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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!

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

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

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

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

  • Gods please, don’t be late!

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

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

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

  • Oh, wow! Really?!

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

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

  • What the hell do I order?

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

Fashion sense usually loses out to extreme hunger, though!

  • What’s wrong with him?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How I Met Your Father: Silencing interfering relatives and neighbours without killing them

“How about the day after your funeral or when having mass orgies with multiple strangers stop being fun?”

That should have been my response when yet another obnoxious relative deemed it fit to ask me the singular most hated question all singletons dread for the umpteenth time: ”So, when are you going to get married? “

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Instead, I did what I always do – gazed away awkwardly and apologized profusely for being a colossal failure at snagging a man – and said sadly: “I don’t know…I’m so sorry”. What the actual f***?!

Kids, by 2015, I had had it with that freaking question and everyone, from the multi-divorced aunt to the won’t-croak-soon-enough neighbour and overtly friendly office queen asking it as if they were the first people in the history of the world to do so.

The worst part is the perverse pleasure they seemed to take in my discomfort at their question – didn’t they realize that I spent many a night beating myself up, my mind going round and round, pondering that same futile question, scared shitless that I was going to end up and die alone?

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And the occasions they chose to pose this question, begged for consideration too – a cousin’s baptism, a divorce celebration (yes, welcome to our screwed-up family, kiddos – with most of them changing spouses like they changed their underwear, there were quite a few end of coupledom piss-ups!), prayer meetings and office parties, no event was off limits in cross-examining me about my lack of marriage prospects.

Eventually, I stopped going to family events because f*** it, life is too short to feel like you are the Medusa in a clan of man-attracting goddesses ( despite the fact that these male companions were more often than not, not quality material but hey, who cares about taste and standards, right?) until my great-uncle’s funeral one winter’s day.

Your Nan’s cousin happened to pass me by mid-interrogation by one of the other cousins, flanked by my mother and her sisters and obviously saw my embarrassed expression. Cousin Belinda saunters over, places her hand on my shoulder and says to me in front of the mob:

“You know what, my child? I can see that you have seen a lot of failed relationships in your time and that you are biding your time until you find the right one. As you should, because the Creator is on your side and preparing your mate for you. Don’t ever feel like you have to justify that. You just be patient and He will make it happen.”

I’m not much of a religious fanatic as you can tell from the way you’ve been raised, my loves, but I could have kissed her right there and then, if only because the awkwardness emanating from the mob was so worth it!

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Your great-grandmother, though, was much more understanding of my disposition than her children and kin. For years, we’d clashed over my independent ways and lack of patience for age-old customs until she eventually accepted that of all her grandchildren, I was the most likely to do my own thing and succeed in the face of disapproval.

Mother’s Day 2014 …

We’d gathered at one of the aunts’ homes for afternoon tea and your Great-Grams was gazing down lovingly at my cousin’s two-month-old babe when suddenly she looked over at me:

“You know, Fazielah, I had a cousin once who got involved with a man, shacked up with him for a few months, got pregnant and kicked him to the curb shortly afterwards. So, if that is something you felt like doing, I’d be ok with it…”

Kids, for a minute there was absolute silence because a) this was the more religious of my grandparents –she’d freaked out when she discovered a copy of the Bible next to a pack of condoms on my dressing table during my teens (a school project on abstinence I was working on but she was convinced I was converting and giving the choir boys special treats every Sunday!) and b) was she saying this because she thought I was a good-time girl or because she was tired of waiting for it to happen and wanted me to be happy ( and if she got to continue her bloodline at the same time, so much the better, right?)

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Taking a brief moment to absorb what she’d just said, I shakenly replied: “”Wait, what? Did you just give me permission to have a love child? Can we postdate this conversation for two years and can I have this in writing?!””

By the spring of 2015, I was nowhere near meeting and bedding a suitable baby daddy despite 22 months of dating everything that moved but the fact that at least I had my grandma’s support, made those awkward moments with prying kin and strangers easier to bear.

As for the next time someone asks that asinine question… well, how does “As soon as Satan has the throne room converted into a wedding chapel and puts your name on the guest list” sound?

Stupid questions deserve stupid answers.

How I Met Your Father: The Speed dating Wars Part 2

“So, you like the theatre, huh? Tell me, have you been to the Labia Theatre?” he said with a sleazy smile and raised eyebrow and my skin literally crawled…

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Kids, in the winter of 2015, I found myself at my first speed dating event in six months and wishing for the love of the gods, I wasn’t.

Between Mr Bald-Headed, a heavily tattooed mechanic whose only knowledge of the arts extended to a naughtily named cinema and the clearly closeted gentleman to whom the very idea of conceiving children was “a needless, messy business”, I was stuck between a rock and a very hard place, wondering why I’d once again exposed myself to this humiliating experience.

The last guy seemed like he might be more interesting – clad in a leather jacket, longish hair and a warm, welcoming smile as I sat down – I was sure that maybe my luck for the evening had finally changed.

Boy, was I wrong!

I made the colossal mistake of asking what he does for a living. Turns out Mr Bad Boy is a stock broker and spent all of the short, precious five minutes we had together explaining the finer details of his job… It took all I had not to fall asleep or keeping firing off “save me!” looks to my friend Benni, who had bravely attended the event with me ( her first ever speed dating event!).

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Thank the gods the bell rung soon thereafter, signalling the end of our torturous “date” and the end of the event, freeing Benni and I up to chat to some of the other ladies , who were as disappointed as we were at the lack of quality male folk.

As we chatted over drinks, sharing online dating and set-up horror stories, we struck up a quick friendship and started making plans for group outings/dates to explore the Mother City and the greater Western Cape. More than anything, bonding with a group of women who were having the same dating woes as I was gave me hope – I wasn’t alone on this crazy adventure, and I had back-up. Everything was going to be ok…

Whoever said we didn’t get lucky that night, huh? 😉

Next time on How I Met Your Father: Silence of the Interfering Lambs – how to get meddling family members and neighbours to shut up.

How I Met Your Father: Doing the wrong thing is actually the right thing to do

Hey Kids, it’s “the drunk one” again. Due to the vision of movie rights, book sales and TV scripts (not to forget, pressure from your mother and your cool and wise aunt Leo) I have decided to share my experiences again.

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You won’t believe this (neither do I) but there is a show on MTV called Friendzone. Ya, a show about people that are in the friend zone and want to get out, so that they can be in relationships. Oh, friend zone is when a male and a female are really good friends (most cases best friends) and they would NOT have sexual relations of any kind together. Everything else they do, for instance, share deep and dark stories, goofy moments, watch the same shows together, be a wing man/wing woman, etc.

I watched about two hours of Friendzone (I woke up drunk and could not get back to sleep) and I realised a couple of things. Americans are crazy, MTV has a bias for attractive women (not that I’m complaining) and this show was setup for failure. Basically the message was “what the heart wants….”, “if it feels right you should go for it”, “let the other person know how you feel”, “emotions are a bitch”, “friends can become/have more”, and “being in the friend zone sucks”.

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What’s about to happen is going to be strange but work with me here. I’m not going to talk about being in the friend zone and wanting out, that’s a story for another time. Probably more of a rant as opposed to a story. Anyway, the notion of “if it feels right you should go for it” stuck out to me. As Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) eloquently said, “I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.”

I had a crush on this girl for the longest time. Probably still have a crush but the craziest thing is, I should have said/done something from Day 1. Hypothetical situation – things would have worked out and I should be proposing very soon. I swear! She’s perfect in every possible way. Beautiful, smart, hardworking, takes no bullshit, knows what she wants, she ticks all the boxes and boxes that don’t exist. If I could marry her today, I would. I would even put down the bottle for her, climb a mountain and dig up a spring. I would start World War III for her.

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I could only see her in a crowded room and we always smiled. Why I smiled? I don’t know, I guess that’s the effect she had on me. The world didn’t exist when I was with her, it was just a blur that surrounded God’s gift to me. The most beautiful woman I have ever seen (I had to tell her…. Once! Over social media and after a couple of beers. Ya, I’m that useless).

But here’s my story. I couldn’t do the right thing because I enjoyed doing the wrong thing. Doing the wrong thing became doing the right thing and doing the right thing was actually doing the wrong thing. It’s crazy! Every year I would say “maybe I should try telling her how I feel”, but then one night with the boys and a short skirt later, I would reconsider that thought. It’s not like there was anything wrong with her. There was nothing wrong with her. I just loved the streets too much and I wasn’t about to put the bottle down, stop chasing short skirts or ignoring the late night WhatsApps that say “are you awake?” I couldn’t do it. I tried! I tried leaving the streets but each time I came close, another short skirt would walk past me and smile. It was only polite for me to ask where she was going.

I tried putting in an extra bit of effort a while back. I figured it was time to put down the bottle, stop chasing short skirts and to get this woman lying next to me out of my bed. She had over stayed her welcome and I needed to be serious. Well, at least try to be serious. I chatted to my overly extended crush, helped her out here and there (which meant I got to see her more). I was making very slow progress, which was cool. I was patient enough. The streets didn’t like that. Not one bit! There was something in the air that weekend. And the weekend after that. And the weekend after that. Three absolutely crazy weekends in a row which consisted of the boys, booze, blunt and booty. The streets were good to me. I couldn’t leave. Not just yet, I hadn’t finished roaming the streets, drinking like it was the World War or chasing the skirts. Not just yet. I was doing the wrong thing but also doing the right thing. See how crazy it is?

October 2011…

I think she liked me as well. She was always smiling when she saw me. I guess she was always happy to see this drunk. I was dating someone at the time (stop laughing) and I bumped into her whilst I was with my girlfriend in the streets. We all talked for a bit and I imagined myself on the other side of the conversation, holding my crush’s hand. Dick move, I know. As the goodbyes were being said, I expertly snuck in a joke that meant as we went our separate ways I could maintain eye contact with her and have a moment. It worked (Obviously. You think I don’t know how to create a moment in the streets? It’s my turf!) and we had a moment. The world was a blur, people didn’t exist, the engine of the cars were mute and it was just her and I. The way it should have been.

June 2015…

It was a chilly winter’s night and it was time to say goodbye. Her goodbye was for the moment, my goodbye was for a very long time. I was leaving Cape Town but I didn’t tell her. I couldn’t, I guess I was being hopeful that I’m leaving for a short time but the reality was, I’m leaving for a very long time. She waved at me through the window of her car with that smile that could start a World War. I waved back with a smile of sadness. She drove off and for the first time in my life, I actually watched a female leave. I’m used to saying bye, tapping her ass and smiling as if to say “you’ll be back.” As she drove closer to the T-junction, my smile faded. She indicated right, wanting to make the turn that would lead her home. She stopped at the junction and waited for her right of way.

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If this was a movie I would have run up to the car, the rain would have just come out of nowhere to set the mood right, and 50 metres would be made to look like 500 metres. But no, this was reality. The brake lights were well lit – this is how it ends, the right indicator was flashing periodically – maybe you should run and Cape Town will provide the rain. I took a deep breath as I watched her turn out of my life for the final time.

There are good guys out there in Cape Town. Depending on the female in question, I was a good guy. If you really break down that statement it will actually show I was NOT a good guy, but that’s a technicality. I have no regrets about the above situation. I was doing the right thing every single time. It can be argued “I wasn’t man enough” or “I wasn’t ready for a relationship” or “I’m a f***g idiot”. All valid points, but doing the wrong thing was in fact, doing the right thing. And I feel this happens to a lot of people on a daily basis, including on Friendzone. Sometimes you got to do the wrong thing for example, (this actually happened on Friendzone) John told Jane, his best friend, he likes her. Jane is Jake’s ex and Jake is John’s best friend. It gets crazier, all three of them live in the SAME APARTMENT (see why I say Americans are crazy?). John did the wrong thing which turned out to be the right thing because after 5 weeks, they’re still dating AND living in the same apartment. Only in America!

Don’t be afraid to do the wrong thing.

How I Met Your Father: The Work Hottie and why you shouldn’t s*** where you eat

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Kids, most people I know met and fell in love at work and some of them truly did live happily ever after but for every success story, there are also ugly-as-all hell tales of office romances gone awry.

At first glance, it makes sense that you’ll fall for a co-worker – you spend 8 to 10 hours in their company, you have shared interests (aka slagging off the boss from hell) and well, familiarity breeds chemistry, to paraphrase a popular quote.

How do I know this, you ask? Well, my loves, because I wasn’t above falling for my cubicle partner a time or two myself…

September 2007 …

Davis was a slender-framed, green herb smoking, alcohol-loving, sleeping-on-the-job PR writer at the TV station I worked at and for the better of my first two months at the company, I ignored his lazy butt.

The thing, though, is I have a weakness for the sensitive, artsy, sarcastic type and one email about some or other show lead to several others, which lead to some inappropriate flirting both online and in the office kitchen. Before you knew it, I was actually looking forward to going into the office everyday…

Since I was still scarred from my first run-in with Mr Heartbreak Guy, I was too shy to make the first move and so was Davis. It took us ages to start having secret lunches and walks together or to even admit there was something going on between us, much to our older co-worker’s dismay who would randomly shout out to Davis, across our open plan office after one too many longing stares; “Why don’t you just take her on your desk already?!”

Yes, I know, “Eeuwww, Mom!”

Anyway, as I was saying – it took us ages to get anywhere. Eventually, six months later, during one of our “lunches”, I decided to pull on my big girl panties by making my feelings known. Like any guy, though, if you talk feelings, they balk and I didn’t want that happening so I posed a hypothetical question to Davis in the form of “what would you say if I told you I am really, really, REALLY into you?”

After what seemed like the Ice Age had come and gone again, Davis eventually replied with a “Hypothetically speaking, I’d tell you that I really, really, REALLY like you too but I am a recovering addict and I don’t want to hurt you so we can’t happen. You deserve better.”

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Man, for even a hypothetical confession and rejection, that s*** stung for a good while and our secret lunches came to an abrupt end, along with the onset of glacial courtesies (What? I was 22-years-old, maturity wasn’t exactly my strong suit then!) and avoidance whenever possible. Meetings were fraught with tension, people vacated the kitchen as soon as one of us walked in after the other and our mutual work friends quickly learnt not to invite us to Friday day drinks together.

Two months later, Davis dropped the bomb that he was resigning. I was gutted because I still really liked him but also so bloody relieved because I’d since discovered it wasn’t the addiction issues keeping him from dating me – it was the IT bimbo he had been having a flirtation with for a year before I had started working at the company. Jerk!

To make a long story short, I walked Davis out of the building on his last day and of course, a long, sweet goodbye kiss for old times’ sake ensued … I may or may not have even shed some tears.

Which were wasted, because Davis’s new office was right next door, and so run-ins at the local Spar were inevitable.

What pissed me off more than anything was that he thought that now that he worked at different company, and had kissed me, all was forgiven and we would pick up where we’d left off.  Uh, how about hell no?!

More than once I’d run into him with the IT bimbo by his side, and the rejection would hit me all over again. I vowed to never, EVER let Cupid’s Arrow find me at work until …

August 2014…

Seven years later and I still hadn’t learnt my bloody lesson about mixing work with pleasure!

Kevin was the quintessential office jerk – major attitude with all of the ladies, mostly because he had tried and failed to chat them up or those he had succeeded with, had dumped him in less than a New York minute.

Now, and I am sure your dad has told you this,  I am a big flirt. If it helps me get things done faster, freebies, all of the chocolate I can devour etc, I will charm the pants off anything that moves. Your Uncle Tendai and Magical Wyrdo Godmother Leo say everything that comes out of my mouth sounds like a come-on and I am the female equivalent of Friends’ Joey ( I have yet to hear this myself, but I’ll take their word for it!)

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And for several months, in order to get my best work buddies and I access to all of Kevin’s series and movies, I flirted with him like there was no tomorrow.

Friends tried to feel him out, to see if he was interested in me too and for a while, things looked promising but then he got back together with his cheating ex and whilst my ego was bruised, I decided to focus on wrapping up my days at the company (I’d resigned and was off to bigger and better things). Gone were the “emergencies” I needed Mr Man to help me with and I stopped making frequent trips to the 12th floor. On my last day, I did slip Kevin my number and told him to call me when he was single again …

Fast forward to a month after I’d left, and Kevin and I found each other together in a club, a matchmaking scheme not-so-subtly arranged by your Uncle T.

There was dancing and drinking aplenty and sparks were flying like an Independence Day fireworks display… things were getting heated, fast. At some point, T disappeared, as did the other couple we were partying with and Kevin and I found ourselves alone.

The old “let’s get out of here” line was flung around and I was all for it, until we hit the sidewalk and I sobered up considerably.

“What are you doing, woman?” I thought to myself, “This man has a girlfriend and you deserve better than being a bed warmer for a former co-worker for one night. Go home now – ALONE!”

So, as much it pained both me and the sexy jackass, I left him standing on the sidewalk and off I went, much to my cab driver’s chagrin: “Really, lady? You’re going to leave your partner standing to attention in all of the intimate places like that?”

Cape Town cabbies really need to mind their own business ….

Who’s the boss?

I thought I was alone in this work romance quandary until a friend of mine told me her horror story. Alyssa worked at a thriving tourism attraction, rocking her creative style on campaigns and content when the MD of her company started paying “special” attention to her.

It started off small with them being mistaken as a couple at an industry event and him liking the sound of it too much, thereafter always referring to her as his “wife” at the office. Then came his overzealous interest in her social media and weekend activities, mentioning these things to her every opportunity he got. At one point, during an event, he called her “babes”… way out of line, dude.

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Alyssa was not responding to his advances because a) he wasn’t her type, b) he was married and c) he was her big boss, for gods ‘sake – it just wasn’t appropriate! The more she resisted him, the more he pursued her until eventually she left the company, thinking that would put an end to things.

Not f***ing likely!  Not only did he show up for her farewell lunch, which he’d never done for anyone else, he also kept up the inappropriate flirting when they’d run into each other at networking functions in the months that followed.

Things settled down when Alyssa made it clear she was involved with someone else and had absolutely no interest in her former MD – getting a rep as a homewrecker and a rising star who only got to the top by sleeping with the boss wasn’t something she wanted.

A lesson I took to heart and steered way clear of.

Besides, as you’ve probably guessed, your father was not my boss or my office hottie … the hunt continues!

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

bridget-jones-644x362Kids, it pains me to tell you this but your mama is something of a class A klutz. Akin to romantic comedy heroine Bridget Jones, I get myself into all kinds of impossible, hilarious-for-other-people situations that I wish weren’t true but unfortunately are.

You’ve no doubt heard some of my more legendary mishaps from your father, your aunt and godparents but let me fill you in on a few of the highlights that make me want crawl under the covers and NEVER come out:

December 2013 …

My closest work friends and I had a ritual of Friday happy hour drinks at the hottest bars in Cape Town. One particular Friday in the heart of summer, on a whim, we headed out to Tjing Tjing in the City Centre.

Now, to set the scene, I was going through one of my “f*** the world, I’ll wear whatever I want cause I’m tired and cranky “ phases, and in forgetting it was Friday, I’d just slipped into my comfortable jeans and a hoody, and put my dirty hair up into a ponytail. SO not hot cocktails-and-meet-the-future-love-of-my-life look… alas!

Off to Tjing Tjing my friends and I went and after ordering our drinks, we realised that there were quite a few SA actors filling up the rooftop bar and the section we were in, was being cordoned off with a  rope and fancy snacks. Mildly surprised but still not suspecting anything, we nattered on about weekend plans, basking in the sunset and each other’s company until …

“Oh My God!” yelled the lovely Claudiskies, “That’s Orlando Bloom!”

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Yes, Kids, we’d unknowingly gate-crashed the cast party for Zulu, the locally filmed movie that the Hollywood hunk had been shooting in Cape Town for three months. F***!

Rapidly firing off a few texts to your godfather L to get his cute behind to the bar pronto, I sunk down into my chair, ridiculously excited that one of my former actor crushes was within spitting distance of me and horribly mortified that I hadn’t bothered to dress up that day.

Repeating to myself over and over again: “Breathe, Faz, he probably won’t even notice you or your lacklustre appearance, Just breathe!” I patiently waited for Leon to arrive.

Of course, because this is my life, Murphy’s Law kicks in …

Not even ten minutes later, while the girls and I are nursing our drinks, the hunk who breathed life into Troy’s Paris and Lord of the Rings’ Legolas, saunters over to our area, manoeuvers himself into the tiny space between my friend Lucy’s chair and the snacks table with a beer in hands, while gazing down at me and smiling that sexy smile.

Bloody hell, World, swallow me whole right now …

Sure, the gorgeous Orlando looked like he could do with a good shower before I’d lay back and think of England for him, but damn, what a moment!

Since that day, I do not go anywhere without slapping on some lip gloss, eye liner and a suitable cute outfit – you never know what may happen.

May 2014 …

It had been one of those rom-com moments come to life when I had spent the night chatting to a seriously cute industry crush at a party in the Winelands.

We’d moved around the spacious venue, feasting and drinking, getting to know each other and laughing a lot until we ended up back at the desserts table. With my attention solely focused on my handsome companion, I didn’t see one of the other party goers sidle up to me from behind.

She interrupts our conversation and says: “Excuse me… you realise, of course, that you’ve been wandering about all night with a name tag sticker stuck in your hair, don’t you?”

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The ensuing silence was so deafening, you could hear a pin drop and my cheeks were on fire with embarrassment. Handsome Dude and I looked at each other for a split second, and I said: “Just pretend you didn’t see that!” He burst out laughing and I couldn’t help but join in.

Needless to say, I’ve avoided sticker name tags like the plague ever since!

February 2015…

Your Nan, aunts Sammy, Mishy, Rushda and I snuck into an exclusive residents ‘only beach on a hot summer’s day, knowing full well we shouldn’t be there but driven to do it anyway … what? Where did you think your rebel streak comes from, huh?

Anyway, after a picnic lunch, the girls and I braved the cold Atlantic water for a dip. By this time, the residing beach goers had joined in on the fun, and there were one or two hot hipsters amongst them.

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There I was, frolicking in the waves, doing my best Baywatch babe impression, when a strong wave tackled me from behind…

As I emerged from the water, I heard shouts of “Lady, cover up!” Wiping the salt water from my eyes, I remember thinking “Shame, someone’s lost their cossie”, only to look down and realise … I was the one sans bathing suit!

Yip, my halter neck one piece had ridden down to my tummy mid-wave and my pleasure pillows were on display for all of the beach folk to see. Gods Almighty!

I was soul-shattering mortified for a split-second and contemplated drowning myself but then remembered I still had to have you guys, so, like the trooper I am, I gaily blushed and apologised profusely before turning around and swimming to the other side of a big boulder.

Laugh and the world laughs with you, right?

Yes, I am a walking disaster magnet but these are the incidents that make for amazing stories and make life all the more colourful. Cést la vie!

Next week on How I Met Your Father: The Work Hottie and why you shouldn’t  s*** where you eat.

How I Met Your Father: The Unavailable Man

Emotionally-unavailable-man-in-a-love-triangle

Kids, before I met your Dad, I spent a lot of time chasing or being pursued by the elusive, the unattainable and the unavailable man.

This is the guy who is attached in some or other form to another partner, but for some reason pays ardent attention to you. That attention takes many forms, whether face to face or online, but it always leads to the same thing: disappointment, and in some cases, heartbreak.

I wish I could tell you I was above being drawn into their deceitful webs, but here’s one of my harrowing Mr Unavailable tales:

February 2013 …

I met Scott totally by accident – my manager at the time asked me to take a meeting in her stead, because she had a more pressing matter to attend to. While I grudgingly agreed to it, upon laying eyes on the rugged-looking Scott, I was only too happy I had.

Handsome in that country boy way – all check shirt, rolled-up sleeves, dimples and scruffy beard – Scott was the SA personification of my current TV character crush, George Tucker of Hart of Dixie, at the time. My reaction upon seeing him for the first time was something that had only ever happened to me once before – my knees literally went weak and I had to hold onto the back of a chair to steady myself. I was swooning …HARD!

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It sounds like a Mills&Boons/ Fifty Shades description but I swear to the gods, old and new, it’s true…

Don’t ask me what was said during that meeting because I spent most of it unapologetically staring at him and fantasising while our colleagues negotiated a trade exchange deal … yes, I know, “TMI, Mom!”

Anyway, fast forward to a few months later, and Scott and I are in regular contact, exchanging content. You know how I’ve told you that people just randomly share personal things with me? It doesn’t just happen in person but electronically too – I got to know Scott pretty well – studies, favourites reading genres, things he likes to do to relax etc.

Conversations bordered on playful teasing and being flirtatious back and forth for a while and it took him several months to reveal he has a girlfriend. Sure, I was a little bummed about that because by then I had started to really like him, but it was a good thing too because it helped to set boundaries … or so I thought.

Over the next 18 months, Scott grew ever more flirtatious in his emails (one particular gem included him telling me he likes being at the top of my to-do list); popping by for coffee in person on the odd occasion he was in town (which is when I realised he wasn’t THAT hot) and actively stalked me on social media platforms. I couldn’t post a single photo or tweet without him liking and favouriting it in within seconds – and not just from his personal account but his business one too, as if I wouldn’t know it was him!

Calling him out on the online stalking proved useless as he just brushed it off as everyone being allowed to have a “creepy day” … dude, it’s more like having a creepy year!

But here’s the rub: once I calmed down about the stalker behaviour and started responding in kind, even going so far as to relax and be comfortable and flirtatious in his company (so sue me, being chased that hard boosted my ego!) when we attended industry events together; Scott suddenly went ice cold on me, and froze me out of his life, preferring to conduct business through his co-worker.

I was hurt, sure, and it made me feel crazy, like I had imagined the entire thing. I berated myself for weeks for flirting with a man who was spoken for and vowed to not have anything to do with him or his ilk ever again.

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April 2015 …

As someone wise once told me: “What you resist, persists”. Scott popped back onto my radar a few months later, asking for help promoting his new venture, back to his old flirtatious ways and you would think that I’d have told him to go jump off a cliff but… I’m human and susceptible to dimples, ok? I indulged his requests and tentatively flirted back for a while until…

Gods, Kids, let me tell you this: there is nothing as cruel and soul-crushing as opening your social media newsfeeds and coming across an engagement/pregnancy announcement … particularly those of people you have a murky romantic history with. As was the case with douchebag Scott – turns out the lovely girlfriend he so often tried to make me forget about, is making an honest man of him.

I was tempted to find the largest pool of Nutella around and drown my sorrows in it but f### it, he just ain’t worth it… NEXT!

somewhere out there

Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight … wait, this is NOT a Disney movie! What I’m trying to say is, your father, a good, trustworthy, loyal and most importantly, available man, was out there, just around the next date, email, meeting or event, making his way to me … all I needed to do was be patient.

Next time on How I Met Your Father: Faz puts Bridget Jones to shame with embarrassing moments …

How I Met Your Father: The Set-Up Man

blind date ctgirlwiththeredscarfKids, in the winter of 2015 I found myself at the center of yet another set-up/ blind date scheme by one of my well-meaning friends. While I admit I was intrigued by the prospect of meeting someone who’d been vetted and vouched for by someone who loves me, it got me to thinking about my previous, somewhat failed set-up attempt …

December 2013 …

Your Aunt E had been raving about Silver Fox Writer for the three weeks since she and the others had issued the 28 Dates challenge, insisting we’d be perfect for each other since we both had such a great love for the written word and travel. She’d given him my number so all I had to do was wait patiently for him to contact me and set up the date.

Which, thankfully, he didn’t dally about doing and so we were all set for a drinks date at Café Mojito in Long Street the following day.

Nervous as all hell, I arrived 10 minutes early, checking out every seemingly single male who walked through the door; anxiously wondering what he looked like ( E had said he’s hot), how old he was ( E pegged him for early 40s,which yes, was considerably older but hey, it was just a f***ing date, right?) and whether he would like me or not ( remember, I hadn’t dated anyone in a while, besides the Prince of Egypt and we all know how well that turned out!).

Silver Fox Writer arrived on time (bonus brownie points) and he was extremely charming. We ordered drinks, chatted about careers, why we’re still single, family life (he had a daughter), cities we loved visiting and more.

Yes, he was handsome, easy to talk to and I began to relax, thinking that dating an older man wasn’t going to be all that difficult until …

Ten minutes into the date, when we’d barely even touched our drinks, Silver Fox Writer leans over, grabs my arm and says: “Look, I really like you … so where is this going?”

Whoa, Cowboy, hold your horses there for a sec! Everyone always says girls go big on the end resulting {forecasting the future of the relationship with images of meeting the friends and family, moving in together , weddings and babies etc) but obviously they haven’t heard of guys, and older ones especially, doing it too.

I responded with a coy “ let’s see how well date number one goes, shall we?” and tried to get the date back on track but then he dropped the bombshell that he was 52 and had a 19-year-old daughter… gods almighty! This man was the same age as your Nan, Kids … not cool!

johnny depp cape town blind date

Look, I am no ageist – in fact, at that point in time, I was harbouring a serious celebrity crush on 49-year-old Johnny Depp, but I had to be realistic about things. Silver Fox Writer was no Captain Jack Sparrow – I wanted babies, you guys, and this man was not in the baby-making business when he already had a grown daughter. Simply put, I was just not that into him.

As we parted ways with a fumbled goodbye kiss, I realized I wasn’t all that disappointed that things hadn’t worked out on this set-up.

If anything, the experience taught me that while your loved ones have your best interests at heart and are trying to do an amazing thing for you, what they see as a great choice for you and what you want for yourself are two completely different things.

Back in 2015…

Now I find myself in a similar situation and this time, I am going to be smarter about things.

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Impala Fanatic is  a single, older man and seems stable-looking, if his Facebook photos are anything to go by ( yes, I’ve stalked his page, this is what dating in the 21st century looks like – you get to know the basic details from the Internet).

My friend swears we’re made for each other with our similar interests and personalities. I’ll be the judge of that when we have this date but if we aren’t soul mates … well, it’s just a f***ing date, right?!