Not Where I Meant to End Up

 

I cant remember the source but tis inspiration for an abandoned project
What I hope my “genius face” looks like. Let me know if you know the source.

So…

A friend of mine is trying to have a baby and it’s gotten me thinking about my own (eventual) quest to motherhood. I’m not the most “affectionate” of people, not because I have been denied hugs and kisses as a baby although… one of my sisters believes the differentiation in size in the part of the brain in psychopaths that reflects their inability to properly process emotion may be present in me but just not at levels of murderous deviation levels, so that isn’t inspiring.

My parents are your a-typical traditional “African” model. “Study hard so you can get a good job, get married, have kids, buy a house, retire and farm till your maker summons you”. The only thing they were really strict about is the getting married before having kids which is interesting now because none of my siblings have any children yet and the parents are craving some young ‘uns to spoil to oblivion. Hearing them drop hints about how one having children matures them is interesting when technically none of us are “allowed” to right now without being married.

Now… I lost my thread, where was I going..? Ah yes, affection or rather parenting. I have found myself asking what kind of mother I want to be. I have had this introspection before but now the question seems closer because of the pending wedding and this very close friend of mine taking the plunge. The question then got me thinking about how it is women “change” once they are married but men get away with staying the “fun guy”. Even when children fear their fathers, it more due to size than it is to do with rule setting… Dad’s enforce what Mum’s lay down. This assumes a “normal” household of course, no abuse and average emotional functions for all concerned.

So, why do mothers lose their “fun” streak once that ring is on their finger? From this point on, I am looking at this from a Zambian point of view because that is the data I have right at my fingertips (see what I did there, no? alright then…). On my little patch of earth, two people simply do not meet, decide to get married and live happily ever after (don’t even get me started on *gasp* co-habiting!). Oh no… over here, first your parents need to advise Elders. These Elders then get a group of people together that decide your value as a bride and the fella also has his own Elders that meet and negotiate the price tag and how much the fella will cough up before a marriage can take place (if he’s lucky maybe family members will pitch in but its really his tab). After this has been agreed, now the woman’s Elders decide what kind of “lessons” should take place to prepare this (usually young) woman for marriage. 

In summary, these lessons cover “How to be a Good Wife”, which is admirable but what makes me bristle is the lack of dialogue that SHOULD happen between the two people ACTUALLY getting married. I haven’t undergone this particular tutelage but I understand not only will it cover what food I should cook so my husband eats well (which is valuable foundation to family nutrition but I don’t understand why his preferences are so predominant and why some woman who has never met him should TELL me that) but also what I need to do in the bedroom. What causes me unending bafflement is why this is not a dialogue WITH THE ACTUAL fella. I’m supposed to go off to some hut (where no one can hear me scream *insert evil maniacal laughter here*), learn THEIR version of what being a “good wife” is and then I am not supposed to talk about it with my partner! That not talking about it is truly what does my head in… how am I supposed to lay the foundation of my marriage with beliefs that I may not have had till right before my parents decided to throw out “western” education in exchange for secret traditions I didn’t even know existed? Those “Western” beliefs that may in fact actually have led me to pick the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.

I think I have to back track a bit. So, when I said that my parents were A-Typical African, that should be taken into account with their generational experiences. They both had a foundation growing up in rural settings (although my Dad more than my Mum) and were determined to have a successful urban future and they succeeded in that. They also made sure that their children knew where they came from. I’ve been to the village my father grew up in and have an appreciation for the life I live and how it really could have been VERY different, not in a bad way but my experiences would just have been entirely different. But one thing they didn’t really do was talk, my parents “did”. So you led by their example and what they showed you was important. I didn’t go to the village very often but I never missed a day of school and not simply due to logistics. I have some fond memories of family Tekken battles and my Dad helping my youngest sister cheat at Monopoly. What I have no recollection of is why after years of being told I need to be a self sufficient human being, I now need to “submit” to teachings no one can talk to me about because its all a secret but will define my value as a wife that exceeds any worth I may have accrued as a person on my own.

I’m sure this isn’t the last post I will have on marriage and expectations wives have and because I have meandered so far away from what I actually wanted to say I need to wrap this up and save us both from my rant. So… what the kind of parent I want to be is present… and communicative… no I’m not going to answer this in this post. Maybe y’all can tell me what kind of parents you would like to be if you aren’t yet, hope you are, if that’s where you are already or even why answering this question is a waste of time for you…

My, I have botched this… Sorry about that.

 O&O

Snuggle with a Struggle

 Struggle Snuggle Tee
Struggle Snuggle Tee

So…

There are some things that exist and make you wonder how on earth they can occupy space when ATLEAST more than on person saw it before it was put on display in public spaces. I came across this video about a “rape t-shirt” being sold. Its tagline is, “It isn’t rape, its a snuggle with a struggle.” What the freakin’ hell were people thinking?!?!?! The link to the video I saw is here. I understand the t-shirts have since been pulled off the shelves but the principle still needs some evaluation.

Now, there are some sections of society that believe that the world is just “too damn sensitive” and needs to relax and their defence would be “this is a joke, if you don’t like it don’t buy the shirt”. The problem with that is, not buying this item doesn’t mean you prevent this kind of idea being OK and its the idea of this t-shirt being OK that is more of a problem than the t-shirt itself. The fact that rape can be both glorified as an achievement and belittled as an act should not be allowed to exist.

I normally shy away from absolutes because they leave little room for discussion but I fail to see how any rape situation could be proven to benefit the raped person. If you are able to support that view, by all means, let’s talk but we cannot belittle what rape is and glorify the person performing this violent act. Or maybe that’s the problem, we have negated the effects of different kinds of rape because it isn’t always a “clear” rape. We deconstruct what the victim was in order for us to guage how bad the rape was which is such a flaw in our process that it baffles me and sadly even I do it too. When you hear of a woman being raped for example, you want details on the woman. What was she doing in that place? What was she wearing? Who was she with? Why didn’t she see it coming? I am not going to go into why we hold women as paragons of virtue and when their male counterpart fails in some moral test its the women in his life that are accountable but that needs some deconstructing.

A friend once told me that she felt she was being raped when her boyfriend and her had sex and I told her, there is no way you can say that and keep sleeping with him (and I thought no way he can keep wanting to sleep with you unless he is a psychopath). I don’t know if he was a psychopath but I found it very curious how easily this friend was able to tag the label of “rapist” on her boyfriend and yet keep going through the same motions. There is of course a difference between sex you don’t want because you aren’t really in the mood and doing it because you feel like you have no other option. That is what rape is, removal of options and power, whether you have done that by holding a gun or by whispering a threat both of you know could be carried out.

This is just a short post because I don’t want to dwell too long on negatives but we cannot support ideals that should die. Violence is glorified enough, physical violations of someone else’s body should not be tolerated under any circumstance and we need to kill the seeds of this thought. Again if you can show why my absolute is off centre then by all means, speak you piece. I’ll listen, we can talk.

O&O

 

Dreaming of a White Christmas

I want what I want
I want what I want

So…

When I read that headline I thought, “Have we completely run out of news” and “Guess The Post is officially a tabloid now”. After reading Diary of a Frustrated Brotha’s take, I figured I would add my own spin on this. Oh, and I will respect this woman’s choices even if I don’t agree with them.

On Friday 12th September, one of our national papers (arguably the most popular one) decided to go with this headline: “I am a virgin and my dream is to marry a white man”. Now I’d just roll my eyes and move on but on reading the article I discovered a few “inconsistencies” with this young woman’s aspirations.

Firstly, attraction is its own beast. You like what you like and its based on some gut instinct you have no control over mixed in with a heavy dose of life experience. This is a 21 year old’s dream, and most 21 year olds are heady with youthful optimism and not enough life experience to know any better… unless life hasnt been particularly kind in which case that’s a different story. But her experiences are the dreams she believes will come true and teen boys affections.

Last year I think I had a conversation with a friend from South Africa and she asked me why Zambian women are “so into white guys”, and I have had a few conversations with Zambian women (and men) on why this apparent attraction exists and I’m not sure its about liking white guys but about what those white dudes represent.

Historically, Zambian society was segregated along racial lines (as with most African populations) and white societies lived better and had better experiences than indigenous ones which is in line with most African countries in general but where the Zambian experience deviates from, for example, the South African scenario is that there was not enough blood shed to want us to “own” our own wealth. We migrated from a society of servants to a society of envy but without enough “muster” to make it work for ourselves.

Of course there are exceptions of Zambian owned business and Zambian execs that defy this general mentality but in general, while most Zambians may aspire for more they lack the tools to believe they are capable of attaining more unless it is given to them and I think that is our greatest societal flaw. You cant “earn” something, it has to be “given” and I think that foundation could be “guiding” this woman’s views.

I am not a historian or psychologist and do not know why we have the belief sets we do but our response to independence was to become more “English” (former British colony). So we aspired to live in “white” houses and have children that sounded “educated”… read spoke with an accent. Perhaps the dream was if we sounded “white” we could have white lives? But here’s the thing, on the whole, we did not sit around and talk about what life was like for indigenous Zambians pre independence and actually make plans to empower the indigenous population to attain a better quality of life unless they were involved in politics. The white populations remained so small and localised around their economic interests that segregation continued after independence and we continued to romanticise what “living white” was like.

When my family moved to South Africa (in 2000 I think), I remember my mum telling me not to get a black South African boyfriend because “they can kill you”… I haven’t reminded her of that in light of the Pistorious trial but our experiences cloud how we experience life and when we were moving, headlines were about jealous boyfriend kidnappings and killings and baby rapes and murders.

When you grow up in one society and lack exposure to how other societies REALLY live, hearsay and romanticisation colours any judgements you may make. As a 21 year old, chances are the guys she is surrounded by are not mentally mature and that goes across all races but the stories she is exposed to in her society aren’t about love or guys with interests that dont involve alcohol or sex. Dudes can be a shallow lot, cant they? However, this speaks more to the kind of society we are that in and the experiences our young people have than anything else. Interstingly, the only (other) published response to this article was:

“Editor,
I totally agree with Buumba, the virgin in search of a white man to marry.
Most zambian men are not only violent and difficult to ‘manage’ but also promiscuous and unreliable. I however advise her to be cautious in her search. There are many whites out there involved in human trafficking and she could end up regretting for the rest of her life.

Concerened”(sp)

What this girl wants is the kind of love she sees in the movies, romantic, sweeping sacrificing love and she thinks black men are incapable of it because sadly Zambian society does not value loving marriages that highly. Marriage seems to be a transaction, woman gets “shelter”, man gets a maid with bangable benefits. Or its a marriage that “fixes” an unplanned pregnancy… but we have no love stories of our own. Fidelity is not guaranteed from a husband and if you find that he has been “wandering” then you have to forgive because you are better off married than not and “all men do it”.

Plus our society is still segregated enough that unless you happen to be in “affluent” areas, you can go ages without seeing a non-person of colour (or is it person of non colour?) and if they are coming into a non affluent section of society then its either a backpacker, an NGO worker or someone involved in some kind of missionary work… all of these attest to a better life somewhere else.

So, I refuse to judge this young woman who doesn’t know any better but choose to question our society as a whole, we have problems on what we choose to glorify and that needs way more attention than one girl who thinks the worst a white fellow will do to her is traffic her.

There is no question in today’s post but should you have an experience or insight you’d like to share, comments down below!

O&O

Shake it Off!

 I'm hiding cool
I’m hiding cool

So…

Yesterday on my way out of a meeting my right leg went numb and I stumbled, corrected myself, took two steps and went plummeting into an ugly brown carpet in a hallway and sat there looking like an idiot, trying to figure out what had just happened. Thankfully it was slightly after hours and there wasn’t a massive audience to my grand splaying.

The meeting was with two male colleagues and one male supervisor. Their reactions were a little giggle worthy because they “didn’t know what to do”. Here’s the thing, I’m not a “dainty gal”. If something needs to be moved in my office and I can, I do. This causes some amusement to my colleagues because someone at my “level” shouldn’t be doing that, worse off a woman at my level. I’m not a “butch” girl (I don’t think I have any muscle definition in my arms and I am way too lazy for the gym) but I don’t often wait around for someone else to something when I can do it myself. Labour is also relatively cheap here as well so there is no reason why someone else cant to general grunt work.

One of my (many) faults is delegating. I am terrible at it. Just terrible. I almost always think I can do things better than anyone I can give a task to which makes it difficult to work with me because chances are, I will struggle to appreciate you fully and believe everyone is operating at less than their 100% and willfully choosing to do so. I will try and make you feel better about yourself after you have delivered whatever output I want though. I try and teach people what I want them to give me but there’s always something “missing” and I try not to let it get to me. Note the abundant use of the word “try” in that paragraph. I am a work in progress.

The other day I saw Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off! video and I got an attack of the fuzzies. Lovely warm feelings and I empathised so much with trying to fit into activities that are sooooo not me. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it!

Here’s the thing, you have to do you. But sometimes doing you needs some work and you have to acknowledge it and choose to do better.

I’m not sure I would have liked any scenario where any of the people who saw me fall picked me up (oh yeah, I have a problem with unsolicited body contact too… general physical proximities in general actually), and I remember thinking, “thank heavens I am wearing pants today.” One of my female subordinates “came to my rescue” and chastised the fellas for not helping me, grabbed my shoes and then watched me walk to my desk (while my supervisor told her to massage my foot which I thought was inappropriate but that’s a story for another day).

What about me in that scenario makes me think I should question whether I am harmful to myself… in that context…I’m coming up empty but another fault of mine crops up and that is going over incidences and building them into things that don’t need to survive their existence beyond the occurance. I am not always perfect and I am not always at fault (somehow both those thoughts exist in my world constantly), I just have to shake off what was and focus on what is and will be.

I guess my take away question for the day is what do you do in the name of “being you” harms you and how are you going to fix that?

Quit trying to be someone else but make sure you’re honest about how being you can suck and improve it.

O&O

When Compliments Don’t Actually Flatter You

...

So…

I came across this article: Why Girls Cant Take a Compliment a while ago and it got me thinking about myself and my inability to take compliments in general (my brain refuses to accept “nice” things), perhaps I am not sure people actually mean “nice” things when they say them and there is some kind of hidden meaning but in this post I will mainly deal with “sexual” compliments. The other day someone I work with came up to me and used this phrase: “You have bulged!” while staring at my hips. I am sure in his mind, this should have flattered me but in my mind I felt: “If I could gouge the eyes out of your head and make you swallow them, I would.” but I just smiled, mumbled something, came back to my desk and took of my heels and spent the rest of the day in flat pumps. Here’s the thing, I wasn’t dressed remarkably and I definitely was not “fishing” for compliments. I knew I looked OK but I was not by any means “dressed up”. I’m on the pill and its added some weight in very “womanly” places that complement me even though I grimace every time I see my tummy and swear I will never eat bread again coz it bloats me but I digress… Being told I was “bulging” no matter how well meaning did not flatter me and reminded me of that article above.

Its not been easy for me to be comfortable in my body, the usual teenage issues that translated to adult inadequacies, very little new there but I want to talk about how much “weight” (see what I did there? no? never mind then) we give to female “virtues.” There is so much value placed on how the rest of the world sees you rather than on how you see yourself. I don’t think I can recall my mother or any formidable adult female (or male) telling me that what I thought of myself mattered (except when my older sister was trying to push a rebellion on me and I feared disciplinary measures way more than I yearned for “cool points”), so some of my earliest foundations were: you only matter by how much other people value you and as a girl that will be valued by how short your sexual history is and how long your skirts are. That’s it. Look nice, be nice and all will be good, in fact if you could play stupid and just grin all the time, that would be fabulous.

Other people’s perception of a female’s sexual prowess, whether validated or not is going to be the only thing that matters. For instance, the other day on the radio, a woman was seeking “advice” on her domestic situation. She’s been “married” to this guy for at least two years (I caught the show in the middle so I don’t know exactly how long) and he regularly beats her. In 2013, he beat her while she was pregnant so badly that she lost her baby… after that, BOTH her family and his believed they would still be better off together, she is pregnant again now and doesnt want to lose this baby. And you know what the majority of comments were, “are you sure you are married?” (and other variations on establishing that she was indeed “recognized” by him and his family), “you need him because you wont be able to support a baby by yourself,” and then chastising her on not following up with the police when the police failed to provide any remedy to her after she filed initial reports (I think three different policemen called in with procedures on what happens in such cases and it was her fault why no traction had been made on her case). The dude is on the run and boasts that beating his women is what he does and there is no way the police can ever catch him. Of all the callers I heard, only one (the only woman) actually provided her with concrete other parties she could consult with for options and a method to escalate her case. Only one man told her to leave this fella coz she could die and I am thinking, “wait… how is it that she comes on radio, says she is an abused wife, has even filed a police case and we now need to “analyse” her moral character by suggesting that she shouldn’t be making these accusations if she isn’t married and then by giving her flack for the police not doing their jobs?” I am sure there was a reason I started on this tirade… gimme a sec…oh right! So, this lady on the radio did not sound “dis-empowered” and by that I mean she did not play the victim card. What she wanted was another option on top of what she had already tried, she sounded reasonably educated and therefore the perception is she has “lived”… and that is why those calls were the way they were. Attacking (I use this word for visual effect of course) her for not “fitting” the prescribed perception of what a wife should be: obedient, agreeable and mostly “not know any better”.

A colleague of mine once said to me that men always go back to their wives no matter what they do “elsewhere” and suggested the wives will always take them back and this is partly why compliments are difficult to take in for a lot of women, because they are generally so shallow that they do not even cover a tenth of the person you are dealing with. A compliment of a sexual nature doesn’t take me, the person into account. Its only about what you THINK you see when you look at me, what values you think I have based on your perceptions of how I present myself. When you are looking at me in that way, you are seeing an idea of what I should be… and that kinda pisses me off.

Tell me when I actually DO something that is worth talking about, set me a bloody goal I can aim for and attain that doesn’t centre on external validation but internal motivation. Anywho… I’ve gone way longer than I intended to. Let me know what compliments piss you off or what you think doesn’t get seen about you because people tend to get stuck at face value. O&O

Own Your Advantages

 Self love man!
Self love man!

 

So…

The other day I was checking out some Kpop videos (which usually happens when I feel like I might strangle someone at work and my Xbox is too far to kill something). The bright colours and weird wiggles tickle me, anywho… There I am checking these videos out and then this odd gem comes my way:  “Nice Body” by Hyomin.

Now… because I don’t want to be an ignoramus I try watch these videos with English subtitles (I don’t speak Korean) but I figured, there HAS to be a mistake because “what the frick?” but no… my (limited) search didn’t find any translation that changed the context of this video in any way at all!

Then I thought of this vid: “Yum Yum Yum” by Lip Service and I remember thinking “that’s a super fun catchy track and I am going to make my siblings ears bleed with it” but at no point did I have a negative response because I did not find it insulting or hurtful. Turns out though, that some people did (because they felt like it made fun of “fat Americans”) my response to it was simply, “girl… I am so with you! Dieting is the pits (even though I think my longest experience was doing the Atkins diet so I could eat more meat so I cant really feel your pain).” So I had to figure out why my response to “Nice Body” was “Hell nah!” and yet I had silly giggles to “Yum Yum Yum”.

One is an “I’m sexy and THAT is why you like me” and the other is kinda “It’s hard being a chick but we gotta laugh about it”. Obviously in my part of the world Hyomin’s body wouldn’t generally be considered sexy and that got me thinking about body shaming but I didn’t want to start a rant about how its easily we women hate on each other for being different (which would be pretty long coz we don’t even really need a reason), instead I wanted to find a way to turn my negativity into something positive. Like rainbows outta turd.

I didn’t really have to go far to do it too, so here’s my take. Thing with “I’m sexy and THAT is why you like me” messages is that they voice self acceptance, whether that feeling is honest in most cases is irrelevant. We’re all in a race for (and with) limited resources, be it that promotion at work or the dude who orders bran muffins from your favourite coffee shop. We want what is in little supply and we have to use what we have to get it but we have to own what got.

I know I am kind of skirting a murky line here but here is what I am not saying: Sleep your way to what/where you want. The reason why I am not saying this is because if you don’t believe that this is a choice you have actually made you are going to end up feeling pretty damn crappy afterwards and that’s just a bag of nuggets you don’t need. There’s a difference between using your looks because YOU know they are your added advantage and using them because “everyone else likes them”. The first comes from you. You have to validate yourself to be okay when other people’s validations are coming out their blowholes. Some people are literally rocket scientists and being that way gets what they want, other people have the shiniest, flowiest hair you have ever seen and teeth that look like God’s chiselled them. One is not better than the other, they simply have different advantages.

We just have to quit pulling others down so we can climb on top if them, especially over how they choose to use their assets. THAT is the key thing to take away here, as long as it is your choice work that. Be unapologetic for your advantages. Everyone has something they have that is working for them.

Accept it. Find Yours. Own It. And Work It.

O&O.

 

Its Not Your Fault…the First Time

 ...

So…

A while ago I came across this article My Boyfriend Raped Me  and that first line hit me in the gut. How many times have you been in a conversation with your girlfriends and they describe an encounter that makes your blood chill in your veins or makes it slow down so you can hear it in your ears? Or worse, how many times have you been in that situation yourself.

I worry about having daughters because there are phrases I hear my mother say that right now I would stab myself if I ever said them and yet fear that “time will teach me she was right”, but that’s another conversation for another day.

Right now, lets talk about justifying your dude’s behaviour, or worse justifying someone else’s behaviour. I am not sure where the theory that woman “make men” do things to them. I have no idea why a fella cant be accountable for actions HE has made based on feelings HE has. And it bloody well annoys me.

A friend once told me that she was in an argument with her dude (at the time) and he’s never been violent but on this one day he shoved her with enough force that she fell and may have hit her head on a cabinet but I cant say with full clarity on what part of her was injured but she was in some way. This is the most recent memory I have of the “heartbeat in my ears” response because right after that she said, it was her fault she fell because she wasn’t expecting the shove and was wearing heels so she wasn’t grounded. After all the expletives exploded (once blood flow was restored) in my head I tried to point out that that wasn’t really the point. Its the fact that he shoved her, saw her fall with enough force to hurt herself and walked away. She thought I was over reacting and he never did it afterwards so I obviously was worried for “nothing”.

This logic scares me. To the core. I have “opinions” on everyone carrying their own weight because when people don’t work for their worth they devalue things, maybe even themselves but mostly all the suckers around them who have to deal with the extra load.

When someone treats you like you aren’t worth “more” or “better” then that’s their fault but if they continue to treat you the same way more times then that’s yours. At some point their baggage becomes yours and that only happens when you allow it.

Don’t ever justify why someone treats you less than you deserve to be treated unless of course you believe you don’t deserve any better which really is more about you than them but know the difference and carry your own weight.

I’m supposed to end this with a question but I get this ache in my chest when I think of all the women to whom rape was justified. This is so awfully wrong I cant take it. You have laws that dictate women cant be raped by their husbands. THE FREAKIN’ LAW! , girls being kidnapped but militia and sold off as wives because they are the wrong religion or are offending another religion by being educated and somehow NOTHING seems to change. These women are obviously in different circumstances than you and I and most likely die when they object to the status quo, possible consequences include death so what’s your excuse for lugging around someone else’s s#@$?

O&O!

Just Add Sugar

 I Got This
I Got This

So…

I’m a House of Cards fan and one of the things that amazes me about the show is how Frank and Claire Underwood are perfect for each other. It’s the ‘for each other’ part that I want to focus on. As individual people, I am not sure I like them very much… well, I could probably have moments where I don’t mind Claire but Frank is simply reprehensible.

But together, that is what a couple should be. They should be a united front and they KNOW each other. The only time I can recall them presenting ‘problems’ to those in their ‘inner circle’, those within that circle wouldn’t have known how it was a problem other than something aimed at them and they were on the same page or its presented in such a way you wouldn’t know it was a problem to begin with (re-writing that so I don’t leech any spoilers was bloody hard coz who doesn’t love a juicy example).

Love is generally complicated because there is NO WAY you can truly accept everything about another person or rather there are limits to what our feelings can permit and forgive (I am such a romantic). What Frank and Claire teach us is that it isn’t about accepting everything, its about KNOWING everything and this doesn’t necessarily extend to things like first boyfriend in kindergarten but they know what’s beneath the surface of the person lying next to them, its about knowing the breath beneath the heartbeat, you know? If someone tried to present a ‘secret’ about one to the other, most likely all they would be providing is details which the other person didn’t have but context was already in play and therefore opportunity to break them up is non existent unless on of them chooses it.

Thing with relationships is… they are like fruit. You watch it bud and grow and then its ripe and you pluck it but once you’ve plucked it, decay begins and that is when you need to protect it. Viciously. The rot is always there waiting to creep in but you have to guard against it. A fly doesn’t intend to infest decaying matter with maggots, it does what it does because that’s what flies do (and maggots are simply baby flies…). If your relationship is the fruit on a path to decay then everything else is a potential fly waiting to bless it with maggots.

This makes me seem somewhat jaded but I am not (well, not on this I dont think), weirdly I am in love with a fella that if he turned out to be Frank-like, I want to exude Claire coz we’re in it for the long haul and you have to see what is and not simply what you hope it could be. That’s the key for ‘perfection’. So you preserve that piece of fruit and you know the best things to preserve fruit? Sugar! You have to lather your relationship so deep in the stuff that the sugar is flavoured and becomes your fruit… which could be rather ‘porno’ and if that’s what you need go for it.

Have enough together to build on, common goals help, similar thought patterns or values definitely don’t hurt but whatever the case, there needs to be a set of building blocks and true emotion driving you too.

I am not a counsellor or trained relationship expert, in fact most of my knowledge is purely theoretical but life is going to hit you with so much muck that you don’t need to sling any at each other. But if you must sling some muck, make sure y’all are aiming in the same direction and your shots complement each other. Focus on the sugar to keep that rot at bay. Some couples need to have hot water together with the sugar to concentrate them and that’s fine, you’ll have jam instead of marmalade and most people prefer jam so it’s a win-win situation.

Where does one find this sugar that binds y’all together? I think it depends on the people in play. If you wanna share yours or pick my brain further let me know but for now, I wish you happy hunting.

Good luck finding that sugar!

O&O!

The Time I Kinda Killed a Quad Bike

 It Aint A Quad But Its So Purdy
It Aint A Quad But Its So Purdy

So…

I once rode a quad bike off a cliff. I wish I could say it was because I was attempting a stunt involving my left nostril and right butt cheek but sadly what made me lose control of that quad bike was caution.

I was re-uniting with a couple friends that I hadn’t seen for over two years and we planned an ‘action packed’ vacation in Hartebeespoort. Things had recently happened to all of us and we needed a ‘fun’ break to reconnect. On this particular day of festivities the itinerary involved horse riding and quad biking; only one of the three of us had done either of these activities before but we decided that it would be fun. And we loved it … the beginning that is.

The farm we went to was owned by a husband and wife team (as is usually the case) and had wonderful views, a pack of memorable dogs I loved because they were friendly and reminded me of some pups I had had and the wife half of the team was a dear… then we met her husband. But I am racing ahead. Obviously I cannot give the name of the establishment because this isn’t a great review for them and I don’t think its enough to say, ‘horse ride here but quad bike elsewhere’ or ‘find out if the husband is taking you on the bikes and if he is cancel!’ coz all of that seems kinda passive aggressive and really, perhaps you wont have the same experience there but I don’t want to tempt you to damage property to find out.

Now one of the first things husband part of the team said was ‘quad bikes can kill you’ and ‘quad bike accidents are nasty business’… those are the kind of things a girl has no trouble remembering. The ride was meant to last an hour, less than seven minutes in, husband owner is on his cell phone and we have to stop. No biggie, I reckon I will just soak in the scenery. Then he pretty much was far ahead of us and didn’t seem bothered with us at all… as in we are beginners on the bikes but he is acting like he is on a solo ride way up front of our ‘detail’. There were more calls but I didn’t get too irritable. The place was just too beautiful, we were on a different path than we had used for the horse ride so I had plenty to keep me occupied. About forty/forty five minutes into the ride we approached what appeared (to me) a very narrow ‘bridge’ so I slowed down and tried to crawl onto this impossibly narrow embankment (I was certain I would fly off if I was at another speed than toddler) but on making sure my right side was safe I was too close to the left and couldn’t steer away coz of the afore mentioned lack of speed, so I did what any rational person would do and tried to tilt the bike away from gravity but turned out I was lighter than the bike and so I fell off and watched the bike slide away from me. That ‘slow mo’ thing is real. It was like it was at quarter speed!

Its what happened after this that ruined the experience for me, once I had yelled loud enough for the person in front of me to know something was wrong, I went down that cliff after the bike and since it had landed top side down, I tipped it over which was not easy coz on top of being lighter than the stupid thing my arms are so weak that all the strength I have in them is imaginary. Just then owner guy comes down the cliff and not once does he ask if I am okay, instead he starts complaining about plastic pieces that are now damaged and he’s never seen anyone do ‘anything like this’. At the time I just felt miserable coz I hate causing other people pain in any sort of way and this was my fault. But then guy manages to start the bike and I sing on the inside coz if it starts its ‘not that bad’ yet he goes on about how insurance wont cover his business and maybe he shouldn’t be in it to begin with. Now I’m worrying that we are going to be hit by some damage clause that was definitely not on the disclaimer I signed but Ii wouldn’t have protested paying. So I follow him climb back up this cliff and when we are back on the road he tells me I must go back to the bike and ride it from there and I think ‘You saw me climbing, you didn’t think I needed to hear that before?’ But again, I had damaged his property so I figured just go back down and not be a nuisance.

The ride back was miserable and quiet and when we pulled up in front of his house he leaped off his bike and started telling his wife and two of his friends what happened which he couldn’t have because at no point did he find out from me. The two friends ask what happened so I tell them that I approached too slow and the bike was too heavy for me to put back in the middle of the path (granted I wasn’t nearly as composed or coherent, I felt royally terrible), owner guy had walked off before I had even started my ‘confession’ and his wife after him. The two friends seemed concerned about my plight (which I guess was easy for them, I hadn’t damaged their property) but when the wife returned with our phones and cameras my friends and I thought they would ask us to pay for the damage or something because on their disclaimer all that is there is that the business isn’t liable for any damage or loss incurred on their property, nothing about what happens if you damage theirs (they have probably changed that now). Wife had no smiles for us or any form of encouragement so I said another apology and we set off and on top of feeling terrible about the damage I felt extra guilty about ruining the trip with my incident.

For a while after that I couldn’t remember the pretty views, or my calm horse and another horse that kept stopping to eat no matter what my friend riding it tried to do. I couldn’t remember the silly Alsatian obsessed with playing ‘fetch’ or the guide that was so patient with us on the horse trail and was a true example of what a person in service to customers is all about. All that defined that day was how miserable I felt at the end of it.

Too often we let the misery define an experience. We are quick to take ownership of things that are beyond our control (this is more common for women than it is for men). I definitely injured that husband and wife team with my accident but they acted like I had done it on purpose and having them act that way added to my negative feelings.

So basically what I want to share with you is how often do you hold on to negative feelings not only caused by other people but caused by actions beyond your control?

It took me a while to separate my actions from that owner and look objectively at what had happened. I will probably never go to that establishment again and will not be as eager to get onto another quad bike but when I do get back on a bike. I am flooring it! Maybe it’s easier not to be upset with someone if they are a mangled mass of flesh under your machinery.

O&O!

Wishes don’t Create, Work Does.

 Own What You Need to Do
Own What You Need to Do

Ramble Ahoy!

“I wish we had met
When polka dot skirts and gogo boots were all the rage
I wish we had met
When common causes killed minor differences”

That thought has been floating around my brain for months. Wishes in general and how it is we romanticise what was simply because it “isn’t”. Does that make any sense? If it doesn’t, I am working on a poem, its nowhere near done and I don’t know what to do with it and it isn’t even that long but it has me stumped at the moment. And when stumped, it is recommended that one stop staring and do something else. This is something else.

So, recently I have been asking how much my dreams are worth to me because although I say my aspirations in my head and write them down on pieces of paper (sometimes in multiple colours), they aren’t really in my heart and bleeding out my pores and because of that I am not putting in the work required to make them happen. This is painful to admit because I hate having to admit that laziness is part of who I am and fear of failure is holding me back when I should be using that fear of failure to fuel me because according to my own personal definition I am engorged with failure.

How often does that happen to you? How often do you CLAIM something is important and then do nothing to HOLD ON to that thing?

Its not enough to aspire, we eventually have to DO. Unfortunately, we live in a time where we want the “quickest” way to do things, whether that is the ‘5 minute ultimate abs workout’ or whatever our version of ‘success with no sweat’ victory is, because we are bombarded with fame for infamy’s sake.

I recently told a friend of mine that perhaps she may need therapy to quieten the noise in her head because she just flits endlessly from one distraction to another when she should sit down, shut off all external noise and do the work but she cant because doing the work isn’t “sexy”… or rather it lacks fundamental glamour that I think she needs and just as my fear of failure keeps plonking speed bumps in my path, her need for excitement prevents her from doing what needs to be done…

We keep getting told that you can live the life you want to live (and I may have said it too earlier on the blog, sorry about that… *ahem* I still mean it BUT IT REQUIRES EFFORT) but I may have missed the point. Its not about working smart because that has been appropriated by working “short” or “easy”; Find the shortcut and use it, find the loophole and manipulate it. You cant forget to work hard. You have to earn your success by putting in the toll required.

If you aren’t happy its not enough to say it and leave it at that, if you are unhappy and don’t want to be, you have to DO something about it.

You have to decide what the manure for your life is and wishes sadly don’t bear fruit.  Its not enough to dream, you have to wake up, get out of bed and DO SOMETHING. There will always be a reason not to because that’s easy. But easy doesn’t make memorable and since life is generally short and we all die at the end, the most we can hope for is memorable. Even if its just from the three people outside your family that think if you started a comic strip it’d be awesome.

So, what work aren’t you putting in? What manure do you want to blossom? Find it and till that bugger till it bleeds!

O&O.