But … three weeks post-heartbreak and with the news that Zombie Walk had been postponed, I knew that I could not let 31 October pass by without some celebration.
The undead life was for the living so off I went to my local King Cake Party City for a sexy witch’s Halloween costume, hat and broomstick the day before.
On Halloween, I texted your Auntie Cynthia and arranged a drinks meet-up at my new creative hotel crush, the Radisson RED Cape Town. To my utter delight, their staff was killing the Halloween costume looks and my bewitching get-up fit right in.
Confession – I should have tried my costume on when I bought it because it would have saved me the realisation that my lady pillows were ALL over the place and I was about to flash all of Cape Town!
I mean, sure, it got one of the older, half naked ( because he’d been swimming!) hotel guests all hot and bothered, to the point that he couldn’t help but lean over and pinch my… hat tip. All’s fair in love and cosplay!
The important thing I learnt, Kids, was that I couldn’t let sadness about one person destroy my joy and lust for life and the things I love doing.
Jet, after falsely accusing me of discussing him with co-workers and yelling at me from the very staircase where I’d fallen in love with him , rejected me twice as just a “dear friend” in a series of Whatsapp messages.
After a nearly a year of flirting, texting, spending lunch times together, sexual and emotion tension – all of which he’d initiated – I was being friendzoned… again.
Understandably, I lost my shit… I wasn’t eating and sleeping. I felt like shit all of the time and it was a struggle to just be alive for a while. I wasn’t okay.
I thought I’d had depressive episodes before but this shit was really, really bad.
Which is when he decided to reveal the monster that lies within.
The yelling should have been the tip off that Dr Jekyll was actually Mr Hyde.
After telling your aunt Anthea that he really respected me as a coworker,cared deeply about me as a good friend and had been taking his time getting to know me to see if this could have gone somewhere despite not wanting a relationship at work, he decided to ignore my fair request to give me some space and understand that I would be keeping my distance until I was over him.
Pissed off that I was giving him the cold shoulder, that I could barely look at his face or say more than the basic hello, Jet starting amping up the bad behaviour.
He’d try to include himself in conversations I was having with other co-workers and get up close in my personal space in the kitchen when we were alone, under the guise of getting his mug.
He’d take phone calls on balconies where I was sure to see him at lunch times. At a staff party, even though I hadn’t spoken to him all day, he got really close into my space, said hi, clinked his glass against mine and said a fake cheers. He spent the rest of the night watching me on the dance floor, being near to wherever I was and brooding in a corner when no one would speak to him.
His behaviour was unnecessarily cruel. He’d made his point about not liking me the way I liked him. I’d asked him for space and he’d ignored it. Was his male ego that fragile that me not continuing to moon over his very existence spurred him into hurting me even more?
For someone who only considered me a “dear friend”, he was sure acting like a possessive, obsessive almost-boyfriend.
I’ve never been one for loving or disengaging half-heartedly. I either love someone like they are the centre of my fucking universe ( I know, not healthy… I should be the centre,always) or I cut off all feelings and engagement so quickly, it’s like hell froze over.
Jet had become addicted to my attention, had lapped up every bit of my concern, my care, my adoration and was now having to go cold turkey without it. That shit hurt, I got it.
But I couldn’t keep hurting myself by being kind to him. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right. My favourite Grey’s Anatomy quote came to mind:
I was a good person, for fuck’s sake … so why did this keep happening to me?!
Kids, I didn’t choose the cosplay life, it chose me.
By now, you know the family lore: Your geeky grandpa met your creative Nan and when they found out they were expecting me, they worked together on creating a kickass Superbaby suit that I, your auntie Sam and countless future generations of bambinos would wear.
I’ll admit , I look SUPER adorable in that suit:
In 2019, I was embracing my cosplaying life like the weird fangirl I was and I wasn’t go to apologize for it! A lot of people thought I was crazy and that , as a 33-year-old woman I should grow the f*** up but you know what? Here’s what I thought about what other people thought of me:
Thanks to the friends and family, ESPECIALLY your Spirit Mom Leo, I was comfortable in my own wig-wearing, awesome AF costume donning skin and I wanted to do more of that shit:
As Leo and I embarked on our upcoming 2019 Comic Con Africa trip, I thanked the Gods, Old and New, for helping me find my Wyrdo tribe!
… And no, that is NOT an invitation for you to follow your spirit sister‘s dreams of becoming a skilled performer who dances for rich,handsome men on poles to this song:
As we approached National Women’s Day in 2019, I started thinking about just how much I love you and you don’t even exist yet.
I think about everything I want to teach you, to learn from you, to experience with you for the first time and over and over again. I think about how lovely you’ll be, how utterly unique and how strong you’ll be. I worry about the challenges you’ll face but I know that you will be brave enough to overcome them. I cannot wait to see your endless smiles and wipe away your tears.
Being a woman in South Africa and in the world in my current time is far from easy – in some countries, women’s rights have regressed so much, I fear for my fellow sisters. I know it might hardly have changed in your time but I hope it will be slightly easier.
I could carry on and on about this but I’ll let this TEDX video explain more:
You are blessed, you are wise and you are loved, my daughter.
Kids, in the winter of 2019, your Nan was facing a potential huge health crisis and while I knew I could and would support her as I had through two heart attacks, a stroke and bell’s palsy, I also wanted to take the time to appreciate her.
She’s a tough one, your Nan. She survived an overprotective and religious fanatic father, an abusive marriage, a premature baby, young widowhood, raised two headstrong daughters ( including your rebellious, short-tempered, creative mother), supplemented her nursing degree with post-grad courses, retired, changed careers, returned to nursing and had recently sold her home of 25 years to move into a seaside apartment.
We’d had our differences over the years, mostly because we are alike in so many ways but the one thing that remained unchanged was that no matter how often we fought, we were there for each other when it mattered.
And this health crisis mattered.
Life, Kids, hits you with unexpected curve balls but trust me when I say this: where there is love and family, there is hope and you can and will get through anything.
Kids, in the winter of 2019, your Spirit Mom Leo and I took your god-brother and god-sister Kris and Heidi on a magical night out to watch Disney on Ice at the GrandWest Casino’s Grand Arena.
Despite initially protesting that the show was for children, your moody teenage god siblings ended up singing along to most of the songs and actually enjoying themselves.
During the post- how supper and ride home, though, is where the real magic happened as Kris and Heidi (mostly Heidi, who has been ragging my ass about the dire state of my dating life since she was nine-years-old) proceeded to serve up some hot, unsolicited teenage love advice.
“Fazi, you really should try online dating. It is where all of the cool kids are. Double check those profile photos, though, ’cause they are dodgy” – Heidi
“Fazi, aren’t you too old to have kids? Forty is old!” – Kris (note to reader: I was NOT 40).
“Fazi, maybe you should consider being someone’s side chick. I mean, my YouTube crush is nine years older than me and when I am 18, I am going to be his side chick” – Heidi
Ok, so my Spirit Children still had LOADS of growing up to do before I would take their advice or let them babysit you but I know their quirky little teen hearts meant well.
With Kris and Heidi by my side, your future father was going to have his work cut out for him, trying to pursue me 😉
I’d come back from an offsite meeting and was frantically typing away at my desk when Mr Asshole makes some wisecrack about stripping the boards in the shop.
“No, Fazielah, not stripping like that!”
Seriously, all that was missing from this sleazy throwaway line was this:
Firstly, as mentioned I wasn’t even looking at him or being a part of his conversation with Anthea, my work BFF and secondly:
I kept my resting bitch face in place and ignored him while he asked Anthea if he was seriously not even going to get a smile out of me.
No, Jackass, inappropriate commentary will not be rewarded with smiles.
Anthea left and as Doos 1 walked up the staircase, Jet came running down it, dazzling me with a gorgeous smile and “Hey!”
Naturally, because Jet’s smiles made me go all weak at the knees, I smiled shyly (ok, read that as awkward AF) back at him:
Mr Jackass, seeing my reaction to Jet, angrily turns around and goes:
“What the hell was that, Fazielah?! Why does he get a smile from you and I don’t?!”
I didn’t have the time to explain the simplicity of the fact that Jet being single plus me being single = us being free to smile with each other whenever the actual f*** we please and also it had F*** ALL to do with Doos 1 since he is a married man, who has no right to get mad at me.
Me: “I am not going to dignify that with a response”
Asshole Supreme marched off behind Jet to ask Anthea why he was getting the cold shoulder from me but Jet wasn’t and I laughed out loud.
We’d moved beyond the shy greetings and gentle teasing at the office with plenty of interaction at our recent company staff party. We’d been seen together so often and there were videos of the night’s events where he was caught on camera staring at me, people were constantly asking him if we were a couple.
Which is exactly where our problems began. Jet was apparently SO uncomfortable with all of the goodnatured teasing from our co-workers, he’d start ghosting me (in f***ing person no less!) at the office for a few days each week.
What the actual f***, man?!
If you guys can recall, until roughly seven months prior, I’d barely known Jet existed, let alone that he liked me. Now, when I was finally catching feelings too, Brother Man was getting cold feet and running for the f***ing hills.
He would ignore me during the day but deep like my old Instagram posts at 1am. Are you f***ing kidding me, Boy?!
Listen, to quote my favourite:
Our mutual friends still held out hope for a romantic ending because Jet was always either asking them to help him keep up to date with Game of Thrones so he could talk to me about it, demanding to know what they had done with “his Fazielah” when I was out of the office or pausing on the stairway above my desk until I was forced to look up at him and say Hi.
I, to be quite f***ing honest, was feeling my inner Avengers Ronin on this:
Hope,Kids, would be the death of me…
I deserved far f***ing better than being a 26-year-old’s maybe. I was a “I knew I wanted her from the moment I saw her” kinda girl.
After one of those nasty AF Discovery Wellness days in May, I realised that if I had any hope in hell of giving you guys a healthy mom, it was time to get back on the proverbial fitness horse, no matter how difficult it seemed:
Thus began my long farewell to Netflix and Chill sessions for one with my trusty box of Oreos, chocolate and Amarula and hello Promenade Mondays, Zumba Wednesdays and the occassional fun runs like the 10km Spar Women’s Challenge event:
…to indulging my inner child at adult colouring-in Meet-Ups:
It had taken me more than three decades but I was finally able to just feel myself and be comforable in my own skin:
And everyone, from Jet, my lingering office crush, to my friends and family were feeling my me-ness too. From eagerly wanting to attending comic cons with me to tagging me in every Game of Thrones post ever and sending me sweet treats, celebrating my Wyrdness:
I was loved for me … more importantly, I loved me for me.
Your Dad had no freaking clue how lucky he was about to get by meeting me!