… And no, that is NOT an invitation for you to follow your spirit sister‘s dreams of becoming a skilled performer who dances for rich,handsome men on poles to this song:
As we approached National Women’s Day in 2019, I started thinking about just how much I love you and you don’t even exist yet.
I think about everything I want to teach you, to learn from you, to experience with you for the first time and over and over again. I think about how lovely you’ll be, how utterly unique and how strong you’ll be. I worry about the challenges you’ll face but I know that you will be brave enough to overcome them. I cannot wait to see your endless smiles and wipe away your tears.
Being a woman in South Africa and in the world in my current time is far from easy – in some countries, women’s rights have regressed so much, I fear for my fellow sisters. I know it might hardly have changed in your time but I hope it will be slightly easier.
I could carry on and on about this but I’ll let this TEDX video explain more:
You are blessed, you are wise and you are loved, my daughter.
Technically, I should not have been spending any f***ing time with him alone, I know, but look, my heart and flesh were weak, ok? Quit judging me!
On your aunt Lee-Anne‘s suggestion that I have a shot of Dutch courage to calm the f*** down, I set off to down the last of the left over vodka in my fridge … but I didn’t have a shot glass.
What’s a desperate girl who refuses to drink directly from the bottle to do in these dire circumstances?
Why, pour a shot in a Benylin medicine cap, of course.
And of course, OF COURSE, because I was utterly f***ing nervous and shaking like a druggie needing her next f***ing fix, I half-missed my mouth and poured most of the goddamn drink down one side of my neck and onto my dress.
Me, on a call with your aunt Lee, shortly after this monumental disaster:
“Lee! LEE! For f***’s sake, help me! Does vodka smell?”
Lee, after laughing at me for a full five minutes (because she is SUCH a great friend): “No, dumb ass. Relax. Wash it off, spray some perfume and chill the f*** out!”
Not that the half shot helped plenty because the non-date confused the f*** out of me even further but hey, at least Lee had a good chuckle, right?
The holey-moley work day:
I’d been going from meeting to meeting all morning, wowing my co-workers with my epic ideas and generally thinking I was the shit when…
I got to the restroom to pay homage to Mother Nature and pulled down my tights, only to realise there was a hole the size of my bloody fist in it!
Since I very rarely sit like a lady, I’d most certainly been flashing all and f***ing sundry all day long.
Sweet Mother of Dragons, could my inner Bridget Jones please f*** off?!!
Kids, in January 2018, random babies were literally throwing themselves at me…
At McDonald’s while I was chowing down a Happy Meal (quit judging me, HMs are like 20 bucks cheaper AND I was collecting toys for my younger cousin Israh… that’s my story and I am sticking to it!)
At Spar, when I was doing my evening shopping.
Those cute dimples, the curly hair, the womb-tugging giggles that rose from their little bellies as they delighted in my cooing at them.
These run-ins constantly had me fantasizing about dressing you guys up in Wonder Woman or Superman costumes for your first photo shoot…
My biological clock wasn’t ticking so much as it was imitating the Jumanji’s insane drumming schtick:
The only New Year’s resolution I’d made was that man or no man, come hell or high water, I was having you in 2020 and I knew I was working hard on my mind, body ( by restarting my ankle-interruptus running career) and soul ( more travel, less drama) to get to that goal.
Seeing adorable babies just made the need to have you a little too much to bear, my loves…
Kids, as you know Halloween is my absolute favourite holiday of the year… not least of all because it is when the undead rise in the Mother City for the annual Zombie Walk Cape Town event!
My zombie personality had been everything from a cheerleader to a nurse to a bride so what to go as in 2017? Well…
I was a precocious five-year-old who a) was convinced that big school would be like an episode out of the Wonder Years and b) was determined to be a police woman.
Never mind the fact that this was pre-1994 South Africa and women, let alone women of colour, were not allowed to be officers of the law.
Your Grandpa, though, liked to encourage my big dreams and, in addition to getting me a toy cop police set with handcuffs and a baton, let me tag along on his early evening neighbourhood watch patrols. Man, were those exciting times!
Fast forward to 27 years later, and with a little help from your godfather Leon, and I was ready to embrace my inner Zombie Cop:
My more-than-willing rocker zombie prisoner was your aunt Lee-Anne and damn, was she dead hot:
“You seem like a sweet and amazing person and I just had to speak to you…”, he said, his light blue eyes twinkling in the afternoon sunlight.
I blushed prettily and thanked this kind and soft-spoken cute guy on the bus for his compliment:
“You’re too kind, sir.Thank you for being brave enough to talk to me. I won’t forget this unexpected encounter”
He disembarked soon after, leaving me to marvel at the wonder of life and surprising moments…
Sounds like the makings of an incredible meet-cute, right?
Well, my sweet and cute guy was an 80-year-old Greek man who felt moved by the Seven to talk to me on a winter’s day in 2017.
Usually, my resting bitch face was enough to stop anyone, except my loved ones, from even attempting to talk to me on a MyCiTi bus ride to or from home.
As you may have noticed from years of living with me, I am NOT a morning person… I am not much of an afternoon person either, depending on the type of day I’ve had.
And on this particular Friday, after dealing with an egotistical radio personality at the summit of Table Mountain, I definitely was not in the mood for any kind of chatting up by anyone.
Santos,proving that they just don’t make gentlemen like they used to, didn’t let my scowling demeanor deter him, though.
“Can I offer you some advice from an old man? No matter where you go in the world – Russia, Greece, Spain, America, there is no place better than Cape Town. You will do well to come back here again – where are you from? You’re not from here, right? You don’t look South African. Come back here and settle in this beautiful city.”
I smiled, temporarily shaken out of my bad mood, and pleasantly surprised by Santos’s confidence:
“I am from here, born and raised in Cape Town. You are right, though, there is no place like the Mother City”
In the space of 5 minutes from the Gardens Centre stop to his Highlands Avenue one, Santos reaffirmed my belief in men, people, love, family ( he had his first child at 32 – “There is time,my dear, there is time. You will be a mother when it is meant to happen”) and that making your destiny happen is up to you.
“My darling girl, God/Allah/Buddha moved me to speak to you today so before I go, remember this: Where there is a battle between will and imagination, imagination always wins. You can do, be and have anything. Keep smiling that beautiful smile. Until we meet again…”
It was enough to make a grumpy girl swoon:
You were way out of my age category, Santos, but yes, until we meet again …
Kids,every so often online news agencies and magazines picked up on my never-ending hilarious tales to you. In February 2017, your aunt Nadia convinced me to share some of my horror dating stories with her.
I was absolutely mortified for a split second, thinking that I had now further endorsed Americans ‘views on African citizens being uncouth. Then I realised, well f*** it, at least one other person had seen my fabulous ass in the Big Apple, and that’s ok with me.
Kids, in 2016, New York City was stalking me like my all-time favourite musical character, The Phantom of the Opera…
“In sleep he sang to me In dreams he came That voice which calls to me and speaks my name “
Yes, yes, I know, being in love with a dark, mysterious man and hoping he’ll lure me to his underground lair indicates a seriously weird view of love but I was six when I fell in love with the Phantom, ok? You can’t undo a lifelong passion for Erik ( not coincidentally the name of my other forbidden love Alexander Skarsgard‘s character in True Blood!) …
As I toiled through a seriously f***ked up year with my dying grandfather, losing friends and general adulting f***ery, the Big Apple was appearing in my dreams on a regular basis – showing me visions of hosting my baby shower in a hipster-styled warehouse in downtown Manhattan, with the Backstreet Boys performing as special guests ( don’t ask!) and walking beneath Brooklyn Bridge with that jackass.
I didn’t have to be a shrink or a psychic to figure out that my dreams were wish-fulfillment, fantasies of wanting to escape my current situation and longing to have you but damn, did New York look enticing in my slumber!
In September of 2016, I unexpectedly received an invitation to accompany a friend and her family to the Big Apple for Christmas and I was totally floored – my secret wish to return to the concrete jungle was coming true… OMG!
Three months of planning and making arrangements for my daily life followed and by the first week of December, I was SO excited, I couldn’t wait to jet off to my dream city.
My travelling companion cancelled at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances and it devastated me. I felt like the same rejected kid I had been my entire life – always chosen last by friends, family, colleagues for everything.
It totally threw my life balance out of whack and I turned into this scared Moaning Myrtle who was suddenly too afraid to travel solo …who was this insecure person and what had happened to the fearless adventurer I had been before?!
After a few days of indecision and agonizing, I decided f*** it, I was still travelling to New York City … I was stronger and braver than I knew, I could do this.
Solo travel had always helped me discover myself before and helped me fall back in love with the independent, free-spirit I knew myself to be.
After a year of putting my family’s needs, my clients’projects and my friends’dreams before my own, I needed a time-out to just be me – to break out of the constraints I’d put on myself, to live, to breathe, to be me.
And that, Kids, is how I re-met New York.
Follow my Big Apple adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook from Thursday 22 December, 2016 to Tuesday 3 January, 2017!