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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: My Bedroom – The Holy of Holies



Minutes roll into hours; hours roll into days; days roll into weeks…  Where did the time go already? We’re halfway through September! It’s great to be alive and this is especially so when you have a purpose. The general idea is that there are two essential facts to life. You’re born and you’re definitely going to die, so it’s what you do in between point A and point B that really matters at the end. You have to make sure those middle years count for something because everything else pales in comparison.

I woke up feeling very philosophical this morning. As I went through my mental Rolodex and checked off the list of things to do today I realized that save for a couple of errands I have a very chilled day ahead. In my mind, that’s automatically “Thank God, I don’t have to iron anything to wear.” I mean, ironing has to be the worst household chore ever invented for me. Coming closely at its heels is having to make my bed.

Subconsciously, I’m thinking ‘why do I have to lay it religiously when I’ll only plop back on it immediately after?‘ So I do the basic shaking off of foreign bodies, fold my clothes and just cover the bed with the duvet. All is well in the world. On weekends, the duvet doesn’t even get that nice arrangement. Because I’m sitting upright in bed with my laptop, books strewn all over and very little room for anything else.

Please don’t judge me. The way I see it, my room is my private space. That place where I can be me without airs and pretenses. It is the inner sanctum. The holiest of holies. The place where bras can lie around and unironed laundry can live without being judged. It is home to my coffee mug from yesterday morning and the place where my junk from secondary school (which I just can’t let go for sentimental reasons) stays.

So, I could totally relate to my friend Dara when she called last week to rant. Apparently, when she traveled her brother-in-law came to spend the weekend at their house and he had gone on an iPad photo shoot spree in HER ROOM! She was livid and gave her husband a piece of her mind. She wanted to know if she had over reacted because she said she isn’t normally that prickly about her room. “After all when you come here we check out clothes in my room. But that’s you and I invited you in.” My response to her was how do you know Jide didn’t invite him to come there too?” She went on to say that she just felt it was so much of an intrusion. Her underwear was all over the place and she didn’t appreciate the fact that it was just exposed to someone she didn’t invite.

When I lived in Unilag Newest Hall 2, the rooms were demarcated into corners and so every every bed had this bizarre looking fabric draping. Girls would get almost violent if someone uninvited was making herself comfortable in her “corner”. So I guess there’s something to be said for the sanctity of one’s bedroom. Some people, however, don’t have any problems with it. If you live in a studio apartment and all a person has to do is stretch their neck and they’re seeing your bed then I guess there are no rules there.

Anyway, I shall leave you at this point. Have a great, meaningful week ahead. Oh, and don’t forget to share your Holy of Holies stories with me. Do you have any hang ups about people coming into your room? Do you really not not care either way?

Peace, love & cupcakes!

Photo Credit:

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. Let it flow...

    September 16, 2013 at 9:22 am

    … And the point of this article is?

    • Jiddah

      September 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      My friend, get a life!

    • laide

      September 18, 2013 at 9:32 am

      lool..for the 1st time since i started reading atoke’s articles..i also had to ask that

    • babygirl

      September 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      pls sour grapes like you should take several seats……this is a blog and they can talk about anything…you dont choose the topic of discussion, so if a topic doesn’t agree with you or you have nothing to say then stfu…..its not our fault if ur brain cant comprehend it……

  2. Vanessa

    September 16, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I am very meticulous and tidy. If you want to come to my room(Indian temple, according to my sister), no problem. Make sure you don’t scatter anything or relocate anything. Everything has its place. If I walk in blind, I will know where to find anything, even a “full-stop” earring. Good enough, my sisters respect my room and my friends like to stay clear, except to admire themselves in the mirror. I also like to have my bed well made. It gives me joy to come back to my house and everywhere is looking sparkling. When I leave a visitor and come back, I first go to the room and most times, my visitors don’t disappoint.

  3. Teris

    September 16, 2013 at 9:28 am

    oh dear God! i can totally relate to that! i still get the heebie-jeebies when i recall the bro-by-extension making free in le master’s en-suite bathroom with…things about the place!!
    and i still get ticked off that guys don’t get it! some things are just…sacred!

  4. Vanessa

    September 16, 2013 at 9:28 am

    When I want to check a person’s neatness, I go to their room, toilet and kitchen. If you cant keep these 3 Holies tidy ,first time and second time, I will conclude you are dirty and unhygienic.

  5. Thatgidigirl

    September 16, 2013 at 9:35 am

    If was a poet I wld totally write an ode to my room… sanctuary! Sometimes I wonder why I live in a 2bed when I spend 95perc of my time in my room. When I think that I’d have to share a room and a bed with my “husband to be” eventually, I panic!

    • Jo!

      September 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm


  6. Gistyinka Blog

    September 16, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Hmmmm thank god i did not miss today atoke’s share..

  7. menoword

    September 16, 2013 at 9:40 am

    One of the worst things that could happen to me is someone coming into my space without an invitation. The thought is enough to make me break out in hives. Like you, my room is my sanctuary – where I can just be.

  8. x factor

    September 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Hmmm…..You don’t want to know….

  9. Chi-chi

    September 16, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Lol totally true!!! this was my song last year mehn.. But I had to change sha , I’m trying to. Grow into a “more mature organised lady” (also inspired by my neat freak of a flatmate and mom) …but some days the spirit is willing but the body is not so the bed and the floor are the only 2 places I bother about then… I’m getting there though

  10. Abana

    September 16, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I have only one bedroom rule. Do not sit on my bed! Why oh why do people sit on other people’s bed? Especially fully clothed? Your jeans and pants have walked round London and you put it on my bed. I don’t get it. At all. I have had people keep malice with me for telling them off when they sit on my bed. But I don’t care. To further drive me nuts, I have had 2 friends sit on my bed and leave blood stains. Its really annoying. Sit on the chair or the recliner. I am used to people coming into my room and taking pictures of my bed and wardrobe because everything is so meticulously arranged they think I am crazy which is fine by me. But please arse off my bed thank you very much.

    • Fine lady

      September 16, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Haha, Abana I feel you! My friends were still making fun of me this weekend cos of my rule of not sitting on the bed with my ‘outside’ clothes that have been on buses etc

    • Chic

      September 16, 2013 at 10:54 am

      Lol you remind me of my friend! She also has the same bed rule if you have to sit on her bed she will spread a wrapper on the bed for you to sit on hahaha but this one is extreme oh she will go to Tescos and double bag her shopping the moment she opens her door the outer carrier bag remains outside in the bin while she enters the house with the germ free carrier bag lol.

    • Curious

      September 17, 2013 at 12:51 am

      OMG!!! Thank you for this. I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way. I honestly don’t get how people don’t see this. You walk around all day with your “outside clothes”, then you show up and land your “outside arse in your outside clothes” on my bed. I just honestly can’t stand it. I try to gently lead people away from my bed to the couch, but some folk are just so persistent, they will still sashay on to my bed; their arse wants what it wants I guess.

  11. Lala

    September 16, 2013 at 10:22 am

    All is vanity ah… We were not born with the room so enough of all ds room glorification and bed worship! Love d article tho, so totally random :))

  12. Tiki

    September 16, 2013 at 10:35 am

    lol, I’m so personal about my space that my friends know not to visit me without calling. So help me God, if you don’t call first I will visit with you standing up, in the yard. I like folding up stuff and hanging up stuff properly, but I’m such a couch potato on weekends that there’s usually 101 half-finished projects lying around, eg. I just got back on holiday, and one bed in one room has new stuff, the other bed in the other room has stuff I wanna give away. I slept on the couch last night. lol.

    • hot mama

      September 16, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      My dear, same with me ooo….only that in my case I wont go near the door if I’m not expecting anyone….and Atoke ooo just like you I HATE ironing… if you want to instantly raise my BP, ask me to iron…loool

  13. Nne Somebody

    September 16, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I would totally freak out if this happened to me. In my opinion, it is MY BEDROOM and husband is at best, a tenant at sufferance. He has no business letting anyone into my bedroom in my absence and worse, letting them get so comfy, they are taking photos. Kai! The fight will last a really long time o. Even the bro-in-law sef, taking photos of yourself in your brother’s room which he shares with his wife? As Teris said, some things are just sacred.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      September 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      “husband is at best, a tenant at sufferance”. Bwuahahahahaha!!! You’ve just reminded me of my mother, who totally owned my parents’ bedroom so completely when I was growing up, that my pops had to hang his few shirts and suits in the bathroom. No joke, a little rail in one corner of their bathroom became his “wardrobe” because that woman just colonized the entire room.

      These poor men being run out of their own rooms… 🙂

    • Faith

      September 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      Lol. Did we grow up in the same house?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      September 16, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      I no think so, o… Unless your mama name na “Caro” (emphasis on the Naija pronunciation)??

    • Jo!

      September 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Wow! Your husband is “at best a tenant”,.. interesting

  14. Neo

    September 16, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Its not just my room, its my house! Everything has its place. I hate things lying around or out of place. As in my skin starts to crawl and i cant sit still till i put everything as it should be. I remember my masters year when i just moved into the hostel, my first day of to class i came back in and i knew the jamo cleaner had looked through my native attires. I just came in the door and my eyes went straight to the clothes shelf with the edges hanging out, when i ALWAYS put the blunt edge of folded clothes facing outside. I was so mad. I know I’m anal but if i cant be anal in MY OWN space where else can i be?

  15. Chic

    September 16, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I don’t have hang ups about people coming into my room that I invited. It is the uninvited ones who go on to touch and borrow or use my stuff that annoy the heck out of me. That being said I have no problem invited my friends to hang out in my single woman room. My married woman room however will be another story that one is a no no that is a sacred place for my husband and I. You may come in to check something in my closet when my husband is not home if that is the only way you can see it but no hanging out in there check item and out you go. I may do a room tour if it’s a new home but that’s about it. No hanging out in my married woman room for anyone not my mum, sisters, girlfriends or even kids. We will create a special family room for all those hanging out activities. I think it is the way I was raised because even while visiting with married or single friends and relations if lets say they call me up to their room or I need something from then I will usually talk at the door of the room until I am asked to go in I just don’t walk in. And please knock and wait to be asked to enter before barging in some people just knock and walk in without waiting for an answer one day your eyes go see wetin they no fit see.

  16. Aibee

    September 16, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I guess this is off point, but your friend Dara invites you to check out clothes in her matrimonial bedroom and her husband’s brother got so comfy he was on a photo shoot in the same matrimonial bedroom?!
    I draw the line at that. My room is open to all, seeing as I share a room with my sisters! My little nieces and nephews come in and jump all over the place. My wardrobe is always open, my mum doesn’t knock before coming in, my sisters sleep on my bed as I sleep on theirs. But that’s my room in my father’s house. My room in my husband’s house? Now that will be a different story. I’ve always imagined my matrimonial bedroom to be sacred. It’s where my husband and I will do some of our sexy stuff, make some babies, settle our quarrels, pray together, cuddle, fall asleep in each other’s arms and all those flowery nonsense married couples do.. I do not imagine anyone being invited there oh, except when the mothers visit for “omugwo” and even then, it’s bath the baby, massage my belly and go out.
    When my friend had her baby, they converted one of the rooms in the house to a nursery of sorts so that’s where the baby care took place, friends visited and made cooing sounds over the baby etc.
    That matrimonial room is off limits!

  17. nomzy

    September 16, 2013 at 11:17 am

    My room is definitely my sanctuary, the only visitors i let in my bedroom are my girlfriends. There aren’t chairs in my living room so that means no male visitors or i just simply keep them outside, I can’t just go through the stress of having to tidy up because i have a guest. My bras and undies should be allowed to hang freely and i can lay totally naked in my bedroom and not bother with clothing and I feel you on having your laptop on your bed with books around, In my own case it’ll be dvds scattered around as I love movies.

  18. eniola

    September 16, 2013 at 11:52 am

    My room, I tag it my special haven. I don’t like it when people come in uninvited and luckily nobody does, at least not without knocking, except my mum. My house is not even the kind where my parents encourage us to let our friends into our rooms with us, except they are sleeping over and that doesn’t mean the next time they come around with no intention of sleeping over, they are at liberty to just walk into our rooms.
    Once my sister came around with her kids while I was at work, I got back to find my room looking like there had been a tornado there earlier in the day. I called her to give her a piece of my mind but we ended up joking about it being the playful and funny person that she is, but after going through the stress of cleaning and re-arranging entirely, I made up my mind to always lock my door and take my key to the office.

  19. Stace

    September 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    lol, am neat, but not totally organised. I have no hangups about people sitting on my bed either except of course complete strangers, what i do not like though, is sharing a bed with someone:even for a night. I can’t stand to do that..

  20. Wale

    September 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    No one comes into my room period. And for those of you married you should NEVER encourage it(most especially if you are back in Nigeria). I know people who don’t even allow housemaids in their rooms. That is the only place in the world that completely belongs to me-my sanctuary.

  21. Faith

    September 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Funny how my living room, kitchen, toilets and bathrooms and carpet reeks of OCD. I have been accused of being too clean. My bedroom on the other hand oh dear. Half the week it is spotless, the other half the minute I am undecisive with what to wear my wardrobe ends up on the floor plus bed and a downward spiral starts from there till the next wave of tidiness hits me and I pick them up. Yesterday I spent over 3 hours with bleach cleaning my kitchens and bathrooms but left my room in a state. Sigh. 3 out of 4 is enough. I am that person that bleaches my dustbins, and pours half a container of bleach down the sink, and manually washes the carpet. I cant write down the half of it. The day bleach and other cleaning products are banned I will cry buckets. I hope my husband will cut me some slack and help with tidying up the room while I focus on the other 3.

  22. Lola Rose

    September 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    u better check out OCD. MADAM METICULOUS AND TIDY

  23. kiki

    September 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    ahhh.. una own better.. my own room is an “african story”.. 1st, im 26 and my mum wouldnt let me move until i marry even if i have a good job n can comfortably pay my rent.. so my room is lyk 2nd store.. more like third (her room is 2nd).. i part of my wardrobe has her wrappers from the numerous asoebis.. @1 end, i have “mama’s foam” a mattress for my granny n numerous cousins wen they come from the villa.. unlike people who cherish their beds, for me, u can come in oh.. jump on d bed self.. eat on it but if i catch ur hand near my over crowded dressing table, i will slap d person.. d table is too organised n its lyk a building puzzle, move a wrong piece 1st n everything will come crashing down.. 1day wen i marry, i ll hav a biggg room and another room for mama n d cozns if the need comes then i can talk about big bed n frnds being out of bounds or husband being tenant

    • Faith

      September 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      I think I love you already. Just like your dressing table mine is wardrobe. On some days if you don’t open my wardrobe with style you will be hit by an avalanche of clothes.

  24. Sarah

    September 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    All you Single Ladies with OCD! Just be prepared that after marriage and the kids pop out, you have to be ready for some untidiness in your home. No matter how tidy you are, kids will change your world, unless you want to clean till you drop dead or you live in Nigeria with access to 3/4 house maids.

  25. DOO

    September 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    In Uni, I had a bq and decided to share the room with some of my friends. I doubt I can share the stories on this platform. Always fun to have people around but I hate when people move my things around or use my things without my permission.

    • jay

      September 18, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      I can relate!! i have had to meet my room mate on campus wearing my mules and my sunglasses!! the story turns sour when she inherits them and does not give it back.

  26. Jane

    September 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Hmmmm,stories that touch. My room is as untidy as the come,with clothes strewn everywhere, i repeat everywhere! On the other hand, i can’t abide a dirty kitchen or toilet. C’est normale,non?

    • Faith

      September 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Very normal darling. We are kindred spirits. Lol.

    • roundpeginasquarehole

      September 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      You and me both. lol Dirty and untidy kitchen bathroom/toilet? mba no! While my room ain’t dirty, it certainly isn’t tidy by a long mile. I have tried and given up trying to keep it tidy. First thing Saturday morning I tidy up but come Sunday morning going to church, all the tidiness varnishes. Ok if I’m free sunday afternoon after church I tidy again but Monday morning always seem undo my tidiness lol. I have a friend who is a neat and tidy freak, I had to warn her never to tidy my room again. Whenever she comes to my house I warn her not to tidy anything cos her hand is always itching to tidy. The one time she tidied my room I was on the phone to her several times the next day asking her where she has put this and that. Thing is in all it’s untidy glory, I know and can find where everything is.

      My mum on the other hand is the Queen of tidy. She often laments how I don’t take after her in that department but my brothers do.

    • Me

      September 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      My room is super untidy. Clothes partout!! But mybathroom? Don’t even go there. I clean it twice a weak and would clean with bleach every time a foreign buttock touches it.

  27. Graziella

    September 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Thank God I’m normal! My friends back in school thought I was abnormal on many counts.
    If you wanna really upset me, sit on my bed. Worse, put you face full of stale make up or any make up at all on my pillow. If I invite you to sleep over, Charlie must bathe before getting on my bed. They all thought I was insane. I’m just a girl who values her bed and bathroom especially to be squeaky clean…people of Earth, is that such a tall order? lol

  28. ebony87

    September 16, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    No body has the right to come into my bedroom for anything whatsoever. It is our sanctuary {Husband and moi}; not mumsy’, bestie’ or siblings’ conference centre. You want something or need to tell me anything, tell me when i’m not in my sanctuary.

  29. Kopho Jomo

    September 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I have suffered in life when it comes to my room. Having a mother like mine has made neat but scattered; half my room is both her laundry and wardrobe. I try to clean and tidy my room, she has fits and throws her things back in. I simply stopped trying.
    I am now a neat-disorganized being as a result of laziness combined with the mother factor. *sigh* I am learning to always tidy up after myself…it’s not easy

  30. Chopstixs

    September 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Too many funny comments lol! On most days, I try to keep my room neat and tidy.

    I also love being able to come to a nicely laid bed after a long day. So I always try to make sure my bed is well laid. Having said that, one thing I don’t enjoy doing is laundry especially the folding part! I used to work in a retail store and used to fold and refold lot of clothing. So now I cannot be bothered to fold clothes anyone. I have what I like to call a ‘floordrope’ which is really a pile on the floor where my clothes sit when I can’t be bothered to fold them. #dontjudgeme

  31. Eve82

    September 18, 2013 at 9:00 am

    I have to say Monday morning banter is gradually losing its flair. Atoke maybe you should go on hiatus for a while…come back refreshed and ready to give us what we always look forward to.

    • Atoke

      September 18, 2013 at 9:26 am

      Lol Even me gan sef I’m tired!

  32. just thinking

    September 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I have never had a tidy room and now I am married it is
    still not tidy. Unfortunately, I am the opposite of most people on
    here. I was brought up an only child and therefore loved to have
    sleep over and stuff. My room belongs to everyone and anybody.
    Remember when i used to beg our house help to sleep in my room
    while my mum had a fit. Today i am married and cant be bothered who
    goes in and out of the room. My 2yr old daughter has OCD because
    she comes into the room and will scream until you pick anything
    hanging on the wardrope or dropped on the floor. So my husband and
    I are forced to clean the room before we go to bed if dont want to
    wake up at 5 in the morning.

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