Ghosts of the hood

Ghosts of the hood

Hello there!

This is my official Happy New Year’s greeting and I’m accompanying it with the results of some serious thoughts and observations.
But before diving into the subject matter of the day:
Dear reader, how are you doing? How are you truly doing in your homely self, that sacred body of yours?
These are questions you owe yourself answers to.


It has been a while and the year is steadily running its course. I hope you are gradually finding your niche and bearings according to your purpose and dreams set out for this year.
It is pertinent to remind you of what a good job you’ve been doing so far and will definitely continue to do.

Today’s topic has been on the forefront of my mind for a while and my decision to finally discuss it was accelerated by certain events and the famous Netflix series – Bridgerton.
While watching Bridgerton, I was able to see beyond the brooding facial features and sharp jawlines of the duke. Instead, I tried hard to make sense of the conversations held throughout the season and one thing that struck me was the issue naivety as it were (an issue I briefly mentioned in my note on adulthood and finales).

Our dearest Daphne Bridgerton, at her finest, unfortunately represents a plethora of us in this hood called adulthood.
At the seams of the first season, it felt like she had a totem of knowledge on the institution called Marriage. From her quick thinking, insights, to the many virtues she possessed, downright to the art of standing rim-rod straight in a choking corset – she seemed like she possessed it all and had it all together.
But one fine afternoon, it struck her in the face that she rather had her hands full with the requirements and standards her world laid down for marriage and not real education.
She realized she was just as clueless as a new born babe newly ripped from its mother’s womb, looking at the world with wide eyes and only then, did she proceed to ask the right questions.

And how lucky was Daphne, to have someone to ask some of the questions on her mind.
Because, do we truly have the luxury to ask other people the questions on our mind?
Well, I don’t really know the answer to that. It seems like everyone is trying to find out answers to whatever puzzle life presents itself as, to them.
It is definitely a riot out here on these streets called Life. So we might not have the luxury to ask the next unsuspecting or busy persons about certain things we are ignorant of.
I’ve concluded that majority of us young adults often find ourselves ignorant of certain facts because of the vital information withdrawn from us in our various homes, institutions and life itself.
But what really baffles me is the fact that, when we find ourselves in positions of naivety and remember people who could have prevented these things; they all claim to have withheld information out of love and the desire to protect.
Well, unfortunately, this happened in Bridgerton too.
Daphne always shone in the finest of clothes, tightest of corsets and the most dazzling sets of jewelries. She was piano-savvy, trained in child care and what not. But the basic information of what marriage truly is or could be, was kept from her.
One of the many rules of information is that it ought to be not only shared but shared timely. Which is exactly why the mindset of withdrawing information for the greater good, misaligns with its original purpose.

But here is the bigger question:
Are we truly withholding these facts for the greater good or to cover our asses? Or rather because we don’t know how to broach the subject topic and how the other party takes the information?
At the end of the day, the underlying issue to consider is if in the long run, we are truly helping or harming the people we claim to love and protect.
Oftentimes, it’s easier to think we are doing the most from wherever we are standing, but unfortunately we usually don’t bother to think further from a distance. We just ignore the maybes.
You know, the funny thing is, the whole thing we’ve been talking about covers a wide spectrum. Let’s look at Olivia and Spencer in the third season of All American.
Apparently, they hooked up in the summer and as a result, are in complicated relationships or situationships with their significant others. These two have a strong chemistry oozing and sizzling between them but they can’t come together to explore that chemistry because they don’t want to tell their partners and hurt them.
It’s funny to me because there’s like a grey line in play there. They’ve already hurt their partners before even hooking up when they encouraged the feelings and attraction. The word “hurt” in itself as an action had already occurred. The only difference is their significant others aren’t aware yet.
And the thing is, at the same time, they are hurting themselves. Because the cost of keeping that secret is so great it’s not only causing them to sidetrack discussions and be unnecessarily evasive; it’s also taking a huge toll on their mental health and costing them their peace and happiness.

Really, Naivety and pain, can be avoided if only timely information is provided. Because like that wise saying points out – there’s nothing new under the sun anymore. So the unconscious need to keep information to ourselves when it could be really important to others and ourselves for that matter, is really unbecoming and unnecessarily repetitive.
I can’t ever understand why we would go through certain challenges, conquer them and believe others have to go through the exact same thing.
The issue isn’t that others won’t face challenges. No! It’s in the fact that we refuse to share our stories so that they’d learn from it, and assume that they have the capabilities to conquer those problems ignorantly just like we did. It’s in assuming that all of that makes them strong. No!
Sharing our experiences won’t reduce from our accolades but rather pave an easier path for someone else. Because what might have taken just a mental toll in order to conquer a situation, might blow up in other people’s faces.
Also no, it doesn’t make those who it blew up in their faces less strong than you are.

Thank God for social media and a sensitization of all sorts in this millennia. Where would we learn anything otherwise, when the experienced folks keep hiding pressing stuff away?
Now, let’s look at the famous “sex talk”.
A lot of folks argue that withholding everything sex related for a while is for the child’s good. Is it really? Because what if that child has already gotten false information and experience on sex before you eventually decide to talk about it?
Now let’s talk about ourselves, we young adults. We claim to want change but still find it odd or awkward to engage in the “sex talk” with our siblings. Sometimes we just avoid the subject entirely because it poses some really “bothersome questions.”
If you can’t engage in fulfilling, explanatory and revealing conversations with your siblings, how would you be able to do the same for your progeny? And we all claim to want change and be better. This also turns the table towards a different direction:
If we can’t hold a candid discussion about “sex” with our younger ones, how would we be able to discuss observations and intricacies of the act in itself with our various partners to reach the level of satisfaction we both seek at the end of the day?
This is a topic for another day but I hope you get the message because for every great action – we usually hope to be better at it. And what better way to achieve that than to talk about it?
Glory! Glory! In Bridgerton, Duke Simeon gave discussion in the bedroom a different light!
He turned the act of discussion in the bedroom from being a taboo into something sexier that could help two partners attain heights they could’ve never dreamed of.
You could contact him for more details or perhaps go watch the series itself.
In as much as I agree that sometimes keeping information usually comes from a good place, we need to understand that the people we’re trying to protect will still have to face the issues we are protecting them from. One way or the other. So the best form of protection we can give, as discussed earlier, is baring it all out. So when their own trials appear, they can handle them better with wisdom, poise and grace.


Challenges are an integrated proportion of life. It’s like a baptism of some sort for every phase we conquer. The instinct to protect is great but there are times we have to trust that the person we are trying to protect has the strength and the courage to handle those situations decently or even beyond what we could have thought of.
Otherwise, we would just keep worsening the situation and creating this vicious cycle of bad energy, vibes and feelings.
I’ve realized that this is actually the case with issues like menstrual periods. Most females can attest to the fact that they weren’t properly educated on periods from the home because of how the African society views issues like sex and menstruation. In most cases it’s usually cases of wham, bam, red stain and then pads are provided.
Then we have a little greasing over the topic in schools and the popular African mantra: Now that you’re menstruating, don’t let a boy touch you.
The need to keep this perfectly normal occurrence shady is why a guy would see a pad in a lady’s hand bag and his first instinct would be to quickly retract his hand like he’s having a seizure or start acting awkward.
This ties back to why ladies feel the need to keep their pads and even faces hidden when shopping in a mall. They basically start acting weird and hiding from male presence when shopping for an absolutely normal and healthy thing.
I mean it should be a normal thing for siblings or partners to gift pads and not see them as the elephant in the room or materials not to be touched.
I believe the same goes for condoms. The whole behavior around sex has complicated matters to the extent that wanting to purchase a necessity for a healthy sex life just like vegetables for a healthy body, makes people uncomfortable. I mean…
If the cashier at the point of pay doesn’t act weird, the person purchasing or the people around take it to be one big deal whereas it’s not.
And unfortunately, this same mindset keeps evolving from generation to generation. If this isn’t some sort of naivety or ignorance, then what is this? We love pretending to be non-sexual yet abortion and unwanted pregnancies rank higher by the year.
Honestly, as much as we claim to love cute and supposedly “naïve” people it just affects too many things in the long run. Yeah, there are some factions out there that claim to love and want “naïve” people – different strokes for different folks I guess.
But honestly, when we get right into it this naivety of a thing, it just complicates a lot of ships. From relationships to friendships because it’s like you’re lacking in some important life minerals and vitamins.
Now let’s stir this conversation to a direction I believe is not too far from the naivety issue.
We all claim that marriage involves two people walking and working to be in sync. But why does it feel like from 1900 something to 2021, certain mentalities and assumptions are still yet to be done away with?
Most men believe that women, generally, have been given this handout concerning marriage, child birth, child care and home affairs. This is such a ridiculous and laughable notion because the so called preparation most females were given were dishwashing 101, nagging 102, sweeping and cooking 301, and a stern warning not to get pregnant before marriage. That about sums it all.
The problem is that apart from the pre-marital pregnancy warning, all domestic courses are vital courses both genders should take however, only the females are given handouts.
To make it worse, character building blocks such as respect, tolerance, compassion, patience, empathy and understanding – the women are the ones to internalise them for the sakes of their husbands and marriage.
Perhaps in the year 3033, society would think to also include it in the core subjects being taught to men.
Let’s remember, it takes two. Therefore we should teach both the woman and man real things and not normal things trivialized as not normal.
In fact, for all the trainings, you’d be shocked at how most females know next to nothing about marriage (just look at Daphne in Bridgerton). The same goes for the males who dangerously barely even undergo any training.

In as much as you’d want to believe a woman knows what she’s doing, I tell you, she’s winging it most of the time. When the flow arrives, during childbirth, pregnancy and all these big stuff. It’s the same story.
If you believe a woman knows what to do, why do you think most mothers go live with their daughters who just put to bed? Why do they stay with the supposed all-knowing, capable wife for weeks to show them the ropes?

Of course, because they’ve not been taught everything, they don’t know everything and it’s freaking hard to raise and care for a child alone!

This brings me to my next point:
How come the domestic responsibilities of caring for an infant/growing child falls on the woman alone? What if she doesn’t have a mother or mother-in-law to help?! Heck, even is she does, child care is the equal responsibility of the mother and father! Not a one-man job!
One would think that with time and age these archaic mindsets and naïve behaviors would have been kept aside, but unfortunately they are still the dynamic in this day and age.
Let me guess, most males might say oh, that’s because she’s the mother and I wouldn’t know what to do. Well, news flash you’re the father, you and her made the child two-gether. So it’s 100% your job as much as it is hers! It’s 100% your responsibility to educate and train yourself in diapers-changing, bottle-feeding, midnight-petting – you name it – as much as it is hers!

Conclusion

Geez. My point in this piece was kinda straightforward until it took various scandalous turns. LOL.
Well, my blood just kept rising and as a result, my ink just kept flowing. But all I’ve tried to say really, is that information could make or mar lives. It’s just dependent on how it’s wielded as a tool to decide the outcome for yourself and other parties involved.

And that, it’d be nice to have less naïve personas in the generations to come. Hopefully we’d be more forthcoming in our tales, experiences and stories with other people in order to truly change the narrative. After all, what good are our experiences if they can’t transcend time and period to change perspectives and the direction of the wind today?
It’s probably safe to say or assume we might have turned out better and be more prepared for life if we had more forthcoming people in world.
But. What do I know?


Till the next time – the wheels of my ink turns towards the direction of deep thoughts. I remain yours truly.

Melody T.M ©’21

 

 

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