Diary of an Oyibo Wife

Diary of an Oyibo Wife [VI]

joy

“My Naija boy” was all bruised.
… that was his worse experience in life and next to that was the taste of Dr. pepper.

He got my parents’ consent and nothing else mattered.
The wedding would hold during the summer.

Nigerian Traditional wedding in Akure and
Christian wedding in Kansas…

… Phase Six

The days that followed were hectic. Not because of the work involved in planning a wedding but because everyone seemed to believe that they had the right to make choices for me. 

I’m “Oyibo” but I definitely know how I want to look on my traditional wedding day. No one can imagine how many traditional wedding pictures I had on my laptop.

The day finally came… 

I had twenty guest from Kansas who thought they would have the opportunity to meet Lions, Elephants or carry a bucket of water on their heads. The shock of the beautiful cities of Lagos and Akure was a pleasant one. The Yoruba culture of the groom and his friends prostrating in front of my parents was the most fascinating of the whole event. We danced the night away as the melody from the talking drums filled the atmosphere.

Five days later, I was in Kansas putting together my “something old, Something new, Something Borrowed, something blue” and a six pence for my shoe”

I walked down the aisle to a song that spoke my mind. The Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli … walking down the aisle wasn’t as joyful as I thought it would be. It suddenly dawned on me that I was going away from my family forever.

I suddenly had so many fears as I saw classmates and family that I hadn’t seen in years. It got so emotional with a little more than a few tears.

The ceremony lasted for about forty-five minutes (45 mins) and this was the high point for my Nigerian family. We walked out of church with an out pouring of rice which stood for prosperity, fertility and good fortune.

The reception was great!!!

Dad picked and surprised me with “I loved her first by Heartland for our Father/ Daughter dance and there was not a dry eye at our reception. I saw my dad cry as he held me close (we actually stopped dancing) he looked me in the eye and told me to call him if I ever wanted to return to Kansas.

My eyes were wet even as I got on-board the plane to Hong Kong for the honeymoon … reality struck.

Honey moon was OK. It was fun actually, except for sex that wasn’t all I excepted it to be. It wasn’t like the movies. Tayo and I fumbled with each other’s bodies and finally “cracked the shell”. The subsequent times weren’t as bad… I’m looking forward to the session that comes with fireworks.

Mrs Omotosho arrived Lagos and life began. I enjoyed furnishing our home with my favorite things. Tayo called our home “Little Kansas” and he absolutely loved it. Anytime we got compliments on how beautiful our home looked, he would say, “Na Oyibo touch”. The first year was filled with A LOT of cultural miscommunications.

Normally we use Persil to wash clothes and on one of those days, we ran out of detergent, Tayo asked that I buy Omo and I did. I bought the detergent called Omo and I learned afterwards that Omo means detergent… “Aunty”– was any older female relation. “Soup “– any sause eaten with garri, fufu, semovita or amala, stew- any sauce eaten with rice, yam, plantain, spaghetti or bread.

We argued and argued but I still loved my naija boy. Home front was all I prayed for it to be but work was hectic. Patients always insisted on seeing the “ Oyibo doctor” and soon enough, I was weary from having to see patients non-stop. I fell sick and assumed that work had beaten me hard but when the sickness persisted, I ran a pregnancy test and it was positive.

Tayo insisted that we inform our parents in order for them to plan to come take care of our baby. It happened that we didn’t have one but two!!! We had twins. After the kids arrived, the issues that pertain to interracial marriages became obvious.

Tayo and I couldn’t agree on their names; I wanted Brandon and Brian but he wanted Daniel and David. I thought it was unfair for him to insist because they were already named Taiwo and Kehinde just because they are twins. Why shouldn’t I have the right to name my children. This was huge for me… I cried for days.

On the day of the naming, our pastor called them Kehinde Brandon Omotosho and Taiwo Brian Omotosho. Tayo had compromised and I was super excited!!! I learned to make a lot of compromises like watching my mother-in-law use a hot towel on their navels ( as a doctor, I know this isn’t right) but I had asked around and everyone said it was normal.

She held them by their wrist and ankles in very awkward positions and I heard my babies cry everyday as they had a bath.

As for me, I had to take very hot and spicy foods “to ensure that my breast milk flowed well”

I was surrounded by everything that was foreign to me, I started feeling as though my boys weren’t mine. My mother in-law always had them… she seemed to have more rights to them than I did.

I started experiencing a high level of anxiety with an inability to eat. I found myself being detached from everyone. Tayo got so worried and insisted that I needed to be with my family…

I booked our flights and I was in Kansas with Brian and Brandon.

 I will never forget the relief I felt once we walked into my parents’ home. I didn’t have to deal with massages, powder and being smothered…

#JustWritingAloud
#AL

… to be continued

*…Blog picture [joy] gotten from http://mymarriageblog.weebly.com/gallery  through google search.

Diary of an Oyibo Wife [V]

couple 4

“Good afternoon sir” I said
“Good afternoon my dear ” (with a stern expression)
“Tayo has just informed me of his intention to marry you”
“ You are a foreigner and I’m sure you don’t understand what you are getting into”
“Marriage in Nigeria is serious business”
“I understand that, sir”
“A Nigerian wife has responsibilities”
“Can you cook?”
(I thought it was a rhetorical question)
“My dear! Can you cook?? (with his voice raised)
I stuttered a “Yes Sir” I actually couldn’t cook but Tayo’s dad scared me at this point.
I wasn’t sure if my inability to cook would end a marriage that hadn’t even started.

I told a couple more lies out of fear …

“ A LOT of Kids?! Why would I want “A lot of Kids??

Wearing “iro” and “buba”? OMG!!! That wasn’t even as scary as being married to the Omotosho family …. He explained that in Nigeria, family didn’t ask for permission before visiting and staying in a hotel wasn’t even an option…

I finished my meeting feeling ruffled as I walked towards Tayo…

… Phase five

I was definitely unnerved by my meeting with “papa Tayo”
(that’s what everyone called him)

I could barely eat my Jollof rice …

Meeting the Omotosho’s didn’t go as smooth as I had envisaged and next was our visit to the Watsons’ (my folks)

We arrived Kansas and I helped Tayo settled into his hotel room while I went home…
The tension in the house could be felt and guess who was there?
My aunt; Daniela. She just couldn’t stop explaining to me why I wasn’t the “type” to marry a black man … blah! Blah !! blah !!!.

I just had to stop her!

“Aunty Daniela!! I’m not trying to decide, I Have DECIDED”
“You will meet him tomorrow and so will everyone else”

I had a quick bath and went off to dinner with Tayo.
It was a hilarious date. One I would never forget.
First of all, Tayo had a silent scream when the pizza arrived.

“The size of this pizza is copious, Dominic why na?”

hahahaha, I laughed really hard as I watched my Nigerian fiancé handle the culture shock with humour… The humour went through the night with Tayo opening his eyes as he watched the waiters serve humongous food portions …
When the dinner was over, the real drama commenced.

Tayo refused to give the waiter 20% tip as it is customary in the restaurants.

“No Dominic I don’t understand,
we already paid for the food.
Why should I give an additional 20% because he served me graciously?”

“Tayo, please just give him! Please”

He did, but he looked like a toddler whose candy had been snatched.
Did I mention that he didn’t stop talking about the “extortion” … hahahahaha

Tomorrow is the “meet the parent” day.
I said a fervent payer before drifting off.

My prayers actually weren’t answered.
Tayo’s description of it was that my family basically ” a cut and pasted a smile” just to make me happy. On the other hand, my nieces and nephews totally loved Tayo. They couldn’t stop touching his hair.
Tayo had the chance to speak with my dad and from a distance,
I could tell that my dad liked him (he had that dimple on his cheek).
I heard them laugh out loud a few times and I was ready to shop for my wedding dress…

I hung out with my brothers and cousins and was asked questions that made me wonder if I was ever that naïve.

“NO! Tayo doesn’t live in a hut”
” NO!  he has never played with a Lion, an Elephant or any other wild animal for that matter”
“We communicate just fine because he speaks perfect English”
“NO! I haven’t seen his BBC and so I can’t tell if what we hear is true!!!”

After everyone was gone, I watched Tayo go to mum to assist with tidying the dishes.
She totally ignored him and I could sense that she didn’t want him around.
This didn’t deter “my Naija boy”. He finished and cleaned the yard.
Mum watched him from the kitchen…

Tayo was a bit worried about mum’s disposition and the next day, he wrote a letter and asked that I deliver it to my mum. I did and my mum read it in my presence…

She had tears in her eyes…
My Tayo had charmed her with his wit.

The most striking thing for mum is that he totally understood her sentiments…
He even promised to “sign a Prenup” agreeing to “hold on to his Nigerian passport forever”

Mum immediately took to Tayo but the disdain from people as they passed by us got me really sad. Not as sad as being called by the police. Tayo had been abused by Jayhawk and Muzzou fans that had been drinking …
He went into a part of town that he shouldn’t have strayed into.

“My Naija boy” was all bruised.
… that was his worse experience in life and next to that was the taste of Dr. pepper.

He got my parents’ consent and nothing else mattered.
The wedding would hold during the summer.

Nigerian Traditional wedding in Akure and
Christian wedding in Kansas…

#JustWritingAloud
#AL

… to be continued

 

*…Blog picture [couple 4] gotten from https://thereporterandthegirl.com/2014/11/14/first-date-phone-etiquette/ through google search.

 

Diary of an Oyibo Wife [IV]

couple 4.jpg

… Tayo and I sat down in his car and talked about our miserable time apart. Our failed relationships and how we would be Mr. and Mrs pretty soon.

We talked about our dreams, hopes, aspirations, desires and we practically planned our wedding within the hour…

Orange and green are our colours

… Phase four

I advised Tayo to call my dad and ask for his permission to ask me to be his wife.
(although he had asked already)

The next morning, I went to Tayo’s place before he left for work.
I had an appointment with my dean; Prof. Adam Olabisi (My Nigerian Father).
Tayo called my dad and I watched him tremble.

“ Hello, Please am I speaking with Mr. Watson?”

“ Good morning Sir”
“ My name is Tayo”
“ Please I love Dominic”
“ Please I really really love Dominic”
“ Please sir I want to be your son-in-law”
“I mean, I want Dominic to be my wife”
“ What I’m trying to say is that I want to ask Dominic to be my wife. I want to marry Dominic, Sir. I want to spend the rest of my life with your daughter, sir.”

(And Tayo was silent for about 20 mins)

He went from a standing position to a sitting position and then he had his elbow on his knee with his forehead in his palm. He finally said
“Ok sir!” , “Ok sir!” and another “Ok Sir !” before saying good bye.

He raised his head and his eyes were red and wet …

I tried to find out what dad had said but Tayo was late for work and so was I for my appointment with prof.

Throughout the day, I just couldn’t stop imagining what dad had said to Tayo. I wanted to call but I was busy trying to get help to secure a place for my house job …

That evening , Tayo had the chance to tell me what dad had said.

The summary
– NO FATHER GIVES HIS CONSENT FOR HIS BABY TO BE TAKEN, OVER THE PHONE (Putting it nicely)

We had to tackle Tayo’s side next. Early Saturday morning,
We drove to Akure to see Tayo’s parents. I had met them a couple of times but Tayo wouldn’t introduce me to them as his girlfriend.
Of course! everyone knew “ Oyibo”

Tayo’s mum was the nicest host ever! She was just all over me.
Tayo hinted her of his intention to marry me and she immediately started dancing and saying stuff in Yoruba (I knew she was praying and thanking God as I kept hearing
“ O seun Oluwa”)

She asked me to kneel down as she prayed for me.
I had goose bumps all over me.
She pecked me on the cheek and informed me of my  “new” name; Ebun

Tayo came to get me. His dad wanted to speak with me alone.
(Tayo had informed me that Hi! wasn’t an acceptable greeting and
I had to refer to his dad as sir and his mum as ma)

“Good afternoon sir” I said
“Good afternoon my dear ” (with a stern expression)
“Tayo has just informed me of his intention to marry you”
“ You are a foreigner and I’m sure you don’t understand what you are getting into”
“Marriage in Nigeria is serious business”
“I understand that, sir”
“A Nigerian wife has responsibilities”
“Can you cook?”
(I thought it was a rhetorical question)
“My dear! Can you cook?? (with his voice raised)
I stuttered a “Yes Sir” I actually couldn’t cook but Tayo’s dad scared me at this point.
I wasn’t sure if my inability to cook would end a marriage that hadn’t even started.

I told a couple more lies out of fear …

“ A LOT of Kids?! Why would I want “A lot of Kids??

Wearing “iro” and “buba”? OMG!!! That wasn’t even as scary as being married to the Omotosho family …. He explained that in Nigeria, family didn’t ask for permission before visiting and staying in a hotel wasn’t even an option…

I finished my meeting feeling ruffled as I walked towards Tayo…

#JustWritingAloud
#AL

… to be continued 

*…Blog picture [couple 4] gotten from https://disqus.com/home/channel/lovestinks/discussion/channel-lovestinks/being_together_why_do_married_women_have_more_time_for_dating_than_single_ones/ through google search.

 

Diary of an Oyibo Wife [III]

untitled

I sent Tayo messages reminding him of what we shared.
I begged him not to give up on ‘us’.
I loved him and couldn’t live knowing that he was with someone else …
NO reply…

On one of those nights when I cried myself to sleep,
my mum walked into my room and asked me what I wanted.

“I want Tayo” I told her.

… Phase Three

“ Dominic, Nigerians cannot be trusted” she said
“ They are known to take advantage of young American girls like you”
“Dominic, I hear that they are mean, cruel and controlling”
“ He won’t allow you any freedom…”
“ All he wants is a green card!”

At that point , I couldn’t take it anymore, I screamed and screamed!
“ mum you don’t even know him!”

I had met thousands of American men but none as decent as Tayo.
“ Mum, these are all cautionary “ Old wives tales”

She told me all the reasons why Owen was a better deal for me…
The more she tried to convince me, the more I knew that Tayo was the most ideal man for me.

We argued without reaching a consensus and I went in search of my dad.
I needed someone who could at least understand that Nigerians aren’t all that we hear that they are. He met my dean and he met Tayo too.

He saw the profound connection between Tayo and I and had taught me not to judge people by the color of their skin. After all, he also broke the status quo…

I knew that my dad would totally understand that this meant a lot to me. Its been eight months since I left Nigeria and nothing had changed about how I felt about Tayo.

Dad asked me to follow my heart…

I did. I sent Tayo a message on whatsApp. I sent a mail and a text message.

“ Tayo I’m coming back for us.
I love you and want to be your wife,
Please ask me again”

Still No reply … I was going to take my chance…

I arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos unsure of my fate.

I walked out of the arrival lounge and he was there. Tayo was standing out there waiting to receive me. I ran to him like a little girl and he held me really close and whispered “ I love you”

I was going to kiss him but I remembered my Nigerian boyfriend.
Tayo doesn’t “condone”  public display of emotions …
“ Nigerian boy!” I said. Happier than I have been in eight months.

The ride home was faster than it usually was . I wished that it was longer… my Nigerian family rushed out and I was squashed by their bear hugs. We all walked into the sitting room and everyone was there!

We had a great time with a lot of Jollof rice and my favorite drink; Zobo. I had never felt so loved.

At least not until Tayo got on his knees and asked me to be his wife.

I was definitely praying for the question to be asked but didn’t think it would happen this soon.

Tayo and I sat down in his car and talked about our miserable time apart. Our failed relationships and how we would be Mr. and Mrs pretty soon.

We talked about our dreams, hopes, aspirations, desires and we practically planned our wedding within the hour…

Orange and green are our colours

#JustWritingAloud
#AL


… To be continued 

 

*…Blog picture [interacial-newlyweds] gotten from http://lifechills.com/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi through google search.

 

Diary of an Oyibo Wife [II]

wb

I was welcomed to The Lagos State University College of Medicine.
The dean offered to help me settle in. All I had to do was ask.
I was elated and thanked him before asking him what “ Oyibo” meant.
He laughed too but amidst the laughter, he told me it meant “ White person”
I was a bit flustered but I managed to wear a smile.

I got into the lecture hall and everyone stared at me… (Oyibo on their minds, I guess)
I found a seat and had the most tiring lecture of my life …
Year One seemed like eternity.
I felt like giving up…
I missed home…

…Phase two

The only thing that got me going was friendship with Tayo and Seun. We had become such good friends. Everyone referred to us as the three musketeers…

To me, Tayo and Seun were my tutors. They made me realize how little I knew about Africa.  We assumed that intelligence resided with Europeans and Americans but we were so wrong. These men could grasp lessons faster than I could hear them …

The years ran by so quickly after the first year and I was finally ready for graduation. Everybody shouted, “Oyibo! Oyibo!!, Oyibo!!!” as I walked up to collect my certificate. My dad was so proud of me. I was proud of me too.  Dr. Dominic Watson…

That night, I stayed over at dad’s hotel room and we discussed how our impressions about Nigeria was so different from the reality on ground. I told dad about my many experiences… I told him about Tayo.

I had met the perfect man for me and I had decided to stay.

My dad couldn’t believe it. I watched him picked up his phone to call mum and those few minutes were the hardest in my journey with Tayo.

I heard my mum cry and beg me not to fall into the hands of a con-man who only interested in getting a green card. Her words broke my heart. She didn’t even know him! I hadn’t seen my mum in a while and the last thing I wanted was to make her sad. I agreed to go back home…

I arrived Kansas and everyone was waiting at the airport. I didn’t realize how much I had missed my friends and family. The days that followed were not as exciting as I had hoped they would be. I missed Tayo and I sent messages to let him know but I didn’t get any response … days turned to weeks and then months and still no response from my best friend.

I was miserable …

To complicate things further, I got a mail from Tayo telling me to move on with my life. He had found a Nigerian lady who he’d spend the rest of his life with. He stated that he didn’t want to deal with negative stereotypes. I was totally heart-broken. I called and sent messages but still no response…I decided to move on.

I started going out with friends and then I met Owen. He was a God fearing, tall, handsome pilot. My parents loved him and advised that we got married as soon as possible. I liked him a lot too but i didn’t love him.

He didn’t mimic my American accent like Tayo did. He didn’t tickle my palm when we held hands. I never received those witty text messages from Owen. My nights were longer because Owen didn’t keep me awake chatting about nothing…Owen wasn’t one to argue with me…I missed the arguments that made me so mad that I’d vouch not to indulge in another. I missed Tayo’s home made jollof rice and chicken. I missed Tayo soooooo much!!

I sent Tayo messages reminding him of what we shared. I begged him not to give up on ‘us’. I loved him and couldn’t live knowing that he was with someone else … NO reply…

On one of those nights when I cried myself to sleep, my mum walked into my room and asked me what I wanted.

“I want Tayo” I told her.

 

#JustWritingAloud
#AL

… to be continued. 

*…Blog picture [wb] gotten from https://whitewomenblackmendating24.wordpress.com/tag/white-women-black-men-dating/ through google search.

Diary of an Oyibo Wife [I]

CollegeGrad.jpg

Daddy finally agreed to my proposal …

I was picked up by two ladies and a young man,
they drove me to my new home and asked a million questions.
Although I didn’t feel like chatting, I had to be courteous …
I had flown for 8 hours and 58 minutes. I was exhausted.

My host had a lovely home. … nothing like I had planned for.
Sunday morning and I’m ready for church but when I step out of my room, they all wanted to know where I was off to. I was a bit baffled. “… isn’t today Sunday?” I asked.
They all said “Yes” in a chorus … lol
I guess they figured it out and ran off to the bathroom.

We drove the streets of Lagos and I was in shock. I saw modern forms of architecture and infrastructure. Not one mud house !

Ok, my greatest shock was the arena that would be my church for the next six years. It was humongous!!! Why in the world did I think we would be worshipping in an open space with African drums. My church in Kansas didn’t even come close in architecture or infrastructure. The sermon didn’t disappoint either

I felt like everyone had their eyes on me or maybe not…

My first Sunday in Africa was a delight. I particularly loved the tomato rice (Jollof) and chicken.

Monday morning and I’m almost running to my faculty.
One word keeps coming up; “ Oyibo” (Maybe it means good morning).
Everybody seems to speak English so why is this different (African Language, I guess).
I decided to ask the dean’s secretary but everyone in her office laughed hysterically.
I’m unnerved but I laugh also. The more I laughed, the more they laughed.

The dean invited me in before they could comport themselves to translate the strange word.

I was welcomed to The Lagos State University College of Medicine.
The dean offered to help me settle in. All I had to do was ask.
I was elated and thanked him before asking him what “ Oyibo” meant.
He laughed too but amidst the laughter, he told me it meant “ White person”
I was a bit flustered but I managed to wear a smile.

I got into the lecture hall and everyone stared at me… (Oyibo on their minds, I guess)
I found a seat and had the most tiring lecture of my life …
Year One seemed like eternity.
I felt like giving up…
I missed home…

#JustWritingAloud
#AL

 

 

*…Blog picture [CollegeGrad] gotten from http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/matriculate through google search.

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