A person who stealthily hunts or pursues an animal or another person.
• a person who harasses or persecutes someone with unwanted and obsessive attention.
Whenever I hear the word ‘stalker’ my mind instantly creates a picture of a shady looking character skulking behind the bushes, watching the object of their obsession. Hollywood hasn’t helped too, the movies I watch where stalkers end up doing bodily harm or worse killing the subject of their fantasies constantly fill me with dread. Thus hearing the word ‘stalker’ always makes me shudder involuntarily.
An unexpected phone call at 2am one Wednesday morning gave a new meaning and a rather amusing twist to this dreaded word ‘stalker’. It was my friend Sade who was the source of this knowledge.
“ Oh my God! Karen you wont believe what I just saw,” Sade screamed as soon as I picked up the phone.
“Huh?” I managed to mutter as I tried to shake off the last vestiges of sleep from my head.
“Calm down Sade and start from the beginning, what happened?” I said sleepily as I checked the time on my bedside alarm clock.
I could hear her sobbing quietly on the other end of the line. This instantly shook me awake. I had known Sade for over five years and could count on one hand how many times she had cried in my presence. This must indeed be something serious I thought with trepidation.
“Its Akeem” she said in a teary voice, “I’m through with that bastard!”
Akeem is Sade’s boyfriend and they have been dating for a little over two months now.
“Imagine Karen, just imagine; I just found out that he has been seeing someone else. And to add insult to injury he had the guts to tell her that I have been stalking him and he doesn’t know how to get rid of me.
I don’t understand this” she finished in a rush.
Now she sounded more angry than sad.
“Akeem called you a wha…?? Ss-stalker?” I managed to stutter into the phone in confusion.
“Why on earth would he do that? How did you find this out?”
As I asked these questions I was already shuddering at the thought that anyone would possibly ascribe the name stalker to someone so close to me.
I listened with apprehension as she answered.
“Chinwe sent me a ‘munched chat’ between Akeem and the girl he has been seeing, I saw with my own eyes Karen, he called me a psychotic-out-control stalker that he cannot get rid of”. And then she burst into tears.
I was stunned.
“That’s rubbish Sade, he must be high on cheap drugs, you don’t need this kind of bullshit, call him up, he has a lot of explaining to do”.
“NEVER” she screamed, “I’d rather die than call that fool again, what else does he have to say? I’m glad it was just a two month relationship, I’m done with his stupid ass” Sade said in anger. She hissed long and loud.
Despite the situation, this made me chuckle inside, everyone who knew Sade joked that she could out-hiss anything on earth. This particular hiss was so long I wondered with bemusement how someone so skinny could suck in air for so long
“Ok, if that is what you feel is best”, I replied meekly. “And babe, I know you feel bad but please take it easy, try to get some sleep and we’ll talk later in the day” I added.
“Ok Karen, thanks for listening to me, I’ll see you tomorrow”.
While I was at work the next day, I pondered on my early morning conversation with Sade. Seeing as I had been privy to in-depth knowledge of Sade’s relationship and also that I knew her as much as any friend could, I found it hard to believe that anyone would ever think to refer to her as a stalker. I soon realized (thanks to my male colleague at work) that the word I so dreaded meant a totally different thing to ‘some’ Nigerian men.
Allow me to explain.
According to the wisdom of my colleague who shall remain unnamed for security purposes (chuckle), the word stalker is mostly used when a guy is trying to prove that he is really not into a girl he has been seeing. My colleague went further to regale me with stories about situations where the claim “she’s stalking me and I don’t know how to get rid of her” has worked wonders. I was both amused and deeply saddened. My question is this, why ascribe something so derogatory to someone you have been intimate with just because you want to get some new pussy? Why do some men these days feel the need to portray themselves as victims of being constantly hit on by women? What has happened to the good old ‘saying it like it is’?
Calling a woman a stalker just because you no longer want her in your life is plain childish and stupid, the only time you have a right to tag some one a stalker is if they actually are stalking you.
I must confess I am still a tad perplexed on this subject of stalking and what constitutes stalking in modern times, but regardless of my rather scanty knowledge on this topic I would like to apologize to all the women that have been slandered by being wrongfully accused of stalking their significant other and also advise them not to take it too seriously, it is merely a short-sighted use an actual word (except you are actually a stalker).
Image via KJohnlasoul.com