Long weekend. Yayyy! Right? You had it all drawn up, how you’d spend it. First, there was that cousins’ meetup. You are all grown-up and so are most of your cousins. You have finally decided to form a group that meets up and helps each other out, like your parents have done for years before you. That is a good distraction, a really good one before other issues crop up in the remaining three days. You sit in the dark, smoky but yet cosy kitchen with your closest cousin and talk men while cutting up veggies to go with the meat. You nod at her story. She has a story. You don’t. He lied. The end. Men. Cucu asks your brother whether he has found “a person”, directly translated. You all laugh, you, bro, cuz and cucu together. He says the “person” is coming. You wonder why cucu didn’t ask you. Why she never asks you. How young does cucu think I am? You ask yourself. She definitely knows exactly how old I am. Should I be worried that she is not asking me? You don’t find an answer and move on real fast.
Night comes and you start thinking about going to watch Batman v Superman tomorrow. The big question is, who will you take with you? Life would be so much easier if you had a boyfriend, right? Say what? Why are you even thinking that girl? People go to the movies on their own all the time. No? Remember how hard it used to be to go to a restaurant and sit by yourself? And now you don’t even blink when you sit at a corner of Café Deli at a table that is supposed to sit four people and just be there. How about that? It shouldn’t be that hard going to the movies by yourself! So Saturday comes and you leave the house. Mum asks where you are going and who’s taking you. You feel a tad bothered. You tell her that you don’t have to go somewhere with someone.
“What are you going to do then?” she continues.
“Nothing in specific,” you reply, walking out.
“You want to tell me you’re going to Sarit for no reason other than just to walk around?” she prods.
“Something like that,” you grin.
You don’t tell her that you are trying to work up courage to go to the movies alone. You don’t tell her that you know you won’t. Instead, you will stop by usual comfort joints because you don’t want to stick in the house. You could stick around, but then you will feel it is a waste of a day. There are days to stick around and others are just not made for sticking around. Of course you walk right up to the second floor to look at the movie timings, just to see how realistic this can be. And then you walk right back down and into your favourite spot, Text Book Centre. You take out your phone and Google ratings of books. You need walk out with one that will revive your reading, as opposed to the one you’ve tried in March and failed. A girl comes over and sees the struggle and recommends a few. You settle for The Widow. It looks like something up your alley. You walk into a few other shops and finally sit down to think.
You wonder if you are too much into stuff nowadays. Too much stuff. You know, like you buy more stuff than you used to. Books. Shoes. Bags. Dresses. Kwanza the sun nowadays. Wah. Making you wear dresses every day. Even your colleagues are shocked. You don’t want to admit it but it’s kind of fun wearing them. Freer. You were never this person before. The phone you want to replace is not even that old but it drives you crazy. You feel guilty. A friend adds to the guilt by saying that the phone you are budgeting for can feed a hundred kids somewhere. So you don’t walk into that phone shop. Are you getting stuff to distract you from something? Are you getting stuff just because you can? Are you contemplating getting expensive stuff simply because they are worth it or because they look good? Or because everyone expects you to, at this point? You have been talking about investing for the longest time but you have done nothing tangible about it. Why? What are you waiting for? A man? Are you listening to yourself right now? What about taking actual steps and talking to someone knowledgeable in these things? Why, oh why, are you dillydallying? You put a pause on these thoughts.
Sunday comes and you remind your babies what Easter is supposed to be about. You sing, laugh and shout with (and at 😀 ) them. You answer their questions. It’s always fun until one of them beats another. Or another starts wailing at a corner. But you got this. Afternoon is time to hang out with your boys. Your boys may be dwindling, but they still remain. One is not even your boy really. He has refused that title. It’s fun. You talk. You all act like some two people there should be something more. Or rather could be. It’s just fine the way it is. You talk about when y’all will take steps to visit your friend who is a new mother. You talk about work. One asks you why girls never say a definite yes or no when they are asked out. You come up with this complex answer like a professor who has done some research into a scientific subject. Girls don’t say yes or no for many reasons. One, they don’t want to hurt you, especially if you’re friends. Two, they want to think about it. He asks if two means there is hope. I say yes.
Monday. A Monday you can actually love. You are sticking it out in the house. Is that you missing work? O.o Someone delivers another bombshell. Like you did not see it coming. You are mad. You want to scream, but you can’t because it’s via chat. He calls. You half-scream at him on the phone. Not even sure why you’re screaming. What right you have screaming at someone who is not your boyfriend? Turns out men are all the same. You can never be just friends with a man. You have always known that but have fought everyone who says otherwise. It’s the hard truth. You can be friends, but not too close. Lines need to be drawn. It’s never that complicated. He will wait until the last possible moment to tell you something. But since you have been that close anyway, the screaming turns out to be therapeutic. You two will be alright. And you will take your place. You’re no longer a teenager. You know the secret to sorting things out is not silent treatment. He knows you will probably blog about the event, just letting enough out there. Maybe you should blog less. Maybe you should blog more, actually. How about that?
You immerse yourself in ironing tonnes of laundry because it gets you thinking. Manual work gets your thinking, as opposed to sitting in front of a computer. You may hate doing dishes, but that’s when you actually think. No music. No motion pictures. No nothing. Just you and your hands. And you make up your mind to act more and more responsible every day. To accept your failures. To accept that life is not Hollywood.
God grant you, grant us, the wisdom and knowledge that enables us to act our ages, to think beyond ourselves, beyond today and to know what we can and can’t do.