. One thing that has brought a new dimension into things is that one of Bo's good friends, Nkem (whom I blogged about his wedding here) had a baby girl about a week ago! It is amazing to go through this journey with our friends. I've been so excited about their baby from the moment I heard she was on the way, so to finally arrive at the day where we received the call that she's finally born into this world was amazing. I love this baby already and can't wait to meet her and carry her. It was funny because Bo got a call on his phone around 4am to say that the baby was here and after hanging up, he gently nudged me because he knew I was overly excited about this and told me. I think he was excited too. We hugged and said a prayer for our friends right there and then. We've actually been praying for Sheila throughout her pregnancy so we're just grateful to God. The more we learn about pregnancy the scarier the whole thing seems to myself and Bo.

We talk about it A LOT now which I suppose it's a good thing. Some days I look forward to it but others, I wonder if it's something I REALLY want or if I'm just following convention and just want to experience the same things my friends are. I want to really want my baby, like absolutely feel it in my heart. I don't think I'm there yet. At least not for the right reasons. I have to say though I'm very proud so far of the approach Bo and I have been taking about increasing our family. We talk about it a lot like I previously mentioned. We talk about our thoughts on discipline, our plan to manage finances, we talk about education and the kind of life and lifestyle we want to create for our children. We've actually talked about specific schools we want them to go to and researched admissions, fees, etc. For example, we both agree that we want our kids to go to pre-prep and prep boarding schools abroad which start out quite young (some as young as 4, and require registration as early from birth as possible!). We also talked about how I wanted a five year gap between kids. Bo was surprised about that and said he hadn't really thought about that before and had just assumed 3, but we reasoned out and agreed on 5. When I think about the schools I want my children to go to, it truly truly focuses my mind. For us to be able to afford such schools, we definitely need to build a certain level of income/savings/investments. I'm actually very proud of us that we are thinking things through in this way. It gets us talking and keeps us running as a unit.

We are very aware that these are all just plans. Life has a funny way of happening whether one plans it that way or not. To me that's the fun part of it really. We articulate what we want for our family, pray to God, work hard, and enjoy each day as it comes. Even though we do use contraception (which seems to be odd around these parts), I always periodically check with Bo and say "what if I'm pregnant" he always responds, "well, then you are". This really makes me relaxed because I know no matter what life brings we'll just deal with it together.

On another related note: Bo & I are addicted to the show Giuliana & Bill anyone else out there watch this with their partners? Bo doesn't even watch television but he can sit and watch marathons of this stuff with me. I'm surprised. We always end up feeling very emotional after each episode. They seem to have a really strong marriage don't they?

Last unrelated note: I read one of my commenter's blogs recently where she talked about the 1 Timothy man in relation to the Proverbs 31 woman. I desperately want to find the blog again but can't seem to find it. Please if you can assist me and direct me to the url I'd really appreciate it. I really enjoyed reading the blog. Thanks.
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