My weekend was odd.
My neighbour had a birthday party for her five year old son and there was no single child in attendance. Don’t get me wrong. It was a big party. Canopies, DJ, buffet line but no children. There were adults there though. Lots of them. A truckload of them. You would be forgiven if you had thought it was a grown up party but it wasn’t. There were balloons and streamers with “Happy 5th Birthday” clearly written on them but no single child was there save for the celebrant.
It got me thinking. Who does that? How can you throw a party for your child and invite all your friends and none of the child’s friends? Isn’t it supposed to be a child’s birthday party? What happened to the child’s friends? Why didn’t you invite them? And if you absolutely needed to invite your friends, why didn’t you tell them to bring along their kids, little nieces and nephews? Why would ‘agbayas’ populate a child’s birthday party? They were busy dancing and eating, laughing and generally having a great time but the little boy just sat in one corner with a plate of cake in front of him looking morose.
I was angry. Very angry so I decided to call my friend to vent.
“Meg, some people are mad o. See this woman did party for her pikin and did not invite any other pikin. Big party o. Ridiculous fa.”
“Why na? Is it not the child’s birthday?”
“It is o. I’m angry joor. It’s not nice na. The child should be having fun on his day but he’s looking so sad because there are no kids for him to play with. The thing dey vex me.”
“Funke, are you sure you’re not just angry because she didn’t invite your own pikins?”
Meg knows me very well.
On Friday, my other neighbour got into a fight with her husband because the man greeted another woman saying, “my wife, how are you?” It was a big fight o with plenty screaming and cursing. According to my neighbour, she had been suspecting her husband of sleeping with the other woman and him addressing her as ‘my wife’ was the confirmation. The man begged me to talk to his wife and help him explain that‘my wife’ was just a harmless greeting. I refused to get involved. My wife ko. My wife ni. These married people don’t have boundaries sha. Why are you calling another woman ‘my wife’ especially when the other woman is hotter, sexier and looks better than your real wife? Is it not trouble you’re looking for?
I have noticed this thing that Nigerians do. You people don’t like to use appropriate pronouns. That’s how you’d see a friend asking her married friend to ‘greet our husband for me’. What is ‘our’? How many of you married him? Is it a polygamous marriage? What is this ‘our’ ‘our’ ‘our’ you people keep throwing about? ‘Our wife’ ‘Our husband’. All those friends that use the pronoun ‘our’ when referring to your husband need to stop that. It seems harmless but it just rankles me.
I was at a party on Saturday and I asked for a beer. The guy sitting beside me sneered and asked me “Why don’t you drink a woman’s drink? How can a girl be drinking beer?” I looked at him from top to bottom and quickly decided that he was a nincompoop so there was no need for me to reply.
But I really don’t blame him. I get that a lot. I get such questions from people that always want to ‘ladyfy’ me or make me act more girly. Apparently, I don’t act womanly enough. Whatever that means. I am tired of explaining to people that despite the fact that I might not act like your version of how a woman should act, it doesn’t stop me from being one. Someone once asked me why I liked football, he felt it was weird for a woman to like football. Duh, what’s not to like? It’s a great sport and I grew up watching it and why is it so strange that a woman likes football?
Why do we always want to put women in a box and tell them what to do, what not to do, how to behave, what to like and what not to like? Why? Why can’t we just let woman be?
And that’s how my weekend went.
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