Lessons from My Mother: Watch out for the Green Snakes Under the Green Grass

Last week was a phenomenal given that we celebrated International Women’s Day on the 8th March and then we celebrated Mother’s Day on the 10th! So in the spirit of celebrating womanhood and the amazing creatures that we are, I decided to write a post on one of the key lessons that I learnt from the greatest woman in my life: my Mother.  Enjoy!


If you are a true Londoner, then you are most probably familiar with the endless list of English adages. The one that you are probably used to hearing the most is the infamous ‘Show me your friends and I will show you who you are.’ Being of Nigerian descent means that my mum and dad always have a Yoruba (the tribe that I am from in Nigeria) equivalent to every adage; sometimes their adages have left me quite perplexed but often time I get their drift (bless ‘em). Out of the two of them though, my mum by far is the one that uses adages more extensively; when it comes to driving her point home, she quite often leans on an adage to give her point more weight and/or gravitas. Honestly speaking, I think my mum should have a book of all her idioms- she is hilarious! One of her favourite adages that she exhausts more than any other (well it is more of a warning than an adage when you really begin to unpick it – sorry mum) is: ‘watch out for the green snakes under the green grass; be careful who you make your friend’ (cue glaring eye).

Now at first I thought it seemed quite far-fetched given that I was quite young and naïve when my mum first christened my ears with this saying. I was a busy body; quick to make friends and socially adept. However, she most certainly got the last laugh because fast forward 10 or so years and she has literally seen some people leave my life quicker than Kim Kardashian got divorced (sorry I had to go there)

And rather than say ‘I told you so’ she swiftly swooped in to solidify the lesson she has been trying to teach me by stressing the importance of appreciating the friends and family that have chosen to stay in my life; the ones that have truly gone the distance (to all my amazing close circle of friends and family who I call my ‘Justice League’ – thank you).

Mummy dearest told me to enrich my existing friendships/relationships for the better and coming from a woman who has had the same close knit circle of friends spanning over 25 years (they have been through absolutely everything together) it was foolish of me to not heed to her warning sooner… I have had the girls that have come into my life and have said that I am ‘a sister from another mother’ or have squealed with delight and exclaimed that ‘they have never met another woman that totally gets them like I do’ (cue over zealous hug)…only to turn around and stab me in the back but although the alarm bells were going off loud and clear, I chose to overlook certain things.

And my oh my has mummy’s saying turned out to be more true than ever! Indeed, you must watch out for the green snakes who lurk around and may look like a friend, act like a friend, call you a friend but they are truly not your friend. I think it’s also important that I add that by no means am I saying that you shouldn’t make new friends but I think it is important that:

a)     You appreciate and honour your existing friends that have stood the test of time and

b)    You approach new potential friendships with caution; don’t be too open; keep your cards closely to your chest and lastly make sure you watch out for the green snakes that may not be so easily identifiable against the backdrop of the green grass…

Until the next time folks! xx


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