I Almost Got Mugged

Here is how it happened. Someone was fixing my laptop. The things I have seen techies do, ai, my head is heavy with information. He asked me to download an app called Team viewer and in a few minutes my privacy was invaded, my power controlled. My mouse was moving all over the screen clicking pointing…waiting as words jumped into tabs. I sat and ogled like a two year old fascinated and at the same time curious. I strongly fought the urge to move my mouse pad and contest Al, the techie who was checking up my MacBook from the other side of town.

Despite it all Al said he needed to physically have the machine, so we met in town and I handed it over. The story begins.

thief 2

I got out of the supermarket where I intended to window shop while I waited for my laptop but ended up stuffing my bag with little silly stuff. It was evening and the rush hour was being just, the rush hour. People pouring into the streets, some changing buses, some joining queues and others waiting for people…I was one of them. Al finally came and we didn’t waste any more time. I had the laptop in my hand and knew I had to keep it well in my bag. But my bag was full and I had to remove the impulse shopping to make room for the Pc. I walked on a little further and stopped near a tiny growing tree, shielded by a metal frame. It wasn’t enough to make me obscure but I was sure of no surprises. It took a minute and I was already on my way towards my route.

I was minding my own business until a hand smacked my bag obviously hitting the edge of the MacBook tucked inside. That got my attention and instantaneously, two incredulously tall men, one of who had hit my bag briskly walked past me. I stared after them noting the ugliness of one of them. I only saw the side of his face and he was nothing short of a tough perhaps heartless bloke. He wore a nice fitting pair of jeans- not faded and a black t-shirt. The other was in grey slacks and a black shirt. Uniform? I wondered. But I also took in the possibility that if they were thieves they would either have jackets on or some form of camouflage. Nevertheless, the colours they wore would not be noticed from miles away.

thief

It gets juicier…

I maintained my pace and kept them in my front (My husband always says you are safer behind them. you can see their every move), but then things changed. The not-so-ugly-one began to text and slowed down… I wondered for a moment why his friend wouldn’t wait up. Either way, I tried to get a good glimpse of this one who I ended up walking past. He had his tongue sticking out on one side of his mouth and for a moment I thought of calling my husband and laugh that joke away. He looked like a big anecdote but I had no time to even smile about it. The ugly tall caught my attention as he too suddenly slowed down. I thought ‘Eh, he must have realized he was talking to himself’ and I found myself walking past him too. Now I felt uncomfortable. They felt too close behind me and I had no idea how they intended to pull the rug under me.

Just then I saw the last person standing on a queue, route- Eastleigh. My place? No. Still I jumped behind the last man and for a moment I locked eyes with the ugly tall. I pretended not to notice them that it was by chance we locked eyes, but the moment they walked past I was right behind them once more. I now felt better, in control, but I knew they didn’t. Ugly clicked his tongue and gasped covering his mouth with one hand as though to say ‘Damn! This chic is too alert!’ the other whispered back and suddenly they turned towards a corner and stood, I assumed to strategise. That made me feel insecure. I had no idea whether they had given up or if they would give me a final scare. (Faults of watching too many horror movies) I didn’t wait though. I took to my heels. (And they were high) but I ran like a mad woman. Ran because that was the point when fear got to me…Ran to the safety of my bus and the comfort of my seat. I tried hard not to think if what would have happened to me in an effort to steal from me, but couldn’t help thinking the worst.

Dear EX, It’s been a while!

This post is not entirely my experience, Oh, please do not be tempted to think that I am not over my past or that I am bitter about it. I am simply venturing to new heights of my writing skills. I intend to offer inspiration, motivation and lessons on relationships and marriage. This letter is for many kinds of men all pulled into one body, the EX. This is for you who are stuck in a relationship that you know well will end dead, yet you still hang on, and for you who will step over everyone else as you try to eat life with a wide fork. This is for you who will let this move you a step ahead. For you who will let it guide you to be a better person.

Dear EX,
It is a shame how it took you so long to grow up. When I sit back and recall how you were back in the day I can’t help but squint my eyes in disgust as I chew off the ends of my rubbery pen. It was so full of drama; I still wonder how I live to tell the tale. What in the blazing hell was I thinking, getting entangled with you? How did I even survive? You were youthful, cheery and peppy. You were the man of your time…the man who could have as many girlfriends as the hours of a day. You were ‘The Ish’. You preferred the naïve type of women judging from all the women I ever caught you with. I was simple, old fashioned and natural. The most make up I ever wore was a simple eye-tone and lip balm. You made me feel like the world revolved around me the first time you lay your eyes on me. You bought me gifts every other day, took me out to expensive hotels and dedicated songs to me. You never wanted me to use public transport, not when you had enough cars lazing in your lot while you showed off your favourite pick of the month! My every whimper was your command, as you would stumble over yourself in an effort to please me. I ate whatever I wanted and had flowers and chocolate delivered to me.

In short you were my slave and I your queen…at least until you got me entangled around your finger. I couldn’t imagine life without you being a part of it. I worshiped you, spoke only of you, slept on open text messages from you and only after good night wishes and kisses sent from you. You were in my dreams, in my head, in my heart, and all over my life! You made sure to occupy every inch of me and were very jealous of anyone who got as much as a smile from me. And I filled your life with me…at least I did, until that day when on our way back from the long drive from The Mara. I saw something that changed everything between you and I. The name Baby Steph was on your phone’s screen, having replaced the profile name of your current theme. I stuttered as I asked whose phone that was. I could never get it through my head that you had a child, young enough to be called a baby. How old was she again, three months? But you told me she was well over a year! You knew very well how wrong it sounded to the ear…that you have a three-month-old child and you are still roaming around like a demon looking for a weak soul to devour.
broken heart 1
After a lot of convincing that I was the one and not the other woman, even though I was the other woman, I still stuck around and served as a slave to your charm. I was however getting brighter by the day and one day I put one foot against the door and got firm. Fine I was appreciating my beauty and glowing in love but to you it translated to me growing a big head…you got insecure and in your puerility and immaturity turned callous on me. You suddenly used what was mine against me. That I had not joined university was a problem. I became an illiterate nobody. In your eyes I became trashy, or was it trash? I was as useless as a lone staple pin. Then you exposed me to your first love. The woman who felt she had a right over you above all else. She was there first; she was with you when you were penniless and ugly… Oh, the comfort of having money brings a confident smile on, and that smile is simply breath taking! She seemed to know so much about me and she threw words at me. I know I looked strong even as I fought back, but deep inside those words were daggers. They sliced every gentleness and purity that made me unique. The very facet that made you attracted to me. I walked away with wounds that would take a long while to heal. With no apology and no compunction, I turned back and gave you one last smile, not to draw you close, no, but to glance at my path and salute you for making me stronger and wiser. I limped on with hope. I knew better and I just needed time to heal and get back up.

I did heal, I forgave you, I understood that it was childish play and that nothing that meant so much to me meant anything to you. I laugh now at how I trusted my heart and my love with you! It was like giving an expensive gadget to a seven-month-old baby who only knows to soak it in saliva and in minutes loose interest in it. broken heart 3

It’s nice to see you again. Really, I had actually forgotten how far I have come. The wounds you gave me are nothing but scars that remind me of a war that I survived. I live to warn my fellow girls to be careful about men like you. Oh you‘ve changed? How be that? Oh? Ok. So you are mature now, I see. How is your daughter? Oh, you don’t say! Now you are protective of her? It is nice and ironic that you know how men out there can be! I am not mocking you! On the contrary I pity you. Because that messed up dude or dudette who said Karma is a bitch never got an award for that, even though the bugger was so right! I hope you are born again now? No? Oh but you go to church? Nods… Nice. Aaaah, tithe too! Awesome. Then get your Pastor to pray with you. Your fate will follow your daughter. A man that she will give her everything to, will take that heart, spit on it, shove it to the floor, stump on it, yank it off the floor and aim it for the trash can. You will treat my wounds but this time on someone who means a lot more to you. The wounds will remind you of your past and the women you messed up. broken heart 2

So long friend. I hope you tell your fellow men to watch out. Karma’s got one big eye and is looking out!

Perfomance Review…Yikes!

I bravely walked into boss’s office to remind him of our salary cheques that were due already. My confidence neatly tucked under my armpit, I stood at the door and muttered my requests. He sat still scribbling something on his notebook and when my mouth started moving, so did his pen stop. He held it firmly in writing position, though slightly lifted from the paper and tilted his head at about 15degrees, barely enough to see my feet alone.

And he did stare for a moment that seemed like eternity. I stood and followed his gaze. It seemed to me as though he was stuck, that he actually wanted to turn and look at me while his mind was still occupied in what he was writing. It had engrossed him to a point where he was no longer in charge of his very own movements. He tried, and managed to at least shift his head to my direction.

Suddenly he snapped out of it. He looked straight at me, suddenly beckoned me and showed me a seat.

I sat me down, puzzled. ‘Yes?’ he asked and I realised he had not heard any of my mutterings earlier on. I redid them. ‘Oh, yes! Indeed I am working on your salaries’ he changed, ‘And have we reviewed you performance yet?’ I squirmed in my seat. ‘Not yet’ I answered totally lost by his actions. ‘Go get the review so we go through it now’ I walked out without a word and headed towards the staircase, pausing for a moment to replay what had just happened in his office.

‘What did my performance have to do with the cheques? what urgency did it have that my salary just had to wait?…what did it have to with anything at all? Why was it suddenly an obstacle to my having smiling pockets? I was back in his office a few minutes later, hugging on to the performance review documents for dear life. At that moment, I had every reason to value that document much more than anything else. It felt like with a Midas touch , it would suddenly transform into a white stallion and race off or disappear  with me only to reappear in a backdated time, probably in 1796. I would be caught pants down dressed in a tight Lillian Muli skirt, and a matching tiny top standing on cow dung and next to a borehole, somewhere in the Spanish Prairies. I love those stories on the Spanish Prairies. C’mon on they were really cool! OK, fine, it’s way out of place. I agree. My imagination sometimes scares me too.

We discussed everything I had and hadn’t done, adding and deducting marks here and there. Every deduction seemed a demeaning deduction of Kshs. 2,000 from my pay cheque. Unnoticeable streams of sweat cascaded down my face each time he shook his head with disapproval and I felt worse than a cat that just misses a fat rat. Of course I got approvals too. In fact looking at it now, the approvals made up a confident 93% of the whole discussion.

However like every other normal  human being, I chose to hang on to the negatives. For a moment there I collected all these negatives, created a nice mound and named it ‘My Foundation’. I then picked up my life long experiences and qualifications and stuck them neatly on top while admiring my piece of work. I went on to pick the confidence I had earlier dropped and tried to balance it on top of everything else. For a moment there, it stood, nicely done, but a second later everything crumbled down. I had clearly been wasting my time.

Friends, do I really have to tell you where I went wrong? Good. I thank God for your wisdom. It was not the first time I realised I was being silly, but indeed the first that it actually hit me that this funny habit is quite common, at times even to those with great wisdom. Right before you get up, dust yourself and try again, those horned little demons pay you a visit and make most of the moment.

Yikes!

They try to remind us how we are failures, how we constantly make typing errors and forget to include subjects to emails. They drill it in our minds how even with Things-To-Do-Today books, we still forget and end up as great disappointments. Today I have decided to be blind to little demons. I will not build my courage on a foundation of negatives and I will live each day trying to be better than yesterday.

Time celebrate my new discovery with a glass of Baile…um sorry. I don’t drink. Great weekend friends!

Bought me Chinese feet…

I made a pledge to ensure I bug you every week. This week I got busy…everyone is always busy of course, who am I kidding? Anyway having a tight schedule, will not be an excuse to miss out on this post. It’s been wild fighting with time. Trying to act goddess and controlling the sun, just so it sets in my time. I was busy working, tweeting, face booking, getting friends to like my photo, attending meetings and briefs, peeking at my phone during meetings, getting friends to like my photo some more, scribbling down pointless points in meetings, voting some more…

…till I won a dinner for two on Valentine’s Day. Yes, it was no joke looking like a spammer filling all face book friends inboxes with links to vote for me, and it was not for nothing, Although I only participated knowing my winning chances were very high, I still had to make you click the ‘like’ button. So to all my face book friends, I truly appreciate from the bottom of my, you know what. Because of you, I almost ate a shrimp but got too scared. I danced under the stars and drank lots of wine on a weekday. Because of your votes, I was lucky to witness a young lady (who also won a dinner) steer away raw pork on a plate instead of giving it to the chef to cook for her. She then served herself rice and poured stew on top of the meet! EEEEEwwwwwww!!!!! It was the most embarrassing thing I have seen this year, though it gave ma good laugh for quite a while. Hahaha! Ok, for a very a long while. Friends, because of you I learnt the importance of exposure. Never serve what you are not sure you can eat.

I realise we need to have more of such events so that we as Kenyans keep exercising our rights to free things while our neighbours learn to use the fork and knife. We need publicity to live and fit in with the class of those, like Mike Sonko who have dinner at Ole Sereni every evening. He has the money!

The story…

One hot Sunday afternoon, my husband and I decided to hold a meeting; a family meeting; a meeting of two people; the two of us. We sat down in our bedroom to discuss big matters.

The Money. (Mirrors entertainment music in the background)

We always discuss money. Everyone always discusses money; the same way we discuss traffic in Nairobi, or at KFC Galleria. We discuss money in an overcharging matatu, in the house, office, at my administration desk, in my emails…everywhere!  If money were a man, he would be as hot as those Mexican dudes who unbutton their shirts halfway. They would be touched by all; men and women, laid by all; immoral and gay, yet still valuable. If it were a woman, money would be curvy and fair skinned, in red, killer dresses, tall, with long legs and hair (not weaves), and forever in 6inch stilettos. They would be whores that never take showers and stink or cigarette, sweat and rotting stench. Yet are still wanted.

We all have an affinity to money, no? Why then do I see M-pesa and Airtel money numbers on my screen every Sunday morning? Why do I pretend not to listen to sermons provided by those brown suited preachers in buses? Or the ones that ask for 200 bob at bus station?

Be you screaming knives about not having enough of it, or jumping gleefully about having it for free…either way, it works the key word here being money.

So in our family meeting we decided to recompense ourselves for our achievements the previous year. We had managed to get our floors tiled, did our kitchen cabinets, painted walls, stopped breastfeeding and potty train our little girl. We also thought to motivate ourselves more in order to achieve even greater things this year. We decided to get a family photo shoot. Do a little bit of clothes shopping and get me some silver earrings. I am not bluffing. It’s good to once in a while to thank yourself for being a good chap. Shake your hand, pat yourself on the shoulder and nod yourself an approval for your good deeds.

Off to China…

Among the things we got were shoes.

It’s been long since I bought me nice new shop shoes. I was so used to buying second hand stuff, that my feet grew fat and flat from wearing used, softened, flat and mockingly short-heeled shoes. On our way back I stole yet another glance at the shoes I had just bought…I took a good look. It was until I realised I couldn’t read the brand name well that I realised what I had just done. It read something like Jin-chang-niao. Did I just spell that right? Goodness, that ching chong Chu bug must have caught up with me!

The shoes were made in China. I died.

I have this stereotypic thought, as many of you do, that anything made in china will suddenly fall and break into millions of pieces. It took my husband for ever to convince me that many things in Kenya still come from China.

I wore my shoes on the first day and almost broke my ankles in them. The Chinese in charge of its making must have been high on something. Either that or they had a hunch that I, with my long foot needed a bit of trimming. That evening I had my husband massage my feet and soaked them in hot water. He mentioned that my feet just needed to adjust to their newness. They pressed on till I thought I went a size smaller, I now believe I own a pair of Chinese feet. 🙁

Lesson 2!

January has been barmy. I trust I mentioned in advance how thorny it is to post here under minimum or no supervision? So I have been all over the place this whole month.Phew!  Thank God for the last two posts!

I reported back to work and was warmly received by a myriad of emails, a heap of bills and expired licences Wait. I was meant to dispatch an invoice last year? I promise, I never read that mail. It was sent over a weekend to be done on a day I was supposed to pick up a cheque and break for the holidays.

I had already sent Jane to her digs so no one else would stay home with Pesh. I let her tag along and took the two buses to Kilimani. I believe I didn’t mention that I live very far away from any green leafy suburbs of Nairobi? Of course I didn’t.

I wanted to beat time and be at the bank by 11am. I got to the office, picked a few things, my cheque included and locked up. The thought of logging in on my laptop with Pesh’s anxious fingers waiting to punch the buttons was no where near my mind.

Back in the office, I started off with the licenses.

A city council license is to be treated like a fake friend. You are forced to kiss its ugly ass and stand the arrogance of its mere existence. It will mock you, throw vomit on you and even ask you to lick it…ok, that’s gross.

One week later I got impatient with the fire licensing officer who gave me his word to come and inspect the office extinguishers. I did the honourable thing;

Me: Hello, May I please speak to Morris? (He had given his number)

Morris: Speaking.

Me: Good morning sir, I am calling to enquire on the progress of our fire extinguisher inspection

Morris: What is the name of the company?  (I told him) Niliambia huyo messenger wako anipatie transport, akakataa. (I instructed you messenger to provide transport, and he refused)

Me: That’s not what he told me. You told him you’d come the following day as all vehicles were in the field.

Silence

Morris: Hakuna mtu atakuja huko bila transport (no one will come there without transport)

I got impatient.

Me: So by that you are telling me that’s how it works now?

Morris: Yes (I immediately disliked the idiot)

Me: So, Mr. Morris, am I supposed to send you a car or money?

Morris: which ever you decide. That’s up to you.

He hung up.

I equally put the issue aside and decided to wait for the business to bring in profits. Only then would I send a cab to them, if ever.

Paperwork, endless typing, printing, editing, more typing, more editing, printing…

Research, office shopping, more printing, coaching the messenger, more printing, supporting colleagues with assignments…

More printing….the pressure was endless. At some point I wished my boss’s partners would reward me with tips. Ok I’m lying. I wished they could pay me a full separate cheque and secure my reliability. *sly smile* Most of the work I did was theirs. The most I got was a very warm thank you and a painful backache to nurse. I’m not crabby, well not much.

At least the month whished away and being the office house girl made me feel imperative. I love my job. I get to take care of everyone’s requests and enjoy the sight of happy faces when I present my work… well most smile and appreciate.

Let me save this entire trumpet blowing for my next salary review.

Days alarmingly flew by and had no time to regulate to the new year, thanks to the holidays hangover. I struggled to wake up and declared enmity on my alarm.  I slept in the bus every morning and evening in hopes that I make up for lost sleep; it sort of helps.

I never made resolutions. This year, the resolutions ambushed me. I am more intellectual with the brainy stuff the boss demands we come up with; I am more tolerant as everyone else seems not to be. I laugh more as people around me are getting funnier and funnier, I wear my make up faultlessly as we are intermittently in corporate meetings.

I wear higher heels more often as they drive my husband nuts. I never miss snacks in my bag for Pesh, lest she sits on my head and pull my ears. I am physically fit as my husband and I swim every Saturday afternoons.

Did I mention that I finally swam in the deep end? Yes, I have officially lost all fear of large bodies of water;

and we already got savings in Broke January!

At this rate, I have no idea what lays ahead, but I’m not worried. I have learnt lessons that I promise to hold close to my heart. I learnt to always put my family first. I have learnt that the dishes can always wait and that the rendition of love to my child is time. I have taught my daughter to pray and ended up more prayerful myself. I have realised that though silent, God is my greatest inspiration and friend.

In just one month I have set out a map and I have a very clear vision of how my year is bound to end.

I hereby present my greatest apology for not posting last week. Friends, I do not take you for granted. It seems lifeforcibly sat me in class and I took notes. It could not wait for me to take the bus and get to work first or for my lunch to warm in the microwave…it must have made an angry decision after getting fed up with me.

It thought to teach me with everything around me, and I became a good student.

I listened.

As we start this year, let’s allow ourselves to learn. Let’s pick the best out of everything and let’s choose to be happy even when the lessons are painful. Finally, let’s remember that God is jealous. Don’t take his credit for yourself.

Handbag Dilema

I was walking my elder sister to school…Yes, she is older, in campus…And she is taken. We talked about school and projects, and promised to keep her notes for me (I plan to be a guru in business in time). We had gone window shopping, i was headed home and her to school.

‘You could type on mine.’ I offered when she mentioned the work she was required to do and her spoilt laptop. ‘But I haven’t got a bag for it’.

‘How big is your handbag?’

I stopped in my tracks.

There is a lot of warfare against handbags.

Handbags have survived from way before electricity was invented. The only thing that changes is the magnitude and intent which ranges from how old you wish to look like to how much your wee bicep can carry. From how you want to carry it to what you want to carry in them. From what colour you wear to where you intend to wake up in the morning from. It has a variety of selections that I personally have yet to get used to.

Our brothers are yet to create self help groups against handbags. Magazines and blogs have posted warnings and ‘did you knows’ about the handbag. It has been investigated, even interrogated and stands guilty of many crimes. Whenever a woman’s handbag falls, every male eye around will stray to gawk at its contents. Hungry to satisfy their curiosity, they now defend their lack of gen with pioneering imagination. They placate themselves with visual imagination of us carrying the world (literary) with us. I know we ladies are notorious for carrying a home in the handbag. It however never occurred to me that I could actually transport gadgets as big as a 21” Plasma TV in my bag. I am serious. My sister did not even once look surprised wt the thought. In fact she was shocked at the way it caught me off-guard.

So I broke down some must haves and usual requirements and picked a bag that suited it.

There’s a bag for Mondays

Monday’s bag is simple and stylish. You got to start your Mondays in style lest your week ends in some dungeon of disaster. You can carry a small bag on these days and no one will give you those weird glances. Those glances that make you stop and recheck yourself for any fashion crimes. The contents are not necessarily much, side from your regular make-up, consisting of some powder, blush, lipstick, eye pencil/liner (you never know the time of his coming when the clumsy colleague will rub off your only proof of eyebrows).

Tuesday’s Bag

This bag is similar to Mondays. It should be convenient for impromptu meetings, especially those that come up when the boss needs to be in two places at a go.  This is one advantage to being predictable as the boss will always know who to count on when need arises.

Wednesday’s Bag

The bag gets bigger from mid week. Here as you prepare to show up for the karaoke at your favourite joint, you will need to carry some perfume roll on, a full make-up set, a cardigan, 4-inch pair of heels, a funky top and lot’s of lip gloss.

Thursday’s Bag

This is the day we pretend to be serious. At the corner of your mind, you know only too well that the weekend is around the corner and you just can’t wait. So make sure to carry a bag, large enough to carry a sexy dress for a ‘might-come’ dinner, four inch pair of heels, different from Thursdays, a shawl, no cardigan, and the rest will be just like Wednesdays.

Friday’s Bag

If you don’t carry the largest bag on this day, then you certainly will the following day. If you don’t carry it on Saturday then it’s clearly not end month. That’s if you are what I think you are -a party girl. This bag is big enough to house a laptop for the weekend assignment, an iron box…ok I’m kidding. It most probably will carry two pairs of shoes, a make up kit, the laptop, two sets of clothes, 2 pairs of heals, one four inch, one six inch, the make up kit, a cardigan, a shawl, an empty paper bag, a roll of tissue, wet wipes, roll-on, perfume..Till you struggle with the zipper.

Saturday’s Bag

If you carried the bag above, then I assume you will be going back home on Sunday night. If you didn’t, then you will either carry it today. If you do not carry it today and you must leave the house, then the most probable bag you’ll carry is a small pouch or a clutch bag. No one wants to get tired on this day; your bags also need a rest and possibly a wash too, well and your date too!

Sunday’s bag

This bag can be big if you multi purpose it to carry more than one person’s stuff. I do when I carry Pesh’s diapers, bottle of milk, warm water, snack, and extra pair of clothes to change.

All these squeeze in with my stuff complete with the Bible, notepad and a pen. Yes the bag is big enough.

There are effects I can never do without, whether I’m visiting grandma’ or attending a high-level meeting.

Eye-pencil- with the right colour in check

Lip balm or gloss- no smile without

Compact powder- no shiny noses to worry about

Shawl- for the rickety weather or a fellow citizen I might meet in need

Razor blaze- still figuring out but I never leave it behind

Sanitary towels- c’mon do I have to explain this too?

A pen –It might come handy

Coins-for chewing gum

Notice the first is my most valuable!

Mine isn’t extreme but for all you blokes who always want to have a peek. Don’t get caught, now you know why we are overprotective of our handbags. They cart our world for us and we just never feel alone!

Bad Attention…Better Me.

I am a Virgo…*waiting for rebuff smiles* none. Ok. I sort of expected a peculiar reaction. My other half once came home excited like Pesh does when in search for sweets from my handbag. ‘Hun, are you a Virgo?’ he quipped. As usual I didn’t answer immediately. I have this malevolent tendency of answering questions with questions. He was all over the place with apprehension.

‘Why?’

‘Well are you?’

‘Yes, but why?’ I insisted. ‘These info says that Virgos are more or less with two personalities.’

‘Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?’ I chipped in. ‘No. like crazy in bed, yet committed and very hardworking wives. I think that sounds a lot like you.’ I obviously blushed happily.

I smiled knowingly and turned back to what I was doing. So it’s true. Initially I thought I was being hypocritical… Wait! Not in the bedroom sort of way…crap! Am I trying hard to defend myself?

I was a melancholic and lived in utopia. I thought a lot more than I spoke and built estates of castles in the air. I fought memo wars and murdered my enemies in my mind. I was too scared of attention… still am and I finally stopped asking the ground to open up and gulp me down, since I noticed it wouldn’t anyway.

Now this attention thingy is my focus this episode. I happened to experience a life-changing…rather grades-changing incident  back in school and its side-effects made away with an outsized portion of my temperament.

I was one of those very many girls in high school who stuck novels in Maths Text books and looked busy. I was notorious for dozing off with a pen in my hand and a friend to poke me so I can scribble something whenever the notes were read. I was the noisemaker who was never caught. The one who always had an excuse parked below the tongue. My innocent-looking face saved me a great deal. I was an expert in holding in laughter till break time.

I survived tests. Barely survived pass marks and sometimes got unluckily stuck in what we called remedial classes after schools closed. Everyone was the most disciplined in the last weeks of school as our teachers hated to see us going home…or so we all believed. We all attended morning prep on time and finished our assignments. We attended church service and never dozed off when the pastor shot blunt jokes. You’d get arrested for mistakes as small as clipping your nails during assembly or sneezing into your hands, gross as it may sound.

In form three I had literary lost all my brilliance thanks to the many events; lists that my name always appeared on regardless…including Christian Union. My grades were ghastly and unsightly. I had no favourite lesson anymore and it seemed clear where my life was headed.

Well until…..

One chemistry lesson.

We had just completed our mid term exams and results were streaming in. Our Chemistry teacher was a lady and nothing close to lady-like. She must have been in her late 40s. She had stopped caring about her looks and treated us like grandchildren. She snorted like she had eternal sinuses and made us nauseated with the sounds she made. She had a gap in between her front teeth that made her already famous Meru accent sound intense.

Ngoond morning?’ We all stood and responded. I couldn’t help but notice how old her shawl was getting, considering she wore it daily, and paired it with a headscarf that I thought smelt of worked up hair oil.

Tonday I am very ashamed of you.ngaos’ She began. Silence. ‘Nombondy ngot  anything ambove 20 out of 30….except one ngao’

I wasn’t moved. I guessed I must have landed safely somewhere like 10 marks. She went on.

How can you fail even the simplest question on balancing equations? Yet it’s the same thing we ndo here every nday. Some of you even ngot an unashamed  half!’

Our eyes met.

Wait. Did she just look at me? No way. She must have been avoiding the one who got that unspeakable half a mark to avoid embarrassment. She started calling out names and we went to collect our results.

She called my name and I walked to the front, worrying more of her snorts and how I might burst out laughing at a joke I would think of her. She held out my paper and as I held it she didn’t let go. ‘Shame on you!’ she hurled at me and the class was dead silent. ‘You are letting the class ndown.’ That was the moment I looked at the mark displayed on my answer sheet. Crap! It read the ‘f’ half! This was impossible. And now all eyes were on me, boring holes and mocking my shy ass.

I cringed and scampered back to my seat feeling worse than a rained on cat. It was horrible watching my ‘friends’ gaze and chuckle under their desks at the sight of the half-mark. The sensation was nasty and I would have wished for anything but it. I would have thought to lope away from school but I was a coward. I chose to get irate, not at the Chemistry teacher but at myself.

It took me two weeks to get my courage back though I never was the same. I got more confident and lost all coyness. I moved and sat at the front of the class and aimed to blow everyone with amazing grades at the end of school. I pinched my ear and swore never to get humiliated this way again.

I wedded books and detached from sleep, working round the clock and keeping in mind I had little time. I tutored and my father promised not to shell out a dime till he was delighted. I toiled the preceding three years in three terms and gradually transformed into a mini guru. I sacrificed a lot and worked on my key strengths, pocketing every counsel I could get. I did it because I was afraid of shame. The bad attention opened my eyes and showed me things I had never seen before. Things like my resolve, brainpower and acumen.

In the end I did bolt from the blue. Everyone was knocked for six.

I’m still trying to figure out what I am now…or probably my Melancholic side is the Mr. Hyde, hiding somewhere waiting for me to get home.

Battle of the sexes

Hands down please! I am distraught at our men and all this whining about us women. I have not met one eccentric man who will not play cheap talk about ‘You women’. Now it’s even worse when I meet a male friend who goes on and on and on…like all women are me!!! I don’t represent all women here. I probably represent myself alone. Hell! Perhaps all women represent themselves!

Radio breakfast shows are now making a kill in profits by frying relationship stories in hot rusted pans. Yes they say that now that we have grown horns, we’ve become brutal at the game than men. It’s like women are the hot spice while men are the meat. There goes the headlines; Hunters become the hunted, women battering men, women cheating on men, women high up the social ladder, women ‘pangiaing’ men. Women refusing to get married, women wanting successful men…women, women, women! So what if women have changed? Are you going to deny the existence of us and brand us the outlawed sex? Let me get you back a few steps.

Some women don’t want to commit, they’d rather have an already committed man who after a lunch time quickie will go to the one who cleans up after them, makes them look great and are too caught up with HIS kids to have love time. True, SOME women, note the key word, are tired of waiting for good men to come by, so they have opted to go for the already taken ones whose wives go berserk. War is sparked and there’s a lot of hair pulling, face scratching here and there. Whoever wins gets the prize. Other women give up and get dejected, others want Pastor Ojigbani to marry them. Heck! All these and men still protest (sigh).

Okay, I get it that men feel cheated in this game. I feel you brothers, but wait, weren’t you the ones who once got weary of women sitting at home and gossiping while you worked your asses off? Oh yes, I remember you said you didn’t want to come home to crack neighbourly nuisance?

Then who was that who got a high school girl pregnant and vanished into thin air? Do you know what this girl had to do to raise his bastard daughter? Of course like him, you don’t. I’ll be glad to enlighten you that she tried to get married, but no man sought after bearing the baggage. So she landed on a ‘strange’ street and targeted men, our fathers’ ages to get a share of the cake and feed the baggage. This baggage grows up without a father and learns from mom that a man is a means to an end.

A wise teacher once said, “If I feed you with gold, I expect gold to come out of your results. Not shit.”Sometimes we reap what we sow. Look deeper inside you. What are your sins? Do you ever consider that what you once did is coming back for your ass? Because we women do what we do, thanks to some masculine influence back then, either from our parents or men we date.

Here cometh the difference. Some women get bitter and frustrated and lean on to vengeance for support of the defectively bruised hearts, others run to friends, even previously derelict ones, and cry buckets till they run dry. Others will go back to ex-boyfriends in attempt to seek approval by rebound, and some like me will mourn the pain away and ultimately let go.

Those women who pangia men, in my view, should be given a chance to experience true love. Once it sweeps them off they will discern what others value, for to love you do not prioritise wealth but rather moments.

Those in it for revenge, well that’s hard. If you get caught in that net, you are disaster-prone brother. You’ll need someone to slap you back to reality. Wake up and take off.

Those who wait for you in the bushes so you can drop a penny will remain there till you cease from visiting and those who lie and blackmail you will stop only when you become unadulterated.

The rest of us loving and faithful women will make pop corn, grab a seat and watch y’all combat it out.

Yes I’m Kenyan and there those like me who still value love. Not the generic, pimped 21st century love, but the old, original , fresh scented love that makes you see a woman and see flowers….yes, that. It’s the kind that you see yourself in a meadow of soft trimmed green grass, picking lilies to fix on your hair; then suddenly there appears the man you want to get gorgeous for. Nothing matters in this field and every living thing responds to your love. Yes sound like a fairy tale.

I loved my husband while he was on the dole and in campus, loved him when I got a job before him, loved him as we struggled to get him a place and love him even more when I see him in those striking one button suits. My sort is ‘Those women, who hurt, learn and grow’ I am the kind who will give my man cash and let him be the man. I am the breed who love and hearten. Yes I giggle and smile all the time. I flush when he stares into my eyes and remind him he is unrivalled and the finest for me. Yes, my type still exists and No, I’m taken, my sister too.

Public Lessons

I constantly have this zeal, whenever I go to work in the morning…or let’s say I tend to stock a lot of zeal as it comes in very handy come week days…especially Mondays. I stimulate myself with the idea that Monday essentially is the best day of the week. I honour Mondays so that they go by quietly without causing drama. Damn, these Mondays are to be pampered; like I did Pesh’s kitten when it was barely hours old at our house. It lay, cautiously on my lap as I gently rubbed its wee fur. I wanted the poor thing to forget its mom and learn to live with a torturous and malicious little girl who would more often than not pull its tail and lift it by the ear. “Ussie!” Pesh would call out trailing it as it takes off in distress and hides under the couch leaving the monstrous toddler stuck in between seats and yelping for help.

This particular Monday I didn’t use my stashed energy. We had a pitch to present to one of our prospects and the edginess it had impacted on me was just about enough for the next two days. I hopped onto my favourite seat (next to the driver) and squirmed in my spot till my seat got warm. Two stages and another jumped right next to me. Note; you have to jump in to these Double M giants. I am convinced their manufacturer must have overestimated African height.

So the small bodied stranger banged the door shut and we drove on…very slowly. The tout beckoned to every Jack, Sylvester and Adhiambo that stood along the road to hop in, few of who did, then we’d move on…very slowly. This was indefinitely going to be a long trip. We murmured complains hoping the driver would somehow smell the utter disgust that diffused the air and gear on, but no. He slowed down more and called on people shutting the doors to their houses. Hell! He might as well have knocked on their doors and woken them up! I cursed under my breath knowing I would get late.

A phone rang and we all fumbled with our pockets. It wasn’t mine or the driver’s. The stranger next to me picked up his. Let’s call him Pete. “Oh, hi sweetness!” he began. I obviously turned to get a good look at his romantic nerve. He wasn’t bothered by the fact that I was unashamingly eavesdropping. “Yes, I got a mat and I’m already on the way….You’re still in bed? Awwww!….and you woke up to check on me?….awwwww! that’s cute!” Gay was the first word that came to my mind. Unfathomably and shamelessly gay. He went on “Sweets, I know, but don’t you worry. It’s only a couple of months now and I will make you the happiest woman in the world.” Hmm… a smile stole the corner of my face; the side away from him. Hopeful romantic, I thought. He must be getting married soon and just can’t wait to show the whole world the woman he’ll be sleeping with the rest of his ‘Awwww!’ life. And I do not hate.

Undeterred, he went on. “Oh, yes darling, I will crown you my queen and show the world how lucky I am…” He went on to flatter her as I got nostalgic. Yeah, well. Once you get married the lovie dovie messages trickle down to a nasty 7point something percent and you get down to some serious marriage business; budgets, finances, babies, outings, work, more work, heath insurance, mortgages, did I mention work?  The most you get is a calming text or cards on those special days, I’m not complaining here. I too never get the time to type a 360 lettered text. “Oh sure, love!” my bubble got burst. Pete was still on call. “Yes, she must be getting really jealous not to have someone to tell her what I’m telling you now” He did not just say that!! Was he talking about me? My fist clinched. “Would you like to talk to her? She is right here” That was it; and I’m the only female around? My built up anger could spark the fuel tanker and cause episode two of Sinai.

I took out my phone and forced a call to my husband. I just had to show this fellow I got love too; and better, matured love at that! I mumbled something about how I needed him to get up so he doesn’t get late…anything to prove my point. He slowed down and I thought he felt guilty for offending me…I hoped. I still thought he was a dare devil to actually go so public with his passion.

He was definitely in my good books, and lasted approximately 13minutes. Another call had come through. No one fumbled with their pockets so we let the culprit pick his. It was unbelievable. The tone in his voice suddenly changed and he even spoke with ‘swag’. “Yo man,” I almost fell off my seat. “Yeah, man Almost at Jogoo Road now. This driver here is cruising at an amazingly slow speed, I’m literary watching pedestrians bypass us” everyone in the bus went dead silent. “Yeah, man, He should just get fired you know. He must be new and man!he is so boring!”

I was embarrassed enough to sit next to him.  True, the driver was almost at a point of alighting and guiding the bus by the steering wheel, but to loudly bad-mouth him in a muted bus was altogether too mean. So all this while he was just a scum?  What of the passionate phone tête-à-tête?  Did he lose his heart somewhere? Jeez! It was disappointing to know he was all that and a bag of tomatoes. I felt nauseous.

The idiot picked two more calls and angered me more. It shouldn’t have bothered me but since it did, I decided to teach him a small lesson. This always works. I pulled out my pen and notebook and started writing…very fast. Like I have been fighting the urge to write; or that I might forget to write later. I paused for a second to catch him stealing a glimpse of what I was jotting down. He was curious, a good sign. I placed my hand over my work and hid it. He gave up and sat quietly the rest of the way, hopefully wondering if I was writing about him.

Got Guts?

It’s been for ever, really, since the mourning episode I went subversive. I never hid, I just couldn’t post. I wasn’t sick, no. Nor was I out of town, I had a topic for the week, yes, but I just couldn’t post. I didn’t change my writing style or shift to word press.com, no. I didn’t get tired of writing as ideas shamelessly cascaded my mind, nor did I become a poet, I just couldn’t…..crap! This sure sounds like poetry to me!!

So I know you didn’t even notice that I was inevitably missing, or maybe you did. I’m braced for wounding comments after I post this one, well if you enjoy my reading that is, and if I appease your wry Wednesdays. Apart from the heart-rending fact that I will have failed you, though not intentionally, this will help me gauge the effect this blog has on you. Risky? Yes, I think so too. Once, a blogger missed a day of writing I had to literary hide my head as I read the comments that followed his next post. I almost thought I heard a gunshot in one of them.

Truth? I was off line; I won’t feed you with soothing sweet nothings. Do those lies still work by the way? So by the time I had my laptop fixed, it was late Friday afternoon. I know, I should have checked into the nearest cyber and punched my wordy post into the blog, but no. It’s not that easy. Not when you leave work at 5pm and spend a miserable 2 hours watching bicycles and pedestrians by-pass you at a speed of what, 2km per hour? These are the times I daydream of being the owner of a scrambler. So by the time I get home, play with Pesh and make my ‘after supper tea’, it’s a little too late to type much. I decided against posting that Friday as it would spoil the pattern. My pattern and I decided to go missing rather than be late.

I was trying to be gutful. I believed I had the balls to go a week without a post. It felt funny, yes it did. I was idle and felt a little unimportant. Yes, you guys make me feel very significant when you let me chat you up. You give me a pedestal to sit my brave ass on and pin your ears back to me. That always feels great! I had the moral fibre to go mum and I didn’t like it so it will not happen again and if it does, please look for me as I could be in a snag or something.

Talk of guts and my mind goes to two interesting happenings. We’d gone out for a five minute walk with my colleague, Wa… crap!…she made me swear not to mention her name on this blog lest I become her tea girl for the next six months. So we walked sluggishly back to the office enjoying the coveted sun. Lunch passed and just as we were ready to hit part B of the day, a man stomped into the office.

He was about 5’ 5”, dark and plump with a noteworthy pot belly. I liked his shirt, it looked expensive and he paired it with a pair of black cotton trousers…and good shoes. His good looks ended drastically at his smile which revealed a gold-like coating on his incisor. This he marched perfectly with similar coloured bands on his index and middle finger on his right hand. At first we all thought he was our boss’ guest as he admirably gazed around our well designed office. “So what do you consult here?” he roared, proving my already chary note that he clearly had no clue where he had just landed and was trying too hard to show off his valour, probably.

My colleague hadn’t seen what I’d seen, which was a swank that had enough money to rule the world, or thought he could. My colleague went ahead to explain what we consult on. She managed four words and this stranger lifted his hand as if to stop her. His raised hand then turned into a pointing finger. ‘You have very beautiful hair’, he drooled, eyeballing her. There was a sudden pin-drop dead air full of pure discomfort, and then suddenly we were all talking in obvious dismissal of this malnourished complement. “How may we help you, today?”I was struggling to look serious, but I couldn’t wait to burst out laughing at this stranger’s guts.

Going further down memory lane, Pesh and I were going back home from a friend’s visit. As usual in a crowded matatu, the insane tout kept shoving more people in, squeezing Pesh and I into an almost folded position. When I couldn’t take it any longer, I ordered the tout to give me back my money to alight so he can stack up the matatu to his satisfaction. He apologised profusely and moved his extras. I didn’t keep quiet. I went on to rumble at how he couldn’t reason and that I had to complain to get my rights. At that time, there was stillness. The only noise you could hear was the roar of an old timeworn engine. Slowly, passenger began to whisper in an assumed attempt to diffuse the otherwise aggravated air when another young lad dared to jump in and asked me to slide over. Hell broke lose again as I shrieked him out. I soon alighted and another man jumped out with me. “Excuse me Ma’am” I turned. It was 7pm, a little too early for an armed thug. “Yes?”

“Sorry for budging in on you but…” my eyes enlarged in disbelief. After the drama I just displayed back in the car, I was obviously unapproachable. “I noticed you have an Ideos phone with a black cover. Would you kindly exchange with me? I bought mine with a pink cover and I’ve never answered it in public…” I couldn’t believe it. This man actually approached me for a favour! Impressive! He made me smile and earned himself a blue cover I had as spare.

Sometimes, we just got to have ‘em balls!

Ask now or forever hold your peace

Is it true, what they say, (whoever they are) that when you get heartbroken, no man dares look your way? Yet when you are in a relationship, happy, glowing and all bubbly, they all run hitherwards, those X’s included? Well I say it’s so true. I have dated several, (Am obviously not proud of the number) and I noticed this one thing in common.

As we speak I have two men misusing my phone battery with infinite calls insisting we meet. I know. I too ask, “The hell, why?”I am now a married woman, with a lovely daughter, a very supportive husband who by the way is also my best friend…and these men know this. Now the sad part is, these men are also married, and are expecting children of their own. Ok, now it sounds like I’m a home-wrecker, the kind of woman who all men would gladly replace their wives with, throwing care to the dogs, but no. I too, like you pity these women. I understand that their men, if not forced, tricked, or trapped into marrying them,  realized only too late that they are not over their past, though some  plan to marry more than once from the word go and know that regardless, will have the whole share of the cake and eat it. What such men fail to understand is that the women, who know they are married yet they date them as ‘mpango wa kando’ know only too well they can never settle with them since they will still cheat on them with yet other women. Or at least they ought to know!

So I discovered that the reason these men are running back to my already occupied arms is because they treated me like a side plate…ok let me stop sugar-coating it. Like a clande,or that mpango wa kando( Damn! I don’t believe I’m actually using this term to refer to myself) believing I would never wish to settle and have children. I know. You are already picturing the kind of woman I was then, right? I’m almost certain of that. Let me guess. Your thoughts must be of a skimpily dressed snob, always taking a cab to walk-able distances and is very picky with men; you know the ones who first check out your shoes then your face before deciding if you are worth their time? Yes, those ones. These men, they (crap! Whoever the hell they are) say, are of a higher social status and are not embarrassing to be seen walking around with. Ahem, that’s right. But, you are wrong. I was, and still am, a simple, woman. Though I’m quite shy at times, I know what I stand for and I’m principled. I am very choosy with what I wear and I try to be stylish in my own way, and I can say it works…At least my husband thinks it does!  I’m the kind of woman who never gets late for meetings and am very impatient. Needless to say, I love attention, a lot.

So now, the one thing that caused these men to play God and rudely judge me was my looks. Not on my face but rather my size. Thing is that I always had a slim body, and a very flat tummy (I hope you never see it now). That’s the kind that does advertising in fashion magazines and lifestyles. Not that I never tried Fashion, only, the farthest I ever went was the cover of the Saturday Magazines in the Dailies. How I wish I had an extra foot to my height, the Nokia face of Africa would not have turned me down.

 So you see?  An aspiring model would do just about anything to have and maintain that job. Getting married and having babies would clearly smash this dream.

Nevertheless, this dream never hatched and I ended up as Customer service executive in a well known telecommunication organization, and I got married.

 Now, just so you know, I didn’t get married because I was kicked out of The Nokia Face of Africa auditions, Emirates Airlines, and that Fashion magazines didn’t take me anywhere. God knows I’ve been turned down enough times.

 I got married because I wanted to get married, settle and raise babies. And even if I became a high fashion model in Paris, or got the six figure salary of Emirates, or crowned the bill boards with my photos, I would still settle and be a wife and mother.

Assumption is one thing these and many other men do. This is mistake number one.

How I met The man in my life

I first met my husband in my computer class…yes, and stop looking at me like that. I mean, it’s not like I knew we would end up together! Good, I see your face is calming down. So I walked in, 5min late for my first class, I definitely had to learn time keeping, now that I was no longer in high school where we blindly and faithfully followed bells. Damn! Those bells were just killjoys! Well, except when they meant class was over.
So, shy as I obviously was, I walked over to the empty desk. Crap! I could feel all those eyes, weighing down on me. Little did I know what this Man, now my husband first thought of me? As he now tells me, He thought I was a pretty girl, shy, naive and my dressing told him I had landed in straight from the village!!!
Ok, that’s enough, and you’ll wonder why did I take that in? Ha-ha! Here goes, I thought of him as one shabby, roughed up man. His shirt looked like he just pulled it right out of a bottle, free style. That made us even.
If you told me, then that I would end up with this man 4years later, I’d laugh my ass off. Smack it!