Tag Archives: How I Met Your Father

How I Met Your Father: The one with the naked guy

gary put some clothes on
Image credit: www.quickmeme.com

Kids, living in Vredehoek in my 20s and early 30s lent itself to all kinds of interesting encounters, not least those of the nude kind.

While my penchant for wandering about in my birthday suit in my apartment were well documented on Facebook, it’s the buff appearances of my neighbours that raised more than a few eyebrows.

Settle in and let me tell you about the Naked Guy …

2009 …

A few months into my first co-habiting attempt with a work mate, a fire of biblical proportions tore through Devil’s Peak and the slopes of Table Mountain.

From around midnight, I watched the ever-growing flames from our apartment window with growing alarm before deciding to pack a bag (and grabbing only what was absolutely essential – which at the time was my Charmed DVD collection, but more about my skewed priorities later!); wake my flatmate and hightail it the hell out of Vredehoek.

Once in the stairwell of our complex, though, a sense of neighbourly duty overwhelmed us and we went about knocking on the doors. BIG mistake!

Brian was our nearly 60-year-old quirky fellow resident who had a bit of an Eeyore vibe going on. We usually kept interactions with him to a minimum because you could never be too sure whether he’d invite you into his apartment and that you would never see the light of day afterwards ever again.

At 1am in the morning, those kinds of concerns went out of the window and we had to knock a few times before Brian answered the door …

Sans clothing!

As in nothing, nada, not a stitch …oh dear gods, my eyes, MY EYES!

friends gif my eyes.gif
Image credit: www.london24.com

Picture a recently de- feathered chicken with a puff of white hair, illuminated in moonlight and you get the idea…

Sure, it was the middle of the night and we’d woken him, but couldn’t he at least have slipped on a dressing gown or something?!

We mumbled out a fire warning as quick as we could while averting our bleeding eyes to everywhere but at Brian and ran out of there like, well, a fire was chasing our butts.

For years afterwards, I avoided Brian every chance I got because he wouldn’t stop mentioning the naked incident!

2016…

I’d recently started training for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Fun Run and one of my favourite running routes was along Chelmsford Road towards Devil’s Peak.

With Kings of Leon’s Sex on Fire blaring in my ears, I was just about hitting my runners ‘high when time stopped, the sun shone down on me and there, in the middle of the tiny field at the end of my road, was a tall, dark and handsome stranger posing in the nude…

22995219-young-topless-man-posing-outdoor-on-a-cereal-field-with-a-straw-in-his-mouth-while-holding-his-shirt-Stock-Photo
Image credit: http://www.previews.123rf.com

For a heartbeat of a second, I thanked all of the gods, old and new for finally, FINALLY answering my prayers and delivering an Adonis-looking baby daddy to me.

Only to hear the click of a camera and discover that actually, I’d stumbled upon a student modelling shoot and this day was not my lucky day …bloody hell!

I picked up my jaw and crushed heart from the ground and headed back out onto the road. The time for enjoying a naked guy would come soon enough …and boy, does your dad look well in the nude (oh, quit making those gagging noises, guys!) 😉

How I Met Your Father: 5 things your Great-Grandmother taught me

image credit: www.flickr.com
image credit: http://www.flickr.com

Kids, on the eve of your Great-Grandmother’s third death anniversary in March 2016, I missed her terribly … it still had not sunk in that the fierce, dynamic and strong Fatiema Williams-Shellar who had raised me wasn’t around and a part of my life anymore.

Being an adult sucked on and off for the better part of my late twenties and early 30s and not being able to call her so she could distract me with family gossip or the latest soapie updates when I was having a particularly bad day really cut me deep.

She was vibrant with a quick mind and even sharper tongue but man, was she a soft cookie under all of that and I missed her more than ever.

These are five of the many, many amazing things Mama taught me:

  1. Sometimes swearing is the only way to express yourself: Yip, every foul word you have ever heard coming from my mouth was this champion curser’s creation 😉 Whether she was yelling at Pa or threatening to whip my butt for not putting my school uniform in the laundry, she knew how to drop an F bomb! When I started freely swearing in her presence in my 20s, she’d be all like “Zielah, do you kiss me with that dirty mouth?!” and I’d cheekily respond “Of course, Tiema, I learnt from the best … you!”
  1. When Life hands you lemons, eat a chocolate (or a sweet): My feisty grandma endured her fair share of problems: a dead son, man woes, divorce, unexpected pregnancies, breast cancer scares etc but there was always a stash of chocolate and sweet treats to take the edge off a little … or at least stop her from beating people (usually Pa) with a broom.
  1. Having eye candy is a must: Just because she was married with children, grandchildren AND great-grandchildren didn’t mean Mama had lost her keen eye for a good looking man. Whether it was swooning over Jean Claude van Damme in e.tv’s Friday night movies or admiring how well David Duchovny filled out his X-Files suit, she knew a stud when she saw one and wasn’t shy to say “Hy is nogal sexy, ner?” (He is rather sexy, hey)
  1. Dress up no matter the occasion: A trip to the shopping mall, a family wedding or an outing to the Fugard Theatre required a touch of lipstick, a sprinkling of talc powder and her best scarf because you never knew who you would run into. Man, I wished I’d retained this bit of wisdom when I ran into Orlando Bloom!
  1. If the music sounds good, dance: Mama knew how to get down on the dance floor (or her living room, but whatever!). From Frank Sinatra to UB40 , Cher and everything in between, Tiema could give us youngsters a run for our money and she didn’t care if we laughed at her or not. In fact, at my 21st birthday party, she danced until 3am when all of the guests had left already 😉

Mama 1

I wish you could have known her, Kids. I know how much she would have loved you and enjoyed telling you crazy stories of my and my father’s naughty childhood escapades.

How I Met Your Father: Mr Overeager Part 2

let-me-go-man-begging

Kids, I’ve educated you about the scary attributes of a Mr Overeager type before and truly, I thought that by 2016, I had put this type of man behind me…Alas, I had no such luck and not only did I run into his sort again, but I did so in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day!

10 February, 2016 …

Besides Merlin 39, I’d been going through a bit of a dating drought and so while there was an opportunity to attend another speed dating event, I wasn’t particularly into it either. Instead, I was focused on hanging out with your Spirit Mother at a Deadpool screening and feasting on chocolate until my heart and tummy burst.

Unexpectedly, I received a message from Dave, who was a part of the speed dating group. He was 42, looking for someone special and convinced that he’d previously met me at a speed dating event before.

Since I was sure we had in fact “dated”, I readily accepted his coffee date request and counted myself lucky that I had gone from having no Valentine’s Day plans to suddenly having plenty of them.

I gave Dave my number and we started texting back and forth to set a time and place (the Saturday at Red Sofa Café in Vredehoek).

At first, everything was going well  – I smirked at his attempts to be flirtatious and had to reassure him several times that the age difference didn’t matter to me because it was just a  f***ing coffee date. Soon, though, I wasn’t responding as readily because I was in back to back meetings and apparently Dave didn’t like being ignored.

Maybe I was more naïve than Ana in Fifty Shades but I thought a coffee date meant meeting someone in a coffee shop to have, well, coffee … So, when he offhandedly suggested hooking up after work Wednesday, I quickly shut him down with a “sorry, I have plans for tonight but looking forward to meeting you for a chat and coffee on Saturday!” text.

He got huffy and responded with “Wow…ok, sorry for taking up your time.” I ignored him because a) that wasn’t what I meant and b) I was busy for the f***ing love of the gods!

11 February, 2016 …

Kids, my job back then was talking to hundreds of thousands of people via my company’s social media channels which left me utterly depleted of any conversational skills so I wasn’t much of a texter in my personal life. I was very selective about whom I communicated with.

selective texting

Which is apparently bad news for budding non-relationships … by the Thursday morning, I was getting slightly neurotic texts from Dave, going “Are we still on??? I didn’t hear from you.”

Dear sweet Mother of Dragons, trust me to find the one man in the entire goddamn Universe who wants to over communicate!

After reassuring him once again that yes, we were still meeting, no, I didn’t think he was too old (again!) and yes, I was looking for a relationship as much as he was, we left the conversation hanging.

In my mind, though, everything was settled – we were meeting on Saturday and we both knew what we wanted out of this so what more did we need to talk about until we saw each other, right?

12 February, 2016 …

F*** a f***ing zombie! Apparently a lot could go wrong because I woke up to the following text from Dave:

“”It’s clear you aren’t interested or that we’re very different. You’ve shown absolutely no interest. No desire to ask anything. You’re young. It’s clear our situations and experiences are very different.”

Now look, it takes a lot for me to get pissed off but this was just totally f***ing uncalled for! And he had sent the text before 8am and my first cup of coffee, for Pete’s sake!

khaleesi no mercy

So, taking a few calming breaths, I channelled my inner Khaleesi and let him feel the hot but calm fire of my temper by responding with:

“Good Morning Dave. I hope you are well. I am not much of a texter because I prefer getting to know someone in person. I am extremely busy, hence the silence.  As much as you are accusing me of not asking you questions, you haven’t asked me anything either.

You keep mentioning the age thing, and to be quite honest, that’s your hang-up, not mine. If this is the way you treat all potential dates, I can understand why you’re not attached yet.

I am not looking for a neurotic partner who seems to crave attention every second so I think it’s best we part ways. Good luck with the dating!”

The asshole had the audacity to respond with:

“”At least I didn’t waste my time with someone who’s incredibly bitchy.”

Kids, I am not the girl who cries on Valentine’s Day weekend, bemoaning her single status and the fact that no one loves her but f*** it, this one got to me!

Luckily your Spirit Mom came to my rescue with a super awesome Galentine’s Day, cooling off at the Long Street Turkish Baths and marvelling at Ryan Reynolds’s uber hot butt cheeks in spandex as Deadpool.

Faz and Leo Deadpool
Image courtesy of http://www.crazymadliving.wordpress.com

Yeah, I didn’t have a heartthrob in my life but that didn’t mean I had to put up with the jackasses of this world either. Instead, I was blessed to have super weird and awesome friends and family who loved me anyway… and that is all that really matters.

 

How I Met Your Father: The one where I feel the anti-Valentine’s Day love

val-day

Kids, you know I’m not a Valentine’s Day Grinch – the fact that you get heart-shaped pancakes, your Aunt Sam’s legendary chocolate cake AND tons of hugs and kisses every hour on the hour on February 14 every year is proof of that.

The fondness for the Day of Love was something I maintained throughout my twenties and usually being single on this date didn’t bother me but … occasionally, I needed to attend a speed dating event or a party of some sort to reassure myself and your grandmother that I  wasn’t  going to end up as a crazy dog lady ( what? I am allergic to cats!).

14 February 2012 …

A group of friends , which included Bryce ( yes, he of the Indecent Proposal fame) and I got dressed up to the nines to attend local radio station 5fm ‘s Love Sucks speed dating party at an underground club in the City Centre.

While the girls and Bryce were there to partake in the lock and key speed dating set-up, I was just along for the kickass DJs, free chocolate and good drinks – come on, a girl has to have her priorities straight, you know!

Wandering about, checking out the potentials and laughing at the pick-up-lines I was overhearing, I sauntered into the kissing booth section where I had spotted the rather yummy booth holder earlier.

kissing_booth_meme_by_asktherecordking-d7rfufk

At R10 a smooch, I was determined to have him lay one on me and be able to say that I had least had one kiss on Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately for me, he seemed to be out on a break to give those kissable lips a rest.

Slightly disappointed, I was about to leave and go shake my booty on the dancefloor when a pair of strong arms grabbed me around my waist from behind …

Now, usually I have a “”what the f*** do you think you’re doing?” reaction to this in normal nightclubbing situations but this was a singles ‘only Valentine’s Day party and I didn’t know which hottie might have found me so irresistible they simply had to touch me. This, being my life and all, of course meant Murphy’s Law kicked in and my mysterious Lothario was …

Bryce.

In what was a split second swing around, he had me facing him and kissing him so quickly, I couldn’t get a handle on my bearings!

Initially too stunned to know what was happening, I quickly pushed him away and was on the verge of smacking his presumptuous ass, when he burst out laughing and I realised he was quite drunk.

“Really, Bryce? Me turning you down at the staff party wasn’t bad enough, you now have to steal kisses from me too?” I asked him peevishly.

“What? You were going to be pay that Zac Efron wanna-be to kiss you … I am way more ridiculously good-looking, you should count yourself lucky!”, he answered with a wink.

zac efron gif

Remembering how Bryce had actually used me at that long-ago staff party to hide the fact that he’d spent the night with our male co-worker and now seemed to be repeating this behaviour by drunkenly kissing me in front of witnesses seriously pissed me off!

By this time, the kissing booth operator had finally re-appeared so I shoved Bryce’s drunkard ass onto a nearby couch.

I marched over to the booth, handed over my R10 like a boss and kissed that fine specimen of man like the world was ending before heading out to join the hundreds of single, gyrating party goers for a dance fest of note.

kiss swan captain

The bright side? I got two Valentine’s Day kisses 😉

 

How I Met Your Father: 20 questions to ask The One (or The One Right Now)

Woman with question mark on blackboard
image courtesy of www.dumblittleman.com

Kids, doing multiple rounds of speed dating and online dating can get tiring , not to mention a bit boring because let’s face it, who has time to make small talk when you’re trying to find someone to date and in my case, father your children?

So, taking a cue from my rapping homie 50 Cents and his hit single 21 questions, I started asking my potential paramours 20 questions in the hopes of getting to know them and eliminating the unsuitable.

50 cents 21 questions

The key to the 20 initial questions was to mix up the serious with the fun ones because I didn’t want to scare my prospective suitors off but I also didn’t want them to think me too shallow.

Also, my usual gimmick of opening with “So, who is your favourite comic book character?” was starting to grow old …

keep-calm-and-always-be-batman-2

Far from being the Spanish Inquisition, these were my 20 questions to ask The One or The One Right Now:

  1. What’s your favourite movie?
  2. What’s your dream job?
  3. What’s the one song guaranteed to get you on a dance floor?
  4. Where did you go on your last holiday?
  5. What is your favourite breakfast dish?
  6. What is your favourite book?
  7. What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
  8. What is your favourite food?
  9. What is the last thing you think of at night?
  10. What’s your nickname?
  11. What is your best childhood memory?
  12. Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
  13. Are you a morning person?
  14. What is your ideal first date?
  15. What did you want be when you were a child?
  16. What are the 5 things you’d want if you were stranded on a deserted island?
  17. Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of guy?
  18. What’s the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you?
  19. What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
  20. What do you to relax?

More often than not, their answers gave me amazing insights into future dates ‘personalities and I could decide whether the connection was worthwhile pursuing. With each answered set of questions came opportunities to talk about a variety of topics and something to laugh about or inquire about more on the official first date.

Also, I got a kick out of responding with my truthful and weird answers because if they couldn’t deal with my decidedly wacky nature pre-date, then f*** it! Next!

 

How I Met Your Father: Old school romance in the Mother City

old-school

Kids, by January 2016, I had completed 21 of the 28 dates challenge and was about to embark on date 22 with very little expectations. After Impala Fanatic’s stone cold silence, I’d taken a bit of a dating break and was just coasting through life until Merlin39 popped up on my DatingBuzz radar.

At 39, Merlin was a little bit out of my dating age range (I’d settled on 35 as being close enough in life experience that we’d still have plenty to bond over). He was also a divorced father of two teenagers, ran his own financial management business and very close with his mother.

Still, I was intrigued by Merlin’s emails and the way he responded to the 20 questions game I started ( yes, after years of online romances, I’d learnt to quickly ask questions that helped me get a better sense of possible paramours ’personalities) so when he asked me out on a date, I didn’t hesitate.

On a hot-as-all-hell Saturday afternoon, we met for lunch at the Company’s Garden restaurant and my aging Romeo totally bowled me over with his old school romance – not only was he polite, well-dressed and well-mannered, he also presented me with a bouquet of gorgeous roses and a box of Lindt chocolates. Who still did that in 2016?

giving-flowers-gif

Total brownie score for being a reminder that wooing the objection of your affection is so hot and a lost art. Modern men seemed to have lost all sense of chivalry and it was a welcome respite to have it lavished on me, even if just for an afternoon.

Over lunch, we chatted about our jobs, our families, our travel experiences and the scary online dating world. Conversation flowed easily and sure, he seemed a little too obsessed with stressing how financially secure he was and how generous he is with giving money to people he cares about ( I have never been particularly money or status conscious so these things do not hold an appeal for me) but I was enjoying this date.

I enjoyed it enough to suggest a second date – which for me was totally unheard of, and incredibly, for the first time in a long while, I was actually looking forward to it!

I had hope, Kids, and hope lead to me being open to new experiences, new people and ultimately you xx

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

bridget jones fuck

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

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

December 2015 …

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

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

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

chocolate banana

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

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

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

Kill.Me.Now.

January 2016…

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

leo magic mike

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

How I Met Your Father: The Set-Up Man Part 2

good-first-date

Kids, in December 2015, I finally met up with Impala Fanatic (you remember, the set-up man my friend Anthea was so eager to have me meet), on a double date at the V&A Waterfront’s Quay Four.

As I got ready for this date at home, I actually felt a momentary feeling of excitement – the one I’ve seen in countless movies where the girl is looking in the mirror, applying make-up and dancing to music. Finally, it seemed to be happening to me…

clueless-cher-getting-ready

After a crazy dash to the restaurant, I frantically looked around for my little group and, as Anthea said, Impala Fanatic saw me and immediately recognised me … aw!

Conversation flowed easily – he was funny, articulate, nice to the waitress, a real gentleman ( save for some off-kilter sexist jokes about how I must know how to cook because he likes to eat – sorry, dude, my oven is used as more of a decorative piece but you go on dreaming there, son)  – and I settled into my first post-30 date.

I wasn’t nervous but I wasn’t bored either. I realised that whatever else this may or may not turn out to be, I was having fun, spending the night talking and socialising with like-minded folk. With no pressure placed on me by myself or anyone in the group, this was the most fun I’d had on a date in a while.

As the evening progressed, and he was leaning more and more into my space as well as placing his hand in the lower middle of my back, I was proud of myself for now finally being able to recognise when a guy was into me … yay me!

Fast forward to two weeks later and there hadn’t been a peep out of Impala Fanatic, despite how well the date had gone. Did I fret about it and anxiously check my phone every 2 minutes? No, because you know, whatever…  we’re adults and we’re busy and maybe he’s just not that into me, and that’s ok.

dating-in-your-sh9pd5

The urgency that had seemed to dominate my twenties around dating and finding your father dissipated somewhat after turning 30 … besides, there were plenty more fish in the sea and lucky for you, one of them was your Dad 😉

How I Met Your Father: Getting felt up for all the right reasons in all the wrong ways

“Oh gods, why is it that the first time I get some boob action in years, it’s gotta hurt like a mother f***er?!”

Kids, hitting 30 was a wake-up call for me that if I was planning on having and raising you guys, I needed to get my shit together and take care of my body, mind and soul … starting with a mammogram to check that my “twins” were in good shape.

Right, let’s pause here for a second while you get over being grossed out …

keep calm and check the girls

Anyway, as I was saying, I marched myself off to the doctor’s the Monday after my return from paradise for what turned out to be quite the torture session.

Take your top off and let me squeeze them …

Following a brusque Q&A about why, at such a young age, I thought I was at risk of breast cancer (apparently having a sister who had a breast biopsy at age 16 and my own cancer scare and subsequent drainage at age 20 weren’t reasons enough!), the unsmiling radiology assistant asked me to disrobe and join her at the very inconspicuous x-ray machine.

mammogram 1

Sweet mother of dragons, if I had known how f***ing painful the procedure was going to be, I’d have reconsidered doing it. Ms Thing manhandled my pleasure pillows like they were slabs of meat, squishing first one, and then the other between two glass plates that then squeezed down extra hard as the x-ray was taken.

I remember clearly thinking: “Oh gods, why is it that the first time I get some boob action in years, it’s gotta hurt like a mother f***er?!”

When I complained to say that it really, REALLY hurt, my lovely attendant coolly said: “It does? Well, just hang in there, it will be over in a few seconds.”

Longest freaking seconds of my damn life, up until then!

Let’s take a look-see…

Despite not taking me seriously as someone who needed to be checked out when I’d arrived, something in the x-ray must have freaked her out, so my attendant very calmly asked me to join her in the ultrasound room.

As I laid down on the bed, she rubbed some warm gel onto my breasts and massaged them deftly while moving the wand over them to see inside.

At one point, I clearly saw her taking the measurement of a very big cyst and I slowly started to freak out. When she finished her exam (and several measurements more!), she quietly turned to me and said: “There are quite a few cysts in both of your breasts and I’d like to hear from the doctor what he wants to do about them. I’ll be right back.”

buffering

Kids, those five minutes seemed to stretch out forever … I started imagining all sorts of horrible things. Like what if I had cancer and therefore could never have you? What if I died? What if, what if, what if!

Bam! Wham! Thank you, mam …

Eventually, she waltzed back into the room and with a blank expression told me that while my breasts were riddled with cysts on both sides, they were benign and I wasn’t dying. The doctor didn’t think an op to remove them was necessary and they did not want to see me until I was 40. Well, gee, thanks for the sensitivity, people! F***!

wait what

Really? That’s it? Felt up for 5 minutes, nearly handed a death sentence and then it’s all over in a matter of seconds? What an anti-climax!

I know you’ve probably been as uncomfortable listening to this story as I have been telling it to you but what I want you to take away from it is this: if you’re worried about something, have it checked out. Even if the health professionals treat you like a dummy, you persist and find out as much as you can.

Medical knowledge is power … and, doctor’s rooms make for great guy/girl pick-up joints 😉

 

How I Met Your Father: 30 and a week of the good, the bad and the ugly

Kids, as the saying goes, in life only three things are certain: death, change and taxes.

The week after my 30th and return from Mauritius, I had a brush with all three. Since I hate them equally, you can imagine how utterly delighted I was they decided to show up at the same time … not.

These things, I know, were part of being an adult but who the hell decided I was ready to do that, huh?

icant adult

I won’t bore you with the monotony of taxes … suffice it to say that e-filing, as we old folk called it back then, did NOTHING to simply the goddamn painful process, so let’s move on to the other two.

Change …

After switching gears between a highly stressful job and a more relaxed one in 2014, I had committed myself to spending more time with our family, my friends, potential partners and two projects I was involved with.

For a while, I felt like I could expertly manage all of them – and I did. But, as the year progressed, I felt myself becoming increasingly short-tempered and spread too thin between everything, leaving very little time for that precious commodity I was harping on about last week – me time.

I agonised for months about what to let go of and fretted about how it would impact certain relationships. Needless to say there were plenty of sleepless nights and bargaining with the Universe for energy, more time, Channing Tatum showing up to ease my stress the Magic Mike way ( oh, quit the eye rolling, you guys!)  etc to help make my decisions easier.

magic mike gif.gif

I hate change with a deadly passion and nothing unsettles me more than the not knowing what happens next. The indecisiveness drives me absolutely crazy and I would rather know for certain one way or another that what needs to be done is done than living in the in-between forever.

As it turns out, when the death brush happened, making the change choice was a no-brainer. Nowhere close to easy, of course, but ridiculously simple and a relief.

Death …

In the week after turning 30, I was faced with the realization of my own mortality in two successive and painful blows.

Not only did I have a mammogram, which briefly caused alarm but your great-grandfather’s health took a really bad turn for the worst.

I’ll tell you about the boob-squeezing mammogram next time (dudes, appreciate the fact that I did my best to ensure my lady pillows were in tip top shape for your arrival!) but for now, let’s talk about Pa.

He’d been a diabetes-sufferer for all of my life but somehow, after your great-grandma died, it just seriously took over his body. By mid-2015, he could no longer move about without a walking stick and in late November, he’d completely lost the use of his legs. His arms looked set to follow the same route soon.

I’d known he was ill, of course, and rushed off to see him at Groote Schuur hospital the Monday after my island holiday, when the diagnosis of irreversible nerve damage  was handed down to him  but seeing how frail he was a mere week later really, really got to me.

As your aunt Sam and I massaged oils and lotions into his now stiff legs and ever-thinning body, I could barely contain my tears and I didn’t dare speak because I knew my voice would betray the depth of my grief.

Faz and Pa

This is the man who raised, fed, clothed, educated, disciplined and loved me for most of my life.  A man who had always been the most powerful force in my tiny universe and whom I had spent a lot of time angry at because I didn’t think he loved me enough or as much as he loved my sisters. I know now that wasn’t true – he loved us all differently because we were so different.

The fact that we didn’t share the same blood was never an issue– he’d been my granddad from my first moment and no one could have done more for my siblings and I than he did. He loved us as he had loved our father before us.  The greatest lesson I’d ever learnt from him was that family wasn’t always blood.

Pa was the UB40 –loving, Frank Sinatra –singing, Vienna smoortjie (spread) – making goofy grandpa of my childhood; the believer of my teenage studying dreams and my voice of young adult reasoning. The idea of further adulting without him just didn’t bear thinking about.

But I wasn’t ready to let him go and I was seriously pissed off at the Universe. We’d barely gotten over Mama’s loss  – what fucking right did the gods have to want to take the only father figure I’d truly known away from me now?!

So, I got mad – Hulk mad – at the sheer bloody audacity of the Fates to do this to my family and I twice in the space of two years and at the unfairness of it all. How the heck were we supposed to be adults and responsible about this when the grown-ups in our lives were dying all the time, huh?

hulk mad

For me, being angry was a hell of a lot easier that being sad. The sadness at seeing my grandfather so very weak and knowing the inevitability thereof, just broke me, kids.

When faced with the loss of someone you love, all of the other things in your life pale in comparison. I knew now what was important – spending as much time as possible with Pa and making good memories with him…. I freaking love you, Percival x

Next week on How I Met Your Father: Getting felt up for all the right reasons in all the wrong ways – a scan by scan mammogram story.