Monday, May 31, 2010

The perils of post-marital dating

I wonder if that is the correct expression. I don’t necessarily mean post-divorce because that is another story altogether. But let’s say you’re no longer hurting over your divorce and are now just dating as you were a before marriage.

Except now you wear supporting underwear, your facial cosmetics alone cost about the same as half your mortgage, you know that a three-month intimacy rule will probably ensure you never get any till you die and you have children; grown children who have opinions about your love life.

This scary list alone is likely to be enough to put off many men. But once in a blue moon, you meet that brave one who is willing to give you a chance. He’s probably divorced too or married. He’s either looking for action or a cheap affair. (Okay I won’t be cynical.) Either way; you’ll be riding that “Smug in a Relationship” 30/40-Something wave, keen to make sure there are no stuff ups.

But then you do stuff up. You’re suddenly as clueless as you were about 20 years ago only now with twice the same conviction you had then that you know what you’re doing. You flutter around lighting candles for romantic dinners and buying Victoria’s Secret underwear and trying to look sexy while you grimace your way through aphrodisiac oysters. You are fervently hoping your carefully selected outfit will lead to wanton sex while afraid a moment to get rid the girdle will not present itself.

All this is fine of course; every woman is likely to make these bumbling mistakes in an effort to please her source of sex and eventually, the man she loves. She completely forgets that when he first met her it more likely that she was coquettishly twirling an oversized snifter or laughingly blowing smoke rings at a laid back party among friends than it is that she was wearing an immaculate apron, nails perfectly done while a having prepared a 5-course dinner. You push for mini-breaks, subject him to unsolicited tie color advice and are overly keen to meet his parents, children etc, want to show him off. STOP!

The poor man, startled after a few weeks of dating, is the unwilling spectator in the unraveling of a banging-bodied (owed to girdle and the half-hearted 3-day-a-week gym visits) seductress who caught his eye a few weeks ago. He is now dating a caricature of Martha Stewart and a Karma Sutra enthusiast rolled into an ageing relationship klutz. He knows the signs, he’s seen them before, you’re getting ready to show him WHAT A WONDERFUL wife you’d be. Petrified, he bolts.

And in an age-old dance you move in a trance-like state buying chocolate, ice cream and booze while you watch Sad TV, wondering where you went wrong! Unlike your 20Something self you don’t have the illusion of a Mr Right to comfort you, after all, you’ve met him and he turned out to be Mr. I Will Make You Rue the Day You Married Me. Defeated you watch your Brazilian wax fill out, pack away the new Victoria’s Secret and mumble something about “Didn’t work out” when your teenager asks what happened to your latest grab at not dying alone.

A week later you’re dusting off your girdle and meeting your equally sad friends for another bash at the dating game, gamely vowing to “not die alone and be found three weeks later half-eaten by an Alsatian” by one of your children who have been too busy enjoying the respite from your daily 20-minute phone calls to check on you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday My Darling Daughter

My darling daughter,

Named by your grandmother, your mouth a replica of mine, puckered prettily moments after your birth in a peaceful pout you still have when you sleep. Your ears mirror my own, as different as one person’s ears can be, tiny against your big head, and if you’re as unlucky, not very good of hearing. Your eyes are big, hazel enquiring orbs that never miss a tiny detail, my eyes. It seems like I was alone when I made you, I look and I look and I can barely see traces of another’s genes, right down to the screeching laugh and the tendency to be noisy when you are excited. Through and through, your Mammo’s baby.

I love you so, my baby. I remember when I began to call you my Pickle, it was a few weeks after you were born and because you were such a quiet little baby I could read books and we had a fairly good time together. I read a book in which the little girl was nicknamed The Pickle and I just knew that I would call you that forever. And I still am. My Pink Pickle.

I thank you that you were such a good baby because the post-partum depression I had wouldn’t have stood a whining baby. It was like you somehow knew that if anything happened, I would snap and you and I would lose each other. Despite that my baby, we did lose each other for a few years. And I will forever regret that time. But perhaps for your own good it was God’s plan that we weren’t together then.

Today I watch you fall asleep to yet another one of my made-up stories, struggling valiantly against the Sandman’s pull because you’re so fascinated by the tale I am spinning and I rejoice in the miracle that has been you in my life. I laugh as I pick up your discarded shoe, wondering how long it will be before you actually like wearing shoes. Your grandmother, Gwenny, thinks it’s because you never wore shoes as a baby. We couldn’t find any that would fit. You were such a fat little baby. By the time you could hold anything you were only interested in holding your bottle. Mammo’s baby!

I watch you do your homework and your little brow furrows in concentration; as I move to help you, unable to resist the pull to spare you the hardship of trying to figure out new things, your face clears and a small smile plays on your lips as you figure out the answer! Yes baby that is the answer! You grin mischievously as you pretend to not get it and say, “Mammo, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do!” Playing the game, I reply “I don’t have time for Grade 1 homework! I passed my Grade 1!” and you join in, collapsing in giggles, “50 YEARS AGO!” Why is that so funny I always wonder as we wrestle, a happy, giggling mess of arms and legs on the floor. Mommy passed Grade 1 50 years ago. Mama is so funny!

I imagine you reading this, years from now; I think of the fat memory box I am making for you and know that if anything ever had to happen to me, I want you to have these reminders of my love. I’m smiling as I recall the answers to your “Anna Questions” and think what you will say in your 7th year. Will I still be the one you love? Will sardines still be what you hate? So many little things that will change my baby.

Years from now you will also have questions I do not want answer. Questions you will have the right to ask. Questions you have already started asking and still allow me to get away with asking you to wait until you are older. Even though I would rather not answer those questions, you are perfectly allowed to ask them. I promise you to be honest and to be candid. I pray and hope for your understanding and if necessary your forgiveness.

I dream of so much for you, but above all I pray that you will have dreams of your own and that as your mother you will allow me the privilege of helping you realize some of those dreams. I hope for that you will have the determination to follow those dreams and aspire to be a person who makes a difference in the lives of others and the world. I pray for your strength in the many challenges you are going to face both as a child and an adult. Even now I know you already face challenges and I am proud of how you shoulder your little burdens my baby, and I am always there, to lift them away when I can. I protect you from hurt and when I cannot be there to protect you I want to be to comfort you later.

I love you my Pickle, named by her Grandmother, loved by so many, member of the Church’s Youth Guild, Olympiad taker, Zumba dancer, Ngwazi dancer, Vumarista!, Sunday School Soloist, Giggler Extraordinaire, Ice Cream demolisher, dog lover, skipping rope jumper and so many other things you tackle with all the vigor contained in you chubby little package. I love you with every fiber of my being.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This is for the wimmin!

 Let Us Wear Tights!

Girls, the incessant rubbing together of the thighs when you’re a size 36+ is sooooo not on!! By the end of the day you’re rubbed raw and frantically looking for the Zambuck to soothe “ukutshabuka”! (I don’t know the English word for this!! HAHAHA) Embrace the tights. Choose between black, navy or beige and get a few! Also, they’re great for those sisters with the Jelly Thighs! WOO! Right?

Let us Find Our Favorite Pads and Stick to them!

Yes, it’s nice to experiment! Of course! But woman, make up your damned mind! What the hell is up with women standing staring at the variety of sanitary wares for ages in that aisle? You have not just got your period. You’re not a teenager who stopped shoving the tampon up before it settled and spent the class period (pun truly unintended *smirk*) feeling like someone left a sledge hammer up your wazoo! You’re now a woman whose brand has been established so that you can randomly send your lover/husband/bootycall out to grab them when The Twins make an untimely visit!

Let us Use the Panty liner!

I know I know! I harp on this too much!! But girls, they weren’t invented just for those women who take the morning after pill and are now spotting incessantly! Honest! Let’s set the scenario; “You’re at your boyfriend’s and have just come back from a LONG day wearing WHITE panties. He wants to get his freak on and as he de-panties you viola! Your immaculate white panties with the unmistakable trace of NORMAL female discharge as your vajayjay spent the day self-cleaning undoubtedly in preparation for this very moment (well not reall but…) I think there is the tiniest moment when both of you fondly recall the days when you took the pre-shag bathroom break to make sure all soldiers were in port (everything was perfect)! Panty liners girls, get familiar! A dirty panty is a stink panty!


Come on! Let’s stop with the pretence! We all fear that our lovers/husbands/bootycalls will on day leave us for a vajazzled tattooed sex goddess who tattoos his name is glitter on her vajayjay! Get there first! VAJAZZLE for LOVE! Do it! Do it soon. Besides, the sex life has hit the dumps and you’re already lying and saying missionary makes you “feel closer”! Liar! You’re too lazy to “trim the lawn” and when he’s on top he thinks it’s romantic to stare maniacally in your eyes for a “connection” and never realizes he’s losing his precious manhood deep in a miniature Amazon Forest. You don’t mind because you have to work out your To Do list!

Don’t Take it too Seriously!

Everything happens because your enemy is better organized than you are! Relax! HAHAHAH

Love you kids!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dear Mama,

On this coming Mother’s Day I would like to thank you for the gift of life. Over the years we’ve had our ups and downs and recently mostly downs but I have never forgotten what you have done for me. Nor have I ever stopped loving you.

Some of the best gifts from you:
You gave me the best education your money could buy.
You took care of my child when I couldn’t.
You bought me my first car.
You gave me a home when I was broken and rudderless.

On this Mother’s Day I hope you remember the good times I have given you as your child. I also hope you find it in your heart to forgive the things I have done to hurt you as I strive everyday to forgive you.

Our relationship has never been easy. As I get older and I realize the complexities of my relationship with my children I have begun to have an inkling of what your perspective is. While I work hard to ensure that my relationship with my children will never be like ours I cannot shrug off the indelible mark your parenting has left on me.

Sometimes I catch myself wanting to beat my children into submission like you did me. And instead of giving into that urge I go to my bathroom and cry. When I don’t want to listen to them as they ask me questions that are important to them, no matter how irritating while I watch my favorite program TV, I turn the volume down and give them my full attention, remembering how often you would tell me to “shurrup” while you concentrated on spraying bug spray in the garden. Until I stopped asking questions altogether and read books instead. (Actually I should thank you for that because I never would have discovered the joy that is reading nor started to write my own stories.)

When I wanted to visit friends or go out you would always say no; always; until I learned to hide and cheat my way to freedom. While I hated boarding school it gave me a chance to be like a normal kid and also taught me self-sufficiency. When my kids ask to go to a sleepover or go on holiday with friends, I often give them permission because I know how boring it is to say, “I spent the holiday at home with my parents” holiday after holiday. I thank you for giving them the best holidays of their lives even though you refused me holidays with family members.

When you didn’t protect me from my father and the hurt he piled on me, I survived. And now I work to protect my child from hurt by her father; a man who is a replica of my own father in every respect. As the saying goes, the first man a little girl falls in love with is her father. I went one further and found my father’s carbon copy. I would never temper with my child’s love for her father but he knows I am watching him and when the time comes, I will be there to protect her from him.

I want you know that today, I look back into my childhood and find it a mixed blessing. While you beat me with anything you could reach (a wooden spoon, my shoes, a dishcloth and a bottle on occasion) I learnt to master pain and not cry. I learnt to defend myself by making sure you never hit me where it would show, curling into a little ball and hiding my face. Every time I spoke to you again after those beatings, I learnt forgiveness. These lessons have served me well. When you were displeased with a B or a C in my report card I learnt to work harder and strive to be the best. That lesson has served me well.

A childhood and early adulthood spent being a strong overachiever may have culminated in my breakdown and loss of independence due to alcoholism but maybe I needed to go through that fire to come out stronger on the other side. I am now, and it is because I am YOUR daughter that I have.

The depth of my love for you has never been shaken or budged, and now I hope we can both learn to like one another and even perhaps respect each other as adults. I love you mom, happy Mother’s Day.