Thursday, August 23, 2007

Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This

No, I am not talking about love (though that would be good), or money (even better), or fame and wealth (oh, best), but what I am actually talking about is what none of you will see coming. I’m talking about the greatest feeling ever…I’m talking about having the power to get rid of your frustration. I’m talking about having the physical and mental ability to expose a portal from which your burden and frustration can be let out. To be more specific, I am talking about shitting. Yeap, that’s what I’m talking about.

What is it about shitting that has you feeling like a new person at the end of it? You go into a room (also known as the bathroom or the toilet), sit on a commode, expose this bizarre portal (also known as your anus) and before you know it, some slices, or tubers, or pieces (whatever you decide to call them) come sliding out. You sit there and just push and push and have all kinds of grimaces on your face; so much that if one did not know what you were actually doing, he or she would think you’re having an orgasm.

Bathroom time for me is a very sacred time. I go in there, relax and let all my troubles unwind (physically and mentally). I even have magazines to entertain myself while I’m in there handling my business. Most times, I do not read the magazines though, so I take a novel in there with me, and I also take any other thing I may need while I’m having my private spa.

I’m talking about things like the cordless phone, cell phone, earpiece, etc. I have recently upgraded to also taking my laptop in (with cords and all); after all, I do have to check my mails…right? If we are in the winter, I might take a cup of hot cappuccino. But when the brutal heat of summer rolls around, I might take a popsicle or two to cool me off while I’m working out (you know it’s a workout trying to squeeze the slices out, right?). Oh, and let’s not forget my lip gloss. One’s lips can get awfully chapped after working out for a long time.

There is something so fascinating about one’s own shit that you never feel like it stinks. In fact, you think it is the best smelling shit ever (if there is such a thing). I mean, I can talk, eat and do any thing at all while I’m shitting, and I will relish every breath I take of my shit, but when it is someone else’s shit, I would not even dare go close to that place because it stinks! My shit smells so good that I do not even feel the need to spray an air freshener when I’m done. If anything, I will go back a few minutes later just to get one last sniff before it completely dissipates. Oh, the joy I feel!

The smart people (also known as scientists) who came up with the theory of matter coming in three states (solid, liquid and gas) are very smart people indeed! Think of it; shit is solid, urine is liquid, and fart is gas. Brilliant! I find it very astounding that you can get rid of your excess luggage in three different states. I am yet to decide which one is my favorite one; they all seem to do miracles to my comfort level.

I do not know what kind of people you have in your life, but I think I have the weirdest people in mine. Whenever my father farts (which he does very often and quite loudly too), he demands that we hail him…and even clap for him. Every time he farts, we have to say, “Ogbuefi!” And then he answers. My mother on the other hand feels the need to describe to me in details, the fine points of her shit. It might have been long, maybe watery, or just plain ol’ hard. Till date, the only air freshener that has been mildly able to tackle the foul odor of my mother’s shit is Febreeze. As for my father’s shit, I do not think it can ever be tackled. It is one of those things we leave up to God, and hope that He will not let us down.

My friend, Funmi learnt the bitter lesson of one-flush-per-shit after she foolishly filled her toilet with long, hard shit. Can you guess what happened? Yeap, the toilet got clogged up by shit. Do not ask me who had to plunge it; she might not want that information disclosed, although I am tempted to do so. But imagine what the person had to go through; I mean, seriously, how cruel was that? Needless to say, she has never repeated such a careless mistake.

Now, what is it that makes shit so personal and private? Nobody ever wants to shit in someone’s house…unless it’s a very close friend or family, of course. What would you do if you are in the house of a new romantic interest and the urge suddenly comes? I’ll tell you what I do when I’m in a house where I do not wish the stench of my shit (however pleasant) to be smelt. I try to cover the whole commode with my butt and thighs, so that the stench does not escape, and then as soon as the shit enters the water, I flush, and wait for the next arrival. Brilliant, huh? Of course, I do not guarantee that this will work on your shit; stenches of shit do come in different flavors, you know?

The feeling of releasing a fart is absolutely phenomenal! There is an ah moment that comes after one is released into the world. It is a feeling of liberation! It feels so great to release one of your own naturally-made tear gas into the world to do some mass damage to some bad, bad people. It is quite unfortunate we cannot see it because I would love to see it dissipate and sleekly go up people’s noses. The vile looks on their faces would give me all the joy I need.

My lovely aunt, whose name I will not mention in order to spare her the shame, is always talking about the special shit she shits. It is the one where you take off your pants/skirt and underwear completely because you need the space to spread your legs apart. And while shitting, you have to put both hands on your head. I guess you must be going through an Oh-thank-you-Lord-for-this-miracle phase. Did I mention she has her eyes closed and her mouth open? Go figure!

It goes without saying that I have never said shit so many times in one write-up. It is even more interesting that I do not mean it in a bad way. Now that I think about it, how did shit even become a bad word? This is something that I have to investigate; I do not know how constructive this research will be, of course, but I will find out once I am done – if my interest in said research lasts long enough. Somehow, I doubt it.

As I end this baby, I can think of only one person who finds shit and all its components to be rather interesting. Do you?

Comments are generously welcome

Sunday, August 05, 2007

When I Became A Woman

The older I get, the more I realize just how much I have to learn. But this article is not about mental maturity; this is about physical maturity, if you will call it that.

When I was in elementary and secondary school in Nigeria, I always thought I was grown and sexy. In fact, I could have sworn I was grown and sexy. The boys in my school always liked me; I was not that light-skinned, but they called me ‘yellow paw-paw’, and the young men on my street assumed my name was ‘Chi Chi’ because in their limited minds, only Igbo girls were light-skinned. It flattered me then, but I now realize it was ignorance on their part and mine. When I was in JSS2, my French teacher told me he thought I was a little Chinese; apparently, I have ‘Chinese eyes’. To be politically correct, this would be called ‘Asian eyes’. I thought he was crazy for thinking I was a little Chinese, but when I came to the States, a few people said I had ‘slanted eyes’, and therefore hinted a little bit of Asian blood. Well, I have asked my mother, and she is quite sure that neither she nor my father has any Asian blood in them. Furthermore, she is also very sure that my father is my actual father.

So I was pretty much at the top of the ‘grown and sexy’ list even though I was only about 10, and I put myself at the top of that list. No need to discuss that I had no clue what sexy meant; if I did, I could have sworn it was a dirty word. Everything was great. Life was great. I was sexy. Life was sexy. I remember how I always used to wear a ‘shimmy’ under everything I wore. Thinking back on it now, I do not know why every woman in Nigeria felt the need to do so. But I have to say that I wore the heck out of them. I had the ‘long shimmy’, the ‘half shimmy’ (otherwise known as under skirts), and the ‘singlet (also known as vests)’. My favorite was my white mini long shimmy; it stopped right above my knees. Every time I came back from school, I would take my school uniform off and walk around in the shimmy.

My God, I was on fire! I was so hot that you could have fried a crispy chicken on me, and still had to use a fire extinguisher. Yes, I was that hot – or so I thought. Everything was going great. Every day, I would put on my blue school uniform, sparkling white socks (which were now looking blue because I soaked them in ‘blue’ the previous night. Remember ‘blue’?), and shining brown sandals (which my aunt sent from America, so you know that even increased my hotness level), and I would match out the door feeling too hot for my own good. Sure, I had to trek to my friend’s house to catch a ride, but I was still hot. As far as I was concerned, that only gave me ten extra minutes to show a few extra people just how hot I was.

I thought I had it all until things suddenly changed. Without notice, I became the bottom of the food chain. What happened, you wonder? I’ll tell you what happened. My friends started growing peanut-sized lumps on their chests and I did not! Do you know how humiliating that was? Night after night, I cried and begged God for breasts. I told him to give me a little, just a little bit! I had absolutely no breast at all; I did not even have enough to qualify for a training bra! My friends complained that their ‘lumps’ hurt and itched, so I too started pretending that my invisible lumps hurt and itched. I would kneel beside my bed, praying and crying to God for breasts. I made all sorts of promises, if only He would give me lumps! I would never lie again. I would never insult my class mate. I would never cheat in a test. I would never use markers to draw on Ngozi, the house help’s face while she slept. I even fasted for lumps!
Just when my lumps started showing and I thought I was back at the top of the list, something else knocked me off. One day, my best friend, Uchenna came to school feeling down. All day, she had her head on her desk, not really talking to anyone. Finally, she revealed the reason for her downcast attitude.

“It came yesterday.” She said to me.

Confused, I asked, “What came?”

“My menses. And I’m having cramps.” She whispered. I neither know why she whispered or why we called it ‘menses’. Today, I will gladly tell anyone and everyone about my monthly visitor, Ms. Flow.

“Cramps?” I asked her. I had no idea what cramps were. Uchenna, on the other hand, knew everything because she had two older sisters while I had none.

I am ashamed to say this, but I was green with envy. I knew that almost all of my class mates had been getting their ‘menses’, but it did not hit home until my own best friend started seeing hers, and mine was no where to be found. I asked her what the pain felt like, but she could not really describe it. She just wanted it to stop. That night, I was back on my knees, praying, crying, begging, and promising to keep all the promises I failed to keep earlier. Did I mention I was fourteen by this time? I fasted some more too. Everyday, I eagerly ran to the bathroom and pulled my underwear down, hoping for at least one spot of blood. I even bought a pack of Simple Sanitary Pads. Remember Simple? It came in a bright yellow pack. I only wanted it because my favorite aunt who was now married and living in America used to use it when she lived with us – although I had no clue that it was for blood.

Can you imagine how betrayed I felt by God when I found out that my friend, Isabella whom I was fourteen whole months older than not only had much bigger breasts, but also had her ‘menses’? Isabella, on the other hand used Always pads, which I experimented with a few times – even though I had no ‘leakage’. I prayed for my ‘menses’ and everything that came with it. Yes, I also prayed for the cramps. Without my ‘menses’, I did not feel complete; I did not feel like a woman. It did not help that I was round and had low cut hair – not that I’m no longer round, but my hair is long now.

I was fifteen when one day…voila! A drop of red appeared. I was so excited that I could have had a seizure. So off I went to put on a Simple sanitary pad. As soon as I put it on, I sat on the porch outside my house, feeling accomplished and complete. I had done it all. I was now officially a WOMAN. I sat down confidently with one leg crossed over the other, chin held up high, and there was no stopping me now. I waited a few hours to go and change the pad; I was sure it would be full and almost pouring out by then, but to my greatest surprise, there was nothing! I cried. And cried. And cried some more. The next day came, and there was still nothing. Where did my drop go? My mother explained to me that it was not ‘regular’ yet. Ms. Flow disappeared until I was sixteen when she reappeared and has continued to do so every twenty-four days.

These were the big stumbling blocks I faced in becoming a woman. The little stumbling block was being teased for having too little hair. I am not a hairy person, so if I shave my underarms, the amount of hair that will be there after a month would probably be as long as the one a regular person has kept for only a week. I used to think it was a problem. Now, I am grateful for it. But once upon a time, I begged God to give me more hair. And do not get me started on begging for pimples. That is a story for another day.

After all has been said and done, I now realize that Ms. Flow did not make me a woman. She only made me fertile. Everyday, I realize that the day before, I knew less, and as I grow, I continue to learn. I am a woman today – I think. But tomorrow, I will be more woman than I am today. Needless to say, I no longer beg, pray, or cry, or fast for lumps, hair, pimples, and Ms. Flow. But I especially do not ask for any shape or form of cramps. Been there. Done that. Do not ever want to go back there.