Friday, January 31, 2014

NO OFFENCE (but you're not cute)

Image from here

I was showing some friends around the VI/Ikoyi area in Lagos the other day: a man, his wife and their two-year-old. We stopped at Silverbird Galleria on Ahmadu Bello, to find something to eat. I hadn’t been there in ages, and so we paused at the lobby while I tried to remember where the Barcelos restaurant was.

Out of nowhere, two young ladies materialised in front of us. They were conducting an opinion poll on the recently passed anti-homosexuality bill and wanted to know what we thought. I was casting my eyes around looking for Barcelos, wondering if they’d moved and if we should leave the galleria, so I wasn’t paying them too much attention. The couple explained that they were only visiting Nigeria and weren’t aware of the bill.

One of the girls was gazing at the wife, an adoring look on her face. ‘You’re so beautiful,’ she said. The wife replied with a polite thank you, and I was about to suggest that we go upstairs when the same girl looked at me and added, ‘Sorry, no offence.’

I took a moment to try and figure out the possible implications of her ‘apology’: sorry that she’s so beautiful and you’re so not? Don’t be offended that I have no compliments for you?

Yes, Person That I’ve Never Met And Probably Won’t Ever See Again, I care whether you think I’m pretty. I want you to like me, Stranger. When I woke up this morning, my thoughts were on you. I prayed that when I ran into you today you’d look upon me with eyes made of dreams and tell me that I am beautiful, and thereby validate my existence. And now that you have not, my life means nothing. Excuse me, for I will now rush on home and slit my wrists in the bathtub – or standing in the shower, as I have no bathtub. Over my gravestone they will write, ‘She Who Was Not Deemed Beautiful’.

This is what I might have said to her, if I were a different kind of person. But I’m not. So I said, ‘I’m not offended’, and I herded my people upstairs.

I’m learning to find silver linings in dark, ugly clouds, so here’s one: if I hadn’t had this partly annoying, partly amusing encounter, this blog post would not exist.

Still, it wouldn’t have hurt to have given her something to think about; something like ‘You’re stupid, no offence.’


  1. LOLZ. I feel that way sometimes too.
    Like "you really think I give a fuck what you feel/think about me? Wow! But you're not that important to me now."
    People tend to think too highly of themselves sha

    1. I know!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. LMAOOOO!!!!! If that encounter wasnt soo stupid, it's be outright hilarious! Her "no offence" comment was soo unnecessary....even I am sitting here with a befuddled look on my face like...."uhn?!"
    Mcchewwwwwww.....some people and their misguided sense of political correctedness! Mchewwwwwwww

    You really should have given her something to think about. Next time, she'ld have learned how to give proper compliments or not!

    1. Lol. I hope she tries it with someone else, just so she can have a different experience.

      Thanks for reading.

  3. Good to know smart, serious people are conducting these polls.

  4. The sickening story of my life in Lagos...

    I'm very blunt bordering on rude and I'm certain I would blurted out something rude to her.


    1. Maybe an equally rude response would have been good for her, so she'd know not to say something like that next time.

  5. I would have been too confused to even answer her. Trying to understand what da fudge just happened. I still don't understand what that was all about.