Whenever I travel or I get invited to something, my friends always say, “If it is too late, you can crash at my place.” But while I like visiting people (most times), I have never gotten used to staying overnight in other people’s homes.

Here is an account of every single time I’ve ever stayed with someone.

I wake up in the dark of night, and there is no light. (Even if they always have electricity, on the day I choose to sleep over, there will be no power)
I use the light on my watch to look for my cellphone, then I use the light on my phone to look for the toilet.
Now, I’m stumbling around the house like a burglar. From outside, all anyone looking in will see is the beam of light sweeping back and forth as I go over the directions to the toilet they gave me yesterday, “First door on your left. But it gets stuck sometimes. If it doesn’t open, walk down the corridor, and try the third door on your right. Cut across that room and there is another bathroom behind the second door on your left.”

I try the door to the first toilet, it budges but it doesn’t open. I try to remember, was I supposed to jiggle the door handle or push with my shoulder?
I flashlight my way to the second toilet, consulting the map I’ve drawn on my palm. I find it and I’m just settling in when I hear a rustling behind me.

I turn around and see a half-naked man. His eyes are heavy with sleep and the flap on his boxers is open. He asks me in his drowsy, spaced-out voice, “Is it a number one or number two?”

I’m perched over the bowl, and this is suddenly the most difficult question I’ve ever been asked.
“Err… it was going to be a number one, but depending on how I felt afterwards, I might have doubled down and upgraded to a two.”

He stands there for a long while, his head bobbing as he processes the information and he nods off. Then he jerks up, raises his arm to scratch at his armpit and says, “No, no, no. Don’t use that one. Use this one.” And he walks off, leading me to another bathroom.

Everybody’s house has these quirks that the people living there know and you, the outsider, must remember. You might try to open a tap and your host will say, “No, that one doesn’t work. Use this one.” Sometimes the hot water tap releases cold water and the cold releases hot.

You might try to use an iron, and they’ll say, “No, no, no, that one shocks. Use this one.” Why would anyone keep an electrocuting iron, are they hoping to trick armed robbers into using it?
Or “You can’t iron until Saidi, the ironing man, gets here. He is the one that keeps the iron.” What?

Don’t flip this switch. Don’t touch the edge of the deep freezer. Don’t sit on that chair fully with two butt cheeks.
Some of these are death traps, and you will be required to remember them in the middle of the night.

One time I asked to use the bathroom and someone pointed me to it. Two hours later, we’re all sitting at the dining table and another person comes in from the back of the house, drenched, and asks, “Who flushed the guest toilet?”
The group goes quiet. I shrug and say it was me.
There is a loud wail from the people who live there.
“Code Red! Code Red! Call the plumber! The place is flooding. Dont just sit there, move all the furniture to higher ground!”

In the chaos, someone mutters, “What kind of idiot flushes the toilet?”

I don’t need this kind of stress.


39 thoughts on “Sleepover

  1. LOL, I enjoyed this, especially the last few paragraphs.

    I love sleepovers, though I should say none of mine have ever been as complicated as yours.

    • The fact that you didn’t enjoy the first few paragraphs as much means we are making sucking progress.
      *creepy tone* One day, you will hate the whole thing and I will weep.

  2. It’s funny how back when I lived under my father’s roof, I always wished I could go out for sleepovers, but now that I pay for my own roof, waking up in a bed that is not mine doesn’t seem as desirable as it did back then. I’m so much more comfortable in the familiarity of my own space and hate infringing on that of others… about as much as I hate my own space being invaded.

    All I’m saying is: I can relate.

    • Thanks!
      “as usual”?? How long have you been lurking?
      (You did an electrical power by numbers analysis on your blog that I’ve been thinking of doing for a while. Quite nice.)

    • Alright, stand over there *points* with Teniola. We are doing Sleepover lovers versus Sleepover haters.
      I wonder if it has anything to do with introversion and extroversion. Maybe introverts tend to exaggerate the awkwardness of a simple sleepover, while extroverts gloss over it and just have fun.

  3. Oh Tolu. One day when my brain matures, I’ll be able to think up writing ideas like this… great stuff. Hilarious. And too true.

      • LOL, of course there are other reasons. The biggest one probably being that i like my freedom to come and go and do as i please. Then of course there’s the fact that some ppl are very nit-picky about how things are done in their house, some ppl are dirty and you don’t even wanna touch anything let alone sleep in their house,

      • Have I got stories for you. Once I stayed over with some people that complained when I showered too late at night or too early in the morning. “The sound of running water wakes everyone up!”
        I am the nitpicky one, and my friends are generally neat, but I think the worst thing in the world is this:
        I finish my shower (in someone else’s house) and as I’m climbing out of the tub, I brush against the shower curtain and there is a long sucking sound as the magic attraction power of the curtain activates and shower curtain sticks to my body. The entire thing, cold and clammy, runs up my leg, my butt and my back up to my shoulder gluing to my body like tape *shudders* negating all effects of the shower.
        I doused myself with petrol and set my skin on fire after that.

        Apparently, scientists have invented a magnet that works on humans, and until they work out how to weaponize it, they are testing it in shower curtains.

  4. Hahahaha!,
    ““Code Red! Code Red! Call the plumber! The place is flooding. “Dont just sit there, move all the furniture to higher ground!”
    In the chaos, someone mutters, “What kind of idiot flushes the toilet?”
    I don’t need this kind of stress”
    Priceless!!! had to copy and paste on my desktop stickynote. Just picturing your look at that point sends me on another spasm of laughter. boy! uv got that “certain thing” and I worry for you too. a lot.

  5. rotfl, i can totally relate. I only do sleepovers if I’m really close to you and even then, there’s still drama, from flush the toilet with the lid closed to prevent germs, to wiping the entire bath tub dry after the shower, to this cup is only for my dad, in fact the list is endless. Abeg there’s no place like home.

  6. LOOOOL!
    Jokes for dayssssss..

    “I use the light on my watch to look for my cellphone, then I use the light on my phone to look for the toilet.”

    “What kind of idiot flushes the toilet” I near-fainted there LOL!

    And for these very reasons I wish to live in Naija.. *sighs*
    Life is pure comedy..

  7. I can’t stop laughing. “what kind of idiot flushes the toilet?”. I haven’t slept over much but I can relate with a few of your experiences. A very interesting write up.

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