All families have their dynamics and trust me, if you can become a little nosey (you can call it minding other people’s business), you will be thrilled by all the funny stuffs that are brought about by the different arrangements that families come in.
If you grew up in an all-girls household for example, your friends silently wondered how you survived because of how crazy your home looked whenever they visited – there was always someone trying to wring another’s neck for wearing the flowered dress they wanted to wear. Don’t be fooled, ladies and gentlemen, it could be true that men are generally stronger than women but this does not mean that if you grew up in a girls-only family then you enjoyed tranquility or that you had all the peace that passes all understanding!
You know the way it gets noisy and sometimes heated when you and your girls hangout? Yes, so imagine all that noise and laughter and heat every single day in your own home – there is Grace who hates guys who hit on her after she has said no once and vents all her fury on you, Clarissa who likes everything she uses to be neat and fresh but would rather die than lift her finger to move her wine glass after she is through with it (translation: Clarissa is lazy), Sapphire who believes that the world revolves around her and will throw a tantrum every time she is not allowed to watch her favourite music show (she probably thinks she is Shakira), Yvonne who reads and excels at all her corporate presentations (this started right from her primary school days) and makes you all look like failures even when you have a job that can pay your bills and finally, Annie the snitch, my God! You still do not know why you accepted her into the tight friendship circle. In fact, you still do not know how you all cope as friends because your personalities are on the extremes!
You get the picture, right? This is how it is when you grow up in a sisters-only home. With your different personalities, wars come in, sometimes there is peace; you bring out the worst in yourselves but above all, you always got each other’s back.
Here are some fun things that happened if you grew up in a sisters-only home:
You were copied!
If you are the firstborn sister, your troubles increased. You see, it is not as if the others did not have a mind of their own, they just felt a bit lazy to think of something that had been thought about already. I mean, if you wore the purple jeans with the blue top and looked nice, why must the others suffer trying to figure out what to wear with their purple jeans? And pray it was not your pair of jeans they were wearing.
And it did not just end there. If your sisters were cheekier than I am estimating, they could actually wear the same thing you wore in the morning when leaving the house and if you accidentally bump into each other later that evening at the marketplace, you will be looking like pseudo-twins. You can get angry, but so what? Wait, why do parents feel the need to buy at least one big fabric and have all the sisters share when a family occasion is coming up? My friend, you have not lived until one of your sisters selects the exact design you chose for your wedding dress.
Boundaries on clothes just did not work
It is funny how your blue top became your sister’s favourite and she ended up wearing it more often than you did. It did not count if you had a ‘Margaret Thatcher’ mother who raised you to strictly wear what was yours. It did not even matter if one of you was too possessive and did not like it when ‘people’ touched their items. And God forbid that you had the same body sizes!
And there is always that one item of clothing that you all saw and loved at the same time when it was being sold and the result is that, after it is bought, it belongs to everyone and no one. I always suspected foul-play here because surely one person must have seen it first! The concept of “family skirt” will make absolute sense if you grew up in a girls’ only home.
You started to look alike over time
I don’t know if this occurred because you ate the same food all the time… or because you spent your childhoods arguing over the same doll. After some time, people started saying that you all look alike. I often wondered how this happened because whether your sisters look like your mother and you are the only one that looks like your father, people will still gasp at how alike you all look! Is it that parents look alike?
Your parents will use your names arbitrarily
Perhaps this comes with ageing but you are familiar with your mother calling all of you at the same time…Rose, Lavender, Ruby, Garnette… before finally saying, “Nani ako hapo akuje?” That is when you tiptoed through the back door if you were the one around and you were not in the mood to go to the market and get supplies to make dinner.
Every time the sisters sit down together, it feels like a conspiracy
Especially after you start to go off to college and live in your own apartments so that you are not constantly under the same roof. When you meet, the mere presence of all of you in one place is just too much energy and even your parents might be afraid of what you are planning. You tend to have a wall around you and deep, classified secrets only for the ears of the sisters.
One last thing, it was long before a dress got out of the family
You know the way some families had a lot of old clothes to give to the ‘mali mali’ people when they came around? There was very little to give from your own house because the dress that one of you no longer wore had become a favourite to the other.
“Hiyo dress ya pink nimebook kama imekubore,” is probably a very familiar line.
I have a persistent thirst to know things and that has pushed me to read a lot of books and ask questions including stopping strangers on the road to ask them questions about the inspiration behind their hairstyles… Apart from the madness, I am generally a very bubbly, reasonable and energetic person.