All posts by fazielahwilliams16

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

How I Met Your Father: Getting felt up for all the right reasons in all the wrong ways

“Oh gods, why is it that the first time I get some boob action in years, it’s gotta hurt like a mother f***er?!”

Kids, hitting 30 was a wake-up call for me that if I was planning on having and raising you guys, I needed to get my shit together and take care of my body, mind and soul … starting with a mammogram to check that my “twins” were in good shape.

Right, let’s pause here for a second while you get over being grossed out …

keep calm and check the girls

Anyway, as I was saying, I marched myself off to the doctor’s the Monday after my return from paradise for what turned out to be quite the torture session.

Take your top off and let me squeeze them …

Following a brusque Q&A about why, at such a young age, I thought I was at risk of breast cancer (apparently having a sister who had a breast biopsy at age 16 and my own cancer scare and subsequent drainage at age 20 weren’t reasons enough!), the unsmiling radiology assistant asked me to disrobe and join her at the very inconspicuous x-ray machine.

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Sweet mother of dragons, if I had known how f***ing painful the procedure was going to be, I’d have reconsidered doing it. Ms Thing manhandled my pleasure pillows like they were slabs of meat, squishing first one, and then the other between two glass plates that then squeezed down extra hard as the x-ray was taken.

I remember clearly thinking: “Oh gods, why is it that the first time I get some boob action in years, it’s gotta hurt like a mother f***er?!”

When I complained to say that it really, REALLY hurt, my lovely attendant coolly said: “It does? Well, just hang in there, it will be over in a few seconds.”

Longest freaking seconds of my damn life, up until then!

Let’s take a look-see…

Despite not taking me seriously as someone who needed to be checked out when I’d arrived, something in the x-ray must have freaked her out, so my attendant very calmly asked me to join her in the ultrasound room.

As I laid down on the bed, she rubbed some warm gel onto my breasts and massaged them deftly while moving the wand over them to see inside.

At one point, I clearly saw her taking the measurement of a very big cyst and I slowly started to freak out. When she finished her exam (and several measurements more!), she quietly turned to me and said: “There are quite a few cysts in both of your breasts and I’d like to hear from the doctor what he wants to do about them. I’ll be right back.”

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Kids, those five minutes seemed to stretch out forever … I started imagining all sorts of horrible things. Like what if I had cancer and therefore could never have you? What if I died? What if, what if, what if!

Bam! Wham! Thank you, mam …

Eventually, she waltzed back into the room and with a blank expression told me that while my breasts were riddled with cysts on both sides, they were benign and I wasn’t dying. The doctor didn’t think an op to remove them was necessary and they did not want to see me until I was 40. Well, gee, thanks for the sensitivity, people! F***!

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Really? That’s it? Felt up for 5 minutes, nearly handed a death sentence and then it’s all over in a matter of seconds? What an anti-climax!

I know you’ve probably been as uncomfortable listening to this story as I have been telling it to you but what I want you to take away from it is this: if you’re worried about something, have it checked out. Even if the health professionals treat you like a dummy, you persist and find out as much as you can.

Medical knowledge is power … and, doctor’s rooms make for great guy/girl pick-up joints 😉

 

How I Met Your Father: 30 and a week of the good, the bad and the ugly

Kids, as the saying goes, in life only three things are certain: death, change and taxes.

The week after my 30th and return from Mauritius, I had a brush with all three. Since I hate them equally, you can imagine how utterly delighted I was they decided to show up at the same time … not.

These things, I know, were part of being an adult but who the hell decided I was ready to do that, huh?

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I won’t bore you with the monotony of taxes … suffice it to say that e-filing, as we old folk called it back then, did NOTHING to simply the goddamn painful process, so let’s move on to the other two.

Change …

After switching gears between a highly stressful job and a more relaxed one in 2014, I had committed myself to spending more time with our family, my friends, potential partners and two projects I was involved with.

For a while, I felt like I could expertly manage all of them – and I did. But, as the year progressed, I felt myself becoming increasingly short-tempered and spread too thin between everything, leaving very little time for that precious commodity I was harping on about last week – me time.

I agonised for months about what to let go of and fretted about how it would impact certain relationships. Needless to say there were plenty of sleepless nights and bargaining with the Universe for energy, more time, Channing Tatum showing up to ease my stress the Magic Mike way ( oh, quit the eye rolling, you guys!)  etc to help make my decisions easier.

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I hate change with a deadly passion and nothing unsettles me more than the not knowing what happens next. The indecisiveness drives me absolutely crazy and I would rather know for certain one way or another that what needs to be done is done than living in the in-between forever.

As it turns out, when the death brush happened, making the change choice was a no-brainer. Nowhere close to easy, of course, but ridiculously simple and a relief.

Death …

In the week after turning 30, I was faced with the realization of my own mortality in two successive and painful blows.

Not only did I have a mammogram, which briefly caused alarm but your great-grandfather’s health took a really bad turn for the worst.

I’ll tell you about the boob-squeezing mammogram next time (dudes, appreciate the fact that I did my best to ensure my lady pillows were in tip top shape for your arrival!) but for now, let’s talk about Pa.

He’d been a diabetes-sufferer for all of my life but somehow, after your great-grandma died, it just seriously took over his body. By mid-2015, he could no longer move about without a walking stick and in late November, he’d completely lost the use of his legs. His arms looked set to follow the same route soon.

I’d known he was ill, of course, and rushed off to see him at Groote Schuur hospital the Monday after my island holiday, when the diagnosis of irreversible nerve damage  was handed down to him  but seeing how frail he was a mere week later really, really got to me.

As your aunt Sam and I massaged oils and lotions into his now stiff legs and ever-thinning body, I could barely contain my tears and I didn’t dare speak because I knew my voice would betray the depth of my grief.

Faz and Pa

This is the man who raised, fed, clothed, educated, disciplined and loved me for most of my life.  A man who had always been the most powerful force in my tiny universe and whom I had spent a lot of time angry at because I didn’t think he loved me enough or as much as he loved my sisters. I know now that wasn’t true – he loved us all differently because we were so different.

The fact that we didn’t share the same blood was never an issue– he’d been my granddad from my first moment and no one could have done more for my siblings and I than he did. He loved us as he had loved our father before us.  The greatest lesson I’d ever learnt from him was that family wasn’t always blood.

Pa was the UB40 –loving, Frank Sinatra –singing, Vienna smoortjie (spread) – making goofy grandpa of my childhood; the believer of my teenage studying dreams and my voice of young adult reasoning. The idea of further adulting without him just didn’t bear thinking about.

But I wasn’t ready to let him go and I was seriously pissed off at the Universe. We’d barely gotten over Mama’s loss  – what fucking right did the gods have to want to take the only father figure I’d truly known away from me now?!

So, I got mad – Hulk mad – at the sheer bloody audacity of the Fates to do this to my family and I twice in the space of two years and at the unfairness of it all. How the heck were we supposed to be adults and responsible about this when the grown-ups in our lives were dying all the time, huh?

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For me, being angry was a hell of a lot easier that being sad. The sadness at seeing my grandfather so very weak and knowing the inevitability thereof, just broke me, kids.

When faced with the loss of someone you love, all of the other things in your life pale in comparison. I knew now what was important – spending as much time as possible with Pa and making good memories with him…. I freaking love you, Percival x

Next week on How I Met Your Father: Getting felt up for all the right reasons in all the wrong ways – a scan by scan mammogram story.

 

How I Met Your Father: The Art of Going Solo and Things I Love to Do

Kids, after spending a week with family and friends on an island for my 30th, I realised something profound about myself – I liked being alone.

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As in, I couldn’t get enough of having me time and was especially grumpy if I didn’t get adequate supplies of it. Which, considering I was knee-deep in the search for your father, posed quite the dilemma. How was I ever going to be a part of a couple if I loved being alone?

I was perplexed and frustrated with myself about this for a while until I realised that actually, being comfortable being alone is okay. Too often, I’d see people in relationships who were lonelier being part of a twosome than I was being single and they were miserable! I wanted to meet your dad- desperately, it’s true – but not enough to give up all of my glorious freedom just yet.

Not everyone was as comfortable with being alone as I was…. In fact, I got a microscopic view once into one friend’s life who couldn’t go one day without freaking out about eating alone or checking their social media platforms for validation from their online peers. Watching this person physically ache for company because they couldn’t just be one with themselves tired me and made me appreciate my ability to rock the solo vibe all the more.

Maybe it was the wisdom that comes with turning 30 (more likely all of the Mojitios I was ingesting!) or maybe it took me seven days in the constant company of others to realise that to be a part of a successful pair, you need to be a successful single first.

me time hammock

As I gazed out towards the gorgeous coastline from my hammock, sipping a Pina Colada or three, I made a list of all of the solo activities I loved doing and which I was determined to do more of before (and after) I welcomed you and your dad into my life and which I would gladly encourage others to do too:

  • Dine alone, whilst gazing out at a beautiful view: it helps me appreciate the silence, the food and the wonders of nature without having to make meaningless conversation with someone else when I don’t feel like it.
  • Go see a movie whenever I want: Not everyone has similar movie tastes (I ADORE horror movies and anything with Alexander Skarsgard so I usually rock those alone.I also dig really bad movies that everyone else hates and since your Spirit Godmother Leo does too, we do this together occasionally), so if I really, really want to see something, I’ll go see it and hog the popcorn and chocolates to myself!
  • Read a captivating book: I know I’ve instilled in you the importance of reading – not only does it open new worlds for you, it’s a great way to spend quality time with yourself. And no, you are not being rude when reading in company you’d rather not have. Sooner or later, the person will get the message and bugger off (hopefully).
  • Be a couch potato: Sometimes all I wanted to do was switch off my phone, shut my door and have a True Blood or Games of Thrones series marathon without having to speak to another human being or take their fragile feelings into account … and you know what? That was ok. Like they say in the flight attendant instructional video: “Put the oxygen mask on yourself first – THEN you can help others”. Similarly, you have to spend time with yourself before spending time with others.
  • Have a solo picnic or beach day: Guys, my best parts of these kinds of days is just lazing about, watching the tide come in or listening to children squeal with laughter around me but not needing to physically be a part of it all. It’s a great reminder that we all play a part in a much bigger picture.
  • Go to an event alone: In October 2015, for various reasons I attended Zombie Walk solo and I still had a shitload of fun.

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I ran into other friends I didn’t expect to see and that was great, but the best part was striking up conversations with strangers who shared the same passion as I did. I learnt so much more about people and myself and that there was a whole new set of weirdos for me to get to know.

Going solo to events make you step out of your comfort zone and meet new people – who  knows if one of those not-so-handsome undead could have been your dad? 😉

What it boils down to is this, kids: I couldn’t wait to meet your dad and have you but until then, I was perfectly happy rocking my solo act like the fabulous and flirty thirty-year-old that I was!

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How I Met Your Father: The Truth about My 30th Freak-Out

Kids, the week leading up to my 30th birthday, my loved ones were super excited about planning my various parties and our impending island getaway … me, I was having the worst freak-outs I’d had since my teens.

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I didn’t talk about it often back then, but I was what you’d call a functioning depressive – I could go about daily activities, be social and interactive during the day and laugh along with everyone else, but when I was alone, I had intense freak-outs, endless insomnia and really, really black moods.

I got why everyone was so excited, and I appreciated their efforts, I truly did. So yes, for the most part I faked it as far as I could, hoping that at some point their excitement would infect me.

I know you’re wondering why, in particular, I was feeling this way and that surely, a milestone birthday is something to celebrate, right? It was, but very simply, I was depressed because my life looked nothing like I thought it would be and here’s why ….

1999 …

I was 13-years-old and in love for the first time. Zunaid, a year younger than me but way more experienced if all of the school gossip was to be believed, was as in love with me as I was with him and life was beautiful.

My Chocolate Boy
My Chocolate Boy

In that way that characterises all first puppy loves, I spent a year of bliss indulging in super long landline phone calls (uh, if you want to know what landline phones are, ask your Nan); spending hours getting lost in those chocolate baby brown eyes of his and revelling in the fact that I was dating the hottest guy at school and he was nuts about me.

So nuts, in fact, that he once pulled down his school pants to show off the teddy bear covered satin boxers I’d given him for Valentine’s Day to the entire school body …yes, yes, I know, eeuww Mom!

Young love burns bright and fast and Zunaid and I were no different. Our hours-long conversations always revolved around how we were going to get married and have …wait for it …FIFTEEN kids! How we were ever going to afford that many children with barely high school qualifications to our names was anybody’s guess but hey, the dreams of the young, huh?

Naturally, because I was going through a bit of a bad girl phase and Zunaid, my Chocolate Boy, was the definition of a bad boy (have I mentioned that he stabbed his cousin, my ex-boyfriend, because he’d dared to mention he was thinking about getting me back? Yeah, my honey sure loved me!), all of the adults in my life was against this relationship from the onset.

And I can’t blame them – we did get caught making out while my male best friend set the school field on fire in a jealous rage, because he was in love with me and I was in love with Zunaid. So much drama, so little time.

In an effort to set me back on the straight and narrow, your great-grandparents sent me back to live with my mother and attend a Model C school in the Southern Suburbs.  They say distance makes the heart grow fonder and for a while Zunaid and I tried to make a go of it (weekend reunions were oh so bitter sweet!) but six months later, we lost touch and I was heart-broken for the very first time.

So utterly devastated but without the maturity and the words to explain how I was feeling, I had the first of my teenage depression sessions … I won’t lie, suicide came up a time or two. I started seeing my school guidance councillor and we worked on easing my depression through writing, performing as part of the school drama clubs and making captain on my debating team.

But the loss of the future I would now never have, the life and love of a guy who felt the same way about me and the children we’d never create together would haunt me for a while still…

Until I met He Who Shall Not Be Named …

2005…

There had been crushes after Zunaid and short lived dalliances with guys in clubs, friends of friends, blind group dates and the like but I hadn’t truly fallen in love again because I thought I’d lost my soul mate.

When into the darkness of my blackest moods came the blonde, blue-eyed He Who Shall Not Be Named. So very different from anyone I had ever known before, it took a few months of him dogging my every step, showing up unexpectedly in places, eager to claim my space and company for his own to the exclusion of anyone else before I let my guard down long enough to let him in.

For a year, I fell hopelessly and utterly in love, down and down in the spiral of headiness you try your best to run away from but can’t. Much like your Uncle T said about the one he love and lost, when you are that in love, every moment lasts a lifetime, every gaze feels as if the world has melted away and there is only the two of you in a bubble.

He Who Shall Not Be Named and I became masters at making other people uncomfortable when they were around us because we’d be talking and then just let sentences taper off while we gazed adoringly at each other, not hearing when others spoke to us or caring.

There is no other way to describe the way I felt about him other than he was my drug of choice. When I was with him, I was high, so very, heart-achingly high with the depth of my feelings for him, it took my breath away. With Zunaid, I knew logically I wanted his children but with He Who Shall Know Be Named, my body physically ached for it just watching him be gentle with other kids.

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And the way our bodies were attuned to each other was insane. We could be at opposite ends of a crowded room, not realising the other was there and suddenly, we’d be right next to each other, perfectly aligned. Naïve as I was, I took his irrational possessiveness and stalker-like tendencies to be proof that he felt the same about me.

But Life and the Universe are cruel and bitter hags. There was always a touch of the effeminate about my love and though I rallied against all evidence of it and endured cruel mocking by some of our so-called friends, eventually He not so much as said it outright as started acting it when in my company.

It would take another ten years for me to accept that he was gay and that I would once again have to say goodbye to the future I envisioned for us of marriage and children that looked like him. My emotional wounds would be ripped open over and over again over those ten years because he could never leave me and things well enough alone – always veering between wanting to be my gay best friend and re-staking his claim on me possessively. It was a lot like sitting on the Iron Throne and getting cut every time. Leona Lewis was right …

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He Who Shall Not Be Named was still a part of my life for a long time and a constant reminder that I had been so utterly idiotic, it was inconceivable but I often wondered about Zunaid and whether, if I had just stuck it out, I’d have been happy, married and with child every year…. If wishes were horses, right?

What’s my point, I hear you ask, and what exactly has this got to with my freak out? Well, a lot actually. As the countdown to my 30th began, I was single and twice bitterly disappointed by love. I was utterly morose and convinced more than ever, that true love would not be a part of my future and consequently, neither would you …

And I wanted you, my babies, more than anything, more than life … I wanted you.

How I Met Your Father: Downtown kisses in New York

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Kids, in the winter of 2014 I fled the cold of Cape Town for the sunny skies of Northern America and embarked on a Best of the USA Contiki tour, visiting my favourite cities Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York.

Having been raised (ok, sneakily watched when it was WAY past my bed time and age restricted) on a steady diet of Sex and the City and always imagining myself to be the next Carrie Bradshaw, the Big Apple was, of course, my ultimate destination.

Unfortunately, due to a combination of travel flu and multiple hangovers, I was way too ill to fully enjoy everything New York had to offer (picture me walking around Times Square late at night in a haze of medicinal drug hallucinations, determined to buy Wicked tickets at that hour!… yeah, I was Defying Gravity for sure).

All was not lost, though, because on my second night in the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, my dream of kissing a tall, dark, American stranger came true …

August 2014 …

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Tash, Cheree and I were clinking Cosmopolitan glasses at the Bourbon Street Bar and Grille (naturally, because how could we miss having a SATC moment?!) when a good-looking African American man in a well-cut suit leaned over the bar counter to order a drink.

As he invaded my space while doing so, I realised that this wasn’t just a mere coincidence but an intentional gesture since someone had done it to me earlier in the evening too (more about that in another story about how oblivious I am to men hitting on me!).

This time, I smiled at him and said hi. Shining a megawatt smile down at the girls and I, he introduced himself as Drew from the Bronx who was meeting a friend at the bar but totally had a few minutes to chat to us beautiful ladies… charmer 😉

By now, I had had three Cosmos, which in South Africa would make me buzzed but in the US with their triple shot measurements, was more than enough to make me lose my inhibitions.

I’d been a good girl, not hooking up with the tour guys as I had in Italy but gods be damned, I was 28-years-old in one of the best, if not THE best, city in the world and a damn fine man was giving me the “How ya doin?”look. You only live once, right?!

Between the multiple hand resting in the in the nook between my back and butt movements and the numerous compliments, along with the “I totally have to show y’áll the Bronx sometime – like tomorrow” comments, it was pretty obvious that Mr Dark and Handsome had some intentions.

I took a long sip of my fourth Cosmo and decided it was now or never. When Drew leaned in and said “I like the colour of your lipstick”, I flipped my hair over my shoulder and said “Well, I like it better on you” and full on kissed him!

With Cheree and Tash hooting and cheering me on in the background, the sounds of the bar in full festivity and a ridiculously hot guy at my lips, I lost myself in the moment, being carefree, wanton and happy in gorgeous, wonderful, beautiful New York.

18-Oh-I-love-New-York.

As it turns out, Drew wasn’t my Mr Big (because he had a fiancée back in the Bronx!) or your father but he did inspire a return trip to the Big Apple with Leo, your Spirit Mother a couple of years later and boy, the stories that could be told about that trip …. 😉

How I Met Your Father: Rocking the horror of Halloween in the Mother City

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Kids, if there is one commercial holiday I love more than Valentine’s Day, it’s Halloween … you know what a HUGE horror movie fanatic I am, so it should come as no surprise that I love to dress up like a bloody murder victim, spectre, bride of the undead etc. on 31 October.

As a teen, I used to have eight hour horror movie marathons, gorging myself on the gruesome delights of all of the classics: Halloween (all 25 of them!), Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Rosemary’s Baby, Child’s Play, The Exorcist, Scream, The Ring and The Grudge … you name it, I screamed for it in ghastly glee.

Though it may have been more of an American festivity, Cape Town soon picked up on it and in my late twenties, I finally got the chance to go trick or treating at several horrifying Halloween events…

October 2013 …

“Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!”

Nu Metro, the cinema giant was hosting a special anniversary edition of the Michael Keaton classic for Halloween and was giving away free tickets. I quickly gathered a group of friends, including your godfather Leon, to join me at the screening.

Of course, because we’re that fabulous, Leon and I were not going to let an opportunity to FINALLY dress up for the scariest night of the year pass us by so we rocked our freakiest zombie look, complete with demon eyes and classic make-up applied by your aunt Cynthia.

leon and faz halloween

We relished walking the halls of the V&A Waterfront, scaring people to death and ,always ones to enjoy a photo op when it’s presented, we posed for The CapeTowner, who were attending the movie too… frightful fame at long last!

October 2014 …

Not content to just celebrate only one night of the month any longer, I had three different Halloween celebrations that October.

It’s just a jump to the left …

Faz Rocky Horror

The first was my fourth viewing of the Rocky Horror Show musical at the Fugard Theatre with your Nan, aunts, godmothers and a few of our friends. Naughty maids’ costumes, a plethora of feather boas, fishnet stockings and a flurry of hot pics with the insatiable Dr Frank-n-Furter was, of course, a must for the night.

Franknfurter and Leo

Time to say goodbye …

I’d resigned from my position as Cape Town’s socialite and needed to end it on a bang so how better than to host a Halloween-themed farewell party at my home from home, Alexander Bar and Café?

Since I was still incredibly in-love with Alexander Skarsgard after our little “run-in”, my costume of choice for this very special party was, naturally, vampire bride …hee hee!

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The best part of it all was having my friends dress up too. From your aunt Leilah’s gorgeous black wings to uncle T’s hilarious Scream impersonation and Mr and Mrs Smurfette’s killer Bill and Sookie look, it was a murderous shindig of note.

image by Barbara Loots  www.dontwalkdance.co.za/
image by Barbara Loots http://www.dontwalkdance.co.za

Of course, Lady K had to take things to the next level by offering us some very, very strong makes-you-forget-your-name absinthe!

I might or might not have gotten really flirtatious with the bar manager after having that shot- which may explain why he was always all smiles whenever I went back to the bar after…eeecck!

November 2014 …

Give us braaaaaaiiiiiinnnnns!!!

Day two of my Halloween weekend in 2014 and of course, the event of the day had to be Zombie Walk Cape Town.

Now, there were tons of getups I could have gone with but if you going to walk with the undead, why not do it as a hot, morbid cheerleader right?!

Faz zombie walk

Again, our group of friends gathered to rock our best Thriller moves in the Company’s Garden with make-up expertly done by the awesome Lady K. Who knew being dead could look SO good?

I’ve never experienced so many people having so much gory fun before … the creativity of their costumes, their willingness to let their freak flags fly and just the general ghastly spirit were SO amazing!

Strangely enough there were quite a few hot stiff ones … guys, I meant, guys!

Zombie Walk was also the start of a new level of closeness for House Wyrd … Leilah and MJ would eventually move to London but that day was the start of something awesome, hanging out at insane events and rocking our Wyrdness.

zombie walk group

As I geared up for Halloween and Zombie Walk 2015 (this time as a bloody hot dead nurse!), I knew that celebrating the night of the undead would become one of the treasured celebrations for our family in the future  … and I hope you’ve enjoyed them all!

How I Met Your Father: The Indecent Proposal

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Kids, in the spring of 2008, I was a fledgling junior publicist for a national TV station and at what I considered at the time, the peak of my career.

Working on some of the big local reality shows and top international sitcoms was a dream come true in many aspects and tons of fun. One of the highlights of working for this particular station was being flown to Johannesburg to attend the annual staff party.

This particular year, the party happened to coincide with my 23rd birthday and to say I was in a celebratory mood is an understatement. This excitement lead to me rocking an all-round glow which alarming so, led to an indecent proposal from one of my colleagues …

Saturday 15 November …

The music was pumping and I was shaking what your Nan gave me like the next day was my birthday (ha ha). High on a heady concoction of cocktails, excitement for my name day and pride at the fact that I’d won the Publicity Employee of the Year award, I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that Bryce, the hot programme scheduler was getting all up in my business.

Bryce, born in Cape Town, had joined our station after years of living in London and was rocking a sexy afro and even sexier British accent, reminiscent of Lenny Kravitz in a total bad ass way. The fact that he’d been a professional model before joining the broadcasting world just made him that more ridiculously good-looking and every girl (and some guys) had a crush on him. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t entertained some lustful thoughts about the dude myself … but I digress.

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Back to the party … When I dance, I totally lose myself in the music.  It’s actually quite a spiritual experience (you guys know this, of course, having seen me rock out to Fatman Scoop’s Be Faithful in our living room over the years!) so while Bryce was getting closer and closer, I didn’t really notice it until …

Midnight…

3, 2, 1 … Happy Birthday!

The crowd went wild, people were screaming my name and hugging me and I was delirious with happiness. Into all of the craziness steps Bryce, moving at a glacial pace to lean forward, hug me and plant a tender kiss on my forehead.

Of course, because he was so devilishly handsome, I felt a flutter of “oh wow!” but quickly pushed that feeling aside in favour of dancing to Wyclef Jean’s Heartbreaker and didn’t think about it again.

Sunday 16 November at 1am

Kids, you know how in movies they’re always showing what a rock n roll lifestyle movie and TV stars lead? The drugs, the booze, the men and women and just the sheer debauchery?

Well, it’s all true … the after party and my first birthday party was held in one of the presenters ‘hotel rooms and from the minute my little group of celebrators and I stepped into the room, it was one long orgy of insanity.

I’m talking people eating “sandwiches” right out of the window, married couples ( but not married to each other!) chatting and touching on beds, music blaring from the TV and alcohol everywhere you looked …

Did I shy away from it, like the good newly agnostic girl I was? Oh hell no! It was my birthday, guys, and I was far away from home, in the middle of a kickass party – like Jonah Hilll and Channing Tatum finally letting loose in 21 Jump Street, I got down with the best of them!

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What followed was a merry-go-round of me jumping on the hotel beds while people sang Happy Birthday to me several times and poured shots down my throat at an alarming rate, offering to roll a sandwich for me to give me an extra buzz ( which I refused) and just general feelings of happiness.

I’d never been the centre of attention quite like that before and I loved it! I also knew that it’s best to leave a party at its height so I said my goodbyes and off I went to the other side of the hotel to my room.

As I got into the elevator, Bryce pried the doors open and said: “Really? You’re leaving already?” to which I replied that I had to get up early for my flight back to Cape Town and my party with my family so yes, I was leaving.

He looked really weird and sad for a second before rushing in to hug me and give me another kiss on the forehead. Weirdo …

4am …

I’d barely stripped my dress off when my room phone began ringing insistently. Wondering what the hell Reception wanted at this late or rather early hour, I answered irritably: “Hello?”

“Miss Williams, it’s Reception. I’m so sorry to bother you but I have a young gentleman here who is insisting on speaking with you. Would you please hold for him?”

I felt quite bad about being rude so I said ok and next thing you know, Bryce is on the line.

Him: “Hey, hey birthday girl! What are you up to?”

Me: “Uhm, hey. I’m about to go to bed. Why?”

Him: “Well, are you naked and would you like me to join you?”

Me (totally thinking he’s joking and way too drunk to realise that he’s hot, I’m not and this must be some kind of prank): “Ha ha, no, that’s ok. I will see you in the morning.”

Him: “Why not? Don’t you want me? Don’t you think I’m hot?”

Me (getting slightly pissed off now): “Because I said so! Now, goodnight Bryce, I’ll see you later!”

Him: “Seriously, you’re turning me down? Do you know who I am???”

Me (now positively fuming!): “See, just for that, I don’t even want to speak to you ever again!”

Him (completely changing tact and adopting a pleading tone): “Please? We don’t even have to do anything, we can just cuddle… come on!”

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It was funny when I thought he was joking and infuriating when he was being full of himself but this begging was just a total turn-off and I signed off, leaving him to look like a begging loser at the Reception desk.

Later that morning …

My head was pounding as I got onto the airport-bound shuttle and I was avoiding having to speak to anyone so I chose a window seat and put on my sunglasses in an attempt to be incognito. Yeah, right …

Bryce steps onto the shuttle, rocking that fro and good looks like he hadn’t spent the night partying or begging to be let into my room.

“Morning, Fazielah! Thanks so much for last night –that’s going to be one for the books!”, he announces to the entire f***ing shuttle and everyone whips their heads around to look at me, relishing this bit of gossip.

I could have killed him, I really could, but as it was, I was trying desperately not to throw up. I dragged Bryce down beside me in an effort to shut him up but which only served to validate his claims …f***!

Upon returning to the office the next day, the news of our “passionate one night stand” had spread through the office like wildfire, much to my chagrin and my boss’s dismay.

I might have learnt to get over it eventually, if it wasn’t for the fact that the reason he’d announced our supposed tryst was to hide the fact that he’d actually spent the rest of that fateful night in the room and embrace of a gay colleague…. Story of my f***ing life!

How I Met Your Father: The Corny One Hit One Liner Wonders

funny-pick-up-lines-6Kids, being chatted up is as awkward as being the one doing the chatting up… I know because I’ve done both.

To be fair, though, when I’ve had to do it, it was because I needed to interview and photograph someone for whichever blogging site I was working on at the time and people, none more so than middle-aged men, love being told how ridiculously gorgeous and in awe of them you are so they’re only too happy to have their, uh, egos stroked.

Today’s little trip down memory lane, though, is about the absolute corny one liners levelled at me during the course of my young adult life:

December 2003…

“Bring me the bill and put yourself on it…”

I’d just matriculated and the future mother of my godchildren, Tasmyn, had talked me into getting a summer job waitressing at Spur in Claremont. Don’t ask me what convinced me to do it but what followed was the shortest working stint of my career …six weeks of serving people with a taste for life their favourite burgers, cleaning up after their kids and singing that freaking annoying birthday song at least once every hour.

One particularly busy evening, the restaurant was pumping with the festive season crowd and as was customary, if your tables were satisfied for the moment, you needed to check on your team mate’s tables in the same section, for drinks top-ups etc.

So, I stopped by one of the big 12 seater tables, which was made up of a bunch of road-racing, too-low-to-cover-their-asses jeans-clad guys and asked if there was anything they needed.

“Yes,” piped up the big meat-head who was clearly their moron leader, “bring me the bill and put yourself on it!” That, of course, elicited a round of bawdy laughter from the group.

I was 18-years-old and not nearly as sarcastic or good with comebacks as I am now so while I should have said “Oh honey, you couldn’t possibly afford me so don’t embarrass yourself by trying”, I meekly turned around and got their waitron to bring their bill.

November 2012 …

“You look like my next ex-girlfriend …”

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Kids, as you well know, libraries are my sanctuaries – I can spend hours just browsing through books, getting lost in their pages and the magical worlds they create.

On a hot November day, though, I was pressed for time during my lunch hour to get my next literary fix while taking full advantage of the City library’s aircon when a too cool-looking young man appeared out of nowhere.

“Hi,” he says to me, “I couldn’t help noticing that you look like my next ex-girlfriend,” and ended it with a cheesy grin.

Maybe it was heat exhaustion or perhaps I was actually just dumb-founded by his brazenness but I completely lost my cool and told exactly where to shove his stupid pick-up lines.

Needless to say, I stuck to my good ol’faithful Vredehoek library from that day on.

January 2015 …

“You have no idea what the colour green does to me…””

I’d been working at Cape Town’s biggest attraction for two months and I was still getting the hang of the way the business operated which meant I hardly spoke unless spoken to. One of the key components of working for this establishment meant wearing its bright green uniform … think Princess Fiona in Shrek meets The Grinch kind of green

On one of those crazy days where we saw more than 4000 people queuing for their must-have mountain experience, I was waiting beside our ticket office gate for a special media hosting group.

A red bus driver sidles up to me and says: “Girl, you have no idea what the colour green does to me!” followed by a creepy eye wink.

Gods … I know uniforms have a certain amorous appeal (hell, that’s the reason your father has a gladiator costume – sorry, TMI, I know!) but who the heck knew a green outfit could hit the libido too?!

This time I was actually too stunned to respond and let him walk away but you can be sure that I never spent more time than was absolutely necessary in that area ever again.

October 2015 …

“God, woman, where have you been all of my life?!”

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It had been a long weekend of working at a mega convention and I was tired. I was also in no mood for being chatted up by anyone, much less the casino security guard.

So when he stepped directly into my personal space as my bag was being passed through the scanning system and said: “God, woman, where have you been all of my life?!” I barely missed a beat and responded with: “Obviously doing something better with mine.”

That, together with a withering look, was enough to shut him up. Williams 1, Security 0.

Your father, though, obviously had more game, kiddos, and aren’t you glad he did 😉

How I Met Your Father: 5 Crazy Thoughts I’ve had on First Dates

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Kids, as you well know, I dated a lot and I mean A LOT in the lead-up to meeting your father and while all of them were awkward, none were more so than the first dates.

Whether I’d met them online, at a speed dating event, via friends or randomly, there was just no getting away from those prolonged pauses between questions, the trying-not-to-stare tick and with my often unsuitable suitors.

As I scoured all of my usual platforms for the next potential victim, sorry I meant, date, I pondered the 5 crazy thoughts I’ve had on first dates:

  • Gods please, don’t be late!

You know how much I despise untimely people, bambinos, and I am always at least 10 minutes early for any appointment but in the dating world, that’s not always a good thing.

It gives me far too much time to wonder if I am doing the right thing, if this person will like me, if I will hate him and question whether it was all worth it in the end … yes, you were worth it, obviously!

Mostly, I was worried that if my date was indeed late, I’d have to put up with other diners ‘pity stares and the waiter potentially removing the second set of cutlery, giving me a sympathetic nod in the process. Mortifying for singles everywhere!

  • Oh, wow! Really?!

That thought could go one of two ways… either my date (and your would-be future papa) was ridiculously hot or as was so often the bloody case, not my type AT ALL.

When the guy was really hot (like Rodeo Star), I couldn’t stop staring or babbling. When he was ,uh, not, I slipped into bro mode and talked a mile a minute about random crap for an hour ( like Maresh, the IT geek who did nothing but talk about computers, gym and how he missed his mother’s cooking …for the love of a white walker, shut up already!).

  • What the hell do I order?

I am not the kind of girl who goes for the salad and I really don’t care if my partner thinks I am a glutton for ordering the burger special with every side but I am not prepared to mess all over the cute outfit I picked out for this occasion either so choosing something to eat is somewhat tricky.

Fashion sense usually loses out to extreme hunger, though!

  • What’s wrong with him?

No, hear me out … the man can be charming, good-looking, polite, relatively ambitious, love his momma (not too much, though!) and kind to the waiter but there is always something amiss.

Like he only wants to get it on (thank you Mr I Didn’t Feel An Instantaneous Convergence!) or he hates kids and the idea of creating them (here’s looking at you, Mr One Hit Speed Date Wonder).

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We all have faults, I know, but better pre-warned that sorry is what I always say!

  • Oh f***, I really, really want to/don’t want to do this again!

Depending on the guy, the conversation, the restaurant and the spark or not, I’m already thinking about whether or not I need to expose myself to this experience again.

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Life really is too short to waste on bad dates….

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)…