Kids, before your father managed to convince me that yes, really he was into me and wanted to be my forever weird partner in life, I was utterly clueless about men hitting on me.
I, of course flirted up a storm with anything that moved but when it came to recognising that someone else was doing it to me … well, let’s just say, these were not my finest moments.
Grab a seat and let me tell you about the three times I didn’t know I was being hit on…
New Year’s Day 2005 …
It had been one of those unbelievable nights my high school self could only have dreamt of – partying in Long Street with the love of my teenage life, the hot jock jerk Tashriq.
Sure, he had spent most of the night in the clutches of my frenemy Fatima (unwillingly so, I may add) and I had spent most of the evening playing it cool by dancing with strangers and our former classmate Imtiyaaz (not my childhood wanna-be husband), when really all I wanted to do was scream about how happy I was that we were hanging out together.
Midnight had come and gone and I had been blessed with a hug and a kiss from the dastardly good-looking crush of years gone by. I was floating on a cloud but of course, I had to pretend it meant nothing.
Fast forward to the boys dropping us off at home, and as we said our goodbyes in your Nan’s driveway, Imtiyaaz saved his number onto my phone. He handed the phone back to me with a coy “Call me”.
In what can only be described as me having a total blonde moment, I replied: “Why?”
Cue the awkward silence as everyone realised what exactly was transpiring, expect for me…
A confused look passed over Imtiyaaz’s face before he rallied and said: “Oh, you know, for whatever…”
I still didn’t get it, and ended the weird exchange with: “Uh, sure”
I know, I know, oh my gods, how could I be so dense but I was in a lust-filled fog, ok? That’s my story and I am sticking to it!
August 2009 …
My cousin and her then-boyfriend were big into the church scene and we were having a karaoke/dance fundraiser on this particular Friday evening.
I had already done my Good Samaritan act of the night by helping a fabulous teen come out of the closet by shaking what our mamas gave us on the dancefloor to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive and was happy to spend the rest of the evening joking around with Jay, my cousin-in-law’s best friend.
We’d been friends for years and had a brother/sister relationship going so whenever he hugged or touched me, I thought nothing of it. His inquiries into my relationship status, too, was par for the course for us and I was really just having fun with him.
Later that evening, as we parted ways, Jay hugged me extra tight and lingered as he said: “I tried, I did but who knows? If only this night had gone as I wanted it to…” One last wistful look and he was gone, leaving me to wonder how the heck I hadn’t noticed the vibe was more flirty that familial all night!
August 2014 …
As you guys know, I was living life to the fullest in the States – dancing on bar tops in Las Vegas, day drinking in a San Francisco park and kissing strangers in New York.
What you don’t know is that Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome wasn’t the first guy to put the moves on me that night in the Big Apple.
Our tour manager Rammel had been all kinds of awesome all through the tour and I had stuck with him to get the insider’s guide to all of the local spots, enjoying his insane sense of humour. Likewise, he was always thanking me for getting some of the others to join us on these escapades which was cool.
On our first night in New York, the group was having dinner at a pub on Times Square. I was joking around with Cheree and Tash, my friends when I had the sensation someone was watching me. There was Rammel, staring at us and looking hesitant before making his way over to us.
Completely unnecessarily, he ran his hand slowly down the middle of my back as he told us we’d be leaving for the bar soon, and let it rest on my hip for a second too long. “Okaaayyyyy”, I thought, “ that was weird!” Not unpleasant, mind you, just odd.
As we arrived at the bar, it struck me that something might be going on here, but I chalked it up to my over-active imagination and got stuck into the first of that night’s several Cosmopolitans.
A few minutes later, Rammel comes over to where we’re sitting at the bar to char to the bartender, and, the same as Drew would do later, leans into me whilst doing so.
“Hey ladies, how ya doing?”, he says. We giggle, already slightly tipsy (I’ve told you. States portions are three times the size of SA ones!) before continuing our conversation. Rammel told us to let him know if we needed anything and then vanished.
Was it callous? Probably but like I said, I had no freaking clue back then when men were hitting on me.
Four Cosmos in and only after Drew laid one on me with the same moves, I realised what Rammel had been doing and went looking for him. He’d left by then, of course, and no matter how much I tried to recapture his attention for the rest of the tour, the moment had passed. F*** a f***ing zombie!
Thank the gods, old and new, your Dad got through to me or you wouldn’t be here 😉