Celebrating East African Writing!
Bigger changing rooms.
I think this would have to go hand-in-hand with the banning of ‘exhibitions’ in town. How do you explain rows and rows and rows of clothes but only ten square centimeters to change in? So many times I have shoved my dignity aside as some determined salesman or saleslady shows me to a ‘changing area’ where there’s just enough space for both feet to touch the ground and the curtain is a flimsy cloth held up by the very same salesperson right in front of you. I’ve never really been the trusting type, so you can imagine how much courage it takes me to wriggle into the selected items, all the while fearing that the salesperson’s biceps might just give way due to exhaustion and oops! The curtain comes tumbling down, or that a sudden gust of wind could expose me en masse to shoppers and sellers alike; everyone knows these exhibitions are more crowded than an ancient Roman amphitheatre.
So, for peace of mind and common public decency, either the exhibition stalls should be banned, or, the owners should be forced to construct proper changing rooms with enough space and – I cannot forget to mention this – lockable doors.
I went to my nephew’s birthday party – he just turned five. I was decked out in a beautiful kitenge that my tailor-Peter- made for me. Everything was going well until Sam, my nephew, refused to pick me to be in his hide-and-seek team because he thought that due to my size, I would be too easy to find. The humiliation! Me and my size quietly parked ourselves into a corner and tried to blend in with the wall.
The only thing I dread about my job is the suits I have to wear. I look like a boerwoer in any trouser suit, but there’s no way I can freeze my legs off in a skirt suit. So in the battle of fashion v/s warmth, warmth always wins. Privately, I’ve started calling them my clown suits. My boyfriend, Marcus, thinks I’m overreacting. What does he know? He’s as thin as a toothpick (relative to me, that is.)
Evening: I went to the gym and I felt encouraged. Met a lady with three stomach layers; compared with my own two and felt much better. This could be a plan. Whenever I get too down on myself, I’ll go to the gym. On the minus side, there was a slim woman on the treadmill next to mine. Felt like throwing her out or, the ultimate punishment-sitting on her. Ha ha! I am a bad person, why do I have such evil thoughts?!!!!!
Morning: I am so psyched. Today is my chapo day. I love chapattis, but in order to make myself feel less guilty for indulging in such an oily substance, I always invite Marcus over for dinner on chapo days.
Lunchtime: One of my colleagues had a birthday yesterday and brought us some cake. Was it just me or…did my piece look suspiciously small? Or maybe I’m just being paranoid. But I could swear Wahu’s piece was bigger. Anyway, I’m not going to sweat the small stuff.
Evening: The chapos were delicious. Marcus adores my cooking. Thank goodness. I must hone all my girlfriend skills to perfection in order to ward off all the slim girl competition. He also finds me very funny. Bless him for seeing past the lard…
Mid-afternoon: The lifts in our building weren’t working in the morning. Had to trek up five steep flights of stairs. I almost died. Found my colleagues waiting at the door to see if I’d made it. Ha! Even with my dying breath I manage to defy the odds. Go me!
Evening: Went to the gym. Question: why do they have mirrors all around? It just makes my stomach more visible in four different angles. Achievement of the day-lifted weights and felt so powerful, like, I could audition for a Catwoman assistant role.
I knew it was going to be a bad day when I was forced to wear my red clown suit. No wonder everyone noticed when I was late for the meeting which took me by surprise-did anyone mention it yesterday? Anyway………………..somehow the day ended. No gym today. My chi wasn’t down for it.
The weekend! Yippee! I’m going out with my girlfriends tonight. No gym today-the dancing will take care of that! I’m stopping by the salon after work, I have to look hot.
Lunchtime: got home at four a.m. All my joints are aching. Can you believe I actually did chini kwa chini right down to the floor? Oh, am so proud! I don’t mind being unable to move from bed the whole day, really I don’t.
6.00 p. m: I bought Robb, rubbed it all over and then bought pizza. Yummy! This is why I like living alone. I also have a stack of Nigerian movies to watch.
10.00 a.m.: Went to church, later surprised myself by signing up to join the choir. I must confess-the black and orange choir robes are a major attraction. Maybe I can just be wearing an old t-shirt and skirt under my robes-no more stressing over what to wear!
If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Friday and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.