and why I don’t do female friendship anymore…
2019: It’s a rollercoaster ride already. You can’t blame the universe for this.
Social media: What began like a trend for days on end, the #10yearchallenge became for my siblings and I, a trip down memory lane. Late evenings spent poring over our old family pictures, from baby pictures to my parents oldies, back when they wore gigantic shoes and large ass pants, to pictures taken in preschool, primary school and high school. Staring and smiling widely at the firsts, the first birthdays, first baby pictures, first family hangout, first preschool, primary school or high school graduation, first weddings as little flower girls or boy.
My first female friendship. Seeing this picture of us made me miss having female friendship, reminded me of what I once had and loved. Unlike now, there was a time when I enjoyed female friendship, I barely talked to the boys in my class, I was too shy to and didn’t think I was pretty enough. While I had 3 female friends, I didn’t talk to most girls in my class. I was an awkward and quirky teenager and happen to be often tongue tied around them. These other girls with skirts too tight for their hips were mean, the popular girls who didn’t talk to girls like me who didn’t sew their school skirt and shirt tight enough, didn’t wear double socks on each feet to make it thick enough, or didn’t rub powder or lip gloss before coming to school.
I remember when this picture was taken, I think my house (purple house) won the inter house school sports. I had rubbed powder over my face and applied lip gloss for this, called over my friends and school son (kinda), we had a weird relationship, I liked him because he was smart and fine too. Back then, it was totally okay to take this picture with him and place my arm on his shoulder with no brows raised. It meant nothing. But now, we grow so fast, and into things. We took this picture with no care, totally unbothered about the awkward angles our caps were placed or our poses. God! Kids know better now.
I don’t remember how I met Precious, we were friends right from primary school. I think it had something to do with my eldest sister being friends with her elder sister so we just had to click. Precious has to be the weirder one of us, how else would you explain her picking up a tree branch to pose for a picture because it was Palm Sunday. This was during our compulsory extension program to prepare us for the junior waec and we were all mandated to stay in the school hostels. As the fashion icon I thought I was, she wanted to wear something else and I suggested she put on my boots and I even thought it was a fire outfit. It was my favorite pair of boots, I’m not surprised. When we took this picture, I had suggested it, I came prepared, I had cajoled my mom for money. Maureen had already taken off her shoes but we had no care in the world.
She had a way of walking which everyone in class thought was so bizarre. She walked so fast, legs wide apart, the way a child stealing yams will swallow hot yam, like she had to be somewhere, she was always in a hurry. I loved Precious because she didn’t care what others thought of her, she always did her. She was smart too. She gave me my first book to read when I had self esteem issues, so I could deal with it. We would on some weekend take turns going to each other houses to trade in gists. When I found out we were crushing on the same boy one time, I left the boy for her. I did stuff like that. It Was The first boy I saw her actually like. But still there was something like a vulnerability wall between us, that we never crossed to know each other deeper. She was my bunkmate too.
Maureen was the new kid in class, no friends yet, we got talking and became fast friends. She was like a breath of fresh air. I could go all crazy with her. We hid together in class during morning assembly or inter house sports rehearsals. We talked about our boy crushes, the girls who formed or were snubs, one time we were comparing the dicks of the boys in my class. She was the one I could walk to the kiosk to get lunch snacks with while we talked and laughed. We shared our lunches too, started a saving fund for our friends together. Sometimes, after school, I would go home with her, it was all fun and games with her. I was there to remind her after we got our Junior Waec results, that her grades never defined her. I was willing to be friends with her, when the others didn’t want to because she was tiny and much younger than the others. I did my share of motivational talks when what the other girls said to her ever got to her.
We really did the crazy. The day we had a Home Economics Practical and were taught how to cook Oha soup. She didn’t have a food flask to put hers in, so we had to share mine and decided to eat it in class. It was surreal experience, we molded out eba, dipped into our soups and ate just like the boys in class did. Forming was foreign to us. We did us every time.
Whenever my sister brought over food on Sundays to my hostel, Maureen always ate with me. I got her back too, like when I found she still bed wet or the time she got Apollo and everyone avoided her, I made sure I always got her lunch during breaks and talked to her until I got it too. My Apollo experience was the worst days of my high school. Maureen worried about a lot of things, her tiny breasts, the pimples on her face, how fat or curvy she wasn’t becoming. But with Maureen came vulnerability, opening up, like an egg shell breaking open, slowly, taking its time, being gentle. A tenderness uncommon.
Thin, Tall, Dark Maureen…
It’s quite interesting that I had another friend named Maureen. Thin, Tall, Dark Maureen. How we became friends, I don’t remember. Maybe from borrowing school notes. While I could take a bus home from right in front of my school, I walked home with her to the bus stop so we could talk and trade in gists, you had to know what was happening in school, you know. We talked about a billion things, which boy or girl was interested in who, who had started having sex or was getting an abortion, our families, which teacher we found cute, what scared or excited us. On days when we had school labour and was asked to clean the school surroundings, we would sneak out to her house close by, for no reason. We were there to borrow each other our sweaters when our periods stained our school skirts. She gave me all the boy advice I needed. We grasped at our vulnerability, it was so fragile, we didn’t want to let it go.
Growing up, these were my girls. No questions asked. It was a lot easier, no drama involved. I always happen to find myself in the weird bunch, people who were nerds with a lot of quirks. We have had moments when we didn’t talk to each other and quarrelled but nothing but love brought us together.
While I could deal with them, I can’t deal with female friendship anymore. There’s so much drama, women bringing each other down and hating on them. Women barely have quality conversation, if it aren’t about makeup, it would be about men and that gets real exhausting. Honestly, I don’t need advice on fashion or relationships. Some women can be so hard to around too. I can’t deal with someone who smiles to my face and judges me later on. Females need constant validation for their opinions, why they still sleep around with an ex, down to what clothes to wear. I actually wrote down in my 2019 to do list, to make meaningful female friendship, maybe i would, maybe not. I have no interest anymore. As soon as I left high school, I started talking to guys more often and never looked back.
Everyone left to the University, we all lost contact. It happened so fast. I wonder if Maureen if no longer worried about her body, Precious allowed her to be more vulnerable with someone, and thin, tall, dark, Maureen got to live life outside her sister’s shadow. Wherever my girls are, I hope they find peace, we could have had a shot at a female friendship again in 2019. Maybe.