Learning the Hard WayDec 04, 2022 10:00AM ● By Uju Nwagu
“No, no, no, no!” I screamed as I jumped out of bed. The clock on the wall was ticking away; how did I sleep till 10:48 a.m.? I asked myself. Against my mother’s warning, I stayed up late watching Netflix; now it’s going to take a miracle to get my mom to sign that consent form.
Going camping with my friends would be the most exciting and adventurous thing I have ever done in my teenage life, and I was about to mess it up. My mom gave me a list of chores this week, including making jollof rice for breakfast today. The deal was to complete my assignments before the end of the week to get my mom's signature on my consent form. The problem was today was the last day of the week, and I had barely checked anything off my list.
Quickly, I ran out of the bedroom into the living room to find my mom on the sofa, relaxing and sipping her tea. Usually, my mom would wake me up early in the morning, but today, she refused to give me a head start. I greeted her, and weirdly, she responded with a smile; I didn’t know if that was a good or bad thing.
Not thinking much about it, I moved swiftly to the kitchen. The power went out just as I prepared the tomatoes and peppers for blending. As an unwritten agreement, there would always be power until afternoon, but fate decided to work against me today. Sadly, using the generator wasn’t an option because my mom wouldn’t agree to it – I was all on my own. I decided to prepare other things while hoping the power would be restored within the hour.
I measured some cups of rice into a bowl, set it aside on the counter, and brought some broth and chicken from the refrigerator. Unknown to me, the rice bowl wasn’t sitting well, and as I placed other items beside it, I knocked down the bowl of rice, sending its contents flying all over the kitchen. I wailed and wondered if some evil forces were working against me because everything was going wrong today.
Within a few minutes, I finished cleaning up the mess and went to task on the vegetables. It was evident that I had to process them the traditional way. I hurriedly began to dice the tomatoes and pound the peppers, feeling proud of my progress, only for the power to come back on. “You have got to be kidding me!” I cried out; the whole experience was beginning to traumatize me.
Pulling myself together, I began to cook the jollof rice, adding all my ingredients, confident that nothing else would go wrong. My mom, who had been surprisingly quiet all along, walked into the kitchen to check on me and commented casually, “Hope you remember that the broth is quite salty. I mentioned it to you last night.” My eyes widened in horror! I realized I was very generous with the salt, even after adding the meat stock.
Dreadfully, I tasted the food, and my worst fears were confirmed, this jollof rice suffered a pervasion of sodium chloride. I instantly gave up. Today was officially the worst day of my life. There was no chance in hell that I would make it through the day without another misfortune befalling me in an attempt to finish my chores.
I gently turned off the stove and flopped down on the floor, mentally exhausted. Reflecting long and hard, I got the message life was trying to teach me – a practical lesson on procrastination. I wasn’t sure whether to keep at my chores or kiss my camping trip goodbye, but assuredly, this experience would haunt me for a very long time – say about a week or two.
Uju Nwagu is a social media manager and content creator at FunTimes Magazine. She is also in charge of creating comics along with producing videos and other materials used for content marketing. Uju currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Ibadan. Her passion is music. She is a faithful chorister, belonging to a few choral groups (her alumni group inclusive).You can connect with her on Instagram @juby_lindas.