Every man has a ‘favourite’ barmaid. David Odongo explores the world of the woman that wives love to hate
We have two types of women: Those who sulk and nag, and those who are forever cheerful and caring.
The curvaceous beauties that are ‘man’s best friend’ are sympathetic specialists of the male gender. They know men inside out — how to deal with them.
From the generous man to the hen-pecked, the stressed, broke, honest, simple, rich, poor and criminal man, their skilled eyes read them all in one second. And she treats them all differently such that at the end of the day, every man goes home feeling like the king he will never be.
Oh no! We are not talking about mistresses but barmaids — the skilled professionals that wives love to hate. But without them, husbands would require lengthy therapy in the hands of famed psychiatrist Dr Frank Njenga.
“ Barmaids are a rare breed. If all women were like them, men would ever cheat on their wives. A barmaid is a mother, a loving Agony Aunt and a sex siren all rolled into one,” says David Otieno, a regular at Nairobi West Mall where several pubs coalesce into a series of watering holes.
His wife never cares to notice whether he has had a hectic day, but if he passes by the bar, the first thing the barmaid says is “Leo umechoka sana (you look so tired)” and proceeds to ‘baby’ him.
“Only the barmaid and my daughter notice if anything is wrong. My wife is either too busy or just doesn’t just care,” complains Otieno.
Men in pubs talk about everything from politics to sports, but the conversation eventually gets back to the barmaid. Men can argue for hours about a subject, but when she is called to mediate on why Greece is broke, even university professors calmly nod when she says Greece isn’t broke. End of topic. Never mind that in most cases, she was no idea about what the drunken intellectuals are talking about.
The barmaid is an institution within an institution and the only reason men talk about fashion. Everything she wears is under scrutiny and is more discussed than Angelina Jolie’s dress at the Oscars. They may not notice when their girlfriends or wives change hairstyles, but when a barmaid paints her nails pink, they glowingly compliment her.
“That colour suits you kabisa, kwanza tomorrow wear that green top, utakuwa mrembo sana (that colour suits you perfectly. In fact, wear that green top tomorrow. You will look smashing)!” they say.
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