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Grow up, Grown ups


The weather in Nairobi is a little too bipolar for me. The hint of schizophrenia in how the weather behaves in this city is just beyond me. I woke up and I could have sworn I saw a clear sky. I took a breath and blinked and it looked like satan’s stomach all of a sudden. Its dark, misty air, still cold and just gloomy. My day seems uncertain. Until some girl in an ugly sweater and bad breath definitively made it a bad day.

I am standing at the queue for matatus to work. It’s a long queue. This girl, who we will call “girl in an ugly sweater” ,comes all the way from nowhere and joins the line right in front of me. Listen here, her sweater was such an eyesore. If you mopped your floor with it, it would not dry up just to spite you. Like how dare you? I didn’t need spects to tell that the queue was even longer behind me. So I tapped her shoulder. She shrugged without turning. The temerity. I tapped some more. She turned with a sneer that enlarged her nose so much I thought she was related to Eugene Wamalwa.I resisted the laugh. I was pissed.

Excuse me madam, there happens to be a queue here.

And so? (She could just say so?)

So if you had a modicum of manners you’d line up like the rest of us whose jobs and rush you find too mundane (I was getting irritated now)

You disrespectful (insert female dog). You cannot respect your elders, watch how you talk to grown ups.

I paused. Just to discern whether her statement belittled my grownupness (not a word, I’m making a point here) or it validated grown up bad behavior. A part of me wanted to take offense at the B word but my anger was welling up now and I needed to speak.

So you are saying old age is a ticket to be above the rules and license to behave badly? Get serious, you mean to tell me that there is nobody older than you behind me? That’s disrespectful on your part.

At this point the rest of the queue was turning to us and I realized it might turn into a scene. I do not have the cardio stamina to deal with this weather and a scene simultaneously. She is infuriated and her elephantine hands are too close to my tiny frame. I take a step back and chill in silence. But then God is a girl in the prettiest floral cocktail dress. This girl was listening to the exchange and walked about four people past me from behind the line and went straight in front of the foul mannered girl in a bad sweater. She wanted to yank her (floral dress girl) off the queue but her hands were tied by her actions and her attempt to unashamedly justify them. She went ahead of her(girl in an ugly sweater) and just as she was, the Sacco man came and asked her to leave the queue. She resisted and it was accelerating to physical. I didn’t want for this.

She might have carried her age card, packed her attitude in excess and conveniently left her manners on the kitchen counter, next to her common sense, but girls stand together. We asked the Sacco man to let her be just ensure she didn’t get in the jav.She stood aside raging in fury but unable to do much with a now charged line of Monday-dreading-employees.

She kept on talking and not exactly whispering her anger. She kept calling me and the other lady names but we resisted the urge to respond. However, I had something to say to her. Something I have wanted to say to these physically grown kids, carrying mature ages and masquerading as adults. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. We are a reflection of what you are and a testament to the actions you have taken in bad faith. If tomorrow some form one decided to cut the line after they witnessed today’s events (so dramatic, hehe), on what grounds do you stand to reprimand them? Do you tell them to act right until they grow up? Then they can leave their sense of civility at home and interact with the world like maniacs? I don’t think so.

Stop acting so surprised when we do to you  the exact things you do to others in our presence. If you cut the queue, anybody else can. Granted we are not the biggest fans of listening to what we are told as a generation, but best believe we are exemplary at copying your actions. Statistics just showed how corrupt the older generation has become. Other statistics show just how complacent the Kenyan youth demographic is with the vice. Now this experience is public display of adult indiscipline. Show me why you are so shocked. While you are at it, have a fantastic week ahead. Will you?


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