I am being blunt, this lock-down has been Topsy-turvy for me, well as it should be. Living with my extended family has got me dealing with a whole lot of touchy feelings and if I am not too careful, the next person I will be wallowing up at is my adorable 75-year-old grandmother.
Don’t get me wrong, the love is there, it always has been and will be because they are family but having to stay in a confined space together, for that long, it is expected that we will keep stepping on each other’s toes.
The thing is, it just seems to be my turn a lot. I forget to put enough oil in the beans, it’s “Tolani!!”
I don’t dish dinner on time it’s “Is this how you are going to take care of your home when you are married?”. Of course, I dare not reply; I love my head too much to do such.
I usually find a way to blow off steam and I find an excuse for those words because I understand that it comes from a place of care, well their version of care and experiences being portrayed on me. That version of the native African mother’s care.
Last Sunday morning, I had zealously woken up before the house, to appease them. I fried some scrumptious egg; with so much passion, I prepared each person’s portion according to their specification, or so I thought.
It’s time for breakfast, just before our over 2-hour long online Sunday service. “Not enough onions, you know I like onions” my mom said. “Are you sure, you fried two eggs for me? It looks small, in fact don’t worry, I will be frying my egg, from now henceforth” my aunt said. On noticing, my sad face, they resorted to saying “And the egg was sweet oo”. Unfortunately, the damage had been done. I was no longer ready to listen to the positives.
I was sad that my little effort wasn’t as appreciated as I had hoped as I poured out my heart to my little sister; The Jagaban of the house. She isn’t like me, who cowers and writes out her feelings in the book or to you. My little sister, will tell you point-blank what you did wrong, she didn’t seem to care whether you were an adult or a child.
I recall once, she told my grandma off, that my grandmother had no option than to say, “Iya Tolani, Wo awon omo e, bi wan she ba mi soro” (Tolani’s mom, look at how your child is talking at me). “wan fi jo eyin meji” my aunt interrupted (they got it from your gene). That ends it, they would abjudicate her case.
The jagaban doesn’t know it yet, but she’s my hero.
I know they don’t mean to put me on the spot, so I forgive them every time, frankly, it is just for the best. Yes, they might do it again but I am willing to forgive them just as many. It is a cycle, I know.
We are just that mental.