Can We Just Live?

You know how I wrote this post of mums and boyfriends about two years ago and it was a joking sturvs and I thought we were really all just playing? Well! turns out the pressure is real! What! Look, if you’re not in your mid-twenties yet you had better join some of us search for the anti-aging serum oh. Let us just stop the hands of time together.

The pressure is real oh! Notice how I said that twice? Yes, that’s how real the pressure is. I would say it  100 times but I feel like you’re smart, you get it. This pressure is not the light one your mother gives you. Those my in-law bants that she throws in when she feels like you’re pouring too much milk into your coffee or even the jokes about what she’ll be giving out as party favors at your engagement. It is not even the little jokes when male friends come home. Like hehe hehe ‘is he the one?’ type questions.

No oh! This is strangers, who have absolutely no business telling you how to live your life telling you how to live your damn life! Can you tell I’m pained? Okay not really, I mean someone had to write this, I am not angry or anything. I am not even crying. These? These are not tears….It’s just a reaction to the onions my sister is cutting in the kitchen at home. I am not home you say? Is it your eyes? Can a girl not have allergic reaction again? My friend my friend allow me get back to the story.

Aha! So as I was saying.It’s even worse when you look younger than you actually are not that I’m complaining, everyone and their grandmother think it’s okay to give you advice.

“When you meet a man…”

“As for Ghanaian men…”

“As a woman…”

You. will. hear. this. at. every. turn. You cannot even breathe at this point for fear that some auntie will say “all this air you’re breathing you should have been breathing in your husband’s house”. At social events, when people ask what you do, you will now have to start calculating because “as a woman you must not let men know that you have accomplished xyz, let them get to know you and then you can start to reveal your accomplishments.”

“Men don’t like these things.”

“These things scare men.”

Deep down you’re thinking it cannot be true. That the men in your generation know better, that they too want a woman who can bring something to the table. You believe that those weak-livered men who are threatened by an accomplished woman do not exist in your generation. You’re happy in these beliefs, smirking secretly at the aunty who is busy spewing ‘nonsense’ at you in the name of wisdom. Until you meet that one guy, who is your age by the way and is very concerned that your plans do not have a man at the forefront. So…who will make sure the children have been bathed? Who will make sure that there is breakfast on the table when he’s leaving home and dinner is ready by the time he gets home? He’s a big man U no.

The worst part is, this is just the tip of the iceberg. This does not begin to cover the horrible amount of pressure girls go through because they have reached a certain age and nobody ‘put a ring on it’. This is not even their final form! This does not cover the expiry date jokes that they make for bants or the sermons you will hear that basically tell you “a woman may have a job, but her real place is in the kitchen”.

I said I am not crying!! These? They are not tears oh…something just fell in my eye.

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Smile

You’re sitting at a window seat in the new coffee shop down the road. It was a good decision to come here after all; you think. It’s very quiet for a Saturday.  You turn away from the window to look around the room, glad for the unexpected solitude the lack of clientele gives you.
You look back outside and see what seems like the umpteenth couple to pass by in the 30 minutes you’ve been sitting there. They walk past hand in hand. She’s smiling. It’s such a broad smile. A real expression of happiness.
Suddenly it doesn’t seem like such a good idea to be sitting at the window.
You were happy once before.

Now your days are spent marking the hours till the day is over. You haven’t smiled in ages, sometimes you wonder if your mouth still remembers how.

Your mind drifts back to the last time. You turn your head a fraction to the left, not wanting to but unable to stop yourself from looking over at the spot where your life changed.

You can almost see yourself sitting at that table, laughing, happy. Digging into the chicken pasta Alfredo that was your usual fare whenever you came there.

Back when the coffee shop was an Italian restaurant of course.

Your favorite place to eat, the both of you.

You try to tear your eyes away, but it’s too late now.

The sequence plays out, almost like a movie.

One minute you’re laughing at some joke he’s told. You’re thinking about how good the pasta tastes, better than it’s been all week.

You look up and he’s slumped on the table.

“Get up,” you say, thinking it’s some macabre joke.

You wish it had been a joke.

Everything between then and the hospital is a blur. You can’t remember how the blanket you eventually found around your shoulders got there; or even how you got to the hospital. There’s a girl next to you, wearing the restaurant’s waitress uniform. You didn’t notice her before.

You can remember the pain though. The gut-wrenching pain. The pain that comes when the doctor comes to find you in the waiting room, somber.

You remember wondering whether it’s one of the things they get taught in school. The bad news look. The look that says it’s all gone to hell.

In your mind, you’re silently screaming.

You almost don’t hear him when he says “I’m afraid we lost him”.

You tuned him out after the first “I’m sorry”.

Those words jolt you back to reality.

They ask if there’s anyone you can call to be with you.

You take out your phone in a daze. Press 1 on your speed dial and it starts to ring. Your purse vibrates. Of course, you’ve got his phone. You must have grabbed it on your way to the hospital. That’s when it hits you. He’s never going to answer when you call. He’s gone, left you behind.

A ruptured aneurysm, the doctor says. You don’t know what that is. They’re hard to catch the doctor says. But you hardly hear him. You’re trying to remember the last thing you told him. You wish you could remember, but you can’t. You can’t even remember what the joke was. You can remember how good the pasta was, but you can’t remember his words. You start to laugh, you laugh so hard your shoulders are shaking. The doctor looks at you, alarmed. He can’t get away fast enough.

The sound of the door chime brings you back to the present.

You look up to see a large group trooping in. You sigh, your solitude is over.

You resign yourself to the thought of going back to your apartment, where your mother is waiting.

You came to the coffee shop to be away from her. You’re tired of having to explain that grieving your dead fiance a year later is only natural. Your mother’s extended visit which was a blessing in the beginning, when remembering to do normal things like eat was a hassle, has now become a pain. Still, you’re grateful. You at least had her to lean on in the worst of it. You pick up your cup of coffee with a sigh, intending to gulp it down and leave before the group settles in and the chatter becomes unbearable.

You look up and lock eyes with one of them, a guy.

He’s looking at you so intently, and he breaks into a smile.

Before you know it, your lips are moving.

Your mouth remembers after all, you smile.

You take a sip of your coffee and set your cup down.

Maybe you’ll stay a while.A_time_for_a_cup_of_coffee

of moms and boyfriends

Of mums and boyfriends….and why single girls over 21 should join the kpa kpa kpa movement.

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Rather than write the paper which is due in 2 days that I’m nowhere near through with, I decided to write this post which I promised on twitter on the 29th of November. Why? Well inspiration for me to write is often hard to come by although when I do I enjoy it tremendously. I often find myself writing elaborate stories in my head and never actually putting them down on paper.

Anyways, in this coming month – being my birth month and all- (yes, I turn 21 again!) I will be putting out more than my usual 1 post every 3 or so months. Which means I will post no less than 3 posts this month. I know people tend to do the whole 1 post a day thing and I would have loved to. However, I know myself, and I know how laziness aka writer’s block can catch me for long stretches of time. Which is why in order not set you (my lovely readers) up for disappointment I am making the modest estimate of 3. If it is more, glory hallelujah. If not, well I only promised 3… 😀

On to today’s post!

Before I go into all of that though, I just thought I should mention this. Just so you know, there is no grand sale of guys where I can just look through a great selection of boys at a discount and pick the one I fancy, with the option of returning him to the store within 30 days if I find he’s not to my satisfaction. Believe me I would know. So to all my loving friends out there, there’s no one. I’ll tell you when there is.

You know how they tell you when you are growing up all the pressure that comes with growing up? Well they weren’t lying. In the past few months, conversations with my friends back home have been nothing short of hilarious with all the mounting pressure for them to ‘produce’ a boyfriend. Not like they have a gun to their head……yet…but I believe it’s getting there.

Thankfully I have the greatest-mum-ever™ who will never give me pressure be it direct or indirect (yes this is a directed message to my mum who’s going to read this at some point) but some of my friends have already started to feel the heat.

Imagine my friend’s surprise when she told her mum she was going for a wedding and her mum’s response was “you’re always going for weddings when will you do yours?” You see what had happened was…she doesn’t even have a boyfriend!! Oh and best part is the question was NOT rhetorical, she had to give an estimate.

Another friend got sent the picture of a huge cooker. When she ventured to mention how huge the cooker was, the straight faced reply was “yes, big enough to cook for my in-laws and grandchildren”. In-laws and grandchildren who are merely theoretical at this point because my friend really does not have a boyfriend at this point.

Did I mention that there are boxes full of magic mugs in my garage? Imported by my mom (who I love with all my heart)? And did I also mention that the mugs are apparently for my engagement and my sisters’ engagements regardless of the fact that none of us at this point have a boyfriend (unless my sisters do and I don’t know)? Let’s just say my mum could probably host an engagement party for any of us tomorrow if we told her about it tonight.

Also, a friend of mine recently came into possession of a book titled “How to prepare for the wedding”, kindly gifted to her by her mother. I would think step 1 would be to find the groom and then buy the book but what do I know?

These are merely a handful of the things that are going on behind the scenes in the homes of those single girls that have turned 21 a few too many times. Weirdly though, the pressure doesn’t only come from the mums. If I were prone to feeling pressured, all the times my friends have asked me if I’ve found someone yet in the two short months I’ve been here would surely have done me in by now.

In closing, I would like to leave you with this totally random but hilarious conversation.

 

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A.T.N.A = All Talk No Action

PS: Apart from the magic mugs scenario, one other is mine but I won’t say which. Take a shot at guessing why don’t you? Oh and if I’ve told you this story before you’re out of the race please, no telling!

Have a great month everyone!