Man about town

Shiro’s nagging, rain make Christmas dull


I am in the office and it feels like a ghost town because most employees are still on holiday including the ‘big boys’. I am also here to finish up on presentations for some head office ‘boys’ who will be visiting us at the end of January. My boss had told me to share with him a first cut of the slides by December 31st which I did. He had promised to give his feedback within an hour, but I am yet to hear from him.

I decided to sense check my slides with another guy who has been here for eons and knows how these things are done. I have used his feedback to improve my presentation so that when the boss reverts to me, I will have minimal changes to make.

Looking back at the Christmas holiday gone by, I feel like it was a bit of an anti-climax. The rain did cramp our style and we ended up spending too much time indoors. Being cooped up with Shiro indoors for more than 12 hours is not a good idea because all she does is find faults.

Shiro thoroughly inspected the house and all she found were faults- leaking taps, broken doors and in some cases missing clothes. She made a huge fuss about it asking me, “ babes, how come you never notice these things? The house is falling apart!” I responded: “Surely, how do you expect me to notice all these things when I leave early and come so late>” She said: “You should be asking the nanny to inform you.”

“Will do so going forward,” I told her to stop any further debate on the issue. The house mess served as a good entry point for Shiro’s favourite topic and she dived right into it saying, “ babe, that is why I have been saying I need to come home- the family needs me.” I kept quiet as she went on giving reasons why she needs to come back.


At the end of her monologue, she asked, “aren’t you going to say something?” I knew better than to make my true opinion heard. I do not think that Shiro should quit her job given the current state of the economy plus I sort of like it away. To maintain peace and sanity I said, “ babes, I will stand by whatever decision you make”. Shiro sighed and continued with her house inspection tour.

The matter came up a few days later when we were at Shiro’s parents on Christmas day. We had agreed that I would spend Christmas day with her family and then head off to the village the following day since my mother was still insisting what we need to discuss family matters.

We were seated round the table playing Monopoly after a sumptuous lunch when Shiro’s mum looked at me and asked, “has your wife told you she wants to come back. What do you think about that?” I felt somewhat ambushed and just as I was groping for an answer her elder brother Mwangi chimed and exclaimed, “What nonsense is that! Shiro you want to come back!”

Shiro responded and said she wants to come back to stay home if possible and take care of the kids. Her brother shook his head and said, “ just as always there you go making emotional decisions.” He then proceeded to give her what I thought was a lecture about how coming home is the wrong decision.

I could see that Shiro was confused by the information overload as her brother quoted all manner of statistics. Shiro’s mother decided to intervene and said, “Mwangi! Calm down this was not even you question- it was for Josphat.” I responded by saying, “we are discussing this as a family, but I will ultimately respect whatever decision Shiro makes.”

This seemed to appease the mother, but I stole a glance at Shiro. She seemed to be mulling over the words of her brother. I am hoping she takes his advice.