Monday, March 10, 2008

The Girl Whisperer

as published by

The Sunday Guardian of March 9

Déjà vu

Everyone knows that déjà vu feeling when it comes to relationships. It’s that sinking sensation in your stomach that grows as you realize you have made yet another mistake in your choice of partners. You look at him or her as the relationship gets heated and suddenly have a moment of epiphany, facing the stark truth for the first time and telling yourself like the Ghanaian judge, Nana, would do in West African Idols as she assessed yet another musical hopeful, “It’s not working for me”.

What is the déjà vu feeling in matters of relationships? In other matters, it’s when you do an act, say a line, are involved in a sequence of events or stand in someplace and have that feeling of certainty that you have at some point in the past, done or said the exact thing you are doing or saying at the present time. It can be an eerie feeling and it is almost always disconcerting. According to the more supernatural minded, it’s your soul revealing to you something you did or said in a past life. Scientists, however say it is a trick of the brain when it makes you think something that happened a split second before, actually once took place hundreds of years before. I would like to stand on the side of the scientists and the trick of the brain in this matter.

George Santayana said that now well-worn statement, “Those who do not remember the mistakes of the past are compelled to repeat it.” Every time in my life, I have pursued someone just for the sake of her brilliant looks or her sensational mind, the graceful way she carries her self or the way her teeth just gleam in the sun, I have learnt a very hard lesson. At each point, such relationships have self-destructed, I have been forced to look back and relieve similar relations in the past and the fact that they all went the same way.

I’ll confess here, that before I learnt the mastery of my emotions and my feelings like every Whisperer should, I would start a relationship with a girl for the sake of her looks and fair skin alone (I’ve always been a sucker for that kind of girl). Before you call me shallow, do not forget you must like a girl for something; her brains, her endowments, her homeliness, her ambition, her beauty; there must be something that is the initial pull for you. For me, it used to be dazzling good looks and fair skin. I cannot tell why, maybe it’s because I was born dark. However, before long, her inability to comprehend why I liked the poetry of W.B. Yeats would begin to bother me. I would fret if she could not read Wole Soyinka’s ‘Ake’ and see it as one of the best books ever written. And if she watched ‘The Pianist’ with me and couldn’t understand that story of the second world war starring Adrian Brody is one of the best movies ever made, I’d get a feeling of déjà vu. Now, I am not saying your partner must share all the same interests with you. Your dream person might like mountain climbing and learning languages while all you want to do is dance salsa, but still the mind must have a meeting point if you do not want that feeling of déjà vu.

So, many of us, choose to like girls for their looks. Unfortunately, that is one of the most dangerous premises to lay a relationship on. Looks will fade and even if they do not, at some point or the other, the impact they once had on you might not be so resonant. Halle Berry has had men in her life that ill-treated and left her after a while (and she’s a specimen of superb exterior beauty). Moreover, a better-looking woman will always come along if you go for looks alone, but do not fall into the trap that makes you equalize a beautiful face and body with a beautiful heart and spirit.

So today, I sit thinking of all the relationships I have had from my days as a teen, and how some went bad, and I know many could have been avoided if I had been able to resist being smitten by the first smile that came from a perfect set of teeth and a svelte body.
My brother, Jinta, would tell me all the time in the early days, “it’s not just about looks”, but I did not listen. I learnt the hard way and so I ask you to learn from one who has been there and done that. It’s not all about looks. It is about the total package. Good looks are okay, but the heart must be good too and the temperament must be a beautiful one too, so you do not get that sinking feeling of déjà vu as you wake up beside her on some dark night when it might be too late.


dScR?Be said...

I'm sooo PROUD of u! U are busy wiv directing and stuff yet u still have time to update... ahhhhhhh, i'll come back 2 read... was just checking 2 see if u put the "Girl Whisperer" on here...

Sherri said...

just for this post, u're back in my good books.(no lol kankan)

papi has depth! deeper than the oceans blue?

does this mean i can expect to see u in the company of some woh woh on the outside, beauty on the inside chic? lol

u're def right, it's not all about looks and sharing common interests and passions it's more about the complete package.

the same goes for females too.

btw, why did it take u this long to heed ur bro solomon jinta?

laspapi said...

@ 1stpet- Thank you, ScRiBe. The page was looking empty. Getting ready for the Wednesday/Thursday shows and wishing you were here to see them. You're my good luck charm.

@ sherri- sherri, what did I do? ah beg now! Don't let our enemies laugh at us. Oya pele now!

Ok, I no dey do woh woh o! Let the beauty be on the inside and outside. It's the reason I've been 'attacked' so many times by strange people.

As for Solomon Jinta, no mind dat man, hin sef get hin own "girl must be fine" thing.

Uzo said...

A feeling of deja vu? I think of it more like an Ah Ha moment. Not necessarily that you have been there before. Just that it hits you like a slug in your chest that this is so not the way to go.

I have learnt though that sometimes that feeling is fear or dissatisfaction that he doesnt fit 'the ideal'. So i usually re-examine that feeling. If it hits and hits and takes my breath away everytime i see him, then its time to say goodbye.

But one of the best relationships i ever had started with that feeling and i am glad i gave it a second and third thought or i would have lost out on having one of the most amazing things ever....

Fine yellow girls? That explains the Indian thing and the Hilary Swank, Nicole Kidman etc have a lot of crushes dont you :-)

lemonade factory said...

papi,well said but it goes both ways ho.u didnt rem dat one ho. nyways hope our money is rolling in with d plays ho cos papi,i aint doing surulere again ho....olorunsogo has more land capasity 4 d mansion huh lol..... abeg papi u keep inspiring me. one more one can u pls talk abt d struggling guy nd d chick,then suddenly owo wa de,sisi oda mo

dScR?Be said...

LMAO!!! I lurve dis post!!! hehehehe.. i know pple that need 2 hear this...

But FAIR SKIN?? LMAO!! C'mon now? Black is beautiful!!! hehehehehe... thank goodness u've changed ur resolve!

and u flatter me oh Uncle Wols **cheesing REAALLL hard** hehehehhehehehhehehe... I'm no goodluck charm.. but goodluck tomorrow!!!

Thinking about dis 4rm a female's perspective.. I need 2 change too... (I don't do fair skin sha)

laspapi said...

@ uzo- They're just crushes, uzo. I'm a serious man, o!

@ shola pacheco- it's rolling in, shola. You have to be a little patient sha. If we build house, won't we eat? Just abide wiv me in surulere awhile. Our time is coming.

@ 1stpet- but you know I know black is beautiful, ScRiBe. Need I point out living examples?

Naija Vixen said...

Great post...! Looks, i find, go a long way ;-) but there must be a common interest/ground that you both share, that you can draw strength from...because once the initial attraction starts to lose its edge, therein trouble lies...and past mistakes appear on a loop...good one!!!

Babawilly said...

Nice post. The inside really has to be beautiful for a harmonious relationship to exist.

Babawilly said...

Nice post. The inside really has to be beautiful for a harmonious relationship to exist.

Everything's Eventual... said...

I have been on your blog now for the better part of an hour...Disturbing...

I can totally relate to what you are saying in this article. Our relationships are definitely a product of our choices, and a lot of us find that we keep making the same choice over and over again. Names and faces differ, but the choices are nonetheless the same. It's ironic because we leave each failed relationship determined that the next one will be different.

I found myself stuck in this cycle, until it struck me one fine day that the one thing all my ex boyfriends had in common was...Me.

I call it my 'moment of clarity'.

Choosing someone based on the superficial is bound to tank as far as ideas go. And even though, I will admit, I judged you a little bit when you confessed to having something of a 'yellow girl' fetish, I quickly caught myself – Who am I to judge? It's always something isn't it? So for you, it's been our fairer sisters, for others of us, there may be totally different, yet equally superficial criteria that continue to hold us captive.

But what is one to do?

Releasing oneself from preferences and attitudes shaped over the course of a lifetime is ofcourse easier blogged about than done. I don't expect that you've been miraculously cured of your yellow girl fetish just because you've found the courage to publicly admit to it. Much in the same way that I, afore-revealed epiphany notwithstanding, will most probably still struggle to avoid falling for a man purely on the basis of his stellar wit, excellent diction and superior command of language, regardless of the fact that none of these qualities assure that he will make me a good husband, or even treat me well as a girlfriend.

We know what to do, but we find ourselves lacking the will or ability to change.

So what is one to do Girl Whisperer? Pray tell…