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!
“You will find the missing piece of your puzzle … just walk with God and believe in it”
Kids, it was a Saturday night in November 2018 and my Uber driver Jean-Pierre was doling out love advice as we zipped from the Cape Flats to the City Bowl.
He’d just picked me up from your Aunt Anthea’s birthday bash and commented on how he’d sensed I had a good aura from the moment I’d walked towards his car, just like the one he’d sensed from his wife when he met her 20 years ago.
Me, rolling my eyes because come on, Mister, it’s 11pm at night and I am too tired and old for this mystical shit: ” Come on, JP! I bet you say that to all of your female passengers.”
JP: “No, I am serious! When I met my wife, she had this beautiful aura, the same one you have, and I knew I’d met the missing piece of my puzzle. I told her then and there: “I am going to make you my wife” and two years later, I did and put her in my house.”
Me: “Ok, JP, since my Mom and Dad have a similar story,I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here. But tell me some more about your puzzle piece.. are you still with your wife? Do you have children? Is this relationship everything you could have hoped for and more?”
JP: “We have been married for 20 years and there have been good, bad and incredible times. We have four daughters – three teenagers and a toddler. It’s been more than I could have dreamt about. And it’s all been possible with the help of God.”
Look, you guys know my relationship with religion is sketchy at the best of times and I was really having trouble believing that finding your father, the love of my life, my forever travel buddy and my life partner was as easy as asking a Higher Power for him.
Over the course of our forty minute drive, JP was slowly convincing me to at least think about being open to the possiblity of it.
JP: “Look, I can tell that you are a wonderful, kind and incredible woman. You’ll pick up many wrong pieces of the puzzle, trying to make them fit and they won’t. Those men are not for you… trust your intution when it tells you no. You will find your missing piece… just walk with God and believe in it.”
In all of my time using Uber, this was by far the most enjoyable ride and driver I’d ever had. I was actually quite sad when I had to say goodbye.
JP: “Ok, Lady with the lovely aura, this is your stop. Go now and pray. Believe that you will find your puzzle piece.”
And you know, Kids, for the first time in a really long time, I was ready to believe.
To say a legendary girls’trip with Leo in the city of our hearts was needed was a f***ing understatement!
I wanted you so badly, I’d allowed myself to get caught up in an impossible situationship that ,from the outside, and possibly my imagination, seemed like my own rom-com come true … but the asshat who’d been the unlikely Prince Charming quickly turned into the villain and I was once again back to square one.
I was tired, Kids. I was emotionally f***ing spent. Being around my very romantically successful family physically f***ung hurt and I couldn’t bear family gatherings. I loved them and I was happy for them but I couldn’t be around them.
I was falling apart in the inbetween – in the times when I was alone and no one could see my bleeding emotional wounds.
I was reminded of that popular saying:
It was time to reset myself and let New York heal me.
Technically, I should not have been spending any f***ing time with him alone, I know, but look, my heart and flesh were weak, ok? Quit judging me!
On your aunt Lee-Anne‘s suggestion that I have a shot of Dutch courage to calm the f*** down, I set off to down the last of the left over vodka in my fridge … but I didn’t have a shot glass.
What’s a desperate girl who refuses to drink directly from the bottle to do in these dire circumstances?
Why, pour a shot in a Benylin medicine cap, of course.
And of course, OF COURSE, because I was utterly f***ing nervous and shaking like a druggie needing her next f***ing fix, I half-missed my mouth and poured most of the goddamn drink down one side of my neck and onto my dress.
Me, on a call with your aunt Lee, shortly after this monumental disaster:
“Lee! LEE! For f***’s sake, help me! Does vodka smell?”
Lee, after laughing at me for a full five minutes (because she is SUCH a great friend): “No, dumb ass. Relax. Wash it off, spray some perfume and chill the f*** out!”
Not that the half shot helped plenty because the non-date confused the f*** out of me even further but hey, at least Lee had a good chuckle, right?
The holey-moley work day:
I’d been going from meeting to meeting all morning, wowing my co-workers with my epic ideas and generally thinking I was the shit when…
I got to the restroom to pay homage to Mother Nature and pulled down my tights, only to realise there was a hole the size of my bloody fist in it!
Since I very rarely sit like a lady, I’d most certainly been flashing all and f***ing sundry all day long.
Sweet Mother of Dragons, could my inner Bridget Jones please f*** off?!!
Kids, in 2018, as I further embraced my cosplaying, travel-loving, Comic Con-going, geek chick self, the ugly side of pursuing these passions revealed itself – in the form of several social media stalkers.
I’d heard about men taking things a step too far when randomly texting a woman with similar comic book and movie interests and experienced it only once years before but in the Spring of 2018, my personal experience with it intensified.
The Big Apple stranger danger:
Your Spirit Mom Leonie and I were super excited about our upcoming first joint New York trip together and I was periodically sharing photos on Instagram about it:
Enter iger @pacman52280 aka George Waldman whose account was set to private and only had 128 followers. George, whom I had never, ever spoken to and certainly had no interest in doing so either, took to leaving the following comments on my posts:
On their own, sure, the comments seems innocent enough but the fact that this man had taken the time to immerse himself in my feed, go through what in particular interested me, scrutinized my passions and kept commenting when I was clearly not responding to him, freaked me out.
The fact that he had a private account, was a stranger and was insisting on meeting me, a solo female traveller in a foreign city, also set too many alarm bells ringing.
I’d dealt with thirsty men before but this was just on another level and I did not appreciate it.
I blocked George swiftly but I hated the fact that I now had to censor myself when posting about the things I loved doing, simply because a man could not get a f**ing hint and stop harassing me… and this in the era of #MeToo.
It was the first time in all of my solo travelling adventures that I felt unsafe and it was utterly unnecessary.
Know where the f***ing line is, men, and toe it. It’s not that goddamn difficult!
The Twitter dirty bird:
Same year, different social media doos… a random Tuesday on Twitter elicited the following inappropriate DM:
Again, I had never spoken to this person before,and had not engaged in any behaviour or communication that would invite this kind of message.
A look at his Twitter profile revealed the following:
So, no, it wasn’t just me… this person was a certfied f***ing creep!
I reported him to Twitter immediately.
Social media is great for broadening your horizons but you also need to stay vigilant and be safe, Kids. While I would still be sharing posts about the cool and wonderful things and events I attended, these episodes definitely made me be more careful about it.
Kids, sometimes when my ego was bruised by a date, like when the Boston man child walked out on me, I would seek validation by running into the arms of another unsuitable candidate… such was the case with the Needy Italian.
Mike had literally just walked out of the door when your aunties Cynthia, Gloria and I got down and dirty on the dance floor and three new guys started started dancing with us – a nerdy but seriously cute type and two Italian brothers.
Things were going the way of Dirty Dancing minus the epic lift for me with one of the brothers, Emmanuele, and even though I actually had my eye on an uber cute and buff blonde on the other side of the dancefloor, I was having a good time.
An hour later, I was ready to leave and also feeling quite bold, bolstered by a mixture of f*** Mike attitude and several ciders, so – after punching my number into Emmanuele’s phone, I grabbed him by his big beared face and laid a long but chaste kiss on him:
Fast forward to the next day when I was nursing the mother of all f***ing hangovers and I’d woken up to a barrage of texts:
“Is me, Emmanuele… you see me at Dubliner’s tonight, yes?”
“You wake? I much like to dance with you again”
My outrage at my own idiotic self made me want to respond to my very enthusiastic Romeo with:
Why? Why were millennial men so f***ing needy?!
I didn’t want to hurt his feelings,though, and I was feeling kind of guilty about using him to assuage my feelings of rejection by Mike the night before so I told him that I couldn’t make that night or the night after but perhaps we could try for the weekend.
The following Wednesday:
After ducking and dodging Emmanuele’s pretty intense advances ( with everything from following both your auntie Lee-Anne, who most certainly did NOT appreciate it, and I are on Instagram to liking every single photo I posted and constantly sliding into my WhatsApp with “I want to spend my nights with you” texts), I received the following message from him:
“I get on a plane back home now. I hope to come back next year. We please stay in contact. I will remember you.”
I wished him a good flight and then let him down gently,saying that I am sorry I kissed him when I had no intention of taking things any further and I hope he found a great girl who was more suited to his 29 year-old-self.
If I could have played that old The Manhattans classic for him, I would have:
I also vowed to myself to never use someone to get over someone else again – karma is a bitch and she may well come back to get me at some point.
This, Kids, is what the stupid AF married and religious person from my past who was also a co-worker yelled at me as he walked up the staircase to the next level of my office building.
I was initially too flabbergasted at the utter audacity and nerve of this man, who had not spoken to me in MONTHS, to respond.
Of all of the things he could have asked and chosen to start a conversation with me – how I am, how my family was doing, had I done anything interesting lately or met any celebrities at the Cableway, he f***ing chose to reduce his interest in me to my marital – or lack thereof – status.
I was so many amazing things – a cosplayer;a writer; a world traveller planning her third trip to New York City; an adult working student studying a digital marketing course; an avid movie geek and theatre nerd; a comedy lover;a sister, daughter, grand-daughter, niece, cousin, aunt, godmother and friend who loved her people fiercely and a weirdo with a quirky sense of humour– and yet, this asshole made me feel like none of those things mattered because I wasn’t attached and he was yelling at me about it.
I’d been in a pretty great mood before this f***tard verbally slapped me with his insult.
Considering that less than a year before, he’d been flirting with me – unsuccessfully, I might add, because I am not about that side chick life – I was very tempted to retort with:
” Why?Are you trying to figure out if it’s still ok to make a move on me?”
Alas, I wasn’t that brave yet so all I could be was outraged and the following exchange happened:
Me: “Seriously? Why the hell would you ask me that?!”
Him, clearly not expecting me to burst out in anger like that: “Uhm … because I keep hoping the answer will be different”
Then he made some wise crack about my lobola (dowry) clearly being too expensive for modern men.
This horrible interlude led me to issuing the following PSA to men who have no idea about how to talk to women:
“Dear members of the male species, please listen up! Insulting a woman to get a rise out of her in the hopes of it leading to other things is an archaic f***ing notion that should have died with the dinosaurs. Women, in all of our gorgeous, magical, multifaceted glory should be treated with the utmost respect at all f***ing times. Instead of catcalling, insulting or just being the poorest reflection of your sex in the history of the world, the next time you encounter an intelligent, well-spoken,beautiful woman, try engaging with her on a topic, any f***ing one, that both holds her attention and stimulates a quality exchange of ideas.We’re worth so much more than being your baseline entertainment for a minute, an hour or a day. Sincerely, a woman”
Kids, in the lead up to Women’s Day 2018, I matched with a visiting American tour guide, Mike*, on Tinder.
After a brief hello, how are yous , how’s your day going and a “Your gorgeous” (I’d over looked his atrocious spelling when I really shouldn’t have!) compliment, Mike asked me out for drinks and dancing the following evening.
Since I was already going to be at the Station on Bree for a night out with your Aunties Cynthia and Gloria, I told Mike he was welcome to join me there.
The next night…
Wednesday evening, whilst sipping on an Elizabeth Daiquiri , I waited for Mike to arrive.
A tall, hot guy walked in and started searching around the bar. I gulped a few times, slid down in my seat and tried to hide.
There was NO way I could have a blind date as it was with this Adonis! I swung from desperately wanting him to be Mike to not wanting it to be him because I, for sure, would be awkward AF if he was.
Gods, help me:
The McHottie turned out be the DJ… and Mike turned out to be the back-to-front baseball cap-wearing, earring stud-wielding, crazy pattened shirt-donning guy behind him.
I masked my disappointment to say hello with a handshake, while Mike leaned in for a hug.
Right… so let me very clear here: I do not hug people I’ve just met. My personal space is my personal space and I don’t care if you are the Queen of England, Barack Obama or a guy I met online, I am not hugging you.
Awkward non- hug out of the way, Mike and I got to talking about him. He was in Cape Town on the tail end of a 20 day trip to South Africa which he’d won through his travel agency.In addition to being a tour guide for senior people, this Boston native was also a hockey referee.
This was his last night in the Mother City and he was keen to see more of its nightlife. Considering I was in tourism, I was happy to oblige.
When your Auntie C arrived 15 minutes later, she picked up that it was rather awkward and Gods bless her, came to my rescue with her usual awesome badgering of questions.
Fast forward through Gloria arriving, us barhopping all over town, including a stop at our local Mitchell’s.
We had a great time, at least I thought so, talking about travels, books, Women’s Day, Boston, New York etc when…
Mike would randomly scratch my shoulder.
Your Auntie Lee says he was flirting and announcing his interest in me but if so, what a weird f***ing way to do it!
Look, I was not unfamiliar with a straight, hot blooded man displaying his intentions – from Americans who ran their hands down my back on nights out to Monroe and the work colleague who gave me extra long, hard, body consuming hugs, I knew when I was being hit on (occassionally!).
This chicken scratching shit was not it.
I flashed an awkward smile and carried on talking. There was a brief awkward pause when he tried to short change the others on the bill after but we merrily moved on from that and to our next stop, The Dubliner in Long Street.
Here is where things went downhill.
While we danced awkwardly, had another drink and hung out, Mike scratched my shoulder again.
This time I was not ok with it… as I have mentioned before, I do not like people, especially men touching me if I haven’t asked for it. Maybe this was an American thing like the other doos from Philadelphia who couldn’t keep his hands to himself but just because I was on a date with him, didn’t mean he had the right to grope me.
I gently moved away from him and tried talking over the music to him instead.
Two songs later, Mike turns emo on me with:
“I don’t think I am what you were expecting”
Me,totally confused at why this man was turning girly on me: “What? Why? We’re just hanging out, aren’t we?”
He excused himself to go to the loo and the next thing I know, he’s walking out of the door of the bar, never to return again.
No goodbye, no “I’m sorry, this isn’t working out”, just a straight walk out!
Your Uncle T says it was a classic case of Mike thinking he was going to get laid on his last night in Cape Town and it clearly wasn’t going to happen so he bailed.
Cool – I can understand the wanting to leave part but for f***’s sake, have the goddamn decency to at least say goodbye instead of hightailing it like a petulant child!
Could I have handled this better? Probably. I know I am awkward AF and a little shy andI probably should have spent more time talking to this guy online before meeting him. That still doesn’t excuse him having a bitch fit and running away, though.
It was a blessing in disguise because after Mike the coward left, Glo, Cynthia and I tore shit up at the pub and danced the night away with so many other people which lead to many more cool stories.
I was young,single and free, out with my amazing friends and having the time of my life:
As I was lazily scrolling through potentials one cold winter night, I swiped right on a visiting Italian. With the matchmaking gods ever in my favour (not!), he swiped right too and we were a match.
Almost immediately he slid into my DMs and the following exchange occurred:
Him: “Hi, I’m Andrea from Italy and I am looking for a lady to share sensual times”
Me (taken aback by his utter forwardness): ” Hi, I’m Fazielah from Cape Town and I am looking for someone to date and get to know with the possibility of it leading to sensual times”
Him: “I’m only here for few more days. If you are feeling spontaneous, maybe we can meet at the V&A?”
Me (rolling my eyes, because seriously, who the f*** just agrees to a hook-up like this?!): “Sorry, I am out with friends this evening and fully booked until the weekend. So it looks like I’ll miss you.”
Him: “Change your plans. Meet me for sex. You will enjoy it””
Uhm…wait, what the actual mother f***ing f***?!!
This asshole , whom I have never met, wanted me to drop everything I was doing and meet him in a public space to go somewhere else and just give him some, just like that?!
When I did not respond, he quickly unmatched me and that was the end of it.
Gods, Kids, 2018 was the year where romance and chivalry went to die.
Kids, in the winter of 2018, I decided to give online dating one more shot (yes, I know, how many f***ing times have you heard that one before?) with the Bumble app.
This one, unlike the others, gave women the option of making the first move without any shame – as in, in order for a guy to have a conversation with you, you had to swipe right and if you matched, send the first text.
I liked the power that gave me – I didn’t have to be chosen by anyone, I did the choosing.
I should have learnt by then that anytime something looks like it’s too good to be true, it usually is.
“Connecting is the hardest part of this app. Thanks for swiping on my face.The pace on this app is atrocious.”
Giggles and enquiries about what he was enjoying most about my fair Cape Town followed before he struck out with this:
“I’m running out of time. I’d like to go to the Cape of Good Hope tomorrow or Sunday. Are you interested? Do you drive?”
Dude, we literally just “met” and you already want to go to an attraction that is 90 minutes out of my way with no reception and looking for a ride for our first date? in an age where women get killed in derserted places all of the damn time?
I could practically hear my mother shout at me to not let a potential date get away so I reined my inner feminist in and regretfully told him that I couldn’t make it to Cape Point but how about ice cream along the Sea Point promenade instead?
He shut me down with a “Well, I’ll be at Cape Point then, won’t I?”
I was just about to hit reply as I read his message whilst at a magic show, when, and I f***ing kid you not, I looked up from my phone and who was standing less than 5 metres away from me?
Dan the f***ing man!
Of course … of course this bloody shit happens to me because the dating gods, the Universe and the world hated me!
I gasped out loud and filled my friend Tania in what was currently happening on my phone and right infront of us, showing her Dan’s profile photo and subtly looking his way.
Dan did a double take when he saw me and then spent the rest of the evening pretending not to look my way but regaling his mates with tales of online dating, which Tania overheard.
I know, I know, I could have gone over and said Hi but the man had rejected me online and looked like he may do it in person too …my bruised ego could only handle so much.
Also, he totally could have come over too – there were ample opportunities to do so, especially when Tania and I got drawn into a circle of spectators with Dan to watch the magician perform some close-up tricks.
Ain’t nobody got time for international user losers… F*** it! NEXT!