Friends & Benefits

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘quake’? More of that later.

2BF5 turned 18 yesterday. And W turned 21 on Saturday the 2nd. Welcome to (the much vaunted but really quite ordinary) world of adults, 2BF5; don’t worry if the difference is the same. W, now you can drink legally in even more jurisdictions in the world. Bliss. And the world ages yet again 🙂 Those two are some of the best friends a girl could ask for. But this post is (surprise! Surprise!) not about them. It’s about what happens when one girl lands a job that involves computers and cigarettes. And the stories that grow from that occurrence. Not necessarily in that order.

@ partners with various entities that support it in one way or another. On Wednesday of last week, I benefited from one of those arrangements. I got to attend an exclusive event that commemorated the awarding of $1million to a Kenyan tech firm for a mobile phone application (read the story here & learn more about the app here). It drew quite an interesting lot. Journalists, techies, dignitaries (yes, I said dignitaries. Like senior government officials & such) and the crowd that keeps Nairobi interesting (sometimes called bloggers) as well as twitterati (don’t I just love such words. In a few years, Oxford University Press shall publish it in an edition of its much-beloved Advanced Learners’ Dictionary. Poor learners.)… I was, quite honestly, just a lackey (with the quaint little title that is ‘usher’) but I earned ca$h mone¥ and met all sorts of interesting people.

Speaking of interesting people, I joined a UN agency committee that seeks to improve the lot of youth in Kenya and influence national youth policy in the country. Our first meeting was on the same day as the aforementioned job. It proved to be quite a busy day. Now I know how those jet setters who work myriad jobs do it. Sheer planning and determination. I feel blessed. All these opportunities that have been made available to me are cause for celebration. Joy. Rumination.

I would never have got the job (and money) were it not for Lionel (who I spoke of in my last post) and a drinking event that occurred that involved him, our overall boss at our @ chapter and our workmate, a certain MarkTM (that’s tracking manager, not trademark, thanks for asking). He jocularly asked me if I wanted a paying job and next thing we all know, your woman is at an event that rocked. So thanks, Lionel; with friends like you 🙂 🙂 That drinking party resulted in my drinking KK(Kenya King), a Kenyan spirit with 39.5% alcohol content. This being me, the 14% (woohoo!!) wine drinker., it was an experience like no other. A sweetness in my mouth, burning sensation in my throat, and warmth all over my body. But I liked the taste, that I shall not deny. Once I stopped taking it neat and threw in some soda called Krest Bitter Lemon, I was on a roll.

KK made me hyper-active. X, Mo, Marie, and yes, you, Magaribina; stop raising your eyebrows. I am not hyperactive. I went back to my room and did a ton of laundry till 2am. You read right, 2am. Couldn’t sleep. Oh, well, it’s better than being stupid and drunk. So, I guess every so often it’s good to go out of my comfort zone and experience what happens on the other side.

I’m a geek, it seems. That’s the reason I use, and like, Linux. And is that fact, I was asked, a mark of class? I was quite amazed by that question. Class, you say? I think not. I miss my friend L (aka Best Friend). She was around for the summer and we had a sleepover and weekend-over while she was around. It was great seeing her again after so long. Either Canadians have no accent or she didn’t pick one up. I was so happy to hear her voice when she called me the day after she arrived. It was a great summer for me. And she likes Linux, too. My friend Z, whose family so kindly opened its door and heart to me, was also in Kenya. I didn’t get to see her but I spoke to her; too. Did I say earlier that I am blessed? I shall say it again here. These girls remind me of the power of love and friendship. Continents away from me and yet we know that if we pick the phone, the other shall be on the other end ready to speak. Now that is love.

I joined a Bible Study (BS) group last month. I went for the first few meetings with X. I’ve missed only one meeting so far. Which meeting I missed because E & X took me to the students’ clinic as I threw up and had a migraine. The GP thought I was pregnant (only the second time that has happened in less than one month), as had another GP when she saw me knitting. Yes, knitting; how folksy. I’ve tried to get X to let me ask his mum to tutor me but I sense some reticence & being as my BS leader warned me against having relations that were too warm with the mother of my boyfriend, I shall probably never receive any lessons from XM. Oh well, the best laid plans of mice and men often come to nought (read Robert Burns’ poem here). The way that came out, my BS sounds like a cult (my leader said not to….) but we are just a motley collection of sinners. Some redeemed and some, such as yours truly, just doing what they can to be on the right side.

The job mentioned above. Myself, the Queen (so named by J because of the stunts he pulls) & a guy whose @ name is Member (who, I have realised, can do quite a good job of excluding one from @ activities and creating a members-only feeling) & D. We all, excluding Member, stood together after the job and smoked D’s cigarettes. What bliss; to be able to partake of cancer sticks among friends. The Queen & I had a chance to speak as the event wound down. He is a most interesting character….and a friend’s friend. Which is always a compliment. And the rest; I got to see new sides to them. Interesting, likeable sides. If @ continues like this-friendship, opportunities and,yes, money-I’ll enjoy the ride. Opportunities, I said. Because of another ushering job, I got to attend an amazing event (granted, I had planned on attending either way<<<‘granted’ is such an X word 🙂 There goes Miss Girlfriend) where I got to learn all sorts of intriguing things that will help me influence my family and community.

I might get to be a witness at the officiating of my friend’s union sometime next month. I say might because it’s an Islamic ceremony and I might be disqualified by my non-Muslimness. I’m excited for her. It takes guts for someone to make that sort of commitment. And the fact that she’s chosen to make it is a source of hope for me. It is possible to be happy in a marriage even if you are a member of our jaded generation. And I say jaded under advisement. We have seen the marriages of our parents and loved ones descend into chaos or be revealed to be shams and yet we take that risk ourselves. My brother was delighted to hear the news (being as Miss Lady is his big sister’s big sister) and, during our last conversation; asked after her and how the wedding preparations were going.

My brother. He is part of the reason I disappeared from the blogosphere. He had a stack of drama at school. And being like a child of mine, it threw me off-balance. He was out of school for a month during which I spoke to all sorts of people in an effort to reinstate him in school. Do these things only happen in Kenya or are they the scourge of developing countries? A month out of school because of a few teachers’ vendetta against one’s parent is enough to demoralise even the strongest child. But my brother is not just strong. He is the child of my parents. And my father and mother have not surmounted all those odds for their child to be beaten down by injustice. He still maintains his enthusiasm for education (thankfully, he’s known education and school to be divorced for a while) and now that he is back in school, he looks forward to high school with renewed dedication. Alliance High School; here comes The Shaboozle’s brother, T.

My brother. A delightful child who once drew X aside to advise him to treat me well, with respect, and not to cheat on me. T at 9. Indeed. I reminded X of that the other day. That infidelity would mean the end of whatever we have at the time at which it happened. He said, later, that my statement sounded like a dare. To cheat, to leave, to whatever. Honestly. I thought it was just a statement of fact. And after Tuesday of this week, I think it’s stretching it a bit to not want me to make such a statement. Tuesday, when I went to this opening where my friend J was showing one of her pieces. Before I lose focus, please go see it if you can. Tuesday, when X stood me up. Tuesday, when I [stupidly] called him to fish out an apology (sometimes I behave like an abused woman). Tuesday when he told me a story where all he kept doing was digging his own grave. He & my friend had taken over his cousin’s Facebook status update. This is a common happening, something I have done in the past myself. Then they had proceeded to talk of something he owed her with him explaining to his cousin (remember him?) that he knew her through ‘a friend’ (that would be yours truly). Ahem. I was explaining to 2BF5 today what really irritated me about that incident. In the conversation where he gives me an apology that the Swahili would describe as ‘shingo upande’ (literally; from the side of the neck to mean done grudgingly), he describes how he charms a girl in a public forum in which I am referred to as a ‘friend’. I have seen, in my life, the way a cheating spouse usually doesn’t lie from day 1. He may tell you all the story but as the story grows elements are removed to protect one or whatever notion crosses his mind. He has it in him to perpetuate a conversation with the friend of his ‘friend’ in a public forum where he sometimes does not deign to speak to the said ‘friend’. He repeats this story to me after telling me the reason why he didn’t even think to call me to cancel was because he had been derailed by his @ team. Well, thanks for making me see how the land lies; Mr Man. As I have said before; part of the reason I’m in college is because I’m smart. I get it.

I was bought a wonderful book by 2BF5 called ‘Notes from an Exhibition‘ last week. Hence the question at the beginning of this post. The story revolves around the loves, lives and losses of a group of people who are all influenced by a woman who dies at the beginning of the book who has bipolar disorder. It hit really close to home because my maternal grandmother was put in a mental institution several times in her lifetime before her death when I was 6. Like the central character in the book, she was quite a character. And strong. I laughed and cried in equal measure as I read that book. Never before has the content of a book spoken my truth so clearly. And it showed what I have always believed-that the human experience is universal. The differences are just those of location, names, race. But fundamentally, we are all the same. And I want to thank X for giving me the courage to say the words I have just said. In this post, he speaks his truth and in this one I speak mine. A lady in the book expresses her fear of pregnancy because her child may be mentally unstable. But the lady’s death gives her courage. Pregnancy, childbirth, rearing a human being; these are acts of courage. And the book also affirmed my admiration for my grandparents. My grandmother for living with a disease that has none of the glamour of most chronic diseases and raising well-balanced children who are adults anyone would be proud of and my grandfather for being a great dad and having the courage to live with her and stick by her side.

The book spurred me to attend a meeting of The Religious Society of Friends. Sometimes called Quakers. A group of people who, in the book, were calm and loving and welcoming. Sitting together in silence, contemplating God. No creeds, no chants, no hard and fast rules. I spoke to 2BF5 about the group and we ended up going for the meeting together this last Sunday, bless his multicoloured socks. Both our mothers were quite flummoxed by our choice of experimental religious group. His, especially. In Kenya, each church assumes a tribal profile, and that of Quakers in Kenya is a Luhya one. My mother, married to a Luhya, was quite aware of the Friends Church. Awareness doesn’t mean she took the decision to attend lightly; I have been known to have attended a church that, it later emerged, was a cult. 2BF5’s mother, on the other hand, was concerned but her concerns were similar to my mother’s: What draws you there? And our answers were similar: This group seems to have what we, as young people, so greatly desire. At this point, I want to thank my friend L for helping me know meeting times so 2BF5 & I could attend and 2BF5 for coming along with me. X was not impressed by 2BF5’s presence; saying he’d go with me to the next meeting. This is to be seen. Though in this one instance, I can’t be said to be choosing 2BF5 over X who has always declared his allegiance to his preferred church…

I was attacked last week but one. The only people I have told bar you are X, 2BF5, E & my Twin. E was the first I told as I went to her room after the occurrence to regroup. The Twin was not impressed by the fact that I didn’t tell her till the next day (religion and varied interests have pulled us apart, you can’t blame me…) The man was walking towards me one minute and the next thing I knew, there I was, on the ground with your woman being muzzled. Wrong move, buster…. I screamed my heart out. I had these thoughts running through my mind during that time: >I am being attacked >>I shall be raped by this man. These thoughts coalesced into >This man attacking me shall rape me<. Which made me scream so loudly that the cars that were on the road next to the scene (this was a major junction, close to midnight) stopped and my assailant fled. A man opened his door, asked if I had been robbed (no), hurt (no, again) and advised me to run home. Which admonition I obeyed readily. I have never been so afraid of the sight of a man that when one asked me if I had been the one screaming, I couldn’t get the voice to say; yes. I have become fearless; but maybe I need to be afraid. Had I not been fearless, I would not have been in that situation. Isn’t this what always happens? The victim blaming herself? I did not ask for it; I am stronger than the coward who tried to scare me into fearfulness.

X lost his grandfather less than a month ago. He spoke of his sorrow and his loss. And wrote about it (read his reaction here) and showed me new sides of himself. Such as the fact that he thinks of loss as a private thing. That he acknowledged my attempts to be there for him, stand by him at the funeral but politely declined. The fact that he wants to speak and yet your woman is always talking, talking, talking. If I just, well, shut up; he’d say his truth. The fact that he takes his role as the strong man seriously. That family really does mean a lot to him (this is nothing new but he reaffirmed his devotion to family); his love for his mother. What his grandfather meant to him and how men mourn. Differently from women; privately. That I count for something. Yes, I know what I said up there. But the fact that he spoke of his loss said something about how he feels for me. I remember how I pushed him away when my uncle passed away earlier this year. And yet the one person I wanted to hug me, to touch me, to tell me we would all survive….was him. I looked at my parents and how my father comforted my mother and I thought to myself, “I wish I had that.” And yet I did-he had offered to be there for me and I had said no. Because that is how I mourn; almost like self-flagellation. And so seeing him reach out to me said he loved and trusted me enough to believe I would be there for him. I care about him, I admit. And while, as I said, I may sometimes act like an abused woman; I have seen sides to this man that remind me why I stay with him…

Benefits: my assailant thought I was male. This happens to me a lot. I don’t wear gender-defining clothes and don’t have a very shall we say, female body. So I, in a sense, disarmed him when I started screaming like a girl (ha!) when he attacked me. It’s always been unnerving to be thought of as a boy. But because he was confused, I took advantage of the situation to defend myself. I don’t want to think about what would have happened to me if I had been visibly female. Rape? Death? I don’t want to fear walking the streets, being alive. I want to not have to think of my womanhood all the time; factoring it into every decision I make. I want to think of myself first and foremost as a person and secondly as a female person. Why, I wonder, did I think of rape so fast? Maybe all those messages I have received growing up (never from my parents) about how my husband will ‘wonder where my virginity went’ on our nuptial night have gone to my head. My hymen has risen so high in my list of important things that it has acquired a life all of its own and floated to a place where it has lodged itself in the part of my brain that reacts to danger.

Benefits: the strength of women. E was there to listen to me as I told the story of my attack and as I reacted to the book by going to a Quaker meeting. My twin was glad to allow me to join her BS to be able to claim a fellowship of friends and like-minded people. L aka Best Friend allowed me to see parts of my country I had never seen and to meet her sister. I am blessed. L going the extra mile to let 2BF5 & I know when the Quaker meetings were. My aunt L who has been there for me. And especially my mum who taught me the virtue of drawing from the strength of women; a lesson so well learnt from her mother. I am a stronger person for all the women whose presence has been felt in my life.

For all these and much more, may I always be grateful 🙂 <<Such a Rotaract thing to say (I got inducted last week, yay!) but so true, too.

Functional Dysfunction

(Or ‘How to stay chaste in an oversexed world’)

So I’ve realised I’m a nag. Really, I am. I have the ability to talk about, and pursue, one topic past the point where anyone is interested. I’m turning into my mother…not a source of mirth but hey, it’s better than turning into say, a troll (amongst other things) Scratch that, my mum’s pretty awesome so…..but I digress.

Now, my favourite nagopic (nag meets topic to create) is communication. I can talk about it forever with Mr Man, aka X. The poor guy has heard so many versions of the same thing till he probably recites what I say (my repertoire of lines is that limited) but I found a new one over the weekend. It’s not going to be good for him…especially considering what I’m going on about… [Edit 24.3.10 I spoke to X yesterday and promised him I’d stop with the nagging…a long-term birthday gift, if you will, being as it was his big day]

Now, to stay chaste in an oversexed world, I recommend:

#1 Staying away from your preferred gender (I’m being inclusive here): Em, once you start, you can’t stop… Not that I would know but humour me..

#2 Running (yes, I know I said running) away from erotic dancers. Here I can speak with authority… On Saturday I had the pleasure of spending time with a friend I’ll call 2BF5 (ask not..OK, ask later) who is one raunchy dancer. But, as I have a little, umm, shall we say, ‘situation’, the dancing was terribly unsettling. A girl has urges….don’t stoke them!! I should have run, but he’s so much fun (woop! woop! we had us a rhyme there) so I stayed through the torture, the pain, the agony, and the shaking pelvis (grinding is more like it but let’s not even go there) Torture!!!

#3 Not talking about ‘It’ in any form. Really, it works. As long as you don’t discuss how your boyfriend is the last person that would be your baby’s father were you to fall pregnant (this is not to say I have had this conversation with anyone….) you’re almost home dry. It’s as easy as it sounds, except for the exclusion. The exclusion only succeeds at making the said boyfriend sound umm, incapable 😉

#4 Read the Bible or similar religious book (but let’s speak of the Bible for the purpose of this post):  Really!! Think of all the punishment that awaits you, ignore any offers of forgiveness from God and keep your legs clamped. It may take some effort (reading the Bible in my case) and you might end up like Shoshannah (not real name, to protect the privacy of the (now) long dead) but TOUGH! Man up! Or the female equivalent of manning up…

It’s been long, my next post will be longer…

I hope…but take my advice 😀

Healing myself…and other such whimsical tales

Healing Yourself is a wonderful concept promulgated by one Louise Hay and bought by many. Not me, I would have hastened to add a week or so ago. But now…that would be to lie because this girl is healing herself 🙂 🙂

I’ve talked about my tendency to vaginal infections before and the angst they cause. Hence healing myself… It’s been shown in research that womyn who frequently take antibiotics are susceptible to such infections. Oh, don’t try to convince me otherwise, I am…I have one now, second in one year…we shall not talk about previous years… So when I had a rash on my back and was put on antibiotics, I got off them as soon as I figured out the source of the rash….THE HEAT. It’s atrocious…and the rash was shaped like my favourite sundress….that’s just hilarious 😀 Then talking to my mum (Superwoman/ Mum/ Dairy expert/ Tree expert/ Economist/ In-house doctor/ Psychologist….you get my drift) about it, I found support for my cause. Here are a few reasons why I want to heal myself:

  • Even with insurance, HMOs, etc; medication for vaginal infections at reputable hospitals is downright expensive. The parents could pay, but I’d rather go for a movie…with popcorn thrown in 🙂
  • The pain, the pain; the aching, stinging pain…need I say more?
  • It’s a nice feeling, wellness. Better hang on to it, I figure…
  • I could go on forever but I’ve talked for long before

Now, how am I going to heal myself? By:

  • Eating healthy
  • Staying yoghurt-y (this works for period pain, too)
  • Generally doing the stuff recommended here (all but stuffing things up my vagina <even though I use tampons>…about as exciting as the pessaries I would get at the hospital…

To other news…

You know what they say…Show me who your friends are etc… Yeah, I’m doing something we used to call ‘kurub mafriends‘ in this post. I know a girl who is, supposedly, my friend and has made been the cause of some debacles in my life. Don’t believe me? Try these:

  • Spreading a random rumour about me losing my virginity to guy whose identity she refuses to reveal who I had just met….and expecting me to give her relationship advice afterwards (oi, but isn’t that some contradiction?)
  • Calling me incessantly to go and people-watch (sorry, people-watchers, I found it stupid…)
  • Telling me not to talk to the guy at the concessions stand at the cinema, probably because I’d refused to accompany her to the toilet (I dislike public amenities), by saying, “Theshaboozle, weren’t you taught not to talk to the help?” across the lobby.

I shall not go on. X, a mutual friend of ours who I am not discussing actively from now henceforth….I mean, really, at the rate at which I have been speaking of him, might as well call this blog ‘All about X, with bits of me thrown in intermittently’….thinks she is, quote, “equal parts brilliant and scary. A good friend to have.” What?! He he, she scares him, that’s a fact (I have seen him stand on a pavement trying to decide whether to walk away from her with me <I had warned her & I didn’t need him to tag along, really> and incur her wrath or go to her & incur mine <I can assure you, I couldn’t have been bothered, even if he were my boyfriend then…which he wasn’t…such things don’t register on my  botheration-meter>) and her brilliance (in the ‘she so smart’ sense) is without question. But her emotional intelligence is so low that I fear it doesn’t exist. For that reason, I am staying away from her; getting her off my Facebook news feed, out of my phonebook (oops! did that already! 😉 ), and resisting any of her overtures. X may think her a good friend but maybe in this case, opposites attract. If your friends speak to the sort of person you are, I refuse to be thought of as similar to her. I’d rather be like L, my friend whose nickname for me is ‘Best Friend’-a girl that’s smart, principled & fun;  or W who can have a laugh and has a wonderful way with words; or A who can shift from matters of the soul to those of the sole flawlessly…or a host of my other friends.  These people, I want to be thought to be like. In short, I am Letting Her Go as TD Jakes would say. And my mum would say that you need to name your sentiments to move on.

Also, here is my message to the universe:

I deserve kind, respectful, considerate friends who share my values and with whom I can share wonderful moments.

Maybe, by not saying that, I have denied myself beautiful friendships while participating in toxic ones…

Last, but most definitely not least; I have become an expert tree planter, many thanks to my mum. My brother, father, mum & I planted quite a few yesterday & shall plant a much larger number today. Kenya has been experiencing water and electricity shortages, occasioned by massive, uncontrolled logging & general destruction of our forests…including not having electricity in my parents’ townhouse yesterday night (‘townhouse’ is just a stab by yours truly at being pompous 😀 )….so we’re doing our part in reforesting the country. Plus, we can sell the trees in 5-10 years time…for a pile of cash, no less. Talk about a win-win situation. Plus, prior to the beginning of the exercise (I first planted trees about 2.5 weeks ago), I had felt pretty useless what with the drudgery that was house & farm chores and school being out ergo no fun kids to teach…tree planting is fun 🙂 Makes me fel like I’m part of a major world occurence…changing the world one tree at a time. Random fact: There’s a shrub called ‘Moby Dick’. Yes, like the book 🙂

I had forgotten this…the 3rd generation iPod Touch is out. Gets a .000000001 on the 100 scale botheration-meter. X & Co. (Apple-freaks, geeks, techwhizzes etc) had some hoopla on Twitter which I ignored and I shall continue to do so. I had a 2nd generation iPod Nano at 18 (then the latest) which was stolen as I conducted an act of friendship (standing at a downtown Nairobi location called Kenya Cinema waiting for my friend 3M) and was gifted (yes, I said gifted, lol) with a 2nd generation iPod Touch by my father last year in December (earmarked for sale) but all I use it for is music…music…music. So I wonder what all the fuss is about. If it stores music same as the one before, as the next one shall, what do I care for all the other gizmos? I like to think of myself as a simple soul (a bit of an untruth, but…) so there we go, I have revealed a little something about me. Joke…

For an entry that I had hoped would be short….:)

Stay tuned for more 😀

An arresting view of randomity

The European Film Festival was held in May of this year in Nairobi. And I watched several of the films (that is most definitely the understatement of the year being as the ticket guy (TG) learnt my name…and J’s….my housemate’s….)….some with X… The films with X were really a revelation… I’d talked about my desire to be touched by someone I like…leading to him holding my hand during the films… Where I’d told TG that he (X) had told me he’d meet me for the first film (an interesting documentary about water needs in 3 countries…including Kenya) an now that he was nowhere to be seen *cue ‘he has soo stood me up’ look* and TG had said that if the guy said he’d come he would….. Well, he did. TG wore a vindicated look, became my friend… and I learnt another lesson in trust (though, judging by my constant…oh, well, X likes me….statements, I still have many more to learn…..life…)  Leading to himself, myself, J and her boyfriend then, P….all heading to a mall with many random occurences thrown in… ie long phoneversation with my brother (just my brother, not either of the parents), J calling me twice from less than 50m off to talk about how cute X and I looked (you don’t say, J) and discovering J on a magazine cover (thanks, P….my friend J’s a star…..and I mean it….) and X and I behaving like teenagers in love (trust me, between single-sex high school and my sheltered life pre-university, I never did get to act like one…)…

Oh, then there was a random dance/trance party that X and I were supposed to attend….which J, P and I did attend while X went off to a conference (well, more power to him) organised by an organisation he’s part of (well, that’s another understatement……..he is the organisation)… X and I had a debacle the other day about that organisation…with me saying how I felt he put it before me, and him saying that was not true (oh well, what’s a girl supposed to think when she rarely sees you but you’re constantly at that group’s meetings? Come on…) Though on the flip side, I joined Rotaract to counteract (I love how that came out…) the ‘I miss my baby’ feeling I used to get. Fun times… So, thanks X…sometimes it seems all I do is complain about the guy….but he’s pretty awesome (currently his favourite word…) I still miss my baby, though… But anyway, the revelation came afterwards when X revealed he wasn’t so keen on PDAs. I’m curious, now that he’s made himself boyfriend… is my hand going to be held again? Hey, I should ask him……but you know me, I shan’t… I’ll just drop hints that shall not be picked leaving me frustrated… Oh, well….if you pass this way X, I’d like to be touched. And that includes holding me on the streets (which only happened on the day I was wearing the small dress…..it felt good in the moment but I felt like a sex object after…..mostly because it was post-“I’m anti PDAs”……so why was he touching me? Because every other male is looking at me like I was some sort of sex goddess? *chuckle*)

Anyway, after the anti-PDA chatversation, X decides to spring some initiative. Asks me what I’m up to on the 1st of June (a public holiday in Kenya) and I say nothing (true…I’m always clueless during holidays….worse on the 1st this year because the family had moved so no randomness…) then he says; hey, we could go watch a movie. Now X and I have a long movie history. We first watched a movie together to get over the fact that I’d said I liked him and he was in a relationship so that was that…then we watched another  in the week that he broke up with that girl leading to me being viewed as the rebound girl (oh, no, you did not!) by his friends but anyway, I’m losing focus.

There I am, wating for him at the mall. He shows up and leans in for a hug….I am perturbed by this (I’m an all or nothing girl) and look sufficiently strange moving out of the hug as I stand. Please don’t tell me no PDA then touch me in any way…Please… We get to the movie theatre lobby and find out that we’re late for what’s showing and we’re not interested anyway leading to us going to another mall in the same district (area in which I used to live…) that was showing Star Trek XI. I really did not feel the fascination that Trekkers feel (Star Wars any day….), even ended up sleeping (ha, no hand to hold….lol). Then we went down to a store to buy me phone airtime, didn’t get what I wanted…went to another store……queued for hour and ended up standing at the bus stop waiting for a bus…..which didn’t seem to be in a rush to appear. Leading to us walking to another bus stop while I told him about how my constant fault-finding was because I didn’t want to get less than 100% in my relationships…and asking him about the whole bisexuality business (no, he’s not bisexual…) while he asked me to stop referring to W as my boyfriend (an old joke stemming from the fact that W and I spend a lot of time together…) Hey, maybe that was his declaration of love…he he he…

So anyway, we get to the bus stop and spend ages talking…. and then, when we had decided we were leaving we see…..

A cop

Who arrests us for being ‘a public nuisance’ despite our protests. X gets handcuffed to some random guy and I’m asked to walk along. Mostly because I’m female. As we crossed the road on our way to the police post, I had a fleeting moment where I thought about running away… then it hit me that an arrest is easier to explain than a gunshot wound. So I decided; no GSW, I’ll just be a lamb… We had been told, at the time we were arrested, that we were a public nuisance because we were groping at the bus stop which was shocking then but is funny in retrospect because

1) we were not. 2) X had been pretty vocal about the no-touch policy 3) this girl has some class…..bus stop??!!

Anyway, the friendlier cop (aka the AO-arresting officer) decides to quiz me (after deciding that X is the worse of our two evil selves) about my name (pretty special) and what I do at school. X is the worse one because of the school he goes to….he he he. Somewhere in there he asks X to call home so we can fix the situation (by this time, they’d decided we were being held for prostitution and solicitation (P&S)…..the horror…). I notice how no one tells me to do the same. Anyway, after the call (where X’s mum says she’s coming to the rescue…) I have an interesting talk with the AO about naming systems in Africa…

We get to the post, I’m given a seat (ah, ’tis so nice to be a girl…), X is made to sit on the floor with random guy as he fields more calls. On the way there I’d been going through my ICE (In Case of Emergency) list in my head:

1) the parents-out because they were so far 2)my cop uncle-out because he’d tell my mum

Ther are usually other people on my ICE list but those were the only ones that came to mind then. Anyway, I had decided that I was just going to  move with the flow. In between X handing the phone to me so the AO could speak to his people, me being smart with a lady cop (LC) and X being placed in a cell while I was put in a random room (X later told me it was the records office *chuckle*)…..LC insisting that AO should search me…..(weird female person!!!); X’s people arrived. His mum’s best friend’s husband (phew! let’s call him BFH) came to speak to me and to reassure me that things would be fine while I gave up the magazine I had found in my little room (nice Adventist one…). AO had made such a big deal out of the whole event so there was some talking (he’d only hang around because 1) X’s people were coming and 2) X had pretty much made it obvious he wouldn’t leave us there-aww, he’s so *hot* when he’s all assertive…. 😉 🙂 ….) and then we were free to go…

I ended up meeting X’s mum (XM), her best friend (BF), X’s brother (XB), and the said BFH, who I’d already spoken to. We were told to calm down, it would all be fine and I had a weird break in conversation when I revealed that there was ‘no mum’ at home….BF & XM were shocked till I explained that I lived away from home…. After helping me calm down (I was shaking like a leaf….loove that expression…), XM drove me to my residence as she 1) spoke about the need to let people know where you are (apparently X had told XB a totally random story as he left the house…) 2)asked me about myself, my family 3) told me how, despite my constant statements that I’d have preferred a better meeting, glad she was to meet me (She and I love Oliver! the musical so it was a nice thing X told me…bonding…) [edit 12 October 2009; here’s her favourite song…according to X, anyway]

4) played Beyonce and Jason Mraz (‘I’m Yours’ will always make me think of that arrest….) [edit 12 october 2009; see the man perform…love the song 🙂 ]

5) said we all needed to meet and talk….they’d all been there before (not a police post, I bet ya <BFH, I know for a fact, had never been in one before>…..maybe in love…)-story for another post… 6) took my phone number and  7) got me to my residence safely.

I was shaken by my arrest. I spoke about it to my friend E the next day (whose daughter’s godmother I am) and then with my friends M and B. I especially told M how the P&S charge had hurt me…..as I cried… B had no clue what to do with me, I am always so bubbly. My virginity pledge, decency….I felt so trashed by the things AO had said. I told her about these feelings after we left a club and I was super-depressed after sending X a message. I read the other day that the things I displayed (shaking, crying..) were classic post-stress symptoms. B had a long talk with me as he walked me to my residence; if being with X made me so sad, he said, then I should walk away from him. I told him I would think about it, felt glad about the hug I got and went on to message X to say I was sorry about being part of the reason he got into trouble and ignore the last (sunny) message. He said ‘Hey, you don’t have to be all sunny for me’….and that I was worth so much more than any trouble I could possibly cause. I love him 🙂 🙂

I ended up telling my mother (who I’d originally said I’d tell post-uni) as we had a laugh about the P&S charge (tsk! We both thought, the poor child’s a virgin! he he he) and my dad (via his friend who’s #2 on my ICE list) who was unmoved by it all. His friend, though, was transfixed; asking about X and saying that he could see I’d never liked a guy like that before (well, am I so obvious?). As well as asking for a follow-up talk about the issue (I told X, in my letter, that he should meet my dad’s friend….. 🙂 🙂 ..) Slightly better than meeting my dad who ignores any talk of X as boyfriend (X as Linux afficionado, yes. As boyfriend, no)…. I had moments of shame about it (like telling my twin not to speak about it to a guy we both know & like) as well as paranoia round cops (such as the last time I saw X, in my short dress) leading to a strange feeling as I walked/drove past police stations and refusing to be close to X when E and I were dropping him at a bus stop (short dress day) because I had seen a cop walk past…. Also, I felt concerned by X’s claim on Facebook of being arrested for ‘holding a girl’s hand’ because 1) that wasn’t how it happened,  2) I’d had physical contact with him say once before that episode and 3) he’d been in his anti-touch phase then. My obtuse self told him this in such a round-about way I bet he didn’t realise that I’d have preferred he not talk about it than he misrepresent facts. That’s something I want to get the courage to tell him…..to be honest to the world about what we have (it’s not enough to tell me we are in a relationship and stay ‘complicated’ on Facebook……rich coming from me <single> but still…) or be all private…

Longest post ever but there, that’s the story of how our random foray into the world of movie theatres led to a story for my children. And now my darling X has lost all incentive to watch movies because he has no company (read me)……..I feel honoured, being a motivating factor & all 😀 (told him, too) and so, if he comes this way, I want him to see this:

I miss you terribly, X. Hugs and kisses.. 🙂

/ʃeɪm/

Coming out………

No, I’m not gay, happy but not gay………..joke

Let me, as I usually say, wacha jokes……

The enry’s title is ‘Shame’….yes, it’s pretty obvious……..

I used to harm myself in high school. No, I was not a cutter…….I was constantly, compulsively, scratching myself to bleed. I bled my way through my final year of high school. No one knew. Not my parents………or the therapist they sent me to when I became suicidal. I was so ashamed of seeing a therapist it took me more than half a year to tell my best friends. I wasn’t psycho, I had to convince myself….even though I had had two sessions before going back to high school, didn’t think I could make it through to the end of high school.

I am ashamed of my crying. I wail when I am distraught………and hate to be reminded of those moments….moments I think of as those of weakness. I wailed in my school chapel once with my parents watching helplessly in my 18th year…..my most depressed, most helpless-feeling year. I refused to talk about it when my best friend, whose classmate had been present during the episode, asked me about it. I am supposed to be my parents’ perfect child….and yet…….. So I have cried alone since I was a child…..and my public displays of sadness are quite dramatic…..and they shame me…

I am ashamed to be a virgin at 20……not for lack of people’s efforts, but because I made a promise at 15 (same year I decided what my Masters would be, and where…..but I digress…) I feel odd when people talk about sex because, well, I have no idea…..really. And I was angered by my university GP’s questioning glance when I revealed that yes, vaginal infection notwithstanding, I am not sexually active. Angry at myself for not being gutsy………….And I hide my shame well. When I had another of those infections recently (yes, I am prone to those…….candidiasis……occurs as an STI, too….) and was instructed by the chemist to abstain from sex during the duration when I’d be taking the medication, I made a crack about sex being  a basic need which I would have to go a week without. Or my constant reference to the first time as ‘losing virginity’ eg ‘oh, I helped you break your rollercoaster virginity’ I figure if I say the word often enough, its power over me will diminish. This shame is strange because the most influential women in my life, not the Mary sort, encourage me in  my virginity pledge journey……I feel like I’m missing something….and I feel shamed………

I had a breast biopsy at 14. I was talking to my boyfriend (yes, I got round to referring to him as such finally…….I’m afraid he’ll break my heart into small, hard-to-fix pieces and yet…….) on the day of the arrest (my shock and shame about that should get an entry of its own….) about a famous Nairobi surgeon and when he asked me about how I knew him, I became obtuse. Same year, my cousin had one of those, too. I have body image issues (don’t we all? well, no….) My body falls short of my society’s standards…….Am I a dyke, I am asked?……I ‘look white’  I’ve been told. Yeah, great, thanks all…especially seeing as my white ears are turning red……………..not!! So I am ashamed that my grossly imperfect  body is more imperfect than you can see. Even though I have no shame about having a gynaecologist since 17…….there’s nothing shameful about taking care of my reproductive health. No logic, I know…….

I want someone to see this post. I am not ashamed of this blog….but I do not speak about it to my friends………

But I want him to know a little of what I am…….and to know that I love him, warts and all. And also that I wish he’d communicate more. Say what it is that is happening in his life so I get to understand him……call, text, message more often so I don’t feeel like I’m the one that has to go see a person that’s captive……..has no access to me. Say, when I ask how he is, that he’s had a crap day………that something amazing, beautiful happened today……..

I want him to take a chance on me……like I’ve taken a chance telling the world my truth….

Pining

I am not one to pine for things gone…..they are gone, I think, deal with it…………jeez!!!

Today I met these two girls who were a year behind me in high school. As we spoke, one of them reiterated that it was important to get something back if you were providing the service that is sex in a relationship. “That is not why I have sex,” the other replies. Oh, but X, it emerges, works hard for her money (X, girl not currently involved in conversation)…..wink wink, nudge nudge, poke poke.

Considering the liberal use of the f-word (I am no prude but, umm……), I asked that the topic be changed, please. Why, we are only talking about having sex, they protest. Don’t you? I never have, I say…….(trust me when I say……..) What are you, a virgin? Yes.

Here’s the twist: There I was expecting ridicule from these girls (oh, snap! You are a virgin! My life!) But that is not what I got……….(unless you consider admiration of the pacifist by the warmongers a call to arms……..) What I got was: Stay that way….we wish we could get it back……………oh wow, unexpected response that!

Does it make sense to wish what is never was? Especially in relation to virginity………though a smart comment was made when I sang a song (“Don’t sing that, you might be raped…..and it will be worse for you than us because you have something……”) I took a virginity pledge in high school and shall wait for my husband…………………….I would be lying if I said it wasn’t fraught with temptation…….but the beauty of not giving yourself to the one(s) you love is that there is all of you to love when your one true love enters your life (I sound like a virginity pledge pre-pledge pep talk person, ha ha..)

We all have a choice: Keep it and don’t be all out advertising (“I’m a virgin this….when you make a choice…………”) to those who couldn’t be bothered OR Lose it and don’t be all out pining for it (“Och, lovey, wish I could have it back…”) Once it’s gone, deal with it.

In case no one told you;

It’s NOT coming back…….