When I was younger, my mum drummed into our ears that we must accord respect to elderly people. She told us to help them carry loads, give up our seats in bus or any other place for them. And we must greet them at all times.
Of lately, I have been noticing a pattern in my life and I’m not finding it funny at all. I went to bank the other day feeling cool…wore my skinny jeans, trendy blouse and sandals and was standing in my full height.
There was a queue that day and the seats were all occupied. Na him one small boy with lots of respect (yes, you read right) got up and said, “Excuse me ma, please sit down” (in that voice we used to address strict teachers).
I thanked him and said I preferred to stand. This good boy insisted I must sit down, which impressed me so much, until he spoilt it by saying “At your age I can’t be sitting down while you’re standing”.
Eeeeeh Chineke God (I screamed in my mind). So I don turn to those old mamas I carried their loads and gave up my seats for? But those ones were all wrinkled up with lots of grey. Some couldn’t even walk straight. And look at me all tushed up and one little boy is using his goodness to spoil my swag. I concluded immediately they sent him from my village to haunt my life.
In my church, we had youth and singles’ week recently. On the Friday, I attended the variety night. Wetin my eyes see dat day, my mouth no fit talk am. My other matured single friends and I sat like parents that brought their children to a playgroup.
Those kids kept on jumping all over the place and addressing us as Ma, Sir. I nearly wrung their necks (but no be dem do us now). It was fear of criminals that made all of us stay till the end of the vigil but it was not funny at all.
Then to crown all these experiences is what my big-mouthed nephew said to me the other day.
I was talking to him about his conduct generally and this boy opened his mouth that he used to eat yam and cocoyam (as Osuofia will say) and said, “Aunty in your generation…”
I didn’t even allow him to finish the sentence. I screamed “Which generation?” “Methuselah or Noah’s generation?” The poor boy was dumbfounded. He kept on saying he didn’t say anything wrong.
Truly he didn’t say anything wrong only that I don’t want him to state what is so obvious. Once in a while it is good to live in a fool’s paradise. Especially for our well-being and that of the society.