Monday, November 5, 2012

Modern day Polygamy: Pick a number

First it was Linda Muthama. And now Cecilia Mwangi, former Miss Kenya, follows hot on her heels. Celebrities (I use this term loosely) trying to ‘justify’ their place in society; the place of a second wife. Cecilia admits that Linda’s coming out on her polygamous arrangement emboldened her to do the same.

They are vilified unjustly and they urge the modern society to stop demonizing them since polygamy is a better, far much better arrangement than monogamous families who bear the brunt of infidelity.  So a man won’t be faithful to his wife and what, we create a carnival for all promiscuous men to go on the rampage and legitimize their philandering?

When I read the articles where the two granted interviews to shed light on their lifestyle choice, I asked myself a few questions; Does the first wife have any say in this or do we give them the ‘put up or shut up’ ultimatum? Would the same women encourage their husbands to get a second wife had they been married as first wives? Better yet, if the said 'husband' sought wife number three, would they be ok with it? It’s still good old polygamy isn’t it?

Polygamy feeds two vices; that of a player, and a golddigger. Its hard to believe that such arrangements are borne of love when it happens only among wealthy men.We don't see the average 'sufferer' trying to shoo away scores of women eager to take their (2nd, 3rd, 4th) place in their lives. If he can provide just the basics, why not give the poor man a chance?

Polygamy tells the player that when you settle down, you don’t really have to settle down. One guy even went ahead to tweet, “If Cecilia Mwangi, a whole Miss Kenya, can become a second wife, ladies who are you not to agree to such an arrangement?”  

The argument that being Africans, we should not stray too far from our traditional practices, polygamy included, has been floated. Let’s not however forget that just like FGM, wife inheritance, and wife battery, some cultural practices were not really helping the society in general and women in particular. That’s why they had to be discarded at some point. Polygamy thrived in the days when women were considered as good as property. The more a man had cattle, goats, sheep, land, AND women, the wealthier they were considered. Polygamy was entertained in the days when women had neither voice nor choice. A wife had no say if one evening, her husband came home with a woman he had lusted after for a while and in a sexual gratification whim declared her his second wife. Polygamy meant that a woman could do zilch as long as cows had been taken to her father’s home to seal the deal.

It is commendable when second wives encourage their ‘husbands’ not to neglect the other family. Noble even. But it must be understood that sometimes material provision is not all a woman seeks from her husband, especially in this day and age where women are comfortably capable of taking care of their financial needs. All some women ask for is for their husband to prove that while married to him she will become his be-all and end-all, his credit card and stock market shares notwithstanding.

It’s very hard to believe that a woman would consider marrying a man if she knew that there was a chance he could bring another woman into their life and make her part of their marital home. Second wives are a result of infidelity in marriage, a breach of contract. They are always imposed on the first wife. I find that unfair.

We are trying to discourage the illicit and secretive affairs outside marriage by lauding polygamy, but aren't polygamous marriages a product of 'illicit and secretive affairs?'

Please help me understand polygamy will you? In my understanding, a polygamous man is a selfish man who convinces a woman to marry him. A few years (or months, doesn’t really matter) later,  he gets bored of the whole thing (loving wife included) and he goes out to play. He then brings home his game and tells the missus “Guess what wifey, I like this one too (maybe even better) I promised you that you will always be my number one didn’t I? Well, she is number two. She stays. End of story.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Now, I ain’t saying she’s a golddigger …

I’m feeling gangsta! Hold it. Don’t fetch your piece yet. Let me first wear my teeny weeny shorts that are torn in all places (don’t roll your eyes at me, its fashion dammit!) and the figure-hugging t-shirt that says “Off the hizzle for shizzle”. I will wear my boots too, then tie a bandana around my head. Should I wear earrings, you think? Sure, the bigger the better, right? I need to add a little ‘swag’ to my step as well. How am I doing so far? Do I now fit the bill?

I bet that is how someone pictures me when they go through my phone’s playlist. Besides the rock tunes – which I tirelessly call my number two love, there’s the hip-hop tracks from Kanye, The Game, Black-Eyed Peas (how I love BEP!), Fabolous, Lupe Fiasco and Nicki Minaj (She’s got that SUPER BASS!). A friend of mine went through my playlist recently and told me that the songs I have in there don’t look like me. I totally agreed with him, I mean, since when did songs have round faces?

I got what he meant though. If you were to judge a book by its cover, one glance at me and you would expect to find all the different renditions of “Ave Maria” dominating my playlist.

I have been craving hip hop music of late –the kind that I enjoyed back in the day. I found myself playing Kanye’s ‘Goldigger’ repeatedly mainly because I hadn’t listened to the song in a long time.

Something stirred in me when I listened to the song. But when a passing thought threatened to become a viable blog post, I paused a bit. The pause was brought about by the fact that, as a friend pointed out recently, I tend to ‘attack’ women so much in my latest posts, something I never did, here or elsewhere, before.

Yet here we are. Again. Tell me, with a title like the one I’ve put up there, what are the chances that I’m going to go HAM (Hey, I am still on gangsta mode!) on women and the vice of dating and or marrying for money?

I therefore ain’t saying she is a gold digger. I ain’t saying that. Maybe she loves you so much that she wants to look good for you? So she demands for money all the time because girls need money to look good; for that hair, manicure, pedicure, her rent… Expensive gifts like a car or the latest mobile phone model for her birthday only goes to show that you love her as much as she loves you. After all, who is it that said that if women didn't exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning?

She will call you every weekend asking what your ‘mpango ya weekend’ is because she has many suitors buddy, and you are lucky she is letting you spoil her. You should be honored.

On the flipside, if he drives your car too comfortably or expects you to always churn out the fuel money, if he is always asking for a financial boost with a promise to repay but never does, or he tends to spend your money more than you think is necessary, on stuff that you think is not necessary, then he purports to take you out only for him to let you foot the bill. If your relationship seems to be heading nowhere, and he is least concerned about it, if he does not chip in financially, and you get the feeling that he is happy to let you take care of him ad infinitum, then allow me to say it: He is a shameless golddigger. Ya heard? 

Peace hommies! (Ok, I will stop this madness now)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sorry, we don’t stock ‘Wife Material’ anymore!

On this Saturday morning, I woke up exceptionally early to make pancakes for the girls. They loooove pancakes. I go the whole nine yards too: milk, kienyeji eggs (these work wonders on pancakes), lemon rind, you know…the works. They were coming out great, if I may say so myself!

Then I look outside our kitchen window and I see a young woman trying to get the attention of our next door neighbor. Her knock on the door must have been unfruitful because she now stood by the window calling out softly. Nothing unusual it seemed, just a guest who called in a tad too early and was having trouble waking up the owners of the house.

Several pancakes later, I hear a commotion outside (cue music: teren teren….) and I step out to see who was threatening to wake up the girls before their breakfast was ready. It was the same ‘guest’ having a confrontation with our caretaker, who wanted her gone.

Why? (She resisted.)

No loitering! If they won’t open the door for you, you can’t hang around here! (He threatens to push her out of the gate)

She has to come out… CARO! COME OUT HERE YOU WHORE! (She shouts, then staggers)

Just like that, the quiet, peaceful, harmless ‘guest’ transformed into a loud, drunken woman!

Caro knows what she has done! My husband is in this house (she points at the house) and I’m not leaving until both of them come out! I’m not leaving without my husband! Leo watanijua!

“Muuuuum!” Heidi wakes up. Thank you, drunk woman’s unfaithful husband, for waking up my daughter. Thank you very much!

I left them to their drama, and went to feed mine.

This incident had me thinking: is today’s woman on a mission to shed every ounce of womanity they have left? The dignified, soft, caring, understanding, kind, compassionate and soft-drinking woman seems so yesterday! Look around you, women the likes of the drama queen I saw that morning, and Caro the husband-snatching coward who chose to seek solace behind her locked door, abound.

Today’s woman is cold, uncaring and conniving - There sure is an ice box where her heart used to be.

You know the way you might try to lose some weight maybe to flatten your tummy (Ahem! Especially after having two girls), and you end up losing your fabulous hips in the process? Could it be that as they get stronger, as they gain independence and take on the men in every sphere, women are inadvertently losing their good ‘genes’ in the process? I don’t know - does that qualify as collateral damage?

All I know is once upon a time;
  1. Women knew how to cook. They would refuse to do it sometimes, but they knew their way around the kitchen. Today, they are clueless about holding a ‘mwiko’, and could care less. They’d rather order in some junk food and feed it to their children - Forget their men.
  2. They were polite and considerate of each other. Let’s be honest, women have become brutal to one other. The undercutting & backstabbing. A pregnant woman queuing behind her fellow women is not a strange sight anymore. I can’t count the number of times I had to queue at the bank or at the supermarket when I was pregnant and my fellow sistas gave me the “Your pregnancy, your problem” attitude. Most considerate gestures I got while pregnant were from men. Tragic.
  3. Women were decent and left something to the imagination. They allowed men to chase them. Today, I’m sure men are bored stiff because chasing after a girl is not a thrill anymore. There is no resistance, therefore no challenge. Today, all you see are bosoms threatening to burst out, thighs all out there, and women dishing out their phone numbers like advertisement pamphlets! (Ouch? Too harsh?)
  4. They drank in moderation or not at all. Women only touched a glass or two of Wine – the soft stuff and a staggering woman was unheard of. She was always in control of herself. Today, she takes a swig of beer, whisky – the hard stuff - like tomorrow will never come.
  5. Women had boundaries. A wedding ring on a man’s finger was sacred and it signified a no-go zone. Men even hid their rings if they wanted a woman to sleep with them. Today, a ring on a man only presents one challenge to her: when and where can he fit me in? Men don’t even bother to remove and hide the ring anymore!
  6. They never gave it up so easily. Date after date, dinner after expensive dinner, and the poor guy wondered when he will be granted the honor of merely kissing her. ON THE CHEEK! Today, her clothes are off before the man can say “Chips Funga” And you wonder why he doesn’t respect you!?
  7. Women upheld their men for something more than their wallet. They demanded respect, commitment and good behavior. Nowadays, they get away with murder. For a fee.
Don’t you miss that woman though? I know I do.

At 6am in the morning, this woman stands at the door of another having drunk the night away and raring to claw another woman to get his man back. Like Steve Harvey says, some women don’t need men. They ARE men!

To today’s generation of unmarried men: Woe betide thee! When you finally decide that it is time to settle down, then you will realize that all the loose women you toyed around with are the only women left to marry. If you thought that you will find a ‘wife material’ tucked away somewhere waiting for you, you are delusional. That ‘material’ is out of stock, she doesn’t exist anymore!

In our effort to seek equality from the men, we turned into men! Let’s now take a somber minute of silence to remember that amazing woman we lost. (Sob)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

She wore a pair of Jeans, and stepped into the night

Our new house help calls me ‘Mama Nelly’. The first time she called me that, I offered to tutor her on the pronunciation of my daughter’s name. So I asked her to say “HAILEY(pause) Mama HAILEY” In the manner of Bond (pause) James Bond. Then she goes “Hellen?” I correct, “Hapana. H-A-I-L-E-Y” she repeated, “HALEY” refusing to acknowledge the ‘I’. I gave up.

So she calls my girl Haley, and curiously also calls my younger one by the same name. I found it a hurdle having to start another pronunciation session of the name Heidi, and so I let her be. In her world, both my daughters go by the same name; HALEY. While I go by the name “Mama Nelly” I wonder when she will ever realize how ridiculous this is.

Since she is new, maybe she will get better with the names as days go by. There is always one challenge or another when a girl starts working in a new household. The girl we had before her did not have a problem with our names. That’s not to say she did not have a few challenges of her own.

She was fresh from the farm when I took her under my wing; young, naïve and hardworking. No phone, short hair, she wore long dresses with the hem stopping reluctantly at her ankles.

She did her chores shabbily at first; her level of cleanliness a bit wanting. I reminded her tirelessly to use soap – she seemed to be allergic to soap so much that she would rinse utensils under running water then dry them, oil and all. I never quite understood why she hated soap so much! Did they have a bad history or something?

I suspect where she came from, showering was not an everyday affair because I had to tell her to take a shower every single day. I asked her to find a milder lotion because of the baby. The one she was using had a pungent fragrance whose scent floated boldly through the whole house and welcomed everyone through the door.

I patiently taught her how to cook; how to always heat (not burn) the onions to a golden brown color, how to follow the onions with tomatoes and always cook them thoroughly until the oil separates from the tomatoes before adding the food. I tried to show her how to cook Chapatis, but after several failed attempts where they came out thick and crispy, I gave up. I henceforth got stuck with cooking chapatis.

She learnt the ropes eventually and worked considerably well. She hardly went out even on her day off neither did she interact much with other housegirls. So reserved was she that she was taken advantage of sometimes. Once she was duped to spend one thousand shillings on ill-plaited cornrows. When she told me how much she paid for them, I offered to accompany her to the salon to negotiate prices on her behalf because she was getting ripped off big time!

Each month she asked me to send part of her salary home to her mother who was helping take care of her son at home. On the second month, she bought a phone and learnt how to use it though once in a while she would mess it up by pressing buttons here and there then bringing it to me to help fix it.

A few months later, her long dresses were replaced with short skirts and trousers. Her face changed its complexion; I realized she was bleaching herself with some bleaching cream. She became keen about her appearance; she did not need to be reminded to take a shower anymore. She took her time consulting with the mirror too.

Her phone rang, in full blare, incessantly, sometimes into the night. I had to ask her on more than one occasion to watch that she doesn’t wake up the kids. Plus, her ringtones were not borrowed from Christian songs anymore. She spoke and laughed coquettishly into the phone when she answered it. She took longer to respond when I called her. She gave me ‘the look’ when I asked her to do something she did not feel like doing. Her responses were short when I phoned her during the day to ask how the kids were doing. When she went out to bring in the laundry, she took some time to chat with her newly acquired pals who once or twice were invited for a chat in our living room.

It was only a matter of time...

She waited until her salary was safely in her custody, then she did it the way men break up with women; short and heartless. She casually informed me that she was leaving the next day.

I asked how she expected me to find her replacement in…. checking my watch….what, 10 nocturnal hours? I suppose this was the part where I was expected to go fetch my magic lamp, rub it, and make a wish for a replacement to pop up pronto!

When her conscience nudged her a bit, she agreed to leave the next day in the evening and true to her word, she was at the door with her luggage waiting for my arrival when I got home from work the next day. She wore a pair of jeans, and stepped into the night.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I’m a man, I’m a Jerk!

I read a beautiful story the other day; you possibly read it too in The Daily Nation (online edition). It is about a couple who had tried for a child for what seemed like eternity. The woman had one miscarriage after another; giving birth to twins on one occasion only to lose them both, a few days or weeks later.

This is a story that one wouldn't read from start to finish and still remain dry-eyed. It tugs at your heart the way the couple sticks together through those hard times. The way the man steps in to become his wife’s pillar and strength. The way he rejects advances from his wife’s friends who try to take advantage of their misfortunes by promising to give him children, something they believe his wife cannot do because she is ‘cursed’ or something. You got to give it to some women really. How desperate can one be for a man to the extent of kicking their ‘friend’ while she is down like that? Seriously, who does that?! Only Numbskulls (Hi Caroline!) I guess…

It is a heart wrenching story that fortunately ends with a ‘happily ever after’ when the couple successfully manage to get two children after twelve failed attempts. TWELVE! That is no mean feat for any woman. For any couple.

Then I went ahead to read the comments made by the readers reacting to the article and if you still don’t know already, the comments people leave on any interesting piece always put a spin on things. Try youtube one of these days, I bet you my new pair of earrings (I’ve been buying those obsessively of late… don’t ask) that the comments could make your day.

The response to the article was beautiful. Very encouraging words to the couple but then I realized one common trend, almost all the contributors wrote in to congratulate the man for his commitment to his wife; the way he stood by her when she most needed him, the way he shielded the advances from other idiotic women, the way he is a rare species of a man etc

I am privy of the fact that in this day and age of ‘Instantaneous-panty-removing-alcohol-swigging-loose’ women, getting a good man who will turn a blind eye to all that the female fraternity has to offer is becoming increasingly difficult, needle-in-a-haystack, kind of difficult. I too, therefore, joined the voice of the masses in sincerely commending the guy for doing what he is assigned to do as a husband.

We should however be careful not to go over and above and turn this into a knighthood ceremony of sorts. A thought is lost in all this; that the guy was living up to his vows before God. Isn’t that what every couple promise each other when they stand before all and sundry to take their vows as they get married? To stick by their spouse and care for them in their time of need,  and to reject any advances from other women thus staying faithful to her till death do them part?

Eureka! I finally know why men are jerks. It is because we set the bar too low - Waaaay down there! We get into marriage expecting him to live up to his name; Jerk. We expect to be cheated on, be disrespected and mistreated, and to be abandoned when we are at our lowest. So when he does what he is supposed to do as a husband, we go into shock, our jaws drop to the ground and when we recover, we smother him with praise and knight him!

Don’t’ get me wrong, you should always appreciate what your man does for you – trust me, this gives them wings. There is nothing as disheartening as an ungrateful spouse. Being unappreciative kills the spirit. A dead spirit makes for a dead relationship, a dead marriage. So I insist that every man and woman in a relationship should learn to appreciate each other.

When you gape at a man when he thankfully proves that the male species is not entirely irredeemable (alleluia!) he might start to think that he is doing more than he should! When you act surprised that he did not cheat when he had the chance to do so and get away with it (“ I need children!” - Sounds like a perfect excuse, right? ) what message do you send to other younger men aspiring to marry someday? With all that “Oh My God! You are so superman! You are unbelievable! You are just out of this world!”  A young man somewhere reads all that and realizes that even though he has not been on his best behaviour  it’s no biggie because that is what is expected of him. It’s how men are.

More and more men will get into marriage knowing that the Jerks they are, they are expected to have multiple affairs, treat their wives with disrespect and walk away any time things get unbearable. After all, we all seem to agree that this is the normal male behaviour  The other good guy, he is the abnormal one, neh?

 Au Contraire gentlemen, it is expected of you because it is what you are called to do. Vis:  ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his family and cleave to his wife’.
 Cleave (noun) - To adhere, Cling or Stick fast. To be faithful.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to 'Ex-Terminate' a looming affair

So you have done the disappearing act perfectly well and think that a relationship you wanted out of is dead and buried. Eons later, you bump into each other. She is still single, ready to mingle and dying to settle down; desperate for a relationship that will lead to marriage. She tried Pastor Chris Ojigbani’s renowned seminar, she once applied to The Daily’s lonely hearts column, and when that failed, she further went out on a limb with facebook’s ‘divas for something-or-the-other’ only for it all to fall flat on her face. But in an uber lucky twist of fate, just when she was about to give up and purchase a clowder of cats to keep her company in old age…Voila!

Like a gift from the high heavens, here you stand! The only problem is, once she was out of the picture you moved on, played the field and even convinced some nice girl to marry you. Your ring is in full view for her to see but she won’t accept that what you had is kaput. She refuses to acknowledge the fact that you married your gentle, down-to-earth sweetheart. Her? She might ask. Of all the people, you married HER? (Picture her sneering and scanning her from head to toe)

With that look, battle lines will be drawn. Her mission - to get ‘her’ man back come hell or high waters. So she will make sure you bump into each other again. And again. And again. She will casually ask to share drinks (or food) with you one evening - for old times’ sake of course. During which time she will endeavor to awaken memories of your dating years. Reminders will pop up on how the two of you were so in love. How everyone expected you to spend the rest of your lives together. How she cooked mouth-watering Chapatis for you (Is it just twitter or are men seriously obsessed with Chapatis?!)

She will dress to kill; her dress will be cut to accentuate her curves with her cleavage peeping at you mockingly and the hem falling just above her knee, and threatening to go further up. When it comes to looking good, gentlemen, EVERY woman can put up a good show. The fact that we all know what men like makes it easy; The voluptuous behind a la J-Lo, the well endowed rack a la Pamela Anderson, the long legs a la Tina Turner, ergo the hip enhancements, the skin lightening creams (and injections), the weaves, the push-up bras…It is laughable how women manage to ‘manipulate’ men.

Suffice to say, she will bring her A game to the table and she will dare you to resist all that, your marriage be damned!

Let’s face it, most men don't have it in them to fight off an overzealous Ex. Granted, fighting temptations is not one of men’s strong points. However, for the few men who know what a ring on their finger means, you will be glad to know that you can actually lose a clingy woman without enrolling in cat and mouse games, or pulling a Harry Houdini. You can thank me later.

  1. Talk fondly about your wife (Your kids too if any) She cooks for you, she rocks your world, she is a great mother, etcetera. Even if she burns every meal she cooks and goes to bed in her ‘sengenge ni ng’ombe’ tee. For better or worse, remember?
  2. Show off your family's pictures if you carry some in your wallet. And please carry those pictures like you do your ID. Your family is your identity after all, innit?
  3. Don’t initiate anything. A hug. A kiss. A meet up. A phone call. ANYTHING. Why do you think a woman gets mad when you call yourself her boyfriend yet you don’t bother to call? It’s because we know that when you don’t call, you are not interested.
  4. If you bump into her at your ‘local’, refrain from buying her drinks or any treats whatsoever. If you do so you will inadvertently turn your coincidental meeting into an impromptu date.
  5. Suggest hooking her up with some nice guy you know. Then go ahead and do it! Meaning what you say will help to avoid giving her mixed signals.
  6. Don’t share your marital problems with her. That is the weak link she is after and as soon as she finds it, She. Will. Milk. It. Dry.
  7. Understand your weakness with the female anatomy and keep your distance. If she manages to get you all alone, all confused, all vulnerable and all in her spell, then your goose is cooked.
  8. If for some reason you need to call her about something; maybe to pass your heartfelt condolences for the loss of a relative, a cat, dog, job, whatnot (I can’t think of any other valid reasons), then don’t call at night. Calls made at night have a personal tag to it and you don’t want to go personal. This means that Texting, (need I say sexting?), Chatting, are all absolute no-nos!
  9. No you can’t be friends! Not if she is still hang up on you, you can’t! You will call it ‘friendship’ for so long until she starts staying up late, staring at the ceiling above her big California King bed, asking herself “What if…”
  10. Cut the cord. Sever links with her. A relationship needs care to grow. Neglect it, and it wilts away. You want to let it die.
Try the above and you will irritate the hell out of her. She will be so bored of your marriage-wife-children-commitment-family yada yada that if you are lucky, she might start avoiding you.

Unless of course you don’t really want to lose her entirely. Would you prefer to keep her as a side dish maybe? A scrumptious chips funga for your dry spells? No harm in stringing her along, is there? Her much needed ego-massage comes in handy when the missus gives you grief, ey? Every man sure needs one of those, right? Yeah? Really? SHAME ON YOU for even daring to nod your head! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

High School

The thing about high school is that when you are through with it, you never ever want to go back. This is prolly because high school does not come with many choices; it’s the school rules or the highway! It rules.

You don’t get to select your own wardrobe every morning; it’s the full (mostly ugly – ask Hon. Mutula) school uniform or the highway! You don’t get to wear your hair any way you’d wish to; its cornrows, pushbacks, ponytails on blow-dried (not chemically treated) hair or the highway! If you are in a boarding school, like I was, you don’t get the privilege of selecting a meal from a menu (unless you go to those schools whose names end with “….Group of Schools”). In my case for example, it was sugarless porridge, tea and a measly slice of bread, rice and beans, maize and beans aka Githeri or Makhayo- depending on which part of Kenya you come from, Ugali and barely shredded boiled Sukuma Wiki or Cabbage with a, as in ONE, piece of meat. That, or (wait for it) the highway!

Just in case you are having trouble following, all I’m saying is: High School sucked like a vacuum cleaner!

When one is done with such life in high school, you would understand when they are tempted to take the damn stinking piece of garbage that gave them grief for four solid years, lock it up somewhere in a dingy basement called ‘the past’ preferably in the middle of a desert in an unidentifiable location, throw the keys in the deep waters of a vast ocean hoping that it gets carried far far away with the tide and move on like that part of their life never really happened. Who can blame them for that? Who would ever want to go back to that food? The life full of restrictions? The unsightly uniform? The bullying? The cliques? The punishments? The hormones? The peer pressure? The struggle to fit in? The whole kit and caboodle?

But being the grown up that I am today, if I was to be given a do over, to do things my way, I wonder what exactly I would like to change. Would I ask for a better hairdo? A shorter figure-hugging uniform, a carte blanche to run my life as I wish? Why don't I have a resounding YES!

Forget the fact that I would need a bigger size uniform because I have added a pound or two since the last time I was there – that is irrelevant thankyouverymuch!  

It’s true that when a student sets foot in high school, it more often than not, boils down to perception; cliques, what’s in, what’s not, who’s cool, who’s not, who’s with it, who’s not, what’s poppin’, what’s not, who is your father, who knows your mother…You get the drift.

Yet in reality high school should merely hold a bunch of youngins who happen to be around the same age, seeking the same thing at the time of their life? No biggie right?

When I joined my former schoolmates for a reunion a few weeks ago, ‘no biggie’ is not exactly the phrase that came to mind. There is something to be said when a group of girls, now all grown up, who in the quest for knowledge, had once shared the same horrible pot of Makhayo, wore the same ugly uniform, studied in the same class at the wee hours of the morning, read till midnight with feet soaked in cold water, converge after high school.

No biggie? I don’t think so! ‘We survived!’ is more like it.

After high school, your die is spent. How your life pans out after that is entirely up to you. The end of high school signifies the beginning of life choices. Real life decisions. Not just ‘mini-skirt-or-long-skirt’ kind of decisions.

This is what I realize; that though the ‘high school’ part of my life was not the best, or the most comfortable, like any past, it helped get me to where I am today. I therefore won’t be too quick to throw away those keys.

After all is said and done, isn't it amazing what we know now, and how little we knew back then? Isn’t it amazing what’s really important and what was mere hogwash?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Since you've been gone...

It’s been an uphill task coming to terms with your demise-especially for your mother. That Friday afternoon years ago, when you took your last breath, we were left in heart-wrenching confusion, unable to comprehend what had happened.

For a while, I thought that it was a bad dream and that I would wake up and it would all be over. We all did. Only for the nightmare to drag on and on and as your small body was lowered to the earth, the nightmare turned into inevitable reality; that you had left us, never to come back again.

How were we supposed to move on? How were we to accept that we wouldn’t see you grow, play, teeth, blossom into a young woman, rebel, talk back at your parents, finish school nonetheless, get married and have your own children? Grandchildren even?  I wanted to see all that. Imagine the things we would have done together. Maybe I would have taken you to have your ears pierced, held your hair in a ponytail, allowed you to borrow my lip gloss, taken you shopping for your first bra... you know, things aunts do with their nieces. It would have been something to watch you take your first steps. Watch you fall in love. I would have scolded you though when you faltered, kept bad company, or talked back to your mother in your adolescent years. I would have loved to dish out unwarranted advice even if you would roll your eyes at me like teenagers are wont to do. 

I would have loved to watch you grow, but you left us too soon. You broke our hearts baby girl. You left us crashed. 

Plus, you broke the all-important rule. Yes you did, the unwritten rule that states that no child should ever precede their parents out of this world. But eight years is a long time to hold a grudge neh? I therefore forgive you for that sweetheart!

You would have been turning nine years old today and so I know that today must be a very difficult day for your mother. See, she has tried in the years after you left us to bear the pain though you can tell it has never left her. It never does. 

What she has been doing is coping. Because really, what else is there to do but cope and hope that when one day is done, you will find it within you to wake up the next day with just enough strength to take you to the next couple of minutes...hours...days? Praying each day for a resuscitation with the rising of the sun?

Not to worry though. Through God’s grace, she has borne the pain. One day has turned into a week, a month has turned into a year, one year to eight and a half years. She soldiers on. And when it all seems unbearable, I know she knows in her heart of hearts that we are here.

After all, what is family for?

Happy Birthday Hazel.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Literary Madness, adrenaline & TeamKenya

It was a mad weekend for me. I was a bunch of nerves since Friday all through to Sunday evening.

As our athletes Sally, Vivian and Prisca took to the 10,000m race tracks in the Olympics being held in London on Friday night, I was there with them. Via Television but still, I was there. When they were requested to take their mark, get set and go, I took the orders with them. When Dibaba and her team began to rain on our parade, I stayed positive. Hoping for the best. Cheering them on. My heart raced in tandem with their well-trained feet and, I am sure, hearts.  I craved for medals. I yearned for the sweet melody of our National Anthem resounding in that stadium miles away for the multitudes to hear and recognize Team Kenya!

 I refused to despair when we had to contend with second place. Dibaba was good, but it did not change the fact that our representatives gave their best. They carried our flag.

I was nervous all right. Come Sunday Night, my adrenaline was on an all time high when Big Brother Africa aired the show’s Grand Finale and evicted the finalists one by agonizing one. Naturally, I rooted for Prezzo because he held the Kenyan flag. He even said it himself, that he wanted to win to make Kenya proud. He flaunted code 254 every chance he got, the only housemate to have had a jersey and a mug adorned with the colors of our flag. That was enough reason to have me voting for him. Like everyone else, Prezzo came with his flaws. I called him an asshole under my breath when he got intoxicated and unnecessarily argued with South Africa’s Barbz. I rolled my eyes when he lashed at DKB bragging that he lived in a mansion, had taken a bullet and was not afraid of no one. I was dumbfounded when he wielded an empty bottle at Wati and Keagan threatening to ‘put them in their place’

But that did not deter me from voting for him. For doing this, I and other Kenyans of my ilk got insulted by a blogger who believes they hold the most revered opinion in the land. Woe unto you should you disagree with them! We were called ‘spineless bitches’ for voting for someone they did not like. While defending their right to an opinion, they trampled on others’ opinion asking why we were voting for Prezzo who “…had more mood swings than a class full of women”

Don’t ask me where women and mood swings come in because I am still trying to find the connection.
An insult to women and an insult to Kenyans for defending their own - warts and all.  Using their own words, “Who DIED and made your HYPE the end point for all competitions?”

What followed on twitter after Prezzo was announced first runners-up was a sad series of tweets on why we are all shallow for supporting him and for daring to think that he could win.How dare we dream of a victory? It was sad seeing such juvenile reaction akin to a toddler jumping up and down in excitement for getting a lollipop. I kept asking myself what the celebration was for; Kenya’s lose? A laugh at yourself?

Sadly, there are some ailments that only advancement in age and subsequent maturity can cure. All we can do as the Kenyan fraternity is sit back and patiently wait for such individuals to advance from using the feeding bottle to using the Sippy cup.

Amidst all the madness though, Ezekiel Kemboi sprinted to the finish line with the Kenyan flag and his trademark jig to boot. Now what better way to end an adrenaline-packed weekend?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Whys & Wherefores

There is this song by Toni Braxton “Why won’t you love me”. First of all Toni is one woman who can totally gerrit. That woman puts the FAB in fabulous! Let’s see; promoting her album while pregnant simply because her recording company would not put it off. She has a cancer scare which thankfully turns out to be benign, but in a twist of fate she is diagnosed with lupus. Add to that raising an autistic son whom she talks about in an emotional spurt, only like a mother can.  You have a woman who at the age of 45 is sexy as hell (no homo) with a sultry voice and who is above all, a survivor of divorce.  It doesn’t get any more woman than that people. Na-ah! 

The song is very soulful and sweet and painful. You know the kind? Those emotional songs that can make you fall in love with some random unkempt stranger seated next to you in a matatu? There are songs that make the most impervious of men to go down on one knee and declare their undying love to a woman.  Add some poignant lyrics to Toni’s vocals and you get such a song; a song so powerful that it would make the abecedarians at Tusker Project Fame to hide in their play pen. Good job though EABL, but Ruth? I don’t know…. Really, I don’t. I never got to watch most of season 5 so I won’t pull an ‘Alpha Rwirangira’ on you guys.  Then again, it’s a bit too late for that now, innit?

Moving on swiftly….

Toni.  Asking why? And don’t we all, at one point. “Why won’t you love me the way I need to be loved”, she asks. So why won’t he? Is it because of the way you wear your hair, the way you talk, walk, dress? What is wrong with you? What can you do to be perfect for him?

As much as I love Toni, and as much as I love this song and a good number of her other songs, I do not like the lyrics to this particular song. A woman who asks what she can do to be perfect for a man is a woman who doesn’t think she is worth much to begin with. It all begins and, sadly, ends there.

They say it always starts with the WHY before the how, what, who, when or where can follow.

For example, I know the reason why I go clickety-clack on my keyboard, not as much as I would love to perhaps, but every once in a while. It’s because of such lyrics, such representation of women as ineffectual beings. What’s with all that I’ll-be-anything-you-want crap anyway?  It’s deeply unsettling.

Why won’t you love me? Why do you love me? Why is the sky blue? Why is the alphabet in that order? Do some questions have answers? Just like Toni might not get a satisfactory answer to her question, some people can never answer why they love the person they claim to love. Sometimes, you cannot put your finger on that je ne sais quoi that makes your woman or your man tick. Sometimes, you can only appreciate that when cupid strikes, some nerdy girl with braces, a flat chest and the smallest behind or some loud obnoxious midget of a man could get you sprung.

Or maybe sometimes we (I) should just sit back and enjoy a beautiful soulful song without getting agitated about the lyrics, neh? Ok. I am stepping away from the keyboard and putting my earphones back on.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Alone in a crowd

I looked up and our eyes met. His cold and grim, mine scared and surprised. How is it that he spotted me amidst  this mammoth crowd? He kept his eyes on me. OMG! There were about five hundred people gathered here, why me?

He was unfazed that I had seen him. He seemed not to care that I could out him and have the crowd turn on him. Did this guy know anything about mob justice?  Even then, the thought of the mob meting out justice on him was not much of a consolation to the effect his disturbing piercing look had on me.

Choosing to ignore him, I stood on my toes and stretched my neck in an attempt to see what everyone else was trying to see. There were two sets of people; the crowd at the periphery that was struggling to surge forward to find out what the fuss was about; and the other (lucky?) ones at the centre who had access to the ‘action’. These were the crowd pullers who attracted the rest as they looked on curiously at something. I couldn’t make out their faces; was it shock, fear, disgust, or sheer curiosity written on their faces. What were they all looking at? Was it a dead body? A man hit by a car perhaps? A victim of violent robbery? A sick man or woman with epilepsy maybe, who had suffered an attack on his way to Godknowswhere? Was it a woman giving birth? A fighting couple? Two men fighting over a girl? Ha! It could easily be two girls clawing at each other and pulling each other’s weaves because of a man!  A lost child perchance? A new-born infant thrown and left for dead? An aborted fetus? What was it?!

As I wondered what the reason behind the gathering could be, I was apprehensive of the man looking down from the storey building above us with a rifle in his hands. No one seemed to have seen him but me. That was not the scary part. The scary thing was that he had spotted me and he knew that I knew that he was up there.  With a gun! I was afraid to look up again, lest our eyes met for the second time. Oddly enough, I could not move my feet yet my head was telling me that I should scurry off to safety, as far away from this crowd as my feet could carry me. My brain communicated this danger to the rest of my body, but my feet refused to take any orders. So I stood there, rooted to the ground. A part of the crowd yet all alone. Singled out.

Soon the crowd at the centre (the lucky ones) started looking around as if searching for something, someone perhaps? It appeared as if they had discussed something amongst themselves and decided that there was a puzzle missing that would complete the mystery of whatever it was they were witnessing. They searched the crowd with their eyes, sifting through the hundreds of people. Instinctively, I looked up again to see if Mr. Rifle was still up there.

Sure enough, he was still there, still looking straight at me and still holding his rifle. Only this time, he aimed it at me! There was no sound when he pulled the trigger. I saw the bullet leave the barrel and come straight at me. Slowly, like it was determined not to miss its target. My legs insisted on disobeying me and so I stood still, my feet glued to the ground. Since I could not find my voice either, I looked down and covered my eyes with my hands. Then I waited.

The bullet hit my skull neatly. Imagine when you drive a nail with a hammer into a soft piece of wood and it goes in without much resistance.  That’s how the back of my head received the bullet. I tasted blood at the back of my mouth, like it was trickling from my brain, or up there somewhere. Then I felt some fluid oozing from my nose. I wiped it with my hands. More blood.

I found my voice (FINALLY!)  and  asked the crowd to help me! To take me to hospital quickly, fast! That I had been shot! That I did not want to die! That I had children who needed me! That I was losing blood and needed medical attention!

The crowd looked at me with blank faces. No one moved and no one said a word as I stood there with a bullet lodged at the back of my head, bleeding from my nose and mouth and my heart pounding like a drum…

When I woke up my heart was pounding indeed like a million drums!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Growing up & loving it!

I take suggestions from Hailey now. Like this morning, Heidi was acting up, she wouldn’t let go of me and yet I was running late. I needed a quick shower (like there is such a word as ‘quick shower’ in my vocabulary?) before rushing to take Hailey to school then going off to work. But first, I had to convince Heidi that clinging on to me was not the best thing to do at that time of the morning, when I should be halfway through my short trip to the office.

She insisted and I tried to negotiate with her “Mum, let me sit you down here so that you can watch some cartoon...CARTOOOON YAY!” I shrieked with excitement (like I was the genius behind the invention of cartoon network?)  I was hoping the excitement would be contagious, but she wanted to hear none of it. In fact she shook her head with finality. She always does that when you ask her to do something she’d rather not do. She does not utter a word, just shakes her head. End of story. “Heidi, eat your porridge” She shakes her head. “Have some food”, shakes her head. “Go to bed” The head.  How does an 18month old kid answer back to HER MOTHER like that!? Today's kids! Sigh…

Hailey looked on as I tried to get Heidi to let go of me. She was seated at her favorite spot watching “Bananas in Pajamas” (tssk! The things that float a kid’s boat, I tell ya!) Good thing is she was fully dressed ready for school, as she waited for her cup of tea and for her mother to take a shower!  Yet here I was still in MY pajamas negotiating with Heidi. O boy!

Seeing my predicament and knowing that I wasn’t anywhere close to converting Heidi’s shaking head to a nod anytime soon, she quipped “Mom, give her your phone” I looked at her and asked “What?” She repeated “Give her your phone” Ooookay! Anything to make her let go of me! I gave my phone to Heidi and voila, I was free!

Now if you don’t know already, Heidi damaged my last phone as documented in this blog post eons ago (Eons? Like I am a veteran at this blogging ish?) She was still a drooler then and was still moving about on all fours (aaaaw haven’t we come from far, you and I?) You know she walks now, right? Due to that piece of history, I was not so comfortable leaving my phone with her. I turned my attention to the culprit, whoever came up with this insane suggestion. Hailey. I instructed the genius full of creative ideas that it was up to her to take care of my phone. I want no tea, no porridge, breadcrumbs, absolutely no DROOL or slimy stuff getting within a radius of my phone. Understood? She smiled at my attempt at seriousness then nodded her head.  Why, it wasn’t so hard to get a nod from one of my kids after all!

While I showered my first born daughter took care of my phone and her sister. The house help was there with them but still…

My phone survived Heidi at the breakfast table. WHOA!  That was a miracle. One I am not assured will happen again and so I will continue keeping Heidi and the phone away from each other until she can get ready for school before me, sit quietly at the edge of the sofa, watch cartoon and laugh uncontrollably as she waits for her cup of tea, and offers unsolicited advice while at it.

My sweet sweet babies, look how far we’ve come!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thumbs up daddy!

I remember the day vividly, like it was yesterday. Wow! Can a story ever start with a more cliché statement? But I really do remember the day somewhat vividly.

I was playing with other estate kids just outside the gate leading to our house. I must have been six or eight (or thereabouts) – so much for the vivid memory, huh? We were playing and running and hiding and seeking and climbing walls and trees and stuff…screaming, shouting, crying…you know, being kids? I don’t know how it happened but one minute I was laughing while running around, and the next I was in so much pain, crying my heart out. One of the other kids had banged the heavy metallic gate against my fingers and my right thumb was bleeding like hell!

I remember looking at my fingers in horror, like I was seeing a horrible scene from a movie. I saw some white flesh one minute and the next, my whole thumb was covered in blood, and slowly, my whole hand.  It was painful. It was excruciatingly painful. I screamed, scratch that, I wailed like only a six (or eight) year old could.

My father was around that day. Lucky day, coz he hardly ever was. He came out to see what had happened and saw me wailing as I stared at my finger in disbelief. I ran to him and stretched my hand out to him as if to say “Look what has happened to me daddy!” but I did not utter any words. I couldn’t. I was crying. I was in pain! That or I just could not believe that all that blood was coming out of my tiny little finger. I thought I was dying. I thought I was done. I thought that that was THE END!

Dad held me in his arms and tried to shush me to no avail. I was inconsolable. He then washed my wound and that is when I realized that my thumb nail had peeled entirely save for a small portion that held it to my thumb. I cried some more. He took a piece of cloth and tied it over the wound. I guess the sight of a hanging finger nail caused 60% of the pain. When I still couldn’t calm down, he went to the kitchen and came out with a carrot stick. To this day, I don’t understand the genius behind this but he gave me a carrot to munch on. Maybe because he had no lollipop on him? Maybe because for the life of him, he just wanted me to shut up? MAYBE he did it to take my mind off the incident and the pain, and the glaring finger nail that was hanging by a ‘thread’ so to speak?!  Wait, maybe he did it just because he was at a loss not knowing what to do in my mother's absence?

Either way, I remember him holding me so close. The closest I can recall ever being to him, as he patted my back to console me. I remember feeling love oozing from him to me and I had half a mind to stay there, in his arms, forever. I knew at that moment that everything would be ok, that I would survive this.

The wound healed and I grew back another nail on my right thumb. But that is one incident I will never forget because as a child, I never had such moments with my father. He was busy, or he just did not know what was expected of him or if he did, he didn’t know how to create other ‘moments’ with me.

He fathered from a distance, with austerity and unrelenting firmness. We never held conversations on how school was, or who my friends were or what I would like for my birthday.

Never the less, he is the one man I call Dad, and my blood is full of his genes. I got his hands and feet and his quiet demeanor. In my adult life, I still hang on to his name because he is my anchor. I call him father because to me he is the only man in the world who rightfully lays claim to that title. I am the fruit of his loins.

Come  father’s day, it therefore follows that I should salute one Mr. Murrey.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blue or red?

"You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes." Morpheus, The Matrix (Movie)

To end it or to hang on, to give or to withhold, to love or not, to wear or to stay without. Ah! To be or not to be. Decisions, decisions! Every day comes with a myriad of decisions to be made. Some we make in a split second, not having to think about it twice. Others, we mull over, dissect and analyze before we even know what it is we are looking for. Sometimes we question our decisions and inadvertently invite THE witch of self-doubt.

I call ‘her’ a witch because when she has you under her spell, it is hard to disentangle yourself. And how dare you doubt yourself? Does anyone know what you need, more than you? What is it they say about the wearer of the shoe? Be careful because chances will be missed and potentials unexploited thanks to self doubt!

As humans, we are by default wired to act and make decisions in our best interest. Fight or flight is our basic instinct and that has that covered. But self-doubt gets a pass only when we start thinking of others and attempt to put their importance ahead of our own. Prepare to get pissed because today, I preach ‘selfishness’

Many times I have made decisions in a split second and never went back to wonder whether it was the right thing to do or not. This was helped by the fact that some decisions are easy to make. If you are hungry, you eat. If you are trying to lose weight, you exercise, stay off junk, eat healthy. Easy. Some decisions could be hard to implement, but still…

Just recently, I responded with a firm “No!” when a lady asked to jump the queue and go ahead of me. See, it had been raining and I was from hospital where I had been diagnosed with acute tonsillitis (the cold weather did me in, big time!). I was feeling horrible and needed to get home to bed. We were queuing for matatus which were coming every 45minutes or so. Having queued for a while, I was almost there-I could almost taste the heavenly embrace of my warm sheets sandwiching my body as I lay in bed warm and dry. That was my definition of heaven at that moment. Then this lady comes up to me having been at the supermarket or somewhere, where she bought half the store and put it all in two big paper bags. She takes a long look at the spiralling queue that went so far behind and smiling at me she asked to stand in front of me. I said no, and after she grudgingly scuttled to the back, I felt like that I should have added a few expletives to my response. The nerve! Anyhuu, I went back to my reverie…my sweet bed…and with one bold step to close the gap in front of me, I shortened the distance between me and my ‘heaven’.

Easy decisions!

That reminds me of the nerve of a guy who some years back, when I was a perfect recipe for disaster - young, naïve, and in college - he stopped his car to offer me a lift while I was on my way to attend my morning classes. I declined to get in only for him to stalk me for the next three days. Each morning, he showed up in his car. Each morning I declined his offer. When it was evident that he wasn’t going away any time soon, I hopped into the passenger seat on day three and asked him what he wanted. He was a burly old man, maybe in his late 40’s. Really ‘big’ (You know the word I really want to use is ‘fat’ right?). He drove me the rest of the way and when we reached the college parking lot, he asked me whether I would be his ‘friend’, go out with him every other weekend, show him a ‘good time’, and he would make it worth my while. “Money is not a problem”, he added not forgetting to flash me a smile.Quite some euphemisms for words like ‘whore’, ‘sex’ etcetera. Mmmmh, money AND kuingia box – mutually inclusive. How generous – the smile, the money…THE NERVE!

Easy decisions!

But what happens when it’s not so clear-cut, when you are not sure which way to go; left or right, blue pill or red pill? Decision-making has never been a walk in the park for women especially; should you pick up a potential lover’s calls, reply to his texts or should you put a Kibosh on the whole thing? Should you end your painful relationship or should you hang in there and wait for things to get better (they always get better, right?). Should you walk out for the sake of the children or should you stay put, for the sake of the children?

Should you cover up and pretend that all is well (fantasy), or should you get to the heart of the matter and deal with its ugliness (reality)?

The grass may seem greener on any other side (it always does)and in a world where a powerful magnifying glass is required to sift honesty from the lying, conniving millions of hounds we have as men, self-doubt is inevitable. So how do we deal?

Listen to yourself. Your conscience knows you intimately so let it have its say. Be true to what you feel, lying to yourself only harms you. Talk to someone; sometimes you need to say it out loud for you to listen to what YOU think. And if still in doubt, take your time. When time is on your side, take advantage of it; then emotions will be controlled, you will see things from all angles, and you have a better chance at making sound judgement. 

Remember to stay grounded and don’t get lost in the razzmatazz – the happy ending fairy tale. Ask yourself what you stand to gain (Money?) what do you stand to lose (Yourself?). Who else will this decision affect (Kids, family, loved ones?) Fit all those people in the picture and if your portrait comes out fine, then don’t worry much about other folks. They will survive your decision. The important question is, will you?

P/S: Three times this week (as in: one, two, three…), I have come across people I believe to be Kenyan using this phrase - “You know the way Kenyans are…” What’s up with that!?

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Makings of a Man

I understand the makings of a woman (duh?) I know what makes her tick. I can separate the chaff from the grain as far as women are concerned - I know her anatomical intricacies. Being a woman, there is nothing I know more than womanhood. (Note to self; Brag much woman?!)

Here’s another thing; I can tell when a woman is into a guy who doesn’t belong to her. I can tell when she plots to lure him and snatch him away from his legitimate woman. Then again, he is not much of a man if he can be lured and snatched, is he? A woman is better off without such ‘tidal’ men.

So who is a man really? Who in your opinion, warrants to be called a man? Could I dare to take a stab at answering this question? Should I? I like me a challenge and so why not! This is a definition of who a real man is, in the eyes of yours truly.

My Dancer at play with our first born daughter

First and foremost, a man understands his primal disposition in the so called ‘pyramid of life’; that he is a provider and protector. This knowledge will not allow him to comfortably sit back and let his woman break her neck for him or on his behalf unless so imposed by unfortunate circumstances.  He keeps his wife and toils for his children. He is not threatened by a strong woman and whenever he is in a rut, will graciously accept financial (or otherwise) assistance from her without having to check with his balls first.

A man knows that he needs a woman and that he is essentially incomplete without her. He also acknowledges that all the needs he has for a female can be catered for by just one woman.

He understands the biblical implications of the phrase “a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh.” (Do you find it ironical that God commanded the man to leave his parents and join the woman and not vice versa? Me too) to this end, a man does not depend on his mother in his adult life unless of course he needs to suckle at her bosom.
A man stands tall, regardless of his height. He is an epitome of confidence and stability. He takes care of his business and is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and fight for his woman. A man readily claims what is rightfully his and is not afraid to fight for it.

Forget the feigned ignorance that asks “What do women really want?” A man knows his woman; her strengths and weaknesses, her boiling point, her favorite ice cream flavor, her quirks and even her menstrual cycle. If you are lucky, he will even figure out when you are ovulating from the changes in your body temperature! Ok, maybe I stretch it a tad bit but,  a man. knows. his. woman!

A man recognizes the face of a gold digger and does not waste his time (and money) on such superficial relationships. A man will never pay a woman for sex and will not share a woman with another man; he loves jealously.

A man is not ashamed of showing his emotions. He knows that he will find himself with the short end of the stick at some point or another, and he understands that leaning on his woman for strength will not cause his balls to shrink to oblivion. A man bares his weaknesses to his woman; he grieves when faced with a loss and yet holds his head up and puts his chest out when facing the world.

He will never raise his finger to strike a woman. He will punch the wall, smash glass, break the flowerpot and basically convert inert objects to flying objects – anything to quell his anger, but he will never punch a woman. A man is able to keep his anger in check because he understands that you only fight someone your own size.

A man hates to see his woman cry and tries to dry her tears, literally and metaphorically. Hard as he may try, a man will hurt his woman and make her cry from time to time –sorry girls, this too forms part of his DNA. A man will apologize and mean it. He will learn from his mistakes and strive to be a better man. A man with a woman in his life always stands a chance of being a better person.  A man knows that a woman can pretty much build him or break him.

A man takes responsibility for all the children he sires regardless of the relationship with their mother. He disciplines his children, yet plays and laughs with them. He knows what is important; Family, health, good friends… he loves to have fun too yet he knows what an abomination it is to be controlled by your drink.
A man is not perfect, and while acknowledging his imperfections, will strive to work on them. He genuflects before the most High knowing how small and helpless he is before HIM. A man prays because though assigned the task of provider and protector, he knows that the ultimate provision and protection comes from up above.

A man knows that he’s got balls without having to check them, grope them or show them off to the world.

A man need not prove he is one.

Ladies, what is your definition of a man?