Mothers, like leopards who cannot change their spots...
“Getting some?” Mama asked with a bemused look on her face. “That’s what you people call it nowadays?”
Onyeka was still finding it hard to believe she was freely discussing her sex life with her mother. Not for the life of her had she imagined such a conversation would transpire between herself and her mother. Less sensitive discussions have earned her judgmental looks and copious bible verses to show her the error of her ways. But so far, this conversation had evolved effortlessly. Even though they held polar opinions, they had somehow managed to converse peacefully for this long.
How they managed to pull it off, she could not attempt to explain. This was indeed noteworthy. What had happened to Mama? Had she suddenly become more liberal and less conservative on the issue of chastity? Whatever the case, Onyeka was determined to make the best of this opportunity. She could recognize this for what it really was, a rare occurrence. There was no assurance of it repeating itself in her lifetime. For this reason, she wasn’t going to allow the opportunity pass her by without her maximizing it.
“But you don’t expect us to throw the‘s’ word around carelessly like it is not something sacred.” Onyeka replied.
“S word?” Mama repeated with a puzzled look on her face.
The look on Mama’s face made Onyeka chuckle lightly. “I meant Sex.”
“Oh,” Mama said, smiling with understanding. A brief moment of silence passed between them. Shortly after, Mama dropped the drink in her hand on the table then faced an unsuspecting Onyeka. “So you know sex is sacred, yet you are carefree with the way you indulge in it.” Mama confronted her, staring her askance in the eye.
Onyeka gawked at Mama, confused. Why this sudden seriousness in Mama’s tone? Just a few moments ago, they were both laughing over this, treating this conversation casually. Everything had been going on smoothly before now. Was the conversation about to head south? She blamed herself. She should have avoided the use of the word ‘sacred’ to qualify sex. Now she had to find a way to salvage this conversation before things escalated from bad to worse. “But Mama, First and foremost, it is an adult decision. And secondly, it is not like I am clueless or being naive. I know what I am doing, and I am ready to suffer the consequences if there should any.”
Mama cast her a stern look. “Are you even listening to the rubbish you are spewing out of your mouth right now?” Mama paused momentarily, staring Onyeka daggers. “Like you have not brought me enough shame by refusing to find a man to settle down with, you go around having sex with all these useless boys. Oh! Sorry, I meant to say you now go around to ‘get some’ from all these useless boys” the sarcasm in her voice, deafening.
“Mama, what exactly do you have an issue with? Is it that I have an active sex life or that I am still single and not showing enough concern according to you?”
“Everything” Mama screamed back at her, rising from her seat in anger. “Everything is the issue. How will I tell another man’s son to marry you now, knowing that what you were supposed to offer your husband, you have shared with stupid men who will not find one woman and stick to her? Tell me, how that is not an issue?”
“Why do you mothers always make it sound way more serious than it is? It is only casual sex. Men of nowadays don’t even care about that virginity thing like men from your generation.”
“That means all of you are stupid.” Mama told her as a matter of fact. “When Joseph wanted to leave Mary, what did the angel tell him that made him change his mind? Ehn! Answer me.” Mama paused for an answer that she already knew she was not going to get before continuing with her assault. “I know you will not talk again. I can see you have suddenly become dumb. Better desist from all these sinful acts. I keep telling you, that is why you are finding it difficult to find a husband.”
At this point, Onyeka was already feeling disconcerted. As a result, she turned her face to the ground, thereby, averting Mama’s gaze. But even with her eyes to the ground, she could still feel Mama sharp gaze piercing through her. And though she wasn’t looking into Mama’s face right now, she could picture the look on her face. She could tell it was a judgmental one.
Finally, Onyeka raised her head after she heard the sounds of Mama’s departing footsteps. She felt really bad. It was a rare mother-daughter moment and she wished it hadn’t gone south. She thought over how the moment suddenly turned sour briefly and afterward, concluded it was all her fault. She had acted gullibly, allowing herself to be fooled by the beauty of that moment. Her wrong assumption had ruined the moment. If they were having opposing views on what to have for breakfast, they certainly would have found a middle ground. But on an issue as sensitive as chastity, she should have known Mama wasn’t going to yield.
How could she have forgotten that? She wrongly thought Mama was beginning to understand how things worked with the millennial generation. In that moment, she forgot that mothers, like leopards who cannot change their spots, will never change their beliefs concerning certain issues.