Hello … It’s Me!


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I was wondering if after all of these months you would still like to see another blogpost..?!

I was somewhat taken aback when WordPress kindly notified me that not only have I reached my 2nd blogiversary but also that I haven’t posted a blogpost for 8 months. Truly time does fly.

I wish I could say I went on adrenalin infused adventures that kept me away from writing but rather as the youth often proclaim ‘life happened’.

I have been thinking of a career change for quite some time. Being the indecisive person that I am it took me a while to narrow down my career interests.  I have finally settled on what it was that I wanted to do. I left my previous job which admittedly was the scene of many timely blogposts and few eyebrow raising characters.

Naturally this realisation did play on my mind a bit and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried that my new chosen career path would lack that kind of inspiration. But alas, my new co-workers did not disappoint.

I head into the New Year armoured with blogposts that could potentially see me through 2016. Let’s just say that being the only menstruating woman amongst a pool of menopausal women isn’t an easy treachery to navigate. I never know which way the hormonal wind will blow.

Hello, how are you? It is so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry!

I hope that you are all well!

 

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Aisles of Inequality


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I am one of those people who enjoy scouring the shops for hours sometimes even aimlessly. However yesterday that was tested. I had an aim and I was restricted for time. I decided to go look for a birthday card for my male friend; something that I thought, assumed, misjudged would suffice within my 60 minutes lunch break. But inequality had it that such was not to be the case.

It turned out that almost 99 percent of the birthday cards in the shop were dedicated to the female form. Usually I would celebrate this and regard it as a small step towards gender equality. But I couldn’t help but think of our society’s normative expectations and its understanding of women.

Amongst the array of pastel coloured teddy bears, cards and mugs dedicated to the female form (why would anyone like such junk I don’t know but that is commercialism for you), was just an onslaught of fuchsias. The only ruminants of a male birthday cards were those that had seedy sexualised sub contents or those that played to the tunes of football hooliganism.  I was aghast at the suggestive tones of the card shop. Is this what we think all men are into,  that they would enjoy this kind of graphic garbage on their birthday…Oh deary deary  me,  what is the world coming to, eh..?!  I, for one, was not going to perpetuate these stereotypes.

I was ready to give the sale assistants a piece of my mind, whom by the way, were all women, which perhaps explains the unequal distribution of gendered cards. When I approached the first sale assistant, she was on an unsupported ladder, looking down haphazardly whilst arranging a fury of soft animals.  Everything about her screamed occupational hazard to me, so I left her in search of the next sale assistant. As I got closer to the second sale assistant, my nostrils were hit by a foul smell of dog poo, vomit and B.O.  Before I could turn around and run away from this foul smelling woman she uttered “can I help you?”… Blimey no, but I think you need more help!

I ran towards the third sale assistant who by the time I got to her was helping an orderly queue of women make their purchases. I am all for good customer service so I left her to it and I just continued with my search for inoffensive, not so girly, birthday card. But such was not to be … so I ended up leaving the store … because finding a decent card for a man is apparently impossible.

When I got back home that night, understandably miffed by the events of my lunch hour I communicated that anger to my brother. I was riled by the inequality I witnessed, I endured on behalf of my friend and all the other men who would just like to have a decent birthday card. I informed my brother that we needed to mobilise the masses, strategise and tackle this frankly ludicrous practice which I am only assuming is a mainstream practice amongst all card shops.

But I was taken aback by the somewhat lacklustre reaction I got from him.  He just hmm’d and ahhh’d at my monologue. At first I thought, you know what mate I don’t appreciate this defeatist attitude so I banged on the equality drum harder; that this equality for the female form might be bit premature in 2015.

My peroration fell on deaf ears!

Then it occurred to me that maybe men aren’t as bothered about birthday cards and the likes and maybe it’s us women who perpetuate these sentimental ideals. Maybe they are just at their happiest left alone with their FIFA (insert any given year), playing along with their equally unbothered virtual brethrens.

Armed with this epiphany, I headed to the games shop and bought my friend just that- FIFA’15…

Alas normative masculinity depends upon outsiders to define it!

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Feminism: according to the men in my family


My father is a Feminist Capitalist; my mother a Feminist Socialist. Brought together by the swinging sixties and the hippie flower power my father and mother were poles apart. They had one thing in common though; rallying Women’s Liberation Movement. But that is as far as their similitude stretches.

Needless to say each one of their offspring was pre destined to being a Feminist stroke something or another regardless of their gender. Maybe that is because the men in my family were outnumbered. To every one XY chromosome holder, there were three XX chromosome holders lurking around. Cynicism aside though, the struggles faced by the female form is still palpable. The men in my family like to alleviate some of those struggles in their own little idiosyncratic way.

Take my father for example; he is constantly challenging societal norms and ideologies that a women is nothing but a rotten tomato if she is to hit twenty five years of age and isn’t under the guardianship of a husband. Aside from the fact that this is a poor metaphor because tomatoes don’t last that long (or do they); in the spirit of feminism and the capitalist ethic, my father is of the opinion that everyone should do their bit in a capitalist society. Women shouldn’t be regarded as a second class citizen, they should be free to conduct trade (amongst other things) as and when they see fit.

Ripe or rotten tomato we may be, telling my father one would like to get married is equivalent to committing the cardinal sin. There is a long list of achievements a female has to tick off before she can even think of introducing a gentleman caller to my father. Let’s face it those divorce statistics are not very appetising.

There are a lot of upheavals to overcome. A glass ceiling to break, a FTSE 100 to conquer, gender based violence to abolish, equality to attain, oppression to overcome alongside a whole host of other barriers. According to one statistic “if the skills and qualifications of women who are currently out of work in the UK were fully utilised, the UK could deliver economic benefits of £15 to £21 billion pounds per year – more than double the value of all our annual exports to China”. Now that is a statistic for my father to revel in.

Of course, there is a downside to having fellow males appropriating the female struggle. Don’t expect any help from the men in my family simply because you are of the female form. Whenever I attempt to use that card it backfires on me. Such are the times when I instruct my brother to take the rubbish out, why? Because in certain parts of the world women aren’t allowed to step a foot outside so this is my way of standing in feminist solidarity with my fellow comrades. Needless to say he refuses to do so why? Because I need to step up to the equality game and be appreciative of privileges bestowed upon me as a young woman living in a first world culture and take out the rubbish myself, even if it is 2:00am.

Nor should I expect to be chauffeured to and fro when I can’t be bothered to utilise my bus pass and hop on public transport. Instead I am told by the male figures in my family (and females alike) that I should use that as a motivation to get my license and get my own car. Why… because some of us have to live with the burden of being chauffeured around and never getting the chance to exercise our inalienable right to frolic with the wheels of a vehicle.

Oh the dysphoria!

Ermm on a more trivial note I wonder if car insurance is cheaper for women on the basis that we are better drivers; even if I can’t attest to that myself, just yet!

On How to Dress Non-European Legs


IMG_6754Sometimes you have no choice but to accept certain truths and find yourself an appeasing alternative. From the comfort of hindsight I can relay that cigarette trousers would never look good on my pear shaped body, regardless of how much I adore the cut. I stick with an alternative that’s appeasing to all parties concerned, my pear shaped body included. That’s skinny thigh slimming high-waisted jeans.

It does the trick of affording me in-nomination of thighs and hips albeit temporary and for that I am eternally grateful. The alternative would have been ugly soul wrenching boot cut, or so experts on how to dress for your body shape tell me. Just writing it I feel a bit of me died (obviously it wouldn’t be thighs).

Dressing what I like to call non-European legs can be quite daunting. There is much more technicalities to it. More things to consider in order to fit a non-European pear shaped legs into a European shaped trousers. The waist size should be a size smaller if the length is longer than usual. If the waist is the right size the length should still be an inch longer. Never fold the hems more than once. Always fold the hems inwards. The wash should always be dark. Extra stretchy. Pockets at the right angle from hips. No embellishments. No cuts. No fraying. Nothing too busy!

As you grow older this little old thing called metabolism refuses to cooperate as if you don’t have enough ageing setbacks to deal with. It wants to challenge you not when you were young and free but now that you are older and busier than ever (in my case lazier than ever). You have to sweat it out whereas before you didn’t have to do anything about it: just continue with operation abuse thy body and still look good.

After years of feasting on dry burnt toast for breakfast every morning, free bowel movement is a thing of the past. Add lactose and gluten intolerance to the mix and hey presto you look like you have been permanently pregnant for the past 4 years.

Oh the joy!

And if that wasn’t cruel enough some wicked person out there decided that midriff bearing should be fashionable once more.

Oh you meanie!

 

To Commit or Not Commit


I am commitment phobic… There folks I said it. This psycho-analytical revelation wasn’t something I wasn’t hitherto unwary of. Of the plethora of phobic paraphernalia I suffer from, fear of commitment is the only one I never actually admitted to myself or to anyone else interested in such folly.

It wasn’t until a recent conversation with a friend in which I became somewhat epiphanic. It was then, amidst a gentle grilling from my friend where he questioned why I fail to attend the gym that it dawned on me that maybe I suffer from commitment phobia.

Of course I didn’t admit that to my friend. I saved him the heart break, the realisation that his friend prefers a life of sedentary solitude where the only commitment required is with the couch as opposed to being his gym partner-come-protégé. Though I might need to explain to him in 6 weeks’ time why his fitness plan isn’t working for my pot belly.  I suppose I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I have an aversion to anything that requires an undertaking that lasts any longer than an hour. I lose concentration and generally fall out of love with anything humanly or otherwise after 60 minutes. That’s why at 27 I don’t have a phone contract, I am semi-vegetarian, I have a gym membership that I never use and more or less freak out every time someone mentions the word marriage.

Though at 27 escaping the word marriage (and sales advisors with lucrative phone contracts) is almost inescapable. I am the Jennifer Aniston of my world minus the blonde tresses; though I am working on that. Everyone wants to know when you’ll get married. For a commitment phobic like me that’s on par with asking a vegetarian (which I also happen to be, albeit semi) let’s dive into a bit of a bone marrow stew… Someone pass me the sick bucket…

Puking aside… The marriage references, innuendos, offerings, insults; whatever the narrative, has been on the rise. For many self-appointed worriers, I am close to surpassing my sell by date and destined to a life of putrefaction; only exasperated by not having an equally elusive phone contract with the latest 4G technology. I need saving, I am told with great assiduousness.

Commitment is what turns a promise into a reality. I don’t like making promises I can’t keep and I am relatively happy with my current stream of reality. The rebel in me doesn’t want to be confined into the linear narration of a commitment. I can’t commit to commitments, I really just can’t.

I like the excitement of what nonconformist ideals may bring me…According to Warren Farren “when women hold off from marrying men, we call it independence. When men hold off from marrying women, we call it fear of commitment.” As I am often told, I was probably a man in my previous life that is now incarnated as a woman. I am an independent person (note my intentional use of an abstract noun here) who has commitment issues.

Do I love you? Maybe I do maybe I don’t…

Or if we consider my 6 year old nephew’s pertinent question “am I your favourite?” to which I reply to with unabashed uncertainty “maybe you are maybe you are not”…after all there is a tribe of nieces and nephews all competing for that coveted position.

There is something in the ‘maybe’ that appeals to me. Its tentative nature is all but too comforting. For now all I can commit myself to is a mere maybe…

The uncommitted life is one truly worth living, or at the very least worth exploring!! That in itself my friend,s is an unconditional commitment.

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Twitter Trawling


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I am for the most part apathetic to social networking sites. Almost a year ago I wrote a vituperative verbose on social media. In my teens I was more receptive to these things than I admittedly am now. The nomenclature of networking sites I found myself on was quite nauseating looking back at it now. I was very much active in these parts up until the invention of Facebook. Facebook came and put a callous end to my social networking curiosity. Anything that came after Facebook failed to capture my attention. Maybe there was more emphasis on the networking element than selfie promotion back then. I have no desire to have multiple social media presence with my over filtered self, overzealous status updates about my ‘oh-so-perfect-self’ for all and sundry to gawk at.

People don’t join social networking sites these days to network but to compete for pseudo statuses and epithets such as fashion icon or MUA and to make one’s mark on the virtual world firmly known. Neo social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Snap-chat (and whatever else that I am not aware of) have created a generation of young people who are fame hungry. Everyone wants to be famous; everyone wants to increase their following.

In the last decade social media has come a long way since the days of Black Planet and MSN. There was no pressure on us users to have filtered selfies (photoshoped I believe was the word back then). People were more interested in meeting others and having a good old jolly chat in forums. Let’s not exaggerate there were weirdos, peados and bullies lurking around back then as well.

After upgrading my dilapidated phone last October I joined Instagram. For someone who enjoys a bit of visual art (and stalking) I found it refreshing. There was a remarkable array of pictures on everything from what Instagrammers were referring to as food porn, though most times it was something out of the local chippy that was filtered with to look like something out of a Michelin star restaurant. The fakery was disquieting. From the demonstration of perfectly drawn eyebrows (you know I am a sucker for a bit of an arch); to coma inducing landscapes.

I was hooked and soon Facebook took a backseat.

Of course Zuckerberg couldn’t stand my absence so the guy purchased Instagram…the cheek!! So now I am left with instalments of fake pictorials of femme fatales who claim mastery in something or another- unbeknown to Zuckerberg that some of these folks I know in real life and wouldn’t want to extend the acquaintship to the virtual world too. Instagram’s excuse for suggesting these folks to me: “based on what you might like”.

Conjectural ideas always lead to distaste.

Yesterday I had a picture suggested to me of someone that looked familiar. Nosiness had it that I clicked on the said picture. After scouring the account my suspicions were founded. The person was indeed someone I met at a social gathering and here they were with endless selfies portraying their aptitude in the application of makeup. In fact they were urging people to book them.

From experience (the observatory type of course) anyone who mixes primary colours on their face and has inverted commas for eyebrows is not to be trusted with your own face.

I’m just saying…

And then there is the adverts thing… It is always related to chocolate. Admittedly I salivate over it but then I quickly snap out of it and wonder if there is anything these people don’t assume I would like.

Damn you Zuckerberg, this is Facebook all over again!!

Fast forward to August of this year and I joined Twitter of all things. I mean I wasn’t a pseudo celebutante that needed to preach to my following my latest endorsements, a labelistic activist who needed to start a hashtag revolution of sorts or campaign for the welfare of extinct polar bears in Namibia. What is more, I didn’t comprehend this whole hashtag speech.

After an hour crash course on hashtag speech and all things Twitter from a friend I joined the bloody thing. It was terrifying at first. Everything landed into a whirlpool of hashtags that then turned into a trending topic depending on the number of tweets it got. Thus far none of the trending topics were of any value to me. It ranged from topics condemning feminists as being ugly which then warranted selfie smash down of not so ugly (I wasn’t judging) women trying to showcase that good looks and labelistic activism can indeed be mixed.

After all most of those selfies looked like something you would find in prime numbered pages of tabloid newspapers and Lad’s magazines.

The hardest part of Twitter was getting to grips with the word limit. As someone who loves a good waffle this was and is testing. Hundred forty five characters don’t suffice my tendency to over elaborate, to digress.

Thus far my longer rants, or should that be opinion posts remain with Facebook.

Truth of the matter is Twitter was a pleasant surprise. Apart from the odd unnecessary information, promotion and the likes it has been well…edifying.

In the words of my friend I am old fashioned if I want to stalk someone; I do so in my blacked out SUV!

Disclaimer: I don’t own an SUV blacked out or otherwise!

 

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Stepping Off the Career Ladder


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I am certain that I have mentioned in few posts that I always battled with indecisive idiosyncrasy. When you are as indecisive as I am, options can be daunting. When you are young and inexperienced, options are really frightening. Why… because with no clear strategy on how to tackle whatever options given to you, it can hold you back. Where careers are concerned this can be taxing. Hence why I am always in need of second opinions.

In recent months I have learnt that stepping off the career ladder is equally as important as stepping on it and progressing through it. Sometimes it is more progressive to take some time out and evaluate whether the rat race is at all for you.

Why is that? Read me out…

At the age of 21 I found myself with an undergraduate degree that I didn’t have a clue what to do with. That is the problem in my opinion with generalist degrees that can be applied to any setting. But that was precisely what attracted me to my degree… that I wouldn’t be tied to one specific career path…that I could explore others with it.

Exploration with no real strategy is equivalent to walking blind on the edge of a treacherous road. Not only are you clueless about what’s to come but worse you are ill equipped to deal with any mishaps that may arise.

Of course, there was a catalogue of opinions from career advisors, family, friends, neighbour’s dog, to total strangers. They all had opinions!

Opinions on how one should pursue a career in Policing just because they studied Criminology or become a Social Worker because they studied Sociology!! At least that was from those who remotely understood what Criminology or Sociology entailed. The rest were just baffled by both subjects and more so as to why anyone would pursue it.

I studied society and why people engaged in criminality, surely there is some credibility in that, no?!

By the time I graduated I found myself amidst a global recession. From the comfort of hindsight, it wasn’t as bad. At the very least, It gave me the chance to enhance my academic pursuits. I would have lost track of it if I was off to my first graduate job in my prescribed field that would have supposedly put me on the career ladder.

That is not to say that I didn’t work, of course I did; I never knew anything but to work. In fact I managed to hold onto a full time job whilst doing my Masters. This time I knew what I wanted to get out of it, both academically and professionally, where I wanted to go with it: International Development. So I embarked on a yearlong course in International and European Human Rights Law.

By the end of it, we were still amidst a global recession, so securing a job in that field was almost impossible. I was tempted to take the academic route and pursue my passion for academia and study for a PhD.

Of course I received all sorts of illogical protests- from the sublime to the ridiculous. There were the ones who staunchly believed that PhD’s were meant to be done when you are in your forties. My personal favourite was that I would somehow put myself out of reach from the regular men and miss out on marriage.

I am all for defying the odds and refuting age old institutions. The feminist in me saw a fruitful future with a herd of cats… I don’t even like cats, they unnerve me!

The problem with doing a PhD then is that it would have made me more overqualified for the jobs I wanted than I already was; or so the recruiters were telling me.

The second problem with that option is that come three years’ time I would find myself in the same situation my 21 year old self was: inexperienced yet overqualified. This graduate job market is a minefield for the unwary.

So I took the time out to explore various career paths and gauge what my indecisive self really wanted to do rather than getting trapped into a lifetime of a 9-5 that I wasn’t really keen in.

The greatest advise I got in my career thus far is that if plan A fails, have a plan B, C and D; if need be!

So here I am now embarking on a three years full time PhD course whilst laying the foundations for what I hope to be a global research enterprise and of course doing this little old thing called writing!

P.s I was told that I could procreate and have multiple babies in the course of three years instead… I think I’ll happily take on the challenge of studying human behaviour as opposed to making them….

 

Enough about me, What is your career story?

 

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He Who Pays the Pauper Plays the Tune


I am a wall flower who dabbles in extroversion as and when I please. My placid demeanour is too often interpreted as being innocuous; my silence is taken as a queue for others to maintain a perfidious act. But don’t get me wrong I can be acerbic.

In recent months I have had the inopportune luck of crossing paths with a man and a woman who love nothing but to serenade me with tales of their coquettish youth and triumphant adulthood. The man in particular enjoys the tune of his own voice. He would recall exuberantly how he saved the youth of the city from the wretched path they were bound to take; of the bountiful accolades he gotten for his altruism.

His intelligence too knew no bounds; he was on course on getting an honorary PhD for his work, though he was a tad bit miffed as to why his name wasn’t listed on any of the previous years’ list of University honoraries. His delusion was disquieting.

He particularly had a thing for using proverbs out of context. He who pays the pauper plays the tune was his go to explanation for his social activism (or the lack thereof). A sign of intellectualism he may have thought. Intellectualism that required pseudo as a permanent prefix, I would have told him.

The woman on the other hand has provided me with too many moments of unadulterated laughter. I laughed at her, with her and for her. She assumes different pseudo intellectualism based on the topic of discussion. Depending on where her delusions of grandeur take her, her epithets can range anything from a scientist to a mathematician and everything in between. If anyone crosses her path; usually someone she finds professionally threatening they will be the subject of her desktop research analysis. MI5 have lost out on a great agent in her!

If I want to impress someone I let my work speak for itself (and eyes if need be). The thing with insecurities is that regardless of how long a diatribe you do, it will eventually catch up with you: as was the case with the two protagonists of this post. Your constructed words reveal the very thing you so desperately want to hide. You eventually run out of fuel and have no choice but to put out the fires of your constructed lies. Should you then come clean and not feel ashamed of whom you are..?

NOPE! That wouldn’t be the case where those two are concerned. They just move onto the next thing that they can grab hold of to feel great about themselves. Right now climate change is hot on the agenda and I suspect it won’t be long before these two jump on that bandwagon. I can already foretell the woman offering me a rundown of her contribution to this cause come Monday morning. How she was invited to present at international conferences (over the course of the weekend nonetheless) and part her wisdom on how to best tackle this issue. The man will offer me his ersatz political analysis on the issue and simply conclude ‘he who pays the pauper plays the tune’!

I must admit that the sanguinity within which they deliver their delusions is rather inspiring.

Engaging in what is often a one sided conversation with these two requires a lot of mental yoga. Because after weeks of listening to continuous repletion of grandeur my ears are suffering from repetitive strain injury whilst these two could only be described as suffering from the onset of a premature dementia.

In the now clichéd words of Sweet Brown “aint nobody got time for that“. I am too busy admiring the perfectly groomed and styled beards of the world. The hipsters are saving mankind one beard at a time. I always knew you hipsters had it in you. Hoorah!

Though they have admittedly created one problem for me and I’m sure many other folks who upon meeting such fine specimen are unsure as to whether one should offer their salaam and lower their gaze; or toss with loose strands of hair whilst simultaneously fluttering eyelashes and coyly enquire “so do you come here often?” ….. I digress…..

Please Take A Compliment


Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate Cheesecake

Compliments are contentious where I am concerned, especially unwarranted ones. Due to my over analytical nature I admittedly look too much into the ulterior motives behind the compliment. Thanks to the great genes my parents kindly bestowed on me, people often question my age. Upon finding that I am more than legal, conversations take an altogether different realm. Digressive paraphernalia becomes the norm. I end up being an involuntary party to a diatribe I have no business being part of. That is when the creepiness seeps through. A furrow of flirtatious furore disguised as a compliment ensues.

I have had my fair share of obscure compliments that make me question not the compliment per say but rather the person who is saying it; once I have untangled the web of obscurity surrounding the compliment that is. Such was the time when someone stopped mid conversation and complimented me on the colour of my natural lips, then stopped to quarrel with himself as to why they were a certain shade of pink! It didn’t help that I was biting my lips in anguish.

A guy once said to me I was classy because of my taste in using mascarpone cheese in my cheesecake as opposed to the supermarket brand cheese. Up until that point I was of the conviction that mascarpone was the norm for all humanity engaged in baking, but it transpired as not being the case. I was aghast at the suggestive undertone of his compliment. Was he implying that I am a stuck up cow who thinks supermarket brand cheese isn’t good enough for my baking stature?

It was truly mortifying and mystifying on equal measures. I didn’t read the compliment in that but rather saw it as an assault on my baking stratagem. We exchanged cheesecake recipes and I implored encouraged him to try mascarpone in his cheesecake as it would give it an elevated taste. The next time I saw the man he acted like he didn’t know me.

Or the time someone expressed to me their desire to be with someone who had my face. I couldn’t help but feel offended on behalf of the rest of my body. I know that I had a midriff bearing worthy body once upon a time; nevertheless this was an insult in my books not a compliment. Upon noticing my disgruntled mood the man in question attempted to justify his bizarre testament. He attested that he liked the symmetry of my facial features and how as long as his significant other had such accolades anything below the neck didn’t matter as much. I wasn’t buying his fervency!

I don’t mind compliments, at least those that are out of the norm. Give me a compliment on my perfectly arched eyebrows. They are by far the most worthy recipients of a compliment or two. They triumphed through a decade of conspicuous craftsmanship, odd shapes and the occasional mishap concerning a razor. The times they got mistaken for belonging to a face of hardened gangster because they had the odd unintentional lines cut through them. That was one heck of a learning curb. I have now established the perfect symmetry and accepted that my eyebrows will never look identical. I am now at peace with the fact that they are not identical twins but second cousins who share one common denominator- my face!

 

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What Man Has Joined Together Let No Man Put Asunder


photo (7)Union or no union that is the question on many minds tonight.

Take Gabriel. We might as well give him a biblical pseudonym. I am really keen in preserving this man’s right to remain anonymous. He is going through a terrible time from the snippets I gathered from his parable; so the least I can do is afford him one of the many basic human rights that he is so convinced was taken away from him.

Gabriel is a man who is a strong advocate of the better together campaign. Better together as a family: Mum- Dad- Children. But his visions were short lived. It transpired after what he described as a minuscule marriage lifespan that his wife had other plans. She didn’t share his apparition, so she devised an evil plan to eliminate his presence and put a callous end to this union. She ignored the majority vote comprised of Dad and Child for a union. It wasn’t long before he found himself in the dog-house with the law enforcement agencies imploring him to surrender or to suffer the consequences of an alleged domestic violence case he was accused of.

At times, during his narration he seemed so close to welling up that I had to call a time out and excuse myself to the toilet so as to avoid witnessing a nervous breakdown. Such scenes are too disturbing for someone who is emotionally unstable these days to witness. I either cry in solidarity with the person (bogies and all) or I lend a sound track of intermittent nervous laughter to an already awkward situation. I am never quite sure which way the hormonal wind will blow. And frankly, I don’t get paid enough to provide my new boss with a shoulder to cry on nor am I professionally equipped to deal with such cases. Is there organisational training for such things because I sure as heck didn’t get any..?!

By the time I visited the toilet for what was the dozenth time in the space of an hour and this time Gabriel being at a real breaking point, closer than ever to a point of no return… I decided to save us both from the imminent. To borrow the local vernacular save him face, and of course protract my sanity!

So I resorted to the only thing I know when placed in such discomfiture – verbal diarrhoea! This time it took an unintended, unexpected religious turn. Gabriel and I were both taken aback

I went on a self-inflicted sermonette on how God knows best, and how Gabriel should put his trust in Him and that everything will work itself out, with the help of God that is!

His pupils retracted those tears faster than I could have anticipated. They were now widening and awestruck. Relieved of their heavy watery task they were now beginning to dance in joy given the gospel I just dropped.

He spoke of marriage idealisms that I haven’t encountered since Sudan was one country. “My son needs his dad”, he would contest. “It is not good for him to grow up in this world fatherless”. “I can’t even see him”, he said dejectedly; those tears threatening to do a comeback. I quickly reasumed my sermonette.

“God is on your side Gabriel” I reassured him. “He won’t leave you to face this alone. Put your trust in him and He won’t disappoint you”.

I was more than happy to continue with this theological monologue, to avoid witnessing this man cry or until the clock indicated home time. God seemed to have answered my prayers because my escapade was nearing. Ten minutes to home time.

He spoke with the fervour of a new convert. “My wife should obey me” he would contest. “She shouldn’t have done what she did and gave me the respect that I deserve as head of the family”. His conviction was infectious I almost believed him too. Thanks to my caffeinated beverage of choice at the time, my sound judgement was somewhat still intact.

The last time such levels of subservience was being practised anywhere; Scotland and England were embarking on a not so holy matrimony of their own…Heck the last time anyone really practised such nonsense the world was one big fat country!

“I still love her though despite everything”, he eventually declared. “I just want us to be united”. I don’t know why the preacher in me turned devil’s advocate. “Maybe she doesn’t want unity, maybe she wants to move on with her life, maybe this union you so desire isn’t a healthy solution for all parties concerned, maybe it is better to part ways. You know how the saying goes if you love something you should set it free. Self-determination and all that jazz”!

I can wholeheartedly attest that this wasn’t the best thing I ever said. He looked troubled. This was troubling. Can I possibly get sacked over this? Shall I just resign now?

“I want to punish her”, he finally said after few moments. “I am going to marry a second wife, then she’ll realise my worth”. Nothing like being part of a concubine to make you realise your husband’s worth, eh.

I felt obliged to reiterate the position of the English legal system on polygamy given that this man was already on bail. Lock yourself up and throw away the keys while you are at it, why don’t you?!

He saw some sense, i think. I saw a man that needed professional help. I could also foresee an ugly divorce battle ensuing.

But it wasn’t long before he started questioning me on how one can acquire a second wife. This was now worrying. I wasn’t sure at which point in this conversation did I indicate that I had a spreadsheet priming with details of women wanting to take the leap into concubine-hood! This was messed up. I was insulted. I acted like I didn’t hear his question.

My Casio watch starting beeping indicating my release. I did my time and I was more than ready for my freedom. “Gabriel I would love to continue this talk with you but I have got to go now”, I said. God doesn’t like liars I reminded myself. He apologised fervently for keeping me behind and offloading his problems on me. Will my services be rewarded with a promotion, I wanted to add?!

“Do you have any children?” he asked just as I was leaving. “No”, I replied. “Ohhh so you won’t possibly know the feeling of parenthood”, he conquered.

 

MIAOW…Gabriel … MIAOW

 

I didn’t think you had such cattiness in you!

Pingaback