First, my mother sent me a friend request on Facebook.
Good daughter that I am, I gave the matter some serious thought for all of two seconds, wavering between acquiescence and downright refusal. My mother is cool and all but bless her, refusal won.
Next, I was chatting with my siblings on our forum when up pops this comment from our 17-year-old sibling in text language that we were pretty sure that even said sister would not be able to read. It was as if she was trying to be a teenager. That sent up red flags, for after all, what teenager tries to be a teen? We’ve all been there; that period in life when you’re convinced you’re an adult and you know it all and adults just suck and nobody gets you and ohmygodhowyoucannotwaittogetoutofthisstupidbackwardtown.
Further investigation revealed that it was indeed my mother and that my sister had used her laptop and (foolishly) hadn’t signed out. My finger’s still bent from logging off so quickly. One of the others deleted the conversation.
Now I’ve focused so much on the persistence of Igbo men that I think I might have neglected to hint at the doggedness of the Igbo mother. If Igbo men are bulldogs, Igbo mothers are the hand holding the leash. And so it was that this morning, I was reading through comments for my blogs when I came upon a comment by none other than my mother signing in via LinkedIn.
God help me, I was going to leave that comment as it was. I even convinced myself she wasn’t the one and what harm could it do to have her around after all? She’s edited some of my work in the past (fine it wasn’t any of my stuff written as an adult) and like I said, she’s cool for a mother. But then I thought about all the posts that have gone before, the ones still to come and how she will meticulously trawl through them, her scientist brain picking out anything she finds alarming.
Let’s take my well-documented journalistic interest in Flavour N’abania for example. The conversation might go something like this:
Mum: Nwunye, what is all this nonsense obsession with a boy that didn’t go to school? A common musician with isi ndi ala, half-cut, half-dada. Don’t you know you’re a married woman eh? Does your husband know about this? So this is what you have been doing while you are supposed to be writing your novel? Can’t you see (insert newly famous Igbo writer) is all over Guardian and Vanguard you’re there looking for a man to give you ihe?
Me: Mum, it’s just a joke, it’s not meant to be serious now.
Mum: Com’on mechie gi onu ebe ahu! I cannot believe that you have wasted all my prayer candles. Don’t you know it was one of the catechumen that saw this and told me? Now everybody is St Mary knows my daughter posts videos of men’s waists on the internet. (Pause). Is this part of a book deal? Are they paying you?
Me: No, it’s a blog…
Mum: What is blog? YOU MEAN THEY ARE NOT PAYING YOU AND YOU ARE WASHING YOUR PANTS OUTSIDE?!!! I will tell your father.
Ay ay ay. No.
I have a blog because I cannot afford therapy. Let’s not forget that according to Freud and his ilk, half my problems can be ascribed to my parents. If I cannot have a space devoid of parental influence to rant and rave once in a while, I’d hate to think what I’ll do.
And so dear reader, I blocked my mother.
Freud was also a sick bastard so while we won’t go into what he thinks I really want to do to my mother and why, believe me when I say this is the lesser of two evils. I know it’s a bit childish but isn’t the very nature of parenthood that it reduces offspring to nothing more than embryos?
Needless to say, I will be going over the comments with a fine tooth comb as I eagerly await my mother’s next incarnation.
And mum? Text-speak doesn’t mean you get to leave out all the vowels and verbs.