All posts by fazielahwilliams16

Creative writer with a penchant for all things Cape Town, theatre, magic and travel

How I Met Your Father: 30 things I wish I’d done before I was 30

Kids, in September 2015, I was a mere eight weeks away from turning the big 30 and to say it was freaking me out was an understatement.

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While your Nan, aunt and godmother were super excited about our upcoming birthday celebration trip to Mauritius, I was having bi-weekly full on panic attacks – I’m talking doing the ugly cry in the middle of SPAR because I couldn’t choose which damn chocolate to break my Slim Sure diet with and having a complete meltdown at spotting yet another f***ing pregnancy or engagement announcement (by people I’d babysat as kids, no less!) on my social media newsfeeds.

Anyone who dared to even whisper “So, how excited are you for your 30th?” to me would get a look that would freeze Satan’s balls hurled at them and I was actively avoiding making any major plans for any kind of party.

Now, I wasn’t unfamiliar with the quarter-life crisis that besieged most 20 to 35-year-olds … in fact, by then I had gone through at least three of the gods-awful stages ( finding my identity, finding a home and finding a job) but for the f***ing love of Westeros, nothing prepared me for the utter devastation of turning 30. It was enough to make me drink away my sorrows!

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And no one, I mean NO ONE, bloody got why I was so depressed – except my gorgeous fellow 30-year-olds Lutfia, Tiana, Leilah and Jennifer who thankfully had and were still going through it. “Oh, it will pass”, “Your thirties are way more fun than your twenties”, “My life began at 30, so will yours” are all platitudes that were passed around by well-meaning friends and honestly, all I wanted to do was throat punch them … stop f***ing telling me s*** that doesn’t help!

So, in an effort to calm myself down but which only really served to prove that I had squandered my youth, I compiled a list of 30 things I wished I’d done before I was 30… here goes nothing:

  1. Pursued my dream of theatrical acting (and actually put the two drama diplomas I have to f***ing use!).
  2. Moved to Johannesburg when I was offered a publicist job there, despite how much I hate that city (a change of scenery might have led to more dating options and now I will never know).
  3. Told my high school crush I adored him instead of having my frenemy blurt it out, thus turning me into the pariah of the school (at least being a loveless outcast would have been of my own doing).
  4. Kissed my matric ball dance partner (yes, he was a drug addict and it wouldn’t have amounted to anything, but gods, the boy was HOT).
  5. Skinny-dipped more often …
  6. …and stopped worrying about my weight so much. Big girls, you are beautiful!
  7. Tell people when they’d upset me with their hurtful comments and actions during the day so I wouldn’t swear like a sailor in my sleep (or stress eat).
  8. Gone to Comic Con and seduced Alexander Skarsgard, Jared Padalecki, Channing Tatum and Paul Wesley in my skin-tight, too-short Wonder Woman costume.
  9. Speaking of the Wonder Woman suit … I should have worn that thing more! Especially to random Saturdays at Readers Den. Who knows? I might have met your father sooner.
  10. Told He Who Shall Not Be Named the truth and that the real reason we couldn’t be BFFs is because he has never apologised for leading me on and breaking my heart.
  11. Walked up to my Viking on that fateful day and said: “Here I am. What are your other two wishes?” (What? You guys could have been born earlier and spent your winters in Sweden right now if I’d been brave enough, dammit!)
  12. Not shamelessly have thrown myself at a Biggest Loser SA contestant (after his weight loss) for months, only to have him call me and ask me to arrange media for his upcoming wedding.
  13. Gone to bed earlier so I could actually sleep for more than just 5 nights a week …
  14. … And risen early to watch the sunrise with someone special.
  15. Conquered my fear of cockroaches (yes, I know, I still scream like Dementors are dragging me to Hell each time I spot one.)
  16. Spent less time trying to explain to family, friends and strangers who I am and just accept my weird, kooky self sooner. F**k what other people think!
  17. Actually watch Star Wars and Lord of the Rings without falling asleep every goddamn time.
  18. Admitted that while Doctor Who is the love of some of my friends’ lives, it’s not for me ( I mean, sure, I’ll watch it during a bonding marathon but it’s not on my must download list) .
  19. Accepted less invitations for things, events and people I really didn’t want to see and spent more time with the ones I did.
  20. Said yes to a few more drinks invitations from guys – if nothing else, the experience would have come in handy and I would know more of the IT places.
  21. Not been too sick and hung over to visit the Empire State Building during my first New York visit. Who knows if the Tom Hanks to my Meg Ryan was waiting up there for me or not?!
  22. Stuck to my teenage dream of being a radio presenter and club DJ (maybe then those recurring dreams of having thousands of gyrating people screaming my name would stop!)
  23. Spent more time bonding with my dead grandmother instead of running away from my unresolved feelings and issues about her all the time.
  24. Asked Orlando Bloom for an autograph and photo that time I gate-crashed his cast party.
  25. Spent a summer in London and Paris or moved to New York for three months.
  26. Accepted than my chronic fear of rollercoasters and theme-park rides won’t go away (might have spared the poor people who got my breakfast flung on them far too often.)
  27. Stuck to my resolution of having uninterrupted Me-Time (the world would be safer for it).
  28. Quit trying so hard to win the favour of others. What they want is irrelevant.
  29. Own a matching dinner service and crockery … serving my legendary beef stew in an ice cream container is not all it’s cracked up be.
  30. Had you …

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Of all the things I regret not doing, not having you sooner was the biggest. At age 29 years and 10 months, my greatest fear wasn’t dying – it was dying without having had, met and loved you with all that I am and was.

But I was working on it, kiddos, working really hard ( even if I had to date all of the frogs in the world to do so)…

How I Met Your Father: Diary of an International Kisser

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Kids, it’s a sad and proven fact that for most of my twenties I couldn’t get some kissing (or any physical) action in the lovely Mother City …

And not for lack of trying either – between all of my fabulous gay friends, emotionally confused jerks and unavailable idiots, there just weren’t that many options for getting that foot popping, fireworks-inducing smooch shtick Anne Hathaway  was always going on about in the Princess Diaries.

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It may be that local men were just immune to my not-so-obvious charms, unlike their international counterparts …

November 2010 …

I was in Bella Italia for my 25th birthday and my first Contiki tour. The night after my birthday, a few of my new found friends and I were checking out one of Rome’s hottest clubs.

Coincidentally (or not), they also had the hottest bar men, who were not too shy with making strong, very strong drinks. Aided by a good dose of vodka courage, and high on celebrating my quarter of a century in one of my dream cities, I went in search of Ryan, the cute Aussie I’d been making eyes at all week.

Ryan, though, had vanished into thin air with a leggy brunette named Suzy and I instead found myself dancing with his roommate Max. He was a sweet guy, who hugged me to wish me Happy Birthday and then … kissed me full on the lips to reiterate his wish.

Now, this may just have been the vodka talking but as the saying goes “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you with.” So, there, in the middle of a Roman dancefloor, with Shakira and Freshlyground blaring Waka Waka at the top of their voices, I lost myself in an Italian Kiss.

Things got heated, photos and videos were taken of the birthday girl getting her Aussie on and Max suggested we get out of there. Which we did at a great speed to get back to the hotel.

When I got there, though, my head was spinning and I decided that cute as Max was, I wasn’t ready to tangle my spaghetti with his, if you know what I mean ( cue the “”Gross, Mom!”” objections).

So, I kissed him goodnight, long and hard in the cranky elevator and went off to bed, careful not to wake Kiro, my conservative Japanese roomie.

As I drifted off to sleep, I was pretty pleased with myself – an epic Italian birthday AND a foreign kissing experience … look at me getting out of my box – until ….

3am …

There was a persistent loud banging on our room door and Kiro leapt up to answer it.

“I need to see her. Just call her and tell her to come out. Please!””

Max, my not-so-cute-anymore Romeo, was declaring his love for me in the hallway, begging me to come out and meet him. Seriously, what part of “Goodnight, lad” did he not understand?!

So, amid death stares from Kiro, off I went to the door, only to find Max a hot mess. He was begging me to come back with him to his room since he’d managed to kick Ryan out for the night so that we could have some privacy.

Only … his begging was not much of a turn-on and I wasn’t moved. I might, though, have softened my resolve just a little ( because who doesn’t want a hot Aussie desperate to have her at 3am in Italy) if he hadn’t followed up my refusal with :

“Oh, come on, please! I am one girl away from winning the tour bet about who can bang the most chicks!”

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Oh f*** no! How very, very dare he reduce me to his deciding vote in a stupid, disrespectful wager!

To say I slammed my room door in his face is an understatement…

The next morning, the atmosphere was frosty and soon enough rumours of what had happened spread through our tour group like wildfire.

Max avoided me at every turn which suited me just fine, but that meant Ryan did too … all for the better, as it turns out, because apparently Ryan loved Italian boys as much as I did ( have I mentioned my gay dar was on the fritz?!)

The last night of our tour, one of the girls, Paige finally worked up the courage to ask me exactly what happened and I told her.

She burst out laughing at my sorry tale and then said: “Chick, you know Max is like, only 19, right?! No wonder he was so eager to get laid by an older woman!”

Just call me a hot international cougar kisser, why don’t you….

Coming soon: Downtown Kisses in New York 

How I Met Your Father: Silencing interfering relatives and neighbours without killing them

“How about the day after your funeral or when having mass orgies with multiple strangers stop being fun?”

That should have been my response when yet another obnoxious relative deemed it fit to ask me the singular most hated question all singletons dread for the umpteenth time: ”So, when are you going to get married? “

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Instead, I did what I always do – gazed away awkwardly and apologized profusely for being a colossal failure at snagging a man – and said sadly: “I don’t know…I’m so sorry”. What the actual f***?!

Kids, by 2015, I had had it with that freaking question and everyone, from the multi-divorced aunt to the won’t-croak-soon-enough neighbour and overtly friendly office queen asking it as if they were the first people in the history of the world to do so.

The worst part is the perverse pleasure they seemed to take in my discomfort at their question – didn’t they realize that I spent many a night beating myself up, my mind going round and round, pondering that same futile question, scared shitless that I was going to end up and die alone?

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And the occasions they chose to pose this question, begged for consideration too – a cousin’s baptism, a divorce celebration (yes, welcome to our screwed-up family, kiddos – with most of them changing spouses like they changed their underwear, there were quite a few end of coupledom piss-ups!), prayer meetings and office parties, no event was off limits in cross-examining me about my lack of marriage prospects.

Eventually, I stopped going to family events because f*** it, life is too short to feel like you are the Medusa in a clan of man-attracting goddesses ( despite the fact that these male companions were more often than not, not quality material but hey, who cares about taste and standards, right?) until my great-uncle’s funeral one winter’s day.

Your Nan’s cousin happened to pass me by mid-interrogation by one of the other cousins, flanked by my mother and her sisters and obviously saw my embarrassed expression. Cousin Belinda saunters over, places her hand on my shoulder and says to me in front of the mob:

“You know what, my child? I can see that you have seen a lot of failed relationships in your time and that you are biding your time until you find the right one. As you should, because the Creator is on your side and preparing your mate for you. Don’t ever feel like you have to justify that. You just be patient and He will make it happen.”

I’m not much of a religious fanatic as you can tell from the way you’ve been raised, my loves, but I could have kissed her right there and then, if only because the awkwardness emanating from the mob was so worth it!

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Your great-grandmother, though, was much more understanding of my disposition than her children and kin. For years, we’d clashed over my independent ways and lack of patience for age-old customs until she eventually accepted that of all her grandchildren, I was the most likely to do my own thing and succeed in the face of disapproval.

Mother’s Day 2014 …

We’d gathered at one of the aunts’ homes for afternoon tea and your Great-Grams was gazing down lovingly at my cousin’s two-month-old babe when suddenly she looked over at me:

“You know, Fazielah, I had a cousin once who got involved with a man, shacked up with him for a few months, got pregnant and kicked him to the curb shortly afterwards. So, if that is something you felt like doing, I’d be ok with it…”

Kids, for a minute there was absolute silence because a) this was the more religious of my grandparents –she’d freaked out when she discovered a copy of the Bible next to a pack of condoms on my dressing table during my teens (a school project on abstinence I was working on but she was convinced I was converting and giving the choir boys special treats every Sunday!) and b) was she saying this because she thought I was a good-time girl or because she was tired of waiting for it to happen and wanted me to be happy ( and if she got to continue her bloodline at the same time, so much the better, right?)

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Taking a brief moment to absorb what she’d just said, I shakenly replied: “”Wait, what? Did you just give me permission to have a love child? Can we postdate this conversation for two years and can I have this in writing?!””

By the spring of 2015, I was nowhere near meeting and bedding a suitable baby daddy despite 22 months of dating everything that moved but the fact that at least I had my grandma’s support, made those awkward moments with prying kin and strangers easier to bear.

As for the next time someone asks that asinine question… well, how does “As soon as Satan has the throne room converted into a wedding chapel and puts your name on the guest list” sound?

Stupid questions deserve stupid answers.

How I Met Your Father: The Speed dating Wars Part 2

“So, you like the theatre, huh? Tell me, have you been to the Labia Theatre?” he said with a sleazy smile and raised eyebrow and my skin literally crawled…

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Kids, in the winter of 2015, I found myself at my first speed dating event in six months and wishing for the love of the gods, I wasn’t.

Between Mr Bald-Headed, a heavily tattooed mechanic whose only knowledge of the arts extended to a naughtily named cinema and the clearly closeted gentleman to whom the very idea of conceiving children was “a needless, messy business”, I was stuck between a rock and a very hard place, wondering why I’d once again exposed myself to this humiliating experience.

The last guy seemed like he might be more interesting – clad in a leather jacket, longish hair and a warm, welcoming smile as I sat down – I was sure that maybe my luck for the evening had finally changed.

Boy, was I wrong!

I made the colossal mistake of asking what he does for a living. Turns out Mr Bad Boy is a stock broker and spent all of the short, precious five minutes we had together explaining the finer details of his job… It took all I had not to fall asleep or keeping firing off “save me!” looks to my friend Benni, who had bravely attended the event with me ( her first ever speed dating event!).

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Thank the gods the bell rung soon thereafter, signalling the end of our torturous “date” and the end of the event, freeing Benni and I up to chat to some of the other ladies , who were as disappointed as we were at the lack of quality male folk.

As we chatted over drinks, sharing online dating and set-up horror stories, we struck up a quick friendship and started making plans for group outings/dates to explore the Mother City and the greater Western Cape. More than anything, bonding with a group of women who were having the same dating woes as I was gave me hope – I wasn’t alone on this crazy adventure, and I had back-up. Everything was going to be ok…

Whoever said we didn’t get lucky that night, huh? 😉

Next time on How I Met Your Father: Silence of the Interfering Lambs – how to get meddling family members and neighbours to shut up.

How I Met Your Father: Doing the wrong thing is actually the right thing to do

Hey Kids, it’s “the drunk one” again. Due to the vision of movie rights, book sales and TV scripts (not to forget, pressure from your mother and your cool and wise aunt Leo) I have decided to share my experiences again.

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You won’t believe this (neither do I) but there is a show on MTV called Friendzone. Ya, a show about people that are in the friend zone and want to get out, so that they can be in relationships. Oh, friend zone is when a male and a female are really good friends (most cases best friends) and they would NOT have sexual relations of any kind together. Everything else they do, for instance, share deep and dark stories, goofy moments, watch the same shows together, be a wing man/wing woman, etc.

I watched about two hours of Friendzone (I woke up drunk and could not get back to sleep) and I realised a couple of things. Americans are crazy, MTV has a bias for attractive women (not that I’m complaining) and this show was setup for failure. Basically the message was “what the heart wants….”, “if it feels right you should go for it”, “let the other person know how you feel”, “emotions are a bitch”, “friends can become/have more”, and “being in the friend zone sucks”.

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What’s about to happen is going to be strange but work with me here. I’m not going to talk about being in the friend zone and wanting out, that’s a story for another time. Probably more of a rant as opposed to a story. Anyway, the notion of “if it feels right you should go for it” stuck out to me. As Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) eloquently said, “I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.”

I had a crush on this girl for the longest time. Probably still have a crush but the craziest thing is, I should have said/done something from Day 1. Hypothetical situation – things would have worked out and I should be proposing very soon. I swear! She’s perfect in every possible way. Beautiful, smart, hardworking, takes no bullshit, knows what she wants, she ticks all the boxes and boxes that don’t exist. If I could marry her today, I would. I would even put down the bottle for her, climb a mountain and dig up a spring. I would start World War III for her.

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I could only see her in a crowded room and we always smiled. Why I smiled? I don’t know, I guess that’s the effect she had on me. The world didn’t exist when I was with her, it was just a blur that surrounded God’s gift to me. The most beautiful woman I have ever seen (I had to tell her…. Once! Over social media and after a couple of beers. Ya, I’m that useless).

But here’s my story. I couldn’t do the right thing because I enjoyed doing the wrong thing. Doing the wrong thing became doing the right thing and doing the right thing was actually doing the wrong thing. It’s crazy! Every year I would say “maybe I should try telling her how I feel”, but then one night with the boys and a short skirt later, I would reconsider that thought. It’s not like there was anything wrong with her. There was nothing wrong with her. I just loved the streets too much and I wasn’t about to put the bottle down, stop chasing short skirts or ignoring the late night WhatsApps that say “are you awake?” I couldn’t do it. I tried! I tried leaving the streets but each time I came close, another short skirt would walk past me and smile. It was only polite for me to ask where she was going.

I tried putting in an extra bit of effort a while back. I figured it was time to put down the bottle, stop chasing short skirts and to get this woman lying next to me out of my bed. She had over stayed her welcome and I needed to be serious. Well, at least try to be serious. I chatted to my overly extended crush, helped her out here and there (which meant I got to see her more). I was making very slow progress, which was cool. I was patient enough. The streets didn’t like that. Not one bit! There was something in the air that weekend. And the weekend after that. And the weekend after that. Three absolutely crazy weekends in a row which consisted of the boys, booze, blunt and booty. The streets were good to me. I couldn’t leave. Not just yet, I hadn’t finished roaming the streets, drinking like it was the World War or chasing the skirts. Not just yet. I was doing the wrong thing but also doing the right thing. See how crazy it is?

October 2011…

I think she liked me as well. She was always smiling when she saw me. I guess she was always happy to see this drunk. I was dating someone at the time (stop laughing) and I bumped into her whilst I was with my girlfriend in the streets. We all talked for a bit and I imagined myself on the other side of the conversation, holding my crush’s hand. Dick move, I know. As the goodbyes were being said, I expertly snuck in a joke that meant as we went our separate ways I could maintain eye contact with her and have a moment. It worked (Obviously. You think I don’t know how to create a moment in the streets? It’s my turf!) and we had a moment. The world was a blur, people didn’t exist, the engine of the cars were mute and it was just her and I. The way it should have been.

June 2015…

It was a chilly winter’s night and it was time to say goodbye. Her goodbye was for the moment, my goodbye was for a very long time. I was leaving Cape Town but I didn’t tell her. I couldn’t, I guess I was being hopeful that I’m leaving for a short time but the reality was, I’m leaving for a very long time. She waved at me through the window of her car with that smile that could start a World War. I waved back with a smile of sadness. She drove off and for the first time in my life, I actually watched a female leave. I’m used to saying bye, tapping her ass and smiling as if to say “you’ll be back.” As she drove closer to the T-junction, my smile faded. She indicated right, wanting to make the turn that would lead her home. She stopped at the junction and waited for her right of way.

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If this was a movie I would have run up to the car, the rain would have just come out of nowhere to set the mood right, and 50 metres would be made to look like 500 metres. But no, this was reality. The brake lights were well lit – this is how it ends, the right indicator was flashing periodically – maybe you should run and Cape Town will provide the rain. I took a deep breath as I watched her turn out of my life for the final time.

There are good guys out there in Cape Town. Depending on the female in question, I was a good guy. If you really break down that statement it will actually show I was NOT a good guy, but that’s a technicality. I have no regrets about the above situation. I was doing the right thing every single time. It can be argued “I wasn’t man enough” or “I wasn’t ready for a relationship” or “I’m a f***g idiot”. All valid points, but doing the wrong thing was in fact, doing the right thing. And I feel this happens to a lot of people on a daily basis, including on Friendzone. Sometimes you got to do the wrong thing for example, (this actually happened on Friendzone) John told Jane, his best friend, he likes her. Jane is Jake’s ex and Jake is John’s best friend. It gets crazier, all three of them live in the SAME APARTMENT (see why I say Americans are crazy?). John did the wrong thing which turned out to be the right thing because after 5 weeks, they’re still dating AND living in the same apartment. Only in America!

Don’t be afraid to do the wrong thing.

How I Met Your Father: The Work Hottie and why you shouldn’t s*** where you eat

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Kids, most people I know met and fell in love at work and some of them truly did live happily ever after but for every success story, there are also ugly-as-all hell tales of office romances gone awry.

At first glance, it makes sense that you’ll fall for a co-worker – you spend 8 to 10 hours in their company, you have shared interests (aka slagging off the boss from hell) and well, familiarity breeds chemistry, to paraphrase a popular quote.

How do I know this, you ask? Well, my loves, because I wasn’t above falling for my cubicle partner a time or two myself…

September 2007 …

Davis was a slender-framed, green herb smoking, alcohol-loving, sleeping-on-the-job PR writer at the TV station I worked at and for the better of my first two months at the company, I ignored his lazy butt.

The thing, though, is I have a weakness for the sensitive, artsy, sarcastic type and one email about some or other show lead to several others, which lead to some inappropriate flirting both online and in the office kitchen. Before you knew it, I was actually looking forward to going into the office everyday…

Since I was still scarred from my first run-in with Mr Heartbreak Guy, I was too shy to make the first move and so was Davis. It took us ages to start having secret lunches and walks together or to even admit there was something going on between us, much to our older co-worker’s dismay who would randomly shout out to Davis, across our open plan office after one too many longing stares; “Why don’t you just take her on your desk already?!”

Yes, I know, “Eeuwww, Mom!”

Anyway, as I was saying – it took us ages to get anywhere. Eventually, six months later, during one of our “lunches”, I decided to pull on my big girl panties by making my feelings known. Like any guy, though, if you talk feelings, they balk and I didn’t want that happening so I posed a hypothetical question to Davis in the form of “what would you say if I told you I am really, really, REALLY into you?”

After what seemed like the Ice Age had come and gone again, Davis eventually replied with a “Hypothetically speaking, I’d tell you that I really, really, REALLY like you too but I am a recovering addict and I don’t want to hurt you so we can’t happen. You deserve better.”

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Man, for even a hypothetical confession and rejection, that s*** stung for a good while and our secret lunches came to an abrupt end, along with the onset of glacial courtesies (What? I was 22-years-old, maturity wasn’t exactly my strong suit then!) and avoidance whenever possible. Meetings were fraught with tension, people vacated the kitchen as soon as one of us walked in after the other and our mutual work friends quickly learnt not to invite us to Friday day drinks together.

Two months later, Davis dropped the bomb that he was resigning. I was gutted because I still really liked him but also so bloody relieved because I’d since discovered it wasn’t the addiction issues keeping him from dating me – it was the IT bimbo he had been having a flirtation with for a year before I had started working at the company. Jerk!

To make a long story short, I walked Davis out of the building on his last day and of course, a long, sweet goodbye kiss for old times’ sake ensued … I may or may not have even shed some tears.

Which were wasted, because Davis’s new office was right next door, and so run-ins at the local Spar were inevitable.

What pissed me off more than anything was that he thought that now that he worked at different company, and had kissed me, all was forgiven and we would pick up where we’d left off.  Uh, how about hell no?!

More than once I’d run into him with the IT bimbo by his side, and the rejection would hit me all over again. I vowed to never, EVER let Cupid’s Arrow find me at work until …

August 2014…

Seven years later and I still hadn’t learnt my bloody lesson about mixing work with pleasure!

Kevin was the quintessential office jerk – major attitude with all of the ladies, mostly because he had tried and failed to chat them up or those he had succeeded with, had dumped him in less than a New York minute.

Now, and I am sure your dad has told you this,  I am a big flirt. If it helps me get things done faster, freebies, all of the chocolate I can devour etc, I will charm the pants off anything that moves. Your Uncle Tendai and Magical Wyrdo Godmother Leo say everything that comes out of my mouth sounds like a come-on and I am the female equivalent of Friends’ Joey ( I have yet to hear this myself, but I’ll take their word for it!)

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And for several months, in order to get my best work buddies and I access to all of Kevin’s series and movies, I flirted with him like there was no tomorrow.

Friends tried to feel him out, to see if he was interested in me too and for a while, things looked promising but then he got back together with his cheating ex and whilst my ego was bruised, I decided to focus on wrapping up my days at the company (I’d resigned and was off to bigger and better things). Gone were the “emergencies” I needed Mr Man to help me with and I stopped making frequent trips to the 12th floor. On my last day, I did slip Kevin my number and told him to call me when he was single again …

Fast forward to a month after I’d left, and Kevin and I found each other together in a club, a matchmaking scheme not-so-subtly arranged by your Uncle T.

There was dancing and drinking aplenty and sparks were flying like an Independence Day fireworks display… things were getting heated, fast. At some point, T disappeared, as did the other couple we were partying with and Kevin and I found ourselves alone.

The old “let’s get out of here” line was flung around and I was all for it, until we hit the sidewalk and I sobered up considerably.

“What are you doing, woman?” I thought to myself, “This man has a girlfriend and you deserve better than being a bed warmer for a former co-worker for one night. Go home now – ALONE!”

So, as much it pained both me and the sexy jackass, I left him standing on the sidewalk and off I went, much to my cab driver’s chagrin: “Really, lady? You’re going to leave your partner standing to attention in all of the intimate places like that?”

Cape Town cabbies really need to mind their own business ….

Who’s the boss?

I thought I was alone in this work romance quandary until a friend of mine told me her horror story. Alyssa worked at a thriving tourism attraction, rocking her creative style on campaigns and content when the MD of her company started paying “special” attention to her.

It started off small with them being mistaken as a couple at an industry event and him liking the sound of it too much, thereafter always referring to her as his “wife” at the office. Then came his overzealous interest in her social media and weekend activities, mentioning these things to her every opportunity he got. At one point, during an event, he called her “babes”… way out of line, dude.

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Alyssa was not responding to his advances because a) he wasn’t her type, b) he was married and c) he was her big boss, for gods ‘sake – it just wasn’t appropriate! The more she resisted him, the more he pursued her until eventually she left the company, thinking that would put an end to things.

Not f***ing likely!  Not only did he show up for her farewell lunch, which he’d never done for anyone else, he also kept up the inappropriate flirting when they’d run into each other at networking functions in the months that followed.

Things settled down when Alyssa made it clear she was involved with someone else and had absolutely no interest in her former MD – getting a rep as a homewrecker and a rising star who only got to the top by sleeping with the boss wasn’t something she wanted.

A lesson I took to heart and steered way clear of.

Besides, as you’ve probably guessed, your father was not my boss or my office hottie … the hunt continues!

How I Met Your Father: Confessions of Cape Town’s Bridget Jones

bridget-jones-644x362Kids, it pains me to tell you this but your mama is something of a class A klutz. Akin to romantic comedy heroine Bridget Jones, I get myself into all kinds of impossible, hilarious-for-other-people situations that I wish weren’t true but unfortunately are.

You’ve no doubt heard some of my more legendary mishaps from your father, your aunt and godparents but let me fill you in on a few of the highlights that make me want crawl under the covers and NEVER come out:

December 2013 …

My closest work friends and I had a ritual of Friday happy hour drinks at the hottest bars in Cape Town. One particular Friday in the heart of summer, on a whim, we headed out to Tjing Tjing in the City Centre.

Now, to set the scene, I was going through one of my “f*** the world, I’ll wear whatever I want cause I’m tired and cranky “ phases, and in forgetting it was Friday, I’d just slipped into my comfortable jeans and a hoody, and put my dirty hair up into a ponytail. SO not hot cocktails-and-meet-the-future-love-of-my-life look… alas!

Off to Tjing Tjing my friends and I went and after ordering our drinks, we realised that there were quite a few SA actors filling up the rooftop bar and the section we were in, was being cordoned off with a  rope and fancy snacks. Mildly surprised but still not suspecting anything, we nattered on about weekend plans, basking in the sunset and each other’s company until …

“Oh My God!” yelled the lovely Claudiskies, “That’s Orlando Bloom!”

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Yes, Kids, we’d unknowingly gate-crashed the cast party for Zulu, the locally filmed movie that the Hollywood hunk had been shooting in Cape Town for three months. F***!

Rapidly firing off a few texts to your godfather L to get his cute behind to the bar pronto, I sunk down into my chair, ridiculously excited that one of my former actor crushes was within spitting distance of me and horribly mortified that I hadn’t bothered to dress up that day.

Repeating to myself over and over again: “Breathe, Faz, he probably won’t even notice you or your lacklustre appearance, Just breathe!” I patiently waited for Leon to arrive.

Of course, because this is my life, Murphy’s Law kicks in …

Not even ten minutes later, while the girls and I are nursing our drinks, the hunk who breathed life into Troy’s Paris and Lord of the Rings’ Legolas, saunters over to our area, manoeuvers himself into the tiny space between my friend Lucy’s chair and the snacks table with a beer in hands, while gazing down at me and smiling that sexy smile.

Bloody hell, World, swallow me whole right now …

Sure, the gorgeous Orlando looked like he could do with a good shower before I’d lay back and think of England for him, but damn, what a moment!

Since that day, I do not go anywhere without slapping on some lip gloss, eye liner and a suitable cute outfit – you never know what may happen.

May 2014 …

It had been one of those rom-com moments come to life when I had spent the night chatting to a seriously cute industry crush at a party in the Winelands.

We’d moved around the spacious venue, feasting and drinking, getting to know each other and laughing a lot until we ended up back at the desserts table. With my attention solely focused on my handsome companion, I didn’t see one of the other party goers sidle up to me from behind.

She interrupts our conversation and says: “Excuse me… you realise, of course, that you’ve been wandering about all night with a name tag sticker stuck in your hair, don’t you?”

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The ensuing silence was so deafening, you could hear a pin drop and my cheeks were on fire with embarrassment. Handsome Dude and I looked at each other for a split second, and I said: “Just pretend you didn’t see that!” He burst out laughing and I couldn’t help but join in.

Needless to say, I’ve avoided sticker name tags like the plague ever since!

February 2015…

Your Nan, aunts Sammy, Mishy, Rushda and I snuck into an exclusive residents ‘only beach on a hot summer’s day, knowing full well we shouldn’t be there but driven to do it anyway … what? Where did you think your rebel streak comes from, huh?

Anyway, after a picnic lunch, the girls and I braved the cold Atlantic water for a dip. By this time, the residing beach goers had joined in on the fun, and there were one or two hot hipsters amongst them.

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There I was, frolicking in the waves, doing my best Baywatch babe impression, when a strong wave tackled me from behind…

As I emerged from the water, I heard shouts of “Lady, cover up!” Wiping the salt water from my eyes, I remember thinking “Shame, someone’s lost their cossie”, only to look down and realise … I was the one sans bathing suit!

Yip, my halter neck one piece had ridden down to my tummy mid-wave and my pleasure pillows were on display for all of the beach folk to see. Gods Almighty!

I was soul-shattering mortified for a split-second and contemplated drowning myself but then remembered I still had to have you guys, so, like the trooper I am, I gaily blushed and apologised profusely before turning around and swimming to the other side of a big boulder.

Laugh and the world laughs with you, right?

Yes, I am a walking disaster magnet but these are the incidents that make for amazing stories and make life all the more colourful. Cést la vie!

Next week on How I Met Your Father: The Work Hottie and why you shouldn’t  s*** where you eat.

How I Met Your Father: The Married Friend’s Perspective

Hey spirit children – it’s me, your Auntie Leo, a.k.a. Lady Littlefinger-Mormont-Cumberbatch!

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This is perhaps a good time to weigh in on your mother’s adventures for a healthy dose of perspective, as well as sharing some sage advice.

At the time of writing this, your mom and I had been friends for about 18 months. We met when I had a short contract with the company she was working for, and we initially bonded over our mutual love of chocolate, magic and the embodiment of male perfection – Alexander Skarsgard. As the months rolled on, she introduced me to Beefcakes, and your drunk uncle Tendai and I introduced her to Game of Thrones, if memory serves me right. If you hear nicknames flying around, don’t judge us.

Rocking it House of Wyrd style at a Game of Thrones viewing in 2015!
Rocking it House of Wyrd style at a Game of Thrones viewing in 2015!

A word on your mom. It’s hard to see your parents’ awesomeness when you’re a moody teen with raging hormones.  So take it from me:  Your mother is without a doubt one of the most amazing people that walk this earth. She’s a kind and generous spirit who lives with passion, loves fiercely, supports unconditionally and allows her friends to let their freak flags fly without any judgement.

She’s a great catch for any man (or lady) who can keep up with her, so imagine my surprise when I discovered that she’s still single.

Or was I really that surprised?

You see, my dear spirit children, Cape Town may be the most beautiful city in all of the world, but it’s damn hard to find a man in the Mother City who ticks ALL of these non-negotiable boxes:

  • Good (as in, a good man, not “good at sports”)
  • Kind
  • Fun (as in, makes you laugh)
  • Financially secure (I’m not talking rich here; one simply reaches an age when spongers stop being sexy)
  • Mentally stable
  • Straight

How do I know it’s hard? Because I struggled to find a guy like that as a young and awesome singleton in the late 90s.

Those were the days before social media and online dating, so your only hope in hell was to join a church (hell NO), shag a work colleague, go clubbing – a LOT – or meet a guy through friends. In my case, I met your uncle W. on a blind date set up by mutual friends. And despite my much longer list of requirements (that also included career choices and physical characteristics), we hit it off and have been together for almost 17 years.

Today, the dating pool has become a bit polluted, I’m afraid. You have to work your way through the dazed and (sexually) confused, the psychos, the narcissists, the stalkers, the emotionally unstable, the wannabes, the crazies, the douchebags, the ones that are attached but pretend to be single / at the point of breaking up to give you hope…  And you have to work through this pool every single time you take a stab at love.

All in all, despite all the new romance platforms available to your mom, I’ve come to the conclusion that love is much harder to find these days.

So what’s a girl to do?

But the point of my story is not to make your mom depressed to the point of believing that she will never find love…

She will.  I know she will.

Because she’s awesome!

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And because she still has lots of time.

Right now my message to your mom is “DON’T PANIC! You will meet your baby daddy when you least expect it.”

My dad always used to say that (and I’m translating and paraphrasing here) love is like sudden-onset diarrhoea. It comes when you least expect it! Yeah, I know… not the most romantic vision of love, but I’ve come to find that it’s true.  I have friends who met their partners when they least expected to. Someone I know forgot about her blind date, remembered at the last minute, put her dirty hair in a ponytail and pulled on some jeans. Her blind date is now her husband and they have a beautiful baby.

All your mom needs to be is her own amazing self, and the right guy will follow.

My feeling? She’s going to meet Mr Right through the House of Wyrd (ask her about that), get chatting to him at a theatre bar or in the line at Free Comic Book Day. The universe works in mysterious ways…

That being said, I’m still holding out for the day when she bumps into Alexander Skarsgard in a random city on a random street (Alex, watch this space for when we’re in the US, OK?) and is finally united with her one true love J

How I Met Your Father: The Unavailable Man

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Kids, before I met your Dad, I spent a lot of time chasing or being pursued by the elusive, the unattainable and the unavailable man.

This is the guy who is attached in some or other form to another partner, but for some reason pays ardent attention to you. That attention takes many forms, whether face to face or online, but it always leads to the same thing: disappointment, and in some cases, heartbreak.

I wish I could tell you I was above being drawn into their deceitful webs, but here’s one of my harrowing Mr Unavailable tales:

February 2013 …

I met Scott totally by accident – my manager at the time asked me to take a meeting in her stead, because she had a more pressing matter to attend to. While I grudgingly agreed to it, upon laying eyes on the rugged-looking Scott, I was only too happy I had.

Handsome in that country boy way – all check shirt, rolled-up sleeves, dimples and scruffy beard – Scott was the SA personification of my current TV character crush, George Tucker of Hart of Dixie, at the time. My reaction upon seeing him for the first time was something that had only ever happened to me once before – my knees literally went weak and I had to hold onto the back of a chair to steady myself. I was swooning …HARD!

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It sounds like a Mills&Boons/ Fifty Shades description but I swear to the gods, old and new, it’s true…

Don’t ask me what was said during that meeting because I spent most of it unapologetically staring at him and fantasising while our colleagues negotiated a trade exchange deal … yes, I know, “TMI, Mom!”

Anyway, fast forward to a few months later, and Scott and I are in regular contact, exchanging content. You know how I’ve told you that people just randomly share personal things with me? It doesn’t just happen in person but electronically too – I got to know Scott pretty well – studies, favourites reading genres, things he likes to do to relax etc.

Conversations bordered on playful teasing and being flirtatious back and forth for a while and it took him several months to reveal he has a girlfriend. Sure, I was a little bummed about that because by then I had started to really like him, but it was a good thing too because it helped to set boundaries … or so I thought.

Over the next 18 months, Scott grew ever more flirtatious in his emails (one particular gem included him telling me he likes being at the top of my to-do list); popping by for coffee in person on the odd occasion he was in town (which is when I realised he wasn’t THAT hot) and actively stalked me on social media platforms. I couldn’t post a single photo or tweet without him liking and favouriting it in within seconds – and not just from his personal account but his business one too, as if I wouldn’t know it was him!

Calling him out on the online stalking proved useless as he just brushed it off as everyone being allowed to have a “creepy day” … dude, it’s more like having a creepy year!

But here’s the rub: once I calmed down about the stalker behaviour and started responding in kind, even going so far as to relax and be comfortable and flirtatious in his company (so sue me, being chased that hard boosted my ego!) when we attended industry events together; Scott suddenly went ice cold on me, and froze me out of his life, preferring to conduct business through his co-worker.

I was hurt, sure, and it made me feel crazy, like I had imagined the entire thing. I berated myself for weeks for flirting with a man who was spoken for and vowed to not have anything to do with him or his ilk ever again.

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April 2015 …

As someone wise once told me: “What you resist, persists”. Scott popped back onto my radar a few months later, asking for help promoting his new venture, back to his old flirtatious ways and you would think that I’d have told him to go jump off a cliff but… I’m human and susceptible to dimples, ok? I indulged his requests and tentatively flirted back for a while until…

Gods, Kids, let me tell you this: there is nothing as cruel and soul-crushing as opening your social media newsfeeds and coming across an engagement/pregnancy announcement … particularly those of people you have a murky romantic history with. As was the case with douchebag Scott – turns out the lovely girlfriend he so often tried to make me forget about, is making an honest man of him.

I was tempted to find the largest pool of Nutella around and drown my sorrows in it but f### it, he just ain’t worth it… NEXT!

somewhere out there

Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight … wait, this is NOT a Disney movie! What I’m trying to say is, your father, a good, trustworthy, loyal and most importantly, available man, was out there, just around the next date, email, meeting or event, making his way to me … all I needed to do was be patient.

Next time on How I Met Your Father: Faz puts Bridget Jones to shame with embarrassing moments …

How I Met Your Father: Tales from the Wingman

Kids, Wonder Woman has Batman and Superman watching her back during her superhero battles. Me, I have the best hero of them all :  Tendai, legendary blogger and epic wingman. Today, I’m letting him take over the storytelling ..

Hey Fazie’s kids. This is your drunk and fun uncle, Tendai. I figured I might as well tell you my side of this journey to the best of my memory. It turns out I’ve had too much fun over the years and my memory is a bit hazy. Just a bit! Stop laughing and go get me some of “daddy’s juice”.

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August 2013

I was an intern where your mother used to work. I was young and inexperienced, and let me not forget to mention how afraid I was of the women I used to work with. Ya, I was the only guy in my department. How that happened I don’t know but I’m glad it did. My time there, I learnt a lot about women. A lot! Topics included babies, contraceptives, food, and a lot of R-Rated conversations. I learnt a lot. Obviously not enough to give the men the secret to understanding women, but I did learn enough to improve my knowledge of women. I went from 5% worth of knowledge to 7%. Like all men, I failed to listen majority of the time. Yup, that’s right, men don’t listen majority of the time women talk.

I digress. I needed a break from being the most awesome intern the company had ever seen. So for my break I went to your mother’s desk and I forced her to procrastinate. We had a conversation about “28 dates before 28”. It sounded like a romantic comedy, one good enough to gross roughly $300 million easily. Never been done before and in my mind I saw an opportunity for a movie script or a TV show. I had $$$$ in my eyes and completely forgot what Fazie was telling me. The “typical man” kicked in. I zoned in and out of the conversation so I remember very little.

One night I was at a bar the topic came back to me and I thought about it even more. Fazie was to go on 28 dates before she turned 28 years old. Her birthday being in November that meant she had to go on 2 dates per week to make her goal. Did Cape Town have enough quality men for her to go on her dates? What would happen if she didn’t make it to 28 dates?

With a notion of 28 dates before 28 and her quest of wanting to find your daddy, I tried to put myself in her shoes. To try understand her more and to see how I could help. She was 27, prime, fun and the ultimate socialite. How does one tie her down? Could this work? Could she manage to find a bachelor that is worth her time, loves vampires and feed her chocolate in her time of need? It got very technical very fast so I finished my beer, sent a WhatsApp to a particular female and decided to go back to what I know, being a bachelor in the streets of Cape Town. “Hey, wanna come over?”

Back to the topic. I would occasionally get a status update from Fazie as to how her dates were going. It turns out she was slacking. “Too much work” or “not enough time” were some of her many excuses! I was baffled by this. You would think she would have found your father earlier. She did try but the men in Cape Town were not what I expected them to be.

Considering I was one of them at the time, it made sense as to why it wasn’t easy. I could only imagine her meeting me in the streets and hoping to settle down and have you guys. Ha! Her chances of finding your daddy dropped exponentially. Each time I wanted to help, I would get a WhatsApp saying “Hey, what are you doing tonight?” Sorry but I have to respond to this.

April 2014

Your mother is still single and my phone didn’t stop blowing up. I guess nothing had changed and unfortunately she didn’t make 28 dates before 28. Your mother did make an effort. All in her tales which I’m sure you’re enjoying. She has had some interesting encounters with the men of Cape Town. I had lost track as to how many dates she had been on but from what I saw, it may be a while before she finds her baby daddy.

You would think Cape Town had great guys, guys that she could go home to and cater to. It’s Cape Town, where are all the good guys at? Obviously we hang out at the same place. It takes an asshole to know an asshole. So I took it upon myself to be her wingman. It has been an interesting journey and I gotta be honest, it has been fun. No regrets but the one failure, I didn’t get your mother her man for the night.

Rocking the ultimate wingman duty on one of our crazy nights out!
Rocking the ultimate wingman duty on one of our crazy nights out!

The nights we had were memorable, from the guy she terrorised at work that we ended up partying with – I swear there was some “tension” of some sort between them, to a guy from Stellies that we met at a friend’s farewell who she deemed to be “too young for her”. Not to forget she actually dropped the ball on this one. She can be useless at seeing opportunities.  A lot of the times I wished I could go with her on her dates, pull up a chair and coach her as the date went by. I think even then she would still drop the ball.

Your mother is too much fun and she tends to light a fire in the loins of lesbians. Now that I think about it, she might as well find herself a lesbian. Who knows, it may work out for her.

Cape Town is an interesting city. Your mum’s inability to find a male suitor has been puzzling me for the longest time. The men are of a different nature. Nothing against the good guys out there but I’m starting to feel like the good guys don’t exist.

If there are guys like me out there, not afraid to be in the shadows or the confinements of their homes then your mother is in trouble. It’s guys like me that can be found anywhere in Cape Town and I can tell you, commitment doesn’t exist in our wiring.

We are found at every party, every function and even functions we don’t have an invite to. We liven the parties up, we chat up all the attractive women at the party and convince them to leave this party to go to another.

Basically make them leave their home ground and take them to ours. Once there, it’s almost a done deal. A couple of drinks, dance a little, flirt a lot then we have “our one hand on her thigh”. That means it’s nearly time to take her home, do what we know how to do best, then forget about her by 9am the following day.

Love does exist in Cape Town. Don’t get me wrong, it’s there. Somewhere! If guys like me can be found in the streets then love will only be in one direction. Cape Town has gorgeous women, it’s only right I have my one hand on as many thighs as possible.