Listening In…Taa! I Know You Do It Too. Don’t Judge Me

by Sandra Ukachi

It’s interesting the encounters you have when you take public transportation. You get to see different people, listen in on their conversations, and often you have to listen to a stranger tell you his or her life story. The amazing thing is, you didn’t ask for any of this information.

Any ways, I was on my way back from work two days ago, and being hungry and tired at the end of the day was becoming the norm for me. A couple was standing a few feet from me waiting for the bus and I remember saying to myself; “That’s an interesting looking couple”. What’s the norm for being a couple? What does it mean to be compatible? What traits should each party in a relationship possess to look good as a couple? Is this correct English? Is any of this making sense?

Home girl was trying to let home boy know he wasn’t paying any attention to her feelings. She was trying to get him to listen to what she was saying (Do they ever?…..It’s like knocking on hollow wood). What ever they were saying was interrupting my train of thought, I couldn’t decide whether I should eat beans or rice when I got home. Was the fresh fish remaining? Who knew? I didn’t. I decided to eat the rice, the beans were going to give me heart burn anyways, but it was good beans.

“Take it easy, listen to me” She was shaking her head.

“I am listening to you, you’re not listening to me” He was shaking his head too….

I rolled my eyes and looked away from home girl when she caught me looking. Please! What’s my own; you guys are talking loud enough for the troupes in Iraq to hear.

Finally the bus pulled up….fortunately for me there was enough room to inch closer to interesting couple and listen in…lol. (As I typed “lol” Microsoft word took the liberty of telling me its wrong grammar….NONSENSE! were have you been? Get with the program; everyone knows it means “laugh out loud”). Dialogue enfolds…

“Look Tyrone, listen to me…

“I don’t understand why you think I’m not listening” he cut her off.

“See…you are not listening, would you let me get a word in please?”

Home boy rolled his eyes oh! He finally shut up.

“Are you trying to tell me I do not compromise?” Home girl kwanu nu…all these questions! Get to the real gist.

“I didn’t say that Jessie, I don’t understand why you can’t come to terms with the fact that I want four children, after all we are married and…

“Wait Tyrone, you know I never wanted to have children, but after we got married I agreed we could have kids. Isn’t that a compromise?”

Home boy did not answer. He was probably getting tired of the questions, like I was.

“Answer me Tyrone” Finally, a simple sentence. You go girl.

“I don’t understand why you don’t want to have children”

“You know I have always felt that way Tyrone” (Could she stop calling his name, I already know it)

“Why do you want four children anyway? Taking care of kids is a huge responsibility and four kids! That’s a lot of work”. Very long silence.

“Besides Tyrone, you have to get to a certain point in life, a point were you are secure enough to take on certain projects”

Tyrone had turned red, “I don’t get it jess. I want four kids. That’s always how I’ve felt. Why should you have a problem with that?

“Tyrone! You haven’t even finished college yet” I put my head in my bag….couldn’t let anyone hear me snickering. (oooo Tyrone…she’s killing you! Oya say something that makes sense). Now the whole bus knew a guy named Tyrone hadn’t finished college.

“That’s not the issue jess, what does that have to do with this?”

“Everything Tyrone, I agreed to have kids with you after we got married, and I am willing to have just two kids”; and Ada is willing to get off this bus and run home to eat her rice.

They got off the bus at the next stop. If they were riding the bus with the four kids in future, that would be an issue then. Thank God I can keep my voice down when I am having a conversation in a public place. Thank you God!

Anyways the whole thing is what’s everyone’s unique perception about marriage? Shouldn’t all your issues be ironed out before you get married? I felt Tyrone and Jessie should have had this conversation, light years ago before they got married. Maybe Tyrone should have had some kind of career before getting into Jessie’s prison, sorry, getting married (they looked really young).

I got home and just couldn’t stop thinking about decisions I have to make in my relationship. When it finally comes to crunch time and I get married, what am I going to do? What are you going to do?

Oh yeah, I got home and guess what. I ate the beans! Who knew! I had serious heart burn!

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Dayo July 17, 2008 - 1:45 pm

This is an absolutely great piece, I’m laughing and I’m thinking hard at the same time. Marriage is definitely not kids’ stuff (no pun intended). It’s interesting how much you can learn on these public buses. I need to keep my ears open.

Taiwo July 17, 2008 - 1:36 pm

This is very good. Funny and well written. Thanks for the food for thought.

carl April 3, 2008 - 1:43 pm

marriage or no marriage,they must grind this axe,there must me multiplication without division.This looks like a look before u leap peice of action.nawa oo.Guys, such issues are normally sorted out in a bedroom and with a bedroom voice,not inside a public bus.Marriage is a sacred institution and must be mutually respected.which kind wahala be this.Ada this your ear go hear wetin go make u wound ooo.

ada March 29, 2008 - 8:35 am

Bolaji, ese gon! I am winking at you as i type….thanks everyone for appreciating the humor….but i would really like to hear yor takes on marraige…

bolaji March 29, 2008 - 3:29 am

I love your article. I’m a fan. You made me laugh and its 3:27am Sat morning.

Dele Oluwole March 14, 2008 - 2:18 pm


People don’t put as much thought into marriage as they put in the wedding because one is a short haul flight while the other is long haul.

dynmma March 13, 2008 - 2:10 pm

Way to go,Ada!I loved your story.If people put as much thought into marriage as they put in the wedding,marriage might not be in the crisis that it is in today.

Reply March 12, 2008 - 2:19 pm

Quiet a nice narrative. I ike the humor you put into it.

Iffy, Sweden March 12, 2008 - 4:30 am

I love your writing, simple and entertaining. I also get heart burn from beans but I still eat it.

maki March 11, 2008 - 8:27 pm



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