Thursday, June 11, 2009

" I know a woman gives up a lot for the sake of her marriage, but I would often wonder if I'd given up much more than I was required" - FFF

She is fabulously fantastic, a flourishing writer and blogger; I was more than happy to share with Flourishing Florida now known as Free Flowing Florida {FFF}. A proud owner of 2 fantastic blogs, join me in this powerful moment with FFF.

Can we meet FFF?
Guess this is where i describe myself, which I have to say, I’m pretty bad at. But, here it goes. I'm young, vibrant, ambitious, a dreamer, extremely emotional yet hard as nail & a lover of everything beautiful. It's funny about the young part, cos I still have to remind myself that i'm a grown ass woman now. LOL. Truth is, I still very much feel like a kid. I can envision myself, pregnant & fretting, ‘Help, I’m still a baby! How the hell did I wind up giving birth to another baby!’
Mention 5 things you value most.My family. Although some of them would probably say I’ve a funny way of showing it, as I haven't spoken to my dad & my immediate younger brother since last December. But i worry about every one of them all the time, and they are always on my mind. But, I’m doing a better job of showing emotions with my husband. & I know am going to be one of those mothers that will cross seven seas & seven oceans for her kids. But, if they mess up, bulala straight.

My freedom. This was so important to me, that it was the singular factor i looked for in deciding who to marry. If i felt a dude would restrict me, he was OUT.

Honesty – well, it’s not like I tell the truth all the time oh. LOL. But, I try sha. However, too many people hide themselves, & for what I don’t understand. We are not in a contest for goodness. There is no medal, except that you’ve created in your head. So, why not be honest. Own up to who or what you are. If you are good, great. If you are not, work at it & be an inspiration to the rest of us who are doing same. I’ve a big oh problem with pretentious people, I do.

Work! I live to work, am afraid. I'm not very domesticated, so i identify myself through work. It's a good thing I’m pretty good at it too. Still, I’ve a five years plan to quit paid employment, & set up a farm (with MM). The whole idea is to enable me keep a closer eye on the kids when they are at their most formative age. I'd still be working, just not for someone else.

Writing: I have been writing since I was little, six years old I think. I have stories swirling my head all the time. Seriously, all the time! If I don’t get some of them out by putting them in writing, I feel like a part of me has been cut off.
You first personal blog started out with your day to day activities and now you write stories through it, is this what we should expect from now on?
Oh yes. Ruffin It is going to be mainly about stories. A bit of my personal life will be told of course, just to personalize it & share with other bloggers on the going-ons in my life.

You now run a second blog, can you explain the need for 2 blogs?
Well, sometimes when you want to create something, you may need a different medium to do so. Ruffin It is a now a Series blog, a blog that told fictional stories. Bambina was going an entirely different route – real life stories/experiences, & several contributors. Basically, I didn’t want to ‘own’ Bambina. I wanted it to be a blog where anyone and everyone could ‘own’. So, you see, those two couldn’t mix well. Besides, I wanted each to have its own niche, catering to different needs. I hope I make sense.
I have read a lot about Ejike story on your blog and it makes me feel you are a good writer, can you tell us more about your writing journey?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I was a shy child, you see. I’m still a bit shy now, LOL. So anyways, I was so shy. & my family didn’t encourage free expression. My dad liked us to be proper. My sister naturally fit in to, I didn’t. When you combine my discomfort with expressing myself with strangers and being hushed for speaking with my family, what you get is the desire to self-express using writing. When I wrote in my younger years, I did so strictly for my own enjoyment. Then, I discovered the joy of having someone else enjoy what I write, & I pursued it. Finally, I realized that one does get paid for writing, so that’s what am all after now. To be paid good money too.

Will you like to publish a book or a lot of books someday?
No, I haven’t published a book before. But I have about 4 or 5 short stories featured in newspapers and online sources. My husband keeps asking me why I haven’t published yet, and frankly I’m scared. I fear my writing wouldn’t be good enough – cos I have read lots & lots of writers that floor me on anyday. Actually, what I fear the most is the publicity part of writing. That’s where the shy child in me keeps hindering me. I’m self-protective, not wanting to let too many people close. It’s as though that publicity would over-expose me to strangers. I guess, when I conquer that, then I’d really be ready to publish.

What does FFF do beside writing, blogging and loving?
Watching TV/movies. I’m an addict! Reading – novels, magazines or just about anything that catches my interest. Day-dreaming. I don’t quite enjoy cooking or cleaning, but when I have to, I really throw myself into it.                                 Image from FFF Album

"My husband can't cook if my life depended on it. But yesterday, it did!!!!!!!" was your twitter message, do you care to share what happened?
Oh lord! He’s going to kill me for this. Ok, what happened is that on the fateful day, there wasn’t food in the house. As in, at all. It was the beginning of the new month, & we were planning to shop for food that day. However, I fell ill. I was weak & depressed. The only thing I was thinking about was getting well. & that I was hungry. My husband doesn’t know how to cook, & he is least interested in learning. So, he just planted himself in front of the laptop, occasionally asking me how I was doing. I was hungry, angry & sick, how did he think I would be doing? When he suggested he brought together things for me to drink garri with, I was livid. I just went into the kitchen & heated some packets of Indomie, enough for both of us. And he ate! He ate! I don’t think I said more than ten words to him for the rest of the day. LOL. The next day, even though I wasn’t entirely ok, I made myself get to the market, shopped & then cooked. But, it’s got better. I’ve been on bed-rest for a while now, so he’d had to take his butt to the kitchen. But I make the decision on what is to be eaten, & coax/coach him into warming the food without burning it. Because left to him, we’d be drinking garri & Cerelac, than go through all that trouble.

What will you say about parents making boy child learn how to cook and do other chores in the house?
My sons must cook. Let me repeat it: MY SONS MUST COOK. My MIL just spoilt her sons. None of them cook! MM even takes pride in that. I will excuse him a bit sha, cos in the East, it’s the practice for most family with girls to utterly leave all kitchen duties to the girls. My mom did that with hers too. I have three brothers, only one of them can cook. The other two couldn’t care less. They would rather eat out. My dad cooks though, but it turned out being a negative in my parents’ marriage. Because, every time him & my mom had issues, he’d take up cooking for himself. My mom hated that, so maybe that’s her reason for keeping her sons from the kitchen. Total BS, I say. Too many mothers I know spoil their sons, & they look 4 excuses to make themselves feel better.

Is there any other way, your husband compliment your effort at home?
MM is pretty handy in the house, I must give that to him. Like I said, I’m not very domesticated. House-chores are CHORES. If I can avoid doing them, I would. He makes it easier for me. He cleans, sweeps, dish-washes & dusts. Of course, he messes up the house but he knows how to clean up after himself. Laundry is practically his job. It’s a good thing we live alone; else someone might think I’d turned him into a houseboy.

You were formerly in Abuja and now Lagos, how is life in Lagos so far?
The things we do for love! Before meeting MM, I couldn’t stay in lagos longer than a weekend without wanting to run back to Abuja. When we met, the hope was that he’d get transferred to Abuja, since he used to live there. Up until October, we were still hoping. That’s when his office told him straight up that they weren’t sending him anywhere, clashing our hope. Our wedding was 2 month away, there was nothing we could do but start planning for me to relocate. Our courtship had been long-distance, and we didn’t think it wise to make the marriage long-distance as well, cos a lot of things you get to know about your spouse you can only do so by living with them. & we wanted to know ourselves, through and through. However, moving down here was the hardest thing I could have done. I resigned from a good paying job, gave most of my stuff away, & all my savings went into our marriage. I was in a city I hated, doing a job that was driving me insane, & I was broke. January to March was a pretty tough time in our marriage cos I was whining a lot. I’ve to confess, am not a very pleasant person to live with when I’m unhappy. And I was really unhappy. I know a woman gives up a lot for the sake of her marriage, but I would often wonder if I’d given up much more than I was required. I quit the job last month & things are better. Now, we have to rely on only one income, but it’s all good. Until I start a new job, we’re cutting cost. Plus now that I don’t have to deal with the maddening Lagos traffic, I’m a much happier person. People drive like crazy folks here, mehn! Also, electricity is better at our new apartment than at FESTAC, so at least I worry less about the things in the fridge spoiling.

What is your hope for a new Lagos?
I wish an El-Rufia would come to Lagos. I was in Abuja in 2001, for the first time. I see the difference that man made to the city. I believe that’s what Lagos needs – someone to come change the way they do things here. Maybe it’d be harder, & will definitely take more than 4 years of Fayose’s rule. Maybe even 8 years, cos Lagos is a good example of what several years of bad habits can do to a city. I think the worst attitude I find with those who are so used to Lagos ways, is that they are proud of their bad behaviours! They see it as being street-smart! That just kills me. Still, the governor is setting precedence – that’s highly commendable. If whoever comes after him will keep up with the good job, get people to clean up their individual acts & the understanding of what’s acceptable (behavioral change message no be only for HIV oh), then indeed there is hope. Anything else na just white-wash!


Adaeze said...

I love this woman!
Can relate so much to everything.
I've just recently gotten into writing, but me too I am shy to the public and all that. And So glad you will teach your sons to cook! That is a must for men of the 21st century, lol.
I have officially started following Ruffin it, was following Bambina from before. Starting a farm? Interesting and original choice. Nice interview Standtall.

Rebirth said...

Interesting interview..... FFF is a writer who's works i admire and look forward to reading so try to publish at least one book... it will be worth it

Jennifer A. said...

LOL @ "My husband can't cook!" It's so funny that he wanted you to eat garri...all my sons must learn how to cook too when they are of age.

I enjoyed this interview and got to know FFF more...

LG said...

FFF all the way :-)

Good Naija Girl said...

What a great interview; FFF seems very down to earth and I enjoyed getting to know her better! So when can we expect to see her book in the stores? :)

Great interview, Standtall!

Vera Ezimora said...

Awww. FFF!!!

LOL @ your husband offering to bring you garri. Hehehehehe. Well, @ least he offered na! He didn't want you to go hungry. It's so funny. I can only imagine what that did to you.

"I'm telling you that I'm starving and you're offering me garri. Is garri food?!?! Answer me, MM. Is garri food???!!"

Okay, calm down, Vera. LOL!!

I really enjoyed this interview. One thing I love about you is your honesty. Good stuff. Oh, and I love that picture. I think I told you that already.

Madam Standtall.... another wonderful job. Keep the flag flying!!

doll (retired blogger) said...

i luv this interview

Babes i understand ur sentiments about Lagos...its crazy...i wil;l do anything for an Abuja job even take a pay i drove for 3 and half hours to get to work...

I think you should publish a book o!you write real gd

Tigeress said...

Standtall, another thumbs up to you.

Didnt know FFF was a writer- then again i havent been following her blog for long.

Good job Standtall, good job.

tobenna said...

Standtall has done it again!
FFF For Life!
WOuldn't want to get on your bad side :P
Glad to see/hear/read you are still as lovable as ever. Your husband is just like me. I try though. At least I make her a hot cupa chocolate everynight. Sigh.
P.S. Does this illness have anything to do with an amniotic sac?
Is Fayose the governor of Lagos state? I thought it was Fashade?

Well done ST, for exposing FFF what she really is. A lovable baby.

poeticallytinted said...

OH FFF. I've always like her! nice to get to know you better gurl. You are the real deal!

Flourishing Florida said...

@ tobenna: lol. yeeeeeee! u don expose me as d secret dumb blonde oh. fayose or fashade, i no know. i know say 'fah' dey 4 de man name sha. forgive me.

isha said...

Lol, I know about FESTAC electricity situation, I live it. Nothing to write home about.

Fayose??!! HAAAAA!

I enjoyed this interview. Yeah, I feel you on the writing to get published thing. I write somethings sometimes, and people read them and are like, get this in print, but I never think I'm good enough ... yet. I've some that have been web-published, but that's the highest. I'm praying that I get better and better. I'm seeing signs that I'll be having works published. Hmmm...

Sounds like our minds work the same way. My head can create a scene from ... anything. It's scary sometimes, even for me.

Yay, FFF. Great interview. (See how you put hubby on blast, chei!)

tommeh said...

Interesting interview! FFF really let out everythin'.. good job.

Gattina said...

I fully agree with this woman ! and my son is a very good cook it's even his hobby, lol ! My husband and I share the household scores, we are both retired and I really don't see why I should do everything alone, I am retired too !

temmy tayo said...

I really enjoyed this. I was just feeling as if i am reading about myself.

The things women do to sustain a home. May God bless our efforts.

Nice one guys!

Jude Ifeme said...

FFF,I can only say i have just got to knowing you better. But you didn't tell them your views can be rock-hard I enjoyed every bit of this.

Nigerian Drama Queen said...

1. I love the's so beautiful!
2. I need to check her Bambina blog...
3. FFF is a great story need to pursue getting published already babes!
4. I miss the personal stuff on FFF's blog...I remember all the pre-wedding
5. It must have really been love to move from Abuja to's a hard would be for me @ least...
6. Great always Ms.Standtall

QMoney said...

Yipee,st has interviewed FFF,i knew urs would be fun to read!!!
As long as MM brought milk for the garri,he's on
OKay,were u and tobenna joking cos its NEITHER Fayose nor fashade!!!
so if i go "who wants to be a millionaire?na so una go fall my hand??d answer is.........Fasholaaaaa!!LOL


Yay, it was about time we got to hear from FFF!

I am glad she has a husband who carries his weight in the house. To me, that is the mark of a real man. Not saying he has to be a 5 star chef or nothing, but a man that knows how to try and help his wifey out is a keeper. Good for you, FFF!!!


The Activist said...

Hey where is our fabulous FFF, we need your responses cuz we love you!

Gattina said...

Thank you very much for this nice award ! very kind of you !
Your poor cats ? why do you bath them ? Here the vets say that bathing a cat is not good for them because it damages the skin protection. Brushing is good.
I am sorry I couldn't read your whole post, we are going on holidays on Friday and time is short !

aloted said...

i enjoyed reading this interview :)

lovely photo

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