Wednesday, June 27, 2012
He pulled her back. Stopped her right on her tracks...literally. In the middle of a bustling city. She had been talking at a million words a heartbeat and this abrupt stop took her by surprise. "One minute" He said calmly. "What?" She shrieked. Where was he going with this madness. They were already late. In fact she would be shocked if they found anything when they reached. "Stand with me here for one minute." She was flustered to say the least. She was agitated and that was putting it mildly. He held her hands. Something in his eyes told her to calm down. Be still. She stood with him in the middle of the street. While the world bustled and hustled around them. Silently. Suddenly all she could hear was his heartbeat. All she could see was the depth of his eyes. All she could feel was the palm of his hands. As that one minute stretched into the rest of their lives, she was sure.... that this was the day she would say she fell in love.
Monday, June 18, 2012
I love my dad. It's not something I hide. Mostly because he's an awesome character with an awesome personality and also because I'm a self-proclaimed daddy's girl. :-) But today I shall talk about all fathers especially those who have tried and have worked and fought; this post goes out to all of them. Yesterday was Father's Day, a day less celebrated than Mother's Day and even less so than Valentine's Day, the wife's birthday, the mother's chama's 6 month anniversary and the baby's first tooth removal. The only time he's celebrated is maybe his birthday and if his team wins the Championship Final or F1...and that is a big IF!! I do believe fathers are the world's unsung heroes yet their impact on a child is just as important if not more than a others. Their absence or presence, their action or inaction, the words or their silence. Even in the family set up, men still run the world. Their touch and voice still mean everything. Children will still run to the hills when the discipline is from the father. So, how do we equip men to be leaders of the home? How do we make them appreciated for their efforts and sacrifice? How do we make them know, that what they do means as much to everyone as they should. Maybe even if it doesn't include sending gifts and declaring undying love from the roof tops, we should consider our actions and embrace the outcome. So here are my few subjective suggestions. Be patient: As everyone well knows, men have a unique slowness that I can only describe as an underdeveloped left brain. Be patient with it. When he doesn't react as fast as he should because some 12th division team in Scotland is playing soccer at 8 am. Don't throw tantrums. At least not immediately. When it takes time for him to know his way around a diaper and forgets to give medicine to the child because they were outside building sandcastles and playing horsie, just remember, you matured much faster than he did. So he still has some ways to go. Be kind and try not to get easily angered: If he is trying to help, truly and honestly, do not criticise. At least not always. Be kind. Encourage it. Stand by him. Comfort him. Teach him. Be kind to his needs just the same way you need him to be kind to yours. Try and stay calm at all times because at some point, all the anger you keep for his behaviour will eventually hurt you and unfortunately affect the kids. Don't shout at him in public. That does not encourage the help you so seek. Stop the envy: Don't get pissed that he has a life over and beyond yours. You chose to ignore all that your life was and made the kids your only priority. Not that it is the wrong thing, but he didn't make that decision with you. He still has his boys, his work, his issues. If he has a night out with the boys occasionally to just get away from the world, let him. Don't guilt trip him into thinking that he's doing a crime. If he's willing to watch the kids while you get pampered at the spa or hanging out with the girls, then stop the envy and the guilt-tripping him. Don't boast,don't be proud and don't be self-seeking: The woman may have carried the baby for 9 months but both parents nurture him/her for the next century. Don't boast about how much you can do as a woman, how you work at the office and then work at home. How strong you are and how much you have had to bear. If he's trying his best to be the best that he can be in the house, don't diminish his efforts. Women are strong and they need to make the man believe he's stronger than he really is, especially in the home front. He will flail from time to time but with the right direction, he will thrive. And also don't forget, your children carefully watch your actions towards him. Do you want them going round putting other people down? Do not dishonor him: Do not talk about his manhood, his bedroom behaviour or his fatherhood shortcomings. Not in front of his friends and most importantly not in front of the children. Do not beat him,verbally or physically, even if you are from Nyeri. Do not put him down especially when he's at his lowest and do not act like the man of the house because, there's already is a man in the house. Always protect him, always trust him: He may not be too sure of what he's doing, but if he has promised to provide, then trust him. If he has promised never let you go, then trust him. Protect his image from the world. Protect his weaknesses, protect his pain. Don't go saying how he put the diapers inside out or how his own child just can't stand him. Protect his ego. Let everything that happens in your family be left in the family. Your girlfriends don't need the details. Of course this also applies to men too. That they may do the same to the mother of their children. After all, raising children shouldn't be a one-way street. Hope and persevere for yourselves as parents and for the children. You want to be the people they want to grow up and become, not the ones they are forever running away from. So, to all father's out there who are struggling, fighting, loving and caring for their children, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!
Friday, June 15, 2012
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. That is the first line of a tale of two cites. Big and I are a tale of two cities. My city and his. My life and his. My personality and his. Give me a moment to explain. Meet Big: He is fun, he is hopelessly intelligent, he is nice and kind and sometimes he does display compassion and mostly, he has a very cool sense of humour. He is a guy who has alot going for him. Great job, great friends, great life, great confidence, great adventure. At least that's what it looks like from my perspective on the outside looking in. I assume it's what most people see when they are looking in. Either that or I have a pretty distorted perspective. Meet I: I am all the above only in a very toned down manner. Very, very toned down. I am intelligent, pretty but I usually live vicariously through other peoples escapades and adventures. I'm my best with him and I'm my worst with him. It is the best of times and it is the worst of times. I'd like to think that every girl has a Big somewhere. Some get married to them, some kill them and some like me, use them for writing material and inspiration and maybe someday when we are old, we'll tell our grandkids about this guy I once knew who was like no one else I had ever met. I don't know if "muse" is the right word to use but the first time I posted something on this blog, it was because of him. Someone who drove you insane enough to wonder if this was love or you needed to check yourself into an asylum for check-ups. He drove me short of drawing those love heart things where you write both your names in. I was too proud to do that, lest anyone I knew...or didn't know... saw it and then I had to explain my insanity. He may never know or maybe he may know tomorrow. Maybe one of our collective intelligent friends will read between the lines and call him saying, "you do not want to read what she's written about you." and he'd go "No, she di'in't" I do not know. Because well, Big and I are a story long-winding Mexican soaps are made of. Only without the dramatic poor chic and the evil stepmother and the ranch inheritance and horse back riding....(with a pumped up intro like that don't you just want to watch Big and I) He is a relationship I can honestly say lived more in my mind than in real life. I filled in the gaps with great dramatisations that were played out on other men, only they didn't react like he would have. In fact, the crazy part is he rarely reacted like he should have. That was the relationship that I had between Big and I. A big relationship which left a big impact. You don't forget those. I think the truth about this whole "relationship" hit me hard last night when I sat there willing my phone to beep and hoping that the text will come through. 4 hours and a full season of "Sex and the City" later, I gave up and decided to stare a my orange wall and wait for the sun to come up. It hit me hard. But somehow this time it was different somehow. Like a peaceful letting go. I didnt blame him for my insomnia like I usually do. I didn't feel downtrodden and afraid of what he would reply to a "hey". I didn't imagine him being run over by angry models in stilettos. I didn't imagine his neighbour mistaking him for a weed smoker and calling the cops. I was just tired. Tired of making excuses about where he was, how busy he was or how much credit he had. I had had many nights where I wondered what he would say to "hi" or "hey" ...(don't look at me like that! I did claim temporarily insane at the beginning!) Whether if I slept he would know I was pretending not to care. For years of more back than forth, more silence than conversations, more wonder than certainty, it was a game I had learnt to play, and to play well. A game I had suddenly become very tired of. I lived on the edge with a very specific fear of his brother calling me to ask why I didn't attend Big's wedding. If this was living on the edge, I did not like it one bit. I needed to finally be very selfish and brutal with myself. I needed to ask myself, "what the hell did I think I was doing to myself?" "was I f*ing serious that this is how I wanted to live out my life?" Just like that, it stopped being about him and what he had done or not done and what he had said and not said or what he had meant or not meant. It was suddenly not about Big. It was never about him. It was about me and what I wanted and mostly what I needed. What I had and not done to myself, what I had said and not said to myself. I had been unknowingly letting him make those decisions for me for years. At least for 3 months every year. It wasn't fair to give him such a Big job. No wonder he wasn't doing so great at it. It was maybe time to release him of those particular duties. He is still a great guy with one of the biggest hearts I know. His humour hits you like a bus full of clowns and boy, when he smiles at you, it disarms everything in you. And maybe when I'm very drunk I shall tell some poor soul about this great guy I once knew who had beautiful, thick eyebrows. It was the best of times but it was also the worst of time. But like everything else in life, we take the good with the bad, we learn something from it and we move on to the next great adventure.
Monday, June 11, 2012
"I may not know you any more, maybe I never did. But I do know me.And I think that's more important right now." She let out a heavy sigh. Her hand trembled. As a writer, words used to come easily. But this time round, it felt like she had never written before. She looked around the room one last time, threw her pen into her bag and walked out of the house. In a few short steps, her heels would never be heard on the polished wooden floors again. She closed the bedroom door behind her while dragging her 3 suitcases behind her. The beauty of this apartment had faded over time, just like the love and the smiles. But it didn't matter now. Her phone rang. It was time. Almost a lifetime ago, she had met the most charming man in a bar near her office. She was pretty and intelligent, he was witty and well-mannered. Hard to imagine that those smiling faces were the same faces that grunted at each other all day long. She couldn't remember the last conversation they had ever had or the last event they had ever attended together. It didn't pain her as it should have, it just saddened her. There was no where for pain to fit into her life. Not any more. They'd drained it all. With their sedentary lives. She'd taken the day off work to do this, to pack and compose herself. She remembered waking up yesterday and knowing that undoubtedly, she needed to leave. She needed to go. Her time here had ended. They weren't fighting loudly like the couple downstairs. They didn't even answer each other rudely or insult each other in public. He never hit her and she could never complain that she lacked anything. From the outside looking in, she was in the best relationship that money....and life...could buy. But she was not happy. She was a shell of her former self. She was beaten and withered inside. She barely smiled, barely spoke and could barely remember what she had been when it all began. She had wanted to marry him once. A long time ago. Before they had decided to "consolidate their belongings" , before the silence and the cold. Before the late nights they both pulled in the office. Before the money. She had waited with bated breath as 2 years turned into 4 and then turned into forever. She had bought furniture that would match with their joy. She had shopped for curtains while searching for wedding fabrics, she had bought plates that would serve his parents and considered electronics that they would use into their old age. She journalled so that when the time came to quote to her grandchildren about her life, she would not...never...forget. Now it just seemed silly. She turned her power heels one last time to close the mahogany door into her dead life forever. She had made sure to leave food in the microwave, the beer was chilled, his laundry was well folded, his suit for tomorrow, laid out just right. She had ensured the shoes were polished and the TV was ready to PVR the Euro's incase he got in late from work or wherever. She had done every single chore just right. Then she had left the note in his night stand. He'd see it when he was removing his watch and his wallet. He was a creature of habit so she was sure exactly what time he would get it. They had stopped talking to each other a long time ago. She never knew what was going on in his life any more that he knew what was going on in hers. They ran their relationship like a well oiled machine. She did the house shopping and wrote half the cheque for the mortgage. He paid the bills and had a standing order for the cars. She knew he liked to eat fish on Friday after a drink with the boys and she ensured it was ready, he knew she hang out with girls on Saturdays and so sorted his food and could walk around naked until she came stumbling in. They tried not to be in the house at the same time. It was awkward. He slept on his side of the bed and she slept on hers. Short of having different sheets, they were technically on different beds. They never discussed each other to other people and as a silent unwritten rule, they had never gossiped about other people. So now they never spoke. Other than the family events,and even then it had become rare, they never went anywhere together. Just 2 ships sailing the open lonely waters. So as she got out of the lift and walked quietly across the lobby, she wasn't heavy hearted. She was just transitioning. To another level in her life. A place where she could learn to smile and experience new things and understand love. A love that spoke back and laughed and inquired with concern. She was sure he would feel the same. Well, almost sure. She left her life behind and her furniture and her mortgage and took with her; her heart instead. As she entered her car and revved it, she leaned back and closed her eyes and let her mind relive her relationship one last time. Re-live the good and the bad. Re-live the happy and the sad. For one last time, she let her eyes tear and finally forgave her heart and his for letting them drift this far apart. Then she put her car in gear and drove off to find herself. The phone, yes, she had to pick up the phone.