Winie says … ‘Hook ups’ and their ‘mess ups’

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Babe dat your friend na correct catch oh, abeg na, hook me up’

I absolutely love Mercy, but in the middle of stirring a happy pot of Nsala soup on a beautiful Saturday afternoon like this one, her constant whining about my other friend, Daniel was irritating me to tatters.

Painstakingly, I gathered the last shreds of my patience. “I take God beg you,” I pleaded, “leave me alone!”

Her face changed and she stormed out of the kitchen, stomping my fragile wooden floor like a pissed off hippopotamus. This routine had been going on for the past three months, and I have absolutely no objection to her either dating or getting to know Daniel better. But as their mutual friend, I choose not to get involved; in fact, I shall not be found a thousand kilometers near the reason they choose to be together.

Who does that?! Right? Who in their right mind would pass up on the opportunity to ‘hook up’ two good people who might be meant for each other? I mean there are all sorts of perks to it: the sparkly toast they’ll make to you at the wedding reception; you get first shot at godmother to future offsprings, and don’t forget bragging rights – “I hooked them up ;)” It’s a juicy package, so why not? Well, don’t search too far; the answer is ‘Winifred’. Yes, me. E duro! Sit back and let me tell you a story.

It was a couple of years ago, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, much like this Saturday only without Nsala soup; I dey my side jeje when my good friend knocked on my door and would not stop ranting about my other friend and colleague. “Winie abeg, put in a good word for me,” were his words, “I really like her”. I interrogated him, and part-time psychoanalyst that I am, I determined that he was serious and had good intentions. So I obliged him and two months later, they were in a relationship.

Let’s just say that a few weeks down the line, some major kata kata burst and it was the messiest pre-marital divorce I had ever witnessed. Since I was the relationship initiator, I was the grass when the two elephants fought. Comments like, ‘how could you let them date?’, ‘Winie, you are wicked shaa’, ‘what made you think those two would ever work out?’, ‘how dare you let this happen?’ etc. were thrown at me. By-standers, other friends, acquaintances and gossips all had words of rebuke and advice for me. Everybody became self-acclaimed relationship experts.

All the while this nightmare was going on, my greatest fear was losing either of my friends to it. But I seemed to be the only thing they unwillingly had in common and even though I felt intense pressure to pick a side, I couldn’t. My friends’ pain tore me apart and no one was having a swell time. These two people couldn’t have been more wrong for each other, but somehow it hadn’t been as glaring initially. I struggled to find meaning, peace or even a way to move forward. What’s the right thing to say? Or do? I blamed myself for ever getting involved in the first place and would have done anything to undo it. But as it turned out, the only (sane) way to ride out the storm was to wait and see.

Eventually, waves of anger subsided and I picked up the bits and pieces of what was left of my friendship with both parties. Till date, these friendships still have some sore points; I still struggle with what to say or do whenever that experience comes up.

Back to my Saturday now, I watched Mercy as I set the table for lunch. She was sulking and staring at the TV. I reminded her again that she was too valuable for me to play ‘hook up’ games with. “If you like someone, go talk to him or wait and hope he notices you. But for the sake of our friendship which I hope to preserve, keep me out of it.” I gave her a big side hug and proceeded to tickle the frown off her. The explosive laughter that followed was a relief;  the only way to eat Nsala soup is in peace.

I know some very beautiful relationships have come out of ‘hook ups’, I also know about their ‘mess ups’ and how terrible they can be. I know that intense feeling of wanting to help a friend out and being unable to. If you ever find yourself being boxed into such a corner by a friend, here are a few things I have learned that just might help:

  1. Take a mirror, look in it and repeat these words ‘I AM NOT GOD’. It helps calm you down when you think you have the power to control or influence people’s lives and choices especially in relationship matters.
  2. The fact that someone is a good friend to you doesn’t mean that they’ll be a good romantic partner to you or someone else. As a matter of fact, the emotions that are specifically for romantic relationships, complicate things way more than you’ll ever anticipate. I say this to mean, your matchmaking MIGHT be a wrong fit. You never really know how a person will behave in a relationship regardless of how long you’ve known them as a friend.
  3. Let people choose for themselves. I mean the WHOLE process of making a choice. Let them convince the other person that they are good enough, without your own ‘few good words’. So that peradventure things don’t sail smoothly, no one will look at you and say ‘but you told me …’
  4. When your friends are dating, DRAW THE LINE. There should be that place where your friendship stops and their intimate private lives continue, especially when you know the two people involved. This is because, once you share that intimate space with them, it becomes CROWDED and heads start bumping. Take it from me; you’ll be the grass under two elephants.
  5. Finally, if and in the event kata kata burst, always remember your FRIENDSHIP is way more important than picking sides. So practice yoga if you have to, but you must straddle the thin line. After all is said and done, the people you meet and get to know are the summary of your existence. Every valuable friendship is worth keeping and maintaining.

That’s all I have to say. Your comments on COBIL were very enlightening, so let’s have more of that sunshine here. Have you had any experiences similar to mine? Do you have battle scars from meddling in ‘hook ups’ that we all can learn from? The Comments section is just a short scroll away, so hit it and share with us.

While you’re at that,

Winnie says … Have a Winning-Day.

For past editions of this column, click HERE

WAW

11 replies added

  1. Chisom August 2, 2015 Reply

    Oh, but you knew I was going to call you on that one, didn’t you? So you just respected yourself and confessed, okwa ya?lol. I don’t know if it’s a trend but among the people I know, I have noticed that those who don’t mind getting hooked up hardly try to hook other people up, and those who run from getting hooked up are always hooking other people up. A la Sandii na ndi otu ya *tongue* People shaa don’t like the taste of their own medicine.
    Still is an interesting topic, and an equally interesting perspective you just gave it, madam. Thanks 🙂

  2. Nmeri August 2, 2015 Reply

    This was lovely, and enlightening. I’m happy I haven’t had battle scars from the “Hook-up” wars cos I always play it safe when it comes to it. I don’t hook up nobody, cos the friendship always come first and I’m not willing to loose that over some lusting and initial gra gra.

    • Chisom August 2, 2015 Reply

      Hahahaha. If it is not lust nko?

    • Winie August 3, 2015 Reply

      Hi Nmeri….’lusting’ is a leap! Like Chisom asked, what if it’s not ‘lust’? Would you still ‘hook-up’?

  3. JayChioma August 2, 2015 Reply

    Me, I’m not hooking anybody up with anybody o…I’m not even putting in as much as a whisper for anybody. Goan talk how its doing you so that if kata kata burst, you’ll know that finally, na you go find trouble. And if you’re trying to spread the blame for the kata kata, I’ll have very little or no blame.

    If you can’t walk up to him or her and say what you think or feel…or just wait…then I don’t think it means much to you to date em. Shikena!

    Between, its a very lovely piece. Thanks for sharing.

    • Winie August 3, 2015 Reply

      Hi JayChioma…..I’m with you! Thanks for reading 🙂

    • Chisom August 3, 2015 Reply

      Hehehehe, e be like say some babes don dey club of ‘never-hook-up’ before dem born Winie sef.lol. It’s alright, Jay, they cannot force you. Definitely not while you’re on WAW waters 😉

  4. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with this ‘hook up’ thingy. To me, it’s like connecting demand to a potential ‘supply’ (think consulting). But one thing I wouldn’t fail to do is to ensure I do the ‘hook-ing up’ for the RIGHT (by my standards) reasons. So I would put myself in the other person’s shoes and attempt to answer the question: ‘With what I know about X, would I wanna have ABCD to do with him/her?’. So in the long run, ensure you satisfy your conscience without being fraudulent about the referrals. . .
    my 2 kobo

  5. Winie August 3, 2015 Reply

    Hi Sandii….I admire your courage. Yeah….I said courage..lol. You do make a good point about ‘mature people’. But I have a question: how do you gauge someone’s maturity especially when it concerns entering a relationship with another person? Abeg does compatibility play into this maturity measurement? Help us out!

  6. Evan August 5, 2015 Reply

    I so agree with Winie. In fact, someone is currently pestering the life out of me, asking me to find a wife for him amongst my fellowship sisters. But the kain run wey I dey run eh, Usain Bolt has got nothing on me. I don’t want any ‘stories that touch the heart’.

    • Chisom August 5, 2015 Reply

      Hahaha. Well, bearing in mind Winie’s experience, you wise die! But I think there’s always that 1.01% ‘what-if’ factor. Like, what if it could work out? What if it is meant to be? But shaa, dat one na just 1%, make i just respect myself.:)

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