Saturday, July 14, 2007

Confessions of an "American" girl raised by Nigerian parents

I’m usually the silent one when all of my Nigerian friends start reminiscing on their grade school days. You see, I was born and raised in the United States to Nigerian parents and quite honestly, my school stories aren’t that interesting. Well, I take that back. To me and my other “American” friends, they are hilarious and everybody can relate, but to my Nigerian friends, my tales of grade school are probably boring, to say the least. Stories of my bully who would always trip me with her cello on the bus can never hold up to my friends’ grass cutting days with plain scissors. (I mean that’s how I understood it. How can they make you cut grass with plain scissors, where was the lawn mower?) As you can see, I just don’t get it! Anyway, I do feel that I have something that you (those raised in Nigeria) can understand. Though I was raised in the United States, my parents were still VERY Nigerian. Here’s my story…

My mom used to have a store back in the day. During my summer breaks, I’d spend most days at the “shop” with her. At first, it was kind of cool getting to run a cash register, but after a while (like the first hour of the first day), I was very bored. Why couldn’t I just go to the beach like Megan and Ashley or summer camp like Kelly or Brittany? Instead of long walks on the sand or cabins at Lake Pocahona, I’d be at the shop being forced to watch the Young and the Restless. For a 10 year old girl, that was so not fun! Along with watching every CBS soap, I was the shop “housegirl.” Every floor that needed to be swept or window that needed washing was my job. The shop was located in a strip mall that had a grocery store, drug store, hair supply store, some random store (clothing, rental center, etc.) that popped up for 3 months and left, and a hair salon. As you can imagine, I was the person who had to pick something up from the grocery store, go get change from the hair supply store, or make my mom’s hair appointment at the salon. By mid summer, your girl was very tired and irritated! Then one day, I think I went mad. My mom asked me to go get something from the grocery store and I flipped! I mean, I was like “why do I always have get something for YOU!” and “why can’t YOU just do it YOURSELF, I’m tired of being treated like a slave!” All of this was said with my whitest of white, white girl accent (with some black girl eye rolls and head motions- please just try to imagine). I actually went off on my very Igbo mother! Can you just imagine? Anyway, after minutes of “going off” I reluctantly went to Food Lion. As I was going, I was just rolling my eyes and murmuring all kinds of crazy stuff under my breath to her. The walk to the Food Lion, though about 4 stores away, seemed like an eternity. It was at this point that I realized just what I had done. I contemplated many things. I thought about running away (besides I saw kids doing it all the time on the soaps), I thought about calling 911 to report what was going to happen to me (knew this wouldn’t work), I thought about pretending that I was deathly ill (usually works for an only child), but I knew that all of that just wouldn’t do it. After picking up the item at the store, I headed back and decided that instead of becoming a street child in one big city and maybe being hauled off by social services to go and stay in a trailer with a foster mother, that I’d just pretend (as best as I could) that the incident never even happened. I would go back to the shop, clean the bathroom, wash the windows, and even give my mommy a back massage, all in an attempt at giving her some form of amnesia. Well much to my surprise, my methodology worked. I got back, but instead of me having to go out of my way to be very nice, it was the other way around. My mom was sooooooo extremely nice to ME. She laughed with me, asked me what I wanted to eat that night, and we exchanged all sorts of other pleasantries. It was greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat! Alas, I was in charge! “I bet she’ll never ask me to run an errand again,” I thought. She was so nice that I had totally forgotten about what had happened. We went on like this for about 3 hours. At the 3rd hour mark, my mom went into the back room. She called for me and of course I happily answered. As I stepped in that room, I knew something was just not right. Immediately both of my feet entered into the back, the lights turned off and the door slammed. If I hadn’t been raised Catholic, I would have been speaking in tongues at this point, rejecting and rebuking any work of the devil in my life. The next thing I felt was plastic hangers all over my body. They were just breaking anyhow. I felt like I was going to die. After about a solid 15 minutes of beatings, my mom left the room. As she was going (while I was in fetal position on the floor) she warned me that if I ever spoke to her in that way again, I would be killed. The last thing I heard was “I brought you into this world and I can take you out if I like, stupid girl!”

Though I didn’t grow up in Nigeria, I think this beating story can stand up to most any Nigerian child’s story. If you can top this one, please let me know! My name is Patience, guest blogger #3! Peace and love!!!

14 comments:

Ozymandias said...

Hilarious !! The quote about bringing you in and taking you out..lol...sounds so funny. I guess your story can compete with any Nigerian schoooled persons' story !!

kulutempa said...

LMAO!!

Adaure said...

Ndi.... you are 'too mosh'. I have heard you tell this story too many times and each time I hear it, it only gets better. Lol. I guess you 'BROUGHTENED IT' Dez is Next pass it on. LOL

Onada said...

LOL...my belly hurts fron laughing@

truth said...

LOL and LOL all over again. My gosh that was funny. At the moment I can't even think of any story that tops that.

Men if I were you, on my return, I won't get that comfy with her smiles. Dawg it, aren't you the perfect catch with the perfect bait?lol again.

bhookey84 said...

LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO lol y was i picturing the whole thing o lol wow

STREETBRAND said...

Oh me days, that was too funny!!!

kulutempa said...

...still LMAO!! i can just imagine you with that your big, ignorant grin running to the back of the shop...lol...ahhhh!!

Uzo said...

Nigerian mothers are in a league of their own.....

NIkki said...

lol... omg. This reminds me one sad day, I think i was like 13 (when I thought I was all grown) and we were on the way to church in the car. My mom was driving so i decided perfect opportunity to speak my mind. Freedom of speech in AMERICA. Oh lord... have you guys ever had the back hand bitch slap from the drivers seat to the back seat... followed by I will send you to Nigeria first thing tomorrow morning (which she never did). Then she turned back around like nothing happened. Last day I tried that freedom of speech nonesense. lol

Anonymous said...

I saw these two comments on Bella Naija’s comment page of “This day Concert” and I thought the whole world should know. I love Oprah and the rest of the Artists my aim is just to show Nigerians that it is time we start supporting our own people and make our own country better. Contrary to what Oprah thinks Nigerians are the smartest most intelligent people in this world.

PLEASE READ THE PIECE BELOW FROM NIGERIAN PUNCH NEWSPAPER AND PASS YOUR COMMENT:


Oprah Winfrey got it wrong

By Our Reader
Published by PUNCH NEWSPAPER: Thursday, 26 Jul 2007

Recently, America’s TV girl, Oprah Winfrey, called on America to sever diplomatic relationships with world’s topmost corrupt countries.

Worst of all the countries, Oprah surmised, is Nigeria.

According to her, “all Nigerians – regardless of their level of education – are corrupt.”

It is very pathetic that Oprah could ascribe to a larger population, the evil act of an insignificant number of persons in the world’s most populous black nation.

Oprah’s conclusion is based on the fact that a Nigerian of Igbo extraction was caught with $500,000, which was alleged to have been stolen from a foreigner through the Internet fraud popularly known as 419.

Oprah had sponsored an hour-long programme, which ran for several days on the CNN, with the sole aim of exposing the clever tricks espoused by this group of Nigerians to con their victims.

Much has been said about the greed of the victims themselves, and I need not say more about it.

However, at a time when Americans are committing heinous crimes against children and women, nobody has tagged all Americans as murderous.

So, why call all Nigerians rogues because of the sin of a few bad eggs?

Oprah regularly tells her life story: how she was sexually abused by close relations, how she ‘walked the streets’ (Americans’ euphemism for prostitution), etc., but nobody has ever deemed it fit to tag all American men as incestuous because of Oprah and others’ experiences.

She did drugs – just like the typical American teenager, but nobody has cast all American youths in the mould of drug abusers!

So, why should an individual that is supposed to know better sentence a nation to odium for the infraction of a tiny fraction of its population?

I urge Oprah and her likes to disabuse their minds about Nigerians.

Be wary of requests for money from strangers, and if you fall for a scam, blame your greed and not Nigerians.

Okoli Vitalis,

legendchyke@gmail.com


http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art200707260133325
Ps: to the owners of the blog I’m sorry for invading your blog. I just felt we Nigerians need to let go of that inferiority complex of American things being way better than Nigerian’s. We need to make our stuff better too if we think it is not up to standard.

Bulejo said...

Patience, this is an excellent story!

catwalq said...

men, u r not alone. I have received beatings over all sorts of things.
there was one eba incident like this....

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