I’ve been thinking long and hard about what my writing approach to the virtue of honesty, which will be followed by its significant other, integrity, would be. It’s been tough, because it isn’t as cut and dry as other virtues like kindness – you’re either kind or you’re not; patience – you’re either have buckets full of it, or the little you do have wears thin very quickly; creativity – you either have some kind of arty-farty side, or you don’t. Honesty though, is quite a grey area I’ve come to find as I’ve been chatting to various people in preparation for this piece.
Honesty implies being truthful with your spoken communication, but in the words of one of my favourite musicians, Billy Joel, Honesty is such a lonely word // Everyone is so untrue which is a fair generalization.
Face it – we all lie at some stage of our lives, whether it is telling the- proverbial little white lie*, an outright blatant one#, or omitting the truth+. Most times these dishonesties are justified by good intentions – the examples below are ones I’ve personally heard.
*My ex-wife wanted me to tell our four-year old daughter we were going to the park, because she didn’t want to get into the car to go to church.
#Of course those pants don’t make your arse look fat!
+I spent the day baking (the bit that was omitted was space cakes)
Nikita, the colleague I travel to work with, gave me an entirely different angle as to why people aren’t entirely honest – fear. She used a simple illustration of having spinach stuck in her teeth and me not telling her, for fear that she would be upset with me for the potential embarrassment she’d initially have, but that she’d rather I told her, than have her walk around the office for hours without knowing and everyone having a right old snigger behind her back.
The thing with any forms of untruths is that they may open the door to the creation of trust issues and let’s not try and baffle each other with bullshit here – if trust is broken, it is seldom ever one hundred percent restored.
This is the reason many relationships fail, because the words are empty. Neil Diamond summed it up well when he recorded Love on the Rocksin 1980. Love on the Rocks // ain’t no big surprise // pour me a drink // and I’ll tell you some lies…
The question though is if you reallyknow the person you’re communicating with, and they’re not being entirely honest with you – is it not because they’re trying to protect you? Or because they know you well enough to know that you can’t handle the whole truth (at least not at that moment in time)? Simply answered (and this is hard for me to admit) – yes. However, with that said, there are only a handful of people I know would opt to go this route because they’re thinking more of me, than they are of themselves – and they are the people that are not only honest in my book, but the ones that have integrity too, because they will back up their words with their actions.
I’ll be brutally candid here – I’ve failed at being honest in the past, but with age has come wisdom and I know that my words have power, so I try to be as truthful as I can, with whomever I come into contact, and I will by that same yardstick, maintain my integrity back backing up my words with actions.
I love this definition of honesty – because it is not as black & white as many of the others I’ve found during my research and it is fundamentally true.
Continuing with virtues – today’s topic: Chivalry.
Could it be that we, as modern-day women believe that chivalry is indeed dead? Or is it that we’ve become so jaded (or as we often prefer to label it ‘independent’), that we don’t notice that some gentlemen still exist? Or do you not associate the adage of Manners maketh the man to be chivalry? I’m going to use practical examples from my life, but I’m curious to hear your views, so please leave a comment, if you’d like.
Me? I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, and a giver. A believer of idealistic fairy tales, with their proverbial knights in shining armour.
As a result, I’ve been burned, more times than I care to admit and honestly, cynicism and bitterness had crept into my heart, but I had two choices – allow it to poison me and become hateful or continue to hope and believe that not every man is a bad egg. So, when my friend, Frank replied to my Facebook poll that chivalry is an underrated virtue, it struck a chord the starry-eyed dreamer within me, because I actively started looking for chivalry in my day-to-day dealings with the men in my life – whether family members, colleagues or friends.
I’m ashamed to admit, that I experience chivalry every day but that I hadn’t noticed it because of my own unrealistic idea of what it should be. I’m not going to lie and say I’m not a hearts and flowers girl, because I am. I want those tokens of romance, but I’d much rather have a man walk on the outside of the sidewalk when I’m with him to ensure my safety (because if you know me, you’ll know that I trip over thin air and am likely to get hit by a real car!), or help me carry my parcels when I’ve been grocery shopping.
Most of the senior management at the company I work for, is well, senior, and male. Whenever any of the female staff walk out of a room, one of the men will open the door and they will all wait until the ladies have exited the room, or if one of the ladies has been asked to make coffee for guests, and is carrying the tray, our management will stand up and one will take the tray from us. That’s a chivalrous gesture, not so? Also, in the seven years I’ve been here, I’ve not heard any of the men talk to the women in a disrespecting tone of voice.
For a short season in my life I had a friend, William – eleven years my junior, the eldest of three brothers, from good stock. Whenever he would come to visit, or we’d go out, he would make a point of pouring my alcoholic beverages for me, because, as he’s been raised, a woman doesn’t pour her own booze, and she doesn’t ever pour booze for a man – her husband or not. Even his youngest brother, a high school junior abides by this rule. It was something tough for me to deal with, because I am after all, capable of unscrewing a bottle cap, finding ice in the fridge and pouring my own drink, but in their book of chivalry, that’s not the way it is supposed to be. One thing that he never fails to do (which some of my guy friends also do) is open the car door for a woman. Even when I’d visit at his parents and everyone would walk out to the car to bid me goodnight, he would take my car key, unlock the driver’s door, and open the door for me. Again, a small gesture, but chivalrous nonetheless, and one that gets noticed when it no longer is done, as if often the case when the guy has got the girl, and feels there is no longer a need to impress her.
One of the sweetest, most chivalrous gestures in my book is a man helping a lady into her jacket, or if she doesn’t have one at hand, offering her his when she is cold. I personally almost never have anything warm with me, because I don’t get cold, but when offered a jacket, I will graciously accept, because it shows that the man I’m out with is more than just well-mannered; it shows that he is willing to sacrifice his own comfort for mine.
Almost every year, a friend of mine from Cape Town, Jack, comes to visit for my birthday if he’s in the country. He’ll pick me up, open the car door for me, take me out for a meal at a restaurant of my choice, where he’ll pull my chair out, and we’ll have a good catch-up. At the end of the evening, he will walk me to my door and see to it that I’m safely inside. Again, no ostentatious gestures, but small things that are kind and gentlemanly.
I will also concede to the gallant gents out there, that women (and I know I’m generalizing here, ladies – don’t get your panties in a twist) don’t always make it easy for you either. To give a practical example: Who pays the dinner bill when you’re out, whether as friends, or more? The reason I pose this question is because I have been in relationships where I’ve pretty much fit the bill every time, and as a result, I’m super-mindful of not wanting to be that kind of person. I’m also aware that some of the guy-friends I go out with, earn more than I do, and are happy to pay for a meal, or drinks, but on some level I want to reciprocate. Maybe it’s misguided pride from my side, I don’t know, but it is who I am. I’ve had this discussion with my mate, Charlie and he gets it; he appreciates that I’m willing to put my hand in my pocket, but to some men, it may be perceived as an insult.
In closing, I think a great deal of the ‘problem’ with us as women, is that we often expect huge, grand gestures, instead of seeing the little things, which are the ones that in fact matter the most.
A man offering you his jacket every time you’re out, and it’s cold, is worth way more than a bunch of flowers once in a blue moon.
It’s that time of the year, when I look back reflectively on the year past, and with excitement and expectation for the one that lies ahead.
2017 was a tough year. As an individual I was tested, as a couple my parents were tested, and as a family, you guessed it, we were tested. Yet, here we are on the first day January, with hope and courage in our hearts, and the faithful belief that things will be better this time round. It was also the year that I bid goodbye to seven pairs of shoes, six pairs of which broke at the office. Pair seven broke as I got out the car for my year-end-work-function. As I look back though, as tough as it was, it was a good year, all in all.
January started off slowly, but I did do one parkrun; the only one for the entire year. It was a destined one though, because it was there that I met Heather, with whom I have become quite close. We “get” each other, like uMeredith and Christina do. We’re both book sluts and Dischem whores, who love drinking wine out of enamel mugs at Kaai 4, or eating fish and chips out of polystyrene containers on top of the iconic red London bus at the harbour. In a short twelve months, she’s joined the ranks of “heart sister”.
In February I was faced with a bit of a surprise. The institution through which I studied years ago let me know that if I didn’t complete the final subject of my tertiary year by the end of 2017, I would lose all the credits for that period. I took the leap, borrowed the money and, at the tender age of thirty-seven, hit the books again. It was an experience to say the least, because I struggled with self-discipline. Honestly, had it been anything to do with writing I would have approached it with more enthusiasm. It was also the month I met Charlie, in passing, at Heather’s birthday party, blissfully unaware that by the end of the year he too, would be someone genuinely important in my circle.
The Toppie, Bean and I also went on a bit of a safari adventure, arranged by Tina and some of her friends. It was such a special time for us as a family, where memories were made.
March marched right by. I’ve gone through my photos and I can’t find anything blog-worthy that happened that month.
In April, shortly after The Toppie’s 70th birthday celebration, my parents bid their home goodbye, and moved to a much smaller place, in an industrial area outside of town. It was gut-wrenching to have to watch them sell off their possessions to be able to make ends meet, but through the hardship, they’ve learned that they didn’t need all that stuff – they’ve got each other. It broke my heart when The Bean lost her precious cockatiel, Marley, shortly after.
That same month, a tiny pipe in my bathroom broke, resulting in a flood right through my flat. For three months I couldn’t live there, but thanks to friends and an amazing colleague and his wife, I had a roof over my head the entire time. If I’m honest, I kind of became attached to my transit-home, which was a garden cottage in said colleague’s back garden. The fact that their beautiful Labrador would visit had nothing to do with it.
May was a cold month, so most of the studying I did for exams took place under the duvet, with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. I also spent a great deal of time reading for leisure in the evenings. I discovered the literary genius of Afrikaans author, Deon Meyer and have since read two of his books, Koors and Spoor.
June brought with it the birth of Shayla-Rae’s first child (and my goddaughter), Lily-Rose. She was the most perfect little person I had ever seen.
My heart swelled with pride, not only because I was now a god-mommy, but for my childhood best friend, who pushed that perfect little person out of her vajajay.
I won’t use the exact phrase she did to describe the process of child birth; needless to say, it was colourful.
June also brought with it exams, that, no matter how much I had studied, I still didn’t feel prepared for. I dragged Tina with me to Cape Town, because she needed a break from the drama with her ex, and because I didn’t fancy being in the Mother City without decent company. It was during that visit that I had the best Durban curry of my life – yes, in Cape Town. It didn’t bode well for my exams the next day because it played havoc with my stomach. I wrote what felt like a million words on the answer sheets provided and when I left, after not having completed the final question, I thought I think I’ve done enough to pass. I took Tina up Signal Hill where we nearly blew away (Did someone say Cape Doctor?) and then we went to the Company Gardens to feed the squirrels. The little critters are quite brazen when they know you’re hiding peanuts.
July was a good month. I got to move back home, to newly installed floors and the luxury of a bath. While I love my morning shower, sometimes all that cures the ails of a long day at the office in the middle of winter, is a hot, candlelit bubble bath.
I also got to visit Shalya-Rae, Shane and little Lily-Rose for a few days in the beautiful Tsitsikamma. I really wanted to do the hike to the suspension bridge across the sea and Shayla-Rae indulged me, carrying a sleepy Lily the entire way in the car chair. It was up countless stairs, and down through steep valleys. The view, and the feeling of absolute freedom was amazing. Granted we were windswept and a bit cold afterwards, but it was worth every leg-stiffening step. It’s something I will definitely do again.
Charlie also came home for a holiday and we spent some time together, in an attempt to get to know each other better. While he hasn’t managed to convert me to a KFC fan (yet), I think I did well to make him a Sherlockian. He went back to work in August and his imminent return in January 2018 is something I’m looking forward to.
In August I got my exam results. Thankfully I’d passed. With distinction! I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the results. Over eighty percent. I still don’t know how I managed the excellent mark; I can only think that there were many prayers going up at the time on my behalf.
September. The month of my birthday …Usually I have some kind of shindig to celebrate, but this year, I opted for something a little more low-key. Jensen, a family friend of over twenty-five years, came to visit and took me out for pizza and wine at a new place in town. It was a great catch-up. First Sighting Shiraz is a wine I most certainly need in my collection.
Carmen and Ewan also welcomed their second child into the world. World, meet little Roger!
In October, little Liam, Eliza and Neil’s second child celebrated his first birthday. I have a special tie with him; he’s my “bonding-baby” – the first child I every held that wasn’t even a month old yet, and I believe that he prepared me for Lily-Rose. In the imaginary world I sometimes live in, I imagine the two of them getting married one day.
It was also the first time I got hypnotised. Theresa came to visit and I convinced her to tag along with me to a hypnosis entertainment show. I’ve always wondered about going under but didn’t for a minute think I would be on stage. For over an hour! Theresa was awesome, filming all my shenanigans on her phone. I looked like I had tremendous fun and without a doubt, I will do it again. I woke up the next morning stiff as a board, but after watching the clips, I understand why – I was really active on stage, from being a dinosaur, to a washing machine, to a goldfish, to a rapper, to a lifeguard and then some.
Now, there are few things as daunting as having a man who you’re not having sex with inspect your lady-bits, but in November I trotted off to the surgery. I’d been putting off the gynae visit for months, but due to exacerbating problems around Aunt Flo’s visit every month, I was left no choice but to face the Fanny Flapper and his dreaded (to coin a phrase by a good writer friend of mine) dildo cam. It should be mentioned at this juncture that the past two times I’ve seen him, it has been for emergency procedures, so when he greeted me with, “It’s so lovely to see you here, in my office, instead of the operating theatre,” I couldn’t help but smile. After likening my cycle to that of pig slaughter, it was decided that a deeper look would be crucial to get to the core of the problem. Oh yay, off I go to the hospital. Again. What I wasn’t expecting was that it would be for two procedures. I’d had the first, a laparoscopy, before so I knew what to expect. The second, a hysteroscopy, I was a bit worried about because it sounded a bit scary. Turns out there was reason for concern: The monthly vampire bloodfest seeping from my uterus was due to a teratoma (the same thing the first laparoscopy had been done for to remove). The odd thing was it wasn’t on my ovary, where the little bastards normally cling on, it was between my intestine and my stomach lining. It had all kinds of different human tissue, which I of course find fascinating; most people find it gross. The doctor said they do tend to grow back, but in this particular case, this might be the remnants of the original alien that the first doctor didn’t get entirely removed. Thankfully, I am feeling a great deal better. The night-dwelling-day-sleeping-bloodsuckers are probably really pissed off with me about it though.
December. By definition: Hectic. It is par for the course when one lives in a seaside-resort-holiday-town. With only three weeks available to do what felt like three months’ worth of work, tempers were clearly frayed and the prospect of a holiday was all that kept me from committing murder. Fortunately, before that happened, our bosses were awesome and gave us a delicious year end dinner, which gave me a reason to dress up.
I originally wore a pair of killer silver heels, but both shoes broke as I got out the car.
Little Lily-Rose was christened in the Dutch Reformed Church a stone-throw away from a one-horse-town called Kareedouw. It wasn’t without its own hysterics. Shayla-Rae’s mum put her button-up dress over her satin slip (which was keeping her warm). As we stood up to sing the first hymn, her pretty, pink pyjamas landed in a crumpled heap at her feet. I of course was the only one who saw it, and trying not to laugh, only made me want to laugh more. It may not sound funny to those of you reading this, but to me it was hysterical.
It was also my twenty-year school reunion, which I didn’t attend due to other commitments. From the photos it looks like much fun was had. One pleasant surprise was seeing Nola and her husband Connor, who decided to surprise my parents and I with a visit. She was also a best friend at school and boarded with us in our final year. Our paths don’t cross often anymore, because she lives in a different city, and has Connor and two beautiful boys to look after, but she has never forgotten my-, or my parents’ birthdays. I on the other hand am an epic failure at remembering hers.
It was also the month I realized what my biggest fear is. After having written that post, and some of the responses I received, a few things have more perspective for me now, for which I’m grateful.
Christmas was not a lavish affair for which my jeans still thank me. We had a small braai with Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry and vetkoek. For those of you not familiar with the term, it is bread dough that is deep friend which can be enjoyed with a selection of savoury spreads or sweet preserves.
Shortly after, my former roommate, Sarah, and her fiancé, Sam, came to visit. She is also someone I refer to as a “heart sister” and she is the youngest one of them all. I am her “big (but thin) sister”. We had plans for a day of catching up in the summer sunshine, but not before this:
They’re getting hitched in November next year, so I already have something to look forward to in 2018. You see, I’ve never been a bridesmaid before.
And then, to almost end of 2017, Shayla-Rae and her other half, Shane took me to an open air concert, where there were 12000 people. It may not sound like many, but in the sleepy hollow town where I live, that is probably the entire population out of season. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long while. The R150 Shane paid for six beers though, left a bitter taste in his mouth – it was R10 short of what they’d paid for one (golden circle) ticket.
I’m off to spend the last night of the year with Shayla-Rae and her family at the farm.
My blog is a relatively no-holds barred space. I write about different things, and often from one extreme to the next. I know that I have different readership, for which I am grateful, but I want to state, again, that I will not tolerate prejudice from those readers who disagree with the content of any of my posts – like the atheists about my religious/faith posts, or the Bible followers that disagree with my view on people like Aimee and her choices. If you can’t respect that, then I’d rather have you unfollow me.
My exams are finally over. *Happy dance*! I got back from Cape Town on Friday afternoon, and was surprised to hear that Aimee was in town. Obviously, we had to get together to catch up on what’s happened since our last visit, a fortnight shy of a year.
Poor woman. She is totally fucked – in the physical sense of the word, but in the psychological realm too. She’s not crazy (well, then again, she is in my inner circle, so maybe she is a bit touched), but mind-fucked.
A lot has gone down in the past year, which is the last time I saw her:
Junior got involved with a girl his own age and from what Aims tells me, he seems idyllically happy. She seems okay about it, telling me that on the odd ocassion he’ll call, just to hear how she’s doing, which she appreciates, although he did tell her the other night that while he was in the shower, he thought to himself that he should phone her. Hello?! He’s involved with another chick, yet he thought about Aimee when there was steam surrounding his naked body while hot water was pounding his flesh. Well, maybe it wasn’t just hot water… In the back of her mind though, I think she knew even if they had got their groove on, it would have been short-lived.
Mr. Married Willy is also out of the picture. I say, “Thank God!” even though she is devastated. While all he initially wanted was the intellectual sex, they decided to meet in person a while ago, but he couldn’t get out of the house, “for fear of making my wife suspicious” and then again recently, but nothing came of it. I said he got cold feet, she said he got a cold heart, which shriveled his dick and crumbled his spine. I get her anger, but he is married, although I know better than to bring that up because it’s not what she needs-, nor wants to hear right now.
She tried to be brave when telling me of her disappointment, but I know she’s hurting. I’m not sure if she was in love him, but she was curious, and with her vivid imagination, I think she had some kind of picture in her head of him getting a divorce, then having rip-roaring, sheet-tearing, chandelier-swinging sex with him, and possibly, some kind of future. It’s a definite no-go after he made some shitty excuse about not being able to see her. Snap! That’s the sound of the little bit of frayed line that held whatever-it-was-they-had together. I want to phone him and tear a strip off of him, but she’s put a leash on me, so she’s planning her own revenge. She knows who his wife is, and it’s easy enough to get in touch with her on Facebook. She has every last text message, and e-mail exchange of the almost two years they’ve been corresponding, and she has no qualms about forwarding them to his unsuspecting wife. I can only hope she changes her mind because while he deserves to be miserable and alone, his children didn’t ask for this.
There’s no shortage of virile men around Aimee though. Mr. Freak, now known as Mr. Hot Bunz is still in the picture, which surprises me, especially after her disconnection from the moment the last time and because Friends with Benefits is not her style; being a fuck-buddy, with the right guy is. For those of you not sure what the difference is:
Friend with Benefits: Person who is a friend, with whom you enjoy spending time, doing friend-stuff, but it may or may not end up with you doing the horizontal mambo. When either one is in a relationship, then the benefits are forfeited.
Fuck Buddy: You both fuck each other senseless and then sleep in your respective homes. There is nothing friend-like about the arrangement. You’re basically carnal rabbits in a cosmic pheromone-filled warren. Synonym: Booty Call.
So, now that you have the nutshell meanings, Aims is the kind of girl that’ll hook up for the occasional one-night-stand, and if he has her coming like a garden hose, she might even enter into a fuck-buddy arrangement with him, but it will never involve doing ‘relationshippy’ things, like drinks at a fancy bar, walks on the beach or a movie-night, with pizza and wine, nor will it ever involve him/her spending the night. It will be wanton sex. Nothing more, nothing less.
But it’s different with Mr. Hot Bunz and it’s messing with her head. He’s become her friend and a confidante. I’ll chalk the latter off to the fact that I live too far away for her to pop in for a heart-to-heart over a glass of good red. She hooked up with him the same night Mr. Married Willy stood her up, and it blew her mind, but she feels guilty now.
“Oh. My. God! Aims, you’re not…”
Yes, she’s in love with him, and she has made the epic mistake of telling him how she feels. Kudos to him for not getting into his car and riding a million miles in the opposite direction, even more so when she may, or may not have told him in a hazy sleep-awake moment that she loved him, or someone else. She knows she heard a loud, “What?” from a voice, but she’s not sure if it was his voice, or if she dreamt the whole thing. If she did say it out loud, I hope it was that she loved him, because she’s already had one strike. I also hope that if he is an actual knight in shining armour, that he will at least be open to something more, because while Aimee almost never has her shit together, she is a one in a million girl and when she’s in a committed relationship, she’s in it for keeps. All she needs is a good guy to take a gamble on her. I know if he does, he will have struck the biggest jackpot imaginable.
To balance things out, Aims finally stopped gushing about herself and Mr. Sexy Ass, just long enough to ask about how things are with my love life.
“Less complicated than yours”, was my response, which is the truth, but some days I wish I had her open mind, smoking hot body and happy-go-lucky (for the most part) attitude towards life and fiery rabbit-love.
I have a feeling too, that another year isn’t going to pass before I give you an update on Aimee’s Escapades, given that she is seeing Mr. Sexy Ass more often now. So, ‘til next time…adios!
I want to be obedient and receive the promise of the two verses that head this post. Sometimes though, I look at some people and think Thank God I am not them. And then I pray, God, please don’t ever let me turn out to be like them. I don’t want to hurt the people closest to me.
There are a few situations that I know of, and while I’m not sure where to start, I feel very strongly to voice my (what many will feel is a personal attack on them (but hey, if the shoe fits…)) opinion.
I don’t like to ram my beliefs down anyone’s throat, but one thing I do believe s to “Honour your Father and your Mother”. The Greek word for honour means “to revere, prize, and value.” I believe that this honour means all the time, until they are no longer destined for this earth – not only when you as a child live with your parents, under their instruction and teachings, or when as an adult, you deem them to be deserving of it. We forget that as we are growing up, our parents are growing older and that they may actually need us to be around for them – to revere their wisdom, prize their presence and value (what little) time we still have with them. I’m the first to admit that I do fail at this, and when I do, I repent and try again, because I want to live a long life.
I was chatting to a friend’s mom, Patty, the other day. Her dad. Arthur, is in a local old-age village, because he wants to be around people his own age and he enjoys all the activities that take place at the facility. Every Wednesday, Patty and her husband pay Arthur a visit and on the weekends, Arthur spends time with them, at their home. It is an arrangement that suits everyone.
Patty did tell me that there are many of the elderly people at the facility whose children don’t even bother to phone their parents. One lady in particular’s children were here on holiday for almost a month, living it up in a hip beach house – not once did they fetch their mother to have her spend a day with them. It got me wondering just how many children conveniently forget or simply toss aside their parents, for reasons unbeknownst to me – is it because their parents are no longer employed with an income to bankroll their children out of a bind, or because their parents have become frail and may need some extra care, or as I’ve heard one person say something in the lines of “Mom, you of all people should understand that I don’t have time – my kids keep me so busy”.
Screw that! Your parents made time for you and were there for you whenever you needed them. They deserve, at the very least, a visit if you’re passing through their town or a phone call on a day that is not their birthday or Christmas and not for you to hit them up for money, nor to tell them about all the luxuries you’ve purchased, when you know they’re struggling to keep their heads above water.
Remember that you can get a new car, a new house, a new job, even a new spouse, have more kids, and possibly inherit some if you remarry, but you can never, ever, replace your parents when they are no longer here.
As I approach my 33rd birthday this Saturday, I’m reminded just how “profound this fact of the human condition” is in my life. Cousin Lorian passed a comment on Friday night at Mom’s birthday dinner, “We’re going to have to dust you off; you’re on the shelf now!” Normally I would simply let it fly over my head, but like I said in my previous post, I do hear the loud ding-dong-tick-tock of Big Ben in my brain and belly. And yes, I know and believe that God is still writing my love story, but sometimes the loneliness of not having my own “someone special” does get to me. I find myself almost resenting my coupled friends because they have something I don’t – and I keep wondering why God has chosen them to be, for lack of better expression, happier than me. Some days I feel so incredibly alone, despite having wonderful parents, extended family and some of the most loyal, true friends a girl could ask for. I am loved by so many, except that “special one”.
I’ve met some wonderful potential “special ones”, but I know in my heart, romantic relationships with them would not go the distance. The majority of them are at least a decade older than I am, some being divorced with kids already half my age, some having never been married, but with zero ambition…
I’ve fancied someone for quite some time, someone who could be the “another” that I could realize myself in, and he knows it, despite his pretence of obliviousness. In many ways, he is what my heart desires – well mannered, ambitious, gentle, caring, fun, stable, focused, attractive, diligent…the list can go on for quite a while…but for reasons unbeknownst to me, nothing more than a semi-stable friendship has evolved. I say semi-stable, because we’ve made progress as friends, but it is as if he is afraid of really showing who he is…fear, perhaps? Trust issues? Closeted skeletons? I’m naturally an open person, and (much to my shock and horror), some people are intimated by this. Mom has always told me to be who I am and if people can’t deal with me the way I am, it’s their loss, not mine. But, like I’ve said before, I have this deep-rooted yearning to be liked.
Mom, Elizabeth and I were having coffee at a local franchise on Saturday and there was a couple with their son (about eleven or so), and a little baby girl. She was so beautiful, so precious, so perfect, so…something I long for. And I don’t only mean the baby…I mean the whole family unit…MY family unit.
Time will tell, I suppose… until then, I’ll just have to continue to hope that soon it will be my turn.
Apologies readers, if this post is a bit disjointed, but I wanted to get my thoughts down, and I’m extremely pressed for time!
In Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, he tells the reader:
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
A colleague of mine has this quotation taped to her PC monitor and it is a permanent BBM status. The other day I was chatting to Steve at the gym and he too said, “Trust few people…”
I understand the concept, but I simply can’t trust a select few, despite having experienced a form of ultimate betrayal myself (and yes, it has bitten me in the arse more times than I care to admit). My boss even told me in my personnel evaluation two weeks ago, that I need to be meaner, because people take advantage of my good nature and tackle me emotionally. I was a little hurt by what he’d said, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized, he is right. The reason people take advantage of my good nature is simple – I trust them too easily, and beyond that, I trust them to do the right thing. Taking advantage of people isn’t right, so I trust them not to do it… I know it sounds like I’m talking in circles, but I’m sure you get the point.
That brings me to another story. For the sake of anonymity, I am not going to mention names, but refer to the people involved as Jack and Sarah.
I became friends with Jack and Sarah through a mutual friend. Sarah and I immediately hit it off. She was a bit of a rebel and part of me envies that because I’ve always been a goody-two-shoes. Jack came across as aloof, but as time passed, he defrosted a bit. As we got to know each other better, I’d learned that Sarah and Jack have been together for over a decade, and, while not married, they have two beautiful children. Sarah was a stay-at-home-mom; Jack a successful businessman.
One day during my recuperative period (after my diagnosis with depression), Sarah called asking me to join her for a drive in the country to go and visit her mum. I went and she shared some things about her past that I found shocking. She’d had a long problem with drug abuse, cocaine being her drug of choice. She had already been with Jack at the time, but left him and her (at that time) only child because of the spell of the drugs. Jack had to support his child, and not knowing what to do, as his job takes him away from home quite often, he put the child in the care of his parents, in another town. He fought tooth and nail to help Sarah, and eventually, she got clean. She continued her rhetoric, telling me that between then and getting back together with Jack, she’d been in a relationship with a much younger guy. I sat wondering how a person can love someone, yet not trust them enough to help them during one of the darkest times of their life. She’d fallen pregnant shortly after getting back together with Jack and this time it was for keeps. She was so emphatic in her statement that I couldn’t help but trust her. She was my friend, she’d paid her dues, she wouldn’t lie to me, surely?
Four years down the line I bumped into another mutual friend of Sarah and I who told me that she and Jack aren’t together anymore. She’d apparently fallen prey to the wrong crowd again. I felt so sad – strangely though, not for Sarah, who I’d forged a strong bond with that day (she trusted me enough to share her dark secret), but for her two beautiful children and Jack, who has seen to it that she has never wanted for anything, a few rules notwithstanding.
About a month ago, during a window-shopping session, I heard someone whistle at me. I was not amused, but I turned around to see Jack standing there, a shadow of his former self. I told him I’d heard that things at home were a bit stormy and he told me the whole story. Sarah’s moved out – and he wants to help her (he loves her so much), but he doesn’t know if she wants to be helped. I can’t begin to imagine how he feels – having his trust betrayed for a second time. I wonder if she ever stopped to consider how her behaviour will influence her children and their ability to trust authority figures, when they can’t even count on their own mother to provide their most fundamental needs.
It was Jack’s birthday yesterday and I sent a simple text, saying, “Hey Jack, wishing you a great birthday. All the best for the year ahead!”
He replied, thanking me for remembering.
Part of me can’t help but wonder, if we love someone so much, do we stupidly trust them not to harm us? Or do we trust them, knowing they most likely will hurt or betray us, hoping that love will conquer all in the end and that there will be no long-term harm done?
A lot of heartbreak has happened in the last few weeks. G.T and I have apologised to one another, but what there was between us is something of the past. In my heart I know that we may bump into each other again, but the possibility of reconciliation – romantically, or even as friends, is nil. As hard as it is, I’m okay with it. I am slowly getting my focus back, which feels so good!
I asked Carmen what the first word was that popped into her head and she said, “Cinema”. My initial reaction was, “Oh-Kay?!”…but turns out that it is exactly what my Muse wanted to hear…
Movie of my Life
The room is dark
Its bouquet dank
I’m alone with my thoughts
The ghosts of my life fill the other seats
A familiar click of the eight millimetre reel
Shifts my mind’s focus
A quick flicker of light hushes the formless voices
To concentrate on the story being told
Dressed in a pink baby grow and swaddled in fleece
A tiny little mite sleeps peacefully in her crib
Her Mother beams with joy, hope and pride
Little Mite’s life lies ahead, a journey, hopefully one helluva ride
Little Baby Bunting sitting on a bright bunnied bedspread
Squealing with delight as she plays with a cute kitten
Her laughter echoes off the walls, Her Mother smiles
Neither one of them is aware of the awaiting life-trials
Uniformed in red and white, smiling bright, school begins
This six year old serious child isn’t scared
She runs ahead without looking back – excited, challenged
Her Mother’s weeping so, her eyes are redly flared
She stares out of the bus window into the black night
The sounds and lights of the city fade into the distance
She knows in her soul this is necessary, but her heart still aches
Her Mother knows best – life can change in an instant
Dressed in gold and black for a final year school event
She’s transformed from petulant teen into a young woman
Her Mother smiles wishing her the best, knowing by experience
So much still lies ahead for her child in Life’s tests
I shut my eyes to the images on the screen
As a solitary tears escapes down my cheek
My Mother has made so many sacrifices for me
She has always been strong, even though she’s felt weak…