I can’t say I’ve never known how to deal with crying women. My mom used to cry over everything. If she was happy, she’d cry. Sad, she’d cry. If she was very angry with you, she’d cry and take a very long walk. And then, when she returned, she’d arrange a formal meeting with you. She’d sit, you’d stand. At attention. You couldn’t slouch, you couldn’t cross your arms, you couldn’t bend your knees, your knees and your feet had to be properly aligned with each other.
And then, she’d talk about how disappointed you made her and how she never expected any child of hers to do such a loathsome thing (she always used the word loathsome). She did that to me four times.
Once, because I ate the meat she had reserved for my father. She said it shamed her to know that her son was a thief. And then she and my dad withheld my allowance for 3 weeks. These days, I never even borrow a pen without returning it.
The second time, my cousins came over to spend 2 weeks of the summer holidays with us. The girl, a year younger than me; had a game I’d been begging my parents to get for me. She wasn’t willing to share it with me. So one night, when everyone was sleeping, I snuck into the room she was sharing with my sister, took the game and hid it. When I was questioned about the whereabouts of the game, I said I didn’t know. The next day, the game was found in my hand. I’d fallen asleep playing it.
While my mom was walking off her temper, my dad caned me thoroughly. When my mom came back, I was whimpering but it didn’t seem to matter to her. We went through the same drill. I had lied to her, my cousin had cried because of me, and as such, she gave my cousin first pick of all my games then packed up all the rest and gave them to the charity drive at church.
I was used to women’s tears. But those women were my family members. I didn’t know how to deal with other women’s tears.
But Ebube wasn’t crying now. She didn’t even have noticeable tear tracks on her face so for a while I was calm. Then i notice that she’s looking at me oddly. What did I do now? Then she looks back at my father who looks at me and then down where my hands are supposed to be. Then I look down and I realize she’s been holding out her hand. I take it, she gives me a firm 3 second handshake (yes, I counted). Then she gives me a dazzling smile and I know she wants something from me.
In my 24 years of living, if there’s any skill I’ve learned and learned well, it’s knowing how to get things/favours from people.
First, you stare into their eyes, very directly. Call them by their given name. Smile with only your lips, indicating that you’re usually a happy person but you aren’t completely happy now. A lot of people thinks it only works on men but I’ve found that it works even better on women.
Second, you initiate pointless conversation, also known as small talk. Met them before? Ask them to tell you how they got home that day. Listen attentively. Mistakenly stepped on their feet? Apologize so much they begin to look embarrassed. Did they do you a favor before? Thank them. If you forgot to thank them before, show them how terribly sorry you are that you forgot. Blame it on circumstances, let your face reflect your misery. Touch their arm while looking intently at their face with a seriously regretful expression on your face. This particular trick usually only works on guys. I’ve found that most women hate being touched. The last time I used it, it was on a seriously chauvinistic fellow who while married, believed that he could get any girl into bed whenever he wished. He had asked for my number. I had given him a fake one. He and I met again 3 months later, I did this trick and gave him yet another fake number. Normally I might have given him the finger or rolled my eyes but while chauvinistic, disrespectful and ever eager to begin spouting off on matters he knew basically nothing about, he was also someone who could make my life miserable if he so chose.
Third, smile while maintaining eye contact and touch if you can manage it. This only works if your face doesn’t routinely betray your true feelings. You might find that some people will think you’re in love with them, you might find that others will believe they’re in love with you. So I usually skip this step. Saves me a ton of trouble.
In this case, I had already met this person. At Bunmi’s office. He had helped me pick up my papers. Had I thanked him? I don’t think so. I’m actually genuinely sorry. I hate not saying thank you. What name had Bunmi mentioned? Right, Boma. Why is that name so familiar?
Iris. “My name is Boma Irikefe Aghoture. But you can call me Iris”. My mouth smiles and for a moment I completely forget what I’m doing.
It’s quite fascinating watching her think. Really fascinating. I’m not sure what she’s thinking about but it isn’t completely pleasant if the sheen in her eyes is anything to go by. I shift uncomfortably. Was she about to cry?
She snaps out of it abruptly. “Hi Boma! We met before? At Bunmi’s office. Do you remember?”
“Yes.” In fact, I’d been debating asking Bunmi for her number. I just hadn’t gotten around to it.
“Great! Thank you for helping me pick up my papers that day by the way. I forgot to say thank you then and I’m really sorry.”
“It’s alright. You’ve thanked me now”
“Thanks. I’m not usually so scatter brained. I wanted to ask if your father could have lunch with me this afternoon. He said to ask you. And now that I think about it, do you have other plans? If you don’t, do you want to come too?”
I think for a moment. Today really was the perfect day to take my dad to the hospital. But he looked so happy when he was laughing with her and usually his days are very monotonous.
“Sure. Are we going to your house or… ”
http://eziaha.com/2016/03/04/are-we-even-fighting/ – General reminder to kick ass today.
http://chynanu.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/mamam/- because our mothers deserve everything good.
http://tamiesalcove.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/my-confidence/ – This post was a word in season for me. Check it out.
There’s someone you see everyday. Maybe it’s a beggar. Maybe it’s not. But he/she needs time, needs to know there are still good people in the world. People who care about what is going on with him/her.
Be that good person today.