Love

Mdu For Love

We live in a filthy city, and no I don’t mean the actual place itself, it’s not there yet. I’m talking about the people.  There’s a saying that in Gaborone “go bechitswe phamo” when it comes to relationships, which basically means “it’s grab and keep, and every man for himself.” Every other girl is a sidechick, knowingly or unknowingly.  Every other chap is either juggling or being juggled.  The couples that stay together are usually either pretending to be happy, stuck together because of all the time they feel they’ve put in, or fighting tooth and nail to maintain their genuine happiness and keep it from the vultures that are always looming around our social circles.

But I know nothing of long term commitments.

So here Othata, having been with her partner Mdu for 4 years and seven months this Saturday [He wanted you to know he remembers these things] shares her story and her insight on what it takes to keep a relationship going in Sodom and Gomorrah.

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People have been asking for almost 5 years now, “How do you guys do it?”  It’s a question that should have a simple answer, one assumes, and yet I fail to come up with one.  For the first time in 5 years, however, I will try to give you my side.
People assume we have a movie screen romance, “love at first sight” type of thing, but that’s nowhere close to the truth. I actually used to dislike this Prince Charming of mine, before I even got to know him! He has always been popular, and at some point I couldn’t seem to breathe without hearing his name. My best friend would tell me “Dude, there’s this guy called Pops at GSS [Gaborone Secondary School], wa [of] ‘Hotboys'”.  They had to be semi attractive if they were arrogant enough to call themselves such a name, but chances were, they weren’t. I’d never liked people who were hyped up all the time, 9 out of 10 times I was always disappointed.
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School would end and I’d get home, time to catch up with my cousin Epe (we lived together, the inseparable twins). I’d ask her,  “So how was school?” as she put down her GSS blazer and the first words out of her mouth would be “So today Pops did this…”   I had to hear about him everywhere I went!
Fast forward a while later, because of Epe I got to know almost half of GSS, made a lot of friends too, some people even thought I schooled there, but I never once met the infamous Pops! God does work in mysterious ways! New friendships were made, we completed High School and applied for Varsity [seems like ages ago].  During this time we were bums, the only thing we would do was go out, where we got all that money still beats me but it happened. And I’d still see everyone, except this Pops person.
We were officially introduced by my friend in ’09 when we were finally being accepted into Varsity, and my goodness, had somebody grown! He was sexy as hell.  Spiked dreadlocks, and like *counts on fingers* 10 piercings [we are grown now, I forgot] and yeah, did I mention he was sexy?
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Long story short, I forgot I never liked him in the first place. The start of our relationship began to write itself.
Getting to know each other, first kiss, making it official, etc. Since I’m not trying to write a book here [I think] let me focus on how we make it work.
For the most part, it just happened, I believe it was meant to be and there was no running from it.  If you believe in Destiny, you’ll relate. I thought I had the option of being single in Varsity, what I thought would be the true meaning of “living life”, but God/The Universe laughed and said “Look at this one!”
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I don’t think you can plan when you’re going to fall in love.  How or where you’re going to meet that person etc. We clicked, became the best of friends, easy as pie! But that’s the easy bit, everything else you have to work for.  Hard. There has to be effort in everything you do: communicating, trusting,  loving, caring, being there for your loved one, and although it sounds like work to many, the beauty of it is doing all this (and more) and not feeling like it’s hard work.
Whenever a couple is fighting a lot of single people think to themselves “Thank God I don’t have to deal with all that”, but in reality, people fight all the time: family, friends, etc. In my opinion it’s healthy for a relationship because after said fight you have a better understanding of each other’s points of view.  The other person’s opinion can actually better you (if you can take criticism), which results in you growing together.
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The key is to form a bond with someone who betters you.
Respect is integral too. You have to learn to respect your other half, that’s the only way you can have a fight and still manage to move past it. The only way you can actualize your potential and support one another.
Another important thing you need is focus, and it has to be from both parties. You need to understand what it is you want in life, [I could give tonnes of examples here].
Does being with one person make you feel complete?
Are you in a relationship but still envy your single friends?
Are you easily influenced or do you trust and understand yourself?
Once you know the kind of focus you both have, you can determine how far your relationship goes, and if you guys share the same goals, it will probably work.
Last but not least is trust.  If you understand each other it’s easy to trust one another and you’ll realize how unnecessary it is to question everything.
What is mean to be, will be.
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Tainted Love: Hell Is Empty And All The Devils Are Here

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Society hardly ever paints women as the aggressor or the manipulator in a relationship.  The  “Angry Black woman” is the main portrayal of a dissatisfied/uneasy woman in our circles, and so it’s all people have chosen to believe exists.  Evil, manipulation and destruction are kept for the males in a relationship.

And so the men who suffer at the hands of abusive women are often neglected.

Most of them don’t even know they’re being emotionally manipulated and scarred.  They are men who tried to love a restless woman and got caught up and dragged in her hurricane of a “love”.  The “good” men who met a woman who lost that part of her way before he came around and makes him suffer for it.  Men who are too “nice”, too hopeful to know when to leave.

Partners can be vindictive and try to package it as one of the things they do for love.  I’ll admit people love differently, but I’ve learned that certain forms of love leave you battered and bruised and some people never run out of apologies.

Excuses, excuses.

Abusive people never lack a sob story.  Reasons why they can’t help but hurt you. It’not them, it’s the fact that their father walked out on them.  It’s not that he’s a bad person, it’s that he constantly needs to “test” your love by doing things that emotionally cripple you.  She can’t help herself, the fact that you have female friends makes her do what she does.

It’s never them.

I dated a man for two years and watched him turn into someone I no longer recognized.  We were happy until we weren’t.  Until he started going through my phone and cussing me out for having male friends he didn’t know.  Until he started locking me in the house as he went about his ways because “If you leave the house you might meet another guy and leave me”.  Until he started kicking me out at odd hours of the night or in front of his friends.  Until I became something he wanted to keep around as a safety net and I realized his love meant taking out his frustrations and insecurities on the one thing he knew couldn’t leave him.

And don’t tell me I could have walked out.

It wasn’t easy when this was someone I’d invested that time into.  I believed I could love him better. I believed time would change everything and I believed every time he apologized, he meant it.  He really couldn’t help it.  I believed it really WAS because he was high or he treated me that way because he really WAS scared of losing me and he just COULDN’T be without me.

And who doesn’t want to feel needed?

Who doesn’t, deep down inside, want to be the saviour?

Who doesn’t want their relationship to overcome hurdles and survive?

Except abuse is not a hurdle to be overcome.  I learned that the day he tried to punch me and I moved as his fist connected with the wall.

That was it for me.  I realized like my father, like many men I know, he had reached the point of no return.  The point where he thought it was perfectly alright to strike me and his apology for that might heal my black eye.

It was time to go.  Time to walk out on the one person I had thought I was learning true love with.  Time to abandon what I knew because it was crippling me inside and trying to bruise me on the outside.

And fucking hell it wasn’t easy, but it was necessary.

Weeks later, while drinking with friends, my ex’s friend walked up to me, grinning like a Cheshire cat and said “Did you hear? Your ex updated his Facebook status and said he has HIV.  You should check that out.”

I’ve never sobered up that fast in my entire life.

I shook as I logged onto Facebook and read  what was there, plain as day:

“Hey guys. So I wanted to tell you that I have HIV but it’s cool. I’m still eating well and fucking these bitches raw, just as I’m supposed to.”

I was gutted.

Absolutely fucked.

His phone wouldn’t go through as I tried to reach him and nor did his sister’s.  My mind raced.  It must be true if I can’t reach him. He’s probably left town and gone to his parent’s to sort this out.  What the fuck am I going to do? How long has he known?

Everything within me seemed to stop.

I went to his house the next morning and there were new tenants there who informed me he’d left town, but he’d be back in a few days.

Those days dragged past.

When I finally saw him and asked him if it was true all he did was laugh and ask me if I wanted to fuck.

It amazed me how easily someone could turn on you when they have no claim to you anymore.

I spent the next week contemplating suicide and binge drinking, living in a friend’s dorm room.  I didn’t know how to explain to my mother that the man I’d treated my family like shit for might have knowingly given me the HI virus. I didn’t know what kind of future to plan, if at all.

I knew nothing.

The day when I finally decided I’d commit suicide, not having tested by the way because I was too scared to know, my friend came to me, looked at me, and told me “Bakang. You have to go talk to your mother about this. I can see you’re thinking some reckless shit and I’m not gonna let you fuck around and do some bullshit. Go see her. I’ll come with you if you want, if she kicks you out, come back here and we’ll figure something out. But go tell her.”

I walked into my mother’s office looking like I hadn’t had a proper meal in a week and I was having stress for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I told her everything and for what wouldn’t be the last time, she looked at me dry eyed, hurt, shocked and tired.

We went for the test, discussed what we’d do if the results were positive and waited.

I was negative.

I called my ex immediately afterwards to tell him the results and his response floored me:

“Of course you’re negative. I was just fucking with you. I thought if I told you I had HIV you’d come back to me and we’d be together again.”

My mind stopped working.  This man, this man who’d treated me like shit and told me I was worthless had done ALL that, to spite me? To keep me? To break me then swoop in and save me?

How long was that gonna go on for?

Why would he even..?

But you know, I wasn’t mad. I couldn’t be. After all I’d gone through internally, I honestly couldn’t bring myself to get mad.

I went on with my shit.

I learned that desperate people will go to ANY length to keep those they’ve claimed as their own.  Some people are sick, internally.  They cover up their illness, their entitlement issues, insecurity and commitment issues, with excuses.  And “love” is always on that list.

I learned to avoid affection from people who bring me no peace.  And honestly, I can’t love people who honestly believe they don’t deserve affection, they will do ANYTHING to prove themselves right, including breaking your spirit to prove to themselves how fucked they are.  You will fail to love them and, if you don’t learn when to leave, die trying.

They always guilt trip you into staying.

They’ll emotionally abuse you and when you muster up the courage to leave guilt trip you.

My ex’s favourite was “Who’ll be here for me when you go? You’re all I have.”

“Fine, be like everyone else who leaves me…”

“You said you loved me..”

And you know, you really did. You did. But you really can’t anymore. Know when to go.

My friend’s ex girlfriend cheated on him then when he tried to leave her she said “Fine. Leave. Who’d love someone who’s been raped anyway?”

She hadn’t been raped, she’d willingly slept with this guy, this came out as her lie unraveled. But she’d said it.

And that’s how some people are.

She accused this random man of rape because she simply wanted to keep someone she KNEW she abused and manipulated.

Human beings rarely shock me because I’ve come to expect the unfathomable from them, especially when they claim to be in love.

Because most of these people have no idea what love feels like.

We’ve all been infatuated.  But most people never move past that stage.

They take infatuation, attraction, obsession and ownership and sell it as love.  They have no idea how to NOT destroy what they claim to care about.

They cripple in order to keep.

Shamelessly.

And those who haven’t known anything different stay.

They stay because someone cries.

Because they claim to love them.

Because their abuse is familiar.

 

I can say it all I want but some people have to learn that you cannot love these people better.  They will kill you internally and keep your corpse as a souvenir to remind themselves that maybe once they were worthy of love.

And you end up fucked.

You learn the hard lesson that human beings are selfish.  Some more than others.  Some would give you a  gun, ask you to shoot yourself if you love them then complain when you don’t die fast enough.

People are so fucked I could write a book about it.

But these are things everyone needs to learn on their own, including those I love.

I have seen it for myself.  I’ve watched my friends experience it for themselves, and I have learned, cautionary tales are fully believed when lived.

You just have to make sure you step away and live through it to learn from it.

Because like dream hampton said:

“That time you confused a lesson for a soulmate.”

That time needs to come and go or you will be stuck in the same redundant place, mold growing on your heart and mind and subsequently, your entire life.

People who nourish themselves by draining others will never let their sources go.

When it comes to most people, you tell them you love them and they will let you kill them as slowly as you want.  They take it because who wants to believe someone who says it so passionately could possibly harm them?

Who wants to believe human beings are really educated barbarians?

Anyone with the ability to speak has the ability to lie.

I never forget that.

I can’t afford to.

And that might be weird coming from a writer.  But I’m telling you the truth because I had to live through it to get it.

And not all of us are strong enough to live through these things.

I’m telling you so you don’t have to go through it and possibly lose yourself in the process.

This is life.

And it’s grimy.

These are people. With desires and ulterior motives.

And they’re just as grimy.

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” – William Shakespeare.

I hope you don’t encounter them .

And if you do, don’t let their human  appearance fool you.

How To Hate Your Life And Die Miserable

Change is terrifying, add that to the List Of Things The Adults Never Taught Me.  It gets harder to accept the older you get because nobody wants to play guessing games with their life.  If at all one believes in Destiny, and possibly finds comfort in the idea, it still isn’t enough to believe what is meant to be will simply be. There’s always a possibility that one might be veering off course, and that’s what keeps most people up at night.

I’m certain of three things in Life:

1. I have a talent.

2. I’ll die alone.

3. Shit gets fucked easily.

Whether one believes in them or not, sometimes, we get signs in Life.  Signs to show us what we need to be doing, who we need to be. Guidance.

I tend to feel a lot of things are repetitive in my life.  Like I know what to do, I just lack the courage.  I fear both abandoning this Life to create a new one and staying in this Life and hating every moment. And so, with things like that, I tend to feel I go nowhere.

And time passes.

It’s easy to lose your Life to grey areas. To stagnancy. To hopes and fears. 

It’s easy to die unfulfilled, all you need to do is nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Spend your time thinking and not doing.

Watch opportunities pass because you don’t know why you should even bother trying.

Feel guilty because you didn’t take that one, and wallow, resulting in you missing the rest.

 

I know nothing of destinies, but I know the feeling you get when you walk out on what you know is right for you.  I know what it feels like to waste time because you’re scared.

I know what it feels like for the safe option to be the one that kills you inside.

And they say “better the Devil you know” but I really think that’s bullshit. At the same time, I don’t think I’m one to talk.

Like everyone else, I’m scared.

Scared I don’t deserve what I want.

Scared I won’t get it because I don’t deserve it and all the trying in the world won’t do shit.

Scared to die nameless. 

Scared to die nameless and alone. 

Scared to die nameless and alone having tried at both making a difference and love. 

Scared to die disappointed, possibly. 

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Marriage: I do, sometimes.

Everyone thinks they have shit figured out.  We all have opinions on situations we’ve never been in and a mental rule book on how to live that we never consult when issues involve us.

The one thing it seems all human beings are good at, is critiquing someone else’s decisions.

“So and so fell pregnant, she’s silly, why would she? She’s so young.”

“He’s engaged. But he’s only 22. Why? There’s so much to still experience.”

Basically: “So and so’s not doing what I’d do so their decisions are sketchy.”

Our generation has a jaded view on love and relationships.  Many are extremists on the matter. They either believe relationships are for the needy or single people are ill. We all question each other’s decisions with no knowledge on the intricate details of matters.

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Somewhere on this journey of Life I decided I’m dying alone.

Well, not so much decided as accepted, maybe.

And this is the part where I roll my eyes as someone chimes in “Well, we all die alone.”  Yes, thank you for your input Sherlock Hipster.

Raised with the idea that everyone has a soulmate who’ll put up with their shit I went into dating with a certain certainty.  It was kind of like taking shots until you find the one that tastes good and gets you drunk the fastest.  You just knew you’d find it, you had to.

As time’s passed I’ve met my soulmates. [Yes, some people have more than one. I’ve met four so far.] None of which I’ve dated.

I’d gladly marry tomorrow provided the person knows when to leave me alone.  For me, that is the key to a peaceful union: individuality and acceptance.

I’ve dated people who are exactly like me and I’ve dated people who are nothing like me. I’ve been in love and I’ve been infatuated. I’ve discussed baby names and considered how long I’d wait after marrying someone before I’d divorce them.

See I don’t believe marriage is the inconvenience many believe it is, I believe it can be.

I go into relationships knowing things will change. My partner will, so will I, and for me, the main question is: Am I willing and able to grow with this person?

Many people don’t think about that. They don’t wonder if the person they’ll be in the future will be compatible with the person their partner will be.

For me, long term relationships mean committing to the person your partner will be in the future. If you can both agree on doing this, I don’t see why people can’t marry young.

Marriage for me doesn’t equate to “settling down”.

It is not putting your dreams on the back burner.

It is not leaving your dreams to focus on someone else’s.

It’s about finding someone to love you and encourage you as you grow.

My best friend taught me more about romance than any romantic relationship ever has.

In our 8 years together we’ve been many things and all kinds of people. We’ve shared experiences we’ll never disclose. We’ve fought, we’ve laughed and we’ve cried.

I realized a few years ago, the main thing that’s kept us together is respect, love and acceptance.

And here Sherlock Hipster chimes in again “Well relationships aren’t like friendships. There’s sacrifice and responsibility and..”

Yes, yes.

There’s all that, sure.

But the basis of every good relationship I believe, should be those three.

Decide if you’re going to give conditional or unconditional love.

Will you still be there if your partner decides to be a drag queen? Or quit school and move to another country to be a bar tender?

What is it you see in that person and is it enough for you in the long run?

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On Love, Fear and Courage

The thing about falling in love is just that..You fall. Truly loving someone is not a calculated procedure that can be stopped with a thought or ignored when it suits you. Whether you let yourself or not, you drift into a situation that is, often, more than you think you can handle. 

The older you get, the harder it may be to love, or LET yourself love. We all have stories and vivid memories of heartbreaks. Songs we skip, names we avoid and numbers possibly yet to be deleted. Break ups are more than unfriending and blocking, no more texts and phone calls. You have to remove a person from your Life. Stash away the memories, pretend you no longer care until it’s true, and do it all gracefully. You drink and run the risk of drunk texting, you cry and chastise yourself for not being over it yet, 

And after all that, you remember it all.

The empty promises, the disappointment. That eventually, the Good was followed by a shitload of Bad and Embarrassing. 

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And then? 

We clam up. It’s easier to be jaded than care and risk it like that. 

While discussing the possibility of falling in love, a friend said “No. You can’t. That’s not you. You think it’s stupid. You don’t believe in love.” And the thing is, I do. Probably a bit too much.

I have a Love/Hate relationship with Love. It’s a weird “I love you so much I need to leave you because if not you’ll kill me” kind of vibe. Love engulfs me and I lose sense of reality. I love recklessly and passionately and because I know this, and know that not a lot of people can deal with it, I try not to do it. 

Here’s the thing about Love: Most of us have no bloody idea what’s going on. We don’t know what we really want, most of us know what we THINK we should want. We don’t accept people as they are, we don’t accept ourselves as we are. Relationships have become closets where we go to feel safe and have company and have sex, maybe occasionally be vulnerable, and most of us disappear as easily as we appear. 

We lack stability. 

We lack commitment. 

We lack certainty.

We lack comfort, and know not the meaning of the word “honesty”.

We avoid vulnerability.

And I know this. I also know that I am absolutely terrified of being vulnerable. 

And with that revelation comes the truth that I cannot expect a certain level of intimacy without vulnerability. 

And I wonder if Life is constantly about being strong and overcoming fears and insecurities. I know Life, Living, involves action, but nobody tells you how appealing it is to be stagnant because you’re terrified of messing up, the older you get. 

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My Milkshake, My Instinct and my Yard

I adore seduction. There’s a certain intensity when it comes to interacting with someone you want to sleep with and yet haven’t, that’s unparalleled. At that point in time, you’re your most alert, your most charming, and they are too. It’s an electric time where the simple lingering touch of another’s hand or a look with a coy smile could provide more satisfaction than an actual kiss at that moment. I love the suspense, the charm, the sheer brilliance of the simplest of moments.

The romance with the blatant sexuality. 

I always say I have no idea how to flirt. In actual fact, I’m not really sure HOW I attract people, I like to think I give off a certain Angelina Jolie-esque smoldering gaze but I could be wrong. For all I know, when I’m being truly honest with myself, my seduction process is basically me squinting a lot as I turn my head to look interested and drop a lot of sexual innuendo in conversation. Tell me that’s not brilliant..

I find I prefer to seduce rather than attain [in the relationship sense]. To be fairly honest, most of my sexual conquests are out of sheer curiosity. I meet people and wonder what they look like when they cum, how their hands may feel, what they might like or want to try, and based on that, I pursue them. It’s more about satisfying my curiosity than actual lust.

There are lovers who are wide eyed when they brush their fingers against your lower lip and you suck them. Those who are pleasantly surprised when you’re the one slipping their hands into your pants and those who simply want you to pretend to make love to them.  Lovers who tentatively traipse into bed with you, with hidden desires and fears, expecting the same routine only for you to show them that it’s okay to be free. To help them explore that side of themselves, even if it’s only for one night, as it usually is.

And sometimes, rarely, but sometimes, it worries me that I sample people in bed the way one might try exotic dishes. 

After one such encounter recently with a friend, he began to avoid me and when I confronted him about it, he said it’s because he thought I might expect more from him. Truth be told I got a healthy, hearty laugh from that one and had to sit him down to explain that no, in fact, I expect nothing more from him and as far as I’m concerned, it didn’t really happen and no, it isn’t such a big deal. Besides, he has a girlfriend who I consider beneath me so dating me, God forbid, would probably wreck his brain. 

He was confused, still is, and is currently convinced that there must be something wrong with someone who isn’t seeking anything from anyone else in that way.  It’s odd to him that no, I don’t want to be loved romantically, nor do I really need an orgasm most times. 

I could simply be looking for experiences and nothing more. This could just be a phase. 

And if it isn’t, I could be Sharon Stone’s character in  Basic Instinct, in the making.

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A Battered Basketball Wife:On Evelyn Lozada and Society’s view on women and abuse

I personally don’t believe that a man has to hit me to know that he shouldn’t. Nor do I believe that love is pain and everything about affection and human bonds needs to hurt. You either have to be a certain kind of broken person or an irrational romantic/masochist to be able to confidently say you would tell your own daughter to go back to a man who’s hit her because now he’s “learned his lesson”. Why does him learning his lesson have to involve ME getting bruised and stitched? Why does it have to take countless tears and counselling on my part for HIM to grow as a person?

Why does he have to disrespect me and hurt me to learn the meaning of respect, and even if it does, why should I go back to someone who can’t grasp the basic concepts of respect, communication and boundaries?

[more]

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A Letter from Society, to you: How dare you have confidence?

Kids, let me tell you the key to getting along with a lot of people. A rather simple tweak to your current attitude towards Life that may have been hindering you from making friends who’re comfortable around you and keeping you from lovers who might adore you..

Have low self esteem. 

I know, I know..everyone’s telling you to have more confidence right? Believe in yourself and know your worth right? But let me tell you what happens when you do. 

 

Relationships

Everybody knows all strong, intelligent women die and end up as Madea characters in Heaven. And I don’t mean the lead. No, the odd looking sister who has a story but not enough of one for us to bother with the details. The one who ends up broken and finds love with a broke bus driver who only has poetry and Chinese take-out to offer. That one.

How do you avoid this?

Downplay all your talent and prowess.

The only things you should openly admit to being good at are keeping quiet and listening, cooking and cleaning. Don’t you know that it’s 2013 and the only time a woman should exercise her Freedom is when it’s appealing to a man? When you step out of your comfort zone [In the kitchen, on your knees] to have a threesome or, in a rather daring move, share a beer with him. 

People don’t like partners with opinions [contrary to theirs], I thought Steve Harvey already told you. Did you skip the “How to stop thinking and finally keep a man” chapter? Honestly. How will you ever fulfill yours and every other woman’s dream of settling down with a man who’ll stifle your ambition and mould you into a younger version of his mother that he can fuck with all that independence? 

It simply will not occur. 

Have you seen those women who prioritize, put themselves first and hold their heads high? Comfortable in their knowledge of Self and worth? 

Who wants them? I mean.. Assuming they want one, they usually end up with supportive, equally strong partners who’re on their wavelength but..Who’s willing to wait for that long right? 

Be a good little girl and think you’re nothing more than a servile creature, created from a part of a Man that he didn’t necessarily need, and go forth. 

Body Image 

No decent woman is comfortable with her body. Only sluts are, and you don’t wanna be that, do you? I thought not. Hate your body. Tell yourself you will always need more here and less there. Hide it. Have sex in the dark and ask your partner to keep their hands on your neck or in yours. If they can’t, to themselves. Cover up or show too much in a form of emotional torture only you feel the full impact of.

Never be content.

Never be happy. 

Hate parts of yourself passionately, with dedication, it’s what you’ve been taught to do, so do it.

Laugh it off in public as you discuss it with equally insecure friends, seeking reassurance and not finding it from those as broken as you. 

Tell yourself this is your Life. As it should be. 

Work and Passion

Don’t be a bitch. I know that Lady wrote that book about why men love bitches but I promise you, it’s a lie.  You’ll just be the assertive..I mean, angry..woman  bitch in the office earning more than the men, skipping between your e-mail tab and your vibrator order form.  

You don’t need success in the workplace. Come on, we leave that for Beyonce. You, dear honey, sweet thing, only need to do enough to get by. You might mess around and actually achieve all you want, which might in turn scare all your potential suitors, meaning you’ll be alone and shame your parents. Don’t do it.

When applying for a job, put the basics. “Works well with others..Can work for long periods of time without supervision” you know, that. Don’t appear spectacular. Don’t show the world you actually can do anything, and do it exceptionally well at that. That’s showing off, at the very least, being proud, and that, Lady considering speaking out of turn, is for men. Confidence and drive are for men.

They don’t call it having “balls” for no reason. 

Be modest.

Be chaste. 

Say you aren’t as amazing as you are.

Say your work isn’t all that good.

Say the world could do without what you contribute it. 

People will love you. 

– Signed with Love,

Society and The Patriarchy 

 

They will love that you’re a woman who “knows her place”.  One who they don’t deem threatening, one who won’t change anything. A safe place.

They will adore you.

They will love you so much they’ll all pile onto you at once, seeking to get a piece of you, ripping you apart and keeping souvenirs. 

Some will take your last bit of Confidence. Others your hope. Others your sense of Self. Everyone will have pieces of you and all you will have left is your reflection.

But hey, at least they’ll love you, right? 

Right?

 

 

Just A Taste: On Sex, Sleazebag Cheating and Why Some Men Are Still Nice

“I’m a very faithful guy hey. I’m one of the most faithful guys around” he says to me as we lay in his bed at 4 in the morning.  Words that would please any girl and send her heart beating in her chest, attempting to jump out and hug him for being so amazing.  Except I’m not his girlfriend. My hands wrapped around a vodka bottle as I attempt to taste the citrus that’s supposed to be in it, I say “Yeah..I bet your girlfriend thinks so. Yep. That must be why I’M in your bed right now” and  he looks uneasy. I laugh and we discuss the beautiful things Life tends to hand us that we feel compelled to destroy.

“Why do men cheat?” has been used to sell magazines since before I was born, with jaded women and defensive men alike attempting to reveal the intricacies or simple truths behind the act.

“They all do. They’re dogs” they say.

“They just don’t know how to be with one woman. It’s not you. It’s not him either. It just IS.”

“It’s in a man’s nature to conquer and explore.”

Or sometimes.. probably more often than I’d care to admit “It’s not him. It’s you. What are YOU doing to drive him out?”

I know some very nice men. Decent. They respect their women. They adore them. Their partners are happy and when they’re together, they create images worthy of a thousand Tumblr reblogs. To quote the young ones, they’re “Perf.”

But these men cheat.

Their partners don’t know it. These men hardly ever acknowledge it, and even when they do, would never call it what it is. “Cheating” is sleazy. But they do.

It’s usually premeditated.  It starts off with playful flirting as he wonders whether he actually CAN do this, and possibly fights his feelings of guilt. Because you see, his Lady is lovely, she really is.  She understands him and motivates him to be a better man. She could possibly be the future mother of his kids. But right now, he just wants something new. Something different. This one time, he feels an overwhelming urge to satisfy his curiosity and man, it’ll just be once.  Once he decides, it’s on to the propositioning.

I find they feel more comfortable exploring infidelity with a close friend rather  than a random girl found at a party.  Possibly because said friend would respect their relationship and not slander the “Wifey” or make the act seem more than it actually is: sex.   A friend I guess would be much more comfortable for them, seeing as they could rationalize the guilt away or minimize it using the age old “It was just a friend helping out another friend.”

And wasn’t it though?

I understand.

It’s usually a once off thing.  He doesn’t want to leave her, not even close. He’s happy and so is she. He simply wants to satisfy his curiosity. Look at it this way, I adore Toni Morrison’s work. At some point I read 4 of her books straight simply because I wanted to take her in, all of her.  I then took a break, read Charles Bukowski and went back to Ms Morrison.  Is that an issue? Is it something to be ashamed of? No. I think not.

 

And yes, relationships are different, I know. But monotony is rather irksome.

The only issue I see here is the deceit, but that’s the way it has to be.

Because let’s be honest, how many of us would believe it if our partner said they wanted to have sex with someone else once a year? Just once. How many of us would accept it?

 

There’s a difference between a man who wanders once in a while, out of curiosity, and a serial cheater with an insatiable appetite who insists on settling into relationships and dragging his partners through his mess.  Are they both cheaters?  Yeah, sure, but they have different reasons  for and methods of cheating. One isn’t as messy, selfish and sleazy as the other, and I think that matters.

The way a man chooses to cheat says a lot about the kind of man that he is. Which is why when some people do what they do, I understand, and to me, that remorse, even if it’s shame for following your desires, means something.  The fact that that person cares about the consequences of their actions and weighs everything out.  The fact that, to him, it’s not just “Me, Me, Me” it’s “Me, Me, Me, but if I mess up, what about Her?”

I’m not trying to say “Cheating is okay if you’re sorry you did it to an extent”, not at all, the point I’m trying to make is, certain things, once understood, aren’t as evil as we could perceive them to be from face value.

 

Friends

The Fall: On Greatness, Society and being a Sociopath

Last night I wondered, how much work do you have to put in til they [the public] consider you one of the Greats? This was prompted by seeing someone’s list of the current greatest rappers alive, with Kendrick Lamar on it.  Kendrick is fairly new to the scene as compared to the others on it, those considered veterans such as Nas, Eminem and Jay Z, but for someone, actually, a lot of people, he’s already there.

 

It got me thinking about his work.  He’s a decent rapper. He has the ability to be both ignorant and insightful, something many find difficult lately, or are simply too lazy to do.  But then, how can we consider him a Great?  I think it all boils down to the fact that we’ve grown accustomed to accepting what’s Less Than so when something’s mediocre, average and should be the bare necessity for any artist, to simple NOT be one-sided, we celebrate it like it’s the best thing ever. 

But that’s not the issue here.

One of the answers that I got to that question [I tweeted it] was “You have to die.”

 

You have to die for people to appreciate the true extent of your brilliance.

You have to no longer be able to create, for them to look back on your past work and see how amazing it is.

Isn’t that some shit?

People only see your excellence when they have to catch up and take all the time in the world analyzing it.

So, what I gathered from this is:

  • Most times, if you’re truly great, chances are, the majority won’t appreciate you, and if they do, it’s not immediate.
  • If you’re Great, you don’t create for the public. 
  • When you begin to create for the public, you have to sell out. Water it down. Come down to their level.

On death.

 

I understood the surface meaning, but then I thought of one of my favorite artists, The Weeknd.  He’s very much alive, well, in the physical sense, but what any fan can tell you is, Abel Tesfaye [The Weeknd] is far from alive internally.  

 

He is a man incapable of love, yet somewhat envious of those who can feel it.  We aren’t sure why he is as he is, we don’t know what happened to make the man switch off internally, but what we do know is, whereas he shuns the women who seek to love him romantically, he appreciates his fans, though he remains fully aware of the fact that they could leave at any moment.  It sounds like a sad existence doesn’t it? To most people it would. It’s easy to pity him because many of us feel our lives are only worth the love we receive.

I used to think so too. I understand why you may be shaking your hand as you “tsk tsk”, but let me tell you a little something about being an emotional person, and an artist..

Things hurt you in a deeper way than they would the average person.  Heartbreak stays with you, you force yourself to keep it on the surface, sometimes for inspiration, sometimes to feel like you have a colorful story, sometimes because you simply don’t know what to do with it.

I think to such people, every relationship, every interaction with a person, is a story in itself, and when it doesn’t end well, it’s a tragedy, not a simple end to a relationship.  

Everything is greater than it is. Nothing is ever what it is and to be honest, we don’t get over things.

You reach a point where you tire of constantly having to fix yourself and tell yourself this is simply Life. When you get tired of feeling like a mess who overreacts to everything. Of doubting your sanity, of wondering if there’s anything wrong with you because you can’t ever seem to find Peace.

And maybe, you decide to switch off. 

You decide your body can’t take the sleepless nights anymore.  Your heart can’t take the pressure and you can’t keep up with all this mess. You can’t constantly feel like you aren’t coping, and so you stop it.

Now, it’s not immediate.  It’s a gradual process. It’s constantly detaching yourself from anything that might take too much from you, anything you might feel the need to give yourself to.  It’s constantly saying “it doesn’t matter to me” until eventually, it doesn’t.  Until romance is just something to write about, but not feel.  Until intimacy is only for inspiration, not bonds.  Until you feel nothing more than what’s already within.  When things that used to make you want to help, or care, or intervene, are too far away for you to bother with.

 

I can’t tell you then you’ll feel “happy” or “fine”, but you’ll be within yourself and hopefully that’s a safer place than out here, for you. 

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