Do you ever wonder what your report card would be like if people who know you were given slots to write their opinions of you? I really can't imagine how mine would read. But that's besides the point, this thing called i ju ese (meaning to ask questions) done in igbo land and I imagine almost every other culture, where when a person is about to become espoused to another they go and enquire about that person and their family. The questions are unlimited; is there any encumbrance on the person? does madness run in their family? Do they steal in their family? How did her grandfather die? Has anybody committed murder in their family? Do they have leprosy or any other strange disease? etc etc etc
Well that's the ones the parents do. The youngens are more modern, there's the Internet, and then there are friends and acquaintances. The reason behind all this talk this morning is because some person just asked me about some other person. Neither person is close to me, both are acquaintances at best.
So what do you say when some one asks you questions about someone you know they're hoping to settle down with, when you know that if you say what you really want to say, the person might take to their heels?
Do you tell them the truth; hmmmmm, is that who you really want to spend the rest of your life with; that "cheerful giver" whose pot the whole neighbourhood licks soup from? That person without respect for people even the elderly? That one that people avoid? That one famous for borrowing and never paying back? That one that gets fired from everywhere they work in three months or less?
Do you lie; hmmm, they're alright... They're fantastic, in fact I wish my brother/sister could marry him/her!... You have nothing to worry about, hey, congratulations in advance, you're very lucky to have him/her!
Do you abstain; I really don't know.
If the person asking is close to you then you're most likely to be honest with them. If the person being asked about is close to you then you're most likely to lie about them.
But what happens when you're a mere neutral 3rd party and you're being asked about someone you know is no good? Someone you would never allow someone you care about propose to or settle with?
Whether you tell the truth or you tell a lie, it actually has no effect on you either way as you're not close or related to either one. What do you do please? Be honest, be false or abstain from saying anything?
Thanks for your answers.