Of course, because this is my life, and the Universe likes to make sure I know exactly how wrong I can be, in the space of two months I got served up some of the craziest creepiness I’d ever experienced until that point in time.
Behold, the one with the creepy guys:
Avada Kedavra, Creep:
There I was,helping your Spirit Mom Leo putting the finishing touches to the birthday cake of the magical organisation we both love, when a seemingly harmless looking guy comes up to take a photo of us.
Thinking it’s one of the new students’ parents and that I always have to be happy, friendly and approachable, I smile broadly and pose for said photo.
“Great”, he says, lowering his phone, “now I have a photo of you so I can look out for you on Tinder!”
Are you fucking kidding me?! In the one place, other than the comfort of my home, where I can just relax, be myself and feel safe, I was being objectified and harrassed! No, just FUCKING NO!
The interaction immediately made me feel sleazy and like somehow I’d provoked him by being me – I know it wasn’t my fault but in that instant, it felt like it. I spent the rest of the night always in the company of one of my fellow witches and made sure to give He Who Must Not Be Named a very wide berth…
As it turned out, said creep was now also someone I was going to have to work with on a regular basis. I worked around that by opting to only deal with someone else who was doing the same thing. Since casting the killing curse was impossible, at least for now, I had to be extra careful going forward.
The IG DM lurker:
A Sunday morning, at just after 6 fucking am, a direct message request arrives in my Instagram app.
Eye roll from me, because no one who knows me would dare to contact me before the perfectly acceptable time of 9am but hey, there’s always a first.
I hit open and I’m assaulted with this missive:
As I’ve said countless times before, I am not against being complimented but when it’s a virtual fucking stranger sliding into my DMs, Momma’s gonna have a few choice things to say, my loves.
Curious as to who this wanna-be Lothario is, I did some investigating on his profile. Turns out he is a professional photographer of sorts and actually gets fucking paid to take people’s photos and interact with them so why in the name of the Gods was he creeping on me?!
There is no law against telling a woman she is beautiful, for sure, but sending me a private message on a social media app that is NOT for online dating is overstepping boundaries.
I dreamt of giving ol’Mc Creep the Khaleesi treatment …
… but alas I had to do it the mere mortal way of block, report and delete.
Kids, for as long as I can remember, random strangers would walk up to me or sit down next to me and confess their deepest, darkest secrets or their unexpected joy.
In 2019, in the space of a week, three people I didn’t know from a bar of soap , confided in me and it got me wondering: “Was I a priest or a counsellor in my previous life?”
While I listened patiently, I was always silently screaming:
Here are three times people confessed their secrets to me:
The Baby Mama Whispers:
There I was minding my own business in the queue for the Clicks pharmacy when the beautiful, curly-haired woman next to me let out a few audible sighs.
Being quite experienced at this and realising I could no longer turn a deaf ear to the ever-increasing volume of her sighs, I turned to the distressed lady and asked:
“Are you ok?”
Gods, remind me not to do that again…
“Actually, no. I’m just feeling dizzy and here’s why”.
She proceeded to show me her script for folic acid so of course, I got excited because:
Kids, as much as I love babies, this mommy-to-be was WAY too open about how she’d suspected she was pregnant for a while, had her own blood tests done because she didn’t trust her doctor to, was feeling dizzy, wasn’t showing yet at 11 weeks but according to her OBGYN, the fetus was too big for the gestational age and she couldn’t find her boyfriend.
I mean, come on:
The Keyless Runner:
A week after the Baby Mama drama, I was waiting on my Uber to arrive at the Lower Tafelberg Road parking lot when a runner uh, runs, up to me and for several seconds, keeps exclaiming:
“Holy shit, I am one lucky bastard!”
Seeing as he very obviously was not going to go away, despite my very best Meryl Streep impression:
I ventured a cautious: “What happened?”
“Oh My God! I thought I’d lost my car keys and couldn’t find them. Which is horrible because I just ran around the mountain. I was completely freaking out and then ran back to the roadside tap I’d drunk water at three hours ago and my keys were STILL there! Amazing, right?!”, the excited runner exclaimed.
Since I could see he needed the validation, I gave him an enthusiastic “Well done, you!”
The Chatty Uber driver:
I’d had my fair share of run-ins with Uber drivers before. Some of them were actually quite inspiring and others were downright fucking insulting so I was not exactly overthrilled when Sean Paul started our ride with :“I can see with my third eye that you are like a dormant volcano – still on the surface but burning with passion beneath that exterior”.
For the next ten minutes before we collected your Uncle Tendai from his hotel, Sean Paul regaled me with tales of his traumatic childhood, how angry he was as a teenager and adult until he found Rastafarianism; how his third eye had grown due to his beliefs and how he’d recently played the white knight in shining armour for a female passenger when she was in trouble.
As the ride dragged on, I realised that Sean Paul was trying to hit on me . Did priests or counsellors ever encounter this problem, I wondered?
Thanks the gods that the minute your godfather joined us, my chatty would-be suitor and confessor stopped spewing his guts and life could go on.
Fuck it, Capetonians… please get yourselves some paid therapy and leave me alone!
Kids, Valentine’s Day tends to bring out the downright nasty in Tinder daters. As the great Dothraki would say:
In 2019, things were no different.
David and I had swiped right on each other, prompting what I assumed would be a mutually respectful exchange.
I was wrong. SO wrong.
My granderfather passed notes to my grandmother via the factory secretary at the company they worked at in the 60s to let her know he was interested. My Dad wrote my mom “we’re going to have beautiful babies” messages in cute cards in the 80s.
What did my wanna-be suitor write to me as his first message? This:
Kids, I was feeling Jet hard… and although I tried to believe Jennifer Paige when she said it was just a little :
… it didn’t help that he was obviously feeling the same way.
I mean the guy was calling me his girlfriend to coworkers; eagerly greeting me morning, noon and night; playing the perfect gentleman and attentive date by pulling out my chair, getting me drinks and engaging me in conversation at work functions; telling people he was bringing me as his date to after hours events; taking every chance he could to hang out at my desk and just generally being all up in my business.
How was I reacting to all of this wanton lusting and office flirtation, you ask?
Oh, Sweet Child of Mine…
Your momma once again invoked the spirit of literary and cinematic singleton Bridget Jones, because really, why even try being cool about a real life flesh and blood man ( and a younger one, at that!) being into me?
One afternoon, Jet was bounding down the staircase, as he was wont to do, off to save some IT crisis or other, and I, as I was wont to do, was watching him … drinking in the sight of him, feasting my eyes and all but drooling.
So much so, that I … spilt my tea all over my desk and my pants.
It was a cold November night and I was wandering through Times Square, having just sobbed my eyes out at a spectacular performance of the hit Broadway show Dear Evan Hansen…
I stopped, twirled around in a circle and took in my surroundings. Still feeling emotional after my sobfest and raw in a way I hadn’t been for years , I had a profound realization.
I was home. Home once again and I was impossibly, utterly, deeply in love with New York City.
For the third time.
This trip, my first one to New York shared with someone I loved, your godmom Leonie, was hands down my best. I loved solo travel, and I would soon venture off on another trip by myself, but a shared experience brought with it a sense of happiness, comedic moments of getting lost, frustation at losing each other at busy events, transcendent moments at a magical theatre show unlike any other we’d seen, discovering new places and showing each other our favourite spots.
Sharing New York with someone who adored it as much as I do, possibly even more so, made me love it on a deeper level.
Even if I never returned to the Big Apple in my life (Gods, I hope not! I still wanted to live my best upcoming writer and Brooklyn-living mom life there!), I was content to have loved this beautiful city and be a part of it at least thrice in my life.
Kids, in January 2019, I was about 13 months away from having you and I realised that while 2018 had been a year of learning and growing dating-wise, I had no time to f*** around anymore and I had to get serious about finding your Dad.
I knew he wasn’t going to just drop out of the sky like a romantic male Mary Poppins so I was going to have put in some hard work.
Things were progressing quite nicely with Jet , but it wasn’t a sure thing and I had to make some dating resolutions for the New Year:
No more messing around with f*** boys: those late night “I missed you tonight” texts, unexpected phone calls to “catch-up”; the ol’ “my friend can’t make it, will you go with me to xxx” last minute invitations and the “send me photos of what you are up to” requests bullshit would no longer be tolerated in 2019. Either step up , ask me out and tell me how you feel about me or please f*** off from whence you came, Sir!
Out with the apps, in with the IRL dates: Tinder, OkCupid, Datingbuzz and Bumble had given me MORE than my fair share of shitty online dating experiences in 2018 and the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In 2019, I was going to give my thumbs a break from swiping left or right and let my eyes and charming pick-up lines work their magic… mostly. You guys know how I have no game but a girl had to try.
Live a lot: with just over a year until I would have you, I realised there was a SHIT TON of things I wanted to do , that wouldn’t be as easy with a baby onboard. No offence, my loves. I drew up a list of 100 things I wanted to do before becoming a mom ( which I will share with you soon) and invited friends and family along to help me do them. From day train trips to another town to spending a weekend at a wildlife reserve and having another beach resort holiday to exploring more of Europe, I wanted to do it all. I couldn’t be a great mom and life partner if I wasn’t fulfilled and had lived a lot so it was time to do it.
2019 was the year things changed, Kids… and it really was spectacular!
Well, in December 2018, Mr Asshole was at it again…
“Fazielah”, he said as he tapped my shoulder and got way too far up in my personal space for my liking, “I said, your naughty Santa’s Elf costume is only a quarter complete with that hat. Where’s the short, sexy mini skirt and hot red high heels?”
Now, Kids, please take a minute to appreciate the fact that I, in no way at all, was being overtly sexual in my demeanour or dress style at this point – not that it should matter,because however a woman dresses or acts,she is not asking to be sexually harrassed,ever.
I quite literally was wearing workman’s jeans, a standard work issue t-shirt, hiker boots and the afore-mentioned hat and unlike a nurse or fireman’s costume, my mountain clothing wasn’t a f*** sexy.
His comment made me see red.
Me, too f***ing outraged and surprised that once again this motherf***ing ass of a married man who clearly did not realise we were living in the age of the #MeToo movement, would be this f***ing oblivious and chauvinistic: “Uhm, well, that kind of attire wouldn’t be appropriate for the mountain.”
Prize Jerk Nr 1 laughed and walked away, leaving me feeling like I had just let myself and the entire female population of the world and generations to come down.
Why the f*** were men still getting away with this kind of bullshit?
I understand that decades of the naughty Santa’s elf imagery has saturated mainstream media and given rise to countless fantasies and role play scenarios but for the love of the gods, most f***ing people keep that shit to themselves, their partners and their bedrooms.
Married men, sure as shit, shouldn’t be saying kak like that to single women, or any woman for that matter, at all and utterly unprovoked!
It would take me a while to work up the courage to confront this world-class f***er about his inappropriate banter but I sure as f*** would.
Here’s what I did want to say to him and all men like him, though:
“Listen, you arrogant d*** … just because I was trying to be a good sport and get into the spirit of Christmas with a hat doesn’t give you the right to ignore all professional and personal boundaries and spew lecherous shit at me whenever you see fit!
I reserve the right to wear what I want, when I want to and to not have you comment on it. I f***ing love Christmas, I love Santa and by the gods, I wish I could be an elf but I do not dress up for you or your f***ing base pleasure. Take your dirty mind and go play dress up with your wife. Leave me the f*** alone!”
Kids, in the summer of 2018, I was taking a bit of a break from Tinder while I saw where things would go with Jet. In the interest of online dating research, though, I turned to my friends for their hilarious #TinderFail stories.
Faye had been chatting to *Greg*, a 39-year-old lonely boy on and off since March, consoling him when he claimed he wasn’t meeting any quality woman on the app and suggesting ways in which he could improve his conversational skills to help me with the ladies.
Fastforward to December and Greg was once again bemoaning how lonely – and for the first time- how horny he was.
At this point, Faye, exasperated at this man child’s inability or willingness to help himself, suggested he hire an escort to help with his needs.
Silence from Greg until…
He texted her to tell her he was, uh, getting himself off to her messages while she was online with him.
Uhm… motherf***ker, WHAT?!
There had literally been NO sexy exchanges of any kind in the conversation leading up to this. Faye had been telling him gently to get off his f***ing ass and do something about his loneliness and he took it to mean he had to give himself a happy ending WHILE talking to her.
It had all started innocently enough… Jet would borrow a pen from me, leaning over my shoulder and getting all up into my personal space when there were plenty of pens lying on other desks closer to him.
Hello Captain Obvious:
A month later, after I arrived back from New York,Jet got a little bolder, especially after your Aunt Anthea made enquiries about his socializing preferences, knowing I had a predilection for cute, awkward men.
Suddenly, he was greeting me enthusiastically every day, giving me birthday hugs, telling co-workers that his “girlfriend Fazielah” had invited him to a social night out (I had done no such thing – I could barely get out Good Morning when speaking to him- how the f*** was I issuing invitations, let alone being called his girlfriend?!).
Was I flattered by this unexpected attention? Of course I was.
I decided I couldn’t let the young Jet do all of the work – I was an independent woman of the 21st century, for f***’s sake!
One morning, as Jet zoomed by and up the staircase to his office, I shouted a very loud “HI!” at him.
Smooth, Williams, real smooth.
Jet, confused at first as to whether I was actually yelling at him or just talking to all of the mountain ghosts, stopped and then said “Goeie More!” in reply.
I hadn’t thought about what would happen after that so…
I hid under my desk.
And stayed there for a good 15 minutes until I was sure he was gone.
This, this is why I shouldn’t be allowed out into the dating world. I suck at flirting, goddammit!