Awkwardness is one of the things that can’t ever be accurately described. For some it’s the feeling of cringe that crawls up your spine when you’re faced with a situation that you cannot handle. For example, that’s how I felt when I watched the Girl with the Dragon tattoo with my dad. I don’t mean to spoil it, but there’s a rather graphic anal rape scene in there. I literally could not handle it. I sat frozen in the High Street Kensington Odeon. I didn’t dare look at him. If I did, I felt that he might take the opportunity to give me a talk that I was not, and am not ready for. You must understand that my father isn’t the typical modern father. We don’t really talk about things. The closest I ever came to a sex talk was, “I don’t want to see any girls here when I get back from work okay.” There was no, “I’d really rather you wait till your married to have sex, but if you must please sheath your sword” (Or whatever saying parents use to mean wear a condom). So I sat there stiffly, sneaking tiny glances at him to see if he was looking at me. He wasn’t. We didn’t even discuss it after the movie, which was a relief because I would have died. 

For some others, it’s that mental chant you do whenever something ghastly happens. Like when my mum found my emergency condom in my wallet a few years ago. I looked up to the sky and thought, “God, take me now!” When she asked me why I had a condom in my wallet, I thought, “God! Why have you forsaken me” and said, “it’s just for emergencies. You know, in the unlikely event that my flesh overcomes my spirit I don’t want a mini Afam to show for it.” And then she said, “You’d better throw that thing away! How can you be setting yourself up for failure?” All I could think after that was, “how is this my life?” I could not handle it. I suppose I would have handled it better if she hadn’t escorted me to the bin to watch me throw the condom away. 

That incident wasn’t actually that bad. Last week Sunday, I witnessed a moment of such awkwardness, that I nearly spontaneously combusted.My church has attacked the business of abstinence with inhuman enthusiasm. They’re holding an abstinence class quite soon, so they wanted to collect the numbers and details of all the young people in church.  I was helping with the number collecting when one woman dragged her twenty something year old son and asked, “Is this the place where there are registering for the abstinence class?” The only problem with her question was that she was yelling loudly enough for the whole church to hear. I paled, as I watched the poor lad try to enter the ground. His humiliation didn’t end there. When I nodded she screamed, “Oya! Chukwuemeka put your name inside the list. You need help! These people will help you.” By this time, everybody in the building was wondering what exactly the woman had caught the poor boy doing. He receded into his own shadow, wrote down his name and his number, and disappeared.

When I was younger, I thought that the awkwardness of things would no longer get to me. I thought that my heart wouldn’t freeze and rise up to my mouth whenever something cringe worthy happened, but I’m starting to doubt that that’ll ever happen. Maybe some of us were made to be awkward, and some others were made to be cool and comfortable with everything. I suppose I’ll find out for sure when I’m 40. If you’re 40 and still saying #awkward then there’s really no helping you. You’ll be awkward forever.

Happy Days,


Anonymous said...

You are one hilarious child. I really do wonder how your parents cope with you. Couldn't stop laughing.

Anonymous said...


Mo Ray said...

Aww poor Emeka! Lol

Anonymous said...

Lol! This is hilarious!


Afam said...

Thanks so much!! :-)

Afam said...

I don't think I'm a child anymore you know... Mama Afam was married when she was twenty and three.

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