On my birthday, two things happened simultaneously.
Someone had just driven up outside the house and was surprising me by being around when he was meant to be 10 hours away in a different state AND holding a yummy looking cake when an Aunty, that had last seen me in my diapers and that i had had the effrontery to not remember, pulled up.
After satisfying herself that her car was safely secured and that her phone was missing, she began questioning me. With my answers punctuated by my laughter and her questions punctuated by an ongoing search for her phone in the car, the conversation went thus:
“You’re the birthday girl ?”
“How old are you today?”
“Ahh twenty -five?.. Where is the husband?”
“hehe.. Why are you laughing, i’m serious oh.. Where is the husband?”
“Who is not ready? Is it you or him?”
“Both of you? Ah.. Better be ready oh, we want grandchildren.”
All the while Someone stood about 7 feet away pretending to study the details of a wall and trying hard not to laugh.
That’s the typical conversation that goes in most girls homes from the time they are 23 till they marry. So, between now and when i turn 28, its marriage season and “man down” is the background music. Not for the guys, the guys know what they are getting into. But for my fellow females who, most of the time, are cajoled quickly down the aisle by subdued pressure of peers getting married or by not-peer pressures like my aunt.
I hung out with one particular acquaintance 2 weeks to her proposal. Of course, then i didn’t know she was to be proposed to, but the vibe i got from her and her soon to be husband was.. Ummn.. Iffy, but let me assume they had just had an argument. The main thing i remember about that hangout was that she knew just about everyone that had gotten married from the secondary school we had attended together. She was just listing it out like the menu at a wedding… People i didn’t remember, people i remembered.. They were so many. When she was done with that, she moved on to people that had had kids and how many kids.
Eyes glazed end bemused, i came up for air some moments later from these names… These so many names… Even those out of the country…One question flashed in my mind.
How, in hell, did she remember all that? Did she have them written down and read them every night in case they asked her in an interview?
When 2 months later she called to tell me that two weeks after our hangout she had gotten engaged and would i be her bridesmaid (a position that i would eventually bow out of and would severe our acquaintanceship). I wasn’t surprised. It was all she had talked about, all her mind bubbled and frothed with, that was what it was time for for her.
For me? Not yet. My mind is still frothing with settling my business and moving out. And luckily, someone has the same plans too.
Life marches on, it doesn’t need a fast forward button. Everything normal that’s meant to happen happens in time. We don’t fight to make friends, we don’t fight for relationships to happen.. Albeit effort is required, to keep them going but, not that much. We enjoy our friends, so it’s not so much an effort to call and to hangout and do stuff for them… Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to make the effort, to call and keep in touch but that’s when life gets in the way. Frankly, the only thing you need consistent never ending effort for is work.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to list out alphabetically and by date everyone that has white -dressed it down the aisle (how ironic that the one day people spend so much to stand out from all others, they all pretty much wear the same clothes) maybe one day i will know who has kids and the age and hobbies of said kids… And Maybe one day I’ll be all whited up and someone to my right on the aisle will whisper “man down” and i would smile and nudge and wouldn’t mind being downed from that day, but that’s future Taiwo’s err… Future.
Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR, GUYS!!!