Monthly Archives: May 2014

Love you beer, till death…

i love my beer

If we had the power to turn lifeless things like beer into fully functional living things, I bet for so many people it would be a case of ‘till death do us part’.

There’s this day I was listening to the radio and the presenter was light-heartedly making the comparisons between a woman and a beer: it won’t complain when you touch another beer;

It won’t ask where you’ve been or who you’ve been with when you come home late.

You can take it anytime because it won’t give you excuses like, “It’s that time of the month.”

It won’t complain about you leaving the toilet seat up.

Beer doesn’t ask for commitment and won’t assume you’re in a relationship just because you had your way with it once.

You’re always assured you were the first one to have it.

When you go to a bar you know you can always pick up another beer and the one at home won’t complain if you go back with beer on your breath.

Beer doesn’t throw tantrums atleast once every month

It won’t replace you with dildos/vibrators and stuff…

The list was quite long but basically in a man’s perspective, a beer is way better than a woman. In a way, given all the things women are ‘accused’ of, beer would indeed seem better than a woman. However, nothing good comes easy.

love my beer

These same men who are 100% pro-beer forget the simple facts:

That a beer doesn’t prepare warm meals for the man, neither does it bestow him with the priceless gift of fatherhood. It doesn’t clean the house, do laundry or handle uncontrollable kids and that is why it will never get a headache.

In any case, it destroys what one has struggled so hard to build; relationships, a home and it indirectly demands for commitment by getting one into a defenceless addict, turning one into a pathological liar.

At the end of the day, if a man overindulges in the vice, not even the women he thinks so lowly of will want anything to do with him. There are many women who complain their husbands can’t ‘rise to the occasion’ because long-term love for the bottle tampered with their libido.

Ask my old man what kind of trouble he’s been getting into since he became best buddies with the bottle. I never thought he could ever tell a lie, but nowadays he breathes lies, spends nights out in bars, even on weekdays, drinks whatever little money he gets his hands on, picks fights with just about anyone and I have a feeling he has lost all respect among his peers.

The life he is leading now, if you ask me, is that downward spiral to self-destruction. He doesn’t want to admit that he is an addict and needs to get help. The last time I pointed the issue out, about three years ago, he got so pissed and threatened to snap my neck. After months of dread I finally overcame the fear and now I don’t really feel like I need to run for cover whenever I find myself in the same room with him.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to care about the thin ice he’s treading on. This past Monday he told mom he was on his way home (he works in a different town and only comes every weekend). By 1am Tuesday morning he still hadn’t arrived. Mom obviously started freaking out, imagining the worst. I couldn’t take it anymore.

I just took my phone and sent him an 11 pages text. It was long, but given that there’s so much I wanted to tell him, the characters didn’t even feel enough. He came home almost thirty minutes later but we didn’t talk. There was nothing infuriating in the text as I had tried to make it as sweet as possible but I knew he would get mad regardless .The ‘alcohol’ topic is one we don’t discuss freely for fear of getting him all disconcerted.

He went back to work Tuesday morning, and we still didn’t talk. Last night he called mom and after the usual ‘howdy’, he started complaining about the ‘silly’ text I sent him. Mom wasn’t in the mood to argue, so she just disconnected…

Dad’s coming home tomorrow God willing, and I’m only imagining what kind of hell he’ll raise because I ‘insulted’ him. When mom told me what dad was saying, I just told her, “I want to be in his good books, but if it means I’ll have to lie or keep the truth from him to get his love, then I don’t want it. If he doesn’t want me telling him things he doesn’t want to hear, then he should change his behaviour because I only tell him what I see.”

She didn’t say much, she just nodded in agreement.

Women might not be everything men want them to be, but then neither is beer. Everything, no matter how good it is, if taken in large amounts could be harmful. I have watched dad become an entirely different person because of the bottle.

Personally I love wine, but everytime I think of indulging, I remember what alcohol has done to my family and I get the ‘skull danger sign’ in my head… ‘Drink at your own risk’.

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For better or for worse

for better or for worse

Did you swear to love him/her forever; in good times, and in bad; for better or for worse… and now you feel you can’t keep that promise?

Do you want to leave your partner because you feel you don’t love them anymore? Because all the love you once felt for them is all gone?

Well here’s the thing. Love is not just a feeling. If it were, there would be very few people staying for decades together. Love, it turns out, is a decision; a choice to stand by one, for better or for worse. I’m anything but a love guru, but one thing I’ve learned from experience/observation is that love is not the only feeling that binds a couple.

In most cases, love sought of takes a back seat, especially if the two people in the relationship have been together for long and virtues like tolerance, acceptance and understanding keep the relationship going.

My parents for instance; it’s been eighteen years since they officially said, “I do,” swearing to love each other for better or for worse, but have been in a relationship for more than two decades. Is it love that has seen them this far? I would strongly disagree. In my opinion, love only pops every once in a while, but most of the time it’s the vow they made that keeps them together.

If they weren’t legally married, sometimes I get the feeling mom would have left dad a long time ago. She constantly says he is not the man she hoped he would turn out to be. Dad, as I’ve constantly said in previous posts, isn’t the most generous man I know. When my sisters and I were small he would leave home for the office early in the morning and would return after midnight.

Normally that wouldn’t be too big an issue if we were all fed. Problem is he hardly bought food and mom didn’t have a job at the time. His behaviour was the root cause of most of the arguments he and mom used to have. Mom usually blames herself for her failure to read the writings on the wall when they started going out.

“There were very many red lights,” she says in retrospect, “it’s just that I was too in love to take notice. There were tell-tale signs everywhere. If only I hadn’t ignored them. Even when we were dating, he neither took me out to nice places nor bought me gifts.”

Years later, she is still the one who buys him gifts and he never feels the need to reciprocate. On special days like valentine’s days, he doesn’t do anything special for her.

I always find it ironic that on such days, she gets hit on by other men, like those from her workplace and all, with some even confessing they have been secretly in love with her for long. Even some of our neighbours hit on her. Still, mom has never cheated on dad.

The way I see it, the only reasons that prevent her from having extra-marital affairs are the vows she made on their wedding day; ‘for better or for worse, in good times and in bad, till death do us part’. It’s a choice she keeps reinforcing, to stay with dad, as flawed as he might be.

When my sisters and I were growing up she stayed because she didn’t want us to grow up in a broken family; she weathered the storm for us. Now we’re old enough, and the solemn vows are what keep her by his side.

Everytime mom laughs when I tell her I pray that God will give me a husband I will never be tempted to cheat on. The last time I told her that, about a fortnight ago, she asked me, “What makes you say that. Is it because you feel you might cheat on your husband?”

“It’s because I’m almost sure if I get someone who behaves like dad, I will cheat on him,” I paused before continuing, “It’s true what they say, when God gives you a difficult situation He also gives you the strength to deal with it. You’re strong woman mom, not many can live the life you live. It’s difficult.”

I admire her for her resilience. She knows she deserves much better from dad, yet she wakes up each morning, determined to stay faithful to him; to ward off any suitors who promise her all the things dad doesn’t do for her. He hardly makes any effort to make her feel special, only buying her gifts when we ask him to, and everytime he spends his money on her, one can feel the obvious reluctance.

Looking at my parent’s relationship, I can confidently say, it’s not always love that makes two people- married or just friends- stick together. It’s a choice we make, to accept people as they are, and to put up with their shortcomings.

So if you’re afraid you have fallen out of love with someone, just remember, love alone can’t sustain a relationship. Love may pop in every once in a while, but most importantly, it’s tolerance that makes it work and most importantly, the personal decision to stay by one’s side, for better or for worse.

Still, this shouldn’t be reason enough for one to stay in an abusive relationship; one could end up dead while trying to salvage a dead relationship.

Shoddy first date: Part 3

online dating 3

He excused himself and left with the package he had with him, while I found my way to the nearest couch, leaving the door wide open in case I needed to make a quick exit. For the few minutes he was gone, I pondered over my actions. If anything happened to me, God-forbid-I figured I would be entirely to blame for my poor judgement.

Trying to keep myself occupied lest I started panicking, I went through his collection of music CDs appreciating his choice of songs. Other than the fact that I was already pissed for having let myself get tricked into going to his house, and was already over cautious, waiting for just about anything to happen, I acknowledged he had a good taste in clothes, music, interior decor…if we became more than online acquaintances, we would have very little to argue about.

“Feel free sweetie, this is your home now,” he pacified me when he walked in. He took his jacket off, exposing his muscled chest that was only covered in a black fitting t-shirt. Then he stretched out his arms, taking my hands in his and he pulled me up to my feet. Releasing one of my hands, he reached for the remote and switched the TV on, bringing the room to life as soft music played.

He put his arms around my waist and I curved mine round his neck and slowly we swayed to the tuneful music.

“So did you think about my proposal?” He asked me.

“What proposal?” I asked in reply.

“To marry me.”

“But you hardly know me.”

“I feel I know you enough to want you to be my wife.”

“I still feel we don’t know each other well,” I said firmly.

I had already crossed very many lines on our first date. I was in his living room, in his arms, discussing marriage, and even though he didn’t seem like he had any intentions of hurting me, I felt we weren’t following the ‘proper procedure’. We had hit the ground running, instead of taking time to get the basics.

“Come with me,” he said, urging me to follow him to a room I supposed was his bedroom. “I left in a hurry. I didn’t get time to make my bed.”

“No,” I refused, breaking free from his embrace.

“Just come,” he begged, almost sweetly, “you’re just going to help me. I promise you nothing will happen.”

“No!” Finally, angry me surfaced. At that point I didn’t even care about first impressions anymore. I just couldn’t take more of it. “This is definitely not going according to plan. You showed up late, tricked me into coming to your house, we haven’t had lunch and it’s way past lunch time, and now you want to sleep with me? This doesn’t feel like a first date anymore.”

It was already past three and I didn’t feel like we were making any progress. I always doubted he was celibate as he claimed to be and even after he asked me to marry him, I felt he was only looking for a woman he could legally sleep with as he also claimed to be saved. That had me feeling he hadn’t put much thought into the proposal. It didn’t matter if it was me, or any other woman he picked from the streets, so long as it was a woman; someone who could relieve his carnal urges. That thought alone had me infuriated.

In his defence, he said he was so aroused, and the more I listened to him speak the more I was convinced I had unknowingly availed myself for a booty call. “I am not sleeping with you,” I told him crossly.

“Then why did you come here?” He retorted. “I left another girl so I could come meet you.”

“We both know you deceived me into coming here. Even if I was to sleep with you, it definitely wouldn’t be today. Not after we just met.”

“What kind of men do you go out with?” He bit back in his diva tone that hurt me in ways so unimaginable.

“You don’t know me, I don’t know you. That’s why.”

“I know you,” he maintained.

“Fine then, you know me. So what’s my real name?”

Feeling cornered, he slumped himself on the couch, rubbing his forehead frantically. “What’s my name?” I repeated, although I knew I had never told him my real name. I just wanted to drive a point home; that we didn’t know each other well enough to be engaging in coitus. “You don’t know my name, and you still want to sleep with me.”

Hurt, and knowing there was nothing he could say to make it better, I grabbed my bag and left. Months of talking and chatting online had ended within three hours of our meeting. I had hoped he would be different from all the messed up dating stories I had heard of before, but that encounter only convinced me more, that online dating never really amounts to anything serious.

First thing I did after I left his house, I logged into FB and unfriended and blocked him, hoping I would never hear from him or see him again. He didn’t call or text me that day or the next but weeks later he called and I refused to pick up. I’ve never talked to him ever since.

When I look back, I always count my blessings. I left a stranger’s house unharmed. I know I agreed to go with him because I was hopeful he was a genuine guy. Talking with him constantly had put me under the impression he was trustworthy, sweet, caring, charming; but in all honesty, I know that was a very foolish mistake I made. I shouldn’t have been so gullible.

 

Shoddy first date: Part 2

online dating 2

There was no way I was going to leave the house on a rainy Friday to go meet up with a guy I had never met before; someone I had just met online. I really wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing by agreeing to meet up with him. I hoped it would rain so I would have a valid reason to cancel our date.

Friday came, and the day couldn’t have been more beautiful. The radiant sun was out in all its glory. My one valid excuse to bail had just been quashed. With no other excuse to give, I dressed up and left the house.

We had agreed to meet around one in the afternoon for lunch, and he insisted I show up on time so we could spend some more time together. I took a cab to the coffee house we had agreed to meet up in, and I was a bit shocked to find he hadn’t arrived yet. He had been the one insisting I show up on time and there I was, waiting for him to come.

The whole thing had me so nervous and I didn’t feel like I wanted to wait for a guy I barely knew. As the cab had already left, I walked to a nearby mall where some friends worked. I decided it was better to go wait there; that way I would still see my friends. Additionally, he had told me his mom ran a clothes store in the same mall; he wouldn’t have a hard time finding me.

Close to an hour later, he called me asking where I was. I gave him the directions and he came for me. If ever I could choose the guy I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, it would be him. I had seen his photos, but he was way cuter in person. I couldn’t believe my luck.

The thing about meeting people online is that you feel you know them but when you see them you realize you’re just perfect strangers. Normally I would have flung my arms around him in a warm embrace, but that was our first meeting. I didn’t know whether to hug him or just settle for a basic handshake. It felt awkward.

Smiling I just said, “You’re late.” He found me talking to one of my friends

I introduced them by their names without adding any titles. My friend assumed he was my boyfriend as we excused ourselves and left, with my hand in his. We took an elevator down but as there were other people inside we didn’t say a word. When we got out of the mall, he apologized for showing up late and told me there were some documents he needed to drop urgently.

He asked if I would be kind enough to accompany him so we could have lunch right after, and though I was reluctant at first, I agreed. The entire time I was with him in the car, I questioned my own judgement. How could I let a total stranger whisk me off to some unknown place?

Nevertheless, I sat quietly, ignoring his obvious ogling. I tried not to blush as he complimented me, telling me how beautiful I was. As I couldn’t guarantee my safety in a stranger’s hands, I kept texting my sister, telling her where we had reached in case something happened. I hoped nothing would happen though.

Half an hour later, we stopped outside a residential gate. Security guards pulled the gates open and the car pulled up in the car park. Loud alarms went off in my head with red neon lights flashing doggedly. I put all my guards up, realizing that he had tricked me into going to his place, on our very first date.

The thought that we had never been out before, and the fact that we had met online necessitated that we meet in a public place; but there I was, in his house. I couldn’t believe I had let myself get fooled. For a nanosecond I almost hated myself for my utter lack of judgement. The gentleman he was, he rounded the car and came to get the door for me before leading me to the house.

Quietly, I watched as he opened the door to his house. The ‘documents’ he had were apparently meant for a neighbour. I imagined it couldn’t have been that urgent.

“You didn’t tell me you were bringing me to your house,” I told him, my temper already rising, partly for his two-facedness and for my absolute foolishness. Still, I didn’t want to make a bad first impression; I tried not to lose my cool. “This is not what we agreed on.”

“It won’t take long,” he replied innocently. He had a way of getting me to accept things I wasn’t okay with, feigning a very submissive tone, even though normally he just came off as macho. I knew if ever we became anything important-more than online acquaintances- I would never have to worry about him protecting me; he seemed so capable. The version of him I had met online was just perfect-almost. I hoped that was how he was in reality, so I wouldn’t have anything to worry about.

I was tempted to cut and run, but the little voice in my head told me I would appear a scaredy-cat if he was in deed an honest guy. Cautiously, I went in, hoping I would come out in one piece…

Shoddy first date: Part 1

online dating

Online dating, does it ever amount to anything important?

I wouldn’t want to speak for anyone but speaking from my own experiences, I feel people just go online to find ‘quickie’ mates. Maybe someone might want to argue that it really works, but after two failed attempts, very little could convince me to give it another try. I’m inclined to believe that only a handful could bear witness to dating successfully with someone they met online.

The first time I met a guy online, it just happened. I’ve always been sceptical about getting too close to people I’ve never met in real life but months of regular chatting had me thinking I was head-over-heels-in love with the said guy. At first I was reluctant about opening myself to the possibility of an online romance but slowly, with enough prodding from him I let loose and gave in.

By the time I started contemplating an actual relationship with him, we had gone for long chatting online and talking for long hours on end. Unfortunately, he bailed the instant he felt it was becoming too real. That ephemeral relationship had me hitting reset. I went back to being sceptical me; ever cautious of online relationships.

Months later, I was taking my driving lessons on a chilly morning when my phone rang. I didn’t know the number, so I didn’t pick up. Almost an hour later the same number called. Curious to know who was calling, I picked up. If people fall in love with people’s voices, I fell in love with the caller’s voice. He called me by my Facebook nom de plume, so I instantly figured he had found my number from my page.

The previous failed relationship was still fresh in my mind. I didn’t want to give him much attention, afraid I would get sucked in like I had previously. Slowly, days turned to weeks, weeks to months. One evening he called me up, and told me it had been five months since we started talking.

I had never once given the conversations we used to have any importance. That said, I was impressively stunned that he had been ‘keeping tabs’ on our seemingly unimportant ‘relationship’. From my own observation, most men seem to suffer from selective amnesia and the fact that he had been taking our relationship seriously enough to know how long it had been since we started talking made me give the whole thing a second thought.

Unlike many guys I had met before, he didn’t seem too interested in sex; he seemed somewhat discreet on the matter. At some point he told me he had been celibate for two years and was now waiting to ‘give it up’ to his legal wife. At first I found it corny but with time he almost had me convinced. But again, sceptical me couldn’t buy the ‘abstinence’ claims.

In all honesty, I found many things about him really admirable. For instance, when I told him I was working on a school project, he offered to help, so I could get done with it fast, and unlike the first guy, he seemed genuinely interested in me as a person, as opposed to viewing me as just another woman he could sleep with. He told me so much about himself and while I wasn’t so forthcoming about my personal details (for security reasons) I contemplated opening up to him if/when we met.

Then, he suggested we should meet up. I didn’t feel like we had known each other well enough to meet, so everytime he brought the issue up I would find an excuse to stall. By that time he had already started taking things too seriously. This I felt after I found an ‘I love you’ post on my wall.

I felt the declaration was premature, so I just told him there were things he didn’t know about me as we had never met. He kept on pushing it, insisting we should meet until, he called me on my birthday’s eve, minutes after midnight. He sang me happy birthday, with his oh-so-beautiful voice and cheerfully he said, “Now you’re old enough to become my wife.”

I didn’t refuse his proposal directly. I just giggled and told him I felt he was making a rash decision; and that if he learned everything there was to know about me, flaws and all, and still wanted to marry me, then I would marry him. He was six years my senior.

He offered to take me out to celebrate, but then he wasn’t my boyfriend; I refused. By the time I went to bed that night however, he had managed to get me to agree to meet him. We agreed to meet up that coming Friday, five days after my birthday. But then as I wasn’t too sure I was doing the right thing-meeting a guy I had met online-I told him we would only meet if it didn’t rain as it was December…

Who do I need to sleep with?

who do i need to sleep with

“Ladies we love you so much, but there are some things you’re doing that ain’t just right. Imagine a lady using sex as a means of survival: one sleeps with the landlord so she doesn’t pay rent; sometimes with the guy at the butcher’s… that is outright prostitution. The only difference is that one doesn’t go out at twilight, making it so obvious they receive payment in exchange for sex.

Ladies should strive to be like those from the olden days; those who were a little reserved when it came to matters sex. Some single women, on the other hand, bring their ever changing boyfriends home, thus confusing their babies, who are left wondering which one of the numerous men they should call “Dad”. If you are hooking up with someone, be a little discreet.”

That’s an edited version of an article I read this past Saturday. The writer, apparently, was a guy who seemed to have an issue with how women are conducting their ‘bedroom affairs’. Personally, I’m all for everyone doing what they deem right, but this article had me buried deep in thought.

Is this what sex has been reduced to? A mere currency we offer in exchange for goods and services? When the writer says women should go back to how it was in the past, discreet about sex and all, I thought of my late grandma-may she rest in peace-who was a very modest woman.

Her husband, my grandfather, died when mom was about a decade old and after that she never remarried. I can’t say I know for sure what she did away from the public’s eye, but everyone knew her for being so principled. She was faithful to her husband to her dying breath, almost forty years later.

I never quite discussed matters sex with her, but I can almost guess what she would have told me. “Sex is sacred. It’s a gift from God to married people. A proper lady shouldn’t go sleeping around with every man she meets.” Maybe that is not what she would have said, but given that she was a really religious woman, I would bet her words wouldn’t be so different.

In all honesty, if I was asked to chip in on the matter, I would be of the same opinion; that sex should be between two people who truly love each other. It should be the ultimate expression of the love inside two people’s hearts.

The article reminded me of a clip from the movie-White Chicks, starring Marlon and Shawn Wayans, where one of the Vandergeld’s sisters asks whom she needs to sleep with in order to be allowed to take part in a fashion show.

It’s just disheartening, that in not so many words, that is the question being asked by so many of us. “Whom do I need to sleep with?” Sometimes I see great women holding top positions, but then there will be people saying, “She slept her way to the top.”

I don’t like paying much attention to such rumours, but sometimes it’s hard to disregard it all as defamation, because at times there is always someone willing to give evidence to support their accusations.

So that leaves me wondering, does a woman really need to sleep with someone to get things done? And is, “Who do I need to sleep with?” the question we should be asking when we want something? Should we cheapen ourselves so much to the extent that the same men we sleep with so readily are now the ones complaining that it’s too much?

 

 

 

Nerds today, bosses tomorrow

bullied

There’s this very interesting anti-bullying ad I watched, nerds today, bosses tomorrow, where young bullied kids sing their own version of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I will survive’. The kids, while being manhandled, vow to get back at their bullies. While I don’t quite agree with the whole concept of retaliation, I believe that is what happens in real life:

Someone gets bullied in school and when they get high positions in organizations later in life, they themselves become bullies. So really if that is the case, the cycle of bullying will never end. I feel there should be people big enough to take the high road; never seeking revenge for harm inflicted on them, because truth is that, for one to beat a villain they must be the better villain. If we all compete to be villains, there will be very little good in the world; too much darkness.

A recent post by Richard Branson reminded me of the video. The post said, “A club denied me entry for dressing scruffily. I went back and bought the place! 33 years later. The Roof Garden is going strong.”

The post and the You Tube video had me thinking about people in authority who belittle those they deem powerless. Some call it ‘Karma’; and in my opinion, it’s true, when one does something wrong, especially making an innocent person (s) suffer, they will pay back.

When someone wields power, they misuse it, making those under them suffer without cause. I always find myself questioning such people’s wisdom. Don’t they know that no one knows what tomorrow will bring? An underprivileged person could be at one’s mercy today, but tomorrow the same needy person will be the CEO of a big company, and the boss who mistreated them will be seeking employment in that same company after he was fired from his prestigious position or if the company he used to work for collapsed entirely .

bullied2

Holding power requires that one practice humility. That way one won’t have so many wrongs to be accountable for because when fate catches up with them, they will be more humiliated than they humiliated those that were once under their authority. God fights for those considered weak by the society.

He fights for the needy, for widows, for the homeless, for the oppressed. He hears the cries of those who cry day after day because they feel powerless in the face of tyranny. And unlike those they oppressed, those who suffered unjustly, their- tyrants – story will be really bad because at the back of their minds they will know they are paying for their wrong deeds.

Power comes and goes. Companies go bankrupt, candidates lose elections when vying for top government positions. That is life; people at the top don’t always remain there; and sometimes those at the bottom of the social ladder, those despised by the larger society, find top positions in various fields.

In light of this, someone in authority should not take advantage of his/her position to bully those under him, because later he may find himself powerless, and at the mercy of those he mistreated…and it will be anything but pretty.