Month: June 2014

Guest Post: Opportunity Cost in Everything: You’re My Compromise.

Today we have a guest post from someone who has read this blog, been featured many times and identifies closely with our experiences here in Ghana. Some of you may have seen this post last week because I got trigger happy and sent it accidentally published the article. Some of you even made comments. So here we are publishing it again, but this time in the appropriate RR fashion complete with pictures and a fabulous introduction to the insight you will receive from this writing. I am especially intrigued by the way she has clearly flipped all of my dreams upside down by insisting that my ideas of a ‘perfect mate’ are actually the worst of them all. She essentially asks, who would we choose if our choosing were only about making us happy on the inside, and not, say… bringing two families together and providing a financially stable future. I guess all we can ever do is wonder. I hope you enjoy the post, and as always, please leave your comments below so that everyone can see and join the conversation!


 

Guest Post from our Mystery Woman

Guest Post from our Mystery Woman

We all know the old adage borrowed from economics: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Every decision we make has an opportunity cost, meaning there is value on the decision that was forgone. To put it in simpler terms, assuming the best choice has been made, there is a “cost” incurred by not enjoying the benefit that would be had by taking the second best choice available.  So what if I said that actually, the tall, dark, handsome, six figure guy with the high-powered job and jet set life, was actually not at all the ideal? What if marrying him actually comes at a cost?

Let’s backtrack.

Allow me to introduce myself, I am a close friend of both Afua and Amma, and I have been featured in a number of their stories on this blog (but, wait did I just out my self? *shrugs * ). Although I was born in Ghana, my life history identifies me as a * returnee,* one of those know it all Ghanaians with UK and US degrees who just cant seem to shut up. Fortunately, and unfortunately that’s me – with an Ivy League degree to make matters worse. I am sure it comes as no surprise to anyone, that relationships, love, and marriage are topics that I discuss amongst friends almost daily, after all two of my closest friends do run this blog.  These conversations are always interesting, and usually end up with me “quitting” and declaring a desire to move to the moon, since this planet country cannot seem to accommodate me or my preferences for a mate. But I usually return to my senses following the melodrama, and something profound (I’d like to think) manages to find its way out of my mouth.

When-someone-asksSince my return to Ghana I too have had to answer the questions as to why I am not dating.  I usually lash out  reply with some commentary about how single is a “choice” and blah blah, and I too have been asked if perhaps my standards are too high? The latter of these two questions perplexes me for several reasons:

          1. Because you don’t know me or anything about me, except that I am educated and lived abroad most of my life and so decide to assign to me  thoughts based on some appraisal  you made up on your own , oh because “girls like me” are well…all the same: demanding , not submissive or “too know”  and just talkative.
          2. Because your definition of “high” MUST be my definition  as well

Basically, I am a bit sick of the stereotype of being uncompromising and difficult to please just because of certain requirements

The movie titanic is proof that when death is eminent, rich, too known nice guys lose in the end lol!

The movie titanic is proof that when death is eminent, rich, too known nice guys lose in the end lol!

people typically assume I place on men.  I actually believe in many criteria for choosing a mate, I also believe that it depends on the person. But I digress; let’s get back to this “high” standard issue. It seems the Ivy educated, fortune 500 company job having, 3 piece suit wearing type of brother is assumed to be the only standard we speak of when the topic of finding a mate comes up. What if we reconsidered and actually considered this type of brother as not THE standard, but as a compromise. Believe it or not, there are more important things than education, money and influence (gasp), and what if the opportunity cost of having a boardroom brother is you and your children’s happiness. Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way intimating that every Ivy league board room brother is so into his work that he neglects his family. I am simply suggesting that perhaps boardroom brother, if you are reading this, you might actually be the compromise and not THE STANDARD.

Sometime ago, a friend of mine told me a hilarious sad story about a guy whose wife had left him quite heartlessly. It turns out she never let go of her ex, but she married her husband because quite frankly he was balling. I am not promoting infidelity, but what if she hadn’t compromised to marry a man whom she felt was equally matched in credentials? Because from what I hear, she wept liheartlesske a baby at her wedding, and those weren’t tears of joy ya’ll. She wept because she was denying herself of the benefits of the next best choice. To say the least, she compromised…. She compromised BIG time.

As much as what I am about to say will make me cringe, it must be said: my type may also not be the ultimate.  Sorry Ivy women, but when brothers who we deem as better matched with us go off and marry a “basic” chick perhaps he is not compromising even though that’s what we believe. Maybe, having a great job, and a great education is not the ultimate. Like you haven’t arrived just because your name is followed by numerous consonants.  This idea that a couple can only be designated the title of “power” couple if both of them have crazy “qualifications” to boot is quite artificial not to mention cursory . “Our type” likes to believe that we are at the top of the dating food chain, or at least should be. But if that’s the case why are we still single? (not that I am complaining because the single life is the #bomb #lovingit #gimmecoupleyears). And honestly, I blame my parents for putting that inflated view of myself into my head (actually I blame the whole system for making me feel entitled and myself for believing it of course).

Look, I am no gold digger but... le sigh.

Look, I am no gold digger but… le sigh.

Deep down inside, I want to be with a free spirited Vegan artist who would happily debate the Western aid agenda’s influence on the African woman’s idea of reproductive health, who does not conform to the ideals of modern society. But since I have a certain lifestyle and certain expensive habits, I am willing to forego a little freedom and possibly a version happiness to travel and live comfortably.  I can already hear the comments on being a “gold- digger” and the rest coming my way. But honestly, it is not about digging for gold, it is about security. It is about being comforted to know that finances or the drive that produces healthy finances is not a worry. Everybody thinks it, and I say it. At the end of the day, it is about opportunity cost, you weigh the options, and decide which consequences (good and bad) you are willing to forego and/ or are willing to accept (and that decision is entirely up to you). So however you turn it, “high standards” and all that other stuff we go on and on about is really a compromise we make according to what we deem important. For the fortune 500 brother out there, who may think he’s God’s gift to womanhood owing to his credentials and job, chew on this a bit, because even though society likes to make you feel like you are what every man should aspire to be and every woman should aspire to be with, you may very well be somebody’s compromise.

Signing off…

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Everything I Asked For, Nothing I Wanted

photo (1)So…

I have been out on a couple of dates of late.

And I mean actual dates, as in food and conversation… Not whatever contrived version of dating people have in their minds.

And you know what?

 

Dating is very much like online shopping.

In fact, it is exactly like online shopping.

Imagine this:

You have been in desperate need of the perfect-est LBD (Little Black Dress for the less privy). You have been scouring the internets trying to find something that can be upgraded with a great statement piece but is generally versatile and fits your body like a glove. You are going to show off, obviously, and this dress needs to make every man, woman and boy jealous of your everything. I mean, there is a general return policy if it doesn’t work out, but you want something that will be more or less a life time commitment. Something classic, and you are really willing to splurge to make sure you get exactly what you want.

How I feel when I find the perfect dress!

How I feel when I find the perfect dress!

Then—- BOOM!

You find the most adorable knee length, backless number that looks like it will be the best purchase of your life. You read all the reviews (because you are a pro at online shopping and you know never to just judge a dress by its picture). For the most part, everyone agrees the dress is cut small so you have to buy one size above what you would normally buy. Otherwise, most past users love the dress and have even recommended great ways to jazz it up with jewelry and shoes.

You. Are. Elated.

After searching for what feels like centuries, you have finally found the perfect dress.

And then it arrives, and you realize…

This is everything I asked for and NOTHING I wanted.

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Now back to reality. I am sure you are already seeing all of the ways in which this analogy fits perfectly well into the discussion on dating. You spend what feels like forever, looking everywhere (or rather placing yourself in the right settings to be… looked for, lol!)… you have followed all the advice that has been given. And when you finally meet the guy who loves Jesus, is about 6 foot 4 in., has at least 2 degrees, makes at least double what you have earned in your lifetime, is kind and funny— even gets a hip hop reference from time to time … and happens to be a mean chef, you realize, this actually doesn’t fit. This is everything I put on my well-crafted list and yet… I am so bored. I mean… is it me?

So here are the three ways in which dating can be a bit like online shopping— gone wrong.

1. Fit

The number one reason for returning clothing purchased online is fit (I think… I made up this statistic, but I said it with authority,

True. Say. Had to learn the hard way.

True. Say. Had to learn the hard way.

so you probably believed it. bruhahahaa). Same with dating. I met this guy, he was all the things that I thought were important in building a strong relationship. Educated. Financially Stable-ish (I mean we are twenty somethings… how stable is stable reallly at this age, unless I am going for children of oil money— which I am wildly unopposed to… but I digress). Interested in Jesus (I mean, not exactly on the deacon board but willing to come to all four of my weekly church services— that’s basically love, right?). Worldly (in the… I have travelled and read books and listen to the news sort of way— not, like… secular, hedonist psycho sort of way, lol!). Understood my hashtagging and hip hop references.  Down to earth.

I was attracted to him and we could laugh, though not the kind of best friend- belly laughter… but fun nonetheless. And yet.

He didn’t fit.

All the ways in which I thought this could probably be a great relationship were suddenly turned upside down. I mean, he was really nice and polite. And yet I fear… I was bored. Hmpf.

So here I was, having spent my time and now I was going to have to return the dress— I mean, dead the situation. I think it was mutually agreeable (shut up Afua.) No feelings were hurt (shuttup Afua.) But like… how sad is that? Plus now I am thinking, maybe I don’t actually know what I want at all… which is horrifying really, don’t you think?

2. Misrepresentation

The thing is, when the dresses are on the websites and on these mannequins and the form and body is just right… and everything falls so perfectly, it makes you feel like you will look exactly the same way. And I mean, you think, ‘I am going to lose like 5 pounds next week anyway, so then all of my back fat will vanish and this backless number will look like something out of a Vogue magazine.’ I’ll baaasically look like Lupita, but lighter… and longer hair… and wider… but yeah, basically exactly the same.

Then you try it on and whatIthoughtyou are like, how could they have misrepresented the dress that way?! Why don’t they ever have ‘real’ models who are ‘real’ sizes like the rest of us on planet Earth?!

Maybe I am a little bitter. whatever.

But yeah, with dating… time reveals all manner of things. And you realize that what was glittering about a person is actually just the glass on his watch and not his actual personality. Social media does that though… people seem so much smarter and wiser and knowledgeable on their facebook profiles. It’s crazy how reality can sort of shatter everything about a person. Nothing like spending 45 minutes over a meal with someone and realizing you have spent the entire time thinking about what you will wear to work the next day (you know you gotta turn up for traditional friday’s!…)

Plus… maybe what looked right on another girl’s arm or in a Hollywood romance, isn’t actually what’s right for you. I guess you don’t know until you know… but Sanaa Lathan seemed to have it all in Love and Basketball… that’s all anyone really wants ever right? Hmpf…

3. Lowered Expectations

So now… all you want to do is run to your closet… with your old dresses and just find something you know is tried and true and

Start to hate all the advice about going back.. suddenly the ex seems like McDreamy!

Start to hate all the advice about going back.. suddenly the ex seems like McDreamy!

may have a few kinks but is generally gonna work out for the purpose for which you intended. And here… we are talking about exes.

Nothing like meeting someone new and playing the compare and contrast game. “Okay, he does this better than Elikem… but omg, Elikem definitely got this right”. But there’s an Akan proverb that says (essentially), “There’s no need to go deeper into water once you realize it’s coming up to eye level. You should just go back and stand where you are comfortable and where you have been already.”— ok, that was a lot of imagery, but … it’s true though… the devil you know is better than the angel that doesn’t fit.

I know I am not alone in this realization. There is nothing worse than wanting something really badly, and then getting it and being disappointed. I used to joke that, if I knew I liked strawberry ice cream and it tasted like heaven, there was really no point in sampling all the other flavors like strawberry choco champagne with macademia nuts and sprinkles— who needs all that in their icecream anyway? Monsters! I have always been of the mind that ‘dating’ isn’t about meeting people so you can figure out what you want, but rather making really good friends and deciding whether any one of them are particularly useful for the type of long term affair that marriage requires. But then… this experience, and the comparison to online shopping, makes it quite apparent that if you are not out there experimenting… you may actually jump into something that makes you look fat and lopsided with a second belly button…

Tell me, have any of you found in your experiences that you’ve finally met someone who seems to check all the proverbial boxes, but somehow doesn’t excite you in anyway? Did you have a quarter life, medium term crisis and wonder whether you had spent your whole life chasing the wrong things  moment of reflection? Do tell! (and by do tell, don’t like whatsapp us or send us messages but share in the comments so everyone can see ya’ll.. #sharingiscaring)

Change is a Comin’: Our 1yr Anniversary!

Dear RR Family,

 

ITS OUR BLOGIVERSARY!!

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Last week we celebrated one full year of funny, open and honest posts on love and relationships.

This has been a really exciting journey. There were some strange moments… like when guys would ask whether they would be featured in a post (while on a date) and then there were the hilarious ones, like when y’all got super engrossed in a post and went HAM on the facebook comments. Even though I don’t get super excited about anniversaries and things of the like (in spite of my love for love), Afua was adamant about a celebration— and I am glad she insisted. Nothing like a whole 365 days passing to really make you reflect on the ups and downs. Especially those moments writing posts and wondering… wait, am I saying too much? I wonder who is going to be offended or scared off by this? I wonder who is going to insult us for this? Or dismiss us…

I wonder if my ex soul mate is reading this… and shaking his head.

<<shrugs>>

To commemorate this occasion, we are presenting the five most read posts of the year…

In the blogosphere… you vote with your mouse, and clicks tell everything… what are those lyrics again? “women lie, men lie, numbers don’t lie” (except in economics or statistics or general research when they are being manufactured to fit a specific narrative… or you know, Wall Street.— sorry nerd moment)

Buuuuuut before we get to that, we have a very special announcement!

The time has come where we shed our old skins and put on something… more… profesh!

We are working on a number of new things for the site and the first thing we have done is…

CHANGE THE URL!

For all of you who’ve been a bit confused about the Love.African! vs. Rambling Roommates title and web address… fear no more.

All of the posts can be found at www.ramblingroommates.com

Woot!

Woot Woot!

<<doooooing a happy dance across your screen and moonwalking right back across, while afua stares in utter confusion>>

Ok, now on to the FIVE MOST READ POSTS (in descending order)

unnamed5. The Ultimate Dating Advice in Accra: Seek Ye First…

This hilarious post written by Afua, talks a little bit about how to avoid meeting guys who have already shown their general uselessness in the dating scene. I remember so many side conversations coming out of this post because people were either a) really entertained or b) really worried for Afua’s dating life. In the post, we got to meet some caricatures in the form of Kofi, Kwame and Kwesi who were guys who had been around the scene… and by around… I mean, around. This is why one must seek first abi… tis better to get wise counsel than to embark on an ignorant journey (I think this is in the Bible… or something 0.O). I also remember this post helped to explain some of the differences between ‘Western’ dating and ‘Ghanaian’ dating, which was pretty clutch given the fact that this is a dating blog and yet dating in Ghana means sleeping with… strange. In my response, I was able to talk about one male readers response to Afua’s experience. Eye opening… (y’all should check it out if you haven’t).

 

image (2)4. Go Check Your Wife, Now!

Everyone has received that death threatening text message at the crack of dawn from your ex’s current beau who has somehow realized that their lover… had a past… that actually included… other women… Right?

Oh…?

No?

Maybe not…?

Well… some of us have. More specifically, this post is a scathing  response to receiving that said text message. Nothing gets under my skin like misappropriated emotion and unjust– nay, undue hardship and drama. There was a little controversy over this post because of the reference to the girl as ‘basic’. Whole entire conversations were had across the internet space about whether or not it was fair for us to characterize her as such, and whether we were being classist— people… people…PEOPLE! We are missing the whole ENTIRE point of this: Don’t. Threaten. My. Life.

But then there was the other point.. of why afua’s ex felt it necessary to maintain any type of relationship with her when he had clearly moved on and married. Definitely check out the post and read my response where I question whether or not Afua was in the wrong for responding to and maintaining any sort of communication at all with her ex when they both had clearly moved on.

brunch3. Ten Places for A Date

This post was TOO much fun to write. Especially because it’s always great reliving eating experiences. We have it in our plans to do another one… for food… or maybe get-aways… there is just SO much exploring to do in Accra– and Ghana (although this Cedi depreciation won’t let me be great, smh!). Maybe we will do a list on great places to go with your ever devaluing cedis… nothing like a little recession to re-engineer eating priorities… Kenkey and fish, anyone?

At any rate, there were a good variety of choices from sushi to Spanish to traditional food. A number of people noted the list wasn’t exhaustive… and that’s what happens when you limit yourself to only 10, shesshh. But shiver not… keep your eyes on this space, for more shall flow from henceforth.

278632. Plight of the Returnee Woman

Hmmmmm…

This one was a very heart wrenching piece because, for one, it was released following the death of Komla Dumor… who we had been recently engaging with on the twitters. Someone we believed might provide some really great commentary to add to our blog. Unfortunately, his only feature was in a tribute but we are so happy to be spawns of his legacy. To be part of the crop of content coming out of Africa that shows the dynamic and multifaceted nature of the continent and the many countries, ethnicities and experiences therein. In carrying on the spirit, Afua wrote an excellent piece about her anxieties celebrating her almost-in-my-thirties (but not really *side-eye*) birthday.

Let me just say… homegirl was feeling some type of waaaaay. Some might say bitter… others might say she was keeping it real. For it to have been the second most read post of the year, clearly it resonated with a number of people in various ways. When I read it… it rung of entitlement, which I had to address in my response.

In either case, I know we have all felt that way. Where we go on facebook and people are loving up on someone or you go to an instagram that’s actually a shared account by a couple (yes… I have seen this -_-) and you think… as much of a hater as I am being right now, I so want this… why don’t I have this!? WHY! WHYYYYYYYY!??!?!

Ahem.

Yes.

So yeah… it was a ‘keeping it real moment’ that I think we all have felt at one point or another… still waiting to post my own nauseating pictures though… God? You hear that? Hmmk…

And last, but certainLLLLYY not LEAST…

1. He Was Never Gonna Wife You, Afua: Six Ways to Know Before You Know

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We’re going to take a mental pause for this post.

 

(pause).

 

Ok, and we’re back. Woooo, afua this post though. Talk about baring your soul, girl. And y’all must have felt the exact same way I did, because not only was this post the highest viewed since the beginning of RR, it was the highest single day viewed post in the history of this blog (that includes way back when it was love.african!). Sound the applause!

I think for me, one thing I have learned over the last year… in my journey with myself and my God, is to trust my intuition. Whether you acknowledge what it is or the source of it, one thing is true… you are rarely wrong about those inclinations. If something doesn’t feel right… nine times out of ten, there’s probably something wrong. And even if whatever it is isn’t deal breaker wrong, its definitely worth not ignoring… and of equal importance, if you believe your friends to be observant, useful individuals and they have told you a bajillion times that this guy is useless then you should probably listen the bajillion and oneth time  take heed from trusted friends.

In my own similar situation, I was always of the mind that they didn’t see the person that I saw

Or they didn’t understand the relationship we had...

Or they weren’t there for the day-to-day, in-and-out, minute-by-minute moments and that’s why they were trippin’.

Do you see how I sounded like a woman in a battered relationship though? I mean… if the guy does not have ONE cheerleader in your camp, I mean… well… come on! My favorite lesson for this one is about the fight. If a guy wants you… he’ll fight for you, no two ways about it. And even if for a minute there may be some doubts, inevitably there comes a time where people have to make a balls to the wall decision about going H.A.M for you or going home… and if he’s not going HAM— then you need to go home.

Thanks Afua.

Words to live by, lol!

– – –

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So readers… we want to give you all a big big THANK YOU! for reading, following, subscribing, posting on social media, commenting and just generally being supportive of the journey. While our writing is largely about telling our story, we are so happy that many of you see yourselves in the events that unfold, and we are grateful for your continued support.

Please do follow us on the twitters… and subscribe to the blog (hint: the button’s on the side at the top)…

Tell us which of the posts was your favorite and why? We want to hear from you….! And because we want all readers to get kicks from your comments, please comment ON the blog and not our facebook walls, if possible (don’t be shy now!). LURV Y’all!

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