All men are…

Once again I am disillusioned with relationships. I just found out that a man I respect and admire greatly is, after all, just a man. Sigh.

Said man has been married to my friend for ten years, and they have four beautiful babies, two boys and two girls. He lives in shags where he has a good job, while she lives in nai with the kids. They agreed on this because the kids can get access to better schools in Nai. It was a mutual decision, and he visits them whenever he can. They were, to me, the ideal couple.

In the last few weeks, several women have called my friend up, and contacted her on email and facebook, claiming that she is messing with their man, and that she better step because they are not going to give him up.

She is shocked and traumatised, because, 1. She is his legal wife 2. She has never suspected him of being unfaithful 3. The women have proof of their liasons 4. It is a mixed marriage, and the man’s family approves of these other women, since they are from acceptable tribes 5. The man is not denying it.

When the first woman called, the man mollified his wife and swore he’d end the three-year affair. When the second woman showed up, just days later, the man told his wife to do whatever she wants. He’s not fighting it anymore.

Apparently, the side-dishes are now fighting each other. They all know that he is married, and he made it clear from day 1 that he loves his wife and will not leave her. So the other women have been attacking each other, and when that proved unsuccesful, they turned on the wife. That’s when shit hit, and now my friend is in a state.

The saddest thing is I keep thinking, if this man can cheat, then really, who can be faithful? He says, like many men do, that he loves his wife, and that the affairs are just [longlasting] meaningless flings. He doesn’t even consider it cheating, it’s just scratching an itch, consistently, for a really long time. Everyone does it, he says. That’s why he continues to sleep around yet refuses to leave his wife.

Conventional wisdom says that when your partner cheats, you must have driven them to it. The cheatee must have something that you don’t. They must be providing something that you are not, and that makes it your fault.

But what if the cheatee really is just an itch? What if your partner loves your height and is temporaily tempted by somebody shorter? Or taller? Or darker? Or lighter? Someone with a softer voice, or a louder voice? How do you fight that? And what if, being an itch, they hide the scratcher really really well? How do we tell the difference between an expert hider and a true partner?

If this guy could cheat on that scale and never get caught, then which wife/girlfriend or for that matter husband/boyfriend is safe? All those guys who I thought were real men, maybe they just haven’t been caught yet. Sigh. This sucks.

In related news.

I never did quote that verse in Isaiah [or one of the other major prophets … Jeremiah maybe? Or Ezekiel] that says six women will fight for one man. They will say ‘You don’t have to take care of us or our children, we only want your name’. It’s listed as a sign of the endtimes, together with that ish about getting branded with 666 signs on your forehead or wrist, and not being able to buy or sell without ‘the mark’.

A lot of religious types have theorised about this stuff for ages. I don’t know what theories are real or fake, but I read them and get intrigued. The most popular theory is that the 666 sign will be put on your forehead or wrist via microchip. Theorists say that because, logically, an electronic scanner can check your wrist or head for a barcode-type chip which will let you trade, just like a credit card. It’s a common feature in all futuristic movies and books.

A week or so ago there was an article in the paper about how people are being jacked and forced to drive around with thugs for several days while the thugs empty their accounts via timed ATM withdrawals.You are forced to divulge your pin, then held until your account is dry.

A writer suggested one way to defeat this is to have our ATM codes imbedded into our skin via a chip, so that you have to physically be present to withdraw cash. He suggested that a thug might cut off your finger or wrist and use it to access the cash, lakini the ATM readers can be programmed to read live cells only, so would reject the dead cells in a mutilated body part…

I’m just saying.

When the current pope was being selected, Hal Lindsey of CBN released some prophecy from the 1100s that allegedly listed all the popes from that time till the end of the world. The prophecy stated a bunch of uncannily accurate titbits, including a suggestion that the current pope would be a benedictine. Something about olives and wine, I forget the exact words. That was a week before the pope was selected and chose the name Benedict. There’s also something about three olive trees on his pre-popal gear, I’ve no idea.

It went on to say he would be a transitional pope who would not ‘rule’ for very long [hehehehe, it’s been, what, 5 years now?] and that the pope who takes over from him will be the last. The final pope will allegedly take the name Peter. Again, I’m just saying.

The Anti-christ is supposed to rise after a time of economic breakdown [kinda like a global recession?] and turn the world around into a thriving haven of peace and prosperity. So, me, I’m waiting for the turnaround. When this recession ends and suddenly all’s well with the world and some iconic international figurehead shows up claiming victory, I’m going to buy a 7 year hourglass and a scientific calculator. I’m just saying.

Thinking about stuff like that scares me, in a sense. I’m a believer, so I’m not really afraid for me, except of course for the torture that is prophesied for believers. I’m totally chicken when it comes to pain.

What frightens me is my little girl. Does she share my faith? Does she believe what I believe? Can I help her to believe what I believe? I don’t go to church, my faith isn’t about people or buildings, it’s something I know in my heart. Can I teach that to her? Can I make her think like me?

There’s a verse in Revelations that says the good will go on being good, and the evil will go on being evil. The way the world is now, it’s hard to convince anyone to believe in God unless they already do. That’s what makes me afraid for my little girl. I already believe in God, but does she?

Will she ever grow up and marry and have kids of her own? Will she live to see teenage? Will I grow old? Will I ever find my soulmate? And if I do, will I believe him when he pledges himself to me? Will my trust be justified?

Do all these plans I have for the future matter? Dreams of Sasha the Red, of buying my dream penthouse, of saving for my little girl’s college, of starting my first major investment, of moving from mainstream employment and into my side-hustle … will any of this come true? Does it even matter?

I’m not about to sell all my possessions and find a bunker, I already have my Bible. I’m just wondering if there’s a point to any of this, that’s all. I am realising that we are at a place where now is all that matters. Where the things I do here, the thoughts I think today, well, they could be it. Because tomorrow, there might be someone at my door waving one of those anti-terrorist electronic swipe thingies and asking me to show him my mark.

I’m just saying…

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I need a pause button

I was a huge fan of Ally Mcbeal in the first two or three seasons. I sort of saw myself through her. Well, so did every girl in my high school, but of course I thought she was just so me!

We had endless arguments of ‘I am the real Ally Mcbeal’. That’s what you get when you take 300 bright chicks, lock them up with 50-something nuns, and tell them that boys are devil spawn.

Especially when said boys like to jog past your dorm windows at 5.00 a.m. singing rugby songs and calling particular girls by name. For some strange reason the girl[s] in question would then face the wrath of the nuns and their minions. Like it was somehow her fault that 50 devil spawned rugby players know her middle name…

[Note, that wasn’t me **grin**]

But I digress. My point was I have a lot of Mcbealesque … traits. And a few wannabe traits too. For example, how I wish I could wear her hankie skirts. But alas, le sigh, no guts, no heels [knock knees], no glory.

My first Ex used to say I remind him of Ally. I’m not sure it was a compliment, but hey, I can be naively positive when it suits me, and right now, it suits me. So I say muchos gracias.

[Eeeeeeew, Six pence none the richer’s ‘Kiss me’ in what sounds like Japanese!! Creepy!!]

One of my Mcbealesque-isms is to wish my life had a soundtrack, just like hers. My theme song would be … never mind that. I do sometimes hear songs in my head and dance to them, and I often lol to jokes no one else can hear. Probably a little-known effect of living in headphones, yes?

But more than a soundtrack, what my life really needs is a pause button. You know, some switch-controlled mechanism to freeze me before I do something stupidly CB. Because, clearly, not everything can be explained away by being INFJ. Sometimes, my blonde moments are just down to me being me.

[PS: Simple Plan singing a Beatles song inside my headphones is really very disturbing. **puzzled frown**]

Okay. So, let’s put this in a way I can comprehend. As an INFJ, my least developed function is Se. Extroverted sensing. That’s the spontaneity gene, the one that does stuff that feels good, just because. This is the function that rules impulse. It is also the one that strikes me least often, since I’m pretty solid and structured, and plan my actions months, sometimes years in advance.

But once in a while, I get the impulse to do something that would otherwise be considered stupid. Like call a boy four times. Yeah, I know.

See, I am not wooing this boy. I don’t do that anymore. No wait, I need to explain this in a little more detail. There are actually several boys involved. None of whom I am wooing. Some are new friends. Some are old friends. Some are almost friends. One is a boss. But they are all boys, and girls are generally not supposed to call boys. It makes them look, you know, stupid. Because boys are used to making the first move. They are used to calling girls, for whatever reason. So when a girl calls them up, 2 times out of 3, it is a booty call.

Enter me, who routinely calls boys because, well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I have endless reasons for calling boys. I called one boy because I wanted to hear his voice, and because we have the same tariff and I had two hours of tariff-specific free talktime. I don’t know anyone else on that tariff … and we sorta-kinda had a thing … and I had to use the free minutes, they’d expire in seven days!

I called another boy because he called me then mysteriously got disconnected. Maybe he ran out of credit. Or network. What, don’t look at me like that. He had something I wanted. Head out of gutter please, it wasn’t like that.

Then I called the boss boy because he said I could call him anytime, and I needed his email, you know, to avoid giving off the wrong impression with endless cell calls.

I called a third [um.. fourth?] boy because he’s one of my best friends and we hadn’t talked in ages, and I wanted to bully him into doing something for me. Mweheheh. He never commented on the **ahem *ahem *several* cough ** missed calls. I called yet another boy because I needed advice, and it wasn’t the kind of thing you can ask on text.

So yeah, I routinely call boys. No, it’s not that I have a lot of credit, it’s just that sometimes I need to use my cellphone. Mind you I rarely get called myself. I never actually know where my phone is because if I’m not dialling, then it’s not active. That’s why I get so jazzed when a boy actually spends talktime on me.

Again, I digress. My point here is about flawed logic. See, I’m a handbag person. And a shoe person, as I recently realised. Which means I can’t resist a pretty bag or a neat pair of [mostly flat] shoes. My handbags are extreme. They’re either really tiny or really huge. And they are always always full of junk. Finding something in my handbag is like hunting for easter eggs.

As a result, the few times I get a phonecall, I have to scavenge my bag for ages before I give up and empty all the contents in search of my phone. Then I have to figure out which of the two identical phones [Nokia 1210 I think, the black one with the torch?] is ringing. So I usually pick my phone on the twelfth ring. Or I find the caller has given up so I call back.

Hence, I am very patient when I call people. If you don’t pick, I will assume you are rummaging in your bag, so I will call again. Then I will assume you have left your phone somewhere, so I will text. Then I will assume you forgot to respond, so an hour later, I will call again.

Then at some point it will eventually hit me that when someone, especially a boy, comes in from wherever, and sees four missed calls and two texts, they are probably thinking stalker alert!!

Eventually the person will text to explain why they didn’t take the call and what do I do? I immediately call again. And they don’t answer. It is at that point that I realise that perhaps calling is not such a good idea, yeah? Yet a few minutes later my itchy fingers will be dialling some other person’s number. This has happened four times in the last 24 hours … with four different people! Tsk tsk. This is not a good day for phonecalls, clearly.

Oh well, at least I am earning bonga points, yeah?

In related news, somebody needs to invent some kind of frequent flyer scheme for Safaricom and Zantel. Seriously. And I don’t mean postpaid…

PS: The police in Dar have issued a memo to international companies, banks et al warning about a gang of violent robbers. There have been three armed robberies in my hood in the last three months, and that’s a lot for Dar, where we mostly get petty thefts, and where any unusual crime is blamed on Kenyans. This time, the cops have stated clearly that the said gang includes Kenyans, and have issued hotlines for info leading to their arrest. For someone living and working in Dar, it just got that much harder to be Kenyan.

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I was snooping around here, and … well … I guess I’m a little befuddled right now. So pardon incoherence, this is one of my self-seeking-clarity posts, it is allowed to not make any sense. It’s a**move along, nothing to see here** kinda thing.

When I first read those posts, I was really irritated. I thought ‘not another one, though at least this one is funny’. But I have to admit, there’s something wrong with me thinking all of ‘them’ are not normal. See, when you walk into a room of fifty people, and 49 of them are insane, it’s time to consider whether perhaps it’s you that isn’t ‘normal’.

It is very easy for me to dismiss people that don’t see things the way I do. But that writes off the human race, since very few people think like me. It’s down to basic projection. I value honesty, openess and trust, self disclosure and cuddles. So I give what I would like to receive. And since few people function like I do, they can’t handle it. They enjoy it at first, because it is novel, it’s something they haven’t encountered before. But after a while, they feel imposed upon and smothered. They just can’t handle it.

I”ve been accused of putting people into little boxes and making assumptions about them. I never mean it as an offense, I believe everyone has their own social fingerprint. It’s just that my mind operates by breaking things down into workable bits before I analyse them in depth.

So my generalisations are only ever a starting point. They are never an end in itself. I will class you into male or female, introvert or extrovert, SJ or NT, geek or bully, then I will look at you as you, see how similar or different you are from others in the box, what makes you tick. The world is my lab, and you are all guinea pigs. But you know what, I like guinea pigs. They’re cute, and I like cute.

I’m very stubborn about being myself and speaking my mind, even when no one wants to listen. Sometimes, especially when no one wants to listen. I tell myself that I am unique and special to be this way, and that anyone that doesn’t agree can go … yes, that one.

But I have this … pattern. When I make new friends, especially guys [coz girls are really complex, they scare me!!], they find me interesting for a while, then they tune me out. Yes EB, I know what you said about generalising, but I can only base my assumptions on what I have experienced. I will agree, grudgingly, to be proved wrong.

So today, after reading that post and hearing from someone whose opinion I trust that it is all true, I got upset. Because I have done every one of the forbidden items on that list, and I still don’t see why I should stop doing it. To me, that equates pretending, playing a role, not being myself. Why should I be like everyone else?

In my little mind, people who think like that writer are a little … loopy, and I will find that special boy who is not. After all, I’m INFJ, we are apparently [and i have no proof of this] very rare, so naturally, the superbeing that can love a nut like us is equally rare, yes? Maybe so, but if I want to function in this here world, I need to pluck my head out of my … that one, and get with the programme. Either that or I need to stop being so shattered every time my beloved ones do ‘normal’ things.

When I like someone, I feel free around them. I speak uncensored. I say whatever comes into my head in the very moment that it does. People seem to like that at first, but then it gets pretty old pretty fast and they begin to ignore me. I find that I’m talking at them instead of talking to them. I don’t think it’s that they value me any less, they just get, you know, tired. Too much of anything is wearying. Plus, I’m giving them what I need, not what they need, so they’re getting nothing out of it and they start to stay away.

Thing is, if I could get a nice solid reason to stop saying all that idiot stuff I say, then I would. Seriously. I like things to make sense. My world does not compute otherwise. For example, I learnt from one of my angels that people simply do not like hearing the truth. The average person will tell you ‘be honest’ and then they will hate you for it. Hence ‘do i look fat?’

People will say ‘just be yourself’, until they see you actually being yourself. Hence the demise of marriage. Spouses let their guard down and ‘be themselves’ and the spousees simply can’t handle it, so they cheat or leave. My solution to that has been to expose my warts from day one so that if people are going to be scared away, it happens early.

That rarely works, because people are used to faking and putting up fronts, so they assume I’m doing it too. Meanwhile, I am thinking that I am being accepted for me, and getting more and more comfy, so that when it hits the person that I’m for real and they take off screaming, I get shellshocked.

To successfully interact with people, you have to give them what they want. I don’t mean giving in to peer pressure, I mean that if you want someone to talk to you, you have to talk about stuff they like. Sometimes that means pretending. Sometimes it means compartmentalizing, only showing them what is acceptable, what they can handle. I think that’s really really sad.

I’ve never interacted with people before, because I didn’t want to get hurt. I am a proverbial easy bruiser, and I have a phobia for pain that not even childbirth has cured.  Lately I’ve been doing more of that, meeting people and talking with them getting to know them. Strictly online of course, because I live in Dar and few people here make sense.

In a few weeks I’m going home, and I hope to meet some of my online friends for real. I’m pretty excited about it, because I really have not mingled before, and surprisingly, I didn’t feel particularly nervous. Until I read those posts. I know it’s a riddiculously whole lot to draw from something so little, but that’s how my mind works. Everything is linked. So if one brick gets dislodged, my whole system comes tumbling down.

Suubsequently, the more I mingle, the more I want to crawl back into my hermit cave. People are just too complicated. Dealing with them is way too much work. And it doesn’t even burn any calories. Ai !! The whole process of finding out what different people are interested in and engaging them takes a lot of effort, and sometimes it’s just plain boring. It is so much better to say I will stick to people who see things like I do, share my interests, my passions, my desires, but again, that pretty much writes off humanity.

I’d like to think there are people out there who can consistently enjoy the person that I am. So far, I have found two, and how I adore them. Thing is, they are both very … how you say … closed. They keep things in. So I don’t know how much I mean to them, or if I mean anything at all, and I’m the kind of person that needs to know that.

But I suppose the fact that they alone, of all my intimates, bear with me constantly, means they do care. Or maybe they just haven’t tired yet. Maybe they just hide their unease and wearidom better than everyone else. I hope they won’t tire of me soon. And I pray that I’m as big a support to them as they are to me, because each day I see my group of intimates shrink as more and more of my angels lose their will to fly. I guess I’ll never really know, because they can’t express themselves in a way that I can understand. I need to somehow learn their language.

I have often wondered why certain people are afraid of me, guys specifically, and why they keep running away once they get to know me. It occured to me very clearly today. It’s because I am a child. When people look at me, they see an alpha female, and that’s a pull factor. But once I speak, and they see my soft, unfiltered, unadulterated heart, speaking without thinking, flirting without knowing, teasing without meaning, they realise that I’m just a kid.

I suppose I’ve known that all along, but it’s never been this lucid in my mind. I am me. I can pretend to be all grown up, or I can wallow in my childhood and find someone fun to play with, it’s entirely up to me. But when it comes to my dear ones, if I want to be with them at all, I have to learn to reach them at their levels. That means I need to learn smalltalk and boytalk and girltalk, because in this world of grown ups, very few people want to play.

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