When I was dating my baby girl’s dad, I acquired a taste for Range Rovers. I’d always thought Defender’s were hot, but when I was with him, it took my admiration to a whole new level.

I read the Range Rover Mags, watched documentaries, and learned to tell a TDI 90 from a Land Rover 110 on sight. [It’s a lot easier than it sounds.]

My brothers were appalled by this new hobby. They thought the man was influencing me, and that I was losing myself. Especially when I announced a planned road trip to The Cape. By Rover.

I dated a few bad ideas after that, and they came with a passing interest in Islam, Go Karting, pool, and bowling. Now, I’m with a beautiful, amazing, wonderful guy … and I’m suddenly consuming Manga.

I’ve always liked Manga – in a sense – though I didn’t quite know what it was. I liked cartoons that had huge eyes and purple hair and looked hilarious when they yelled. I used to trace the pictures on those large Chinese floaters – pictures of girls with doe-shaped eyes, strange-coloured bangs, and tiny red lips. These – I now know – were images from classic Manga.

I also enjoy watching Bakugan, even though nothing ever happens. I drool over Dan Cusso’s shaggy locks, Julie’s pretty coiffes, Alice’s dreamy eyes … and the clothes are nice too.  Who can forget Shun? That boy is HOT!

Yes, I’m fully aware that these creatures are all anime. It’s called Otaku. I’ve also been known to dream in Manga.

I first learnt the word Manga when STV started showing it in the 90s. They had this show called the Manga Zone, which at first I loved, because:

  1. It was a cartoon.
  2. The girls were so pretty.
  3. The boys were even more pretty.

I stopped watching the Manga Zone after the show depicted a rape scene. Clearly, not all cartoons are suitable for children. 20 years later, I’m still traumatised by Akira.

I don’t think that my love for my man feeds my interest in Japanese comics. I accept that I’m studying them in a bid to get closer to him, to get inside his mind, to know him a little better and figure him out.

I’m trying out a lot of his hobbies as I slip into his world and he softly comes into mine. It’s like that Freshly Ground video where the black girl who loves red falls for the white guy who loves green. They like the beach and they like each other, but when they try to bond, the colours get in the way.

In the end, the red girl wears some green and the green guy wears some red, and they build a beautiful multicoloured home together, on the beach. Green plus red makes purple, right?

Anyway, this habit of picking my man’s habits sounds a bit unhealthy. I look like a blank slate, built solely for the man that I love write on. It’s a scary thought.

But the truth is I’m large on fads. I was looking through my shelf the other day and found hundreds of items that I had started but never completed. Things like guitar chords, meditating lessons, rubber accupuncture, cookie recipes … even a paperback copy of Gone with the Wind. I start things with lots of energy, but I don’t always finish them.

The things I pick up from my men are fads too. I start them so we can do stuff together, and if they’re enjoyable, I’ll stick with them for a while. I started reading The Animorphs because  he recommended them, and ended up reading the ones he’d never heard of; I loved it that much.

[Please not that The Animorphs is a 90 page series for 12 year-olds. It has 54 volumes, plus 6 bumper editions. In the last six months, I have read all of them.]

I don’t know how long this Manga phase will last, and I don’t know how many more phases I’ll pick from people that I love. It’s my nature to graft onto people I care about.

Fortunately, it’s a trait that is useful in business. I find a new client and adopt their project, just like a new hobby. I find out all I can about it, absorb it as my own, and pretty soon, I’m like Mira trying to find her lost brother.

As a client, all you need to hook me is interest and personality. And possibly spiky purple hair. I could never resist good Manga.


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