Beautiful Saturday morning.
Amazing weather; not rainy, not sunny. Generous PHCN; power had been regular in the last two days. Sumptuous breakfast; I am married to an incredible cook.
–The only unexciting task I am constrained to do on Saturdays is the visit to the barber’s salon. Nothing about it is exciting, nothing about it is pleasurable. But it’s a compulsory Saturday routine–
I picked up my kit and walked down to the salon.
The barber was already cutting my hair when I realized I had just enough to pay him and I wanted to take back home some oranges and water melon from a fruit market close by.
The barber finished, cleaned me up and I paid him. I strongly felt we needed the fruits but there was no cash. I began walking back home and to save time, I placed a call to my wife. My thought was, she could send Josephine downstairs with some cash and I wouldn’t have to walk all the way home or climb the stairs. No, I wasn’t exercising!
I started calling from the salon as I walked back home. No response.
All the three lines. One after the other.
Called. Again and again and again and again and again.
Picture my frustration. I had no words or space to describe it. I opened the gate, still calling, shook my head violently as I climbed the stairs. I knocked, I usually wouldn’t press the bell. Guess who opened the door with just the one knock I gave?
Yeah, you guessed right! My beautiful wife. All smiling, all jolly, all cheerful.
Grrrrrrrr!! For goodness’ sake, where are your phones!
I wanted to scream. But didn’t the pastor preach about Meekness and Gentleness last Sunday? I gritted my teeth and reined all my anger and emotions in. Suffice it to say that I did not remember answering her greeting. I walked past her into the room and got the money I needed.
“Are you going back? Why?”
Don’t even get me started this beautiful Saturday!
I didn’t even know what to tell her. Because I knew if I opened my cakehole Meekness and Gentleness would be far away from me. I broke some sweat and got to the fruit vendor. I selected the ones I wanted and embarked on the journey back home.
I met her in the kitchen when I got home. Still jolly while I was boiling. Still cheerful and singing while I was fuming.
“Awww…thank you so much. I was still planning how to go and get some. Aren’t you a darling?” She received the fruits from me and was all thankful.
I smiled “You’re welcome.” I struggled and didn’t mention the phone calls. And apparently, she still hadn’t checked her phones. And that beat me, seriously. It was more than thirty minutes after and she still hadn’t checked any of the phones to see the calls?!
The pressure to raise the issue was huge but each time I felt a restraint. I probably was hearing my pastor’s voice to practice self-control and be gentle. What a war! Not funny at all. And she wasn’t even aware of the battle within me. She carried on shuttling between the kitchen, cooking up a storm for lunch, and attending to some mails on her laptop.
I browsed through the channels to check the premier league fixtures. I was settling on the preview of Arsenal- Southampton match when it came, VOILA!!
“Olami! Did you call me?”
I was startled. No, it was my ghost that called you!
“10 missed calls!”
“Have you checked the other phone?” My eyes remained glued to the TV.
“No!” She rummaged through her handbag and didn’t see it. “Did you call that one too?”
No. I didn’t! I was just playing.
“When did you call me?”
What annoying questions are these now, for goodness’sake! “That’s a 21st century device, it shows the time of call, just check it.” I snapped.
“I’ve seen it but I’m wondering when it was you called that I didn’t hear!”
That is for you to answer, dear wife. “I don’t know how you want me to answer that.”
“Of course, you apparently are. But it wouldn’t be the first time.”
“Truly, I didn’t know you called and I didn’t hear it ring.”
“My point exactly! And it’s not unusual. Where is your other phone?”
“It’s probably in the room.”
“I thought as much.” I used my other hand to pick my phone to check a message that just came in while she went inside the room.
“11 missed calls!” She exclaimed from the room. “I’m sorry. Why were you calling?” She came out and joined me.
‘’It’s too late now.”
“I’m sorry nowwww…” She pleaded.
Here we go.
“E ma binu nowwww….Looto, I didn’t hear.”
“Do I look like I’m fighting? Remember, I wasn’t even the one that brought it up.”
“That’s true. You didn’t even mention it when you came in. Why?”
I shrugged. “Pastor said we should be meek and gentle. I’m trying, right?”
She started laughing uncontrollably.
“It’s not funny, baby.” Arsenal match had started but I switched off the TV. “They are called mobile phones for a reason.”
She controlled herself but still had that mischievous grin on her face. I continued my lecture on mobile phones regardless.
“They were made to be carried around. They are not heavy, they are not large. They are not some landlines you keep in the room while you are in the kitchen or ones that you install in the kitchen while you are in the room. They are not supposed to be hidden in handbags or forgotten in the dashboard of a car. They are mobile phones! THEY ARE MOBILE PHONES!!”
She smiled, rested her chin on her palm and watched as I demonstrated.
I injected a little humour. “They are made in different sizes and shapes so you could pick which ones you are comfy with. There are headsets available if you do not want the machine too close to your ears in case of long conversations. You can increase the volume of the ringtone so you could hear when your husband calls. You can even choose a special ringtone for him for ease of identification. So much you can do, they have been made for convenience. So, my dearest wife, for goodness’ sake, answer your phone calls!”
“Yes sir!!!” She stood and did the soldier’s salute.
Ever been in a situation where you needed something urgently and you placed a call to your wife and there was no answer?
Ever been stranded and needed a password or code or access key and you called her and no response?
Ever wanted to confirm a booking or get a booking code and you dialed her number and the ring tone just won’t stop?
Ever been in a situation where you were coming home with a friend/colleague on an impromptu visit and dialed just to inform and no response?
Ever needed to send an important message or instruction home on a particular matter and you called but no response?
Ever been in the middle of a transaction and you needed your wife to give you an important info, you called and no answer?
Or you couldn’t find a prop in the house and you needed her to just tell you where she kept it. Dialed. No response?
Or you were hanging out with your friends when the gist got heated up while you bragged about some past exploits and they didn’t believe you. They dared you to call your wife, put her on speaker just to confirm. Dialed. No response?
Ever been on a trip and you saw a beautiful shoe (No, not for Mrs., this one was for your daughter) and you thought it would look so good on her. You just needed your wife to help confirm the size before you make purchase. Dialed. No response?
Or you just basically want to touch base with certain private matters. And you called and there was no response?
Ever been there? Or better still are you living there?
What would you do?