Sunday February 2 2014

A loss for a grad party

By Rogers Balamaga

I had always despised the idea of graduation parties. But because my mother had been fundraising for her friends’ children graduation parties for many years, there was no way she was going to let this opportunity pass her. We had a heated argument over the matter. I stressed that I didn’t want the party as she insisted I had earned it but it did not yield much.

I suggested that this gratitude could better be expressed in the form of a hard cash handout to kick start my new life or something, but my selfish suggestion was scoffed away with deserving contempt. It was at this point that I got the epiphany that this party actually had little to do with me, it was my mother’s and it had to be at home, not those short dinner things away from the coveting eyes of her friends. But it still wasn’t worth it until I attended a friend’s graduation party who called me the morning after her party with palpable gloating intentions.

“Hey, I need some help. Counting my gift money here but I keep getting different figures.”
“How much was the last count?” I inquired.
“500k? I don’t know, maybe it’s this wine I drowned in last night. Oh, you could come by and pick a bottle of sparkling wine later.”
“Eh maama, and that brand new car that your dad announced last evening?” I probed hoping for a no.
“I‘m staring at it through my bedroom window.”

First thing I did was to call my mother to ask how far she had gone with party preparations. I didn’t think my parents would buy me a car, but I figured even if I got just half the money my friend was bragging about; I would be in position to afford the equivalent of a contemporary smart phone. After a month of holding village meetings, it was my party, and throughout the day long fete, I was only looking forward to the gift unwrapping moment which, unfortunately, was far from what I had anticipated. Ripping one box after another, I was only Shs76,000 richer.