Kids, there comes a time in every superheroine’s life when she needs to step things up, to soar into an unknown stratosphere. For me, it was attending the very first Comic Con Africa in Johannesburg on Friday 14 September 2018.
I could wax lyrical for ages and ages about my experience but let me rather share the message I sent to your Spirt Mom Leonie and godfather Tendai about it instead:
“Arriving there this morning was like a treasure hunt on steroids ( because the Uber drop-off zone was k** far from the entrance and I had to work through an actual tunnel to get to the building).
After getting my media tag and the WiFi password, it was off to the main stage for the opening.
And the minute I walked through the single door to the main floor… damn, that high is hard to describe.
It’s Christmas morning, mixed with seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time, mixed with the first time you hear the Game of Thrones theme song in the first episode of a new season.
This… this is what I have been waiting for my entire geek like. It was Heaven!”
I’ll let the videos and images below speak for themselves but trust me when I say I fell in love and I fell hard for Comic Con Africa that first day. It’s totally the reason why you guys, your Dad, your Nan and godfather Leon attend it with me to this day:
I came.I saw.I Comic Conned 😎In what can only be described as the culmination of all of my comicbook heiress and geek…
Kids, sometimes when my ego was bruised by a date, like when the Boston man child walked out on me, I would seek validation by running into the arms of another unsuitable candidate… such was the case with the Needy Italian.
Mike had literally just walked out of the door when your aunties Cynthia, Gloria and I got down and dirty on the dance floor and three new guys started started dancing with us – a nerdy but seriously cute type and two Italian brothers.
Things were going the way of Dirty Dancing minus the epic lift for me with one of the brothers, Emmanuele, and even though I actually had my eye on an uber cute and buff blonde on the other side of the dancefloor, I was having a good time.
An hour later, I was ready to leave and also feeling quite bold, bolstered by a mixture of f*** Mike attitude and several ciders, so – after punching my number into Emmanuele’s phone, I grabbed him by his big beared face and laid a long but chaste kiss on him:
Fast forward to the next day when I was nursing the mother of all f***ing hangovers and I’d woken up to a barrage of texts:
“Is me, Emmanuele… you see me at Dubliner’s tonight, yes?”
“You wake? I much like to dance with you again”
My outrage at my own idiotic self made me want to respond to my very enthusiastic Romeo with:
Why? Why were millennial men so f***ing needy?!
I didn’t want to hurt his feelings,though, and I was feeling kind of guilty about using him to assuage my feelings of rejection by Mike the night before so I told him that I couldn’t make that night or the night after but perhaps we could try for the weekend.
The following Wednesday:
After ducking and dodging Emmanuele’s pretty intense advances ( with everything from following both your auntie Lee-Anne, who most certainly did NOT appreciate it, and I are on Instagram to liking every single photo I posted and constantly sliding into my WhatsApp with “I want to spend my nights with you” texts), I received the following message from him:
“I get on a plane back home now. I hope to come back next year. We please stay in contact. I will remember you.”
I wished him a good flight and then let him down gently,saying that I am sorry I kissed him when I had no intention of taking things any further and I hope he found a great girl who was more suited to his 29 year-old-self.
If I could have played that old The Manhattans classic for him, I would have:
I also vowed to myself to never use someone to get over someone else again – karma is a bitch and she may well come back to get me at some point.
This, Kids, is what the stupid AF married and religious person from my past who was also a co-worker yelled at me as he walked up the staircase to the next level of my office building.
I was initially too flabbergasted at the utter audacity and nerve of this man, who had not spoken to me in MONTHS, to respond.
Of all of the things he could have asked and chosen to start a conversation with me – how I am, how my family was doing, had I done anything interesting lately or met any celebrities at the Cableway, he f***ing chose to reduce his interest in me to my marital – or lack thereof – status.
I was so many amazing things – a cosplayer;a writer; a world traveller planning her third trip to New York City; an adult working student studying a digital marketing course; an avid movie geek and theatre nerd; a comedy lover;a sister, daughter, grand-daughter, niece, cousin, aunt, godmother and friend who loved her people fiercely and a weirdo with a quirky sense of humour– and yet, this asshole made me feel like none of those things mattered because I wasn’t attached and he was yelling at me about it.
I’d been in a pretty great mood before this f***tard verbally slapped me with his insult.
Considering that less than a year before, he’d been flirting with me – unsuccessfully, I might add, because I am not about that side chick life – I was very tempted to retort with:
” Why?Are you trying to figure out if it’s still ok to make a move on me?”
Alas, I wasn’t that brave yet so all I could be was outraged and the following exchange happened:
Me: “Seriously? Why the hell would you ask me that?!”
Him, clearly not expecting me to burst out in anger like that: “Uhm … because I keep hoping the answer will be different”
Then he made some wise crack about my lobola (dowry) clearly being too expensive for modern men.
This horrible interlude led me to issuing the following PSA to men who have no idea about how to talk to women:
“Dear members of the male species, please listen up! Insulting a woman to get a rise out of her in the hopes of it leading to other things is an archaic f***ing notion that should have died with the dinosaurs. Women, in all of our gorgeous, magical, multifaceted glory should be treated with the utmost respect at all f***ing times. Instead of catcalling, insulting or just being the poorest reflection of your sex in the history of the world, the next time you encounter an intelligent, well-spoken,beautiful woman, try engaging with her on a topic, any f***ing one, that both holds her attention and stimulates a quality exchange of ideas.We’re worth so much more than being your baseline entertainment for a minute, an hour or a day. Sincerely, a woman”
Kids, in the lead up to Women’s Day 2018, I matched with a visiting American tour guide, Mike*, on Tinder.
After a brief hello, how are yous , how’s your day going and a “Your gorgeous” (I’d over looked his atrocious spelling when I really shouldn’t have!) compliment, Mike asked me out for drinks and dancing the following evening.
Since I was already going to be at the Station on Bree for a night out with your Aunties Cynthia and Gloria, I told Mike he was welcome to join me there.
The next night…
Wednesday evening, whilst sipping on an Elizabeth Daiquiri , I waited for Mike to arrive.
A tall, hot guy walked in and started searching around the bar. I gulped a few times, slid down in my seat and tried to hide.
There was NO way I could have a blind date as it was with this Adonis! I swung from desperately wanting him to be Mike to not wanting it to be him because I, for sure, would be awkward AF if he was.
Gods, help me:
The McHottie turned out be the DJ… and Mike turned out to be the back-to-front baseball cap-wearing, earring stud-wielding, crazy pattened shirt-donning guy behind him.
I masked my disappointment to say hello with a handshake, while Mike leaned in for a hug.
Right… so let me very clear here: I do not hug people I’ve just met. My personal space is my personal space and I don’t care if you are the Queen of England, Barack Obama or a guy I met online, I am not hugging you.
Awkward non- hug out of the way, Mike and I got to talking about him. He was in Cape Town on the tail end of a 20 day trip to South Africa which he’d won through his travel agency.In addition to being a tour guide for senior people, this Boston native was also a hockey referee.
This was his last night in the Mother City and he was keen to see more of its nightlife. Considering I was in tourism, I was happy to oblige.
When your Auntie C arrived 15 minutes later, she picked up that it was rather awkward and Gods bless her, came to my rescue with her usual awesome badgering of questions.
Fast forward through Gloria arriving, us barhopping all over town, including a stop at our local Mitchell’s.
We had a great time, at least I thought so, talking about travels, books, Women’s Day, Boston, New York etc when…
Mike would randomly scratch my shoulder.
Your Auntie Lee says he was flirting and announcing his interest in me but if so, what a weird f***ing way to do it!
Look, I was not unfamiliar with a straight, hot blooded man displaying his intentions – from Americans who ran their hands down my back on nights out to Monroe and the work colleague who gave me extra long, hard, body consuming hugs, I knew when I was being hit on (occassionally!).
This chicken scratching shit was not it.
I flashed an awkward smile and carried on talking. There was a brief awkward pause when he tried to short change the others on the bill after but we merrily moved on from that and to our next stop, The Dubliner in Long Street.
Here is where things went downhill.
While we danced awkwardly, had another drink and hung out, Mike scratched my shoulder again.
This time I was not ok with it… as I have mentioned before, I do not like people, especially men touching me if I haven’t asked for it. Maybe this was an American thing like the other doos from Philadelphia who couldn’t keep his hands to himself but just because I was on a date with him, didn’t mean he had the right to grope me.
I gently moved away from him and tried talking over the music to him instead.
Two songs later, Mike turns emo on me with:
“I don’t think I am what you were expecting”
Me,totally confused at why this man was turning girly on me: “What? Why? We’re just hanging out, aren’t we?”
He excused himself to go to the loo and the next thing I know, he’s walking out of the door of the bar, never to return again.
No goodbye, no “I’m sorry, this isn’t working out”, just a straight walk out!
Your Uncle T says it was a classic case of Mike thinking he was going to get laid on his last night in Cape Town and it clearly wasn’t going to happen so he bailed.
Cool – I can understand the wanting to leave part but for f***’s sake, have the goddamn decency to at least say goodbye instead of hightailing it like a petulant child!
Could I have handled this better? Probably. I know I am awkward AF and a little shy andI probably should have spent more time talking to this guy online before meeting him. That still doesn’t excuse him having a bitch fit and running away, though.
It was a blessing in disguise because after Mike the coward left, Glo, Cynthia and I tore shit up at the pub and danced the night away with so many other people which lead to many more cool stories.
I was young,single and free, out with my amazing friends and having the time of my life:
As I was lazily scrolling through potentials one cold winter night, I swiped right on a visiting Italian. With the matchmaking gods ever in my favour (not!), he swiped right too and we were a match.
Almost immediately he slid into my DMs and the following exchange occurred:
Him: “Hi, I’m Andrea from Italy and I am looking for a lady to share sensual times”
Me (taken aback by his utter forwardness): ” Hi, I’m Fazielah from Cape Town and I am looking for someone to date and get to know with the possibility of it leading to sensual times”
Him: “I’m only here for few more days. If you are feeling spontaneous, maybe we can meet at the V&A?”
Me (rolling my eyes, because seriously, who the f*** just agrees to a hook-up like this?!): “Sorry, I am out with friends this evening and fully booked until the weekend. So it looks like I’ll miss you.”
Him: “Change your plans. Meet me for sex. You will enjoy it””
Uhm…wait, what the actual mother f***ing f***?!!
This asshole , whom I have never met, wanted me to drop everything I was doing and meet him in a public space to go somewhere else and just give him some, just like that?!
When I did not respond, he quickly unmatched me and that was the end of it.
Gods, Kids, 2018 was the year where romance and chivalry went to die.
Kids, in the winter of 2018, I decided to give online dating one more shot (yes, I know, how many f***ing times have you heard that one before?) with the Bumble app.
This one, unlike the others, gave women the option of making the first move without any shame – as in, in order for a guy to have a conversation with you, you had to swipe right and if you matched, send the first text.
I liked the power that gave me – I didn’t have to be chosen by anyone, I did the choosing.
I should have learnt by then that anytime something looks like it’s too good to be true, it usually is.
“Connecting is the hardest part of this app. Thanks for swiping on my face.The pace on this app is atrocious.”
Giggles and enquiries about what he was enjoying most about my fair Cape Town followed before he struck out with this:
“I’m running out of time. I’d like to go to the Cape of Good Hope tomorrow or Sunday. Are you interested? Do you drive?”
Dude, we literally just “met” and you already want to go to an attraction that is 90 minutes out of my way with no reception and looking for a ride for our first date? in an age where women get killed in derserted places all of the damn time?
I could practically hear my mother shout at me to not let a potential date get away so I reined my inner feminist in and regretfully told him that I couldn’t make it to Cape Point but how about ice cream along the Sea Point promenade instead?
He shut me down with a “Well, I’ll be at Cape Point then, won’t I?”
I was just about to hit reply as I read his message whilst at a magic show, when, and I f***ing kid you not, I looked up from my phone and who was standing less than 5 metres away from me?
Dan the f***ing man!
Of course … of course this bloody shit happens to me because the dating gods, the Universe and the world hated me!
I gasped out loud and filled my friend Tania in what was currently happening on my phone and right infront of us, showing her Dan’s profile photo and subtly looking his way.
Dan did a double take when he saw me and then spent the rest of the evening pretending not to look my way but regaling his mates with tales of online dating, which Tania overheard.
I know, I know, I could have gone over and said Hi but the man had rejected me online and looked like he may do it in person too …my bruised ego could only handle so much.
Also, he totally could have come over too – there were ample opportunities to do so, especially when Tania and I got drawn into a circle of spectators with Dan to watch the magician perform some close-up tricks.
Ain’t nobody got time for international user losers… F*** it! NEXT!
Kids, in the winter of 2018, I was facing the very real and harsh reality that meeting a man, one who got my weirdness, wanted me, loved me for me and wanted to make you with me, wasn’t going to happen.
At the time, being part of a family where literally every single one of my female relatives met and married men at the drop of a f***ing hat, when my timelines were filled to the f***ing brim with ultrasound photos and every other couple on the street were seriously overdoing the limit on PDAs, researching sperm donation and IVF and worrying how in the holy f*** I was going to scrape 70K together to make you was how I spent my evenings.
It didn’t help that I couldn’t talk about these thoughts with anyone in my life because I was far too busy being the soundboard and emotional haven for those people (including the person I caught feelings for – he’d popped back into my life a few weeks before and was going through something major. Yes, I am aware of how f***ed up that is but I was young and stupid and had a major heroine complex so sue me!).
When you grow up in a family that accuses you of being a drama queen your entire life, you learn as an adult to keep your mouth f***ing shut about the heartbreaking issues and worries that keep you up at night. It made me so emotionally shut off that I automatically assumed my friends wouldn’t want to hear my fears about being so weird and unlovable that no man in their right minds would ever want to be with me or father my children.
On a morning following a long, long night of crying into my pillow about not being able to change who I was so I could be like my female relatives and friends, I logged onto Twitter where your godfather Leon had liked an epic thread.
The author of the thread had exchanged seats with another woman so she could be with her boyfriend and ended up inadvertedly setting this woman up with her co-passenger:
Last night on a flight home, my boyfriend and I asked a woman to switch seats with me so we could sit together. We made a joke that maybe her new seat partner would be the love of her life and well, now I present you with this thread.
Did this make me believe I was going to meet your father on my next flight or bus ride? No… but it make me feel slightly better and really, that’s all a single girl could ask for. Thanks Leon and Rosey!
Kids, you remember how I told you about married people who said shit so offensive to me as a single person, I had to write a PSA about it?
Well, in 2018, it was the same k**, different year…
A well-meaning person flung the following out at me when I informed them of my plans to catch the new Jurassic World movie on a Friday afternoon:
“Are you going to watch a movie alone? Really?”
Newsflash, people, watching a movie alone is one of my greatest f***ing pleasures in life … I love the freedom of watching what I want, when I want and not having to f***ing answer to anyone else about it.
In fact, coupled people, there is tons of shit singletons can and will do and get to f***ing enjoy without consulting anyone else, like taking an international trip, going to a show, having a meal, posing for a photo shoot etc.
I will re-f***ing iterate it, and so that you can hear it all the way in the back…
Being single is not a f***ing disease!
Now, please excuse me while I order an extra large popcorn and coke combo for my damn self!
Kids, I am no stranger to grief. Since my Dad died the week after my 11th birthday, I have been well accquainted with this gods-awful, sucks balls emotion. At age 32 and a half in 2018, though, I was f***ing done with it… DONE!
See, just when I was regaining some semblance of a normal life after losing my grandpa two years earlier, the loss of a huge part of my life was looming because of political reasons and that f***ing horrible feeling of hollowness and devastation had returned.
No, this loss wasn’t a person but it was something that I had loved, nutured, cared for, fought for and I finally felt as if I had found my place in and losing it or at least, the current state of it, broke my heart just as badly.
Death, in life or the ending of something was truly a f***tard!
I veered between not eating and overeating, not being able to talk about it without crying,not sleeping or oversleeping, being mad and sad and confused all at the same time, denying it was happening… basically, all of the stages of grief, except acceptance.
I wasn’t ready to accept the loss yet because it meant that things would never,ever be the same again.
Logically, I knew that this situation couldn’t go back to being what it was ever again but the idea of what awaited in the future just wasn’t something I could handle either.
Kids, you’d think that in 2018, people would be woke enough to understand that a woman can have both a successful career and a family.
As I relayed the exciting news about a potential career advancement to a family member, said person countered it with:
“That’s amazing! Go for it! Forget a man, forget the children. Just keep climbing that corporate ladder”.
Why is it that people assumed that because I was ambitious ,I didn’t want kids? If anyone spent any real amount of time with me, they’d know my eggs were on CONSTANT freaking alert to be fertilized all day every day.
It was like a scene out of Look Who’s Talking up in there:
Not only could I be career girl but I could be and WOULD f***ing be a kickass mom.
These things were NOT mutually exclusive, for f***’s sake!