Real-Life: My Mum and Dad tried to pimp me out
Picture the scene, its a very chilly November night. A Sunday. A Nigerian traditional wedding is taking place somewhere in south-east London. There were easily about 1000 people crowding the halls, trying desperately to avoid standing by the draft of the door, taking refuge from the biting winter cold. [sidebar: I fundamentally disagree with winter weddings. Messes with my outfit mehn]
For this special occassion, my mother had flown in from overseas and it felt like the entire state of Oyo was in attendance. Gele and Fila were everywhere, accompanied by some serious agbada and the uniform outfits.
So, we had been there only an hour. We had nowhere to sit. My mother had been asked to perform the duty of introducing the cake cutting and saying a word or two for the couple. My Dad had managed to secure himself a seat amongs his crew of increasingly old and mildly camfour smelling men (I’m guessing many an old trunk was popped that night) and me and my little sister were hugging the hallways planning when we could drag our parents away to go home.
Cut to the next scene, its post eating (which we had to do standing up), I’ve gone to get my Dad and tell him I’m ready to go if he wants a lift home. I see him nursing a can of Becks….hmmm. Go back to find my mother who now happens to have been given a seat and is about to take the final swig of brandy from her lil airplane bottle which she sneaked into the very nice clutch bag I lent her (no longer in my possession or even the country I might add!). She calls over my cousin and asks him to re-fill the bottle for her, so I go to help him out. It’s all for the cold you see…hmm.
It is during this unfortunate time that my mother spots a group of boys and decided to attempt to pimp her daughters out. Now my parents are far from alcoholic, if anything they’re straight up lightweights so I have to believe alcohol played a part in this atrocious incident.
So Mum sees 5 young-ish looking dudes standing in the same area as us, she spots a particular one and starts to flirt. Her window of opportunity on this occassion was one of those photographer people who had been sniffing around taking various shots of the family. She asks this guy to take a photo with her, tells him he is cute and bold as brass just says “I have two daughters over there, they are both single you know.” I literally wanted to die.
What ensued was probably the worst 15-minutes of my life where despite my protests (and I went ‘brat euro-kid’ on my parents, stopped short of swearing but there was a lot of “What are you doing?!?!?!?!”), my Mum AND Dad, questioned this dude about his background and inspected his wedding finger to make sure there was no ghost band.
Did you read that? They actually picked up this dude’s hand and inspected his finger?! What kind of behaviour is this!!!
As a final act, my mother then sends over another dude to go hang around my little sister and made us take one of the most unbelievable photos of my life. From left to right there is me, grimace/laughter refusing to look at the camera. Then this guy with his arm around my mama’s waist and her arm very nicely hooked around his. In her left hand she is holding this other dude’s hand, while my little sister, bless her, actually leans as far away from this dude as she can without falling out of shot.
What traumatises me to this day is that even my father took part. Where is the crazy Nigerian father stereotype when you need it!!
Now, before you ask, my mother knows I have a boyfriend. Yes she does. The guy she took a shine to for me, was told that I have a boyfriend, and his immediate response…”I bet he’s not Nigerian”. CULTURE FAIL! I pulled my mother up on this when we finally managed to drag her away and this was her reponse:
“I don’t care if your man is Chinese, if somebody is there he needs to present himself otherwise we don’t know he exists.”
I love the woman, but deym. It’s been a month since this incident and I’m still getting over it. I might need some Dr Phil for this one.