I read this poem in Reader D back in prima, and I always liked it, though I had no idea why. I was in Ndovu house, and later Ruwenzori house, all characterised by yellow t-shirts. The brainy blondes, so to speak.

Yesterday I found out something about myself. It wasn’t said as a bad thing, but it did shake me. Apparently, I’m a flirt. And a tease. I’ve never thought of myself that way, though it seems everyone else does.

Lots of boys have called me a flirt, and I always deny it. To me flirting is something deliberate and dishonest, which is not what I do. What I do is cheer people up, make them feel good about themselves, find the things about them that are beautiful and express said things long and loud.

In other words, I flirt.

I have not had many conversations with boys. Mostly because all the ones I like run away the moment I open my mouth, and the ones I don’t like, well, I generally act like they don’t exist. So it is interesting that the few times I have engaged in talks with boys, it has been online. And that these conversations turn nginginary within the first … well, let’s just say they head that way very fast.

I never gave it much thought until my internetary ‘baby brother’ did the same thing within five minutes of g-talk, and I was like wtf? His explanation was that I led him there. That really bothered me, coz in my mind he’s not really a boy – he’s my brother. And I do not discuss these things with my brothers. Eeew!

But then I got to thinking, and asked a few other boys I know, and they all agreed. I am a flirt, and I tease boys into talking about sex. 🙁 They all said it is not a bad thing, and that they like my open-ness. Did not help.

Some other people think I am an extrovert. I believe that I am not. So now that most people think I am a flirtease, why can’t I just assume they’re wrong and move on with my life?

Well, for one thing, I am susceptible to flirts. And geeks. They make me melt like Azam ice cream. Many many maaaaany times I have fallen for boys simply because they flirted with me. I like being talked to like some nubile godess – who doesn’t? And I got heartbroken soon after when they turned and ran. Coz really, flirts are never serious, and when they notice the darts are starting to land, they run.

So I make a conscious effort not to flirt. If I tell a boy he has pretty eyes, it’s not because I’m flirting. It’s because he has pretty eyes. Maybe it’s not customary for girls to say things like that. Maybe that’s why the boys call me a tease. I have no idea.

Then of course there are those who will swear they are not flirting with me when I am absolutely sure that they are. Maybe they are in denial, or maybe I just hear sweet nothings where none are being whispered.

My friend says he is so dense to flirting he simply never notices it – he says he has been called ‘aloof’ by many frustrated would-be dates. Maybe I’m the opposite, maybe I just hear flirtiness in everyday language, kinda like my orange season thing. Again, I have no idea.

A boy I like is flirting with me. At least I think he is. I have flirted with him before, and it backfired majorly. He wanted to be just friends. So now he has turned tables and I am unsure how to respond. Or whether to respond at all. I really like this boy. He’s one of my best friends and I don’t want to spoil things. No, he does not read my blog. I think.

I had a chat with him yesterday, whining about this whole flirtease saga, and he said, bless the darling sailor boy, that he has never noticed me flirting with him. Which is kind of a strange thing to say, seeing as he is the one person I have – in the past – consciously flirted with, and seeing as I think he is currently flirting with me!

He thinks maybe it is a cultural thing, and that maybe African men perceive flirting differently. He reckons maybe my being nice to boys makes them think I want them, a fact confirmed by one other chatmate from jana [Am I allowed to say your name? No?]

So yeah, allegedly I am a flirtease. I was told one other thing that made me laugh all the way into today, but I can’t say it out loud without feeling Mariah, so I shall simply say this … **grin**

Either way, flirt or not, this isn’t something I am doing. It is who I am. So I need to stop feeling woiye-woiye for myself and just embrace it. And then I need to take D’s advice – a flirt is a flirt is a flirt. I should not take them [or myself] seriously until or unless they propose. Period. It is all a game and nothing more.

Granted there are some people who flirt to test the waters, and if you don’t respond appropriately, they back off. Which is sad, coz maybe me here I was waiting for said proposal. I’m thinking people like that weren’t really serious to begin with. They like you, but they don’t like you enough to take a risk. So anything that came out of that would not likely be valid, or valued.

When somebody really wants you, they lay their cards down, all their cards, na kama mbaya mbaya. If they’re not willing to do that, they’re not really worth your time, and they probably would not try to make you happy. At least, they wouldn’t try very hard.

Anyway, this was supposed to be about blind men and elephants. I think I’m an elephant, different in different bits and pieces. I suppose we all are. One person in my life saw the whole elephant, and he didn’t like it, so I’m afraid to go Full Monty with anyone again. All people see now are bits and pieces – the knee, the ear, the tail. One day soon someone else will see the elephant in all its tusks and glory. I wonder if they’ll like what they see.

The blind men and the elephant

A poem by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said:”E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

♫♫♫♫♫♫

I’m just saying…

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