SUITS AND TIES (Part 10)

SUITS AND TIES (Part 10)

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the readership of Suits & Ties, y’all whose feedback have made me better and more self aware, whose remarks contribute in making life more bearable in a way I know wouldn’t be possible without this series, where I’m able to tell my stories and use the recommendations of the readership to make my world a better place, one moment at a time.

The drive to write this episode was birthed by a dinner I had with a friend a few Friday evenings ago. The dinner was at The Place in Ikeja, the food was delicious, and the company was charming. There was lots of gist and laughter, and the camaraderie was so easy and gay that we couldn’t help drawing the attention of some of the other diners and servers as well. The ease of our company was something I found curious, considering the friend I was out with. He is this kind of gay man who is extremely discrete and likes to play it very safe in public; that evening however, he seemed very comfortable with me and his laugh came very freely, his repartee rising and falling very freely.

We were having a good time. And part of that was because of the gist I had to share with him over a recent shenanigan at my workplace – gist I’m now about to share with you guys.

So yes, the story is about me and my office people again. Here’s a quick reminder: I work in quite the homophobic office, and while before this used to bother me, causing me to flare up or get too agitated in my dealings with my colleagues whenever the topic of sexuality came up, I’d grown to let a lot of things go and be actively passive whenever the prejudice of my co-workers took centre stage.

On this particular day, a colleague – let’s call him Johnson – from another department sauntered into my department and called out a greeting.

“Hello, everybody,” he said in a loud, merry voice, “and a special shout out to JBoy!”

I was startled by that and had just turned to look at Johnson, when I caught the speculative look another colleague had just turned to me. This colleague is Rosemary (You may remember her from Episode 7 where she had an issue with Ricky Martin and his Grammy-winning, homosexual self). She had instantly turned to assess my reaction to Johnson’s “special greeting” and so, had caught my bewildered expression. Then she turned back to her work as I looked at Johnson above the heads in the office and said, “Um, why the special shout out, Johnson? What’s the prize?”

“Can’t someone wish you a special shout out again?” Johnson replied with a chuckle.

“No. No special shout out o, not just like that.”

“Well, let’s just say the reason is that I like you.”

“Oh.” My brows shot up in mild surprise as the devil took possession of me. “Oh so you’re beginning to like me.”

Someone chuckled somewhere. Johnson’s brow furrowed as though he didn’t like the direction this was now going.

“How do you mean?” he asked.

“I mean, so you like me, like, like me like me?” I said with a wicked smile.

The man recoiled physically from my unsubtle meaning. “No! No, no, no!” he protested while gesturing with his hands as though pushing off an invisible weight from him. “It’s not like that o, before you push words into my mouth.”

“Okay please, how is it like then?”

“Excuse me, hope you know I’m a married man?” Johnson said with some affront. “How can you be telling a married man that he likes you?”

My retort was on the tip of my tongue, waiting to drop. The fact that you’re a married man does not mean you cannot like me like me. I was going to say that. I’d opened my mouth to say that.

But Rosemary beat me to it. She’s Ms. Know-it-all, Ms. First to Google every celebrity for gossip and life history – and from her position of omnipotence, she interjected, “Johnson please, shush it there!” Her eyes were flashing as she sat up and directed her ire at the unfortunate man. “Just shush and let us hear word please. The fact that you’re a married man, married to a woman, does not determine who you’ll love to fuck.”

My mouth dropped open as I tried to determine what shocked me more, her vulgarity or the fact that this kind of realistic opinion was coming from her.

She wasn’t finished yet. “Let me tell you, these days, there are things called arranged marriages, marriages of convenience where men who like to fuck men marry women who know nothing about their homosexual desires. Then there are those marriages where the wife actually knows but chooses to look the other way in the name of bearing the title of Mrs. Then there are yet others were both the wife and the gay husband marry because they both have secrets to protect. So the fact that you have a wife or children doesn’t mean jack! You don’t make a case about being straight by simply saying you’re married. That doesn’t mean anything these days.”

She was speaking the truth, but she was doing it so openly, so starkly, slashing at Johnson, the man himself who had begun to look like he was cursing the fates that brought him to our office. I had to come to his rescue; after all, he had wished me a special shout out. So I decided to take on the mantle of devil’s advocate.

I cut in, cutting off Rosemary’s flow. “Wait first, Rosemary, how do you know all these things?”

This was the perfect diversionary tactic I could ever employ, especially in my office. These people love nothing more than to salivate over people’s possible homosexuality. And it worked. The second the question left my mouth, Missy (another colleague who, you’ll remember from Episode 6, went head to head with me over Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) snapped it up.

“JBoy, that’s true,” she spoke up. “Rose, answer him. How do you know this much?”

Rosemary did a double take as she sensed the tides turning against her. She raised her hands in that back-it-up gesture as she said, “Wait, hold on, wait, wait, I don’t get what you people are trying to insinuate.”

“We are not insinuating anything o,” I said, relishing her discomfort. “And I’ll wait, if you want me to wait. I’ll wait for you to explain how you became this knowledgeable about the different marriage scenarios involving gay men and women. I really want to understand how you were able to intelligently categorize these scenarios. I’m waiting, I’m just waiting for your answer.” My words were dripping with unasked questions and proffered answers.

“It’s not like that,” Rosemary snapped, catching on. “These are the things that happen.”

“Well, where did you hear of them happening? Tell us please, Rosemary, because I’m sure there’s a story.” Finally, I’d had enough of being subtle and simply gave it to her directly. “It’s either you swing both ways or you’re a lesbian – which one?”

Rosemary flinched, and her expression immediately grew stormy as she bristled. “How dare you?” she spat at me. “What gives you the right to arrive at that conclusion?”

“Several situations gave rise to my conclusion,” I said, unperturbed by her annoyance. “You want to hear them?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She wheeled around to face her work station. “And I’ve left this discussion.”

“But you must listen to me o.” I wasn’t quite done with her. It wasn’t often I got to put her on the defensive whenever it came to sexuality talks in the office. “One of those situations is how you’re quick to know which celebrity is gay or not, how you’re always gushing about the ones you suspect of being gay, and how you like to go on and on about their sexuality. My dear, no straight woman gives that kind of attention to that kind of gossip. Either’s there’s a story with you or at the very least, you’re bicurious.”

Missy is one co-worker who is always on Rosemary’s side whenever they’re attacking me, just as fierily homophobic as the other woman. But today, she wasn’t so much on her side. She stood from her work station, now ready to be part of the conversation.

“Rosemary,” she said, her expression a little sour, “JBoy has a point. Please clarify us because I’m beginning to get worried.” And she did look worried. “Ah! Is that why you kept telling me when I was pregnant that my boobs were getting bigger. Hay God! I’m worried o! In fact, whenever I’m entering the ladies and you’re coming up behind me, I will run from you, because now I’m worried.” She said that last bit with some jocularity, but behind the tone, I could tell she was serious about being wary of her friend.

Rosemary, who had plugged her ears with ear phones, looked focused on her work and determined to ignore us. Her wooden expression betrayed the fact that she could still hear us.

And Missy saw this, before saying, “Rosemary, talk o! Talk! We know there’s no music playing in that ear phone! Better answer me now.”

Rosemary ignored her.

Missy now turned to me. “But jokes apart, JBoy, those things she said could be true – that men actually marry women to distract the society from their true desires. And to think they even go ahead to make babies…” She shuddered at the absurdity of her thinking.

“Being gay doesn’t mean one can’t make babies,” I said, “in case that’s what you’re thinking. But I’m still interested in how Rosemary knows all of these things she was saying.”

“No, no, let’s forgive Rose,” Missy said. “She has over-talked. The main issue now is that I’ worried, not only about Rose, but about me, a wife to a man. So it’s a possibility that my husband has me as a wife just to appear good before the society and to his family, and then we make babies, and all this time, he desires a man. Ah” – she clapped her hands theatrically – “there is problem o! So it has come to the level where we don’t even know who is gay.”

Was there ever a time you knew who was gay? I thought. Aloud, I said cajolingly, in silent commiseration of this man who was about to be subjected to the fierce suspicion of his wife, Missy, “Missy, don’t get it wrong or twisted. People will always be people. But I will not encourage you to be thinking these things about your husband. He is your husband, that’s all that should matter. Don’t be tempted to go scrutinizing him or damaging the trust you’ve had in him all this time. With all these things Rosemary said, she has planted a seed in your heart that’s making you have doubts about the man you married. Don’t let that seed germinate otherwise the question of your husband’s sexuality will quickly be the least of your problems. Don’t go looking for a truth that’s not there to find.”

By this time, as I rounded up my speech feeling like Dr. Phil, I noticed that Johnson, the architect of this episode had already snuck out of the office. Missy went back to her seat, still looking unsettled. And I spared a fleeting feeling of sympathy for her husband before refocusing on Rosemary and the window she’d unwittingly opened for me into her life as a sexual human being. For the longest time, I’d had her pegged as a prejudicial straight woman because of her relentless homophobia, but now, I wondered if perhaps all that was just her overcompensating for her self-rejecting sexuality as a not-so-straight woman. Or was her knowledge rooted in a flirtation with bicuriosity? Or was she actually a straight woman who knows this much and all this is an indication that with each passing day, Nigeria’s consciousness on LGBT issues keeps growing?

Written by JBoy

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47 Comments

  1. Foxydevil
    October 07, 05:42 Reply

    Am I the only one not ebullient or zestfully enthusiastic about reading this series?
    I feel we have been perambulating with no perspicacious conclusion.
    Not once have I sensed any sort of growth from this particular writer.
    The series started really well and was interesting for a minute (the crush thing with a Co worker, many in your office assumed you were dating), ( the not so subtle outing of a present eastern governor) by a Co worker …. tacky ,I must say, but made an enjoyable read. Then it reached an abhorrent form of drag and has stayed there ever since.
    This office conversation is so hackneyed and overdone that I can’t even with it.
    We are living in the 21st century, there is Empire, there is game of thrones, even before then, late in the 1990’s we had Keller and Beecher and these are all popular shows that rake in a shitload of viewership, people are more aware than ever about homosexuality and how it operates, getting a few Co workers to chatter away like winebibbers is not my idea of growth individually or generally.
    If this was a TV series ,I’m pretty sure it would have been canceled by now.
    It’s basically office gathering, inserts a homosexual topic, some show disgust, some show understanding at the end everyone has learnt something, the end.
    It is like a badly written “Tyler Perry ” movie and that’s saying something cause if you have watched “if loving you is wrong ” you’d agree with me that Tyler Perry is horrendous.
    Please try to be more engaging in your submissions.Let us know how you’ve grown, how the people around you have grown too, you sound smart and obviously successful, how hard is it to scribble up some interesting pieces of your life .
    🚶.

    • mane
      October 07, 06:58 Reply

      shebi you know it is not fiction? if there is nothing to tell about the growth, all he can do is tell us about what’s currently happening. This is not a shonda rhimes movie that u will be demanding character growth

      • Mandy
        October 07, 09:19 Reply

        Thank you, mane.

        Honestly Foxydevil, not everyday is the day to wave this “intellect” card you try so hard to convince us you have.

        And by the way, you realize you don’t have to “ebulliently or zestfully enthusiastically” (Jeezuz! The tautulogy in there though) read the series. You can simply not waste your data clicking on something you don’t find interesting.

        PS: Suits and Ties is about life, not a Hollywood TV series. Maybe when you’re capable of writing your own nonfictional series that steadily entertains without you sprinkling it with lies, then you can talk.

        • Foxydevil
          October 07, 11:57 Reply

          Mr English corrector, I used “or” so it is no tautology (spelt o BTW) or can be used for synonymous words, that have the same meaning. So before you rush in to correct me, make sure you are not making a fool of yourself.
          Had it been I said “and ” now you would be making sense.

        • Foxydevil
          October 07, 13:28 Reply

          LMAO .
          “this intellect card, you are trying so hard to convince us you have ”
          Now that statement is all shades of laughable.
          Only if you knew how irrelevant your opinion or anyone else’s is to me, then you wouldn’t even bother writing such trash.
          What you want to believe or what you choose to believe doesn’t in anyway change who I am.
          You are just an anonymous character in a site (I do enjoy thoroughly) ,(and I really like your character because for the most part, you are civil )
          But don’t overrate your role in my life.
          If I desperately wanna seek approval of some sort, I would do so with people that contribute meaningfully to my life not some anonymous characters ,I most likely would never ever get to meet.
          ********
          My comments reflect how I feel about a particular post. If I like the post I comment positively, if the post is downright ridiculous, I skip it altogether and if I feel the post is a drag but could be better, I let out my criticism.
          Just like you are entitled to your opinion, I am entitled to mine.
          I seldom reply people because I respect their opinions and feel they have every right to express it, but you people have vowed never to let me be in peace, always waiting like a pack of hungry, deranged, hysterical hyenas to pounce on my comments.
          The funny thing about men is that they try to pass off their insecurities to others… it is the only way they can relieve themselves of the demons haunting them(a cowards way out no doubt 😀)
          If I were desperate to sound intelligent, I would just be like you. Say all the right things, splattering advices I don’t apply to my personal life and sounding like the perfect blend of Cinderella and a snoozing Rapunzel, tucked away in a fairy castle bereaved of reality and common sense. 😁
          The world is full of bad and good people. Since you and Delle have assumed the role of the good ones (the admirable ones, everyone waits upon to say all the right things) let me the bad person in peace and don’t pass over the role you are trying so hard to play to me ,because I couldn’t care less whether you think I’m an airhead or not ,if I did, I would simply replicate your stance (the unoriginal bunch, that exists in dimes and dozens on the internet, knowing all the right ways to live yet the world is a living mess)

          Now let’s address that last paragraph.
          *******
          The hilarity of it all.
          Very bold and unwise assertion.
          For a mere mortal with limited knowledge, mindset, et al.
          To sit on his dusty ,cough inducing couch and conclude another man’s story is a lie ,simply because he leads a boring one 😥
          I’ve had my misgivings about some stories submitted here too, under non fictions, but even I, I’m not foolish enough to voice out my doubt without giving it some benefit of doubts .
          Raspberry or lemonade (forgotten what his name is) shared a story, a sequel to his exploits with his supposed barber, many people thought the story looked like fiction, I thought it looked like fiction too but I deterred myself from saying it because it his story.I wasn’t there when it happened, I haven’t lived his life with him, the most sensible thing to do was to hold my opinion to myself.
          ****************************You know my life can be very boring too, just this morning, I downed a 500 hundred calorie breakfast,reclined on my favorite couch to watch some Indian women perform some intense but graceful dance moves. And logged into my fast becoming favorite blog to see if some people are already gesticulating all over my comment and here we are. Bit I wouldn’t bring myself to share such boring story because a writer must make his readers a priority, even an amateur one like me knows that much. So the fact I pick to share only the interesting stories about my personal life ,that engages the interest of the readers does not make it a farce ,it simply means you’ve been surrounded by liars all through your life, that you’ve started seeing everyone as one.
          I’m not responsible for your psychological make up now am I?
          I’ll advice you stop replying me, you are always on my case, even when I’m not mentioned you manage to insert me there, creating enough loopholes for some miscreants to use their dislike for me and derail the post.
          I tolerated it because you were always civil in your response but since you’ve lost that endearing quality you used to possess, I’ll advice you keep off or you might force me to start attacking back, who needs all that ugly ?
          The world is already hard enough.
          Anyway, don’t really wanna say much. 😂
          🚶.

          • Moses
            October 07, 14:46 Reply

            This is my first time commenting here, I had to. You sound like a very angry person. You should work on yourself. That’s all.

          • xoxo
            October 07, 14:50 Reply

            U don’t care what pipo think about u but u took out time to write a 10 page manuscript to reply him…. 😒😒😒🙄🙄🙄… aunty please nobody has time to read that ur plenty talk… and last I checked, it’s a non-fiction so he doesn’t need to lie to make the story please u… if u don’t want to read, shift, don’t come and be giving ur not needed opinion… he whose opinion is needed to post the story must have read it b4 posting it… and he still posted it… so madam shift, go and be annoying somewhere else…😏😏🚶🏻🚶🏻🚶🏻🚶🏻🚶🏻

      • JBoy
        October 12, 08:02 Reply

        Kizzez! Mane Darling

    • MagDiva
      October 07, 09:03 Reply

      You try too hard. Give it a rest already.

      • Delle
        October 07, 09:36 Reply

        Too too hard! It’s overly disgusting.

        • Foxydevil
          October 07, 12:00 Reply

          You know what disgusts me “cowards ”
          If you have something to say, try saying it directly to me.

          • Delle
            October 07, 17:24 Reply

            Umm but I did, Foxy. I mean, Magdiva’s comment is right under yours.
            Sigh.

            You can be smarter.

    • Ólay
      October 07, 11:23 Reply

      this foxy person sef ehhhhnnnn! you must live a really sad disturbed life. every single comment of yours I’ve seen on here is mostly negative. besides if you don’t like the series leave it alone. no one is forcing you to read

      • Foxydevil
        October 07, 12:02 Reply

        Try taking your own advice.
        Learn to skip my comments if it leaves you so dazed you had so say it thrice .
        What have you been smoking, shisha 😁

        • nuel
          October 07, 22:08 Reply

          in all sincerity Foxy I respect U… my love for u keeps growing. always looking forward to ur commentaries. pls Foxy keep it up. Nice story anyways.

    • Ólay
      October 07, 11:26 Reply

      this foxy person sef ehhnnn! you must live a really sad and disturbed life, every comment of yours I’ve seen on here is mostly negative. besides if you don’t like the series no one is forcing you to read it……

    • Ólay
      October 07, 11:26 Reply

      this foxy person sef ehhnnn! you must live a really sad disturbed life, every comment of yours I’ve seen on here is mostly negative. besides if you don’t like the series no one is forcing you to read it……

    • Black Dynasty
      October 07, 14:31 Reply

      Smh, superfluous commentary no one asked for or needs. I wonder why you need to try so hard?

      If you don’t like a story, don’t read it….. simple.

  2. shawn
    October 07, 07:16 Reply

    here he goes with the epistle 😵

    • Brian Collins
      October 07, 22:35 Reply

      I say ehn, no be small epistle o. Giving someone trash about how he “seldom reply people because I respect their opinions and feel they have every right to express it”, when the exact opposite is what he does.
      I come to KD to come and read stories and instead I get a story plus jara in form of epistles written by an absolutely bitter entity in the comments section.
      Nonsense and condiments. Where is Khaleesi when you need her?

  3. Bloom
    October 07, 07:20 Reply

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. Must have tasted like victory

    • JBoy
      October 12, 08:03 Reply

      Me glad you enjoyed it..

  4. Francis
    October 07, 07:26 Reply

    😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂

    Poor Madam Rose. She’ll probably be wary of joining public homo convos in the future

    • Mandy
      October 07, 09:21 Reply

      😂😂😂😂😂😂 Wallahi! After seeing her life on the houside, she’ll be more careful in the future.

      • trystham
        October 07, 12:40 Reply

        Looool. Wehdone, yoruba warrior. Oo ri aye e l’ode

    • JBoy
      October 12, 08:05 Reply

      She’s been very cautious and overly calm these days. I know she must have so much hate for me.

  5. WhoIsUgo
    October 07, 07:28 Reply

    No straight person can ever be bothered about homosexuality, ever. I promise. Same way I can’t be arsed about heterosexuality.

  6. Francis
    October 07, 07:29 Reply

    You people have removed the subscribe to comments thing again 😒😒😒😒😔😔😔

    • JBoy
      October 12, 08:09 Reply

      PP et Admin, *raising placards*, bring back our ‘Subscribe’ tab.😅

  7. Mandy
    October 07, 09:24 Reply

    In my opinion, when a person picks an inordinate amount of interest in something he/she publicly hates, then he must secretly desire it. People don’t just sit down to start acquiring information on issues they detest, especially not in these current times when there’s such little time and way too many things to do.

    Investigate Rose. Sista is lowkey worshipping in our church. 😃😆😉

    • JBoy
      October 12, 08:10 Reply

      Gbam!😅

      Oro ni!

      Thanks ShugAa😙

  8. Delle
    October 07, 09:34 Reply

    Oh God! The drama😂😂😂

    I had mixed feelings about the way Rosemary was treated but I guess she deserves it. There’s no sympathy for IH-ed people.

    And that Missy woman would go and start investigating her husband now. Sigh.

    • Pink Panther
      October 07, 09:42 Reply

      Abeg I enjoyed thoroughly how Rosemary was treated. I never have any sympathy for homophobes when they’re on a hot seat over their sexuality.

      And I half hope Missy will investigate her husband and find out he’s doing a lil sum’n sum’n on the side with man pussy. It’ll be such fantastic karma.

      • Delle
        October 07, 17:23 Reply

        Hahahhahahaha oh Pinky! You want Missy to go investigate her husband because it would make for a good entry! 😂😂😂😂

      • JBoy
        October 12, 08:17 Reply

        Can one person possess all these Evulness?

        PP, what happened to ya good heart?

    • JBoy
      October 12, 08:12 Reply

      Double Sigh.

      The poor man…I really do feel for him.

  9. Black Dynasty
    October 07, 14:29 Reply

    Lol good for madam Rose, next time she’ll shut up and mind her damn business.

    • JBoy
      October 12, 12:27 Reply

      Lolz! 😀 Let’s hope she learns

  10. quinn
    October 07, 22:09 Reply

    Rosy should just give it a try already

    • JBoy
      October 12, 12:28 Reply

      That’s if she isn’t already a subtle specialist

  11. Yazz Soltana
    October 10, 10:50 Reply

    I had to go back and read all the previous episodes to get what the foxydemon was saying..
    maybe the quality of tea in this episode is weak but tea na tea, lemon or green. ..
    We don’t expect him to invent drama to please us this is not Real Housewives abeg

    • Pink Panther
      October 10, 12:51 Reply

      *gasp* What are you insinuating about Real Housewives? 😀😀

    • JBoy
      October 12, 12:29 Reply

      Enjoy the Tea, regardless.

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