This post is part of the Verastic In Nigeria series
It’s been almost five years since my mommy and I lived together, so before I even came to Nigeria, I told Igwe that my mommy and I would probably be arguing over something every day. Well …
On the first night I slept in Nigeria (the day I landed in Abuja), I was shocked when I woke up the next morning to blaring gospel music. I was shocked and irritated and confused. Apparently, mom likes to listen to gospel music early in the morning. But I should have known this. How could I forget? Even while we lived in Jos, she used to wake up early in the morning to listen to gospel music.
When I complained about the music, mom inquired why I was “quarreling with God.” All attempts to explain to mom that it was not the genre of the music that bothered me, but the sound. I just did not want to listen to any kind of music at 6:00 AM. I wanted to sleep. And my sleep was especially essential because (1) I had just come off of an 18-hour journey and (2) I was not a morning person. At all.
So mom obliged me and turned off the music — only to turn on Africa Magic. And since we were sharing a room in a hotel, I had nowhere to run to. I have now been here for three weeks now, and mom continues to play music early in the morning – sometimes all day now. The crazy thing is that I have gone from being irritated about the sound of the music to loving the sound and looking forward to it. I am even thinking of asking her to send me some of it – once I figure out how to ask without being made fun of.
And because the gospel music and African Magic channel are not disturbing enough, her patients also call her at six in the morning. And they call over and over and over. Do the patients not know that it’s six in the morning — and she’s on leave?!?! So by seven in the morning, the sleep has left my eyes.
When she’s not busy playing her gospel music – and singing along loudly – she is busy anointing my head with oil. I told her to stop doing that – not because I am averse to anointing oil, but because I don’t know who did the anointing and my spirit has not had a chance to know this person. Once again, I was accused of quarreling with God.
On the more exciting side, I have been on vacation since I got here. My mom has been treating me like a baby. She cooks for me, gives Ada Verastic baths, washes her clothes, washes my clothes (all in the washer oh, not with her hands), and buys me whatever I want. I can count how many times I have given Ada Verastic baths since I came to Nigeria – twice! – because mommy is on duty.
Yesterday, Sunday, I did not go to church with my mommy because I’m still pissed from when I went two weeks ago. It’s a Catholic church that started its mass at 8:00 AM (have I mentioned how I’m not a morning person?). And even before I got to church, I was already pissed because (1) I couldn’t wear pants; only skirts and gowns allowed (2) I had to cover my hair, and (3) I could not wear red lipstick unless I was not going to receive holy communion. So I wore red lipstick. And to top it all off, it took over three hours for the service to be over. What arrant nonsense!
Oh. And in the middle of the mass, one lady – who I don’t know and have never met as far as I know – was sitting on the aisle across from us when she noticed that my scarf had fallen off my head and was now sitting on my neck. Her life was so bothered and her feelings were so hurt by my scarf (or lack of it) that instead of paying attention to her priest, she did everything to get my attention, and when she finally did, she signaled for me to cover my head. I gave her three seconds of intense eye rolling, and then, I proceeded to remove the scarf completely. In my head, I dared her to approach me. She did not. I would have unleashed my frustration of the entire service and the heat that was doing me on her. I was so hot and restless that I started taking my jewelry off in church. And to piss me off even further, the guy who was sitting on my right had no knowledge of personal space.
So yeah, that’s what my mommy has been up to — and that’s why I did not go to church yesterday. I did, however, have a moment with God at home.
P.S. I’m sorry for the sporadic posts, but my internet here is two degrees below nothing. Only God knows how long it’ll take to upload this post (I now have to type on Microsoft Word and then paste onto WordPress because I cannot come and die while waiting for a page to open. I have so many stories to tell (and videos too!), but we gorra wait till we return to the Abroad.
P.P.S. Just as I was rounding up this post, I was mindlessly singing one of the songs from mom’s early morning gospel collection, and she heard me and immediately asked, “Why are you singing my song? When I play it, you complain and call it noise, and now you’re singing it.”
You see the challenge I’m facing?