Tag Archives: People

Almost Aborted

pregnant

When one of my cousins was twenty years old, she got pregnant. She wasn’t married at the time and she hadn’t introduced any particular guy to her family, so it came as a shock to everyone. Her mom was the one who was most affected; her daughter’s situation would subject her to people’s ridicule. She wasn’t prepared to go through all that; so she asked her to get an abortion.

My cousin was distraught; she was not prepared to have her baby aborted. She refused. When the row was going on, one of our cousins, who she was closest to, found out and started telling everyone. She turned her back against her too, disregarding the tight relationship they had before the ‘tiny one’ came into the picture. Before long, everyone in the family knew my cousin was pregnant. It was a difficult time for her; everyone turned against her. They felt she had committed a grave mistake. Some relatives rejoiced; not for good reasons though, but because the girl everyone considered holy had been knocked up by someone no one in the family had been formally introduced to.

Naturally, my sisters and I aren’t so close to her because she-like the rest of the family-always snubs us; we don’t fit in her social circle; I don’t find that an issue anymore-it’s just ludicrous (I fail to comprehend how people could put so much importance on material possessions). After everyone got wind of her undesirable situation, she was alienated, without a single person she could count on. Even the cousins she ganged up with to make our lives impossible ditched her. If they weren’t dissing her, speculating who her baby daddy was and all, they were celebrating her ‘misfortune’. She was all alone.

The situation felt especially difficult for her because she was a girl with a quiet demeanor, while her mom’s the kind of woman who criticizes others easily. My aunt feared people would unleash their wrath upon her, serving her a dose of her own medicine. She was disturbed. Before it became public knowledge, she had talked to mom about her predicament; she had a solution to obliterate the tragedy, but her daughter was too unwavering to comply. She asked mom to convince my cousin to terminate the pregnancy.

Mom wanted to help, but the idea of an abortion didn’t sit well with her. Instead she had a talk with my cousin, asking her what she wanted. She wanted to keep her baby. Subsequently, mom tried convincing my aunt an abortion wasn’t the solution; my cousin wasn’t willing to go through with it.

That infuriated my aunt. How would she face people? The same people she had always been too quick to judge? Eventually, she kicked my cousin out. We live in the same estate, only in different courts, and luckily mom had gone to see how they were holding up when she was thrown out. We took her in. Funny thing is, we were among the first people to hear it because when my aunt found out she told mom about it, reeling with shock, but we never breathed a word of it; it wasn’t our place to tell; plus we’ve been in that situation-having people make us subject of their scuttlebutt with reckless abandon-too many times to want to inflict the same pain on anyone. I also believe in the golden rule; treating people the way I’d like others to treat me…

When she came home, it was around Christmas. After the fight with her mom, her eyes were red; she had been crying. All we wanted was to make her settle in; no one questioned her about it. She would tell us if she deemed it fit. For the period she stayed with us, none of us brought the issue up, and apparently she didn’t see it right to let us in on it.

We were ignoring a gargantuan elephant in the house; sometimes surprised, we’d be tempted to innocently point out her feet were swollen as it was too obvious or that her face was glowing but then we’d bite our tongues real quick; she hadn’t told us she had a bun in the oven and we didn’t want to offend her. She had too much on her plate; if our willful ‘ignorance’ afforded her some false impression of privacy, we would give her just that.

At some point we wanted to suggest we take her shopping so she could buy some cute dresses because she was always in jeans and over-sized shirts, but we couldn’t. We had do act dumb. It was difficult, but for her peace of mind we refrained from saying or doing anything which would allude to the ‘little’ elephant we were all trying to ignore. I doubt I ever told her, but the thought that she refused to abort even when the whole world seemed to be against her made me admire her greatly.

MEN IN ‘SKIRTS’

men gossiping

Some things have become so synonymous with others-like skirts with women- that trying to interfere with the unwritten laws feels utterly wrong; but lately there seems to be some major revolution; things have taken a one eighty degrees turn from how they used to be: My maternal grams for instance, finds it unconceivable when my dad serves her tea, because she was raised in a very traditional setting, where women were supposed be submissive to men, who were deemed superior to the women; demigods of some sought. Wives were supposed to feed their husbands, run their baths… not of their own free will, but simply because that is what the society required of them.

Today, responsibilities have shifted remarkably; activities that our forefathers- literally- would have spat at have now become a norm. I’m thinking, if I were to tell my great grandpa, who exited this world long before my parents conceived-this crazy fruit of their love-me, that my dad cooks and does his laundry at times, he would spray on me whatever drink he’d be sipping at before exclaiming angrily, “what?’

I’m also imagining he would then convene the council elders for an impromptu meeting to discuss his grandson’s ‘malady’ and some possible remedies which I imagine would include dragging my old man into the forest so he can hunt down some big cat, decapitate it and subsequently have him display its head in his living room as a trophy, just to remind him that men don’t partake in petty household chores; that men should be macho, and that anything contravening that would amount to tremendous emasculation.

Personally, I delight at seeing my dad cooking… it makes me proud that he can walk into the kitchen and fix some snack; I perceive it as him trying to bring down the partition our forefathers so painstakingly erected, to divide men’s responsibilities from women’s… it fills me with hope that in the near future, simple acts as such will finally obliterate undesirable traits like male chauvinism, which undermine women dreadfully.

Irrespective of that, there are boundaries that should remain intact; gossiping for instance… that is one of the few things that should be left exclusively to women. In that regard, men should focus on perfecting their punches… not sharpening their words. Gossiping is just something that men should never be caught dead doing- ‘never’ being the operative word. From a woman’s perspective, it’s grossly unattractive.

My mind always goes blank when I find a group of refined men engrossed in a deep conversation, dissecting and analyzing a certain individual-for whatever reasons- so animatedly; high five-ing each other, using coded words and analogies so that whoever is not part of their conversation doesn’t understand what they’re saying, whispering in each other’s ears, laughing like rabid men… It is totally obnoxious! The revulsion such actions afford me wouldn’t be any different if I happened to sight two manly guys indulging in an affray, with one guy lying on his belly and the other sitted on his back pulling his hair, demanding that he apologizes for ,say, calling him names… that is so girly! They might as well go rock skirts.

Talking about other people is inevitable, and it would be ‘inhumane’ of me to discourage my brothers not to do it, but if they must, a little discretion would be in order. The infamous market women earned that term because they continually make it obvious they’ve no problem getting under people’s skin; they made it their business to callously stick their noses in other people’s affairs. I don’t know if there’s even a soul out there that’s pleased with them, but somehow we all manage to put up with them… I don’t want to imagine men being part of the scuttlebutt group. There’s just something so wrong with that picture. I guess it’s partly because they tend to overdo it… and still insist on being revered as men.

We’ve been busy breaking away from traditions which our forefathers put in place; women are now wearing pants, husbands babysit gladly… all that seems okay, but I’m thinking a guy won’t just walk into his wife’s closet and pick a skirt because his pants won’t fit or something of the sought; because it’s just wrong… if it’s not a kilt, then no freaking way.

That is what gossiping is; a skirt; reserved strictly for women. Manly men have no business giving women a run for their money on this one… it’s a no-go zone. Whoever wishes to partake in it can denounce his balls first; then there’ll be no qualms. Only then, can they wear these skirts.