Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The mystery of....


The gele.


I cannot tie my head except to go to bed at nite and for those occassions that i want to feel neo-souly (not a word or phrase i know...LOL).


When it comes time to get all decked up, i get dressed and go to my mom who makes me sit on the bed and then she does her thing. I usually urge her to make it really tight. The thought of having the gele fall off my head in public is really mortifying. So i look beautiful for the event but my brain cells are dying from lack of oxygen and my head hurts so bad that i think it will fall off. After she is done, i gingerly go down the stairs and plan the strategy of getting into the car. Bear in mind that usually these stunning outfits are usually made up of tight figure skimming long skirts, bustier style tops with my emm assets strategically arranged for a desired effect and heels at least 3 inches high. Then the gele. So imagine what getting into the car must feel like. Getting out requires almost the same strategy with the plan being - i get out of the car and still have like 2 mins to arrange myself and get ready for the photographers that pounce on you at these events. Designer sunglasses in place, purse in hand, gele tall, jewelery blinging, feeling like a diva i strut into the church/hall feeling the admiring looks follow me.


Yes those were the days.


Then my mom delivered a bombshell a few months ago. "You are a nigerian woman and you cant tie a gele? After al the time i have been tying them for you, you still havent learnt? Okay, i am not going to tie a gele for you again".


At the time i laughed seeing as she couldnt be serious. The next event came up, i went to her and she gave me a look that would have chilled the Ice Queen. I turned around and went back to my room to do it myself.


There it was - this perfect square of gold shiny crunchy fabric. I unfolded it and refolded it the way i had seen my mom do it and started the process. First of all, that crunchiness is not cool. Its so noisy. Then i couldnt find the 2 parts that you have to hold onto. Found them but i couldnt tie them. The damn thing just slipped off my head. After a lot of struggling that resulted in my arms hurting and me sweating in my air conditioned room, it was tied. Then came the arranging. I mean you tie first, then arrange abi? Looking in the mirror i looked a hot mess. Nothing like the glamorous works of art that my mom created or anyone else for that matter. So off it went. I tried again and still no luck. I flung that nonsense off my head. Re-arranged my braids and went out jare. No need for the stupid thing.


This new found strategy has worked for the past 6 months or so. I have an event that requires traditional wear. I simply get my hair done and dress my hair up - rosettes, jewelled pins etc.


The game is up now. One of my closest friends is getting married this weekend and i am a bridesmaid. The engagement is tomorrow and i have time off work. Mr Mohammed (my tailor) has done his magic and created a fabulous tea length dress in the pink dry lace that was chosen as the aso-ebi. I have my jeweled pink/lilac Enzo Angolini sandals with the 4 inch stiletto heels. I have my white/yellow gold anklet. I have my silver Movado watch with the pink face. My accessories - silver/pink/pearly necklace type thing with a stone that stops right at the stage of my cleavage. Matching dangly earrings and bracelet. And there is the PINK & SILVER GELE. I have to tie it tomorrow and my mom has promised me that there shall be no help this time.


*Sob* Help me...............

13 comments:

DiAmOnD hawk said...

just arrive early so someone at the house will tie it for u

i cant tie gele... but my mom... is not that great either... i just cant be bothered with something that i dont really plan on wearing... and if i do... someone is always willing to help somewhere.. that's what ive found

Nyemoni said...

that makes two of us Uzo... I can't tie one to save my life...but surely there are people you can pay to tie your gele around your area now??? There are a lot of salons where you can pay a fee for that, amybe you should ask around...Good luck!

Daddy's Girl said...

LOL... you cracked me up with 'neo-souly' - great word. I can't tie gele to save my life, and I have once had the mortifying experience of my gele falling off my head at a wedding. My cousin had tied it too loose. I didn't even know the thing was on the ground, I was smiling and chatting away until some guy pointed it out - 'umm, your gele has fallen off'. LOL But trust me to find the whole thing hilarious.
I second Nyemoni and Diamond, it's probably best to try and get someone to do it for you tomorrow. Find a friend, family friend, aunty or neighbour to do it for free; but if not, ask around for someone who'll do it for a fee - apart from salons, some people also do it in the market or in their homes. Like Diamond says if all else fails get there early and ask - you're bound to find someone who'll help you out.
Have fun at the engagement and wedding.

LondonBuki said...

LOL @ DG! your gele fell off??? Pele.

Uzo, I can't tie gele but I have only had to have one on TWICE in the past 5 years... my bro's wedding in 2002 and a friend's wedding in january. My Mum did mine for my bro's wedding and my friend's mum did it in January.

It's true, se you can pay people to do it... Some of us can't tie geles to save our lives while some people just have the skills - I once saw someone who did her gele in less than 5 minutes and it was so good. Good luck dear.. maye you should sweet talk your Mummy...?

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Ms zee said...

cant tie, wont tie, wont die!!!!!

Calabar Gal said...

Give the gele to a 'madam kofo' around your area to do the trick for you jo. I normally drop mine in the market, do my shopping and go back to get it. Beats stressing myself trying to achieve something I know isnt innate. (smile)

azuka said...

Lol at assets.

I wish my mom had been available -- I'd have called her for one of her gele 'recipes.'

It's not that bad -- you can jokingly get your friend to get someone to tie your gele. Afterall, aren't you the bridesmaid ;-).

Hmm, wedding season.

~Mimi~ said...

hhmm...i cant tie one too. i can tie one on someone's head though. at least i can try to do some sort of satellite dish. lol

Pink-satin said...

men..i know that thing abt tying d gele and looking for a way to get into the car with the heels and all....i know o

Biodun said...

ha ha, I feel u sha, I finally learnt how to tie geles small small when I had to wear trads here n my mamma wasnt around. Just keep playing with the gele, u will eventually find ur unique style jere. I like ur detailed description by the way! Have fun @ d wedding!

ExcitedJade said...

too bad... i cant tie gele too.. get to the venue on timecand have someone tir it for u... have fun darl

Naija Vixen said...

For some weird reason,i can tie a mean gele...i cant plait hair to save my lyf,but tie gele i can! your gele fell off?pele oh! You can get one of those ready tied geles if you want? ;-)

Noni Moss said...

Lolll - pele my dear. I've had that horror story of having my gele get knocked over as i was getting into the car - and it was my friends car and we were late so we couldnt stop and ofcourse neither of us could tie gele. Plus my hair was a hot mess by this time so I needed to tie that gele. I got out of the car and with nigeria where there are never any street lights, in the pitch black, i tied my gele looking at my reflection in the side mirror of a car. Yup. As you can imagine - it wasn't a good look. I actually had a photographer stop me to take a photo of my gele. Guess it appeared under "how not to tie your gele" in some magazine. :-)

Practice first. if you can't do it, do like the others suggested and go early and beg someone to help.