My family is one of those embarrassingly loud and chaotic families.
Today,my parents decided to take us for a family day out.
This happens rarely; so you can’t exactly blame our overexcited selves.
You should also know that the words ‘ calm and composed’ don’t exist in our dictionaries.
It’s actually a miracle my mother has managed to keep everyone in one place.
We were completely high on excitement, drowning in pure bliss and raging in waves of genuine laughter.
This was a perfect opportunity to ask my dad to buy me a new phone while he was still in his good mood- which normally takes forever to come by.
This must be the heavens trying to give me a sign.
I had already prepared on which words to use ; one word could destroy my plan- that’s how sensitive he is.
I replayed and memorized my words again before I got enough courage to actually ask.
Putting on a wide smile and puppy doll eyes, I approached him.
“.. uh.. huh.. Dad.. thanks for bringing us here. It’s such a lovely place.. it’s just that my phone can’t take good photos to document this amazing memories..”
“Though iPhones have really good cameras..”
I gave an even brighter smile, I swear just one more minute and my face would split in two.
I probably look like an over grown baby but I couldn’t care less.
And why was this man not taking the hint. Uggghh.
He can be very oblivious sometimes.
“… Huh.. Could you get me one for my birthday..” Fingers crossed.
Silence. I hate the silence. That means that he was contemplating what I had said, and probably going to deny my request.
“Come on dad,” I chanted inside my head. Bouncing up and down.
Patience is not a virtue I usually gamer.
Finally he opened his mouth, ” We’ll see about that.”His expression blank.
It may seem like nothing to you but to me those words were a glimmer of hope.
“Thanks Dad!!” I squealed.
A waitress walked to our table to take our orders.
God have mercy on His people!
She was in those handkerchief paper thin pieces of clothing; waitresses wear for skirts.
I don’t know how they manage to bring in those clothes.
Always smiling. Always. Obviously not literally every second, but you get it.
The amount of happiness seeping out of one person was way too much.
As she came to stand beside me, I noticed her sweet scented perfume, it was so strong that my nose hairs were stinging.
Sue me for the observations.
Maybe the smile and perfume was part of their work attire to lure people back to the hotel. Maybe.
It’s just my assumption.
Finally she left to prepare our orders.
I swear we ordered the whole kitchen. My family has bottomless pits for stomachs.
We must have originated from the hyena family not chimpanzee as the scientists say.
“Goodness! What’s she wearing!,Not to mention, some people are allergic to perfumes!” My mom gasped.
She has the tendencies of commenting on everything just for the sake of being dramatic. “Only you can get an allergy from such.. “my sister commented lowly probably intended for only her ears.
But trust my mom to have such good hearing.
Jesus Christ! This was going to be a long argument.
My mom had a way of turning a simple joke into a life long lecture or criticism.
My sister was just argumentive and stubborn like that.
And so my mom went on to tell us about a medical article she read about strong perfumes.
I propped my chin in my hand and tried to focus. Five minutes in and I failed.
Eventually I just tuned her out and zoned out.
At the end of the rant, she asked if we understood and to save ourselves another lecture from her about not listening. We all nodded.
She was about to say something when the waitress came back with our orders.
Thank God! I was actually starving!
Saliva automatically started forming in my mouth the moment my nose had a whiff of grilled beef and I swear I was this close to drooling all over myself.
My stomach grumbled agreeing to my testament.
I smiled shyly picking up the fork and knife and cutting out an otherwise large piece,directing it into my mouth.
Ah! Let’s take a moment, infact hundreds of moments to thank the chef for literally bringing heaven on earth.
Cheesy heaven it is.
Whatever secret ingredients used burst among my taste buds.
I made a mental note to befriend the chef.
Surprisingly the table was quiet with an exception of the sound of cutlery.
So this was the secret to shut my family up. I definitely had to befriend that chef.
I gazed across the room.
There was a lady sitted with two of her hyperactive kids,and I could tell that she was exhausted by their antics. There were dark bags under her eyes. Maybe she was a single mom. Maybe her husband divorced her or died and she had to take care of the kids all by herself.
There was a couple at the corner who looked like they were in the middle of an argument. Their eyes were a blaze when suddenly the guy said something to the lady and she smiled putting her head on his shoulder. The guy grinned to himself and warmly hugged her. Umph! The wonders of love.
A man was walking right a across the room to a table with a woman and a beautiful young girl. He sat next to her with a smile and the woman responded with a smile of her own as the girl jumped excitedly on the man’s laps.
I smiled slowly to myself.
Then the metaphorical bulb light in my brain as an analogy crushed in.
Maybe not the best,but still…
Families are like ingredients to a meal.
As the ingredients we all work together to weave a unique,unified taste.
Each ingredient has it’s own purpose, whether it’s to make food tasty or to add color to the meal. Everyone in a family has their own unique character.
There’s always the trouble maker, the noisy one, the quiet one , the sensitive one… In a family.
Ingredients are put at different intervals in a meal; at the beginning or maybe at the end. There’s also a hierarchy in families, beginning with the parents, first to last born. Each pave way for the other- like prepare them on what to expect in life. The older the more experienced.
This ingredients though different and added at different intervals;they all cook in the same pot. Though we might be of different characters and age in a family; we grow together under the same conditions. It will be absurd even insane to cook different ingredients in different pots; for a family to function there should be unity; separation breaks families.
You realise as the meal is made, the ingredients produce a sweet aroma that attracts people and makes the meal appetizing. There are always this happy moments when a family is together. This joy in a family attracts other people making them want to associate with the family.
It’s not always that you have a seven course dish or even a three course meal; and when you do, you cease the opportunity and eat like there’s no tomorrow because actually you won’t get that chance tomorrow. So it is with family, it’s not usual for a family to have five generations or even more if you are blessed. So when you do meet with your great grandparents or perhaps grandchildren you spend the most of it and make it memorable.
I personally love spending time with my relatives. There are those inside family jokes that only them can understand.
There are times in making the meal, you might add to much salt or pepper; these are the difficult moments in families that are inevitable. Water can be a remedy to dilute the saltiness. Water represents family friends who chip in to help in times of trouble. They are practically part of the family.
To make your meal tasty and attractive you can season or add a side salad. It adds taste to the meal and compliments your ingredients. You can never go wrong with a salad. The salad and seasoning represents intermarriages; as they were not part of the ingredients but towards the end of the meal you need them to make it even more appetizing and appealing. You get a man or woman from another family that joins your family. Your differences compliment each other. And whenever you are having a meal you just want the extra sauce; your meal doesn’t feel complete without it. That’s how marriages work. They compliment each other and with one, the other feels incomplete.
There are times when an ingredient goes missing, there will be a tip to the balance and the taste will be different. Maybe the ingredient goes out of stock. This may happen in a situation where family members grow apart due to work and education. The members left will always feel that gap and miss whatever the member used to do with the family. However when the ingredient comes back on stock the balance is retained and there’s no joy than finding your missing ingredient- your lost family member.
Sometimes you won’t get the ingredient back but the good news is there’s always an alternative. An ingredient that works the same way. When a family member dies; it comes with so much pain and I’m not saying you go to the streets pick someone to replace the one gone- you just learn to cope and appreciate those still alive.
When making a meal you have to give the ingredients time to cook. If you serve it too early it will be undercooked or raw and if it overstays on the fire it might be burnt. Parents are held with the responsibility of preparing their children before serving them to the world.
You can’t leave a child at 10 to fend for themselves neither can you stay with a forty year old in your house still babysitting.
No one wants burnt food; you can’t serve the world with children of rotten character.
As of every story this one too has a beginning and end; the beginning being God- He is the founder of families, you don’t get to choose your family, you just accept and love those you were put with. The ending is up to you- if you want to make your ingredients have a sweet aroma or if you want to burn the ingredients.
Even so food is meant to be loved and build our bodies. I mean who doesn’t love food?… So does family- love is the strong hold for a healthy family.
..”.. pssst.. seems like you don’t need this..”
The whisper pulled me out of my thoughts.
My brother had already snatched a big chunk of meat from my plate.
” Hey!!” I screamed pointing my fork at him ,.. ” you better return it before I chop out your eyeballs!”
He just shrugged and dropped the piece in his mouth.
This boy and trouble were like the buy one get one free package. Such a trouble maker.
I really wanted to protest but mom gave me a warning glare so I just shut my mouth.
Choosing to be the bigger person, I continued eating; but not forgetting to make a mental note to revenge when we got home.
We had already caused enough scenes in this restaurant.