Assume No

So…

 Struggle Snuggle Tee
Struggle Snuggle Tee

We glamourise our celebrities. Justified or not, they demand our adoration because they have attained what we all want, fortune and fame. And it doesn’t matter where we are in the world, its all the same.

Question is, what do we do when those celebrities fall off the pedestals we raise for them?

A few years ago, a local singer got into trouble over defiling a minor. His defence was she didn’t look like she was underage and a lot of people rallied behind him with that defence, he then went on to release a track in poor taste while the case was still in court and was found guilty. I won’t link to the song but in the age of the internet, these things don’t die.

Recently The President pardoned him. I don’t know if our president has a pro reformation of convicts agenda but this isn’t his first pardon. That’s not where this redemption song fails to strike the right note.

Oh no, this fellow goes on to (allegedly) beat up his third wife upon his release for… um… not fulfilling her marital duties. And the dialogue I’ve heard from my “fellow man on the street” is:

1) How do we know these are recent pictures, maybe he didn’t do this recently?
2) This is propaganda to make our current president look bad but all those other prisoners haven’t made the news when they were let out.
3) He was actually innocent this whole time because the underage girl he (allegedly) raped has a child.

I have gone back and forth over these arguments and some of them have left me doubting that the society I live in is one I want to raise children in. But these problems aren’t exclusive to my side of the border. Women are generally shamed in most sexually crimes and questions of whether “she asked for it” always gurgle to the surface.

As for this being an attack on our Commander In Chief’s (always wanted to use that phrase) skills, I never saw a criteria list for the other 280 (I believe that is the correct number but I stand to be corrected) and I don’t know what basis was made for releasing General Kanene. There may have been a publicised justification that I missed but I’m not aware of missing anything.

My only plea is that we quit victim shaming and look at the source of the violence. That we spend more time teaching our sons to speak than to throw their fists, that we hone their tongues as much as we stroke their muscles.

It is a far fetched dream but I do hope one day the norm of what a man is will be someone who doesn’t need to threaten violence to command, because in our glass towers and corner offices, we don’t need to be boxed around the head to know that “the man is the head of the house” and we don’t need to infer that because a woman has slept with one man that she is open to another, or even the same one…

Assume no till a yes is granted.

That’s my dream.

O&O

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

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!

Final Correction – A Poem

 ...

So…

I have no idea where this poem is from, I was editing some older work and thought… well… I could share it… Sometimes my mind regurgitates some pretty morbid things.

Enjoy!

O&O.

*******************************************************************************

Final Correction

I will not speak of things I do not know.
I shall not hide what needs to be shown
I’ve blazed a trail, I alone must follow

You’ve been by my side, of that I am glad
You can accompany me no more
Your time in my life has run its course

Sadness has no place here
Sorrow even less
My love my dear,
Let me have my final embrace

Still your mind, my heart races
Today it ends, what began too long ago
I’ll kiss your cheek, wont allow you to kiss mine

Hold my memories, that’s all I am leaving
Tomorrow you shall awake and alone will you be
I heed the voices in my head and troubled no longer will you be

My blade reflects the serenity of tonight
Company it has been but our last conversation we will have
My love you tried, you kept me sane but my memories come when you aren’t there

I shed a tear that no one will ever see
My last bath I shall run, it is a small treat for me
My toes feel the warmth that my heart longed for
I should be calm, I knew this day would have to come

The water around my ankles reminds me
Of a time when the sun bared down on sandy shores
And my smile was enough to make you happy

Long have those days gone by and my bruised body
Cannot repent on behalf of the sins your hands commit
My love, my dear I cannot forgive one last correction

I sit in my final resting place
There is the serenity I have been seeking
I look up and gaze at your unsmiling face

Did I wake you? I know I shouldn’t have
Cant bare this weight anymore.
Come keep me company

We say no words, what needs to be spoken
Has already been said
I cant leave I need your help

Your hands hold mine, mine tremble no more
I know what must happen. Shocked I am that it didn’t happen sooner
This is the most tender thing you have ever done to me

Right above the bruises you gave me last night
Lay a metallic silver kiss where your lips no longer wander
This is not as hard as when I told you about the child I am carrying

Neither of us do U want,
Neither of us will you have.
I gave you myself and only you can return it to me

The lights getting darker now,
Our baby kicks. When I meet him
I’ll tell him that daddy didn’t want him
But mummy couldn’t let him go

So together we shall be
Where your corrections no longer are
I shall hold the son
You gave to me

As your final goodbye

Imaginary Tea with 300 Sandwiches – In Pursuit of a Wedding Ring

300 Sandwiches
300 Sandwiches

So…

*I have been having some technical issues so this post is slightly late but enjoy!*

First up: Often I can hold multiple opinions about something at the same time, my mind is fluid like that.

Second: No one but the people within the relationship know what’s REALLY going on and even then, chances are just one person knows and the other is winging it.

 He Likes his Food
He Likes his Food

Now, originally I wanted to ignore the story, I saw a comment about it somewhere, thought “Yeah…there’s nothing positive I can add here” and I walked away from it, then I found this video by The Young Turks and I thought, “Wait… what?” So went over to the 300 Sandwiches site here (I love bread and potatoes but may have a slight intolerance for them but that doesn’t stop me eating them because my intolerance wont kill me). I like the look of the blog and the sandwiches actually generally look good so on a food front alone, its gorge and I like me my yums.

But I am struggling with the idea that this was tongue in cheek humour and yet the pursuit of the wedding band is still on…Or maybe I am having a translation problem. Here’s why, (sadly) it doesn’t matter how successful you become as a woman, you are still judged “harshly” if you haven’t chosen to get married and have babies. And its unfair that that is the case, but it is. And when a woman chooses to do that there are even more things she must now give up in order to still be viewed as successful, cut her working hours, be there for the children. I don’t follow “Giuliana and Bill” but I saw the hate that Guiliana garnered for not being as visibly involved with her son (Duke) as Bill was and putting her appearance ahead of her health. As I didn’t actually follow that particular story I wont put up any links for that. But other than celebs, in my “real life” women set targets for themselves to be married by, date for not more than five years, if he hasn’t proposed by then, “make him”. This can come from having a “my eggs are shriveling and I want to know if your swimmers are going to be available soon” kind of conversations or “trap” him by making sure you are negligent enough for his swimmers to actually do some “damage”.

Thing is, all relationships are about give and take, the knee jerk reaction to this is: “You mean that’s what I have to do to get a ring?” I have been told on numerous occasions that women cannot feel for something without personalising it, that it is wired into our heads. I need to be “in” whatever it is that I am liking or see myself being “hurt” by what offends me. The person may have been referring to me alone because I have basket case tendencies on occasion and it may be “safe” to generalise but he had a point (of course it was a guy who said it).

On principle, this idea that women need to convince a guy that she is worth marrying and he is in a way doing her a favour of providing marriage is disturbing. I am in a long term relationship and have been for a while and my mind sometimes chaffs against the idea that doing certain things makes me more “marry-able”, because I think, if you want to marry me, you will. If my single sandwich makes you think you could eat 300 more (or 299 more), that’s awesome, but I shouldn’t need to prove I can supply those 300 for you to ACTUALLY decide you want to marry me. Plus I make lunches for us almost everyday, mostly because I am an awful person when I am hungry (no seriously, I don’t get PMS or mood swings, I get hunger pangs that go to my brain and drain me of all rational thought. Its terrible!) and I need to eat and he’s generally free at the same time so we eat together. Then Saturday is his day to cook or we cook together, as long as that “exchange” happens, I don’t feel like I am being taken advantage of. So what is she getting out of the exchange to not feel taken advantage of? He cooks regularly according to her and I think that’s grand! You cant just turn your relationship to a chore pursuit for that ring, its about the journey and I really hope they get that.

So while this may have been tongue in cheek, I really do hope that she enjoys the process, and this guy is worth it if it isn’t in her to naturally make sandwiches three times a week for someone else. But at the end of the day, they know what goes on behind closed doors and if the two of them are both on the same page, great! We all want to be happy after all, and if this is her choice then there is no problem here.

We live in an age of choice and people should be allowed to do what they want to do to meet whatever goals they aim to achieve. Marriage by 300 Sammies! Do it! If he proposes before 300, I hope she enjoys the process enough to keep going!

Over and Out!

Surviving Marriage with a Chance of a Happy Ending

 

 Love!
Love!

 

So…

The part of the world I am from family is a big deal and I mean knowing your cousin’s cousins and their neighbour’s nephews, which wouldn’t be a problem if there weren’t so many siblings to begin with. For example, my Dad is the middle child of five children and my Mum is the eldest of eight, most of their siblings married at least once and had children… I tried to make a family tree when I was about twelve but ran out of motivation when I realised I didn’t actually know as many members of my family as I thought I did and asking my grandmother for information filled me with fear.

I am 28 years old, not married and don’t have any children. My parents line has no fresh blood in it and my Dad is getting antsy for some young ‘uns to fold into the Muchindu fabric. Being the oldest child alive it is up to me set an example (not sure I want or need to be setting examples on making babies but let’s not dwell on that). My older sister died a few years ago without any children of her own. None of my younger siblings have children and aren’t rushing towards the altar.

During my last visit to my parents farm, the subject of marriage came up (as it is prone to when your parents think you are wilting your eggs on purpose to spurn them their rightfully earned joy), and I got to really thinking about what marriage means for me. I know what I would like it to be: a partnership, a team moving in one direction towards a common goal (whatever that is, is up to the two people in the relationship because people get married for different reasons and it isn’t our place to judge them, even though judgements are a reflex reaction and will happen anyway). But I digress… Very rarely do I see examples of couples getting married because they are on the same page on what they want out of their future together. Sidenote: I attended a lovely wedding this past weekend with a bride who actually cried with joy and I have never seen that before but the couple seemed united before the wedding day and the wedding day itself didnt seem like the end of grueling planning but rather a beginning of a life together which is what I think weddings should be.I would like to wish them a long and full life ahead together.

Marriage usually happens because it is “the right time” more often than not. Either through a child that wasn’t entirely planned or the couple have been dating so long they may as well be married and decide to officiate it. Both of those scenarios don’t often have happy endings.

I realise my definition isnt romantic and makes marriage sound like work but the truth is, it is, work. It is work you choose to get into with a tag team partner you will be “stuck with” for the rest of your life, and sadly we are so focused on the wedding day we forget about what happens afterwards.  The problem with that is on a balance of equations there are too many unhappily married people giving the institution of marriage a terrible name. Random question of the day: Why do women in the movies when proposed to not react until they have seen the ring? There is rarely any evidence that the poor fellow proposing gets on his knees (in public) yet there will be zero “joy” till that box opens or is produced.

One day, I hope to get married and build plans around and with another person (as different as his opinions of those plans sometimes are), I believe in the weight of vows and the promise of eternal fidelity but its become almost “too easy” to leave a marriage than to work at making it what you want it to be.What I disagree with is the expectation that who I am needs to change because I am now a wife. I fight with that idea very strongly. Pretending to be something else shouldn’t happen with your life partner because they have more of you than anyone else. Its easy to pretend with parents because you need to keep them proud of you, or with your siblings because you want them happy or with colleagues because you dont want to get fired but with the person you want to spend forever with? Everyone else has a shift schedule with you, they really don’t.

I hate confrontation and will avoid it like its an STD infested keyboard (let that fester a minute) but when you share your life with someone, confrontation is bound to happen. Apparently, the trick is not to let it evolve into something else. Let the conversation about discarded socks in the kitchen floor be about that and ONLY THAT not about his desire to spend less time with you or his new “odd” bedroom requests (although I can see how one thing could lead to the other). You need to “nip things in the bud”, is what I am constantly advised but sadly its easy to let little things slide, because why should you sweat the small stuff or worse, nag? Unfortunately, if you wait till patterns have developed, switching out of those patterns appears like a rejection of the person you are with.

What I hope to remember the day after my wedding is, I picked the person I am now waking up next to and as wonderful as he is most of the time, there will be moments I would prefer to club him on the back of his head than talk. That’s not a problem, it makes me normal, I should just talk to him about it and not actually club him, no matter how tempting that would be. Maybe that will be my chance of a happy ending, I will still be me, he will still be him and we will now just live together and make babies.

Over and Out!