Dateline: Gracia, Barcelona, Spain
By Chiogor Constance Ikokwu
Whoever designed the delete function on the phone deserves an award. Acknowledging that it is an essential utility is stating the obvious. In my view, the usefulness goes beyond getting rid of messages. It can play a role in moderating one’s relationship with people. I never knew that until the circumstances of life landed me in Barcelona. Then, the delete button assumed a more active role in my interactions with people
How do I mean? Today, anyone whose behaviour towards me is less than appealing gets the boot without any question. I reach for that button and press delete. I never did this before. For some reason, this newly found power has given me freedom. It’s as if a burden has been lifted off my shoulderss. The thought that the number is no longer on my phone is elevating. I can’t explain why.
Maybe, I’m tired and no longer willing to accept people’s bad behaviour or I’ve become a kick-ass grown woman. I don’t know.
Upon reflection, I find that my younger self was more accommodating, bending over backward to please people. I swallowed the rudeness, lack of respect, meanness, unreturned care, being taken advantage of, etc. I was naïve many times. I was unable to decipher or interpret situations for what they were. Much of that is past tense now.
I moved to Barcelona and the scales fell off my eyes. I realized that I did not have to put up with nonsense. So, the delete button became my good friend. It wiped out unease in one fell swoop, without much fuss. Ha, I love it!
The amount of numbers I have deleted on my phone since living in Barcelona surpasses the lifespan of the device! I will give you an instance of one of those piss off moments that resulted in a DELETE.
We were planning an event. Names of some artists were suggested to me as potential acts. I contacted one of the artists, a lady from Latin America because we wanted a diverse performance. She and I communicated on social media over some days and agreed to meet at her convenience, and at a location of her choice.
I arrive at the location and she’s not there. I call her. She says: “I’m on my way.” I’m sitting there for the next one-hour waiting. This lady, with a tiny frame, eventually appears, wearing giant and elaborate braids, adorned in shorts, a blouse, jackets and, sandals. She looked every bit like an artist. But the annoying thing is that she strolls in leisurely as if nothing happened. To be honest, I felt like yanking those braids off her head. Urrrggggg. I took a deep breath, which calmed me down.
Then the bombshell – she does not have much time to speak with me. Why? She has to rush into the theatre for practice. “Can you wait,”? she asks. HELL NO, I replied. Are you serious right now?
I bluntly tell her that we either speak right away or reschedule. She cowers. We talk for about 15minutes. She likes my idea and accepts our invitation. A few days later, I receive a message from her saying she is unable to commit due to unforeseen circumstances. Where’s my delete button? Boy, I got rid of her number without thinking about it. Bye Felicia!
My old self would have tried to persuade her or at least, stay in touch. Not anymore!
This is not the first time this has happened in Barcelona. Sometimes, people are very late to meetings; have a lackadaisical attitude, and; don’t show enough regard for one’s time. I’ve learnt to deal with it by cutting ties. It might sound like a brash decision. But, believe me, when I say, it feels good!
Are you using your delete button in this manner too? Or are you still in the camp of people who gives many chances before pulling the rug? Do share your experiences. Have a good week!