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How I Met Your Father: The one with the user loser

unavailable man 2
Image credit: www.burnsmentalhealthandwellness.blogspot.com

Kids ,in 2016 as I waded through various online platforms like , gasp, Tinder,  for potential life partners and your father, I was adamant not to repeat the disastrous mistakes of my irresponsible youth – like falling for the user loser.

Grab a snack and let me tell you about that time I fell for the Biggest Loser…

April 2008 …

One of my very first PR campaigns for the TV station I worked for back then was marketing the local version of hit weight loss series, The Biggest Loser. As excited as I was to line up media interviews, write press releases and arrange the launch, I was not prepared for falling for one of the contestants.

Having battled some weight issues myself over the years, I had a healthy admiration for all that these men and women were going through, especially for the blonde Jacques.

As our initial emails became ever more friendly and flirtatious, I became really excited about meeting him in person at the launch of the show in Johannesburg, certain that his sweet online persona would carry through to his personal one. Yeah, right …

The day and night of the launch was like a dream – my first airplane experience, staying in a hotel room all by myself AND working on a hot new show was a huge milestone for 22-year-old me.

A milestone made all the more memorable by the fact that Jacques and his family seemed to adore me – his mom called me her soon-to-be daughter-in-law and he was all touchy feely – it was like my birthday had come early… swoon!

swoon two
Image credit: http://www.d.gr-assets.com

That night, with the help of your fabulous Uncle Clayton, we met up with Jacques and the rest of the contestants at a nightclub and things were going well – a lot of sweet nothings were whispered into my ear; intimate touches, numbers exchanged, plans for future visits made etc and I left for Cape Town feeling like I was on cloud nine.

Six months later …

After months of feverish emailing and text messages and calls back and forth to say how much he missed me and enjoyed my company, Jacques went radio silent.

Slightly worried but still hopeful, I put it down to him working long hours at a car dealership. Besides, I was so hooked on his daily morning and good night messages and seeing him onscreen, I could survive a few weeks without hearing from him, right?

Uhm, yeah, no news is never good news as I was soon to discover.

One not-so-bright morning I received a call from Jacques, sounding happy to hear my voice and eager to catch up. I was delighted and gushed profusely until he dropped the mother of all bombshells:

“So, the reason I am calling … could you assist with getting media interested in my upcoming wedding?”

Wait… what??!!!! Are you f***ing kidding me?!!!!

Months of flirting, hour long calls and naughty texts and he was engaged the whole f***ing time?!!!!

I was mad, Diary of Mad Black Woman mad and then it hit me: I had wrongly assumed that all formerly overweight people are inherently good, kind and loving people and I had fallen for the guy Jacques used to be, not the vain, slim man he became.

diary of mad black woman
Image credit:  www.giphy.com

I’m proud of myself for not bursting into tears during that horrible phone call. Instead, I gathered the shards of my dignity and congratulated him on his upcoming nuptials before saying that I highly doubted any media would be interested in a reality TV show contestant’s wedding when said person was not the winner of the show.

I never heard from that user loser ever again … thank the gods!

How I Met Your Father: 3 times I didn’t know I was being hit on because I’m so clueless

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Image credit: www.memegenerator.net

Kids, before your father managed to convince me that yes, really he was into me and wanted to be my forever weird partner in life, I was utterly clueless about men hitting on me.

I, of course flirted up a storm with anything that moved but when it came to recognising that someone else was doing it to me … well, let’s just say, these were not my finest moments.

Grab a seat and let me tell you about the three times I didn’t know I was being hit on…

New Year’s Day 2005 …

It had been one of those unbelievable nights my high school self could only have dreamt of – partying in Long Street with the love of my teenage life, the hot jock jerk Tashriq.

Sure, he had spent most of the night in the clutches of my frenemy Fatima (unwillingly so, I may add) and I had spent most of the evening playing it cool by dancing with strangers and our former classmate Imtiyaaz (not my childhood wanna-be husband), when really all I wanted to do was scream about how happy I was that we were hanging out together.

Midnight had come and gone and I had been blessed with a hug and a kiss from the dastardly good-looking crush of years gone by. I was floating on a cloud but of course, I had to pretend it meant nothing.

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Image credit: www.naniokami.deviantart.com

Fast forward to the boys dropping us off at home, and as we said our goodbyes in your Nan’s driveway, Imtiyaaz saved his number onto my phone. He handed the phone back to me with a coy “Call me”.

In what can only be described as me having a total blonde moment, I replied: “Why?”

Cue the awkward silence as everyone realised what exactly was transpiring, expect for me…

A confused look passed over Imtiyaaz’s face before he rallied and said: “Oh, you know, for whatever…”

I still didn’t get it, and ended the weird exchange with: “Uh, sure”

I know, I know, oh my gods, how could I be so dense but I was in a lust-filled fog, ok? That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

August 2009 …

My cousin and her then-boyfriend were big into the church scene and we were having a karaoke/dance fundraiser on this particular Friday evening.

I had already done my Good Samaritan act of the night by helping a fabulous teen come out of the closet by shaking what our mamas gave us on the dancefloor to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive and was happy to spend the rest of the evening joking around with Jay, my cousin-in-law’s best friend.

We’d been friends for years and had a brother/sister relationship going so whenever he hugged or touched me, I thought nothing of it. His inquiries into my relationship status, too, was par for the course for us and I was really just having fun with him.

bad at flirting
Image credit: www.someecards.com

Later that evening, as we parted ways, Jay hugged me extra tight and lingered as he said: “I tried, I did but who knows? If only this night had gone as I wanted it to…” One last wistful look and he was gone, leaving me to wonder how the heck I hadn’t noticed the vibe was more flirty that familial all night!

August 2014 …

As you guys know, I was living life to the fullest in the States – dancing on bar tops in Las Vegas, day drinking in a San Francisco park and kissing strangers in New York.

What you don’t know is that Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome wasn’t the first guy to put the moves on me that night in the Big Apple.

Our tour manager Rammel had been all kinds of awesome all through the tour and I had stuck with him to get the insider’s guide to all of the local spots, enjoying his insane sense of humour. Likewise, he was always thanking me for getting some of the others to join us on these escapades which was cool.

On our first night in New York, the group was having dinner at a pub on Times Square. I was joking around with Cheree and Tash, my friends when I had the sensation someone was watching me. There was Rammel, staring at us and looking hesitant before making his way over to us.

Completely unnecessarily, he ran his hand slowly down the middle of my back as he told us we’d be leaving for the bar soon, and let it rest on my hip for a second too long. “Okaaayyyyy”, I thought, “ that was weird!” Not unpleasant, mind you, just odd.

As we arrived at the bar, it struck me that something might be going on here, but I chalked it up to my over-active imagination and got stuck into the first of that night’s several Cosmopolitans.

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Image credit: www.media.teentimes.com

A few minutes later, Rammel comes over to where we’re sitting at the bar to char to the bartender, and, the same as Drew would do later, leans into me whilst doing so.

“Hey ladies, how ya doing?”, he says. We giggle, already slightly tipsy (I’ve told you. States portions are three times the size of SA ones!) before continuing our conversation. Rammel told us to let him know if we needed anything and then vanished.

Was it callous? Probably but like I said, I had no freaking clue back then when men were hitting on me.

Four Cosmos in and  only after Drew laid one on me with the same moves, I realised what Rammel had been doing and went looking for him. He’d left by then, of course, and no matter how much I tried to recapture his attention for the rest of the tour, the moment had passed. F*** a f***ing zombie!

Thank the gods, old and new, your Dad got through to me or you wouldn’t be here 😉

 

How I Met Your Father: 5 things I learnt whilst being on a dating pause

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Image credit: http://www.kampungwanita.com

Kids, as you know, in the autumn of 2016, I hit the pause button on finding your father and dating.

Too many disastrous online and speed dating episodes had left a bitter taste in my mouth about the whole process and I decided to rock the art of going solo for a while.

By March, I had been on my singleton kick for just over a month and I picked up a few well-deserved lessons along the way:

  1. People will gossip: and sometimes those people are your own family. Mine came up with the ingenious thought that if I wasn’t bringing a man home, I must be a lesbian. Cue awkward “so, where’s your partner or is it your friend?” questions.                                                                                                                                                                                   There is nothing wrong with loving girls, as you well know, but clearly my relatives had not been exposed enough to my Alexander Skarsgard obsession, my stalker war stories or met He Who Shall Not Be Named.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Their gossip hurt for a while, especially when all I had been doing was killing myself trying to meet the right guy for so long but then I figured F*** it! People who talk are fans and have nothing better to do with their time.
  1. Meeting new people was more fun: without the added pressure of always wondering whether the hot barista or fellow runner was a potential mate, I could relax and just talk to guys.                                                                                                                                                                             This time, I wasn’t even worried that I’d end up as always the best friend and not the girlfriend. I could and did just truly enjoy having normal conversations with relatively normal guys.
  1. Less time spent on dating woes meant more time to do great things: like train for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Fun Run; get my geek on at comic book movie premieres; indulge in my love for magic and spend time with your Great-Grandfather.

     I was spending more time being me and that was always a good      thing!

  1. I developed a super power for spotting time and emotion wasters: He Who Shall Not Be Named decided to poke the bear during this period by asking for special favours and trying to be the centre of my attention at events.
ain't nobody got time for that
Image credit:  www.33.media.tumblr.com

He did not succeed, much to his utter disappointment. Ditto for the ex-boyfriend of a  friend who was always trying to be something more to me but only when it suited him. Ain’t nobody got time for that …NEXT!

  1. Being alone did not mean being lonely: and I was perfectly ok with it. It tired me watching family and friends agonize over relationship issues and the fear of being alone. I did not want to be that scared to be alone when I was in a  relationship someday so  taking some time to figure out who I was and what I wanted was just fine by me.

I owed it to both you and your dad to have my shit together by the time I met him … and man, am I glad I did!

 

How I Met Your Father: Confessions of Cape Town’s Bridget Jones Part 2

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Kids, as you’ll well remember from some of my previous tales, I had quite the reputation for being Cape Town’s Bridget Jones. I was known for getting myself into some hilariously embarrassing situations.

I wish I could tell you that I got better at not doing it over the years but I didn’t. Settle in and let me confess a few more of my embarrassing Bridget Jonesesque tales in Cape Town:

December 2015 …

On a blustering Sunday in the Mother City, your Aunts Sam and Mishy, your godmother Missy and I headed out to the gorgeous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden for popular singer Jimmy Nevis’s Summer Sunset concert.

Once we were finally settled in a good viewing spot, we got down to the very important business of indulging in all of the yummy picnic goodies we’d brought along. As resident chocoholic, I’d ensured that we had a tub of Nutella and accompanying strawberries and bananas to enjoy.

Chatting away to the girls while I spread chocolate up and down the elongated shape of the huge bananas, I explained how I had first been introduced to the absolute heavenly combination of Nutella and banana by your extremely naughty Aunt Kaanita a few years previously.

chocolate banana

Completely oblivious to the stares of near-by fellow concert-goers and picnickers, I was about to put the oh-so-good chocolate-covered banana into my eagerly anticipating mouth when I heard the gentleman next to us exclaim:

“You aren’t really going to eat that, are you?!”

Blushing from head to toe, I just nodded my head in the affirmative before take a big bite out of my sweet banana and received a round of applause and laughter from one of the other groups near-by.

Kill.Me.Now.

January 2016…

Your Spirit Mother, the freaking awesome Leo, was celebrating her Name Day and, in honour of the fact that we fly our freak flags proudly together and are partners-in-crime for all things naughty, I asked your talented Aunt Sam to whip up a decadent Magic Mike chocolate cake, complete with a stripper pole and doll sans clothing.

leo magic mike

I unveiled said salacious sweet treat to the Lady Cumberbatch-Mormont-Littlefinger on Camps Bay beach, with a side order of Naughty Girl bubbly.

Whilst trying to pop the bubbly cork and NOT get arrested by the police officers walking by, it was hard not to notice the double takes of beach goers and runners out on their daily beach visits.

As one woman who sat down on a bench close to us just to have a better look remarked:

“Well, doesn’t he just look quite realistic? That’s some cake, hey!”

Comments from bolder street vendors alluded to us needing a real naked man instead of a doll and yes, I was just as disgusted as you are right now!

Yes, ordinarily this situation would have been embarrassing but who has time to blush when you’re celebrating the life of a beautiful, wyrdly awesome sister freak? 😉

Kids, these would not be the end of my “good god, why did I do that?” moments in gorgeous Cape Town – those would last for decades. You already knew that, though, didn’t you? I really am sorry about showing up in my too-tight Wonder Woman costume for your parent-teacher meeting … I love you!

 

 

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***!

wait what

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?

icant adult

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?

hulk mad

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.

Faz Zombie 1.PNG

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.

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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: 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!