We’d moved beyond the shy greetings and gentle teasing at the office with plenty of interaction at our recent company staff party. We’d been seen together so often and there were videos of the night’s events where he was caught on camera staring at me, people were constantly asking him if we were a couple.
Which is exactly where our problems began. Jet was apparently SO uncomfortable with all of the goodnatured teasing from our co-workers, he’d start ghosting me (in f***ing person no less!) at the office for a few days each week.
What the actual f***, man?!
If you guys can recall, until roughly seven months prior, I’d barely known Jet existed, let alone that he liked me. Now, when I was finally catching feelings too, Brother Man was getting cold feet and running for the f***ing hills.
He would ignore me during the day but deep like my old Instagram posts at 1am. Are you f***ing kidding me, Boy?!
Listen, to quote my favourite:
Our mutual friends still held out hope for a romantic ending because Jet was always either asking them to help him keep up to date with Game of Thrones so he could talk to me about it, demanding to know what they had done with “his Fazielah” when I was out of the office or pausing on the stairway above my desk until I was forced to look up at him and say Hi.
I, to be quite f***ing honest, was feeling my inner Avengers Ronin on this:
Hope,Kids, would be the death of me…
I deserved far f***ing better than being a 26-year-old’s maybe. I was a “I knew I wanted her from the moment I saw her” kinda girl.
…to indulging my inner child at adult colouring-in Meet-Ups:
It had taken me more than three decades but I was finally able to just feel myself and be comforable in my own skin:
And everyone, from Jet, my lingering office crush, to my friends and family were feeling my me-ness too. From eagerly wanting to attending comic cons with me to tagging me in every Game of Thrones post ever and sending me sweet treats, celebrating my Wyrdness:
I was loved for me … more importantly, I loved me for me.
Your Dad had no freaking clue how lucky he was about to get by meeting me!
Kids, in the Autumn of 2019 I had promised your Spirit Mom Leo that I would get my beautiful ass off of Tinder and focus on IRL (in real life) dating.
What I didn’t tell her was that I was still on Bumble. I know:
I knew she was going to kick my ass when she read this post . Literally – she was earning all of her belts in karate at this very moment in time, so :
So, it’s entirely likely I wasn’t going to gain any sympathy for what happened next…
Bumble Stumbler the short story:
Sean, an American engineer with a passion for travelling, and I swiped right on each other and he quickly caught me up on what a busy weekend he’d had with a friend’s wedding, going on a safari and hanging out with friends. Not that he bothered to ask me what I’d been up to… men, such selfish creatures!
Ignoring the red flags, I went onto ask him what his must-see Cape Town bucket list items were. He launched into a detailed itinerary of his visit to the Kruger National Park, his week in Hermanus and Greyton and how, almost on his way to Namibia, he decided to rent an AirBnB and stay in Mouille Point.
Me, trying to pretend like I’m totally fascinated by what an amazing traveller and storyteller he is:
Eventually,Sean hit me with the” So,if you were interested in a face to face meet with me halfway between you and I, when and where would that be?”
Me, thinking a casual meet-up couldn’t hurt: “Well, I run along the Promenade quite often and there are pleny of cool places around there. I’m free Saturday afternoon, if you are?”
Now, I don’t know what the fuck it is with guys, but the minute you call them out on their bluff and show interest in them too, they do shit like this:
“i really don’t know if I will be … I am at if you come to a fork in the road, take it status right now.”
I looked at my screen and went:
Correct me if I’m wrong here, but this motherfucker had asked me to meet up, right? Why the fuck was he now giving even poor Yoda a fucking headache with his estoric bullshit?!
Doofus Deluxe’s explanation:
“I have no plan, and if something comes up, I may do that…Conflicted about going to Namibia or just exploring here, is all I’m saying.”
Kids, as you well know, your godparents and I were SUPER Game of Thrones fans, and as the premiere of the final season EVER dawned, Leo, Tendai and I were up for just about ANYTHING to celebrate.
Hence, entering an OMG Game of Thrones pub quiz at the Jack Black’s Taproom in Diep River, Cape Town.
With the aid of four of our fellow GOT experts and Lords and Ladies, a binge rewatch of the entire previous seven seasons of the show, some light online quiz taking and plenty of Entertainment Weekly post reading, House Wyrd crushed the opposition in a nail-biting, Tyrion-style drinking sudden death round of the quiz:
Tougher than the Battle of The Bastards, as brutal as Oberyn’s headcrushing by The Mountain and as bloody as Ramsay being eaten alive by his dogs… the pub quiz was vicious but House Wyrd prevailed!
Adding to our excitement over our win, Leo and I received an invitation from media giant MNET to attend the eighth and final Game of Thrones screening at Nu Metro Canal Walk…and that, my dear Summer Children, is a winter tale for next time.
Of course, because this is my life, and the Universe likes to make sure I know exactly how wrong I can be, in the space of two months I got served up some of the craziest creepiness I’d ever experienced until that point in time.
Behold, the one with the creepy guys:
Avada Kedavra, Creep:
There I was,helping your Spirit Mom Leo putting the finishing touches to the birthday cake of the magical organisation we both love, when a seemingly harmless looking guy comes up to take a photo of us.
Thinking it’s one of the new students’ parents and that I always have to be happy, friendly and approachable, I smile broadly and pose for said photo.
“Great”, he says, lowering his phone, “now I have a photo of you so I can look out for you on Tinder!”
Are you fucking kidding me?! In the one place, other than the comfort of my home, where I can just relax, be myself and feel safe, I was being objectified and harrassed! No, just FUCKING NO!
The interaction immediately made me feel sleazy and like somehow I’d provoked him by being me – I know it wasn’t my fault but in that instant, it felt like it. I spent the rest of the night always in the company of one of my fellow witches and made sure to give He Who Must Not Be Named a very wide berth…
As it turned out, said creep was now also someone I was going to have to work with on a regular basis. I worked around that by opting to only deal with someone else who was doing the same thing. Since casting the killing curse was impossible, at least for now, I had to be extra careful going forward.
The IG DM lurker:
A Sunday morning, at just after 6 fucking am, a direct message request arrives in my Instagram app.
Eye roll from me, because no one who knows me would dare to contact me before the perfectly acceptable time of 9am but hey, there’s always a first.
I hit open and I’m assaulted with this missive:
As I’ve said countless times before, I am not against being complimented but when it’s a virtual fucking stranger sliding into my DMs, Momma’s gonna have a few choice things to say, my loves.
Curious as to who this wanna-be Lothario is, I did some investigating on his profile. Turns out he is a professional photographer of sorts and actually gets fucking paid to take people’s photos and interact with them so why in the name of the Gods was he creeping on me?!
There is no law against telling a woman she is beautiful, for sure, but sending me a private message on a social media app that is NOT for online dating is overstepping boundaries.
I dreamt of giving ol’Mc Creep the Khaleesi treatment …
… but alas I had to do it the mere mortal way of block, report and delete.
Kids, for as long as I can remember, random strangers would walk up to me or sit down next to me and confess their deepest, darkest secrets or their unexpected joy.
In 2019, in the space of a week, three people I didn’t know from a bar of soap , confided in me and it got me wondering: “Was I a priest or a counsellor in my previous life?”
While I listened patiently, I was always silently screaming:
Here are three times people confessed their secrets to me:
The Baby Mama Whispers:
There I was minding my own business in the queue for the Clicks pharmacy when the beautiful, curly-haired woman next to me let out a few audible sighs.
Being quite experienced at this and realising I could no longer turn a deaf ear to the ever-increasing volume of her sighs, I turned to the distressed lady and asked:
“Are you ok?”
Gods, remind me not to do that again…
“Actually, no. I’m just feeling dizzy and here’s why”.
She proceeded to show me her script for folic acid so of course, I got excited because:
Kids, as much as I love babies, this mommy-to-be was WAY too open about how she’d suspected she was pregnant for a while, had her own blood tests done because she didn’t trust her doctor to, was feeling dizzy, wasn’t showing yet at 11 weeks but according to her OBGYN, the fetus was too big for the gestational age and she couldn’t find her boyfriend.
I mean, come on:
The Keyless Runner:
A week after the Baby Mama drama, I was waiting on my Uber to arrive at the Lower Tafelberg Road parking lot when a runner uh, runs, up to me and for several seconds, keeps exclaiming:
“Holy shit, I am one lucky bastard!”
Seeing as he very obviously was not going to go away, despite my very best Meryl Streep impression:
I ventured a cautious: “What happened?”
“Oh My God! I thought I’d lost my car keys and couldn’t find them. Which is horrible because I just ran around the mountain. I was completely freaking out and then ran back to the roadside tap I’d drunk water at three hours ago and my keys were STILL there! Amazing, right?!”, the excited runner exclaimed.
Since I could see he needed the validation, I gave him an enthusiastic “Well done, you!”
The Chatty Uber driver:
I’d had my fair share of run-ins with Uber drivers before. Some of them were actually quite inspiring and others were downright fucking insulting so I was not exactly overthrilled when Sean Paul started our ride with :“I can see with my third eye that you are like a dormant volcano – still on the surface but burning with passion beneath that exterior”.
For the next ten minutes before we collected your Uncle Tendai from his hotel, Sean Paul regaled me with tales of his traumatic childhood, how angry he was as a teenager and adult until he found Rastafarianism; how his third eye had grown due to his beliefs and how he’d recently played the white knight in shining armour for a female passenger when she was in trouble.
As the ride dragged on, I realised that Sean Paul was trying to hit on me . Did priests or counsellors ever encounter this problem, I wondered?
Thanks the gods that the minute your godfather joined us, my chatty would-be suitor and confessor stopped spewing his guts and life could go on.
Fuck it, Capetonians… please get yourselves some paid therapy and leave me alone!
Kids, Valentine’s Day tends to bring out the downright nasty in Tinder daters. As the great Dothraki would say:
In 2019, things were no different.
David and I had swiped right on each other, prompting what I assumed would be a mutually respectful exchange.
I was wrong. SO wrong.
My granderfather passed notes to my grandmother via the factory secretary at the company they worked at in the 60s to let her know he was interested. My Dad wrote my mom “we’re going to have beautiful babies” messages in cute cards in the 80s.
What did my wanna-be suitor write to me as his first message? This:
Kids, I was feeling Jet hard… and although I tried to believe Jennifer Paige when she said it was just a little :
… it didn’t help that he was obviously feeling the same way.
I mean the guy was calling me his girlfriend to coworkers; eagerly greeting me morning, noon and night; playing the perfect gentleman and attentive date by pulling out my chair, getting me drinks and engaging me in conversation at work functions; telling people he was bringing me as his date to after hours events; taking every chance he could to hang out at my desk and just generally being all up in my business.
How was I reacting to all of this wanton lusting and office flirtation, you ask?
Oh, Sweet Child of Mine…
Your momma once again invoked the spirit of literary and cinematic singleton Bridget Jones, because really, why even try being cool about a real life flesh and blood man ( and a younger one, at that!) being into me?
One afternoon, Jet was bounding down the staircase, as he was wont to do, off to save some IT crisis or other, and I, as I was wont to do, was watching him … drinking in the sight of him, feasting my eyes and all but drooling.
So much so, that I … spilt my tea all over my desk and my pants.
Kids, in January 2019, I was about 13 months away from having you and I realised that while 2018 had been a year of learning and growing dating-wise, I had no time to f*** around anymore and I had to get serious about finding your Dad.
I knew he wasn’t going to just drop out of the sky like a romantic male Mary Poppins so I was going to have put in some hard work.
Things were progressing quite nicely with Jet , but it wasn’t a sure thing and I had to make some dating resolutions for the New Year:
No more messing around with f*** boys: those late night “I missed you tonight” texts, unexpected phone calls to “catch-up”; the ol’ “my friend can’t make it, will you go with me to xxx” last minute invitations and the “send me photos of what you are up to” requests bullshit would no longer be tolerated in 2019. Either step up , ask me out and tell me how you feel about me or please f*** off from whence you came, Sir!
Out with the apps, in with the IRL dates: Tinder, OkCupid, Datingbuzz and Bumble had given me MORE than my fair share of shitty online dating experiences in 2018 and the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In 2019, I was going to give my thumbs a break from swiping left or right and let my eyes and charming pick-up lines work their magic… mostly. You guys know how I have no game but a girl had to try.
Live a lot: with just over a year until I would have you, I realised there was a SHIT TON of things I wanted to do , that wouldn’t be as easy with a baby onboard. No offence, my loves. I drew up a list of 100 things I wanted to do before becoming a mom ( which I will share with you soon) and invited friends and family along to help me do them. From day train trips to another town to spending a weekend at a wildlife reserve and having another beach resort holiday to exploring more of Europe, I wanted to do it all. I couldn’t be a great mom and life partner if I wasn’t fulfilled and had lived a lot so it was time to do it.
2019 was the year things changed, Kids… and it really was spectacular!
Well, in December 2018, Mr Asshole was at it again…
“Fazielah”, he said as he tapped my shoulder and got way too far up in my personal space for my liking, “I said, your naughty Santa’s Elf costume is only a quarter complete with that hat. Where’s the short, sexy mini skirt and hot red high heels?”
Now, Kids, please take a minute to appreciate the fact that I, in no way at all, was being overtly sexual in my demeanour or dress style at this point – not that it should matter,because however a woman dresses or acts,she is not asking to be sexually harrassed,ever.
I quite literally was wearing workman’s jeans, a standard work issue t-shirt, hiker boots and the afore-mentioned hat and unlike a nurse or fireman’s costume, my mountain clothing wasn’t a f*** sexy.
His comment made me see red.
Me, too f***ing outraged and surprised that once again this motherf***ing ass of a married man who clearly did not realise we were living in the age of the #MeToo movement, would be this f***ing oblivious and chauvinistic: “Uhm, well, that kind of attire wouldn’t be appropriate for the mountain.”
Prize Jerk Nr 1 laughed and walked away, leaving me feeling like I had just let myself and the entire female population of the world and generations to come down.
Why the f*** were men still getting away with this kind of bullshit?
I understand that decades of the naughty Santa’s elf imagery has saturated mainstream media and given rise to countless fantasies and role play scenarios but for the love of the gods, most f***ing people keep that shit to themselves, their partners and their bedrooms.
Married men, sure as shit, shouldn’t be saying kak like that to single women, or any woman for that matter, at all and utterly unprovoked!
It would take me a while to work up the courage to confront this world-class f***er about his inappropriate banter but I sure as f*** would.
Here’s what I did want to say to him and all men like him, though:
“Listen, you arrogant d*** … just because I was trying to be a good sport and get into the spirit of Christmas with a hat doesn’t give you the right to ignore all professional and personal boundaries and spew lecherous shit at me whenever you see fit!
I reserve the right to wear what I want, when I want to and to not have you comment on it. I f***ing love Christmas, I love Santa and by the gods, I wish I could be an elf but I do not dress up for you or your f***ing base pleasure. Take your dirty mind and go play dress up with your wife. Leave me the f*** alone!”