You need a wife

          Perhaps, you grew up in a house where boys were told “leave my kitchen” and girls were told “cooking is the responsibility of a woman”. You grow up with this notion until you leave for college or for another country where there’s no “mommy” or “sis” who does all the cooking. To make matters worse, your stomach is already singing lullaby to let you know it is aware of the sudden recession.

          You locate the nearest kiosk for bread, geisha and a bottle of coke. Or if you are outside Naija you seek out the nearest Chinese or burger joint, but then you still crave for that well prepared meal. You rush into the nearest grocery store, pick out a pot and a pan, come back home, but you still don’t know what to do with these utensils. The only woman you trust to talk to about your predicament is million miles away from you in Nigeria. You find a gas station where you can buy a 30 mins calling card for $5. You decided to use a calling card because you are still paying the phone bill sent to you by your phone company for calling Nigeria on your landline.

          You have been telling her that you miss her well prepared meal, she is worried that you are starving, and her best solution is that you need a wife. Perhaps, if you were 30 mins away, she would send “Nkechi” or “Ekaete” to go do your laundry and make your meals, but sending Ekaete will require getting a Visa and passport, and who knows what could happen when Ekaete comes to the white man’s country.

           Seeing no alternative, she starts making plans of you getting a wife. You tell her you have a girlfriend but she cannot cook, or that she’s too busy with her own schedule to cook for you, or that America is not a place where you demand your girlfriend should cook for you. She mentions she is not a wife material for not knowing how to cook. You decide that your hunger strike is more crucial than enumerating all the good qualities of your girlfriend.

         You then get the courage to ask her “mama, mother, mommy, ma, aunty, how do I boil water”.  You get no response from her. You think perhaps your credit is finished, you look at the phone before you softly ask “ma?” After a long pause, when you are almost thinking the network connection have played another fast one on you, you hear her sigh before she says “get a pot, put water in it. Turn the gas cooker on, and put the pot on it”.

“Ma, what quantity of water do I need to put in the pot? How long do I wait before I turn off the gas cooker?”

 “When the water starts whistling, when you start seeing bubbles, turn of the gas cooker”.

“Thank you ma. But ma, there are many pots, which one should I use….”

              while you are still talking, your minutes finishes, you rush off to buy another card and call your mom, and you say, “ok, I have put the water in the pot and the pot on the cooker, but then the water is not boiling”

 “Give it time Gbenga”.

“Ok, water is boiled, but it doesn’t look like the one you use to boil…..”

 

                      To be continued…..

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Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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