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They’re not what you think

They’re not what you think

My first birthday after entering into a relationship with Obodai was my saddest: he didn’t give me a present; not even a teddy bear. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? 

Honestly, I look back on that day and laugh. I laugh at how naïve I was then; I laugh at how childish my actions were, and remain grateful for the fact that he didn’t walk away.

I sometimes wonder how I came by my ideas of romanticism. I don’t joke with birthdays, festive seasons and wedding anniversaries at all. I keenly observe them in whichever way I can, no matter how small.

I’d been born and raised from a very humble background where anniversaries weren’t remembered to be celebrated. The only celebrations I witnessed as a child were that which were related to the first year celebrations of departed relatives.

Even that, the events were not hyped or publicised – a small gathering of jubilant kinsfolk who would visit the place of rest of the departed, offer some prayers, and get back home to feast on kokonteku with hot pepper and smoked fish. Then the ceremony would be over.

But I think I can trace that acquired trait to my secondary school days when friends made lots of noise about each other’s birthdays. I saw people giving out presents to each other on those special days.

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I didn’t have any to give then, obviously because I wasn’t given much to send to school. Maybe, when there’s time, I’ll share with you in future, how I survived in school. Education with haaaaaard labour, I call it.

Yes, I didn’t have much but I could compose poems to make a celebrant feel special. So I would do that and hide under the pillow of such persons, as a form of surprise. And these deeds were very much appreciated. Those experiences made me place a serious premium on such special occasions.

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I used to admire in secondary school, the teddy bears some of the rich girls gave their friends as birthday presents. I saw a similar thing happening at the university too.

In fact, I fell in love with those cuddly, fluffy, comfortable toys so much, each time someone asked what I wanted as a present, I would go like, “just get me a teddy and my day will be made”.
Back to my birthday experience with Obodai. Early that morning, I was expecting him to dial my number to wish me a happy birthday. Nothing like that happened. There were no text messages either.

I left home for work expecting to hear from him at least in the course of the morning. There was nothing like that. I started feeling sad and disappointed altogether.

Fine, I knew from his deeds that he wasn’t the romantic kind of person I would have loved him to be, but a phone call to awaken my day was so much of a needed one. Were it not for my friends in my office who organised a little celebration for me, I’d have really felt lonely, forsaken and sad.

Then in the evening, whilst getting ready to hop into bed to cry myself to sleep, I heard a knock on my door. It was him. Without opening the door, I asked what he wanted from me at 7:45 p.m. that had warranted his presence behind the door to my rented single room.

“I just remembered today was your birthday and decided to pass by”, he said. His response angered me so much, I almost told him our relationship was over. But for some reason, I managed to unlock the door and let him in.

Not even a hug or an expression of affection. Holding nothing to give as a present, he just sat at the foot of my bed and asked, “how was your day?” Now tell me, if you were in my shoes, what would have been your answer? The question fired me into so much anger, I simply asked him to walk out of my room.

I didn’t want to create a scene for my co-tenants to hear about us. I asked him to just walk out of my room. That was the first day I saw him cry. He was so shocked at my reaction, he looked into my face and asked, “what did I do wrong?”

Pushing him out I said, “you’re shameless. Upon your neglect of my day, you decided not to get me a present. Not even a teddy bear. Why am I even in this relationship?” I said as I burst into tears.

Hmmm. I regretted, and still regret my actions. Without uttering a word, he walked away. That was the last time I saw him till a month after, when I, missing him so badly, visited him to render an unqualified apology to the man I was to marry three years thereafter. I almost lost him to an aggressive admirer. That is an extra story for another day.

I love Teddies. They are cute and comforting. They are matronly and exude love and safety. No wonder authors of children’s books love to use them for illustrations. They are strewn all over Naa and Nii Friday’s room.

Thanks to second hand toys. These days, one does not have to spend much to own a Teddy. In fact, with as little as Ghc10, one can get an adorably cuddly one from a toy “fose” vendor.
Until last weekend, I owned about 15 different styles and sizes of those warm huggable figurines. BUT I LOVE THEM NO MORE. Eigh, is that how bears are? I can’t believe we’ve been made to believe they’re harmless animals. Hei, they are dreadful beasts.

After witnessing how they mauled down a helplessly hapless woman in a park, I can’t love them anymore. Eeerm, I wasn’t there in person. I watched it happen on YouTube last Sunday. Meeeerhn, they are scary creatures; very ferocious predators.

Standing as tall as 2.5 m (8 ft) and weighing up to 360 kg (800 lbs.), a huge grizzly bear rushed on its innocent victim, knock her down, pin her into its sharp claws, and started to feed on her.
It chewed her buttocks first, then her thighs, before moving on to the victim’s chest. Oh, it was so sad viewing its victim chewed up in portions. No amount of yelling could save the woman whose friends stood above a tall wall afar off filming the horrendous occasion.

Bears? I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I never knew they could climb trees that fast. I saw another chase up a tree, a rodent of some sort. That they can run faster than some horses even baffled me some more. Bears weren’t as friendly as I always had been made to believe.

Oh, I was going to tell you so much about how dangerous those teddies you own are in real life, but am told I’ve run out of space. Well, if you get the chance, you may read about bear dangers. Have a blessed weekend. I am giving away all of my teddy bears.


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