Tag Archives: dating

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The farm had an orange glow from the sun set. I held my fathers attention, and hand, in what felt to me like a true Lion King Moment. As I heard the opening theme song in my head (whose words probably only the writers know but I will try to recreate) nnnnnnyyyyyyyaaaaasssshhhhhiiiinnnngwwennna bla bla bla

lion king

my father said in his deep Zimbabwean accent,  “mwana wangu (my child) you can learn how to be a better person even in a math classroom”

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Dating Economics

Me and Mr. Husky

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He had a deep voice. The kind that sends vibrations along your spine and makes all the hairs on your arms stand up.

He had dark brown eyes. The ones where you find yourself willing to get lost in the stolen glance you share.

And his mind! HIS MIND!

From the word hello our conversation took a natural flow.

He playfully touched my hand and with a jolt brought me back to reality.I suddenly noticed how close we were sitting and how we had formed a bubble away from the rest of the room. I was well past the line when I realized I had crossed it. This had gone from a stimulating talk with a stranger, to flirting with an acquaintance and was dangerously creeping into an irresistible attraction.

My mind told me to find a casual way of mentioning my boyfriend… I searched hard for anything… it was like grasping for straws while sinking in quick sand. “Think” i urged myself, “mention how you and.. what’s that boy’s name!! Ok, talk about how you love to go hiking with your boyfriend… nope that’s a lie and it won’t sound nonchalant at all…..me and sports never look laid back.. FOCUS! think think….”

As the waiter drops of my drink I look up to hear Mr. Husky say “you’re having a beer right, my girlfriend only likes cocktails”  WHAT!!

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WHHAAT!!

“act cool, keep smiling.” 

I opened my mouth and said “yeah, I usually do cocktails too” but my heart was yelling, “why would you flirt with me if you have a girlfriend!! You cheater!!!! And how in the hell did you learn how to bring up your girlfriend in conversation with such a breezy tone!” And yes, I mentally wrote down that line, you never know when I could use it.

I know I had no right to be mad, but I was. I felt like I had lost that Battle Of Who Is More Committed to a random stranger. Worse…I felt guilty that I was a little hurt I would never get to see where this attraction could have gone.

Instantly the conversation hit a dead end and stopped flowing. One half of my brain began to sieve out inappropriate comments while the other half tried to win back the battle by thinking of smart ways to mention how my sexy, smart, sweet amazing boyfriend (whose name was somewhere along the tip of my tongue) was better than the guy sitting in front me.

I often thought being faithful was something someone did naturally. As though finding the man you want to spend the rest of your life with meant all the other men in the world automatically paled in comparison. But as I’ve grown I’ve learnt how the opposite is true.

When I was single I would look at all men from a “could he be the one” angle. I would analyze our conversations and because I was over thinking it often I wouldn’t take time to appreciate who they were. Now I talk to men from a “can he keep a conversation going? angle. This angle lets me put aside all my dating bitterness and silly notions of what a smart man sounds like and lets me see them in a positive light.

Now being faithful is an active choice. I remind myself how wonderful CLAYTON  (YES!! I remembered his name! WHOO)  I remember how much joy he’s brought to my life. And I not only think of ways to avoid the Mr. Husky’s of the world, but I actively walk away from them.  

 

 

Aside

“What do you like about him?”

Every time you start to date someone, whether that someone is a friend of a friend, a part of the gang, you can expect to face this question, many many … MANY times. I’ve always dreaded this question. Maybe because I wasn’t into psychoanalyzing my relationships or more because I dread the reaction and judgement from whoever is asking.

I’ve dated the party animal. The man who whenever I saw him, adventure was guaranteed. he always had a drink in hand. He was the DOS EQUIS man. The most interesting man in the world. He brought out the fun in me. It was exciting that he found me exciting Passion was our game. After a steamy make out session or an embarrassing public fight any answer I gave would make my friends cringe. I would get the pity look… I was to them that insecure girlfriend who put up with the drunk asshole.

most interesting man

I’ve dated the prince charming. The one who woke up thinking of me, and slept to the sound of my voice without a care to his phone bill. The one who blew up my phone with page long txts that wished me a happy day or wanted to be sure I’d got home safe. It was lovely to have someone treat me like a queen… But that answer made me cringe.  How could I live life with someone who treated me like I was made of glass

prince charming

And now I’m dating him. He makes my blood boil, absolutely boil, when he don’t listen to me. Sometimes when he asks a question I just sigh in frustration. And that smug look he has when I ‘m wrong! ARGH! He’s not perfect… but I’m not perfect… And he makes me feel wonderful about myself and my imperfections. He laughs with me at my social awkwardness. He tells me the world is wrong even when I’m acting like a big baby… and I like that about him…

I cringe now because the answer I have to that questions is so simple, honest and straight from the heart:

“What do you like about him?”

I like his eyes. When I look in them, I see me, I see how he sees me. And I believe his eyes.

I like his laugh. And how after the echo of his laugh has faded, the air feels lighter, the world smaller and our love stronger.

I LOVE his heart. Whether its racing because he’s upset, or slow as he plans his next move, I hear it beat in rhythm with mine.

elephant love

What do you like about him

Confession: I dated my sister’s boyfriend

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Right across from the television in the living room, was my father’s pride and joy, the bookshelf. I loved to see him reach out and pull out a book, I would watch him leaf through until he found the exact section he was looking for. The look of bewilderment would be replaced by a look of relief, as enlightenment dawned on him.

Bit by bit, I devoured the books on that shelf.It is because of that shelf that I am an avid reader

Naturally, as most girls, I loved the bible stories retold with beautiful pictures, the fables, and the fairytales. Books were my favorite form of entertainment, till i discovered the tv remote. And while I expanded my vocabulary, perfected my grammar and learnt the art of storytelling, I missed an equally important lesson until recently.

As I was watching a television show ( i am not ashamed to admit, it was Jerry Springer, the show that requires no brain cells to be used at all) a message from my ex-boyfriend came in. You know the kind, the ones where even though you hate Taylor Swift, you wanna sing the entire song “never getting back together” and leave it on his voicemail instead of typing a reply. I started to wonder why my love life could not be like the fairy tales I had read about as a child. Why my life, in general, could not be like a fable where I pull out the sword from the stone and be declared a king! And i must say as I looked at the television screen, I was comforted that my life was not a special on the show.. or was it?

Then just like the look of enlightenment world pass my father’s face, it came over me. Stories, fairytales, fables are all told to teach a life lesson. Even though the story never seems about you the reader in particular, the truth is it applies to everyone. They are meant to be a guide to how to handle real life situations. We can all learn a life lesson from the stories we read.

What have I learned from those pages of black and white is that life can be colorful… From, the party girl, Cinderella I have learnt that now matter how tired you are from being overworked, always welcome magic and happiness into your life, one magical night is all you need. This lesson I try and remember when on a Friday night i’m exhausted from work but someone calls with the opportunity to go paint the town red.  And of course I learnt that a princess looks impeccable and gorgeous at every ball she attends.

From parables I learnt God invented genetically modified foods, so if you have too many friends over, pray over the food, and the five loaves and two fish you had left in your fridge can be a feast.  sharing a meal can fill all the bellies around the table and the good company can leave your heart feeling more love than it can contain.

I picked up a few good hair tips from Rapunzel. And from what I considered one of the scariest childhood stories, I learnt to always remember someone’s name before you go into business with them. Rumpelstiltskin is the only reason I take extra efforts to remember every guy I have ever given my number to.

From Humpty Dumpty… well i’m still wondering why if you’re an egg, you’re on a wall in the first place. Which I guess is a lesson in itself.

Then I realized that if these fables teach everyone something, the idea then is that life is a repeat. What is happening to you, has happened to someone else before, and will happen to someone else after. The pessimist may think that means life is not unique, the optimist (who I chose to side with) should infer that if i listen enough to others I have a chance to make the right decision in my life by avoiding their mistakes. I just need to learn.

Back to the title:

That isn’t me in the picture and this isn’t a Jerry Springer special. It is the realization that my ex-boyfriend exhibited the same a**hole traits my sister’s boyfriend had. He had the same beliefs, the same reactions, in the end the same complaints and our relationship fell to a similar demise. My sister saw it early on as I rambled on about “what he’d said… what I’d said… but i’ll forgive him”  Unfortunately when she pointed it out I was so adamant in my belief that my relationship was nothing like her’s. Her’s had been a failure, mine would work. I was resolved we were unique to all the other failed relationships I had watched my silly love drunk sister and friends have.

I was dead wrong. Had I chosen to listen, I may have exited earlier and saved myself the $1.99 I used to download Taylor Swift’s song from Itunes.

History repeats itself! The next time I pick up the phone from a friend about a problem, I won’t only play Aunty Agony, I’ll try to remember the scenario, so when it creeps up, I know which fable it relates to.