Monday, August 29, 2011

Abandoned Blog +1

Monday, August 29, 2011

Have I abandoned this blog? Maybe. Maybe not. I've been extremely busy, but I know that's a familiar refrain. It really is true though. Thing is being extremely busy with work means you have to play catch up with friends and family and by the time that is done, you just don't have the time to sit, think, then compose your thoughts on the blog. I can say that I will do better but I truly don't know I'll play it by ear.

Now on to baby bumps and the biggest baby bump of them all: the Carter baby bump aka Beyonce's Bun In the Oven. I mentioned very early on in the life of this blog that Beyonce and Jayz are one of the couples that I look to and that inspires me (the other are the Obamas). I have to say when I saw her on the View a few weeks back, I said to Bo, I think this chick is preggers. He teased me because he thought I was just thinking that from the song "Countdown" in which she says "I'm trying to make us three..." Bo thinks I'm nuts. Lol. Anyway, I'd like to think I called it early. Ha. But on a serious note any and everything brings to mind my own baby watch and since Beyonce and I are reasonably agemates, the news of her expecting has got me in a conflicting mood. Everyone's having babies! Do I want one?

Last week Bo and I had a serious conversation about babywatch (yet again) and though he didn't say it, my sense is that he's not ready for a child or to be a father. I think he's one of those people who probably won't see themselves in that role until they're nearing forty. I understand that. He also mentioned he's a bit anxious or worried about the possibility of my infertility so he's not sure he wants to jump into that kettle of fish just yet. I understand this also. But I'm left thinking what is it I (ME) want? We went visiting with a friend of ours who has a 4-month old baby and she grabbed me aside and said "Let me talk to you, if you want to have kids, take it from me just do it now and get it over with, just do it. I'm so relieved I have this child now, all the weight is taken off my shoulders, I can move on with my life now. Just do it." Sigh. Now I appreciate her advise and really love her for actually giving it to me, but it's just put so much pressure on me and my thoughts. Should I just do it now and get it over with? If I'm completely honest with myself, I've never been one of those women who sees herself being someone's mother (or even wife for that matter and look how that turned out!). Bo said to me during our conversation "It's not like you can give it back when you're done" and this is so true and hit me. It's not a, "let's just try it..." kind of decision, it's yours for life. What happens when:
  1. You don't think you're ready for a baby BUT
  2. You're medically at risk for infertility AND
  3. You're not getting any younger
  4. You're almost sure if you're 50 and don't have a child you'll regret not having the experience PLUS
  5. Your hubby is not ready (and you need him to be ready for this kind of thing)
Now some people have all kinds of clever ways to deal with point #5, let me say that I don't subscribe to any of that. I need my husband to be ready (it's just courtesy for another human being's feelings), and to be excited about it as well. So that takes care of that. However there's still the issue of everything put together.

So there's that. Thanks Beyonce for adding to baby I'm really happy for her though.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bo Answers! Part 1

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I've finally wrangled Bo to finish his answers. The first half Bo wrote himself, and the second half he wrote some and he dictated some to me (while he was ironing his shirt for work tomorrow!). Without much further ado, here are Bo's answers, I'm very much looking forward to the comments.


1. My question is does Bolaji have an accent? (I dunno why but I've always been curious as you (Kemi) come across as well cultured and you mentioned you have lived outside Nigeria for most of your life, Bolaji on the other hand hasn't, so do you encounter any problems culture wise?

‘Problems’ is a strong word but our different cultural backgrounds do throw up issues. These are usually issues regarding approach to or point of view on any given subject matter or problem. Fortunately it came up early in our relationship – by came up, I mean we both noticed how we differently saw the world and engaged with it. And because we started off talking about everything and we still do, understanding that side of Kemi is easier. I didn’t say easy, (cultural issues still come up), but we have found our rhythm.

a. How has marriage changed you as a person and whether you feel being married has changed your relationships with other people and vice versa as women often experience this problem.

Marriage has made me a more patient person and I’m still learning. You can’t be married to a person especially one as opinionated as Kemi without learning a thing or two about patience. Paradoxically, being married has made me less patient with my relationships with other people. I attribute it partly to the short shrift that I think Kemi gives people but also the ‘safety’ of my relationship that I can run to when people piss me off.

2. I'd like to read a blog post about the many misconceptions he had about women and marriage prior to settling down and what the realities are. Also what he thinks about marriage.

I think my primary misconception about marriage was how difficult it would be. I think my parents, whose marriage I have been most influenced by, have had a good marriage and they make it seem easy. So I had always thought that marriage would be easy especially since I have a ‘relaxed’ disposition. I was wrong. The reality of marriage is hard and by hard I mean difficult - a true partnership is a constant work in progress. Sometimes when I think we get to a good place and that we can coast, I always learn differently. But it is a good kind of work and I am enjoying it J. Its early days yet, but we continue the good work.

3. I know you mentioned that there was a point in time when Bo didn't want to get married (please correct me if I'm wrong). I would just like to know what changed his mind. Was it falling in love with and growing to love you? Or did his ideas of marriage change as he grew older?

Probably the decade before I got married, I didn’t think that marriage was a) a necessary part of growing up nor b) a desirable part. I have to admit that I haven’t fully thought through why I felt this way despite what I think is the reasonably good example of my parents and other couples around me. Don’t get me wrong, I have always appreciated the upsides of a marriage relationship – companionship, etc, I just didn’t think I had to be married to get those benefits.

An issue that does come to mind is that I didn’t (and still don’t) like the dynamic in many marriages that I saw – couples settled into a way of doing things that I thought put one of the couple ‘down’ in one way or the other. This in my opinion is against my long held opinion that marriage should be a partnership in every way.

I think I became more comfortable with the idea of marriage as I grew to understand that the dynamic that I saw and disliked was each couple’s way of making the relationship work for them – a compromise they had come to about how to be married.

Now that I’m married, the challenge I see for Kemi and I in our marriage is striving for that ideal of a true partnership with the compromises we agree on to make living with another human being work, compromises that sometimes mean that a perfect partnership is not possible.

I still don’t think marriage is a necessary part of growing up, but I think my views on it have matured over the last few years. And yes, the person I’m with helped frame my views on the institution and its practical aspects.

What's his favorite thing about you and about being married?

a. I know you once mentioned you were celibate before marriage. How did he handle it as a man (they're often seen as sex-crazed)? Does he think it enhanced your relationship? What are your views on pre-marital sex versus celibacy (by celibacy i mean complete abstinence from all forms of sexual activity )in relationships?

b. What are the top tips you will give single ladies who have reached the marriageable age?

c. From a guy's perspective, what should women consider red flags in a guy they’re planning to settle down with?

Q: What is my favorite thing about being married? A: Waking up next to someone who has also committed to work at this relationship for life. (I think its also the scariest thing about being married). My favorite things about Kemi are her boobs. Ha! Seriously though, my favorite thing about my wife is that she’s an encourager. She naturally encourages everyone around her, not just me but also her family and friends.

About celibacy I think it’s up to the couple. My personal view is that it is a good thing even though I wasn’t throughout my premarital stage, but celibacy is much easier to follow if you never started in the first place. Do I wish I never started? Yes and No. How did I handle it as a man, the straightforward answer is cold showers. Nothing more I can say about that. I do think it enhanced our relationship because it allowed us to talk about being intimate without being intimate physically. I believe it improved our ability to communicate about sex and about intimacy. Although one could say Kemi and I already talked about everything so it only followed that we’d talk about sex as well.

Top tips to single ladies: Look for real friendships. I appreciate that this may not be so simple but I think it was (and still is) an important (if not the most important) aspect of my relationship with Kemi. Unfortunately real friendships require a lot of time, effort and some heartache to develop. Read: its damn hard to do. Maybe this is not so much a tip as a warning.

As for red flags, I think this is a hard question because when talking about someone you want to settle down with you have to think to yourself about things you can live with and things that are deal breakers. Ultimately who you want to settle down with is individual, it is you that has to decide what you can deal with and what are deal breakers. For me, I believe a guy that hits you or abuses you mentally, verbally, or physically is a big red flag. Someone women find a way to rationalize anything but if I were to generalize that would be it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Let's Talk About Sex

Monday, August 1, 2011

I was reading another blog post when this post came to me and I knew i just have to write about it. I've heard too many times too many women talk and worry about sexual compatibility and what the man is packing or how he is packing. I've seen friends dismiss very lovely men because of some perceived sexual deficiency and others who've waited worry about sexual performance after the wedding. It's no secret that I truly believe that my relationship with Bo was orchestrated by the Divine Himself and I thank God every day that we were both lucky enough to not mess things up too badly.

But I have a story to tell about our sexual history. In the beginning of our relationship Bo and I did embark on a sexual relationship. Where our story takes a wild turn is that as it became apparent that ours was a serious one, we both decided that we were going to be celibate until we were married. Those beginning times were not pretty. I would say Bo and I were not compatible sexually. Based on my experiences I wanted one thing, and based on his experiences he wanted something else. It was very VERY awkward those days. However as it became clearer to me that I was falling in love with this man, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. We started to talk openly about our histories, anxieties, desires, wants and needs. We shared everything about what importance we place on sexual satiety and really I believe this was probably the foundation of us deciding to be celibate later on. Then I decided within myself that I was going to be patient, encouraging, and honest with this man. I wanted him to feel comfortable with me, to feel comfortable trying and failing and trying again. I wanted things to be natural and fun, and with him being a man I wanted him to own his sexuality, his feelings. I was open to learning his style and rhythm and I got over any shyness and was very open about what I liked, how, and when. I think this really helped us, my being willing to teach as it were, what it was that worked for me. So many women don't want to teach because of their shyness or for fear of being labeled. I say don't be afraid of your body and of what it is telling you. I think lastly we just decided to have fun with it, to create a safe fun haven for both of us to express ourselves and enjoy each other. If it's awkward, so be it. We'll get the hang of it eventually.

We hadn't fully learnt this lesson when we decided to go celibate. However I think I'm the loudest testament to the fact that one year and a half year into my marriage, I have the most satisfying sex life I've ever had in my life (and that's saying...well, enough). My husband truly rocks my world and I can say that confidently. Whenever I hear women say, "I can't talk to him because the sexual chemistry is not there", I always think what is that? Trust me, once you fall in love with a man, half the battle is done. Love is amazing. It is the tie that God has used to bind us together and believe me it is perfect. If the guy is a wonderful person, kind soul, thoughtful, and madly in love with you, allow yourself to be swept away in love. The sex is supposed to come later, it WILL come later, and it WILL be fabulous. Don't worry and allow yourself to fall!

PS - For those waiting for Bo's post, he's written about half of it. Honestly at this point, I'm not sure WHEN the other half is going to get written. I'll remind him tomorrow. I have to say, having read a bit of it, it's no where as colored as my writing, very much less mushy and much more methodical, practical, and straightforward. I should have expected that though.
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