Monthly Archives: August 2009

An Open Letter …

SleepDeprived

Dear useless motherfucker ruining my sleep Dude Who Lives Upstairs:

RE: Noise Disturbance At 5 O’Clock In The Fucking Morning

Look, most of the time you are nice and we tolerate each other. When a hurricane beckons you knock and let me know that you have extra supplies and you would be willing to share if we run out. You offered your place as refuge that one time it was flooding and water was sloshing around the patio and threatening to flow into the apartment. We greet each other, exhange pleasantries and random stories and nod hello to each other when we meet in the outside world.

Cos we live in a “scratch my back I scratch yours” kinda environment we let some things slide. I say nothing about the thump thump thump that I hear when you are dancing? killing roaches? in the dead of night and you don’t report me when me and my friends get a litte rowdy during the weekends. I don’t roll my eyes when one of your girlfriends makes small talk when we meet and she goes on and on about how awesome you are when the day before I had exhanged pleasantries with yet another woman who is under the illusion that she is your one and only. That’s why when I come home a abit inebriated and me and my peeps go bombs away in the pool at 4.30 in the morning you let it slide and don’t report me to the leasing office for noise violations.

I’m not sure why you have all these women swarming around you – are your private bits made out of tiramisu? Are your bodily fluids composed of caffeine? I don’t know, that’s your business. All I’m going to say is start making plans to copyright your shit and start selling your mojo by the bucketful. The squeak squeak squeak and that one woman who is a screamer has everyone in a two apartment radius knowing your name and reaching for a cigarette after some of your sessions.

You know what’s unnaceptable? You not keeping your schedule straight and having girlfriends bumping into each other at 5 in the morning. Cos I was woken up by glass being smashed everywhere, shouting and screaming and when I turned on my pation light y’all had moved your discussion to the steps and weaves were being pulled. The grandma who lives next door, bless her cookie distributing heart, was freaked out enough to call the cops. Lights were coming on all over the complex as you tried to separate the two. Folks were too stunned to do anything when the one in a nurse’s uniform when to the parking lot and started busting up your car. Maybe she had a shit day and finding another woman with you was just the last straw and she had had enough. Not than anyone would have stopped her: a woman wielding a tire iron should not be messed with.

Do you know how hard it is for me to find sleep? Most nights I clock in four or five hours if I’m lucky which is why I’m not a morning person – when I get out of bed I’m pissed that my body has refused to indulge me and that nothing I do will make me doze off again. At the time of the ruckus I was in hour six. That’s right. This was one of the few nights that I had spent ages preparing for – long bath, herbal tea, the soothing sound of BBC radio in the backgroud … today is going to be a bitch of a day and you and your drama ruined what was supposed to be good night’s sleep. Fuck you and your wanna be player ways. Now I have to sweep glass of my patio, listen to the clomping of HPD up and down the stairs as they try to gather stuff for their incident report and sulk cos chances that I will have a 6th hour of sleep tonight is just a rumour.

And, scratch that idea of having a patent pending on your mojo. There are plenty of single people in this world who get laid without having to promise the world to the object of their lust. Don’t let the romance movies and stereotypes fool you – there are plenty of women willing to fuck just as long as you are upfront with them. The drama only begins when you try to be smart and do stupid teenage shit like saying it’s the two of you forever and kumbe the only forever you mean is from the time you unwrap the condom until the moment you cum. Your game is weak! If they don’t kick you out for being in violation of your lease I’ll (and I’m sure everyone else who was up and pissed) will give you a few tips on how to handle your business without it resulting in two crazed women running amok at the crack of dawn and waking us all up. The only upside to this is that I saw the Indians with their high tech night vision having camera filming. At some point this week I’ll have to ask them if they got anything I missed. I won’t be doing it out of malice. It’s a learning experience at the very least on things I will never do lest shit hits the fan.

Best,

Your Mostly Pissed But Increasingly Amused Downstairs Neighbour.

P.S

Ladies! Haven’t you ever heard of the term chicks before dicks? Why are you fighting each other and he is the one who hatched the evil scheme to two time you? Actually there is a number three but those are details you won’t appreciate hearing right now. It boggles the mind – I would have understood ganging up on him (not co signed it, but understood it nontheless) but on each other? No need! Despite him having the magic stick methinks y’all can do better and get your whatever on elsewhere.

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Their Way Or The Highway

Thank you But NoAgain with the Jehovah’s Witness people coming around asking me random questions. This time they brought me their leader who pushed me over the edge.

Here’s the thing – I try to be nice to them when they come knocking. I figure they get so many rude comments and slammed doors as they do their proselytizing that the least I can do as a human being is engage them for a minute and then firmly turn them away. I thought I did  that two weeks ago when I told them that yes, I am aware of heaven but no, please don’t leave me with your Watchtower magazines cos honestly I wouldn’t read them. I was brought up catholic and should the need or feeling arise to go to mass there is a church about two traffic lights away I can go to. They have bible study too so no, I do not want random people in my apartment telling me how their version of Christianity is better than the other eleventy billion versions out there. Congratulations on having found your spiritual path but I want no part of it.

I’m a bit ambivalent when it comes to religion. I do believe there is a supreme being out there and my understanding of it tends to lean towards the Christian way. What tends to turn me off is the random picking of passages from religious books to justify all sorts or wrong doings all in the name of some god who will only be pleased when you assure him/her/they through your actions and words that you are willing to trample on the rest of humanity for the sake of salvation. This is the main reason why I want to be more spiritual and less religious. Religion tends to be more “my way is better than your way” and spirituality is more I will better myself and others and try to see the humanness in everyone. At least, that’s my interpretation. Still working on it but I’m in no rush to define anything.

So. They come knocking and silly me I just open the door without looking through the peephole cos I was expecting company. So I start on the whole smile be nice and lets wrap up this conversation in 60 seconds or less cos I got stuff to do.  But nooo, this lady and her entourage are persistent. Shoving copies of the Watchtower in my face and asking me if I am aware of the joy of being a Christian and then start rambling about how the sick shall be healed, the lame shall walk, the dumb shall speak, quality wine will flow from my kitchen faucet on demand, tiramisu will suddenly become nutritious, I will finally have the mabuyu I have been craving* … the last few are wishful thinking on my part but had they mentioned anything like that I would have been more willing to entertain them.

I cut them short and told them thanks but no thanks. I was aware of the promise of utopia and all that good stuff but I still don’t want their literature or have them invite themselves over to teach me their ways, fascinating as they might be. The leader then says “I was under the impression that you were a believer looking for enlightenment” and then starts again about how it will rain mango margaritas every day  but all I was thinking was what? These people have been keeping record of everything I tell them in those few minutes I indulge them to be polite? Creepy enough that they were referring to me by my name like we knew each other but this whole everything you say will be recorded  and we will come back and use that info to try and get to you was a bit too much for me.

Then came the most puzzling part of the whole interaction. She asked me if I was baptized and I said yes, I was. Y’all are already aware I identify as catholic. She says no, really baptized.

*crickets*

I was not aware that there were people who still thought that being catholic was still not Christian enough. Don’t get me wrong, I could go on and on about the transgressions of the catholic church – misogyny homophobia, all round general assholery but isn’t it still based on the fact that there is one god, they believe in Jesus and so on and so forth? I asked her what she meant by really baptized and she told me … nothing. Nice as I was trying to be I wasn’t really into debating the minutiae of Christian doctrine since we aren’t on the same page to begin with.** When she started going on about how rent cheques would float from the sky at the end of every month (I so wish that was what she was trying to push, the pool is just a few steps from my door and I would have let her baptize me right then and there) I reminded her that there were signs everywhere saying “no solicitation” and to take me off their list or whatever they use to track these visits. This is why people are rude. Her pushiness was just off putting and her desire to let me know how wrong I was just bothered me.

I’m off to a barbeque, even though I can’t eat any meat.*** I will definitely eat before I leave home since the concept of vegetarian is foreign to the hosts. When the barbeque is lets buy some meat, make some ugali and kachumbari and everyone bring alcohol deviating from the “menu” will just confuse people. And no way am I just going to eat ugali and kachumbari so its best I be full when I get there.

*I have been on a serious hunt for mabuyus for the past few days. Looking at this picture just makes my mouth water. I want mabuyus!

** I know that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that one should only be baptized by those old enough to make a conscious decision but she told me none of that. Only that mine didn’t count cos it wasn’t “real” and since she couldn’t be bothered to put forward her argument in an engaging way I did not bother.

*** My get away last weekend did a number on me and now everytime I even think of eating animal protein I break out in hives. I generally just cut down for a few days and I can get back on the meat and eggs wagon but this is lasting longer than I thought so my diet is sans animal protein right now. I just hope this isn’t permanent. A week or two is fine but no way can I do this permanently.

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Thoughts on Being a Wendy

Well lookie here. I was going through my documents file and I found a post I had started and then totally forgotten about (I blame that on the fact that I have the attention span of a housefly). I actually don’t remember it being this long cos I could swear I spent at most 20 minutes on it. Anyhoo. I’ve added a few things here and there but mostly its being posted as is. I may change my mind on some of the conclusions I have come to later because this was written in the spur of the moment. Also I haven’t read this in a while so some of the details I remember are a bit murky. On to the ramblings!

I was reading a post by the awesome Kaasa (I lurk there a lot but I absolutely love some of the insights that she has) and reading it was interesting but it is the comments that really got me thinking.

Also, Peter Pan existed (it could be argued) largely ’cause Wendy and Tinker Bell indulged him.

and

We attract that which we emanate, period.

Contrary to what a guy friend told me about that post, it had nothing to do with bashing men and everything to do with discussing a certain type of man a lot of women (and men, here I don’t discriminate :-)) have come into contact with, whether having grown up with them, being in a relationship with them or just generally in life. This disclaimer is necessary, cos some of y’all read posts and leave comments in my Facebook inbox or via I.M bitching about random things so this is just me saving you some time. Lakini sign up for an account and/or comment here or something, don’t be shy!

Reading those two statements really made me wonder about a lot of the things that have happened this year and a lot about myself. One, I discovered that all my actions point to the fact that when it comes to relationships I really am a Wendy and/or a Tinkerbell. Probably a combination of both with more of the former being a factor. Two, if I really do attract what I emanate, what in the world am I putting out there? Recent events that read like an episode arc from the Bold and the Beautiful made me step back and really evaluate what exactly is going on.

Here’s the thing about being involved with a Peter Pan – he is one fun dude. Once you help him reattach his shadow (i.e help him get over some hurdle in his life or whatever) it’s a whole new experience with filled with adventure and excitement where you are the focus. See, he needs you and some things just can’t get done without you. For a while at least, you are in a fantasy world and things are perfect. You forget, or don’t see, that he is Peter Pan for a reason – he never grows up and has the emotional maturity of a teenager waay after he is supposed to have evolved.

After a while though, Neverland kinda sucks. It’s all good for him because after all, it is his world and you are supposed to play by his rules. Queries about any state of affairs you think need addressing will be rebuffed with a “it’s just the way things are, I can’t help it”.  

Translation: look, things are fine. I’m cool, I don’t see what you are going on about. You go sort yourself out and then come back when you are ready to fit into my world and play by my rules.

Justification will be given for maltreatment repeatedly and in the most baffling ways. And god forbid you actually want to have serious conversations that are not Neverland related. Somewhere in the course of the conversation it will become all about him and relationship issues are put to the side, let alone times when you need support when you are going through something. Some days you may hear the “it’s because I love you so much and that’s why I hurt you” speech which is just … yeah.There is also the classic response which is just silence that you are meant to interpret and then proceed to fix through the process of osmosis or something.

Translation: What, you want us to talk this out? Really? Cos I sure as hell don’t feel like. Serious conversations where I have to take into consideration the feelings of others are not my thing, sorry.  ME! ME! ME! If it’s not about me then whatever, dude. What do you mean you have feelings too? OMG you mean you actually want me to put some effort into this shit and actually talk to you about … stuff? That’s not about me? You’re ruining EVERYTHING! *spying a new potential Wendy* You seem nice, be with me. That other woman (sucking teeth) with all the questions and demands …. (sighing heavily) … only you can help me. Please? I promise it will be fun and I’ll show you the time of your life. *cue puppy dog eyes*

Hehe. That was one long translation. Lakini anyone who knows me is aware of my tendency to be long winded and lack of ability to summarize. Anyway. On and on it goes.  The Wendy speaks up or gets frustrated and Peter dismisses her. It either goes one of three ways, Wendy leaves and a replacement for her is found, she stays and attempts to evolve herself and their interaction and he just wanders off and finds another playmate or they both stick to the role playing as long as it benefits them both.

Some people reading this would wonder, why would a person stay and put up with all that nonsense? Find a real man, they exist and are not as few as the rumours say they are! Thing is though, as easy as it is to rag on the Peter Pans of this world, something is fundamentally dysfunctional with both him and the woman who hangs around despite the realization that something about their being together disconcerts her. That sometimes is the hardest thing to face up to because as tiresome as being in that relationship is one can always choose to walk away. He tells you and shows you he is unwilling to accommodate you in the slightest and reminds you constantly that you are on a precarious pedestal and one wrong move on your part and the magic will be gone and yet you stay put. If walking away from Neverland is incomprehensible despite the fact that it has lost its luster then something is wrong. At some point you have to admit that yes, that pedestal you are up on appeals to you on some level and not being on it or in on the fun scares you and that’s why you remain. Am I saying its healthy? No. Can I relate on multiple levels? Absolutely.

Most Wendys get sucked in and (sometimes) stay because they are capable of sustaining that symbiotic relationship. For some, that works for them, they are happy to put their significant other first and take on the role of caretaker and fixer upper. Those who find that they aren’t up to the challenge or don’t meet the high standards either have to ‘fess up to themselves about their own role in the entire debacle or risk falling into a cycle of dealing with an endless stream of Peter Pans for the rest of their lives.

Peter Pans do sometimes grow up. At some point most of them just evolve past the navel gazing or find a woman who helps him jump past that final hurdle into emotional adulthood. It’s not all doom and gloom, people do change. As for those who don’t god help the women who sustain their world view or help them along the process because I discovered I don’t have it in me anymore. It’s exhausting and not sustainable at all. Worst of all, it’s always your fault on some level and then you are portrayed as the harpy who just wouldn’t let him be free and wouldn’t accomodate the nice, fun guy. Not. Happening.

So, I parted ways with one Peter Pan earlier this year, almost ended up with another this summer. It was all in fun, this fling and part of my single and loving it tour of ’09. As things got more serious there was an incident and I was like uhm, I think you crossed a line there. Answer? It’s just the way I am, I can’t help it. The déjà vu started kicking in. A few weeks later, same line was crossed and the explanation was its because he cares so much and that’s why he does the things he does. No apology, no acknowledgement of how his actions might affect me or others just a statement. Anyone who was taking a walk through my mind at that moment would have seen whistles blowing, alarm bells ringing, smoke signals being sent, the works. Different situation, different man, same responses. I was dealing with yet another Peter Pan so I slowly backed away and broke into a sprint as soon as I was round the corner. Well, not literally but you get my drift. I guess my Wendyism ran far deeper than I thought. It was back to evaluating what I was emanating.

One thing does give me pause and make me smile though. Wendy left Neverland, never to return.* Here’s hoping I never go back either.

*Lets forget the part of the book where Wendy goes back to Neverland for spring cleaning purposes and her daughter Jane eventually ends up there. It will mess with my moment 🙂

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Adventures in Babysitting

This past Friday afternoon I ended up baby sitting a trio of absolute darlings. Entertaining two four year olds and an eight year old can be quite taxing, don’t get me wrong. Lakini  trust me, when you have a child in your charge who makes you believe that if the devil had spawn he would be it then three little girls who are easy to entertain and most importantly don’t talk back you begin to appreciate the little things.

That little boy aka Spawn will have a hard life ahead of him. I know next to nothing about parenting but his folks must be the most laid back Kenyans ever when it comes to child rearing. Most of the time they seem to be content to let this alleged phase of his ride out but hearing other parents I know plan activities specifically because the Spawn will be unable to attend lead me to believe that something must be off.

It feels weird sitting back critiquing another person’s decisions when it comes to how they raise their child. I don’t have kids of my own and from what my mother tells me I was quite the little brat while I was younger. The story of how I locked my siblings, cousins and house help in the house at age four and went all the way from Buru Buru phase III to Jericho to visit a family friend is just one of many. Amusing to hear about now but then they were at a loss as to what to do with me then.

Then again, at that age, I knew better than to take a sip of an adults drink just because their head was turned away for a moment (at bbqs and such he is the reason everyone holds on to their glasses and bottles – he has downed more alcohol that way than any four year old should) because that would earn me a beating I would never forget. I never attempted to open a car door when it was still in motion just because I felt like. I was naughty but there are limits. His parents are the sweetest people in the world though and I really feel for them, it can’t be easy.

See, this is where living in a foreign country gets to be complicated. Back home there is an attitude of it takes a village and all that. It didn’t matter where I was or with who, whether family members or family friends or just adults in general I would be put in check if I stepped out of line. An adult could not just stand by as you attempted to stick your finger in a socket or threw random knick knacks at others as a game. Living here however is a totally different story. In a place where personal space is considered the norm and mind your own business is the motto it’s hard to figure out when to reprimand a child, even one you know well without the parents freaking out and calling Child Protective Services on your ass because they didn’t appreciate your tone (yes this has happened, even among various immigrants I know).

I usually see this conflict going on at gatherings where the Spawn is present. On one hand there is the “the parents will handle it” kind of attitude going on. As time goes one you can tell the adults getting more uncomfortable as he climbs over them with his dirty shoes, peeks into their purses and holds up tampons for all to see (true story) attempts to drink the scotch left unattended as the parents just watch and you can almost hear the wheels turning. Do I tell him to behave? Do I make him stop because this is getting ridiculous? Why are they just sitting there ignoring him? Good god, if he were mine …

They plan on taking him to Kenya to visit his grandparents soon and though the Spawn has his good moments I can’t imagine the difficulty he will have in an environment where folks are less likely to care about reprimanding you because CPS might come knocking at their door. This living in dual cultures can be tricky sometimes, it makes the hard job of parenting even harder. Even though I don’t plan to be a mother anytime soon it makes you really think and wonder about some things. Having a child to care and be responsible for has got to be the most under appreciated job in the world. I know I only came to understand the complexity of what my parents did for all the children they brought up, mistakes and all when I got into my twenties.

The eight year old I had over had the same problem although a bit different in nature. As children often do she just randomly told me that she isn’t looking forward to going back to school because she has no friends. When I asked her why she said it’s because she is African. Now, even though both parents are black her father is Kenyan and considering the amount of time she has spent in this country she is as American as can be. I’m guessing the one drop rule has many applications. It did break my heart a little because kids are by their nature cruel and thoughtless especially at that age and using the term African as a pejorative may be something they forget but she is going to carry that with her for a very long time.

It was fun hanging out with them though. It was way too hot to stay in so I took them swimming (something I would never have considered had the Spawn been around) came back in and proceeded to make muffins. Cleaning up after was a bit hilarious because how flour found its way in every crevice imaginable in the kitchen I cannot even begin to comprehend. I discovered that I am my mothers daughter because as they were playing dress up I made them “walk down the runway” modeling their stuff. It reminds me of how back home we would model our outfits every time we bought something new or were dressing up to go someplace.

When it was time for them to go they were a bit reluctant and the mother was joking that she should leave them at my place. I think the novelty would wear out quick. It’s easy for kids to like you when you only have them for an afternoon at a time where its all fun and games and you are not the main disciplinarian in their lives. And for now, I’m quite happy just being the fun “aunt” for limited amounts of time and then going back to living the rest of my life.

Well, I started off writing this with something totally different in mind but as always, my mid wandered and I got off topic. I was going to write about how dating in general is just weird for me and how I think it’s a little bit overrated at times. Seeing as I have done more than sufficient procrastination for one day maybe next time.

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