Bad breath. Weird toes. Snoring at night. Complete personality change when drunk. Talks unexpectedly loud in a restaurant. Laughs even louder in the same restaurant.
What I’m trying to ask is: what’s a valid reason to break up with someone even though you are dik in love? Some people say that love conquers all. But people who have been in relationships for a little while know that that’s not entirely true. Especially if you’re a little bit fussy.
If people are wearing sandals, I immediately look at their toes. It’s actually a big thing for me. Having said that, I don’t think that I would break up with someone just because his toes look funny – but I will think about the situation. (Disclaimer: Anwar has nice toes). Now this is the interesting part. I think that I have such a thing about toes because I have issues with my own. My small toes look like they were not in the same room with the other 8 when Jesus made them. Ja I will have some questions when I get to heaven.
And one more thing about the toe story: you owe it to your partner to let her see your toes before anybody brings anybody’s milkshake to the yard. Particularly if you know that your toes are worthy of a discussion. Not all surprises are lovely. Display your toes in the first week. It’s the right thing to do.
Bad breath I’m sure is manageable these days. The tricky part is when to raise the topic. While writing this and thinking about it more carefully, I realize that the conversation needs to be had quite early on Due to kissing and stuff. Put that way, the topic is actually unavoidable. Wow. Could actually be a deal-breaker if not nipped in the bud.
Whilst we are with toes, let’s just soema go to smelly feet as well. There are some people who take off their shoes and make my afro go straight. Don’t be one of those people. The world is a wonderful place as far as solutions to such problems go. Google will help you bigtime. Don’t let that pong ruin a sexy night at a 5 star hotel. Shame man. Imagine that. Remembering your night at the Silo for all the wrong reasons.
Most of what I’ve spoken about thus far is perfectly fixable so that no dramatic break-up via WhatsApp is required. There are other things though, that after the first or second date, should make you go mmmm I’m not so sure. A complete personality change after one glass too many may make you want to keep walking faster than Johnnie Walker. Hell, you might even want to sprint outta there. An oh-so-valid reason for a quick break-up way before you even get to change your Facebook status to in a relationshit. The worst personality change is that one that shifts from nice person to argumentative and looking for kak. Again, run! That story’s only going to get more severe. But it would be unfair of me to touch on this topic and not admit that there are some characters out there who actually become very charming and almost endearing on the third glass. You may want to stick around and enjoy that person, for your own entertainment. I don’t know, maybe it’s then that he carries on about how much the friendship means to him. Maybe it’s then that he sings the whole Whitney Greatest Hits album to you. Maybe he’s a comedian, I don’t know!
Finally, there’s the business of shockingly discovering that your date has the loudest laugh in the restaurant. And your date laughs a lot. At everything. And it’s not just the laugh. Your date speaks really loudly too. Now the decision will be entirely up to you here. Do you just go with the flow or do you actually say check here babe you talking and laughing a bietjie loud man and it’s too cold to get an outside table far away from everybody else? That might not work out so well for you. But weigh up your options. I mean, if THAT’S the noise level at Ocean Basket, can you just imagine what’s going to happen when you get to the room!?!
Yesterday, while she was enthusiastically chatting with a group of us, I told my friend Fazlin that she had a bogie in her nose. One of those bogie’s that love styling right on the edge of the cliff. Fazlin was eternally grateful. She quickly got rid of the culprit and continued with the conversation. Can everybody please be like me? That was the right thing to do. That’s what a good friend should do.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve animatedly been telling a story to a group of friends without anyone timeously pointing out that we have an elephant in the nasal room. Nobody tells you until much later. When it really is too late. When the story is done. It is only then that someone quietly leans over and softly says: “My bru, your nose.” It’s always a horrible moment for me. Especially when I’ve desperately been trying to be cool. And suddenly so many things start making sense. Suddenly I start thinking that’s why they didn’t laugh their moer at my story because they were feeling bad for me and mister Bo Jangles. Dammit all!
I can understand how the delay happens. The delay with the big disclosure. There’s a very small window period once you see the landmine for the very first time. As tricky as it is, you actually need to not even think about it for a second and immediately go: “Fazlin, your nose baby.” Ga-gwa! It’s over and done with. Fazlin immediately cleans up her act – everyone else is relieved – and life as we know it carries on.
If you wait for longer than 3 minutes to tell Fazlin – then it’s too late. You can’t interrupt her story now. You’ve waited too long. You’re going to have to wait until she’s done. And now nobody is really listening to her story. Nobody is hanging on to her every word because the only thing hanging is you-know-what. The entire little group is now panicking: OMG who is going to tell her – Oh shit nobody is going to tell her – Oh no how long is this story – Flip man, if only she kept her mask on!
There are some other things a good friend should also tell you. Even if it’s treading on tricky terrain. Things like, “Fazlin the boyfriend you have now is a pig – tell him to mince.” That means show him the door. Now this can obviously go one of two ways. Fazlin can tell you to mind your own business. She can ruk herself up and tell you that you’re just jealous because she’s getting hot action every night while you’re just sitting at home with Romany Creams watching a b-grade movie. You must make an allowance for the latter turn of events. Fazlin could of course also completely surprise you and say that she’s had a kak feeling about dinges for a while now and that she’s going to take your advice and move on. Whatever the outcome, you must do the right thing man. Otherwise there’s no point in being called bestie.
Bestie should also have the space to tell Fazlin that she has a really strange haircut. Particularly if Fazlin’s other twee-gevriet acquaintances are skinnering about the new haircut behind Fazlin’s back. And yes, I completely understand that we all have the right to live our lives to the fullest regardless as to what any other idiot thinks about what we do with our hair. I mean, I’m the last one to comment on interesting haircuts. But I’m referring to haircuts that have gone completely wrong. You know those haircuts that look like it’s been done by someone who has the shakes after trying tik for the sixtieth time – that day. Tell Fazlin!
And then, a good friend does not go quiet when he suddenly finds himself in the middle of a skinne session about Fazlin. Don’t even wait to hear how the story ends. Soema jump in immediately with, “Ok awks, she’s a close friend so let’s change the topic please – or I may have to leave. Sorry.” The skinnebek will feel terrible. Which is absolutely perfect. You don’t get a gold star for talking kak about other people.
Shoo. I’ve just read all of this again and I realized that I’m far from a fabulous friend. Look at God ne. Using me to see the error of my own ways. “I’m just Vessel” – for me today!
Music is everything. Have you already told your family what song you’d like for them to play at your funeral? You mussss. It’s important. That’s of course if you want any music during your funeral service. But you should have at least one song. Don’t be boring. Or as they say in the classics, don’t be droeg.
But before we even get to your possible funeral playlist, let’s just acknowledge that life would be oh so odd if we existed in a world void of songs. The older you get, the more you realize how the different chapters of our lives are connected to music.
I still go onto YouTube (generally when I’m meant to be working), and I check out the songs from old TV shows, and then I get all nostalgic and stuff. And I smile. Because that’s what music can evoke. You remember being safe and happy when you heard the opening bars to Wielie Walie or Heidi or Pinocchio. I still know all the lyrics to the Pinocchio song. Houtkabouter, Jy’s ‘n Stouter, Jy laat jou tog so maklik vang, en raak dan altyd vreeslik bang, jou klein kalant. Don’t get me started. Ah man, the joys of totally believing that a wooden boy’s nose would grow longer whenever he lied. Life was beautiful.
But songs can break your heart as well. I can hear a particular song and immediately know where I was, and with whom. Especially those break-up nommers. James Ingram. Oh my nerves. How hectic was that one album. There’s no easy way to break somebody’s heart. How can people write songs like that! And no matter how you try to be kind, there’s always still a part of you you leave behind, ’cause when it falls apart, there’s no easy way to break somebody’s heart. The married people reading this will know how awkward the mood can get in the lounge when a song suddenly plays and you both know that this has something to do with your ex. Jirre Bronwyn. At that point you soema nervously offer your husband tea.
(Listen to that James Ingram track tonight and listen to the way he sings the very last line – my nipples can’t handle it!)
As much as the break-up songs can tear us apart whenever we hear them, the make-up songs are often the ones that make couples shout OMG THIS IS OUR SONG! Some couples even choose that song as their special song to open the dancefloor at the wedding. It’s often a song that hints at what they’ve been through on their journey to get to that special day. So don’t select Radiohead’s CREEP.
To this day still, the dancefloor at the wedding gets busy all over the world when the experienced DJ whips out the sure winners like DANCING QUEEN and I WILL SURVIVE. Timeless stuff that makes you believe that you are the best dancer this side of the equator. After that second shooter, naturally.
Because music has pretty much been with you all your life, it is then only fair that you leave the planet accompanied by your song of choice. My people already know that I’m forever a Whitney fan so they will be spoilt for choice. Okay, maybe I should narrow the list down for them. I mean I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY would just be wrong. I have zero intention of coming to visit anyone. Lussie om te spoekie.
So choose your exit number. Otherwise your family will choose for you. And they are capable of making very silly choices. Someone told me he was at a funeral where, as the coffin was being carried out of the church, they played YOU RAISE ME UP.
This week my mother-in-law is coming for dinner, and sleeping over. And I’m looking forward to it. And now my spirit is telling me that many people reading this will never say those words, ever. And I don’t mean that your mom-in-law has passed. No. On the contrary she’s very alive. And definitely kicking. It’s just that two of you will never see eye to eye. Unless you’re standing bors-teen-bors. Chest against Chest. Which can be a very sexy situation in a completely different scenario. But this is not THAT scenario. This scenario is spicy, not sexy.
So today’s little story then is essentially for those of you who don’t get on with your mommy-in-law. Because there are many out there who actually do get on with hubby’s mother. And they will make a point of telling you so. And the rest of us look at that newly wed and think MMM WAG JY MA JY GAT NOG SIEN. Very loosely translated for our English-only speakers: YOUR MOTHER- IN-LAW IS A BIAATCH FROM HELL – JUST WAIT AND SEE!
Throughout the decades we have kinda been told to expect nothing less. I even remember a somewhat fierce looking plant called the mother-in-law’s tongue. It does not look like a rose. It does not look like a carnation. It looks fierce and sharp. Like your mother-in-law’s tongue mos.
I have the feeling that this drama mostly comes into play with heterosexual couples, throwing the spotlight on the relationship between the new bride and the groom’s mommy. This is going to be easier to read if we give them names. I’m writing this on a Monday so let me go with M’s all ’round. The groom is Mario. The young bride is Megan. The groom’s mommy is Michelle.
To grasp the mommy-in-law situation well, you have to understand that the bond between Michelle and her son Mario is like a bond between peri-peri sauce and slap chips. Inseparable. (Slap chips is hot chips. Slap is then pronounced “slupp”. Also means limp. Welcome to Cape Town).
God help the brave soul that steps in to separate the chips from the peri-peri sauce. Of course it’s going to cause a thing. But along comes Megan. Mario falls head over hills in love with Megan and they decide to tie the knot. The journey to the altar is not smooth sailing. Michelle is initially dikbek that another woman is creeping into her son’s heart. Note that Mario might be around 31 but Michelle still refers to him as “my child”. My child this. My child that. Ma dai jong is al groot.
So Michelle initially gives Megan a shit time whenever Mario takes Megan home to visit. Michelle will carelessly (but smilingly) say things to Megan like he brings so many girls in and out here – he will never make up his mind – would you like some tea or juice? (By the way, when Michelle offers you tea Megan, you say yes. Even if you hate tea. Just say yes. Otherwise the story will spread like a Parliament fire: sy hou vir haa wat sy nie issie. Elegant translation: she’s pretentious).
When Michelle eventually realizes that Mario is serious about Megan, she accepts that she has to start playing the game. She has to play nicely. Megan now bravely begins to prepare Michelle for the harsh scenario that the peri-peri sauce will gently be scraped off the slap chips. Yes Michelle is the peri-peri sauce and her child is the slap chips. The tricky issue is that the slap chips must show a willingness to be separated from the peri-peri sauce. Indeed, it is during this time that the slap chips must not be slap.
Mario must now emotionally leave his mommy. This is easier said than done because we all know that a man turns into a boy when he is sitting in his mommy’s lounge. And his mommy loves it. Especially when it comes to food. Shame Megan why is my child looking so thin! Megan is thinking yirre Mario open your bek and tell your mommy that you are running every morning! But no. Mario just smiles at mommy and goes into mommy’s kitchen and dishes from mommy’s pot. Like he never left home.
Michelle loves this, Megan smiles and thinks jy kan elke aand by jou ma gaan vriet! (You can go and eat at your Mom’s every night).
Lol. The struggle continues. Good luck in getting that peri-peri sauce off the slap chips.
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution the other night? I was asked by a journo to please send them a few sentences as to what my resolutions are. I emailed back: TO STAY ALIVE. They never went to print with that response. They wanted more. I didn’t have anything more. Aiming to stay alive is currently a big enough challenge.
But even in the good old days before we washed our hair in sanitizer after someone sneezed within eight thousand metres of us, I was not really big on New Year’s Resolutions. Mainly because I hate feeling like a loser. I’ve decided it’s best to keep your new year’s intentions to yourself so that nobody is able to judge you when you fail. Some of those resolutions may not sound challenging but they can eventually prove to be helluva ambitious. Three popular ones spring to mind.
THIS YEAR I AM GOING TO GYM. Don’t tell anyone. Just quietly start going. Maybe. There are so many variables when it comes to this gym story. Take it from me. I’ve stumbled down this road for a while. The gym community is a whole other breed on it’s own. You can’t just arrive at gym in a dirty old grey tracksuit pants as though you’re part of the “boys open relay team”. No. You have to invest in some crisp new gym gear otherwise they will look at you funny. The right sneakers will easily cost you more than many packets of Fritos. I’m often gawked at when I arrive at gym with my old converse sneakers. (Which reminds me – I still need to buy a t- shirt for gym that says TSEK.)
Once you have 2 or 3 gym outifts you need to decide which gym you’ll be frequenting. Different gyms attract different tribes. Some gyms attract the laid back crowd. Others attract the not-so-laid-back crowd. This latter group makes gym noises while they are exercising. They also take very serious ownership of the gym equipment and may smash your car windscreen if you ask a ridiculous question like are you still busy here?
And if you are lucky enough, you need to choose the right Personal Trainer. This is crucial. You will be with this person for 60 minutes at a time. It can be emotionally painful if you make the wrong choice. You want someone who can say sweet nothings about more than just the best protein shakes or how last week’s trance party in Grabouw was lit.
So you see, the gym resolution is easier said than done.
THIS YEAR I’M GOING TO CUT BACK ON ALCOHOL. Please don’t tell anyone. Notice how this resolution more than likely started with I’m going to give up alcohol. This quickly moved to cut back. It’s a tough one. Having said that. I have to admit that I have a friend or two who’ve been able to turn their backs on the bottle cold turkey and are living their best lives. But still. If this is your resolution keep it to yourself. Because it is crucial to remember why you sometimes wind up with a glass in your hand in the first place. It’s just difficult to deal with some family and friends unless you’ve taken a few sips. Those are the people I have spoken about previously, numerous times. They have been created to test us. So a long as they are alive, turning your back on the bubbly is going to be a challenge. If you must, rise to the challenge quietly.
THIS YEAR I’M GOING TO TRAVEL MORE. Don’t be silly. Covid things. Put this one off for a little while.
So then at least join me on my journey with my ONE New Year’s Resolution: let’s try to stay alive kanalla. There’s still lots of laughing to be done.
Rest in Peace Our Beloved Arch. What an outpouring yesterday. From across the globe. So much Love, Respect and Adoration. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a Giant amongst Men. And this sentiment was echoed by so many. It made me think about what people will say about the rest of us when we are no longer here. A person should think about these things. And when you do, you will strive to be a better person in life. Be more lekke with others. Don’t be a vark. Because you want your funeral service to be fabulous. Especially that part of your funeral service where others get to talk about you.
I’ve been to a few funerals in my lifetime where I had to hide my grin when I realized that people were struggling to find a nice thing to say about the dearly departed. And it’s even funnier when you realize that the entire congregation knows that dinges was not a lovely character at all.
I’ve even attended a service where the Pastor decided to say bugger all about the person chilling in the coffin and instead proceeded to deliver a beautiful sermon about the importance of being kind to each other. Now while that’s a movingly important message indeed, you’re kinda preaching to the dead if the main culprit, her of UNKINDNESS DOT COM, is now gracing the cover of the freshly photocopied funeral bulletin.
Wait. Let me then maybe backtrack so ‘n bietjie. Maybe people who are not lovely should NOT strive to be lekke people and instead just continue to roam the planet as horrible people. And then when we talk at their memorial or funeral service, we simply get up and tell the truth and “celebrate” them for who they really were. THAT most certainly would make these gatherings so much more enjoyable. After all, we all know that most of these things have an after party with snack platters, pots of curry, and booze from the boot of Uncle Whatsisname’s car. So we might as well gear up for the party, balls to the wall.
Imagine being able to stroll up to the podium, knowingly sneak a glance at the coffin, clear your throat, whip out your phone, and gooi:
“Graham was married to Jill, but was having an affair with Nicole from Milnerton. I know that most of us sitting here knew about it. Many of us here tried to talk to him – even I tried to talk to him out of the affair – but he wouldn’t listen. He was adamant that he was no longer in love with his wife but was now in love with Nicole. Even Graham’s brothers couldn’t talk to him about this. He wouldn’t listen to them. Essentially because one brother also has a skelmpie on the side and the other brother is an alcoholic. Their family has always been deurmekaar. They are all here – they will tell you themselves. You’ll see at the after party.
I see Graham’s neighbours are also here. I remember Graham always talking shit about his neighbours. He knew that you guys called him ‘suurlamoen gevriet’ behind his back. Graham mos never smiled. Whether it was at work or at home. He maintained that smiling was overrated and it took too much effort, for zero reward. You guys who lived in the same road with Graham wanted him to join the neighbourhood watch but he refused. He used to say to me: ‘their houses are so kak why would anyone want to break in! I’m not missing out on my sleep because of those delusional losers.'”
That is the kinda tribute that can go either way. But whatever happens, if you didn’t know the real Graham, you will know who he was after that day.
Enough about that. We started with the Arch. Let’s end with The Arch. Today he would want us to smile. I have been lucky enough to meet him a few times and he thoroughly enjoyed laughing. He thoroughly enjoyed telling jokes. And he thoroughly enjoyed laughing at his own jokes!