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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

One of the Boys

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I think you lot will appreciate this advert for Schneider Beer; it’s a classic take on the theme “Men Behaving Badly”… as you do.

There are certain behaviours that us woman accept as a given when it comes to the male contingent… Here’s the fact sheet for you:

You ARE going to watch sports and we ARE going to have to sit next to you and take some kind of an interest in what’s going on. I’ve gone from someone who only flicks to SuperSport to watch cricket as a sleep aid to a die-hard Arsenal fan and loyal Sharks supporter. My resistance to golf and cricket is unfortunately impenetrable.

You ARE going to say that Jessica Alba (Or whoever it is you gawk over) is hot. Hot is a word I don’t want coming out of my boyfriend’s mouth unless it describes me, but it’s gonna. And even though I maintain that my admiration for Channing Tatum comes from a respect for his acting abilities, I think we all know it’s because he’s very. very. hot.

You ARE going to blunder a compliment so that it sounds a lot like an insult:
“I love the way you don’t care about how you look.”
Hmmmm. Unforgivable this is not, but definitely worthy of an eye roll.

But today is not about the things that I have come to accept as part of your man-ness, today is about the irks I refuse to accept as OK. I’m on my knees boys – not doing that other thing you love, but pleading with you.

1. I am not a maid (unless you ask nicely), and neither are you. But it’d be swell if you could do the basics of home hygiene like taking your plate to the kitchen, (NB!) scraping the leftovers in the bin (NB!), and popping it by the sink. No washing involved!

I’ll never understand why it is that you want me to see the trail of shit you leave in the toilet, nor will I understand why you are ok that I clean it. There’s a brush next to the toilet, just pick it up give it a whirl around the bowl and ta dah! Everyone is happy. I literally see you as a siff uncultured beast when this happens. You are mank. That’s not hot.

2. Please be on my side, always. Know how many times I’ve almost taken off my earrings and shoes to defend your shit trail leaving ass? Many. So when your mom says my top’s too low cut, or your mate thinks I’m being ridiculous because I don’t want to stick around for that 18th game of pool at 3 am on a weeknight… give your girl some props. You love them low cut tops, and I’ve never made you stay up ‘til 3 am watching Dr Phil.

3. Run shit by me man… running 4 hours late? Just a little text that lets me know you haven’t been initiated into the Crips gang would be nice. Also I don’t have to eat dinner alone gnawing through my fingers as I call hospitals.

Let me know if we have a birthday, braai or wedding that you’ve said yes to – girls need time to plan social calendars, outfits, presents etc. And if you’ve said no and made up some lie excuse, I’m gonna need all those details, and preferably a character history so we can get our stories straight.

4. No snooping has always been my policy. I know some of my people are guilty of this but eh, I figure if you don’t want me to see then I most certainly don’t want to see either. This goes for diaries, FB profiles, phones, sneaky porn hiding spots - alles. In saying that, don’t be a retard and tweet some flirty message to a half-naked girl on your Twitter feed called Lady Fuck-a-licious. Are you serious? Don’t send a message like that at ALL. Even though at the very bottom of my heart I know it’s most likely just a side effect of needing to feed your ego, it doesn’t stop me from getting mad and wanting to retaliate, out of the public eye. I. Have. An. Ego. Too. Stupid.

4i. I’ve labelled this one as a sub-category because really it’s under the same dumb umbrella. I’m not going to harp on too much but flirting with other girls, sometimes right in front of us, is kick starting your very own shit storm. Just to clarify: Tickling another girl is flirting. Asking another girl what her favourite drink is when she isn’t my mate (fuck it, even if she is) and you aren’t taking orders for a bar run, is flirting. If a girl sits on your lap and you don’t immediately jump up to… (insert any activity in the world here) it’s flirting. If a girl is touching your face and you’re not at the doctor getting a boil examined, it’s flirting. Alternatively we can just rewrite these “unspoken” rules, and I’ll start flicking my hair, giggling and asking for amateur breast exams at every opportunity.

5. You’d be surprised how far a small thoughtful act can go, PLEASE don’t ever make me ask for one. Your mantra is OFFER. OFFER to run me a hot bath/ make dinner/ run to the shops/ take the dog for a walk/ take the trash out/ look after me when I’m sick/ run an errand for me/ shout at someone on my behalf/ surprise me with food I won’t let myself eat/ seduce me and do all the work/ take me home when I look tired or bored… the list is endless if you use logic and maybe a dash of creativity. I think you might find that if you offered just a few small things, we’d nag a whole lot less.

Please. Please. Please. And thank you.

Monday, 13 January 2014

You Gotta Have Faith

George Michael said it best (or did he?) and this year I’m on a crusade to have unwavering faith in absolutely everything.

I’m not a particularly religious person. Let me rephrase, I’m not religious at all. I am however, deeply spiritual and connected with the universe, well… trying to be more so. But I remember quite clearly, an argument that I witnessed among my schoolmates – a mix of devout Christians, atheists, agnostics and for want of a better word, shit-stirrers. The debate reached a futile state, one that it often culminated in with regards to the man upstairs and the institution of religion in general. Why. Why do you believe in God? How do you know there’s even a Heaven or Hell? When you are 17 years old, listening to snarky and insensitive remarks from one side of the table versus some pretty self-righteous and closed minded throwbacks from the other, it’s tough to decipher on which side of such a badly debated argument you stand. And then one of the debaters said, in a quiet confidence that made all of us listen:

“I believe because that is what I chose to be real. I would rather live, believing that there’s a God who watches over me and that there’s a Heaven for me to go to when I die. It makes me happy.”

This is probably the only statement that really sticks out in my brain because it made sense to me. I understood that this person had nothing to lose by believing all the wonderful comforts, strengths encouragements and assurances that his religion promised. The focus was not on the facts and figures and finite details of an outdated book of rules; it was on the core essence of the kind of life that one could have, which as it turns out is the kind of life you want to have.

I never thought I would one day find myself grappling with this idea of faith, I mean what is it exactly. It’s just belief isn’t it? I used to think so, but every day I’m learning to dig a little deeper and question the many layers to this pickle of a concept. What I’m realizing, however airy-fairy this may sound, is that faith is more like a chemical reaction, between yourself and the limitless, vast expanses of our world.

I’m a bit of a curious case because while I’m a logical gal who has no time for Dynamo, Big Foot or UFO’s, I’m also 100% devoted to the idea that anything is possible -science or magic, tangible theorems or just pins and needles. I don’t know how electricity works, but I believe in it when I see that filament fire up. I still don’t really get how what’s behind the camera ends up on my TV or how 3D printing works, yet I believe it with no doubt. Because it just is.

Think about the Placebo effect, think about survivors who, for all they know, may never see civilization again yet blindly believe they will… and what do you know. They make it happen.

I guess life and all its curve balls conditions us to be “realistic” about the future and the expectations we have for ourselves. Don’t get too excited about that holiday, because you may not have enough money to embark on it. Don’t buy that pair of jeans just yet, you might put on 3kg’s and they won’t fit anymore. Don’t let yourself ever really fall into stupid and unmerciful love, because people will hurt you and let you down. Don’t stretch yourself too far or get your hopes too high or even leave your house because you might get hit by a fucking bus.

Well… that’s one way of doing it. Or like my wise 17 year old classmate, perhaps you can decide the outcomes of those “threats” just by exerting an steadfast faith that all will work out, that things will slot into place just as they should, that a positive outlook which assumes the best in every person and every situation is inclined to attract opportunity and open your eyes to little scenic alternative routes on the way to getting what it is you truly want and desire.

It’s crazy how this changes the filter you view the world through. Maybe I’m being ignorant, didn’t someone say ignorance is bliss?

All I know is that I have nothing, (zip and zero) to lose by assuming a catastrophic nightmare isn’t waiting around every corner, and everything to gain by replacing criticism with encouragement, stress with excitement of facing a challenge or learning something new. If a control freak like me, can literally decide how I want things to play out in my day or my year… pfft, where do I sign up!?

Here’s to a year of absolute, untiring and resolute faith in all the abundant wonderfulness that awaits us!