It’s A Family Affair

In my family, the success of an event is directly related to the amount of angst and drama certain family members (specifically my sister and I) experience.

Today was no different. It started with me getting less that 5 hours sleep because our Eddie has decided playtime is between 2am and 5am. Now in order to avoid Henry and I getting bashed in the face with a toy, I need to stay up and supervise playtime.

Due to lack of sleep, the mechanic reducing me to no car and placing me at the mercy of Nte, I didn’t get dropped off at my parent’s place till 10:30am. Event starts at 3pm. A hero’s welcome was what I expected. As I walked into the kitchen, my mum, without raising her voice, calmly explained that she was not going to speak to me for the rest of the day because she expected me to be there at 9 but if I’m strolling in at 10:30 of what use am I.

My first reaction was to go home. I didn’t because that would mean certain death. I followed my mum around like a puppy and busied myself when I had the opportunity. There was plenty of opportunity. I carried tables, arranged chairs, picked up food from psycho food delivery people who refused to use google maps, carried more tables, packed rice from coolers and being called “Mama” by strangers.

The event was supposed to take place in the garden so at kick off time I ran in to take a shower, yes I’m the friend that agrees to meet you at 7 and hops in the shower at 7:15.

Right before I hopped in the shower I remembered I was supposed to pass on crucial information that was to be announced during the ceremony. As I opened the door, half naked to ‘send’ a note downstairs. I saw my parents and some guests congregated at the dining table in front of my door. Lord why? I quickly shut the door. I started texting and sending SOS messages. I thought it best to wait for someone to take the note before I took a shower.

I remained in that position for 30 minutes till the ceremony ended. After the event, Nte decided to find out what I needed and informed me that ‘everyone’ was upstairs and on the other side of my door. It was time to serve food and I was still unbathed, for sure my mum was going to kill me.

I hopped into the shower and discovered there was no soap. Seriously am I the only one? I called Nte for soap, another agonising 15 minutes of waiting. With soap in hand, I stepped back into the shower and opened the tap, nothing came out. I turned it every way I could, absolutely nothing but a funny noise you hear from empty pipes. There was no water. I was weak. My village people were out to get me.

I called Nte and told him my predicament. He just burst out laughing. In order to feel I was being laughed with and not laughed at, I joined the laughing but I really wanted to cry. I heard a knock at the door. I thought it was Nte, so fully naked, I stood behind the door and allowed him to enter. It was one of my Aunties. Why? Just tell me why?

She said she thought I was having a wardrobe malfunction. As she sat on the bed chatting, I spotted a crate of bottled water in the corner. I had put it there months ago when I was doing a 3 day water fast. The fast lasted 3 hours.

I thought about climate change. I thought about dying in my sisters room because I was not going out unbathed. I though about my mum finally killing me for not helping. I gathered as many bottles as I could carry and stepped into the shower. I successfully bathed despite my guilt over using bottled water. Clearly my village people are all about climate change because as I dried myself in the shower, the glass shower door, totally unprovoked, became unhinged and fell on me. I really wish I was making this up!!!

I carried the door, placed it against a wall and got out of the bathroom as quickly as possible. At this stage the party is in full swing and some VIP family members have come and gone so for sure, Mrs A is going to blast me away. I decided that like Marie Antoinette, I was going to walk to the guillotine looking like a queen with my cascading bleach blonde highlighted curls.

I walked out and the living room was empty. Had the rapture occurred? No, the guests had been moved back to the garden. The strategy was avoid the parents for at least 3 hours while establishing myself as the undisputed belle of the ball. As I emerged through the front door and into the event, I noticed a few looks of admiration and approval. Mission accomplished.

I had triumphantly greeted 3 tables when I saw a table of my favourite Yoruba Aunts. As I turned to float towards them, I received a stern signal to make a straight line straight to my father-in-law. I obeyed and greeted him and everyone else on the high table. I hadn’t taken two steps away when ‘Big Aunty’ – their leader gave me a look and mouthed ‘food’. I turned back and asked what my father-in-law would like to eat. He placed his order. It was nothing that was on the menu. I went up and created a bespoke offering for him. I served him and went to finally greet my Aunts.

While greeting Big Aunty and her crew, another Aunt from the high table came over and whispered that I needed to return to the high table and serve my dad because I had served my father-in-law and completely ignored my dad. Endless Mercy! My dad wasn’t even at the table. In all of this please note that there were paid servers for the event, but my mum and her sisters believe as a good host, you serve your special guests yourself and my mum believes everyone is special.

We (me and my co-host siblings and mother) don’t normally eat till the event is ended but ‘the ladies’, the ones who confidently tell guests all the prawns are finished after serving 3 people, they know the drill. When the food arrives, you first dish out the food for ‘the house’ before sending the coolers down. Well… As the last of the guests left, I confidently went into the kitchen and asked for fried rice and hard plantain. “Aunty it’s finished.” It was not said in jest.

I just had puff puff and paracetamol. Good night.

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