Disclaimer: Refer to PART1
Here’s a lethal combination of a female state of being: Single. Childless. Beyond your thirties! And the cherry on top? Be living in my ancestral hometown – so help you God! I would know, as I recently visited home amidst the political upheaval which I mistakenly thought would be far more important than my state of being. Boy, was I truly mistaken!
You see, my beloved ancestral hometown is pregnant with the elderly who are very loving and whose love is best demonstrated within a traditional family setting (i.e. spouse and kids). In the absence of these, conversations falter and awkward silence looms over you like a bad dream. Talking about what you do for a living, especially if it’s a ‘foreign job’ doesn’t resonate with anyone and is best left alone. So babies and spouses it is!
Before I left home, I was summoned by an elder who channeled the village’s concerns: “what are you still waiting for? How much schooling do you still need? You aren’t getting any younger…” Like I needed a reminder. But here is what really ticked me off: “And why would you diminish your father’s lineage?”
These accusations are not (of course) limited to my hometown. I get variants of them in almost every society I find myself in. And guess what, it’s often from people (well-meaning individuals inclusive) who don’t give us an opportunity to narrate our side of the story! And just so you know, everybody has a story, (as Oprah would say) and who are you to judge?!