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Some gestures are just ‘mere’



One of the earliest lessons that adulthood teaches is that it’s not every gesture that should be acceded to. The message below from a lady is a huge pointer to this very subject.

Read her first…
“My immediate younger brother was home with his wife (who is from the South West) and their first daughter…a teenager.

“One morning as my brother’s wife washed their clothes, she asked me and my younger sister (who is the immediate junior to her husband) if we had clothes that she could help wash for us. I told her that my older kids can wash their clothes except certain ‘white school wears’ that I usually wash by myself.


“And those whites were the clothes that I gave to her to help me wash. I also thanked her profusely for really making my day easier through the gesture.

It was a busy day for me and I was already running late for my appointments.

“Meanwhile, my younger sister that she also approached with similar request simply obliged her and handed over all her clothes that needed washing. As the lady began to wash the clothes, we thanked her again and went about our daily business. Only for me to come back in the evening to behold my younger brother (the lady’s husband) in fisticuffs with our sister.

“When I tried intervening, he lurched at me and began to accuse us of making his wife our slave and disrespecting him to the extent of giving his woman our dirty clothes to wash. The way he presented the matter to the extended family really hurt me. And that is why I am here today.

“I don’t mind contacting the woman with apologies if you people think I did any wrong in all that transpired. Because, right now, I am confused as to what my offense is in all these.

“My mind is especially disturbed due to how far my younger brother took the whole thing…even to the extent of getting physical with our sister. If you feel I erred by giving those clothes to the lady to wash (even when she was the one that asked us), I will reach out to her and the husband with unreserved apology.

“I am a mother of five. I am in my mid-40s. My younger sister is 42. Married but no kids, yet. She is a teacher. We are Igbos.’’

Yes, you didn’t ask for the lady’s gesture but there’s something called the APPROPRIATENESS (or lack of it) OF A BEHAVIOUR.

The lady may have done the asking out of courtesy but it doesn’t mean that you, and especially your younger sister, need oblige the request. Afterall, it is not every COME AND EAT out there- that you honour.

Some gestures are just a matter of courtesy…that the sensible SHOULD decline courteously too.

Moreso, when we consider where the lady comes from (the South West)…they are big on courteous gestures.

By the way, if your TEENAGE kids are not made to begin now to wash their white school wears, when will they learn?

I am tempted to ask how your brother even got to know about the whole thing. Did the lady finish playing NICE with you guys and turned around to twist tales to the husband?

I am asking because your brother’s OVER- REACTION to the incident may not be divorced from the version of things that he was given.

But let it all go.

The most important “take-away” from the incident is that your brother neither wants nor likes any of you sending his woman on errands.

And in fairness to him, IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE.

You don’t let a fellow grown woman (that you are NOT paying) handle certain chores for you, even if she asked for it…there are many ways to respect the dignity of others.

Some asking are mere courtesy, you are not expected to accede to such. Your younger sister that packed all her dirty clothes to give to her elder brother’s wife to wash? That’s downright LOW, frankly.

Yes, your brother over-reacted by going physical on you and your sister. A stern verbal warning could have communicated his stance on the matter. But I still think you should find a way to reach out to him with your own side of the story. And then apologise, afterwards.

Don’t let the incident mar your relationship with his wife. Knowing us ladies, the temptation would be to make the wife the scapegoat.

Don’t do it. She may not have a hand in how the husband handled the matter. Also bear no grudges towards your brother. Let’s learn to put ourselves in the shoes of others.

Your brother felt disrespected…consider his feelings in all these.


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Chukwuneta Obygestures
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