So I was in church, actually got there about 20minutes before the next mass. We found a seat directly under a fan and at the edge of the pew. Next thing, the person I came with remembered he forgot something, so he dropped his wallet on the seat and left. I was still trying to recollect my thoughts when the first person walked up to me and asked if the seat was taken, I said ‘yes’, he moved on and this scenario was repeated severally till a middle aged man came, I told him that the seat was taken but his next questiom took me unawares. He asked ‘Is it a man?’ I replied ‘Yes’ before I even processed the question. At that, he grunted and moved on.
He sat two seats ahead of me and throughout the duration of the mass, I was itching to ask him, “Do you want to tell me that if it was a woman, you would have taken the seat? What does gender have to do with who occupied the seat first?” I guess I missed the gender seat arrangement memo (as usual).
The other day, I walked into the office to write my name in the attendance book; I was on the phone with someone when I stepped into the office and the guy in the office was in a heated discussion with another person, so I continued my phonecall. When I ended the call, I asked him for the attendance book in a conversational way, smiling (as they were done with their argument) completely forgetting that I never greeted anyone. He chastised me saying “You should greet people when you enter their offices”. I apologised and greeted him. That was when he made the next statement, “How could you not greet? You are a lady, you should know better”(then he shook his head).
I wanted to ask “Is the issue that I didn’t greet you” or “Is it that a lady didn’t greet you?” “So if I were a guy, I would have been let off the greeting hook? I’m being held to the hook because I’m female??”
I thought greeting is a polite manner for everyone; boys and girls; men and women.
Note to self: Always greet everyone because you are a lady, a lady should always greet.
I get to the bus stop and wait for a bus. Luckily the front seats are empty. I take a seat close to the door leaving the seat between me and the driver vacant. We get to the next stop, and a young man flags down the bus, the driver stops and the man opens the front door. I ask him to hold on as I get down, making room for him to take the vacant seat; he looks at me like I just dropped from Mars. I returned his gaze steadily, he asked “You expect me to sit inside??” I raised my eyebrows haughtily and replied “Of course, I entered the bus before you”. The bus driver hissed “Women of these days!! Uwa mmebi!!”
I didn’t even move, I waited patiently till he got in and I took my seat. The guys in the bus started a discussion on the disrespectfulness of the girls of these days.
I continued using my phone till my neighbour tapped me asking “So you feel quite comfortable sitting at the edge with me in the middle?”
I replied “Very. We are in a bus where i’m paying my own fare, why should I take an uncomfortable position just because of my gender? Maybe if you are paying my fare, you can instruct me on where to sit. Till then, enjoy the ride”.
The bus got to my stop and I alighted. I still cannot comprehend the relationship between gender and seating positions, and believe me, I have found myself in many of these situations.
Someone who understands, biko kindly explain to this lost soul…..
P.S: For all those waiting to hear my thoughts on Ese and the unfolding drama, kindly head over to Adaeze’s blog; she just wrote my mind.(Yes, I wrote that)