Sidechicks

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.

292075_10151134731332940_1807428480_n
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.
198225_100418719968467_200096_n
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?
305078_271008582926553_4172234_n
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!”
537968_197445100394592_1226555544_n
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.
309296_10151134719287940_884851030_n
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.
249684_10151134708472940_606948616_n

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

[An]other Woman: The Sidechick’s POV

“I don’t know why you do that, you deserve so much better.”

And I wonder what “better” is.

 

It occurred to me a while ago that some women aren’t meant to be The Wife. 

It’s not simply that we don’t WANT to be. Nor that we’re unable to be, it’s just..If we won’t do it? Who will?

Live as we please, that is. 

I’ve been a girlfriend. I’ve been committed, I’ve loved and I’ve cheated, and for a while now, I’ve known my place as the Sidechick.  I am not ashamed nor do I feel robbed, and this is something many around me don’t understand. 

“No one believes that a woman can be truly happy in something that is not a roses-delivered-to-your-office kind of relationship.” – Jessica Tholmer

I’ve been wondering whether it’s better to be the Sidechick or the happily naive girlfriend/wife. I haven’t come up with a conclusion yet but I can give my point of view and this is it.

I am content with the situation. 

I personally would rather know where everything stands rather than be happy in oblivion, and for a lot of people, that’s selling myself short. To a lot of people, I could easily be labelled a ho or a home wrecker or be dismissed as someone seeking attention in unsavory ways, but I assure you, I’m not.

I feel like his relationship has nothing to do with me. It’s that simple. She has nothing to do with me and I with her, we simply share a man, who in turn honestly only belongs to himself. His deceit is his own and the lies he tells her come from his mouth. What they share is theirs and the same applies for us.

 

If you met someone who understands you, and who you understood could not be tied down, could not be made into what YOU want them to be for you, what would you do? Actually, if you met someone who was just right, why would you want to make them into something they’re not? See, I wrote about this before, and nothing’s changed. 

You cannot own a human being. Nor can you really be angry when they deceive you because you wanted so desperately for them to be something for you that you dragged them into your own world and forced them to stay there. 

It sounds odd even as I type it. For a man should be free, and strong enough to express his desires and not walk into situations he doesn’t want, but maybe some people are pleasers, or appeasers, I don’t know his point of view.

 

“When did you know you were meant to be the Sidechick?” I asked myself a week ago.  The answer has only just come. When the lovers who understood me best always belonged to their own bland lovers.  Why? Because they were people who are scared of being lonely, and finding someone to attach to yourself, even if they bore you, was good enough for them in a way.

 

“Aren’t you ashamed?”

What is there to be ashamed of? Adults making selfish decisions happens all the time. We are all self centered. 

While discussing a married close relative’s lover with a friend he said “You should go sort her out..Or ask her not to go out with him. Ask her to go.” And I didn’t understand why. She is living her life and basking in the adoration of a married man. That doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is how said married man seems to have lost his mind and is so infatuated with her that he no longer looks after his own family. And that too, is not her fault.

“Better”

Is “better” a monogamous relationship because from what I’ve heard it seems to be. It seems to be being with someone who’s “your own” and I don’t know why it has to be that someone being “your own” means putting it out there for the world to see with labels and Facebook relationship statuses.

I think a lot of people miss out on affection becomes they assume they only have one soulmate.  That love only has to come from one place all the time and that’s the only Truth.

Me? I just have an issue with not giving affection how and when I want. I have an issue with being stifled.  I have an issue with being Someone’s Something and that meaning Nothing.  I have an issue with what’s simple to me and said lover being an issue to everyone else.

“He treats you like he just picked you cos you happened to be there.” 

Someone said that to me and I laughed and simply responded with a “Naaaah.” Because I’m learning that certain levels of intimacy don’t need to be explained, rather felt. 

I feel like who or what he does has nothing to do with me as long as he is happy. Because what’s the point in allowing someone their freedom and claiming to love them, if you won’t let them Be?

 

“I dunno..I just love people, who cares?” – SW