“To wait patiently for a person to become of different character is completely futile- you will waste your life hoping the lion will take up piano so you can dance. WAKE UP. Free the lion to find a lioness, and go find yourself a musician.” –Unknown.
So, Kuki was upset.
I could tell from her furrowed brows and tightened lips. Plus, I had been going on and on about how difficult it was for a single girl-entrepreneur in Lagos, a topic that both interested us, as she was also self-employed, but asides from a few well-placed grunts, I could almost swear I was talking to a sculpture.
We were both in my kitchen, where I was making us some lunch. I took off the pot of soup I had been reheating and took a moment to study my friend. She was staring far into space, and was idly drumming her forefinger against her lips.
This was very unlike her. Something was troubling her.
ME: Ahan, Kuki, it is obvious your mind is not here, what’s wrong? Did something happen?
(Yep, I was ready to give her my full attention. The egusi soup could wait).
KUKI: Isio, I don’t even know how to process what happened to me earlier today sha… Do you remember Subomi?
ME: Subomi? Isn’t she that your friend from way back when? Since before Unilag days? The pastor’s wife?
KUKI: Yes o. That Subomi…
ME: Ehen, so what happened? I know she is one of your closest friends, so it can’t have been that bad.
KUKI: Do you know that Subomi and I were together, eating, gisting and laughing, and then we started talking. In fact, this very thing you are talking about is very similar to what we were discussing… being self-employed in this city and the wahala involved in keeping your head above water. Subomi knows how difficult it has been for me as a wedding planner lately, and was even counselling me to keep pushing and have faith, that the big jobs will come again.
My sister, hmmmn… in my presence- In front of my koro-koro eyes, Subomi received a call… it must have been from a friend of hers or something. I don’t know what that one said to her, but from Subomi’s answers, they were obviously talking about an upcoming wedding. Do you know that Subomi recommended another wedding planner for the job? Told her friend not to worry, that that one would do a fantastic job. She finished the call and then turned to me and continued our gist like nothing had just happened.
ME: Ha! (At this point my mouth was agape).
KUKI: My dear, I was just as flabbergasted as you are now. Who does that? Subomi and I have been tight since we were kids. I was the wedding planner for her wedding, and I did it without charging her a dime. She and her Pastor husband said they didn’t have much money so I even used my money to pay for the caterer, the drinks and waiters. Luckily at the time, I had more money than I have now, so I could afford to do that for my dearest friend without feeling the pinch. Now, two years later, the tables are turned. I don’t know why, but this 2014 has just been exceptionally hard. I don’t have as much as I used to and I am in need of work, while Subomi has the money and the contacts.
I can’t lie, but it stung me deeply. I still don’t understand it. Is it that I don’t deserve Subomi’s recommendation that she would Passover me like that and worse- in my presence? Does she not think I am good enough? Wow.
ME: So what did you do afterwards?
KUKI: Fortunately she received another call almost immediately and I just politely excused myself. She blew me air kisses and signalled to me that she would call me later. My dear, I carried my two legs out of there, and now I am here at yours. I was so upset, I could have cried. Am I wrong to be upset? What are we friends for if my friend has no faith in me, and would rather recommend somebody else for a job that she and I know I could do exceptionally well, and one she knows I desperately need? She, her husband and our friends praised the work I did at her wedding, so I know it’s not a case of “Kuki not doing a good job”. Am I over-reacting? Isn’t it weird? Should I have confronted her about it? And again I ask, “Do I not have a right to be upset?”
ME: Wow. Listen sweetie, it is understandable that you are upset, and in answers to your questions; YES, you do have the right to be upset but you cannot control what other people say or do.
Over-reacting? Maybe. But yes, it is weird that your friend would pass you over you in such an uncouth manner. On whether you should have confronted her, it goes both ways. On one hand, you could confront her where she would simply apologise and tell you what you need to hear- that she didn’t mean it that way. On the other hand, you may choose to not confront her by understanding the fact that you could very well NOT have been with her today, and she still would have gotten the phone call and would still have recommended someone else for that which you are good at.
Most importantly- this may be difficult to hear- but you cannot force the ones you love, the ones you have faith in and have sacrificed for to return the courtesy and consideration you give to them so freely. You need to see people for who they are WHILE they are in your life, and decide for yourself if the part of themselves they are offering you in return for your love and consideration is good enough for you. The silver lining in this is that now you KNOW. The choice to confront her or let it go remains yours and yours alone.
(I smiled at her sadly and gave her a bear-hug)
ME: Oya nowww. Stop pouting okay?Grab the bowl of fufu, make we go wack beta food under AC, biko.
She smiled, and we went thus into the living room, where we sat on the couch, washed our hands in the big bowl of water and commenced devouring the fufu and egusi like true African women.
What if it was you? Would you confront your “friend” on the Professional Passover?