“So, I take it you’ve seen I like to be dominated by women, right?”
This, Kids, was the hot, abs-to-bloody-die-for Jeremy’s opening line to me, after we’d swiped right on each other on Tinder in August 2017.
Had I just stumbled upon Cape Town’s Christian Grey? Oh my…
Actually, I hadn’t see this particular kink of his. I, unashamedly so, had swiped right based on his hot AF profile photo without actually reading his profile.
Yes, yes, I was a wanton hussy, falling for physical appearances.
As I may have mentioned before, I have control issues and I have always thought of myself as a female Christian with singular tastes but this interaction with Jeremy was making my inner Ana tremble in… fear? Anticipation? I don’t know!
Biting my bottom lip, I replied to his message:
“Well, I do now…”
Jeremy clearly found my dominatrix skills lacking and vanished from my inbox, never to heard from again.
Kids, in the winter of 2017, I was dipping my toe back into the online dating pool after the disastrous ankle-interruptus incident when I “e-met” haagen_dazsmania on OkCupid.
From his profile photo, he looked like a South African version of the red headed Montague cousin in Romeo& Juliet:
Red heads weren’t my usual type, unless you count Tom Hiddleston (and Hello Love, who wouldn’t want a piece of that?!), but I was trying to date outside of my comfort zone so I entertained haagen_dazmania and his many, many messages online.
A cheese producer, my new suitor was into books, fantasy series, chocolate, cats, shopping with his sister, big romantic gestures ( asking me at one point how I’d feel about a massive chocolate bouquet delivery at work) and leaving me rhyming couplets via voice notes daily ( his voice sounded sexy so I was really looking forward to seeing the face behind it).
After a week we moved onto text messaging and phone calls. I was initially annoyed because he seemed to need a lot of attention and you guys know how I felt about selective social interaction. Texting me incessantly throughout the working day and up until after 11pm at night was NOT the way to winning my heart.
Fast forward to our first date and after my initial reservations, I was excited about getting ready for the date, Whatsapping photos of my outfit to your Spirit Mom and Uncle Tendai.
I didn’t have too many butterflies floating around in my tummy whilst waiting for haagen_dazsmania to arrive at the Stacked Diner in Tamboerskloof but I was pleasantly nervous.
This could be the start of something new – I felt like a High School Musical cast member:
When will I ever learn that online dating is a pitfall of liars and crooks?!
The man who showed up for our date was at least 10 years older than his profile photo , overweight and way shorter than he’d indicated online!
I was not so shallow as to judge men on their looks (ok, who am I kidding? My dreams were filled with a naked Alexander Skarsgard!) but haagen_dazmania was balding, wearing a peak cap, his shirt buttons were about to pop and his teeth needed a whitening badly.
This was not someone I could envision sharing a bed with, never mind cursing you, my future babies, to share a genetic pool with.
His appearance, coupled with his need to text me while I was in the ladies for two minutes and his critique of my looks and personality made me want to dash and run at the speed of light like a female The Flash:
But, because I had promised myself I was going to give guys more than one date to impress me, I sat through two hours of him talking about himself; making shocking comments on the state of the security in South Africa;his friends’ wealth and emigration plans; how I seemed to be very busy and how could I possibly balance my extensive love of movies and books with my constant socializing.
The entire time, he was reviewing my looks ( “Nice dress, it really compliments your brown complexion” – are you f***ing kidding me?!); my expressions and eyes ( “You have a smirk on your face , is that how you usually look?” and “Your eyes are really brown. I’m sorry, I am totally mesmerized by them” and my personality ( “You’re hot and scary and so direct about what you want”).
The final straw for me was his views on how travel and children just took too much effort and were expensive undertakings. I’d been very upfront online and in person that seeing the world and having you were my top priorities. These were non-negotiables and I needed a partner who not only wanted these things, but was passionate about making them happen.
After politely ending the date on the pretext of collecting your Spirit brother and sister in Hout Bay ( I didn’t have to get them), I left in a hurry.
Which didn’t stop him from trying to call me and sending needy texts about how he was worried he’d scared me off. Dude, learn when to back the f*** off!
A few days and another goddamn 11pm text later, I released him back into the online wild. Go well, Sir, and cat-fish someone else with your old photos.
Kids, a huge part of why I took so long to meet your father was because I had experienced most of my dalliances a long, long time before then. Today, I’ll tell you about my brush with preteen romance…
I was 12 and experiencing my second real crush … His name was Shafiek and he was a 15-year-old school dropout turned mechanic with dimples to die for and a heart so beautiful I couldn’t bear it.
It was like that 90s classic My Girl but set in Cape Town:
I know he doesn’t sound like much of a teenage Lothario but bear in mind that at this age, I was trying really hard to fit in with my older half-sisters and their blossoming relationships ( a habit I’d learn to break years later when I was on the brink of turning 30).
Shafiek was sweet, a simple guy with simple thoughts and he treated me like a princess.
I remember long nights of doing nothing but talking, lying in his arms and listening to him tell me about his amazing father and his dreams for the future, whilst he rubbed my back and I fell asleep. Again, I was 12 and staying up with the older kids was not my forte at the time.
In the mornings, he’d wake me up with a gentle kiss on the forehead, telling me he was going to miss me all day before he left for work.
And that’s how life in the autumn and winter of 1998 passed us by -evenings spent at the Strandfontein Pavillion, talking in his truck; playing card games at home or double dating with my half-sister and her boyfriend.
Let’s just kiss and say goodbye …
Life as a tween moves pretty quickly and after a few months of not seeing Shafiek, I had met and fallen in love with Zunaid (even though it would take us another year before we actually started dating).
By this time, Shafiek had moved on to his ex-girlfriend and while we never saw each other again, I always hoped he was happy and loved.
In many ways, this short-lived romance of my pre-teen years formed the basis of what I wanted my forever relationship to be about: love, respect, trust and friendship.
And it did… which ultimately led me to you, my beautiful babies xx
Kids, you remember The Oversharer 2, right? Mr I have no confidence, I am broke and I still live at home with my mommy and daddy? Well, in the winter of 2017, he also became a rude online dater which provoked my inner Daenerys Targaryen.
He made me so angry I wanted to burn down his house, Khaleesi style… but I am getting ahead of myself.
The fool must have been suffering from some kind of convenient amnesia because he slid into my DMs with a “Hey! How you doing?”
Remembering how unbelievably needy he’d been before and that he did not seem to be a good match, I replied with a curt “Not interested”.
To which he quickly replied:
“It was mistake, you fat bitch!”
Are you f***ing kidding me? This neurotic, Failure to Launch type asshole who was the last person to talk about looks considering what he looked like, was body shaming my curvaceous, beautiful self? Oh f***k no!
As the iconic Bette Midler once sang, “I’m Beautiful, dammit!”
How is it that guys think they shit ice cream and are above being rejected so they turn abusive? Not on my watch, they don’t!
No one disrespects me like that and lives to tell the tale:
I blocked and deleted him with a long email written to OkCupid to complain and ban him too.
“First date and you’ve sprained your ankle, huh? Tough break, my dear.At least he’s sticking around for now… maybe this will lead to better things”
This, Kids, is what Sharon the mystic healer was saying to me as she tried to infuse healing energy into my bruised ankle, whilst simultaneously trying to reassure me that my first date with Hellrider83 was not as disastrous as I thought it was.
She lied… it was!
In a spectacular imitation of my literary and cinematic heroine, Bridget Jones, I had managed to sustain a horrible ankle injury by slipping on the wet ground outside of Cavendish Square, on a busy Saturday morning with hundreds of witnesses.
Under any circumstances, this would have been embarrassing but , because this is my life and the Universe loves f***ing with me, this also just happened literally moments before I was to meet my latest OkCupid hottie for our first date.
As Sharon so sweetly tried to smooth down my billowing dress ( remind me NEVER to wear that ill-fated polka dot dress to another date!) so onlookers would not see my multiple tummy tuck-in tights and the security guards called for the first aiders, Hellrider83 came to find me.
Cue the awkward “So sorry about this. Could we possibly reschedule our first date?” conversation, with Sharon and co listening in.
Seriously…ground swallow me whole!
To his credit, Hellrider83 stuck around for the mucho embarrassing wheelchair ride through the mall and even offered to go with me to the nurse at Dischem to have my ankle wrapped but he looked hellavu relieved when I told him to go , I’d be fine and I would text him.
Which I did, and apologized profusely for my Joneseque behaviour and ….not a peep out of him. Nada, zilch, zero after three days. I’d been dumped, again, before even being dated.
F*** it! NEXT!
I wouldn’t mind, really, but by then, EVERYONE in Cavendish Square knew that this poor girl twisted her ankle whilst on a first date… the pity looks, the “Shame, my dear!” comments while trying to stop their tears of laughter running down their cheeks, were not doing my fragile ego any favours.
Kids, in the autumn of 2017, your Spirit Mom, Uncle T and I were having one of our daily WhatsApp conversations about life, work and crushes when Tendai threw a curveball at us…
We’d been discussing his latest cougar crush and teasing him about all of the very naughty things he wanted to do to her and he stopped my and Leo’s decidedly NSFW (not safe for work) lewd talk with this one liner:
“No, I just want to hug her and tell her that everything is going to be okay. That’s all I wanna do”
Leo and I both hit back with “What’s that code for?” and “Why does a guy just want to cuddle and hold? That doesn’t make sense!” because come on, hugs from guys ALWAYS meant they wanted more, right? RIGHT?
Nope…according to Lord Grey, sometimes a hug from a guy who likes you or whom you like is just that …a bloody hug.
Leo and I were floored, crushed, heartbroken, DEVASTATED.
As your Spirit Mom put it:
“I feel like my entire life’s outlook has just been turned upside down. I’m so confused now “
As for me, my world was spinning on its axis because those bone-crushing hugs that bordered on the inappropriate that I received from Monroe ( remember him?) still topped my all-time favourite crushee moments!
My mind was blown:
Leo was struggling with all the guys she turned away in her youth when they hugged her and said “Come to my flat and see my etchings”, thinking it was the 90s version of “Netflix and chill”. I was having a hard time seeing all those “moments” I thought I’d had with Monroe and past versions of him going up in smoke.
Lord Grey had messed us up worse than any of our previous “sandwich” experiences… F*** a zombie!
Tendai, realising how this had fundamentally changed my and Leo’s entire man-woman relations ideals, expanded on his theory a bit more:
“A man’s thoughts aren’t always the worst. Ya, we wanna get in and get out…that’s 90 – 95% of our thoughts but then there are those moments we wanna cuddle. Cuddling is a warm, relaxing and comforting feeling… especially after a long day.
He continued to drop this bombshell with:
“It’s platonic. Guys have no intentions for anything more. Just cuddling and maybe talk through the night. Just to forget about the madness of the world. It’s like how a woman says “Let’s go for a drink” and a guy thinks it’s code meanwhile, it’s literally just a drink!”
It would take days, weeks even, for Leo and I to recover from this explosive news…and when we chatted to other women about it, they’d had similar reactions. Life, as we knew it, was no longer the same…
Dearest Godkids, the year was 2017 and believe it or not, your fave uncle Leon had just turned 29 for the third time.
Kids, by the time you read this, you will probably be 30. After navigating the perilous waters of your twenties and going through multiple quarter-life crises you (having not been raised by me) would have come to learn a few hard truths.
As your mom’s year of being dirty thirty had come to an end I thought I would weigh in on what to expect when you wake up after your big 30th with a dry mouth, a sore head and sans underwear to the horrible realization that alcohol poisoning was not one of the gifts you received.
A lot of things happened in my 30th year, but two major life changing events led me to become a better person, or rather, someone who knew where they are going and what they are doing with their lives.
Our 20s were spent stalking, kissing boys (and girls) and generally discovering who we were. So what have I learnt?
Don’t be afraid of change
Sometimes things happen that are out of your control and that’s okay. Put your control freak tendencies aside and accept it. The more you resist the greater your chances of not succeeding. If it seems that bad, identify why you think that and provide solutions not problems.
They say the only constant is change.
Love always don’t come easy but nothing does.
Kiss a lot of frogs and don’t be ashamed about it. Finding that mythical “the one” is a load of hogwash despite what your mom would have you believe. Find that one for now, whether it be 3 months, 3 years or 30 years. Your time will come. And if it doesn’t, then fuck it. Next!
As clichéd as it sounds do your best to do something you love or have a great passion for. Or that pays you a truckload of money.
Waking up every day miserable and becoming physically ill at the thought of going in to work is never a pleasant experience. Don’t be afraid to risk it and just up and quit. Having a back up plan helps but sometimes you go wherever life may lead you.
It may not always be easy but you won’t be able to say you didn’t learn something along the way.
Go on adventures
Lots of adventures. It can be slut night out discovering the city like you haven’t before, a weekend stalking mission pretty much like how your mom first encountered your dad or just deciding to save up and travel the world. Alone. But do not ever be afraid to live your life on your own terms.
Appreciate your friends, loyalty is important
Your mom and I have been friends since forever. Trust and loyalty is key. Pretty boys and girls will come and go but your friends are always the ones to help pick up the pieces. Surround yourself with people who “get” you. Who forgive your flaws and imperfections and celebrate your successes.
Be healthy, take care of yourself.
You can’t have fun if you’re constantly feeling like death warmed up. Start your heavy drinking early so your liver knows how to deal with alcohol. Stay away from substances that require more than just blowing smoke.
Drink water, eat carbs and try to exercise at least once every six months.
Just be you.
You is special, you is smart, you is kind.
Or something like that.
Don’t be afraid. Remember your fucks are finite so don’t go handing them out all willy nilly. You’re my godkids so of course you are awesome. Remember that.
Kids, on Valentine’s Day in 2017, I found #LoveAtFirstBite with Dunkin Donuts…
Ok, fine, I fell in love with their quirky heart shaped offerings BUT I also experienced a resurgence of faith in the speed dating industry after attending the Dunkin Donuts ‘#LoveAtFirstBite speed dating event on Monday 13 February, 2017.
I know I said I’d NEVER attend another speed dating event after the disaster in 2015 but you know, hope springs eternal and come on, who can say not to donuts?
Here’s why the #LoveAtFirstBite experience rocked my dating world:
Men, men, me EVERYWHERE:
I “dated” nine men in the space of 40 minutes …the fact that there were so many guys for the first time at a speed dating event was heartening AND they were relatively good looking!
2. Talk to me, baby:
Behold the blessings of a good conversationalist! A few of them, like Ryan, the hot primary school teacher ( awww, he loves kids and giving back to the community!) made the five minutes allocated to getting to know each other fly by with their interesting anecdotes.
3. Keeping things sweet:
Look, I’d be lying if I said the real reason I was there was to potentially meet your father … because let’s be honest, I love sweet things and, donuts, like a lot!
Besides the romantic #LoveAtFirstBite deal Dunkin Donuts was running for Valentine’s Day, they kept us sweet all night with special editions of their famous product and ice coffee. My favourite was the Hazelnut flavour and the choc choc heart!
A post shared by Fazielah Williams (@fazielahwilliams) on
Did Cupid’s Arrow hit my voluptuous butt at the Dunkin Donuts event? Who knows … the point is, the evening gave me renewed faith in love, sugar and singledom and that, Kids, is all I needed to meet your father.