Just a Case of Misplaced Envy

It had rained the other day and I was in the warm comfort of the backseat of my taxi, when something happened that, yet again, made me envious of this boda boda fellow.

See, sometimes men and women can find themselves feeling jealous of some labour force cadres otherwise considered below them in the social order. So you have these male hairdressers who literally caress your girl when she goes to the salon.

A friend once accompanied his chick to the salon and he sat and watched as the hairdresser washed her hair. As he later told me, he shifted uneasily on his bench as he felt that the guy had gone from washing hair to washing ears (a part of the body he would only trust her mother with).

Some women are also so uncomfortable with the masseuse, those women who work in the massage parlours. Of course we have heard those stories of some places where the masseuse also offers ‘ebigenderako’ or extra customer care services but this is about the sheer discomfort of knowing that some warm-blooded woman is touching her gold, with no guarantee that some chemical reaction will not be triggered.

And so back to my taxi. What I saw, looking out of my window, was not funny. It had to do with Sandra! She was in my cohort when we were growing up but somehow, she refused to realise that she offset certain reactions inside me when she talked, walked or smiled. I kind of came to accept that she would never take responsibility for her destabilising effect on my calm body and mind.

And it was strange. For some reason she would refuse to shake my hands – but she shook other people’s hands. And there was no hostility – only cordiality.

She would smile as she exclaimed: “For you, no handshake!” That’s why Jimmy, my bosom friend, often joked that Sandra felt about me exactly what I felt for her, only that she was fighting herself. I imagined that my handshake had potential to offset opposite reactions the other end.

Anyway, on this rainy Monday, here was Sandra at the back of the boda boda. Knowing her fright for heights, I was not surprised that she was seated ‘man-like’. She was literally hugging the boda boda man so tight I felt bad.

What was more, she and the rider seemed engaged in some humorous conversation, as she was laughing as she said something. This raised so many questions in my mind: Why does she have to hold onto him like that? What is he telling her? What is making her laugh? But, well, I had no answers. Just anguish towards the boda boda man.

So, next time you hear someone deriding these service providers, think about the aantages they bring to our lives – but also the aantages they enjoy by virtue of being who they are.

Have you noticed that they do not get stopped by traffic jams, traffic lights or traffic cops? They just zoom past and deliver you wherever you are headed.

Or just think about this kawunyemu thing (traffic police’s breathalyser swoops). I recently left Ange Noir and, as I approached Lugogo, Jimmy warned that the cops were at work at Nakawa. I just parked my car at the fuel station, gave the guard Shs 5,000 because ‘I was seeing someone across the road’.

I jumped on a boda boda and got home. The kawunyemu cops did not stop us. Fortunately it was not the same boda boda fellow who I had seen riding Sandra otherwise, I would have asked him a few questions.

Source : The Observer

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