You know how it is when you run into an ex, or an almost ex. You know, somebody who could have been something but life got in the way, or the timing wasn’t right. Not just any type of ex, someone you had a profound connection with, maybe even loved. So it is a chilly evening, you are walking hurriedly past Mr.Price, the one near Archives, trying to catch a bus home. On a good day, you’d stop and window-shop. On a better day, you’d get in, maybe get yourself a necklace. Not today though. Today you are too broke to even window-shop. Because window-shopping is an implication of sorts, that you are going to be able to afford that stuff someday. It is a sad, cheap, kind of hope. And you know what they say, that hope is for the birds, and the brave. You think about this for a while, and you realize that maybe birds and the brave is just a metaphor for the rich. This makes you laugh, a sad, hollow, self-pitying laugh. And then it happens.You bump into someone. And even before you look up, you know you recognize that scent. The way it brought butterflies to your stomach. He says hi, you mumble something back. small talk here and there. He says something about losing your number, asks for it. You want to give it to him, but what good would that do? So you look away, pretend to notice the sunset. How it makes Tom Mboya street almost look beautiful. How it makes you want to sit on a roof top and kiss someone. It is funny, because you’ve never been one to watch sunsets. He brings this up. You tell him people change and there’s really no point in trying to go back to the people you once were. You stagger away before he can say something else, get into a bus and as it leaves, before you leave behind the piece of your life that could have been, you allow yourself a moment of total honesty. You know you miss him, that you will always carry with you this sense of loss, that your bones will always ache for him. You know that feeling? That does not even begin to compare to this craving I’ve had for French fries and chicken these last couple of days.
So just yesterday I am in a Samsung shop getting my laptop charger replaced. But they are taking forever because they are out of stock and so they are getting me one from I didn’t care where. So I figure, screw calories, I’m getting myself chicken and fries. What else was I going to do to kill time? Also,people have just been on me incessantly about my weight. And if I’m being totally honest, it is getting hurtful. I know they do it with the best of intentions,(well, some of them) but sometimes it just feels like they are body shaming me. And yes, body shaming isn’t something that only happens to plump people. So I hop over to some fast food place and order my chicken and fries. Which if you think about it, is a pacifier of sorts, like the way traditional Africans poured libation to appease ancestors. The pacification was a huge mistake. The food tasted horrible. Okay, maybe not horrible but it wasn’t spectacular either. I couldn’t get past few bites. So I just sat there, wallowing in regret for squandering my fare for the next few days for food that wasn’t spectacular to please some mean women who didn’t even see me. Really, the food would have been put to better use as libation. I was still staring at my food, trying not to cry when this guy who I’d say is twenty four years or so sits next to me with some cute, I’d say six year old. My first thought was, “what a nice guy. taking his time to spend time with his little sister. she is probably going to question the niceness of the brother after tasting the chicken, but it really is a nice thing to do. ” Turns out the little girl is his daughter. A very curious one at that. I feel like i should tell you how I know that. Okay. But don’t judge me.I was eavesdropping. Not purposefully of course. The seats are so close to each other in these fast food places, it is impossible not to catch snippets of other people’s conversations. Also, the little girl was asking very intriguing questions. I’d say the winner was, “daddy, was it wrong for mummy too get pregnant before you got married?” The guy froze. Who wouldn’t? Even I chocked on my own saliva. So I left. It felt wrong to listen on afterwards.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the question though. I do not think there is an easy or direct way to answer that question especially when it is a six year old asking. That is a loaded question especially to a father who obviously doesn’t want her daughter to ever be in the same position he now was, but also doesn’t want her daughter growing up with an unhealthy attitude towards sex. It has so many variables like society’s perception of virginity, pre-marital sex, responsible sex, you name it. All I can do is hope he did the best job he could at answering the question. Here are my two cents though. There’s is very little on this planet that is absolutely wrong or right. Is it difficult to be a parent before you are married? Yes. Hell, I think it is difficult being a parent even when you are married. But just how do you tell a six year old that her mother should not have had her? You can’t do that. But you know what you could do? You could tell her she will grow up, she is going to learn about sex and intimacy and she is going to make her own decisions about them. All you can do is do your best at ensuring that when she gets to make those decisions, she won’t regret them.
But let us face it, our attitude towards sex, pre-marital or not is not solely shaped by the people that raised us. There is peer pressure, societal misconceptions, personal choice. Some choose to wait till marriage to have sex, others do not. Ideally, there should be nothing wrong with those choices as long as you are responsible about it. But for some reason, society shames girls who do not wait. And that is not cool. If you ask me,all this hype around virginity is a societal construct designed to perpetrate some misogynistic agenda. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that people should go around recklessly breaking their hymens. All I am saying is that it doesn’t have to be such a big deal. So while sex is a sacred, spiritual affair, the idea that a guy inserting his man bits into a girl’s lady parts is such a life-changing event especially for the girl is just unwarranted and a little bit cocky(and yes, I heard it when I said it.) A girl losing her virginity in no way alters who she is as a person, it does not make her any less worthy of respect, it should not earn her insults and name calling. The long and short of this is slut-shaming is not cool. Girls are allowed to have a sex life. They are allowed to express desire and have fetishes. Society needs to stop slut shaming girls for the very things that they consider men fucking legends for(pun definitely intended.)