Short Stories, Tale Africa

Times have changed

By Aaron Aroriza:

Times have changed. My aunt just doesn't get it. And neither do most people in her generation.

So she had a Christmas present for me – a suitor, that's what she called her. Someone who, in my aunt's opinion and judging from the word itself, perfectly suits me.

Rose is a beautiful girl alright, and that's about the only thing that really suited me. My aunt also said her big hips would be very good for me since she would find it easy to give natural birth. Okay, that's something that hadn't crossed my mind. As a matter of fact, that's something that would still not interest me at all.

But that's something that interests my aunt big time! And ofcourse the fact that 'Rosimelo', as my aunt likes to call her is from my tribe. The problem with our parents is that the dotcom era has left them so lost and so behind. We talk of a global village, nay a global block and they are still thinking tribe; so to them getting a suitor from another tribe would tantamount to sacrilege (wait till I introduce Helga to them). We get to know people's characters so well on facebook but our parents still prefer to go and ask neighbors about an intended suitor's character.

Well here lies the flaw in that method. Dotcom bachelors and spinsters live their real life at night when all their upright neighbors and relatives are deep asleep and thinking the whole world too is sleeping with them.

And that too was the flaw in my aunt's well intended match making. Rosimelo is a saint during day time. She never misses Sunday service and she never leaves home at night. She looks after her siblings, cleans the house and cooks whenever she is home. Plus of course, she has big hips. So in my aunt's opinion, she would make a perfect wife!

Not to break my aunt's heart I went with her to Rosimelo's home on a mission to unwrap my present. My present looked good – it looked too good to still be single. But my dear aunt seemed too blind to see this. Soon, my present and I were conversing like we had known each other all our lives. My aunt confirmed her Christmas present would this time around bear fruits.

Little did she know we were talking about the hang-out places in Kampala, how shisha doesn't get people high, shisha recipe, how she has kegs in her room, how dear Rosimelo had graduated from the beer class to the cocktail class, how she doesn't spend a dime on her outings, how she would never get married to a broke dude, how she hates house work…We went on and on and on, much to my aunt's and Rose's mum's glee. I'm quite sure my aunt had also painted me as a saint – the perfect suitor in her books.

We 'friended' each other on facebook. Her relationship status was 'it's complicated'. My aunt could never imagine such a relationship status…lol. Mine was 'in an open relationship' what the hell does that even mean? And we both agreed we were perfect for each other. 'Just young and having fun' and thanked our dear 'parents' for bringing us together.

I had unwrapped my present alright and found out that it indeed suited me. But I'm certain that isn't the present my dear aunt thought she had wrapped for me.

And that's where our parents are going wrong. Whenever they hear of all these 'unsaintly' things the young people are doing, they imagine “those are the neighbors' kids. Ours have been brought up so well they would never dream of living such a life. And our friends are good parents. Their kids would make good suitors for our kids!” Will someone please pinch and rouse these people from their pathetic slumber!

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