The women’s washroom is somewhat a sacred space. That sounds stupid but it’s true. Women’s washrooms have probably seen more tears than most pillows. They have heard more confessions than priests. Or do you call them fathers? Mostly in drunken slurs but confessions none the less. Held on to many trying not to fall off the face of the earth. Birthed friendships that sometimes lasted beyond those numbered stalls. These spaces have held people together in times where falling apart seemed like the only option. Offering freedom.
You may have noticed that a lot of women do not go to these washrooms alone. I honestly don’t know why but I can give you several guesses. Maybe it starts at a young age with holding hands and forming a queue. Yes, remember those nursery or kindergarten days? Because of this, I am never shocked when I walk into a washroom and find a group of women just having random conversations. In most cases, they die down to murmurs until the odd woman walks out. I have probably participated in such conversations. If there is a rule against discussing what happens in these sacred spaces, I am about to get my ass blacklisted.
During the premiere of 18 Hours, I walked in on a very interesting conversation. After being strong armed into having a couple of cocktails and downing a lot of water, I had to relieve myself. When I excused myself from the table, my sister from another mister followed suit. As is culture. When we walked into the washroom, we found about five women standing in front of the mirror. Some were fixing their hair as others checked their makeup. They were in high spirits. From the look of things they had plans after they were done with work. The conversation did not die into a murmur after we walked in. I doubt they even noticed us.
‘8 months! Imagine! 8 months, alafu he tells he is married’.
This was the first thing I heard. At this point I was already in one of the stalls. From the conversation it was clear one of the ladies was in a relationship with a married man for 8 months. She proceeded to share how this married man tried to convince her to carry on the relationship after that bombshell dropped. He had even started stalking her by randomly showing up at clubs while she was out.
‘Aki these luo men!’
‘Me, I don’t want a married man. But he was nice. Aki I miss him.’
The other ladies listened keenly as she went on about how well he treated her. One chimed in that she had once found herself in the same situation. The other pointed out she was considering changing her makeup look for the night. Like, I said, this was an interesting conversation. She went on to inform them that she only dates luo men. One exclaimed as the others just went about their business. At this point, I had finished my business and walked to the sink to rinse my hands. The story was juicy but we had to leave.
Later on as we headed home we saw the same ladies by the entrance as if waiting for something. As we walked past them, I wondered how far the story went. If I had gone in there for a long call, I would know. Too much?
Keep the conversations going because as you can tell, they are serving a purpose outside those stalls. I don’t know where this was going but I think we have made it to the end.