Growing up amongst boys, my brothers; I was a tomboy of sorts for the most part of my very young adult life! I hung out mostly with them and their friends and pretty much liked what they liked…..the rap music culture, soccer, athletics and sports magazines! They were mighty protective of me and would not let any waltz all over their little sister! Oh, how that made me feel……..atop of the world!
At some point in Middle School, my female buddies in the neighborhood I resided, all practically moved house and I was left bereft of female companies save for the few friends I had in school, who didn’t exactly live in my hood! High School flew quickly by and I found myself in College, a Freshman! Wide, starry-eyed and looking forward to the adventures and misadventures that new terrain promised and offered! And of course, I rolled with the boys! Its true what they say after all….old habits do die hard! I DID see myself as one of the boys, and acted the part oh too well, down to the boot!
Being a tomboy and regardless, I’ve always been a HUGE fan of beauty pageants, totally suckers for ’em! Not as part of the contestants, nuh-uh; but a glorious, very casual bystander, taking in the magnificent sights and harmonious sounds! You know, as part and parcel of that teeming audience, looking on in awe, with such unmasked daze, in absolute, total delight and of course, marveling at the awesomeness of the Almighty’s wondrous works! I mean, just staring at a bevy of ‘easy on the eyes’ ‘hotties’, drop-dead gorgeous beauties all dolled and glammed up, lining and making the stage come alive in their stunning glories…..Be-deviling! Ahem, my bad; scratch that! I meant to say…..Bedazzling!
Added to that is my most favorite segment of the event: The Interview! This is where beauty and brawn’s matched with brains, boldness and bravado! This part’s the most anticipated for me! Any contestant who doesn’t bring on his/her ‘A’ game’s dropped so fast like something that’s piping, steaming and streaming HOT! By all accounts, any who hopes to emerge victorious, must really cash in and thrive above the rest with confidence at an all-time high, poise, grace, eloquence and articulation! And am talking ’bout high human intelligence, impeccably matched with top animal diligence! That’s the only way, otherwise; no dice! They can just kiss having the shot at wearing the coveted crown goodbye as far as the contest goes!
And so it was on this day, I’d heard a pageant was going down to find and unveil the new Queen of one of the Female Halls of Residence! Naturally, I was pretty giddy and excited, an excitement which only lasted as long as when the third contestant, put her best foot forward and stepped up to be interviewed! The dialogue that ensued went a little something like this:
Anchor: Hello there Miss Jayne, how do you do?
Miss Jayne: *batting eyelashes and oozing of sheer self confidence* Oh, hiya? I’m fine. Divine actually….. totally. Thank you.
At this stage, Miss Jayne had become pretty unpopular in my book, cause most folks know that whenever the question ‘How do you do’?! is posed, the ideal thing to say in response oughta be ‘How do you do’?! Well yeah, its pretty lame I know like duh, but the English says that’s how its gotta be said, and so; who art thou to argue to the contrary and who would hold ’em to it and or apprehend ’em for it?! You?! And what army?! Psst!
So, back to the dialogue
Anchor: What’s your discipline, Miss Jayne?!
Miss Jayne: Thank you! My disciplines are ahem…….honesty, loyalty, humility and hardworking
At this point, I honestly thought Miss Jayne was either pulling a fast one on us all, by way of a joke gone bad! Perhaps, she’s giving us a run around and would probably retrace her steps and make right what we’d all considered a misunderstanding of sorts, but; there she was, flashing her teeth, in her best ever plastic smile! Beaming at an audience gone buckwild, and possibly thinking that she’d brought down the house and knocked everyone’s socks off! Only problem being that, she DID bring down the house as evidenced from the whirlwind of mirthful hysterics that rented the already electrically charged atmosphere! Unbelievably too, she didn’t understand that she’d just slipped up and boy was I dazed, in complete shock with jaws dropping down to the floor! I was more disappointed once I realized she REALLY was serious, like DEAD serious! Ugh!
Once I was able to recover from that, I picked up my jaw from whence it laid on the ground, and told myself I’d had ’bout enough of the contest anyway! It was beautiful while it lasted and I gotta get a move on! I couldn’t linger on cause some pesky guys were already taunting and mocking us females! ‘That does it’, I muttered to myself, I’m outta here! I just had to get away from that whole fiasco! It was so darnright distasteful, in too much of a bad taste I could almost taste it on my buds! Yuck!
Thinking back now, I can’t help but wonder that maybe if I’d just slugged it out and ‘endured’ till the end of that show, I’d have been better prepared for an event I didn’t know was gonna take place in my own life, pretty similar to this one at a much more later date and time! Perhaps, It’d have served as a sorta training ground and learning, to avert a future disaster or not?! Who knows?!
I graduated from College and it was time for the mandatory National Youth Service Corp, NYSC, where all graduates of higher learning and institutions across the Federation are in fact mandated to serve the Fatherland for a year, in other parts of the country; to learn and internalize the ways and cultures of other tribes! This was put in place to foster some kinda togetherness and unity of sorts by the founding fathers, way back in the days! Failure to adhere might cost one any chance of gaining employment as the certificate given at the end of this period, is also as important as one’s credentials if not more! Every employer of labor demands to see it as a mandatory requirement during the recruitment process!
My posting was to one of the far up northern states! I wasn’t thrilled at this news for the mere reason that I hated traveling, still do! And this trip was gonna be a very long one! I had no choice but to go along anyhow! So, right before settling down eventually in my new home and abode, I made a new friend who I hung out with throughout the duration of my stay in that part! He goes by the name, Femi Toosh! I made his acquaintance while under the scorching sun, corps members were all queued up, trying to obtain kits, garbs and beddings! It was gruesome, with pushes and shovings here and there! I was totally exhausted having stood on my feet for a good number of long hours, on an empty stomach and with the sun shining brightly in its hot, scorching glory!
He made for me and said ‘So. how ’bout we go grab a bite’? ‘You look just ’bout ready to pass out and girl, are your eyes RED’! I looked around to see who it was he was referring and at this point, he……..well, just grabbed me by the arm and pleaded with the guys around to safeguard our spaces on the queue, that we’d be back in a tick! I was much too tired to argue or tell him to go sweep his own side of the street and mind his ‘beeswax’, that I just allowed for him to drag me along, hobbling right on! That was totally outta character for me, but I just felt really lifeless and needed some saving….from myself! We laughed ’bout that episode long afterwards, after becoming quite inseparable during all of the times we spent at the orientation camp!
It was during one of those fun times I hung out with Femi Toosh, just kickin’ it at one of the hotspots, that a group of guys accosted me and relayed to me that my Platoon Commandant asked to see me immediately as a matter of urgency! Plus, I was expected to follow after them so they could take me to where he was at! They just wouldn’t let on, on the reason why I was being summoned and I wasn’t having none of that! I knew I hadn’t flouted any rules, so why was I wanted?!These guys were really persistent and at some point I expected to hear the ‘Miranda Rights’ reeled out to me! You know, that ‘You’re hereby under arrest, anything you say may be used against you in the court of law’ infamous line! Yeah, that one! Except well, the military don’t do the court of law! I was being led away to be ‘court-martialed’!
Face to face with my Commandant, he greeted me on arrival and announced, how he’s single-handedly decided and chosen me to represent my platoon at the much awaited Miss Camp Contest slated to take place in what……less than five hours?! Who does this?! Whatever was he thinking?! Don’t I get to have a say in the matter?! Like I don’t get to say no, not interested; amma double nay, triple pass on the offer, thanks but NO thanks?!
And that folks, was how the stage was ’bout set for the ultimate showdown, even amidst my pleas, protests and tantrums! I felt like I was being unduly targeted for a shake down and I literally had a major meltdown! The horror, like boo…… freakin’ ……hoo!
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