May 8th, 2013
I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday! Surely it should be Friday, at the very very least!
Alas, it isn’t…and my week continues it’s slow paced movement. I am really, truly, and honestly considering starting my leave early. But now that I know that my job will be waiting for me after I have the baby, I might as well conserve as much leave time as possible. It won’t do me any good to have to resume work when my baby is only a few weeks old.
Because I was so bored, and couldn’t manage to ginger my brain to get any work done, I chose to go to the canteen at the very start of our lunch hour; 12.30pm. My intention? T0 feed my eyes, as well as my stomach. Ebika and I used to do this in the early days, but when TTC, and then this pregnancy, distracted me, I stopped paying attention to the people around me…and if they were anything like they were 3, 4 years ago…they were very colourful indeed!
And so I made myself comfortable with a pineapple and mango smoothie, my electronic devices on hand, and proceeded to people watch!
As my colleagues flocked in and out of the canteen, I marveled at the number of pregnant women there are in the organization. I honestly haven’t paid this much mind. I counted at least 12 women, with very visible bumps. Amazing!
There were a few though, whom I had to squint to confirm if it was a bump they carried, or just a bit too much stomach fat. Whilst there were a good number whom I saw need to hit the gym quickly, one of my former Supervisors made me ponder over hers a bit longer. From an angle, it looked like she was carrying excess weight in her midriff, or maybe it was that her dress was too tight. But then, when she started nagging the Canteen staff about the quantity of oil in her stew, and requesting for extra pepper, I concluded that she definitely has a passenger on board. But the one that gave me the most joy was one of our Senior Managers, a woman in her early 40s, whom I know has been married for at least 10 years. I almost burst into happy tears, seeing her tiny baby bump perched on her equally tiny frame…further confirmation of God’s mercy.
And then there were the men. Before I got married, I got a LOT of attention from my male colleagues. It’s not that I’m the most beautiful woman in the land, but for some reason, men have always been attracted to me, as far back as when I was in high school even. But after I’d married, of course, most of them respected that, and we’d reverted to being friendly colleagues. Most of them. Some of them though, one senior colleague in particular, chose to continue toasting and flirting with a married woman. Even now that I’m pregnant, he still flirts. As he walked into the canteen, we made eye contact, and he winked at me. Me, with my stomach so big, it’s almost toppling me over! Freak!
And then I spotted the couple that had been all the rave, when I joined the company…Lolu and Eyitemi. They were hired about the same time as each other, and had started dating pretty much right away. At the time I was employed, they’d been on for about 6 years. It had been the foregone conclusion that marriage was the next step for the couple.
Eyitemi had even started asking around for advice about what to do after they were married, which of them would have to resign, and what other employment options there would be if she was the one to leave. Well, she shouldn’t have bothered. In the twinkle of an eye, Lolu had broken up with her, and six short months later, was engaged to someone else. Now, 5 years later, Lolu is a family man, whilst Eyitemi remains single…at the age of 39. Over the years, I have noticed her transform from being bubbly and cheerful, to a quiet and reserved version of her old self. She was already seated in the canteen, having her lunch, when Lolu walked in. I watched keenly, to observe how they would react to each other. But they didn’t pay each other any attention. They didn’t even say hello. In fact, a stranger would never believe the two of them had once been friends,let alone inches close to being life partners. Lolu got his meal, and joined a table with some other guys, very oblivious to Eyitemi. And she didn’t look up from her meal either…or so I thought. Towards the end of her meal, I saw her cast a quick glance Lolu’s way. It was so quick, that one could have missed it if one wasn’t watching. But I was watching…and I saw it…and I came to the realisation that she still carries a torch for the former love of her life. So sad!
Looking around, I saw Dunni walk into the room…and I just had to smile. Dunni, Dunni! She’d joined the company about 2 years after me, and it felt like University days all over again. You know how it is, after the JAMBITE rush, and you now become a ‘Stalelite’…meaning there is now fresher meat out there! All the men in the company, single and married, old and young, GMs and Corpers, almost lost their damned minds over the gorgeous Dunni. We didn’t hear word again, that time. Everywhere you turned, it was ‘Dunni! Dunni!! Dunni!!!’.
It was inevitable for even the women to start beefing her. And did she revel in the attention or what! Everytime one saw her, she would be giggling in a corner with some guy or the other. Alas, she was also a bit too generous with her…erm…‘goods’, and before long, almost all the men had eaten from her cookie pot. Add that to the fact that she started putting on an inexplicable amount of weight (some said they were a result of all the contraception she was on), and soon, she became yesterday’s newspaper. The men had tired of her, and her reputation was so bad, the women wanted nothing to do with her. Her saving grace was the fact that she was, and still is, extremely good at her job, so even though she has been climbing the corporate ladder, she has become something of a pariah. Watching her eat alone, I felt sorry for her. Nobody deserved to be treated like that, no matter what her past was.
Hearing loud giggles from the other end of the room, I saw a group of young girls, probably Interns or Youth Corpers…and I smiled. I remembered when I’d been just like them. Big hair, loud makeup, inappropriately high heels, elaborate jewelry. I couldn’t help but laugh. They never halla! By the time work life deals with them, nobody will tell them to put on a pair of more sensible shoes, and get serious. I saw them pointing in people’s directions, and giggling, obviously people watching like me. And it made me miss Ebika even more.
Rising to my feet, I walked over to Dunni’s table. “Hi Dunni. Can I join you?”
Her eyes widened with surprise, before she smiled and nodded emphatically, obviously glad to have some company. So, I placed my order, and proceeded to chat with this woman, who has been my colleague for about 4 years, but whom I knew nothing about, except her sexual promiscuity. And I was pleasantly surprised to realize that she has an incredible sense of humour.
As we chatted and laughed, I saw people cast curious glances our direction, but neither of us was bothered. She was obviously glad to finally have someone to talk to, and I was glad to have made a possible friend.
Not a bad day overall!