Harmattan blasted through my windows and permeated my nostrils, leaving me hard hit and nearly unable to breathe when I woke up. I seemed to have been the only one affected in the house. I had gone to bed with a nasty headache, and I woke up with it faded, thankfully. However, I still couldn’t breathe. On 25th December, I was blowing my nose for about 12 hours straight. (Except for that one-and-a-half hour time I was unconscious, trying to sleep off that escalating headache.)
On Christmas Day, the house was filled with music. I had this super bright idea in the morning, before all the food stuff started: to make a Christmas playlist to be our season’s soundtrack. Why didn’t I think of this ages before the actual Christmas Day, you ask? To be honest, I don’t know. Perhaps I was too busy sneezing and writing supplement essays to feel the festivity. So, I went ahead and speedily downloaded PTXmas (amazing LP by an amazing acapella group, which Ghanaian TV is constantly abusing) and, on a whim, decided to throw in Bieber’s 2011 album, Under the Mistletoe. Now even I was apprehensive about this one, because aside from my obsession with some one My World 2.0 song whose title I can’t even remember, I had more or less ignored Mr Bieber until Purpose (which is fire!). Fortunately, the Christmas album also happens to be pretty good, so no regrets there.
Later in the morning, after I had burned a CD and had the playlist successfully reverberating through the whole house, I sat in my room casually doing something or the other. All of a sudden, I was hearing my name being screamed out of my father’s mouth from the kitchen, as if I’d left some gas stove on and was about to burn the whole house down.
Wondering what on earth I could have gotten myself into this time, I rushed downstairs. He was pouring a drink or something, and as far as I could tell, nothing was burning. Then he voiced the matter of concern that had been so urgent he’d made me bolt out of my room: “Is that you singing on the CD?” he asked.
Of course not! I thought.
“No,” I said.
“Ahn. The way you were saying you were going to make a playlist, I thought you were the one singing.”
- I can’t sing.
- I don’t sound like Justin Bieber, who does not sound like me.
- Shall I suppose that the implication is that I sound male, or that Bieber sounds female? (You wicked people, I know your answer to this question.)
Anyway, moving on…I want to talk about a certain irony that exists in certain Ghanaian relatives. I won’t mention names, but some one Ewe auntie…Okay, okay, relax.
What really confounds me is how these people can be so irritating when it comes to mealtime, nearly abusing the children in the family. (The only kids in the house this year were my brother and I, and the big guy was asleep for most of the afternoon anyway, so guess who got stuck with all of the dirty work? JK actually, it wasn’t that bad.) But these family members are all about telling the young’uns to do this and do that, all stuff they could easily do themselves if they stood up. But maybe lifting forks and wineglasses to your lips is an extreme sport after a certain age, I don’t know. Effectively, those being commanded and sent eat last because they were previously too busy being commanded and sent.
Then suddenly, miraculously, when the meal is done, said family members are begging to wash the dishes because they “want to help”. And it’s not hypothetical, neither is it merely a courteous request they know will get rejected. They’ll persist. They actually DO wash the dishes. It leaves me utterly confused about our perception of helpfulness and service. If you wanted to avoid putting people through trouble, why couldn’t you do something as simple as fill your own glass with juice on the table within reach? Self-service is also service, right?
LOL. Merry Christmas and a happy new year.