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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Death By Dropping By

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Weekends were made in China… because they never last“. One minute you’re basking in the deliriousness of the anticipation of the weekend and next thing you know, it’s all over. When we were younger, weekends were simply blissful. Two days of no school. If you were good, you’d go swimming at Apapa Club and back in the days the Apapa Club suya was the truth. In our house, you could almost predict how every Saturday would go, but one thing that you couldn’t be sure of was when Old Man would drop by.

Old Man is my uncle. If we were English, the appropriate way to describe him would be ‘uncle’ as he is my mother’s older sister’s husband.  However, since we are Nigerians, and the man I am talking about is like a gazillion years old it feels a tad disrespectful to refer to him as that. Old Man has been old for as long as I can remember; but that’s not why he’s worthy of mention. Old Man specialized in the art of dropping by unannounced. Then, he would STAY! If you were in trouble and receiving a scolding, Old Man’s dropping by would be a welcome reprieve, because you can be sure that one or both members of the parental unit would be occupied for at least 3 hours. The highlight of Old Man’s visits were the prayers. Just before departure, he would call for prayer and those prayer sessions were legendary. They were never just prayers. There would be a long-winded bible narration before he drops the prayer point. It would go on and on till your knees grew numb.

Thanks to those Old Man’s visits, I became terribly averse to people dropping by to visit. I recently told Mo’ this story when one weekend, as we were savouring the last mounds of Amala from Ajoke Street, someone called him to say they were around Yaba and wanted to drop by. My padi, without hesitating for a minute, swiftly said he was not at home. He said “I don’t let people come to my house without giving me a heads up. All that – I’m passing through, I just thought to pop in – does not work with me“. I asked if it was because he was hiding something – a woman under the bed perhaps? He insisted that he didn’t tolerate unplanned guests.

I argued that it was a wide brush stroke and consideration should be given to people who had emergencies. For instances, if one has an emergency, of the bathroom nature, surely one should be able to drop into a friend’s house in the vicinity. Mo’s response was “Dem no get Mr. Biggs wey the person fit go use the facilities ni?” After my frown, he said “well, maybe I’ll make an exception in that case”.


Today, mobile phones have made life a lot better than in the days when Old Man used to just drop in to visit. At least, now, you can call to say you’re on your way. Some people have argued that that is ‘an Oyibo’ way of doing things. According to them, it is culturally acceptable to visit a person. (A lot of things get shored up to the frontier of culture) “Do I need a special pass to visit my son?”.  Sadly, many mothers have had to learn the answer to that question the hard way.

Personally, I don’t have any problems with people stopping by, as long as they don’t intend to stay. The problem comes when I had my day planned out and you just decide to stop by and refuse to go. I am then stuck with having to find a way to get rid of you through all sorts of shady means. Not cool, friend. Not cool. What do you guys think? How do you handle someone who just decides to drop by your office on a Tuesday morning when your boss is waiting for you to send out the minutes of a meeting? Have you been treated harshly by someone you dropped by to see?

Have a super duper beautiful week ahead. It’s that time of the year when people start trying to sell us heart shaped chocolate bars and life size stuffed animals. We shall overcome!

Be happy, be safe, spread joy at all times.

Peace, love & cupcakes.

Toodles!

Photo Credit: madamenoire.com

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 atoke.com for more information.

54 Comments

  1. Fashionista

    February 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Lol, interesting post. Personally, i’m not a big fan of hosting except I have expressly planned it MYSELF. So naturally, I don’t like unplanned visits as well, im too much of a neat freak and as you’re sitting down and ruffling my throw pillows, ill just be annoyed. Except like I said, I planned it, meaning I “invited” you!

  2. nne

    February 3, 2014 at 9:31 am

    i can relate to a situation that happened last yr. in dis case the guy whom i just started dating had dat nasty attitude of dropping by unannounced. i wasnt hiding anything but it was really irritating. he wld send a text when he gets to my gate, then just come into the compound and call to ask where i am. when i come downstairs to see him. he wld say didnt i get his text and its just then dat i wld receive the text. oh boy, i had to breakup with him asap. abeg tell me a day b4 u visit except well emergency times

  3. http://www.anemistyle.com

    February 3, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Good one Atoke, I really dislike people dropping by unannounced cos as I kid people from my Dad’s village would come visit and expect to stay sometimes indefinitely you can imagine our horror. Dad was too nice to ask them to leave, I mean in our culture it was rude but even after Dad passed on his “relatives” still dropped by and they were mostly the untraceable uncle’s counsin’s twice removed kinda relatives !

  4. sandy

    February 3, 2014 at 10:15 am

    boringggg

  5. Lizzy

    February 3, 2014 at 10:30 am

    i love friends dropping by, not just ‘people’, i think it means you were around, thought of me and yaay we get to gist and all…. or wait am i that person? oh no….

  6. Shona

    February 3, 2014 at 10:52 am

    I have had friends that do this,especially the opposite sex.I had to warn them oo,even after the warnings,some big heads still smile and do the same thing all over again.The worse is when your bf or anyoda male friend drops by that moment when you look all “ekaetteish”.No bath,bad hair day and all.I can manage female friends.

  7. phummie

    February 3, 2014 at 10:55 am

    @lizzy, u re probably dat person….lol. I dont like pple who drop by in anyway without saying but i can tolerate it most def. Not like i see u all d time? but d one i cant tolerate is relatives who just drop by and stay for days and even try to shove dier ideas down ur throat…OMG. DAT IS SADDEST, MOST ANNOYING SITUATIONS EVER. And if u re married into such families, u re finished cos u just ve to live with it except u re ready to keep fighting with ur in-laws.

  8. Abana

    February 3, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I don’t mind people dropping by my house. If I want to see you I will let you in. If I don’t I will tell you I am not home or I won’t even pick up the phone. If I let you in I will serve you chin chin. Don’t expect me to cook up a storm. My aunt has this thing she does. She drops by your house when she is sure you won’t be there so your children or stewards can tell you Mrs Lagbaja came by. She don visit you be that. I kind of picked up the habit in a different way though. I call people at times I know they can’t pick up so no one can accuse me of not staying in touch.

    • sofia

      February 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Hahahahaha. ..that’s totally me….thought I was de only one who knew the trick. …lol

  9. done it, lived it and done with it

    February 3, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Drop by…… please not when am brokeee

    • memebaby

      February 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      high five for you! me being a student and sharing an apartment with my sis.. I do not like entertaining guests a lot because you suppose cook for everybody! I mean I can do that sometimes when I have spare money after buying groceries for 2 mouths but not EVERY WEEKEND. who you think my papa be na…

  10. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    February 3, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Hello Atoke.
    Thanks for a lovely write up. Your description of “Uncle” brought a grudging smile on my otherwise stony face this morning. Thank you for giving me something to look forward to on Mondays.

    P.S. Did someone catch @whocares unawares in her underwear at amateur boxing class (referring to that picture up there)?

    • whocares

      February 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      LOOOL. #IclaimthefinegehfaceandborryinJesus’name. At your stony face “turn that frown 🙁 upside down 🙂 xxx
      Ahh Atoke, I don’t even have this problem as I have only one friend that knows where I live. Everyone else, we meet outside, have dinner and go our separate ways. I never go to people’s house unannounced either. what if they are not at home and no one is? That said, I have moved to my cousin’s house for about a year, and all I did was ask previously before hand, and then the weekend I was moving I sent him a text saying, “so I will be moving to your place tomorrow”.. he was maaad. lol.

  11. peyton

    February 3, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Nah aint got no problem with people dropping by unannounced and no I dnt visit people without informing them. I guess I like having friends around mine is even worse because I love to cook for friends.

  12. Monaleesa

    February 3, 2014 at 11:51 am

    It`s actually rude to drop by without prior notice, u can`t just impose urself on me just like dat and expect me to be cool with. I may nt be in d mood to entertain guests or i may be catching up on much needed sleep, so 4give me if i dnt answer the door @ all or if i do, then ask u to call bck @ another time witout letting u in.

    • Blessmyheart

      February 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      Yes, it is very rude to drop by without prior notice. Some weeks ago I was really mad at my husband for waking me from my much-needed sunday nap because one of his cousins dropped by. I don’t like visitors generally not to talk of someone dropping by without notice, and on a SUnday afternoon! As for me, I rarely visit people not to talk of dropping by without notice.

  13. Pade

    February 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Me think its bad manners to just bump into someone especially for someone like me who finds my weekend very golden. I’m most irritated when its a match day and the soo called unwanted guest decides to stay and watch all matches with no decorum whatsoever.

  14. phummie

    February 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    @ peyton…. Dose are fwends o, its awesome having dem around. But wen it cums to relatives esp in-laws, staying for days disrupting ur routine, nne, u ll mind. ur love for cooking sef will disappear…lol.

  15. Zayt

    February 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I dislike people coming by unannounced especially relatives. Maybe coz growing up if you don’t give my mum ample notice of your visit she won’t let you in. My aunts tried it once and they stayed outside for about 2 hours before they were let in. Now I’m so used to it that if you don’t inform me on time, then I’m not at home! Be it friends or relatives. You can’t just come and inconvenience me. Mba.

  16. natty

    February 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Its quite rude to drop by unannounced, and I am fortunate to have friends that share the same view with me. I have a friend that is my next door neighbour and she’ll either call or send a message quickly before coming over.
    I remember when someone was supposed to come over to my new place, sometime last year. I had given him all the necessary directions- bUs numbers et al to get to my place. I did tell him to comein the evening cos I knew I was going to party the night before. Only for me to switch on my phone around 12pm to receive a barrage of rude messages, about how I didn’t want to  him, how I was a wicked soul for making him waste his time… Bla bla bla. In return I asked, why didn’t you call before embarking on your journey, his reply to my question was that we are africans, we don’t do that shit. Common sense isn’t common at all

    • M

      February 3, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Just what i was about to type,I hate the “we are Africans “reply , does that make us uncultured and give us the right to be rude to others? once I peep and see the culprit I simply turn off my phone and I don’t open the door.worst is When they start shouting your name as in am not in naija and your are not so please stop that crazy attitude!! Also poking into others affair and when you tell some people it’s wrong they are quick to claim we are Nigerians…..Really! Why don’t you wait till they open up to you .have friends who share the same believe as me and some are catching up too.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      High five, “sisteh”! I also have a neighbor who’s a good friend and I NEVER just languidly stroll over to her flat on any random day expecting her to entertain me. She is of the same mindset which helps the friendship stay amicable.

      Cannot. Stand. People. Dropping. By. Unannounced. Unless you’re literally doing so, i.e. you’re stopping to drop something with me, which is handed over at the door without you translating your mission into a full-fledged visit. And I’ve become very creative with answering that “are you at home?” question from people intending to drop by: I’ll either give a broad answer “I’m actually on my way out”, which means in reality, I’m taking the garbage outside in my pajamas or I’ll answer with my sleepy voice “Hello? Oh, I’m still in bed”, which in reality means I’m enjoying a lazy Saturday and plan to remain under the covers with my iPad watching IrokoTv..

  17. Bleed Blue

    February 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    My mother-in-law can like to drop by. For 6 months. Twice a year…sigh… 🙁

    • Joan85

      February 3, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      Your comment got me ROTF. lol pele…*sigh*

    • Bide

      February 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      lmao

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 3, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      Babes, I feel your anguish, my aunt once dropped by from Gatwick airport unannounced. Me to her in the many weeks beforehand “Aunty, when are you planning to visit the UK [it was her first trip]? I need to know so we can plan your travel to Aberdeen”. Her to me “Ehn, we haven’t yet bought ticket yet”.

      And then one day she called out of the blue to say that she’s at Gatwick airport, what are the directions to my flat? I just told her to look for the nearest airline ticket desk and make her own arrangement… of course, when she hear say na over £200 for a one-way ticket as she no book in advance, na im I send her go find National Express counter. When she hear say na like 13hours by road, na when the thing register wey I been dey tell her since about giving me her travel dates.

      By the time I was picking her up from the bus terminal at 3am in the morning, I think the lesson had been very well learnt and I’m postive she’ll never pull that stunt again…

    • Temi

      February 3, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      She come visit and never go? Coz if na 6months 2wice a year she don spend the whole year be dat na?

    • TA

      February 4, 2014 at 5:56 am

      Oh gawd! I died many times LoL @ this comment.Ha! Ha! Ha! 🙂

    • Berry Dakara

      February 4, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! May that never be my portion!

  18. Anonymissie

    February 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    @Peyton, i can like to be ur fwend so u can be cooking for me

    • peyton

      February 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Cool no problem. As long as u like to wash after eating?

  19. Neo

    February 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    If you are passing by and you call to ask if its ok to drop by no wahala. Shay all is still within the requisite notice? But to just show up at my door? Unless u are one of my 7 adopted sisters or the current love of my life and its not my time of the month and i just received a huge paycheck and i just ate cheesecake or any of the many things that make me a happy trooper.

  20. Ashanti

    February 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    mehn i learnt from my aunt, she’ll be at home with the cars parked in front of the garage and u knocking and pushing the bell she wont even open the door…..u call and text na urself u dey call….later u ask her, she’ll be like “…what? u did, i didnt see no missed call ooo, next time abeg call me before hand so i’ll be available”…my own be say, family i will let them drop by and stay….and by family am talking about: dad, mom, sisters, brothers….specifically and if u’r that favorite cousin i guess i can make an exception but anybody else u better be calling or texting me a day or two about ur plan on dropping by and a year or months about u staying…..or else my phone will stop working or i’ll always be at work even working night shifts.

  21. kele kele

    February 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    This dropping by issue,nne,the thing can get pretty annoying esp in naija.I’m not really a fan of surprises,most esp unpleasant ones,I dont drop by on people but in this our clime,what can you do?A lot of people say we are becoming too “westernised “in our ways,but isnt it just civil and polite to allow people decide whether or not they want to host you at a particular time?And when you are married,most times you can not just decide on your own what goes for you..I have this sis in law- who is an ardent “drop byer”,as much as I complained hubby just wouldnt understand-cause in his words;shes my sister,how do I tell her,call me before you come to my house?And then when its Sunday afternoon and the sister comes in straight from lunch sweating like a goat and looking famished,you just have to offer something better than a drink and chips lest you be tagged”monster wife’!Anyway,it so happened that she showed up on a particular Sunday after I had just finished serving lunch,cleaning up and was preparing to go to my favorite salon for a long session of manicure,pedicure,waxing and hair -do?I just knew that was it.I promptly served her chilled water and headed right off to the salon,hubby was not pleased but mehn,he knew I had it up to here already!

  22. Ajobi26

    February 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    i detest it oooo, i mean what fun is there in me hosting you at my house when we can both have a nice time outdoor. even if you tell me ahead, i will discourage you. i hate cooking, cleaning and all of those things

  23. Newbie

    February 3, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    @Atoke, why would anyone ‘drop by’ at my place of work to vist- abi dem dey unemployed? Even if they are unemployed, abeg email me your cv. Anyone dropping by my office will not get past reception, I promise them lol! Even the teeny weeniest lunch or drinks date has to be prearranged or else, O.y.O.

    But as for dropping by at home, my friends and family are always welcome. Only those that are super close to me can try it though, that way, if I hear the door bell, dash downstairs in my dressing gown, let you in and go straight back under the covers. … you will know that it’s nothing personal, please enter kitchen and make yourself comfortable. Mi casa e su casa!

  24. Nominee

    February 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I don’t mind people dropping in on me, its mostly always a pleasant surprise unless I really don’t like the person visiting. Before the advent of GSM, people were dropping in unannounced and it was accepted then, I don’t mind it now, just make sure you are someone I would want in my house first.

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      February 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      The advent of mobile phones has not really made it easier. The fact that you have my number does not mean you can call as you please. I do not pick calls after 8 o’ clock except if you are an immediate family member. How would you call me after 10 at night, waking me up from sleep in the name of ‘I just called to say hi?”

      I don’t like visits. Does not matter whether they were prearranged or spontaneous. Immediately you come in, my whole demeanor would tell you i cant wait for you to leave, except if I specifically invited you. Oh i could be the perfect hostess: Extremely courteous, polite and deferring. But what is that when there is no warmth or camaraderie; when I did not bring my crazy to the party. I’m like a switch. I could be the life of the party, yet aloof. I discourage people from visiting me and I don’t invite myself unless, again, I am specifically invited and my coming would be after plenty fights. This is not because I don’t like people or that I am anti social or think too highly of myself. It is just a serious disruption of my feng shui. My mind would keep replaying the clip of the visit long after and ponder on the inanest things like how many times you have worn the dress/shirt you have on or if your underwear’s are clean. This is the way my mind works. I accept it but frankly I just cant be bothered.

    • TA

      February 4, 2014 at 6:01 am

      My darling Bobos,only you and I mean you just have a wayof voicing my thoughts: those visits (whether preplanned or dropped) disrupts my feng shui. Speak it Sister.

    • Easy n Gentle

      February 4, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      and i thought i had a crazy mind. LOL. How can you imagine stuffs about your guest’s underwear????

    • Mckay

      February 6, 2014 at 12:44 am

      I so love your mind!!! I thought I was weird but now I know am not!!

  25. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    February 3, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    There was this incident….
    I travelled for an interview recently and as it was held on a Friday, i decided to stay in a cheap guest house that had a good hard bed, necessary DSTV stations, AC on overdrive and wall painting that was easy on the eye, for the weekend. I had to make an obligatory call to a male somebody who i have known for over 3 years and who was resident in that state and was aware of the interview. He did not even wait for me to extend an invitation. He assumed I would want to see him and invited himself over. (Offence No.1)
    After plenty direction issues guy finally arrived at the guest house. He called and said he was downstairs . I spent about 3mins looking for the e-card to open the door, i was half way down the stairs and i saw him coming up with a staff of the Guest house. (Offence No.2). Now, i am very big on appearances. I could have instructed that he be directed upstairs but i did not want a flying doctors scenario on my case. The world is just too small.

    I know it was a Friday, but dude shows up dressed like he was running for an election in an Igbo speaking state, with the over sized wristwatch hairy arms and big phones in his hands. (Offence No. 3)

    Guy was trying to form regular, kept saying “So howdy now? like 6 or 7 times without paying any mind to my responses. After a while i just kept quite. (Offence No. 4)

    I decided we should go out. Short version, guy (unbeknownst to him) parks in a no parking area and was almost exchanging blows with the officials (thugs). I just stood aside like sugar would not melt in my mouth. After the shouting bout, running spittle and volcanic anger, he came to ask me for money to balance the fine (which he did not offer to repay). (Offence No. 5)

    After such a tumultuous evening dude said he was going to just go home and sleep. I instantly agreed, only for us to get back to the Guest House and he is following me upstairs. I was so mad i wanted to cry. i would have instantly objected, but i was feeling low from the interview and my energies were all spent in that direction. he said he had changed his mind and there was no sense in going home now. He actually stayed for about 45mins before he left which was largely due to my uninvolved conversations with him. i actually had the impression he was waiting for an invitation to spend the night. He kept hinting at how i was enjoying and how his house was dingy compared to my room. Following day i told the reception that i was not expecting any guests and did not want to see anybody. (Offence No. 6)

    Guy almost runs my battery down with calls. I sent him a one liner that i would like to be left alone. calls continued until i was informed that my actions were a ‘high blatant disregard to his person.”

    If I had said No from the outset, I would have saved us a lot of trouble.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 3, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      Agreed. Saying “no” from the jump was the very impolite but fully and forgivably selfish thing to have done. 😀

    • TA

      February 4, 2014 at 6:04 am

      Gbam! Lol! 🙂

    • whocares

      February 4, 2014 at 11:18 am

      LMAOOOO. True. You should have just said no. It is better to ask forgiveness than permission, is the mantra I live by now. Mi o le wa je ki anybody yi mi lori. And speaking about beds, I HATE hard beds. My mom tries to convince me that they are orthopaedic etc, but it I don’t like it.. I like my beds slightly lumpy and worn.

    • Ashanti

      February 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      that “….dude shows up dressed like he was running for an election in an Igbo speaking state…” am done!!!!…..the struggle is real right there mehn!!!

  26. Chiamaka Daisy

    February 4, 2014 at 1:52 am

    I’m not even the type u call up and just come over 2 see. I won’t accept it. Saves me d stress of having 2 do nasty tins 2 get u out. Some people don’t get the message even when you speak in plain english so just tell dem a Blatant NO! And be happy.

  27. Lady

    February 4, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Courtesy demands a phone call the day before the visit and another abt 2-3hrs befre the actual visit… I simply hate unplanned visits, like i have nothing better to do the whole day than entertain visitors/friends

  28. sassy

    February 4, 2014 at 9:14 am

    @bleed blue, she sounds like a pleasant temporary guest. Lol.

  29. mio

    February 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Normal me can’t say no. So if u want to visit me. I’ll b like, ok..come so so day nd so so day. On dat day, I’ll run out of my house and switch off my fone.

  30. Tru

    February 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Atoke mi, I LOVE you. Please keep these Monday morning banters coming

  31. Deeee

    February 12, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    i REALLY do mind people dropping by unannounced o and i never do it either. Even my immediate family don’t do that. They give notice. Some guy tried it with me once upon i said he wasn’t welcome at my home. uncle still came, waited for about 2 hours. i didn’t open the door o. He deleted all my contacts afterward.
    Atoke, this did it for me ***It’s that time of the year when people start trying to sell us heart shaped chocolate bars and life size stuffed animals. We shall overcome!*** LMAOOO! nice!

  32. Deeee

    February 12, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Hold on a minute! i forgot to add when my cousin came over. Boyyyyyy was i mad! mistake i made was to give him full direction. He didn’t even call. Na so i went out to buy soap to wash and i saw him right outside my gate. i mean he was there! i asked what he was planning to do, stand there all day? He said no, he was gonna wait for my sister or something funny. I was so angry.
    An advice from me to you all, never give anybody, except the extra special ones your full address. just give them half of it if necessary and say you will meet them at the bus stop. Shebi if they stand there tire, dem go waka. Good riddance.

  33. Ferrari

    April 2, 2014 at 11:49 am

    My best friend’s apartment is a three minute drive from mine but never will i go there unannounced nor will she come to mine unannounced. We have the whole “mi casa es su casa” thing going on but i think it’s just wrong to invade another person’s space like that!

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