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!