It’s Saturday night. You’re curled up on the sofa watching the Bible series…ahem…power. Your phone pings. It’s a whatsapp message from Lisa. You haven’t heard from that chic in ages. Last time you heard she had moved abroad, to Kigali or Kampala hehe..Her words not mine. Since she left she has never bothered to invite you for a visit. Maybe because you giggled about the abroad thing. But you hold no grudges. Life gets busy, people move away, happens all the time. It’s not like you’ve been inviting people from shagz for a visit either so let’s all calm down and stop with the stone throwing.
Anyway, you open the message to see what Lisa has to say this Saturday night. It’s a picture of her. She looks gorgeous by the way, all sun-kissed and carefree looking fantastic in that yellow sundress. She’s smiling in front of the Eiffel tower. Wait…..what? This must be Photoshop….no?..When did she go to Paris? This cannot be happening. The closest you’ve been to Paris is that café de Paris on Ronald Ngala street. Don’t act like y’all don’t know it, it was the cool joint back in my high school days. And by the way when did greetings stop being the formal way of starting messages? When did we move to pictures? nkt…nkt…and hallo to you too Lisa!
You swallow your annoyance and another unmentionable emotion and continue.
“Hey Lisa! Looking gorgeous dear..aki wewe unaenda Paris na huwezi nibeba!” (insert all manner of emojis here..those things are perfect at hiding real emotion)
“Aki swits it was last minute….si you know how these things go.”
No, I most certainly do not know how these things go. Mostly because I’ve never been to Paris on a whim. Let’s face it, I haven’t been anywhere on a whim. The last place I’ve been to is my shagz, and if you’re from Kiambu like me then basically you haven’t been anywhere. If the price of food in your shagz is the same as that of your neighborhood kiosk then you haven’t left Nairobi my friend.
So, back to the story. You grit your teeth and carry on with the conversation.
“What are you doing in Paris?”
You start to pray frantically that she is there for work. Because if she is there on holiday with her man, you will switch off your phone and go to sleep. Not that the work one would be any less painful, but we have to pick the lesser of two evils here.
The phone pings again. Another picture. Still Lisa, still smiling in front of the Eiffel tower but this time she has been joined by a smiling Adonis. Tall, well-built, impeccably dressed and with a perfect smile. It’s amazing the amount of detail women can pick up from a photo. You momentarily get sidetracked by his dimples. You had promised to switch of your phone and go to sleep if she sent you a picture of her and her man. However, the stakes have gone up. We must now find out who Mr. dimples is.
“Eish mami, kwani you have made friends that quickly in Paris?”
It’s shameless and completely beneath you what you are doing. Why are you being like this? You know very well that is her man. That jaw line is definitely luhnje. And his arm around her waist is a little too familiar.
“hahaha..aki wewe jokes hujawacha! That’s my boyfriend Nick, we’re celebrating our engagement.”
Woi, it’s like being slapped in the face with a wet fish (oxymoron?) Lisa has continued on, blissfully unaware of the mental torture she is inflicting on you. But it’s not her fault. She is just sharing her life with you. Isn’t that what friends are for? To share with in the good and bad moments. Would you have your friends not tell you their wonderful news?
Have you ever watched other people live your life, the life you always thought you were meant to have? Drive that Land Rover Discovery 5 you bought in your head? Decorate that Muthaiga townhouse in stunning ocean blue colours that reflect the depth of your personality? Marry that tall dark and filthy rich ninja that will make you blissfully happy? what do you feel inside? anger? jealousy? resentment? Or perhaps motivation? hopefully its motivation because the reality is there will always be people who have more than you do and others who will have less than you do.
The secret to life is to be content. Sure, we all want to go to Paris on our engagement. But if it never happens does it mean you will never be happy? Everyone is on their own journey each with its own set of trials and triumphs. Their successes may be different from yours and their failures even more so. But we are all united in one thing, we all just want to be happy. Do the things we love, live the life we long for and if we’re lucky, take smiling pictures with our dimpled males in front of the Eiffel tower.
So, be gentle with yourself. You’re probably doing the best you can. And if not, then get off your bum and start doing the best you can. That way you can look back and blame the universe if things don’t work out.
The phone pings again. You are almost afraid to look. Lisa might now be bungee jumping off that darn tower. It’s a picture of her engagement ring. You are blinded by the glare off of that huge rock. You sigh. It’s time. You switch off your phone and go to sleep.