I had tons of different titles for this post. Yeah, it’s been one of those weeks. I considered doing a separate post for each title, but my mind is kind of fried today, for lots of reasons. One is that the little one has chicken pox. I’ve had it twice. Yes, twice. I asked the doctor if that was possible. Her response?

“Diseases don’t read books.”

We’re waiting to see if I’ll catch it a third time. I had this weird ache on the side of my head yesterday, and I do feel really itchy. But I lack the fever and the reddish zits, so maybe it’s a mild attack. Meanwhile, princess sucks at being a patient. Bed rest is alien to her, and her hordes of fans keep calling her outside.

She’s spent the last three days outdoors despite having a pink, pockmarked face. She only came in yesterday because:

‘The new children were looking at me badly.’

Poor thing. As we speak, her gang has been divided into pre-and-post-chicken pox, and all the post crowd are hanging out in my living room while the pre group are skulking outside looking miserable. Princess for Mayor! *grin* Moving on.

2. They took my eyebrows and made me a Burke!


I have watched a total of three episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, so it’s weird I know so much about the show. I guess it’s just one of those things, like Supra, and Vitz. BTW, I looked it up. It’s also a sports car. Who knew?

Anyway, a few months ago, I discovered the eyebrow people at Beauty Options. I’m not much of a girl, so I don’t pay attention to girly hair and grooming. But I do occasionally fuss about my eye thingies. With a razor blade. So I passed by yesterday and got a different razor chick. She spent an awful lot of time snipping at my eyelids, and she used three different blades and some scissors. I was getting seriously worried.

When she grabbed an eye pencil and scribbled on my forehead, I was just about ready to faint. So when she held up the mirror, I blinked so I wouldn’t have to see. Then I went shoe shopping for comfort. Bata has the most adorable collection of shoes. I spent nearly 5K in there. Most of it was for princess. She got school shoes, sports shoes, plastic shoes, and girly pink Northstar shoes. I got 400 bob sneakers and a backpack.

I did spend a large amount of time drooling at red heels and tan wedges. I almost bought some too, except I know I’d never wear them. It’s silly to buy beautiful shoes and then spend a few years staring at them. I have the same relationship with thigh length power suits, and I swear they confuse me no end.

I had a tea date right after, so I was careful not to look in any mirror. My date was one of those guys who keep eye contact. I like that in a guy. But now that I think about it, he may have been looking at my eyebrows. *groan* Almost two days later, I’m still looking at the blade work. It feels a little … strange … but at least they look better than Sofia on Machachari.

I talked over many things with my new tea friend. I have this very odd habit of liking [or disliking] people on sight, and once I do, I’ll spill my whole life out in six seconds or less. So it was that I stared at the eyes of this virtual stranger – pun intended – and told him I fall for each boy that I meet. Well, almost every boy. I know there must some Freudian theory for that. Which brings me to my next alternate title.

3. Hi. My name is 3CB, and I watch Dr. Phil


I’m not proud of it. I’m not the type of girl that watches Dr. Phil, but hey, it turns out I am. I also claim I’m not the type of girl that watches soaps. It’s because I get too emotionally involved. Every time Justin bullied Jessie, I’d be upset for hours, maybe even days! And I still can’t believe she picked him over Luigi. Again, please note that I have only watched 3 episodes, including the finale. Just once, I’d like the hot soapie diva to end up with the nice guy. I mean, stranger things have happened, right?

Every weekend, Princess watches reruns of Talang Dalawa, Marimar or Storm. But this Sunday, I was nabbed. After spending hours begging her to change the channel, she agreed to go outside and play. Our host then disappeared for a few minutes and came back to find me watching … Shree.

I tried explaining that it wasn’t technically a soap, because it’s really quirky and funny. It’s more like a pseudo-naija comedy, except it’s from India. I said I didn’t follow it religiously. I just bumped into it once in a while. But then my host asked a random question about Madu, and ended up I explaining how she’s pretty but she doesn’t get along with Nikita, and that Shree is afraid of cats, and that Hari married Shree by force, and that her father is a priest, and that the bottle is really an evil spirit, and … yeah, she gave me the exact same look.  Sad really.

But the contradiction is not very surprising. I once told a pal I’d like to marry a rich man so I can read books all day, but that it was highly unlikely. I’m not girly enough to be a trophy wife. My friend’s jaw dropped for a few seconds, then she burst out laughing. She thought it was a feeble attempt to draw her into an argument.

Anyway, back to Dr. Phil. I don’t watch all episodes. Some of them are a bit silly. But a lot of times, the stuff he says makes sense. My favourite ex hated that about me. We had this one conversation that went:

‘Well, I was trying to write, but I got distracted by Dr. Phil and…’

‘Oh GOD!’

‘What.’

‘Okay look … how is it self-help if you’re getting it from someone else?’

‘…’

Hehehehe.

Anyway, I got The Ultimate Weight Solution on audio via torrent. I got the book too, via www.kalahari.com. I’m waiting for it to be delivered. I’ve tried listening to the files for a week now, and he makes a lot of sense when he talks. The trouble is … I keep dozing off. I’ve learnt a few lessons though. I’ll apply them as soon as I get the book and take notes without falling asleep.

 

I learn stuff from the show too. Like I told my new friend, I develop a crush on just about every boy that I meet. I don’t know why. Dr. Phil would say I’m starved for male attention, so I’m attracted to any boy that’s vaguely nice to me. He’d probably say it’s a daddy thing.

The trouble is that I’m largely choleric and strongly self reliant. I was just raised that way. So it takes very little for a boy to be labelled as nice. All he has to do is buy me a non-alcoholic drink without me having to bully him into it. Tea, mala, or milkshake is preferable. Buying cake or pizza works too. Buying a book that I like gives you direct access to the know-zone.

Offer to pick me up or drive me someplace, or offer to call and actually do it! That last one scores big, because I am surrounded by people who never answer texts. Seriously. It’s why I’m so obsessive about phones without delivery reports. So replying texts also gets you in the ‘nice guy’ category. I like nice guys.

Now that’s all very nice … but it’s a little silly to have such basic standards. It makes it easy for boys to play the game. It’s also silly to fall for every boy I meet when I don’t want to date or get married. And I suck at CFA’s, so that’s not really an option. I don’t get along well with women, so I need to learn how to be friends with guys without catching feelings.

It would also be good if I wasn’t quite so vocal about my appetite. When you talk about sex all the time, guys assume you’re a down-for-whatever kind of girl. So they don’t see why you should get offended when they treat you like a gardening implement. Nice girls can like sex too. I’m just saying.

I think my non-marriage stance is really just avoidance. I have a clingy, possessive, jealous nature. So instead of learning about healthy affection, instead of learning to like a guy without mauling any girl that talks to him, instead of constantly wondering which girl is in his head when he’s in bed with me … I choose to avoid relationships completely. That doesn’t sound very smart, or even very grown up.

Another topic came up in discussion with my new friend. It was the issue of writing about people that you know. I learnt the hard way to always ask permission before writing about my little girl. I’ve had to delete some of my best work because she got mad at me for exposing her. She doesn’t like it when I ‘talk about her to my friends’ so I always have to ask first. But with other people, well, I guess I should learn to channel it into fiction. I haven’t written a good story in ages. I should probably get back to that. It beats making people upset and having to delete stuff. Plus, I could make more money that way, and I’m a lot less likely to get sued.

4. Enter the forward introvert


Dr Phil says … okay … I’ll admit that I cringe every time I start a sentence like that. Anyway, Dr. Phil says sometimes we pick up a habit for one reason, then maintain it for other reasons. For example, I started becoming an introvert to protect myself. I stopped making friends and collapsed into myself because I didn’t want to be hurt again. I’d lost so many friends that I thought it was easier not to make new ones. But because I have a sharing nature, I still need contact, so I got active with penpals, blogs, and Twitter. It allowed me to have friends without really having friends.

I felt that I was socially awkward, even though I mostly come alive around new people. I often put people at ease, and I’m the one that picks the ‘lost sheep’ and guides them through new environs. At family gatherings, I’ll be the one chatting up my cousin’s new girlfriend because she looks she lost and out of place. I’ll be the one being nice to the third wife that nobody likes. I’ll be the one pampering the naughty kid that everyone else avoids, or showing around the new member of staff. I like to make people feel comfortable and at home.

That makes zero sense since I prefer to keep to myself and avoid new people. I know that I talk about myself a lot, and I suppose that gets boring really fast. But instead of learning social skills, learning how to to ask non-probing questions and make small talk, I avoid the social scene and play all by myself. I’m really just running away.

I was reading an old post where I realized I was pretty extroverted as a kid. But then something happened and I couldn’t defend myself. All my strength and toughness was useless in that situation. So I guess in some way, I overcompensate by protecting other people. I act extroverted around people who seem lost, because it keeps them from feeling isolated. I actively, assertively stand up for social underdogs. But in a crowd of dominant people who are at ease with each other, there’s no one to protect so there’s no need to exert myself.

There’s a strange aspect to my personality. I don’t much like guests. I don’t like to have my space invaded. So I’ll often tell people, ‘Come by anytime,’ only to curse when they call my bluff and knock the door. When I’m hosting people, I’ll be nice for a while because I want them to feel at home, but after half an hour, it’s all I can do not to kick them out and move. It tells a lot that my dream home is the penthouse of a tall building with no lifts.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule. There are people I practically beg to visit me. But of course, kharma being who she is, these are the people that have to be heavily bribed before they actually show up. I can only smile at the irony.

Dr. Phil would probably have a lot to say on these contradictions. I’m a boy-crazy girl who doesn’t believe in relationships. I’m a free spirit that enjoys timetables and routines, one that is uneasy about regular hours but lacks the discipline to hustle. I’m the pseudo-feminist that stupidly submits to men I love. I’m the perfect host that resents having visitors. I’m the hermit that loves to share the feelings on her mind. I’m the tomboy who spent hours buying girly shoes … for other people. I’m the girl that avoids tweet-ups but seeks out strangers one by one online. I’m a Modesty Blaise who only sees herself as Dale Arden. I’m a walking, talking identity crisis. Or maybe I’m a 30-year-old teenager. Well, okay, 29.

Last week, my pal said to do a mind map. He said it would help me see who I really am. I guess that’s what I need to do. I need to somehow look at myself objectively and find out what is me and what’s a mask. Trouble is … every time I try, I either start daydream … or fall asleep. And there’s a huge moving container at my window. Hmm. Oh well. Maybe I can do like my new friend says – stop worrying so much and just go with flow. Everything works itself out eventually, right.

5. Different things for different reasons

I was watching Big Cat Diary the other day. There are a several reasons why I like that show. First, they don’t say things like:

“This delightful creature is known as the Hungarian Potbellied pig … even though it’s clearly something else.”

Second, their animals have mostly decent names. I hate the way people in dockis name albino tigers and polar bears silly things like Fufu, Dipsy, and Popo. I mean, really!

Still, a docki is a docki, and the narrators do talk in that slow unnatural way. It’s supposed to sound moving and conspiratorial and … you know … documentary-like. I’ve never really thought about it, because everyone in those things talks like that.

 

But in this one episode, they had this Maasai guide whose name was Jackson. He had been called in to help them find Bella, the leopard that the team had been following for five years. Turns out the Big Cat Diary has been filming for more than a decade. Who knew? I guess some people really do like humans less than wildlife.

Anyway, Bella has been MIA for a while. Something like a year or more. Enter Jackson to help them find her. He’s known her since she was a cub, apparently. Now … I have no real problem with Jackson. He has a crazy accent, but that happens to the best of us. Here’s what my problem was. He was talking wrong. I don’t know what about it was wrong, but it was just … well … wrong.

He started out saying how Maasais always wake up early. The first light of day is a blessing, so they like to get that blessing every day. That’s fine. Then he started to talk about Bella, and that’s when I caught it. He was talking just like the narrators!

‘The African wilderness [pause] is vast and beautiful [pause] and there’s Bella. [pause] Oh yes [pause] I see her. [pause] I can see her now. [pause] Yes [pause] there she is. [pause] Clearly [pause] there’s something wrong. [pause] She must be hurt [ pause] it’s crucial for a leopard’s survival. [pause] An injured leopard [pause] can die out here.”

It was just so weird!! I wondered if I was being racist. After all, the other narrators do that all the time, the speech with the endless pauses. But coming from Jackson, it just sounded so wrong!

Then after a while of filming, they discover that Bella is all better because she’s managed to make a kill, and Jackson says,

‘This is good news for me [pause] for us [pause] for the entire Big Cat team [pause] for the whole of Kenya…”

I’ll admit  rolled my eyes at that point. It’s one freaking leopard on a docki. Then came the clincher. Jackson decided to surprise the Big Cat team with a secret. He decided to introduce them to Bella’s extended family. They were five beautiful cats and he had named them … wait for it … The Jackson Five. And yes, the soundtrack did change appropriately. *blink*blink*

I’m still not sure why Jackson’s voice over bugged me so much. He was doing the exact same thing as the other narrators, but somehow, it seemed disturbing coming from him. I guess it’s like how I respond differently to different people. I heard Dr. Phil [or somebody] say that if a man in an asylum called you a gardening implement, you wouldn’t react. But try hearing the same words from your brother or your mother.

If my friendly ex ignores me, I’ll assume he’s busy with work. But if my latest crush ignores me, I’ll think he doesn’t like me anymore. If my cousin doesn’t call me for months, it’s no big deal. But if that other pal doesn’t call for weeks, then it’s cold war. Hmph.

6. And now for the cars

I don’t know a lot about wheels. I just know when something is pretty. I wanted an old school beetle. They’re quirky, they’re cheap, they’re funky, and [for completely different reasons] they remind me of my mother. I was going to buy one for 40K and pimp it for 500. But my cousin talked me out of it, and he’s a mechanic, so he should know. Then I wanted a dark red X6. They are so hot. But this one talked me out of it by making me watch Top Gear, Season 14, Episode 7. Le big sigh.

Next, I thought I’d buy a red Defender. I used to like them once upon a time. But … you see … they’re just not … well … pretty. An Audi 2.0 is pretty. A Passat is pretty. A Jaguar is way pretty. Even a standard Lancer is pretty. But  Defender? Not pretty. Powerful, evocative, extremely don’t-mess-y, but just not pretty. Sigh. Maybe I’ll just buy a Red Vitz.

Anyway, speaking of things not pretty, the 350i is is not a BMW. It’s just wrong. On a million different levels. Also, whoever made the Nissan Cube should be shot. That thing is so ugly, I would kick it if it wouldn’t get my foot broken. *shudder*

 

7. X vs Y thingimies

I can’t believe this blog post has subheadings. Anyway, a lot of my intimates say I’m more like a guy. My favourite cousin amused me the other day. I walked into Tusky’s and bought him breakfast, then I realised I’d used all my money and had no bus fare. I suggested we go to Mpesa, but I was uneasy because I knew if I made a withdrawal, I’d spend all the money on beer chocolate. As I checked my back pocket for ID, I found a stray 100 bob note. Yay! We didn’t have to do Mpesa! My cousin laughed at how dude-like I am, double-dees notwithstanding.

That whole Modesty vs Dale thing is the reason I ended up carrying my own groceries and 20kg worth of water while the bag boys carried the stuff for my room mate. It’s why my men find it annoying when I seem helpless around computers – especially since I best them after one or two lessons. They think I’m just pretending to be damselly, and it annoys them. Le big sigh. Luckily, my bro is in IT, and he knows that when I call him up at 6.00 a.m. and whine about my blinking computer, it’s for real. Thank God for baby brothers.

A lot of what I do is pre-emptive. It’s like the obese comedian who makes a career out of fat jokes. I imagine that people have certain perceptions of me, I’m aware that those perceptions are wrong, so I correct them and apologize. Just like Rabbit in that last rap-battle scene in 8 Mile, I crack the jokes before anyone else can.

‘Now tell ’em something about me they don’t already know.’

Of course, the healthy thing to do is to find out who I am, make peace with it, and then stop saying sorry. Yeah. Now to find a way to stop philosphizong and just do. *grin*

There was a point in here somewhere, but it’s a random Friday that feels like a Saturday, and I’m elbow deep in my baby’s calamine lotion. We did a little Googling and some substitution. Some site says I should give her ice cream to soothe sores in her mouth. We used ice cubes instead, and it’s keeping her fairly happy. Now all we have to do is find a way to cure the itching and the boredom. Unlike me, she can’t be sated with books, cartoons, or rock music, and she doesn’t want to sleep. Plus, she’s moody, so I can’t sing aloud. Somebody help!

Haiya Harry Kimani

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