Friday, February 24, 2012
Table for One please!
I had a very interesting "lunch date" with an acquaintance last Saturday. So for good measure, I brought along my girl friend and she brought along her other friend...just for extra good measure of course. It wasn't that I do not like him as a person, let's just say he is a bit much to take in especially after a long week. So there we were, having a pretty decent meal and generally decent conversation (I use 'generally' and 'conversation' very loosely). That is until at some point in the conversation, I dropped in how I hadn't been on a date in so long, I wouldn't know what to do if one slapped me in the face. At that point I thought nothing of it. Clearly, that was not the case with said acquaintance.
After we were done and everyone was going their merry way, he turned to me and said "I'm sorry." For what you may ask. (And I did!) "I'm sorry you haven't been on a date in so long." Well, to say that I was shocked, would be to understate it. Especially after everything he had pulled during that lunch, (a long and strange story for another day!) that my single life was what he was choosing to apologise for, was a bit baffling. In fact a lot baffling. When did it become acceptable to apologise for other people's lives?
I did not tell him to go shove his ill-placed apology up his a*se but I did tell him not to apologise for a choice I made consciously and with good reason. You see I am not off the market because I am disfigured, unintelligent or even a gold digger. And I am not saying there are women like that (Please do not go around misquoting me!) Far from it, I hope. I am off the market by choice. A choice I made after much soul searching. It got to a point where I needed to draw lines in the sand, lines that I had refused to draw. Maybe out of fear, maybe out of ignorance and most probably out of stupidity.
You see, I am not a feminist and neither am I a male basher (much as I may draw my proud roots from Nyeri) It's just that I woke up one day and realised that I had no idea what I wanted in a man and most importantly what I wanted a man to want in me. I was scared to be alone, I was antsy in my own space, I was even confused by what I liked. If someone else likes something, I must like it too. I realised I had no business wasting my good humour and a man's precious time when I had no idea where I wanted to be at the end of it all. It was all well and good when I was a teenager and it was even fun when I was an over excited campus girl but now that I have been out in the open wide world for abit, it was time to restructure. Murasta Rebranded!
The word on the streets is that you can't truly love someone unless you love yourself first. It is even harder to love yourself if you have no idea who you are. If I was going to get anywhere other than to misery boulevard in a relationship, I needed to start from the beginning. I needed to know who I was first, what I could and could not accept, what I was willing to compromise and what I was not willing him to compromise for me. Was I going to wait for someone to come around and fix me or was I willing to take a break and see what I looked like complete and healed all on my own? Who was I? Who did I want him to be?
So its been a year and then some since my decision. Not being fully acquainted with the world of being alone, I have fallen and scraped myself along the way. I have fumbled a few times (every time with less than desirable results). BUT I am learning to truly appreciate my own company and myself for that matter. I am learning to fight my own battles and fix my own problems. I am learning how to react to conflict and how to deal with it at my own pace. I have learnt to say No when it calls for it and how to accept my own short comings. I am learning to live without apologies for being who I am.
I have stopped making excuses for men. "It's because he works too hard" or "he's having family troubles" or "You know how tight he is with his boys." or " everyone has issues to sort out." All women have made a bad excuse for a man at one point or another. If a guy is not going to tell me the reason I am being treated like a second class citizen, then I shall draw my own paranoid conclusions and believe me they shall be paranoid and far fetched. The minute I start making excuses for bad behaviour is the minute a man stops being a priority in my life. I'm not making excuses for why they break promises, why they don't call when they should, why they don't or do this or the other. I also have work to do too, I also have friends and I also have issues to deal with. I was not built to carry a man's burdens too. There can only be one Jesus. I will match fire for fire and I am ready to scorch to the ground.
I have had 'situations' where I wasn't sure whether we were friends, in a relationship, flirting, breaking up or getting back together. I was always hanging on the edge hoping that life, just by some miracle, would tell me what was going on. Most of those situations ended up with me getting hurt and not being able to tell anyone because well, we were in this amorphous undefined 'situation' that no one else knew about. I don't want him to announce it on national radio but I do need him to at the very least announce it to me, before I go pouring out my heart and soul into another 'situation'......and to the people who matter to him.
My heart has been known (if only to myself) to run out way ahead of the rest of me. By the time my head and other body parts catch up, we are in a Kismayu like problem and I have to go nurse my wounded heart with no extra emotional funding. It is quite tragic really but then again, hearts are not known for their brilliance and forethought. I can continue to punish my heart for all the trouble it has caused in the past or I could build a moat around it and maybe a strong tower around it and dare him to fight for it. I am not interested in a man who is not willing to fight for it; or at least willing to put a good, strong attempt.
I am not ashamed to say that the men in my immediate family are my favourite men in the world. The reasons are pretty simple. They treat me with good humour, give me great respect and love me intensely. They have never said those words because well, they are 'real' men but actions speak louder than words. That is why I would cross hell fire for them. I will not go comparing a man to my father or my brothers or even, my little nephews (because they are all of many faults, ask me, I know them all)....but unfortunately that was where my bar was set and it is a high bar. I don't want to lower my bar and I will not go apologising for wanting a man to treat me right. And if I have to tell you what humour, respect and love are, then I am sorry but our business here is done.
It is not beyond me however that I still have a lot of work to do on myself. I know I am a queen bitch when I am in a mood or I am going through a rough patch and it gets exponentially worse when I am around people who love me. Sorry, bear with me. I know I hate people being in my space, I know I am impossibly stubborn and I hold onto my independence like a world championship belt. I know alot more bad things that I would rather not expose....lest my reputation takes a nose dive right into the earth core. I am promising to work on them. I am promising to be better than I have been. I have even...brace yourself for this.....started appreciating housework. *Gasps and runs for the hills in shame*
I shall not be apologising for taking time to find out who I am and what I want. I don't expect you to apologise for me either. They are not your decisions to apologise for and if doing so I am making a mistake, then it is my mistake to deal with. I shall continue eating at my table for one, I shall continue enjoying my life as the good Lord intended. I shall pull my own chair, order my own food and enjoy my steak and wine and fried rice and wine and pasta and wine. I shall laugh loudly when amused and wail like a paid Luhya wailer when in pain. Because you know what, I have only myself to impress, first. I am not alone and neither am I lonely. Don't apologise for me.....ever again.
On an almost unrelated note (my Friday jam!)