Fine versus Fine

read-the-fine-print

    I’ll keep this brief. The next time I hear the words, “fine girl,” from a stranger or even a friend, let’s just say things will not be fine. First of all, HOW DARE THEY? I’m beautiful!
    What they really should be asking is if my head is correct? (Pardon my Nigerian) The usual answer is… probably not. Multiply that by the fact that some idiot just called me fine and then the answer is definitely not and a quarter to kick your butt…wait! What was the question?
    Let me explain. You see, “FINE” is a contronym, for those who studied from the peanut gallery, contronym is a word that can mean its own opposite. For example Overlook which means ‘to supervise’ but can also mean ‘to neglect.’ Wicked I know (wicked good, not wicked bad, but you catch my drift)

stewie

    So fine can mean ‘Excellent’, but it can also mean’ acceptable’ or ‘good enough’. Call me skeptical but I don’t want to waste my time on someone who is either:

    • incapable of speaking English
    • trying to be clever and insult me by being vague
    • merely psyching me with borrowed lines

    It’s all about the subtext. As a human female, I sometimes have cause to frown. Very often people who have no business getting into my business make it their business to ask.

“Is everything alright? You look down”

    Even if I think the world is over (Knock on wood . . . Zombies) I save my ugly crying and issues for my peoples and give curious minds the blow off with the typical answer:

“Fine”

    So you can see why I refuse to be complimented using the same words I use to shut down haters, I certainly don’t want to hear it from my friends because all I hear is,

“Hi Girl, you’re looking good today, but as your frienemy I can’t boost you confidence too much.”

    Then again I often test positive for paranoia.
    As for ‘fine girl’ catcalls, in my book that is the worst. It carries soooo much subtext.

“Hey girl, I would like to get to know, but will not be affected if you completely ignore me as I will simply try my luck with the next girl that walks by, in an ill conceived ploy to be cool, cute,clever, one of the boyz (for some reason boys who are actually the age of men but have the IQ of dust are spelt with a z)

    Question: Does calling anyone fine girl ever work?
    Have I thought too long about this? Probably.
    Does that make me wrong? Hell to the No.
    In conclusion, bad behaviour will result in a fine (the money kind). My shoe habit doesn’t support itself.
    In other spoken word news, “good” is not the answer to “how are you doing?”. Tracy explains:

PSA: My fellow Nigerians stay in line

bukka

    So this guy tried to cut ahead of me in line the other day. Poor guy, there was no way for him to anticipate how seriously mistaken he was about to be. You see, I was in line for Amala. Let me put things into context. In my world, Amala is king! I have been a lover of food for as long as I can remember. If I could, I would eat for a living (I mean beyond the eating for a living I already do) Sure, I flirt with cheesecake, burgers, ice cream, donuts, party jollof, suya, small chops but at the end of the day my true love is Amala.
    My dad likes to tell the story of my very first time in a Chinese restaurant. It was a huge gathering and there were many options but mini-me was not impressed. After looking around, I turned to my folks, crossed my arms and declared, to their eternal amusement and my continual shame, “Me, I want Amala!” (I was about five) While I have learnt to love Chinese food, my love of Amala continues to trump all. In fact, the last time I went to the village, I had Amala for breakfast, lunch and dinner for two whole days and would have continued to do so if I had stayed any longer.
    So you see, when this imbecile, took one look at me, all prim and proper in a suit and heels at a local bukka and though, “What could she possibly do?” He was asking for it. On a scale of one to Tonto Dikeh releasing another album, his mistake was worse than Tonto doing a “High” remix.
    Did I mention that there were ten people before me and only three people behind me, though the three were standing in the sun.
    Being a reasonable person, I asked him if he was supposed to be ahead of me. He must have been to chicken to lie because his response can only be described as a half nod/wink hybrid. In my experience, people who do not want to get caught in a lie, tend to give vague replies, designed to mislead. Unfortunately for this guy, his face wasn’t made for winking. His wink was the eye equivalent of the palm-scratch handshake. MALES OF THE WORLD, Nobody likes this handshake!
    Searching for intelligent life, I tapped the lady in front and I asked her if he was with or after her.

“NO!”

    she wasn’t buying his wink either.

black wonderwoman

    Like that but a lot less smiley.

“Please, go to the back of the line.”

    He nods but continues to stand there.
    So I go up another bar and repeat my statement.
    At this point people began to watch, some smiled but mostly they did nothing, my coworker began to try and sooth me, but there was no going back. I am not ashamed to say that I was prepared to fight him. What I lacked in size, I made up for in craziness, an inability to be embarrassed where Amala is involved and an impressive history of Kung Fu movies. I walked round him and give my coworker the stink-eye till she joined me. I would not let the honour and dignity of Amala to be tainted by that man.
    During rush hour the three people behind me would have turned to 20 and that would have showed him, but I had arrived early to avoid long lines. My one regret was that there was no walk of shame for him. He got his food and when he caught up to me in the stew line, he tried to flirt. Smiling, he asked if I am happy. Luckily I’m not brain damaged.
    If Amala wasn’t the nectar of gods, I would have introduced my plate to his shirt and happily lined up for more. Instead I gave him my bestthe-new-guy-crazy-eyes and walked away.

People standing in line
Ladies and gentlemen, no one wants to be standing in line, so when you find yourself in one please remember:

Line cutting is inexcusable except when someone’s life is really on the line or the line cutter is really old or very pregnant.

2. Yes I know that when one person allows their friend into the line it will not significantly increase my time in the line but if I allow one person then there is no good reason to disallow others.

To people who pretend that their friend has been here all along, you are fooling nobody, especially not Karma.

4. If a line is too long do not just show up and start a new line unless instructed to do so. If instructed to do so, people already in line have priority.

To the people behind the desk, when you cater to line jumpers and line creators you are rewarding and encouraging their bad behaviour. This goes double for people who join such lines.

6. If you are in the company of several friends or kids don’t all line up. This keeps happening at silverbird. One person should hold all the money and buy the tickets while the remaining people stand in the corner. If the person in line gets lonely, only one other person should keep her or him company.

It’s a numbers thing. It’s sometimes acceptable to allow one friend into the line, but if a whole bunch of your friend show up, do the right thing and all go to the back of the line…together.

8. You have no business being in a line if you have no idea what you want or if you are there to visit the person behind the counter. It’s not therapy, get to the point and get gone.

Even if you hate people, endeavour to tell the person in front of you when you are stepping out and tell the person behind you when you return that you are just returning. People are not mind readers. A sure way to enrage a stranger is by squeezing in front of them without offering an explanation.

10. Finally, don’t fall victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never try to cut in front of a Nigerian girl when Amala is on the line.”

victory
This is what victory looks like!

Unsolicited compliments

suit banter

    If you’re not already watching suits, What are you doing? Stop reading this and go watch it! So the above conversation, from suits, kind of summaries how I feel about compliments. They awaken my defensive side.
    Take for example, today when someone told me he liked my top and that I should get up from my chair and spin around. When I refused, I was criticized for not knowing how to take a compliment. I should explain: This occurred at work; he is not one of my girls, he is not Tim Gunn neither is he a friend. If I had to describe our relationship, the words “office acquaintance” seems appropriate. He is also married and by his standards, he meant no harm because he is ‘cool like that’ with all the girls at work. I did a survey. He is not even “lukewarm like that” with anyone.
    To his credit, my top was kind of awesome and I was wearing the hell out of it. I also want to say that I believe that it is nice to give and receive compliments. However, compliments from some Nigerians have a way of seeming insincere or maybe I just hate the whole compliment/reciprocate dance because I am extremely bad at it. In all honesty my attempts at flattery are often cringe worthy.

akward

    So the other day I stumbled across a coworker and his son in the IT department. I was in need of a little tech assistance.

    Me: Who is this fine boy, are you sure he is your son? He is really good looking, unlike you.
    Coworker gives me WTF face and awkward silence.
    My brain catches up: You do realize that you just accused this man’s wife of cheating on him.
    Me struggling to rectify the situation: Are you sure you and your wife did not kidnap him.
    Brain: How is suggesting that he and his wife are ugly kidnappers any better than calling his wife a cheater? Why am I even here? Now do exactly as I say. Fake a phone call and exit office in 3, 2, 1. . . . . Now trick someone else into calling the IT guy for help and avoid him for the foreseeable future.

    (Good times)

    If sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, then flattery is the lowest form of persuasion. Therefore it is completely beneath me because I refuse to lie. To be clear, I tell the occasional necessary lie about uncompleted tasks being completed but I draw the line at saying something nice about a person’s looks, character or possession in order to boost their ego so that they feel encouraged to do their part of the work.
    Things also descend into chaos when I am expected to pay back a compliment.

    Unwritten office rule number 842: Compliments should be reciprocated, paying special attention to the person’s new (insert item) that their compliment was designed to draw your attention to.

    Ideally, in a reasonable world I would respond with:

    “Thank you, Oh my! Is that a new bag? It is absolutely beautiful.”

    before shoving off.

    But as shown above, my brain and I are not always simpatico. When faced with a compliment, things often begin with a drawn out “Yooooooooooou” on my end, as I begin to flail around helplessly. Before things get embarrassing ludicrous, I grab a colour, item of clothing, personal feature for dear life and run with it. Sometimes I succeed.

    Me: “Yoooooou really look good in pink.”

    Other times, not so much.

    Me: “Yoooooooou are standing in the doorway… people need to pass.”

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    The moment anyone pays me a compliment, I hand them a pair of scissors and tell them to “cut the crap” and “cut to the chase”. I try and apply this to everyone, everywhere I go with a n above 70 per cent success rate.

    Market woman: sweet aunty, come do your hair
    Me: Too young to be your aunty.

    Bank Security: Mummy
    Me: I’m pretty sure I would have remembered carrying life for nine months.

    Weirdo on the street: Fine baby
    Me: I’m not fine, I’m beautiful and don’t we have to be the same species for me to be your baby.

    In all my years, such statements have never convinced me to get my hair done with said flatterer or manifested a tip for any security personnel.
    I make one exception and that is to the name ‘sister’ and only when used by people in my church. Church folk are like the heads of hydra, cut of one honorific, two grow in its place. Then you’re no longer sister so-and-so, you become aunty, saint, mama, chief Mrs, dame, priestess, bishop, Dr, reverend So-and-so when all you ever wanted was to be plain old so-and-so.
    So the next time you want something from me, ask. And if I refuse, offer me money or food. Note that these fine products will only buy my attention and not my compliance. If you want my agreement, be prepared to persuade me with logic.
    Good Day… and when in doubt watch suits.

suits