Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Girl Whisperer

as published by

the Sunday Guardian of Jan 20


HOME ADVANTAGE

Every soccer mad person, male or female, knows the meaning and importance of home advantage. It's that leverage you have when you're playing at home and your opponents travel from their base to meet you on your turf. The team at home has the upper hand in many ways- the players know every square inch of their playing field and there can be no suprises. The fans know their players and chant their names from the terraces.

Every loves the home advantage and the psychological edge it lends for if you can't win at home, you can't really be that good at the game. Where relationships are concerned, many argue the home advantage for many reasons. The more wary say it is dangerous to have a relationship with someone not from your tribe or locality. It's not enough that you both speak English or French or whatever your national language might be. They say you must share the same first language and understand the culture of your prospective
partner.

According to the proponents of the home advantage, you ignore this cardinal rule at your own peril. Apparently, there's something to be gained by being able to laugh at your father-in-law's jokes in his local dialect. As a rule, all people have a natural inclination to be clannish, to gravitate towards those who share similar backgrounds and to remain within their own comfort zones. At the extreme end of the spectrum are those who find love far beyond their now borders. These 'chosen few' break all accepted norms doing exactly as they please in the choice of a mate.

There are few of us who have not turned wonderingly at the airportupon seeing the new breed of black-skinned husband with his white wife, and sometimes the wife is mexican or Indian (brown) or in some rare cases, japanese or chinese. It always gets us, when people with obvious racial differences try for a blend. The world is a global village now in more ways than one
and the partnering of different races and creeds is a fall out of a new truth the world has come to accept.

From all over, back-packing suitors scour the world in search of their true lover and sometimes it works for them. But why even discuss obvious differences today, why not talk of those subtle differences that don't hit you immediately? The difference in customs, in the manner suitors are expected to relate with members of their prospective families, the culture shock when a woman who comes from a non-prostrate-to-all-elders-When-you-see-them childhood meets a man from a 'bow and scrape to elders' background can be unsettling to the strongest relationships. In relationships where the extended family's opinion matters, issues will become abrasive after a while when these differences disturb over-sized egos.

The in-laws whispering in a language one partner cannot comprehend can be galling, the customs and traditions that appear to be
from another planet and to one partner, the ultimate in barbarism... With the rude awakening cultural differences sometimes give to lovers, one should ask, 'is there a guaranty that having a relationship with a home girl will make all things perfect?' The answer is no.

There are never any guarantees that a relationship will work whether a couple comes from the same church, tribe or shares forebears. Coming from different backgrounds can produce some very harsh moments, at least until couples learn to accept and perhaps even celebrate their differences but there is usually light at the end of the rainbow, at least for those who hold on to the end.

The Whisperer submits, and the cynical had better listen, that the only relationships that work, are those in which the partners have made up their minds to go the distance irrespective of differences, of backgrounds, of distinct cultures. There is no logic behind the term, 'irreconcilable
differences', often, there are just people refusing to reconcile, who have no wish to go the extra mile in love turned sour.

So even though we all have a natural inclination to stay where we are most comfortable, the whisperer encourages you to think out of the box. Usually, people, no matter where they are from, are born with two hands and legs. No one is being asked to date beings from Mars, at least, not yet, but who knows the future? Dare to go for what you want, other places, customs and traditions have a tale to tell and what they add to us can be richly rewarding.

3 comments:

Toks- Boy said...

As osmeone who has stepped"outside the box" (could I be anymore Yoruba Muslim? Idon't think so.)I would highly recommend it becaiuse once you get past the initial teething problems which any relationship irrespective of mix will have, what I have discovered is the stretch that comes with partnering with someone from a different background.

This mix opens your eyes to new ideas, new thinking, new behaviours that you would not normally have been privy to and can actually end up making you a better more rounded person. I feel that formost people the fear of the unknown and the fear of what others thinkis the main barrier however if you are strong enough to overcome these then the world is literally your oyster.

Sherri said...

the most interesting irony is that in even the relationship within same race and cultures u find a vast world of unimaginable differences.

as long as the relationship or "realationship" is based on mutual respect and love there is a fighting chance just like any other relationship

i know a couple,
every time i go to their house, i always come away with new knowledge and pride about naija.
the man imparting this knowledge happens to be oyinbo married to a naija wife.
he came to my party decked in full agbada while his wife was wearing a dress!

olaoluwatomi said...

I agree with the above comments, I grew up in a mixed household so to speak and can claim the knowledge of having seen the best and the worst of two sides, it makes for a richer life:)
I apologise I havent been to terraculture again,I have had to work compulsorily every other weekend which puts a tight band on my free time, hope the plays have done well?