I am a grown woman. At least it’s what I say to myself anytime my mum wants me to do something I don’t particularly want to do or my older sisters want me to run an errand I would rather not.
Yup, I’m grown now. No one can make me do anything I don’t want to do, right? Wrong. I thought I was grown until I realised I am still very much susceptible to peer pressure.
This is my story.
I once saw this lady at a saloon and even though she was not exactly pretty one thing drew me to her, her nails. Or should I say claws. Those things were so long, I was sure she put them on to fight away tigers that may attack her in lala land. Those things had to be for protection of some sort else why would anyone wear nails that long.
I sat in my chair as my hair lady kept pulling at my already too full, too nappy hair but I didn’t feel a thing as I had put my judging cap on. I sat there and I judged her.
She must not have a job. Not a respectable one at least. I mean, I couldn’t phantom her typing with those talons or going for a presentation brandishing her well-manicured weapons of distraction. Oh and she definitely doesn’t have kids. Except she plans on scaring them for life. Oh boy! I went on and on all the while smiling at her each time our eyes would meet.
Fast forward a few months later, I was preparing for an event in another city – a city that was home to most of my friends and family. They hadn’t seen me in a while so I felt I had to make an impression. So, in preparation I visited a salon. Braided my hair to an unusually long length. “Aunty, is it not too long?” I smiled but didn’t respond. She got the message.
Next up was my nails, I sat as the nail artist worked his magic. For the first time ever, I was getting my nails done with no pain. It felt good really and I relaxed letting my mind drift to the Ogbono soup and Amala that was going to be my lunch.
“Aunty, aunty, is this length fine”?
I looked down at my nails. Hmm mm! It did look pretty. And it would be a nice way to make a statement.
“Hey, yeah I have a kid but I’m still young and in town oh” I thought to myself.
Maybe this will show that my friend who keeps giving me pitiful looks because she thinks getting married and putting my career on hold for a while to start a family automatically makes me a sell out and an old cargo that I still “gat” it.
“Yes, it’s perfect” I heard myself telling my nails guy before I could properly remember all the many reasons I completely hate overly long nails.
I mean, I should have typed this ordeal in less than 20 minutes but alas, it’s been 2 hours of struggling with these obscene talons and don’t get me started on how I just couldn’t style my too long braids, also loathing the pressure it was mounting on my edges.
While I began the process of removing my braids I remembered the lady I had encountered a few months back. I had judged her so ruthlessly but in less than 60 days I had become her. I succumbed to what I felt was a way to show I was still hot even though it was so uncomfortable and it was so not my style.
Could it be that I was secretly jealous of how well she rocked those nails? Maybe. I mean why else would I have asked for the exact same length of nails?
Whatever it was, I now know better not to judge people so harshly. You never know why they do what they do – until you know.