I now understand how my mother felt every time I criticized how she dressed when coming to school or how she talked loudly when addressing me. I envy her because she had ready answers for me like “Soma uninunulie nguo yenye unataka nivae for now mtanizoea” or “Nitashout venye nataka, sikuwaiba, niliwazaa.” I tried my level best to make my son happy by dressing in the most beautiful dress I could find in my closet only to be asked “Mum, kwa nini sasa ulivaa nguo mrefu?” For the rest of the graduation ceremony, I only became important when money was needed to buy ice cream. Does my son understand the fact that my thighs and hips are so thick to the point of lifting the most of decent dresses look like some pole dancing attire? Is that the kind of mother he wants? The only thing he was happy about was my nails; I overheard him telling his friend, “Unajua makucha ya mum yangu ni smart na sharp kama kisu inaweza kuku kata.”
I could not wait to wait to get home and dig my sorrows in cake. The excitement was cut short by a text from Liz “I know your son is graduating, you are only allowed one slice of cake.” This is how you know the gods are against you. I sulked as I watched two cakes being eaten with relish by people who have refused to join the fat side of life in solidarity no matter what they eat. My dear friend Liz, if you are reading this, I would like to let you know that I followed your advice and ate a slice of each cake. This lady is my friend and she has decided that apart from serving me with black tea, she wants me to measure the amount of food using my fist because according to her, the size of my stomach is two fists combined. I kept wondering if she had seen my stomach, there was no way my bulging stomach is the size of two fists combined; it is the size between two fists far apart and because of that reason, I have been practicing portion control with my eyes which sees the size of my stomach easily without me having to bend.
The meal plan I was given has cleverly omitted fries, soda and other joy giving foods and drinks. My story with fries is a beautiful one. I fell in love with fries the moment I stepped into the city and I was met with the aroma from Sonford group of hotels and its friends. I immediately joined as a life member. Just from looking at the shape, amount, color and how dried the fries are, I can easily tell the joint it was bought from. This was after very many years of telling everyone who wanted to meet me to find me in those joints. Despite selling tomato sauce, these places are quite affordable, in that if my date happened to forget his wallet at home, found himself with lesser money than he thought he had, or gets hijacked when he goes out to pick a phone call, I would still be able to comfortably pay the bill.
My greatest fear is being stuck somewhere with not enough money to clear the bill and pay for my fare. I clearly do know that fries and my ability to resist it are largely to blame for killing my dreams of being a model. I have severally told myself that I will practice clean eating to the point of carrying salad to the office and then all discipline is forgotten the moment I step out and I am met with the irresistible smell. I had no idea how long I was going to stay away from fries until my son gave me a reality check. I was dressing him up and from the blues he started a conversation.
“Mum, unajua kuna mtoto kwa hiyo tumbo yako”
“Hahahahahaha! Aiiii! Mbona unasema hivyo Kyle?”
“Wewe hauoni uko na tumbo kubwa? Mtu akikua na tumbo kubwa ako na mtoto ndani. Na mum, afadhali tu akue girl halafu tutamuita Rita”
“Sweetheart hakuna mtoto hapa ndani, hii ni tumbo ya kushiba tu.”
“Aiiiii! Tumbo ya kushiba na bado unakula tu.”
I have never felt devastated like that before. Because I have no ready answers like my mother. All I could do was revoke my membership from the fries club and swear to myself to lose the pregnancy look as soon as possible by taking Liz and her plan very seriously. I want to be able to wear what my son wants without fear of looking like I am heading to a club. I want to look pregnant when I am actually pregnant and most importantly I want God to bless me with ready answers like my mother. I need them.
As I was travelling back to the city, I requested my mother to pack for me very healthy foods like pumpkin plus its leaves, githeri and avocado. This was to fight any urge to stop and buy fries because I was too tired to cook. It is working so far; my son’s words are still haunting me. The plan is to have those words be on replay mode at a maximum volume in order to drown and defeat the fries and alcohol begging ones until the stomach disappears.
Speaking of Nairobi. People in this city can make you beg for El Nino so that you can drown in it. I had some few documents that I needed to sign in the office and because of parking problems, I had to walk to meet my colleague and sign the forms. I do not know if it was out of pity because I walk with a limp and very slowly, or if it was out of my awesomeness, but the stares I got almost made me walk back to the cab. A few people pushed me as they walked and turned to give me the cold mean stares. I was torn between apologizing and giving them the middle finger.
Anyway, I have more important things to think about. Like how to serve food with my fists closed.