Life would be much easier if people mean what they say and say exactly what they mean every single time. Or why should I need a special gift of discernment just to communicate with you? When you’re not a demon or angel, or maybe you are.

Some words baffle me as it pertains to their make up, I wonder how their letters were put together. Sometimes maybe its creator transmitted personal experiences into its formation or something. I’m still trying to figure out and wrap my head around why we say ‘shenanigans’ rather than ‘henanigans’. Maybe I’ll find an answer, maybe not.

Let me say here before anything else that I am 200% anti-rape, fully pro-consent even between married folks. That said, one of the phrases making rounds recently in solidarity for women rights and protection is ‘NO means No’. The idea is to ram it into the head of others that personal decisions must be respected, consent must be sought always when a matter will involve two or more persons. I find it necessary that these measures should be in place as the women folk still stand marginalized and victimized on many grounds till this day.

But I am baffled and confused about a few details. As subtle as they are, I think they might be a traceable root to some of the issues, not all. Let me give a few examples.

Jide goes with his friends to a party, he meets Franca, a schoolmate he has a crush on in the company of others. He finds her attractive as always. Franca also likes him but this is only known to her friends. Jide and Franca talk all night, drink, dance and they depart when the party winds up. Franca’s friends summon Jide the next day in school asking why he didn’t kiss her.

Years later, Jide is in another party and meets a girl who is all over him. He likes her too. They drink, sing, dance and talk all night. It’s almost time to go, Jide remembers Franca and her friends from years back. Jide kisses the new girl. They part, he receives a text afterwards, ‘I would have slapped you for kissing me, don’t try it next time’.

Society is chief when it comes to mixed signals, it tells you on the one hand what you should do spontaneously, and on the other hand sits at your trial when the feeling isn’t mutual.

Take a look at another story, will you?

Kevin’s neighbour, Julie is the most dramatic human he had ever met. Kevin is an only boy amongst 3 female siblings who are all younger. In the first 3 weeks of living in the new compound with Julie, Kevin had run over to her place in a bid to help her 3 different times. Each time, it had been an unnecessary sprint. One was when she screamed at the sight of a cockroach on her mattress, the second was her screaming in excitement at EFCC twitter handler’s epic clapback and the third was yet another scream while she watched a makeover session on YouTube. There were several other screams of different pitches afterwards. Then there was one where Kevin really should have made the run, he didn’t and Julie lost her handbag to a burglar. She had struggled for about 30secs screaming and holding the handbag tight hoping Kevin would run over, but he didn’t.

One more story, just one…

Helen was getting tired of her relationship with Harry, she needed to think things through. So she called a time out, Harry didn’t really understand what that timeout meant or should mean. He kept calling and visiting, it was overwhelming for Helen. She didn’t know what to do, she really needed some time alone. When it was obvious to her that Harry was clueless about her demands, she told him she was no longer interested in the relationship. She figured that would buy her some time. Harry moved on, it was as if he had been waiting for an opportunity to run for his dear life. He wanted her, but she sounded so sure and convinced of what she wanted, so he decided to respect her demands after a few months of waiting. When Helen found out months later that Harry was now with Hope, she wondered how he could do such a thing and not wait!

I maintain my earlier stand that the world would be so much fun if we could keep things simple and straight to the point. I particularly frown at using your gender or hormones as an excuse to be unpredictable or confusing. If you want something, just ask for it. If you are not asked to do something, don’t do it (this is specific for those things that have repercussions in case they are not welcome by the receiving party).

Finally, learn to say No, learn to hear No and be obedient always.
Have you been to the CFW book shop? There are some awesome reads you would love, just like this.