This week’s post will land me in trouble. I am sure I will be summoned to The Hague (my parent’s bedroom), where I will be offered a seat and a lengthy lecture from mum. Here is the thing though, I am used to her lectures, she scolds me like all the time, scolds me for calling her, not calling, staying up late, going to bed early, hell! She even scolds me for looking like my dad! OK that’s a bit exaggerated but you get the point right? However, I think am kind of addicted to the lectures so I normally get on her nerves intentionally.
Lately she has been on my glasses’ case. She doesn’t understand why I insist on squeezing my big eyes into the small brown frames. “Agie si you get new frames now that you have insurance?” She will always say. Such a storm in a tea cup mum! I love my glasses, I have had them for the last three years. People say that I look like a doctor in them. Don’t you want your daughter to look like a practitioner in the world’s most noble profession? Anyway it makes you feel any better, I have been window shopping around for new frames. She can be conniving at times, like when she tiptoed into my room when I was asleep fully armed with a nail cuter and a strong will to cut off a black wart that had been growing at the base of my left hand thump. Thank God I woke up before she could perform her inimical act. She had tried to talk me into getting rid of it but I refused. It’s a beauty spot for Chris sake and my current crush seems to like it. So guess what dear, we are keeping it. She is also waiting for me to ng’ethia so that she can convert my favorite bedtime T-shirt into a duster. The shirt is very old, it probably has more holes than a fishing net but that doesn’t automatically convert it into a duster.
I saw mum and dad’s pictures when they were young and started imagining how it was dating in those times. Dad must have been taking mum to dates in swanky joints where they would dance to Dolly Parton’s music as he whispered sweet nothings into her ear, hoping that she would finally realize that he is the one God has been trying to show her in her dreams. Si this was the era were pickup lines had God’s name and dreams mentioned in the same breath? Am sure he loathed that music but had no choice as it was his then girlfriend’s favorite. Credible sources intimate that mum had the moves on the dance floor. Dad’s boys must have been laughing at him every time he narrated his date escapades as he had sworn to never listen leave alone dance to country music, he preferred Ohangla. Cupid can be a bitch! Those were the days when my siblings and I were just a fantasy in mum’s head. She probably hoped that we would all look more like her lakini wapi? Opondo genes are too strong.
People having been breaking up all over the place. Gossip sites like Mpasho are flooded with stories of break ups, odious divorces, dead beat dads, jilted lovers and philandering spouses. I also know that there more important things to talk about like the political party primaries. Or better yet, Esther Passari’s ladylike way of dealing with a cheating spouse. However today, I want to tell a love story. I tried to get this story from the horses’ mouth (my folks) but this two are just impossible and uncooperative but story lazima iendelee so it may contain a lot of speculations.
I asked mum how they met and she told me, “we met at a friend’s wedding!” Attempts to get more details, hit a wall. She did not even disclose the wedding date! All she said was that it was in May and left me to do the math of the exact year. However, I did not fall for the wedding version. Coming to think of it, they could have met for the very first time at Ugunja market. There is something about that market that makes me feel strongly that this place was the cradle of their love story. The friend’s wedding could have been the second meeting or a lie. Here is my theory, dad was raised in the village and mum was a city damsel who visited ocha together with her siblings during the holidays. Mum’s ocha is a few meters from Ugunja so probably they could have met at this market on a certain market day. Dad had probably gone to the market to pass time with his pack of hommies and while at the market, spotted the sexiest legs he had ever seen. He then decided to approach their owner with a braggadocio pick up line like…… I can’t even imagine the exact words in the pickup line. But one thing is for sure, he must have told her that he liked her legs and dropped the fact that he is the son of Senior Chief Opondo (I hear chiefs were super powerful in those days.) Mum on the other hand must have been dismayed by the mistaris of this village boy. She probably rolled her eyes and continued to chat with her city friends who had accompanied her. Dad never gives up easily so he must have unleashed a joke that softened the city damsel’s heart. He must have also volunteered to help her carry the groceries she had gone to get in the market to which she accepted and just like that one thing led to another.
Fast forward to twenty six years later, they are blessed with three girls, two of which, are a photocopy of their father (the lastborn and I). I don’t remember the last time my dad introduced me to anyone, the forehead and eyes speak for themselves. My folks have extremely different personalities. Whoever said that men are from Mars and women from Venus must have had them in mind. These two always have conflicting opinions on almost everything. Let me illustrate: so my small sister comes from school crying uncontrollably,
Sasa wewe unalia nini?
Mum msichana mwingine aliandika ati “The girl with big eyes nyuma ya diary yangu!” (She says amid sobs)
Na si ni ukweli! (The sobs graduate to loud wails)
Nani amekuchokoza baby?
Dad msichana mwingine aliandika ati “The girl with big eyes nyuma ya diary yangu!” (She says amid sobs)
Pole, usilie, kuja mum. Anakuonea tu wivu (He tries to comfort her)
You see the difference? Dad is the nice parent, he will always listen to you. He always tries to put himself in your shoe. Growing up, we would run to him after mum had caned us. When we were younger, he would give is goodnight kisses, tuck us into bed and read us bedtime stories. We would giggle at how his moustache tickled our cheeks. How I miss those days! Mum on the other hand, had no time for such. You tell her, “Goodnight dear!” and she responds, “OK!” which I feel is worse than a “K” response from bae. Dad is the clown, he can make up a story or even exaggerate things just to see us smile. Mum waits for people to crack jokes so that she can laugh.
My mum is tough, in fact I have never seen her cry. She stays strong so that others can be weak. Behind that tough exterior is a shy lady who is conspicuously uncomfortable in social gatherings unlike her husband who is the social butterfly. I can bet that their financial disagreements are due to mum’s spending, she lives for the moment but dad likes to plan for future. The kindergarten teacher who pinched Nyawanda’s ears until they were swollen can confirm the rumor that mum can be dramatic at times. She always speaks her mind and calls you out when you are being an ass. Dad is a bit passive aggressive just like me. We hate confrontations.
The two are from different professions. Dad is a contractor, he adores buildings. Take a walk with him and he will give technical comments on all the buildings you will come across. Being his first born, I have had to learn building lingo like, cabro, dekra, brendering etc. Mum is a human resource officer. She hires and fires. She is always lecturing me about my work dress code. Seriously mum, I work in the entertainment industry where suits are frowned upon.
Despite their different opinions, there is one thing that they never fail to agree on, the amount of pocket money to give us when going to school. This decision is normally passed unanimously, take it or leave it. Apparently, they cannot remember the exact date of their wedding so let me say that May 2017 is the month they mark twenty six solid years of being together. They have held it down for this long and am proud of them. They have weathered every storm and provided us with a pair of the best parents we could ever get. I love how they peacefully disagree and embrace compromise. How they speak their minds even though they might not necessary agree. Growing up, they would tell me, “set a good example for your siblings!” I honestly hope that I have been one if not close to it. Happy 26th anniversary Mum and Dad.