Erotic Capital

“I’ve often speculated why you don’t return to America. Did you abscond with the church funds? Did you run off with a senator’s wife? I like to think that you killed a man. It’s the romantic in me.”
– “It’s a combination of all three.”
– “What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?”
– “My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.”
– “The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.”
– “I was misinformed.”
Casablanca (1942)

 

 

I sprawled lazily across my bed this afternoon, wallowing in the non-specific guilt that assails me with every hangover, and feeling like someone was playing the konga with my skull. As I lay there feeling useless and unproductive, I reminded myself again and again that I had done this to myself, I had taken the decision to indulge, to let my hair down, and now I was paying the price. Ying/yang, action/reaction, drunk/hungover.

So I picked up the remote controls and started channel surfing, looking for the perfect material for wasting time on a slow day, something that would leave the usually over tasked centres of reasoning within my brain without stimulation for a while. And that was how, to my utmost surprise, I did something I would never have done if I was in the right frame of mind. I found myself watching an entire episode of ‘The kardashians’. But the most shocking thing of all was that as I sat there watching them prance around with their over made-up faces, perfect houses, and vapid conversations, a strange emotion snuck up on me, I found that I was consumed with envy.
While I curled my lips in disgust at the parade of vanity before me, I realised that I was envious of these people and the glamorous lives they led. What had they done to deserve it? Why didn’t I also have undeserved wealth and fame? What did they have that I didn’t? And then it struck me. I had been sleeping on my assets; I was guilty of the crime of neglecting to invest in my erotic capital.
What’s that? you ask. Well according to Catherine Hakim, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, erotic capital is:
“an underrated class of personal asset, to set beside economic capital (what you have), human capital (what you know) and social capital (who you know).”
in her book; ‘Honey Money’: The power of Erotic Capital, she further describes erotic capital as a complex mix of physical and social assets, consisting of beauty, sex appeal, self-presentation, social skills, liveliness and sexual competence. Like other sorts of capital, the erotic kind is important for success; but unlike others it is largely independent of birth and class. It is especially valuable for poor people, young people, the newly arrived and the otherwise unqualified.
Her basic premise is that the world smiles at good-looking people, and they smile back”. Now this is not some great and wonderful discovery, in fact its basic common sense. People who look good radiate more confidence and people respond to them accordingly. But the theory of erotic capital takes this a bit further; MS Hakim posits that erotic capital should be exploited for advantage in every possible way, especially by women. And especially in societies where women have had to worker harder than men to succeed.
The critics and media have bashed Ms Hakim’s book and she has been accused of urging women to pander their bodies to get ahead.(as if they need any urging)
But is this such a bad thing really? It’s nothing new. Women like Helen of troy, and Cleopatra brought the world to its knees by exploiting their erotic capital. Ever since Cleopatra batted her eyelashes at Mark Anthony and caused kingdoms to crumble, physical allure has been a currency just as valid as dollars and Naira.
So  It got me  wondering why I had been frittering away my erotic capital when clearly I should have been spending it. I have always believed in looking good, but as I have frequently discovered, ‘looking good’ is a very subjective phrase.

I never gave a fuck in the past, but now I was beginning to think of my appearance as an actual career tool. Would I have gotten that promotion earlier if I had worn shorter skirts and false eyelashes more often? Would I have banged my dream job by now if I had invested in some Brazilian or Peruvian hair? Had I gotten it all wrong by practicing discretion and subtlety when I could have made me a fortune by cultivating and flaunting my erotic capital assets?
I can see now, I have been too frugal with my erotic capital, but the good news is my low spending record must mean that I’ve accumulated quite a nice nest egg, which I am now ready to dip into. I have decided to make some investments.
Gone are the days when I used to berate reality TV stars, socialites, and the like for their vanity and supposed stupidity. I’ve come to see that they’re actually rather clever. Especially the ones from modest backgrounds. Faced with a deeply socially immobile society, these people are skillfully utilizing alternative assets to have a greater chance of climbing up the ladder. These ‘airheads’ are taking advantage of the sexualisation of society which has led to erotic capital being incredibly useful.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world people, and according to natural selection, those best equipped for the fight will rise to the top.
I draw the line at attaching false body parts; no false lashes or nails. Although a butt implant is not totally out of the question in the future, as I am sadly lacking in that area.
I am ready to dip into my erotic capital savings and spend, spend, spend. Brazilian hair and shorter hemlines here I come!
*unleashes sexy beast* The world will never be the same again.

-Insert clever title here-

“I know you’re cheating on your wife”, I remarked casually to the man as we left the boardroom. “I beg your pardon?” he said, his pitch changing, his smooth, suave business executive demeanour quickly giving way to shock and indignation. I experienced a moment of instant satisfaction as I observed the guilt and shock written all over his face. I hadn’t met this man before today, but I had just spent three hours sitting in a meeting which he had chaired. He had turned an interactive session into a lecture, instructing when he should have been discussing. I had been so bored that I had spent the last 30minutes fantasizing about how I was going to wipe his smug condescending smile off his face.

I didn’t know or care if he was cheating on his wife. He probably was though, he seemed like the type. “Oh it’s nothing” I said, following my statement with a tinkling laugh. He was too flustered to do anything but laugh along and then quickly excuse himself to go to the gents. It was a delicious moment. Moments like these get me through the drudgery.

My day job, involves quite a lot of meetings, presentations, and general networking, which for a girl of my awkward disposition can be very daunting. But I do what I gotta  do. I’m trying hard to perfect the firm handshake, the bland polite smile, the corporate jargon, and all the other annoying but necessary tools of business networking. And I’m getting quite good at it, even if I say so myself. However every once in a while, I have to suppress the urge to scream.

As I looked around the boardroom earlier, observing their nods and polite smiles as they listened to Mr c.e.o ramble on about leveraging our assets and adding value by incentivising dynamic solutions and the dynamic ever-changing environment, I felt like I was looking at a bunch of sheep. Well dressed, well groomed intelligent sheep, but sheep nonetheless. I was restless and irritated, knowing that I also had a bland smile plastered on my face and was nodding along with the other sheep. That was when I started to plan my little moment. I had to get him for this. I had to see him squirm.

I’m back at my desk now, with a load of deadlines looming ahead. It’s time for me to sign off and go leverage my core competencies and metricize the flow of some deliverables. See I told you I was quite good at it. Every time I ask myself why the hell I came back to this, I comfort myself by thinking about the big picture. My plan is unravelling slowly but surely. I could tell you about it so you too can marvel at my genius and utter amazingness, but we’ll leave that for another day. You see, the wolf may dwell in the sheepfold for certain purposes, but the wolf must eventually discard the sheep’s clothing and reveal its true nature. One cannot consent to creep when one feels the need to soar.

While we live…..

Hi guys,

So i’m back from my self imposed exile. i wish that i could say i missed blogging, but the truth is i never got used to it, not enough to miss it anyway.And honestly, i forgot this place still exsisted. But the good news is i’m back again to give it another shot.Lets see how it goes this time.

What have i been up to? Oh everything,but to summarize….LIFE!.Eating,drinking,dancing,laughing,making love,crying,writing,working,reading,shouting, you know, living life in its beautiful and crazy entirety. In the months since i last posted here, i have LIVED!  This particular morning, it feels more beautiful than ever to be alive, it feels so fucking great!

There was a plane crash in Lagos yesterday, and 153 people(or more)left this world abruptly,suddenly, without warning or notice, they were gone in a blaze of flames.It is a dark day indeed. Many families have been thrown into mourning.In the next couple of weeks there will be accusations and counter accusations, jobs will probably be lost. But for those who were on the flight,it is the end(or the beginning, depending on your view of the afterlife). This just fills me with a burning desire to get on with my life,to pick up those unfinished projects and finish them, to give procrastination the heave-ho.

I keep thinking, what if someone on that plane had a book they were yet to finish writing, or an unfinished painting, or a budding idea that could have changed the world? Life comes with no gaurantees people,no time outs,no second chances.Get out there and Live. I mourn for all that were lost in the Dana plane crash, i mourn for their families, but most of all i mourn for those dreams that went down in flames.

RIP dearly departed.

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Greener pastures

Two days ago, Mrs O, an elderly acquaintance, a woman I have known for many years, came by my house to tell me she would soon be retiring to the village with her aging husband. “I  dey go home finally this august” she said. I could hear the barely contained excitement in her voice as she said this, then she went on to tell me about how they no longer had  a house in the village to retire to, and how her church was building a home for  herself and her husband. I could hear the uncertainty in her voice as she told me this. She had come to see me to ask what I would be contributing towards her ‘send-off’.

This is a woman I have grown quite fond. She is one of those people who have over the years, become semi-permanent fixtures in my life. She could always be seen at her roadside shed selling whatever fruit is in season or roasting boli(roasted plantain) or corn. Always ready with a warm greeting and a smile. A hardworking woman, barely scrapping a living, but always positive, always hustling. I have seen her sell everything from tomatoes, to herbs for curing malaria.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the long sojourn was worth it. Why leave the village in the first place? Why leave the relative safety and peace of mind for the hustle and bustle of Lagos ? Roasting plantains and corn by the roadside, under the hot sun and barely making enough to send her children to public school. Why do people leave this country and then spend 20 years in other countries, only to come back with nothing to show for it?

The never-ending search for greener pastures, better opportunities for the children, the Golden Fleece, call it what you will. Human beings have always migrated in search of better opportunities. For previous generations, it was mostly rural to urban migration; moving to the big city. Nowadays its more international. Out of over a thousand Nigerian contacts I have on Facebook, three quarters of them stay abroad, and most of those who don’t are planning to migrate. However, there’s yet another wave of recent migrations, those who have given up the search for the golden fleece in ‘obodo oyibo’ and are returning, anxious to find it back home.

I understand why, Mrs O and her husband are returning to the village in their old age, now that the children are all grown up, they would like to live out their last days in peace, to die and be buried in the only place they can call home.

I will miss her warm smile and cheerful countenance though.

They say the grass is greener on the other side, I say, let’s make it green on our side.

Easy skanking…

Strolling along the beach……..

Him: “I hate it when it hits you too quick.the pleasure’s in the puffing and passing.”

Me: “Why stroll, when you could be flying?”

Him: “i like to cruise into my high, not  hit the sky one time”

Me: Passing the joint over…..”SSSSShhhh!”

good times!TGIF people.

 

The unflushable

So i just spent 30 minutes in the toilet battling with an unflushable.The bloody piece of shit just wouldnt go.It wasnt big or anything, was quite small actually, but the damn thing just stubbornly stayed there floating.It had finally emerged from the dark murky recesses of its birthplace and now that it had  glimpsed and felt the light and air of the glorious world, it was not in a hurry to go off to another dark murky dwelling place. It took 4 flushes for the little mofo to budge and i had to wait for the wc to fill up each time.It was an annoying waste of my time. Must have been the isi-ewu i ate yesterday, goats are believed to be stubborn creatures.

 

Truth!

Our ancestors were not religious, but highly spiritual. Religion is political and exploitative, while spirituality is self-realization, actualization, and soul development process, which recognizes the reality that man is an explorer on this particular planet earth” – Chief NOSAKHARE ISEKHURE.