Female dictionary

Lazing the weekend away  with this small collection of weird things girls say or do that leave men confused…and what they mean.

1.We don’t talk anymore

The conversation is going perfectly well. Peppered with hearty laughs here and there. Then madam’s tone changes. “Babe, we don’t talk anymore” And you stand there startled. What does she  mean? Have we not been talking!!? No, don’t start telling her that you actually talk.. Because she is right. You DO NOT talk. I mean, you do not have deep CON.VER.SA.TIONs anymore.  I also do not know what women mean by the word conversation. What I know is that  there comes that point in time you feel  like you are not connecting mentally, emotionally, small talk wise, big talk wise and all.

Or she probably puts it more bluntly, like “you don’t  have time for me these days“… And you wonder what she means, you do not understand because you are with her that time, and you were together the day before, and two days before that.  I’ll tell you what she means. You are spending time with her, yes, but you are mostly busy on other things. Either you are preoccupied with this and that idea, or football, or PS (who invented this thing by the way????) or whatever other thing was distracting you. You are not actively contributing to conversations, or maybe, something is just disturbing you. Please try be more attentive to her, and at least participate actively in conversations at the bare minimum. This small fight will soon be history.

2. I’m done, for good.

Don’t call me, don’t  text me…like I am done this time.  I think I have given you more than enough chances. Literally, this means you are not supposed to call her, ever again. But try not call her. War.

So you won’t call me huh? You wrong me and expect me to start looking for you, really?? Kwani you are not planning to fight for this relationship. Can’t we just fight and make up? What is the future of a relationship where you cannot disagree and be mad at each other  for some time…”

She will continue blathering and making you feel guilty for taking her words seriously. Did she not tell you not to call her anyway?I will not be on the ladies side here.  If you want him to talk to you later, tell him just that. Something like, “You have annoyed me, and my mind tells me that I don’t want to talk to you again. But just call me later. It’s okay. I will be ready to make up…”Or something more straight like: “I am telling you not to talk to me, but my expectation is that you are going to fight  for me, for us.!”

Why torture him with mixed commands? How will he know when you want him to take you seriously and when you don’t mean what you say? Digest that.

3.  Keep talking to whoever you were talking to

You missed her call. One of those days Missus has a lot of time in her hands. So she goes to whatsapp to wait for you there.  You are not online, but soon you will be there. Her instincts are never wrong, you come online before you return her call. And you do! You are now online, you are not ‘typing’…and you freaking hell missed her call and haven’t called back.

So here is the thing. Whatsapp will be end of a lot of women, and men alike. She will calculate how many minutes you are online with increasing womanly anger. There is no win here. Fail to text her and it’s another fight altogether. The fact that you are online means you definitely have seen her missed call, and you have your phone with you. (She will do a lot of Math on how to deal with you)….And if you text her, she most probably won’t respond. Or she will tell you to keep talking to whoever you were talking to. Si uendelee kuongea na mwenye ulikuwa unaongea na yeye.  She was counting nanoseconds and having monologues…how is he online and he is not talking to me.

I do not have a solution for this, but we got your back. We are  fully aware of your circumstances and will try come up with a solution.

But for a start if she has refused to talk to you on whatsapp, ask yourself how long you were online before you send her the message, or if you have returned her previous call/text…And make amends going forward.

4.I am this kind of a girl

This one is common, especially with the campus divas. Ati I am a flowers, teddies, chocolates and holidays kind of girl. Mark you, this is a girl who has never bought herself a fudge, or even a teddy bear for a key holder. But she will chip in her love for these things at every available opportunity. My genuine third cent is that if you want something, just go ahead and ask for it. Like why are we beating about the bush? And don’t force it. Just because so and so got flowers, you now tell your boyfriend to send you flowers in the office, and chocolates and what message tag. But Valentine’s day is going to be a bit tricky, we can bend the rule of forcing things. Like you should  know she cannot be the only one eating other people’s chocolates while she is putting nothing on the table! Hint hint, do something on valentines day. And remember important dates for Pete’s sake.

5. Alter egos

I saved complex things for last. There is some spirit of self exultation that enters a normal woman’s mind when she is around him. She will be all fine and all down to earth when coming for that date. She will even wobble in those six-inche heels across town. Then she meets you, and snap, a whole new woman inside her is let loose. She will order things she cannot even pronounce, pick a very refined accent, and loosely drop hobbies she does not even know. Like telling you how she loves skating and Scuba diving when in reality the deepest she has gone under water is when the roads flooded. She will speak of designers and her fine  taste for life. Dare take her to a shady restaurant and she won’t talk to you anytime this year. Do not mention that you once spotted her at that fast food place around River road that is open 24hours for revelers. The one you are talking to now, does not even take fries. What was the name of that South C chic again who could not eat cheap foods like fries?

And after that date, hire a cab for her. That is if you are not dropping her there yourself. How do you expect such a diva to walk though? (Yeah yeah, because she took a flight to come for that date. Smh!). But let me share some secret. If she insists on standards on material things day in day out…open your eyes. That is a woman who will never see you for anything more than your wallet. I might not be an expert here, but love has no complications and no pride. If what she feels is something close to love, you sure will know by the drive of her conversations, her realness and her ability to enjoy the small moments with magical gaiety.

Teen love

He broke my heart into a million pieces.

untitledI was thirteen, fresh into the teen world. I could feel my breasts fighting for that small space to protrude, and my ovaries dancing in excitement. He was a new comer. And when I first saw him, I knew I was in love. He was the cutest thing I had ever seen. He had as smile to die for, and  pair of dimples to match the picture perfect face. TWO FREAKING DIMPLES! And I discovered I was a woman with feelings. I wanted him all for myself. I said a silent prayer, that the good lord would make him my desk mate. Then, Teacher Agnes disobeyed the will of God and put him behind me. My ‘back deskmate’. But I was okay, we could still build a home from there.

Then we did our first exam in class seven. I did not care what position he would secure, it did not matter to me whether he would be top from the bottom or last from the front…But then, he was second from the top! Whoa! My husband was all brawns, all brains. What more could a girl possibly ask for. Surely

I spend half of my time in class seven and 8 turning back to ask him the difference between the leeward side and windward side, about windsocks and windvanes, GCDs and LCMs… and all. And every time I looked back, getting right answers from him over and over, I could tell how brilliant our kids would be. How cute they would be, and the masterpiece honeymoon his brain would craft. I wedded him a million times in my head. And I changed my name to Mrs. Him. I would unconsciously write his name on my books, on my locker, on my metallic box, on my palms: everywhere. My deskmate noticed.

“Ha ha, umeandika andika hiyo jina kila mahali… if you want him, just send me” She teased

Class 8, third term. Year 2004.

Farewell books. He gave his book to write stuff. I, Dorothy Taitumu, wrote…’ I will miss you because I love you

And that statement right there, that statement cost me my marriage! He did not speak to me again. (Oh boy, such a guy…so typical of modern men to go mute at the mention of that word, LOVE). I wish I never revealed my feelings.

2005, form 1.

I was still stuck on my marriage. I had refused to sign the unspoken and unwritten divorce papers. And while my new desk mate Aggie spoke about her boyfriend Yang, I chipped in that I too had a husband. And he was in Bush, and bush was THAT school. I never gave up on trying to savage our marriage. I wrote him letters in very beautiful writing pads, perfumed them, had his name in jaw-dropping calligraphy: and kept them safe. I never got the courage to send them, my bad. Then Lucifer happened, I carried one of the letters home. And it landed on my mother’s hands.  Whatever happened with my mother that day! I stopped loving my pretty boy, divorced him even.

2009 February

endI bump into him. Haha, Karma is so righteous. Adolescence had taken such a toll on him. The dimples that were once a turn on, were covered in that bi*c* acne. Puberty can be unfriendly. He is aware of how his rejection and divorce affected me…and how they  bruised my ego. There has been a coffee date that has been happening since 2010, and an apology from him.

I am back in the city now, so where are we having that coffee? Sanibel island maybe? Tell me Bry.

********

Gakii Taitumu

Gold digger!

Image result for gold diggerThe odium on gold diggers is now at its peak. Let’s give a standing ovation to all you bloggers, writers and people who have found time to be part of this finger pointing revolution!

I lost count of the insult on Kenyan women, and all women, for being gold diggers. Mostly, from seasoned douches who will chase a woman with no intentions of getting serious with her. Why? Because they imagine that she is a gold digger, and they, the goldmine laced with diamond fillings. But how is dating such guys like? They will come in cabs, their friends’ cars or their cars because they imagine that a car will raise her eyebrows. They will have consulted their council on some place they can take her for drinks. You are lucky if it is a date, a quiet date. There will be no communication and no mental connection at all, right from the word go. Mr Goldmine will conveniently chip in a hint or two about how they have had a rough time in the last couple of years because they only seem to attract gold diggers. They will put a lot of emphasis on their chubby bank accounts, their good jobs and their good money. They will drop these comments between sipping whatever drink they will be taking. The poor girl will imagine that the drinks are spiked with some bile concoction, because of the expressions Mr Goldmine will make while talking about these women who gold dug his quarry. They will frown visibly and their forehead veins will even pop out. Total bitterness, oh boy!

And you will sit there, unsure of what they expect you to tell them. That you are the saviour? That you are not like the others? That you are different? And just like that, the guy has passed his message….That he is ‘rich’, and that you have a task to prove that you are not a gold digger. The default status quo is that women are gold diggers until they prove otherwise. We are at an age where chivalry is taken for a favour. That men have it in their heads that women are just out there to spend their money, and duck to the next highest bidder. In an era where a woman will feel like dating a rich guy is a crime because she will be branded a gold digger, and dating poor man is a delinquency because she will be seen to have no standards. You find yourself justifying why you are dating a person who is not ‘rich’ or successful. Something like, ‘he is not driving and all that…buuuuut, he has potential.’ We are constantly in the dilemma of having standards, and being real.

But the venom spit on women is not purely from these insecure men. In fact, you will hear it more from your fellow women. Blabbermouths who are quick in pointing out who is dating for money and who is getting married to an UGLY rich boyfriend. You see, handsome and rich hardly ever fit in the same sentence. It is the theory of picking a struggle and riding by it because that thing of being an all-in-one package is out of this world. We live in a society where a man cannot be rich, handsome and good natured. In the same society where a woman cannot just be brilliant, beautiful and genuine in her love. She is either a blond who wears yoga pants from morning till evening waiting for her sponsor to greet her later with chums, or a nerdy ugly plain Jane. If she hangs out with ‘moneyed’ men, she is a gold digger. If she lays low, she is cheap, she has no standards. Same same chatterboxes judging others, will be top of their volume wondering where the men who spend on their women are. Ati, ‘Aki I just want a guy who will spend on me, without me telling him to’. It has come to the point that we imagine if he took you out, it is because you asked him to. They are the ones who will spend an afternoon drooling over so and so’s boyfriend because he took her here and there, or bought her this and that. You can feel the envy from the way they will stare at you, wondering what you have or do, that they don’t.  They will ask where you two met, where he works and what he owns. You can even feel the tremble in their voices when they tell you how lucky you are to have such a man who knows the rules of knighthood….the tremble of jealousy. No one will ever ask you how he makes you feel as the first question! And stop sitting there pretty calling others gold diggers if you know you are asking any of those questions, or wishing you had a man who knew how to spend on you, or who knows his role as the provider! Don’t even say a thing if you know you will start stammering if you are asked if you can date a matatu tout or a primary school drop out who is now a shamba boy.

But even before we go further, let’s all agree that we all work hard so that we can get a comfortable life. Because we sleep in our hard beds and dream about the day we will be peers of the lords, sleeping in rocking beds. We see nice cars, nice holidays, nice homes and all the fine living that come about with success and get instant motivation to burn the midnight oil to secure ourselves a brilliant future. Now if you thought that a future is secured with ropes and chains, you have it all wrong. Money counts, money is the reward for effort. It pays bills and solves some small problems which would otherwise cause marital fights. We work hard so that our kids will never lack that which we lacked in our childhood, and these things have a cost attached to them. Let’s also agree that being successful will win you audience and attract attention at the bare minimum. Money is also a label that tends to give the illusion that you are on a level higher than everyone else. Those are the small facts about life, not rumours. You will be judged depending on what you have, or what you seem to have.

That is the society we live in today. A society that has made deity of a couple of things, money being top of the list. You are rated depending on what you do for a living, where you live, what car you drive, what phone you own and where you hang out. So overrated are these things, that a man would rather take a loan to take a girl out and fit a certain profile. It is for this reason that men have it in their head that a richer man stands a higher chance of winning a woman relative to their indigent counterparts. And they will do just anything to look rich. They will take loans to look more appealing, to be called attractive and romantic…to get the women. They will speak of what they own if they sense that you are not interested in knowing how their bank accounts look like. They feel the need to tell you their worth. Even more offensive is a man who will ask you why you would ever date another man who is less moneyed than himself. They will give you a list of things they would do for you if you were their girlfriend, and the list of destinations they would take you. What money can do!  Woe unto you if you ever decide to take that one day ‘vacation’…because he will spend the rest of his life asking you if you know how lucky you are to have him. Should you ever pick a fight over anything, you will be quieted with that one time he took you to the Mara…it doesn’t matter if you footed half or three quarter of the bill…

But how is chivalry supposed to survive in an age where men feel like any woman they see on the street can smell the money in their pocket, and the pocket of his neighbour. Where even the finest of ladies will also be judged harshly for loving, and being loved. I read a blog just the other day, which insinuated that my small idol, Ess, said yes because the guy could afford to airlift her. That it is a shame that she said yes to a man who only has 200 twitter followers. I wondered if the writer would have done a congratulatory post if she had dated otherwise. But how? They would probably have found reasons to brand her cheap. It doesn’t matter how hard a woman has worked, she still will be judged by the kind of guy she dates.

What is the most important thing to you on a first date? Looks? Conversation? Chivalry? Money? Great kisser? What warrants a second date?I have a feeling that men have taken the gold digging thing as an escape. Ok, I don’t know what they are escaping. But my take is that any man who has the guts to imagine that a woman is after his money, does not even have it in the first place. He is insecure that there are better men out there. And these are men who would never even part with a penny without being chocked by pain in their throat. They are mostly those that can never gift a woman,  because she can be stolen any minute.

Fact is, money is not a snapshot kind of thing. You could have it one moment, and have none the next moment. And as such, it never has been the primary reason for the decisions that women make. But as a man, at what point do you draw the line between being a provider, and thinking that you are being taken advantage of? At what point do you do spend on a woman because you feel the need to, and at what point do you start ‘buying’ her attention and time. At what point do you drop all the labels and genuinely pursue a woman, with chivalry? Without complications and without pride?

And who do you consider a gold digger anyway?

Cold Flames

downloadBoyfriend? Soulmate? Fiancé? Husband maybe?

Not really, I said a man! Those other labels can wait.

Perplexed I ask, “So what are you working on? Been three years now Nina, are you comfortable hanging in there…

Rewind. Ten or so minutes ago, Nina was at the verge of breaking down. He had stood her up, via a text. They are all cut from the same cloth anyway. They miss calls and return with text messages five hours later saying they were asleep, or tired or they did not see the calls coming through. They cancel dates five minutes AFTER the set meeting time and expect you to be ok with that. The extreme ones have batches of children with different women, and they admit to it fashionably, you’d think siring babies is a profession. Something like she (the mother of my child) trapped me, but I have no feelings for her. The only reason  I talk to her is the baby between us! Being the girl who only sees the future 50metres away, you fall for such lines. Your friends look at you and decide to watch that space as you wait to be taken to the alter. (Lol).  Plus, they lie, they love lying! Like saying sorry when they do not mean it, and repeating the same mistake over and over. Fact is, a fault denied is twice committed, a fault repeated is thrice a decision. Period.

I think Nina needs a break to figure out what she wants, and why she is still dragging Jay along. I am all about the tough questions today.. As expected, She is now all defensive, she does not want to let him go. Somehow she imagines she can handle him with the hope that he will make up his mind soon, to her favor.

One reason to keep seeing him Nina?? Why do you still keep tabs?

C’moooon. He’s not bad. Not like that. He’s nice, generally a good  man. Just that, I don’t know. Sometimes, I don’t know! Deep breath, then, a moment of Silence. And then >>>>>>Thing is, He is a bad boy, who’s is a good man<<<. They are hard to resist. And Jay: he  is one of those! She says.

So? What is he to you? And where are you? Are you going to live the rest of your life finding excuses for his indecisiveness?

(Silence)

Theirs has been a rough patch. She can’t quite call him hers,  but he is in her life anyway. She won’t admit she is single either. How now? She goes out of her way to please him, you’d think he is the last man living. But she is not sure what he wants with her. It is equally hard asking him too, where again would she start the conversation?

Relationship? or Situationship? This here is a simple guide that will help you know the ship you are sailing in.images (2)

1. What are we

If you have ever caught yourself one day clearing your throat or fidgeting,  tranna get the right words to ask this question without sounding like you are telling him that *Sir, do you know that you are my boyfriend and I am your girlfriend?*…pause. Situationship alert. Chances are that you did not even ask the question loudly. Thoughts came, then overthinking kicked in, and you decided to wait. (For that proposal 😂😂). You convinced yourself to let things flow and not spoil the surprise that he might be preparing for you.You did not want to sound like you wanted this thing sooo much( Even though you’d kill for a proposal, or at least a commitment ring from him)… Then you resolved to ask him like an educated woman. You planned to bring it up in ordinary conversations. But do you ever talk anyway? I am not saying those messed up conversations of planning for the next drink up, you know half of the time you meet up for drinks anyway. Then later have some awkward talks of how work is, and school maybe, and family. Nothing you wouldn’t talk about with your grandmother. Conversations too plain to even stimulate you to keep engaging your thoughts.  I presume you are now on year three and still having those moments you wanna ask what you two are, and hesitation, and cold hopes of being proposed to… Same old cycle. If you do not know where you are standing, you might as well start walking my girl. WALK. He is not dumb by the way, he sure knows what exactly he wants with you. Or do you think he doesn’t?

2. I am so done with this, that was the last time I even tried.

Yeah, you have spent more time lamenting about your struggles than you spend fantasizing about your ‘happily ever after’ fairy tale. Sometimes you even cry. But which girl in her twenties has never cried over a man, even if for a second?  The day he went silent all day? The day he stood her up? The day he slept off in the middle of a serious talk and woke up to solito negotium (business as usual)… as though he had done nothing? The birthday he pretended to forget (!!!) or the night he chose the boys over you. He doesn’t seem to know when he pisses you off.  There are times you go for months with zero communication, and he is okay with it. Then, one day when he is bored or lonely or both…he remembers you…and sends some very thoughtful text like I’ve missed you. (Veeeery thoughtful indeed). You go jumping to your girls that he has finally looked for you, you think he has finally realized that you are the *it. The heck? Know your place Ma’m. A man who really wants to be with you will create time for you. If he wanted to see you daily, he would… he just doesn’t feel that you are worth the effort. Read that again.

3. You are uncomfortable introducing him to your circle.

When a girl is in love, she will flaunt him. Whether he is 70 years, coal and broke, uneducated or stingy to the bone…she will be proud of him. But now you have this man you don’t even want to be seen with. Problem with those ones is that they will be stuck on your body like a tatoo. Everywhere you go, they want to follow you…and they also wanna be noticed as the kings to your queendom. (Deal with it) . If you find yourself wondering why the hell is is desperate to be all over in your circles, why he keeps asking you to pose for photos with him (which he constantly posts on social media)…RUN. What are you thinking? That one day you will wake up and all of a sudden he is the drop-dead prince charming you always dreamt about? No? Or are you planning a party to dump him ceremoniously because he has been really nice to you? Maybe you are thinking that he deserves to be dumped in a nice way, in a small ceremony attended by close family and friends? Don’t be silly, no break up is soft. NONE.  Truth is, if he did not meet the cut right from the word go, he won’t. No matter how hard  he tries, he won’t. Guys get it wrong that when they have money they become more appealing. Lies! No amount of money or success can iron out the personality disconnect with him. The earlier you walk out of someone you do not share a vision with, the better for you two.

4. You have dumped him a million times, in your head.

In your head because you have never had the guts to tell him. But on what grounds anyway? This is the new normal, breaking up with someone that you never had in the first place. So you find yourself promising by your small finger the way you will never call him, ever! Who? Me? Catch me dead looking for him… “Kwani he thinks he is who?“. He is also horrible at communication. The kind that will ignore whatsapp messages even when you can see the blue ticks, and  comfortably tell you that he did not see the text.. Days like these, you call him a a douch. . Is he? Then, work comes before you. His work time is more important than your time. He has no problem keeping you waiting. Men who imagine that they have a bigger claim your time and should only see you when it is convenient for them. Just for the record, being privileged does not make him entitled to your time. If he is constantly keeping you waiting, or the one always deciding when you meet, to his convenience..again, pause. What are you in that ‘relationship’? A personal assistant? The tea girl or what? Halloo? (Waving to your face)

5. He ever said anything like “I am not sure about this.”images (1)

Fine fine. You aint sure, walk away. You simply cannot have your cake and eat it too. It’s not about being unable to decide, because ‘Indecisiveness is a decision!’ One moment he is happy to be with you, the other minute he is unsure. So he sits there, with some henious sense of pride that now you are the girl he is auditioning. For what? As who? Being the good girl you are, you hang in there. Probably trying to prove to him that you are indeed the girl of his dreams. Periodically, you second guess whether you are the woman for him, the kind of a woman he wants for a lifetime. You have idealized this man so much, that his flaws pass unnoticed. In fact, you almost worship his ground. Welcome back to reality little girl. Those are cold flames there. You do not start a fire from cold flames. In lighter terms, you do not ignite a relationship spark where there is no spark from both sides in the first place. Unless of course, you wanna be in love alone. It’s called a love lone zone.

You are probably asking yourself where you lie, or where your efforts are channelled. Most likely you are finding all the reasons why he is worth the try, worth one more chance. Whatever choice you make, ride by it. But by all means, invest in squeezing a fruit whose juice is indeed worth the squeeze.

images

While seeking for a job

Are you going to be one of those who do work because they feel that they have no other choice. Those half baked clones you meet in town with gloomy faces whining about their jobs and bosses every single day? Will you be comfortable with delivering average results as long as you are not the worst in the team, because you hate your job? Indiscriminately looking for anything to put food on the table? Or are you working towards a particular end goal? Pause and take a back step.  The only job, really, is to maximize skills, do something that you like and utilize your career to make a difference…Ignore the number of times you will have to try. Get this from Michael Jordan “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game’s winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”  One last one on disappointments…“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker.  Failure is a delay, not a defeat.  It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can only avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.” Denis Waitley

 

Now let’s get to the real talk.

*      *       *

The last one month has been the longest you ever had. Same old cycle. Wake up, look for a job online(Yeah, first thing in the morning)…take breakfast, shower, dress lazy, watch or read…lunch, supper. End. On a slightly different day, you have an interview somewhere. You feel nostalgic about school and friends, agitated by job hunting, constantly hungry, and increasingly getting tired of pretentious attention on what you have ‘been upto lately’. You have been curled up on a movie since morning today. You decide to check your phone. No calls, no texts, but 200+  whatsapp messages. These groups, smh. Top of the list is the blabbermouth who has made it a personal duty to notify members of which company has send emails to applicants. Then another one notifying friends of their two job offers and  asking for advice in choosing.  #Dilemma#Godspeed#Hardworkpays#cantbilivit#teamworkingclass… many sappy words which only serve to remind you that the struggle has just been redefined. Let’s take a moment and appreciate this kind of group members for their invaluable contribution to your sleeplessness.

You are tempted to open your mail, but you are scared. What if it is  a regret and you  get back to the group only to find people talking of how hard work has paid and you start wondering if what you did was lazy work.  No one talks when they are rejected… they lie to your face that they did not apply.

You beat your inner voice telling you to check later. After all, it’s either that you are proceeding to the next level, or you have received a slap like this: IMG-20150614-WA0005

(Been habouring a personal beef with this particular mail. Whoever taught them communication did an amazing job, especially on the subject line. Yes?Somebody in HR, anyone?).

Well, back to the main point. The harsh part about job scarcity is that you will inevitably find yourself competing with your peers, close friends and even siblings. Some of you will be dropped along the way at earlier stages, others in the final stages.  None is better than the other. You all start the process with blind optimism, you know. Worse is when you find yourself competing with your closest of friends and it becomes every man for himself, God for us all. Then you, yes you, end up being the one who doesn’t meet the cut.  They get the job that you were eyeing with both eyes wide open.You will be really happy for them. Why am I lying? You will be jealous, green with envy. You will want to run to them and ask them what they said in there, what posture they took, if they smiled or if they wore flat faces…You will start taking mental notes on what they say in ordinary conversations. And it’s not because you feel you are better or something. (But let’s just be honest here, while taking those mental notes, you will at one point or another be like “She’s not even all that. C’mon, how could they even choose her over me?”)..It’s only very normal to ask yourself what they have that you don’t. Ask any person who has ever been dumped for another, they are acquinted these kind of monologues. But you will stay strong like a man and decide not to parade your silent pains; a girl has gotta have some pride and keep her hem looking forward. You do not even know how awkward it is until you start saying congratulations to people who got the jobs you were rejected for. Plain mordance! Of course, unless it is your accountability partner, whom you can openly rant and vent to. But how many such partners do you have, One? Two? The rest will be batches of sealed sarcasm. It’s equally hard when you get a job before your friends do. You will feel sidelined. It gets really hard maintaining conversations because you are unsure how your jobless friends will take it, you will try avoid rubbing it in that ‘you gat it’…Your comments will be judged harshly and you might periodically be told to shut up, like what do you know about rejections? Some of these friends who aint loyal will backbite you and seal it by showing you their teeth. If they are not saying that you only got the job because so and so fixed you, they will insinuate that you probably slept your way there. Why are you surprised? Only  people who have slept their way think  that everyone else is like them*thirdcent*…I leave that at that.

Friends might change and cohorts be revised over time, depending on who is where currently. To the job seekers, the cycle is pretty much standard before you get that job. The people you talk to will somewhat irritate you unintentionally.

The one who  texts you a one liner “BADO???” everyday as though they have been doing the interviews for you..and go easy on the three question marks by the way. Just because she answers you with another one liner “Woiye bado imagine, then three sadfaces”  does not make it any soft, you should know the number of noxious words that she rolls her eyes on before texting back. (Women who will kill you smiling to your face.)Then the ones who keep calling you for some gigs which never materialize, and the ones who tell you they can give you jobs, but you need to have coffee over it to discuss. (No thanks).  Oh and the ones who will never forget to keep telling you how they had options during their time and then give you that ‘Why’you struggling, are you dumb or something?…’ kind of look. Someone somewhere will take your joblessness to imagine you will finally give them a date. Don’t! Because a  guy who imagines you will be interested in going out with them because they have some ‘job’ has problems. Those are the ones you go out with and all they tell you is inflated figures of their small salaries, how they plan to move out of Eastlands because the mulla is big now, and how the girls are dying for him left right and centre. He will confess to you how gold-diggers are not letting him have a moments peace, but he can only settle with a girl who is not after his money, unajua nyinyi wasichana mnapenda watu wenye wako na pesa tu… You will read a lot of insecurities between his cheesy lines and drift away your attention. Study shows that those who tarmacked longest or earn the least are the loudest when saying that the ‘big’ job CAME looking for them and the money is big on them. They are the ones who find pride in exhaulting themselves in public places  of how they have never really struggled..

Essentially, 90% of your conversations will be centered on the search. If your next of kin has not started calling you lazy because you are not aggressive enough, worry not. It is coming. Soon, you will be the icebreaker for every conversation. So and so will come visit, and because your folks are not in yet, you will strike a conversation on the budget or the floods.

Then they will walk in, “Kamekwambia kanatafuta kazi?Bado.  Aiya, bado?!Uko na jokes wewe. Mbona hujamwambia? Then the conversation will be picked from there. Many others will be started with you as the subject line.

If you are not conscious, you will find your confidence level declining. It will get worse as more of your friends get jobs and stress will somehow kick in.

But why? Partly the academic system you went through. Go to school, get good grades: and a nice job will come as a reward. The society expects you to get a job to rate you highly.Then your circle which constantly keeps pestering you with questions tops up the pressure. There are those who simply want you to make it big so that they can brag about you. They will only flaunt you once you are a big shot, not now. Beware of those ones! People who only appreciate the glory and undermine the story behind it. Because to every glory, there is a bigger story behind the scenes. And hold close the ones who create the story by your side, who value the failures along the way and pick you up. Those who will not just be proud of you only when you are all refined and base their friendship purely on your success…

I deliberately placed the first paragraph there because you might need it when stress starts kicking in. When you start getting desperate and applying for jobs that you are sure will stress you out, in fields that you have zero interest in. Or when all you want is just something to get you out of the house and earn respect from the ones who judge you by your status.

Finally, Daddy told us that no matter how tall our grandmother was, we’d  have to do our own growing. It did not make much sense at that time. Now it does. It’s all about you. You sweat: you earn: you enjoy the outcome. Not the other way. That’s how it is, that is the family norm. He brought us up on one mantra, that ‘If you are handed things, you’goin to take them for granted, and that is not the game. When you have put work in and overcome all that life is throwing at you, it’s just all sweeter. You value more and consequently become a more responsible child who respects effort…Effort is the key word. Put in a little more effort as you seek a job in your field of interest.

Fixed! Molded!Mentored…

imagesI planned to tell her that I had been having a challenge with punctuality and was working on it. I would pledge respect for her time in future, to the very last second. Seated in dead traffic, I thought about her. The lady whom I had heard of and read about. She was a mover, she had a wealth of experience across different industries. Pat had told me that she had struck a fair balance between family and career too. I wanted her, to be like her. And so I had chosen her to be my mentor. We had scheduled this first meeting over a short soft conversation. She was soft, eloquent and pleasant on phone.

Wednesday 2.00pm, at the PDR room in Nairobi club… See you then.

I glanced at my watch, 1.56pm and still in traffic. Clearly I would not make it in time. I wouldn’t text her either, kept telling myself that I would make it before she noticed I was late. And twelve minutes past two, I was at the PDR room. Nervous much, but locking it in with a quiet mask. LinkedIn had given me a rough idea of how she looked and what she was all about. Not finding her in the room was a relief; I would not have to talk about my punctuality struggles.

“Gilda hi, I am at the PDR room. See you soon”

Cut long story short, I never got to meet her on this day. She had fallen sick shortly before our meeting, and was admitted. I went to see her the next day, we went to see her. We had our first meeting in hospital. It made it much easier for me; you don’t have to do a lot of talking to a patient.

Subsequently, we had weekly meeting. Sometimes more, sometimes less , depending on her travel schedule. It was at a time when my life needed fixing in all dimensions. And she did fix it. I had had a series of outcomes against odds: against what I wanted. I was two months fresh in a docket I had zero interest in. No, I had negative interest actually! My social life was shaky and I had taken a back step spiritually. Her support came in ways I had never imagined.

When she joined us for a CSR activity that we had organized in a children’s home,  we had a long chat on how I was coping with my role. When I dropped the challenges I was facing trying to build a working relationship and create value to them, the program’s alumni, she offered to host the current leadership team and all previous executive team members in her home over a buffet. This way, those who had been there before us would share with us what had worked for them,their changing needs over time, what they wanted now and how best we would engage them during our term. Turnout was impressive, and it made a whole lot of a difference for the year to come.

Unlike the first meeting where I was at my best behavior, I no longer feel the need to filter what I say or do. She has made me be comfortable in my own skin at all times without feeling the need to be accepted or worried that I might not impress. She has been that woman with whom I can genuinely share my fears, failures and disappointments.Without feeling judged: and without even feeling inadequate or incompetent.

There have been days I ran to her at the verge of giving up, and she always knew what to say. I would leave the session with a new life breathed in. C’mon Lilian. You are not going to quit now, you are not a quitter. You have to try a little harder, you have to want this. You sed you wanted this, you aint falling off, or are you? see, if you haven’t felt like quitting at some point, I’d be worried that your dreams are not big enough…

Conversations like those gave me validation, some virtual stamp of approval that made me feel that I was on the right track.  They gave me the morale to focus my energy on the task at hand. And other meetings have been designated to chatting, just catching up on the week culminated.

It is on a day like that, when I ask her to take a look at my face and tell me what she has noticed.

“ Smooth”

Nuh! (Pout)..Ok, besides that?

You are glowing, it’s HIM again.. huh?

Sigh, my chubby is back Gilda…look at my chubby cheeks.

Ha ha, you’ such a younger version of me…

And there we have the conversation on my struggles with weight and how it makes me feel to gain a kilo. About how ephemeral bad situations are and about my progress in gaining self awareness. Sometimes about the average zone and the dangers therein. About my career, and him too.. practically all dimensions of life. She has been a brilliant brain to pick from, a keen listener and a push in the right direction. Not that we agreed on virtually everything, we sure had a thing or two we had different views to.

Over the mentorship year, she did not do the thinking for me. She let me do it under her umbrella…and no matter how absurd some ideas and goals felt, she listened. Some goals we set together and had her as my accountability partner. Others remained in the comfort of my diary, but she  taught me the discipline of holding myself accountable. That no one else would do the hard work for me, and that things just do not happen unless we MAKE them happen.

But beyond a mentor, she has been my aficionado of some sort. After my blogging debut,My rules all day, any day,  I was itching to reach out to her and ask her for her opinion. But even before I could drop a polite brag to her, she wrote to me…

Look who just made her first post! Congratulations, it’s a brilliant piece!!!

quotesmI was happier than words could ever possibly express. Not because she had read, or because of the fact that I looked up to her in a million ways. It was because she was interested in what I was doing, even though it was not necessarily an area she had keen interest in. And that she was taking time to appreciate my progress as a mentee. We had previously had a session on latent talent, discussed why I was jittery about having my blog…and now, there she was, proud that I had finally beaten my uncertainties. One year later, I feel fixed, molded and mentored!

That’s my definition of a mentor who made an impact. Someone who saw more talent and ability within me even when I couldn’t see it, and helped me bring it out at its best. If you ask me, a good mentor is someone who shows just as much interest in you as you show in them. Someone who comes down to your level despite being at a different phase in life, values your ideas, provides candid feedback and holds your hand. Someone who does not shy away from correcting you when you are straying, and someone who will remember to come and back you up when you when you are losing focus off the target, who beyond being a mentor, is a life coach, friend and a confidant.

To Gilda Odera for being such a mentor, to the mentors who have invested time to bring out the best in others, and to Greenhorn Mentorship for providing the platform to other great women and men to touch lives, and  inspire generations to make a difference, this is to you. Gracias

Image result for quotes on mentorship

Reality check

Welcome to the world 2015 graduands. It’s a tough world this one. Le job hustle is real. If you are the type that has never struggled with money, interviews, rejections and everything that comes along with it, you can also read on. (Ahem)

The thought of finishing school has been your most beautiful castle in the sky ever since. It started way back, as an ordinary kid in an ordinary primary school. Punishments were administered on unpleasantly cold mornings, just before daybreak. But before that, this kind of talk:fruits

The roots of education are?

They are bitter Madam

But the fruits?

(Top of your voice)… Very sweet Madam, they will be as sweet as mumias sugar (whatever deal this company had with your school, shrugs shoulders)

Good, now let’s weed the garden! Wacha tuchape makosa. Tunanyorosha njia ya kesho. If you did not say ‘Thank you Madam, you have increased the number of fruits..’ they’d redo it all over again, until you got to understand that punishments were the sure way to ensure a fat harvest of sweet fruits after school. But such mornings are long gone now.

***

You are the next batch of harvesters of the fruits of the hard academic labor you have been putting in for the past (close to) two decades now. You have been living in a world of your own lately. Some spirit of pride crept into your soul the moment you started the final year of the 8-4-4 system. It gave you the illusion that you have refulgent educational qualifications. The same spirit has convinced you that you are the magnetic crème which will only attract jobs with obese paychecks and digits so many that a single glance cannot capture them all. You imagine you will have options from multinationals: and you will be the one rejecting them. The last semester of ‘Uni ‘heightened your imaginations. You have been having these visions that frequently flash your mind on how finishing school will mark the beginning of life on the fast lane. Shopping sprees wherever and whenever, a variety of cars and the mega home to rest your head in the evenings. Soon, join the house of lords who know no budgets… Powerful visions I tell you! You know Brother Walt Disney says that if you can dream it, you can achieve it! AMEN? Expectations might kill you young though, you really need to learn how to manage them child. You have to!Job-Hunting

You have heard stories of graduates tarmacking for years and wondered how. For some reason, you have had the false impression that this cohort of job seekers is not for people like you. How do they even fail interviews with the papers? Do they start stammering at the sight of a panel? Do they sweat visibly on their faces and make employers frown with disgust? Do they fidget annoyingly and make interviewers mistake them for traditional dancers? Do they ask which interviewer has marital problems when given the opportunity to ask the panel questions? Or is it because they don’t know how to talk about themselves alluringly, maybe they do not have sweet stories to keep interviewers tuned and leave them yearning for more? But hey, the one thing any person does well is talk about themselves with appeasing credits and merits, in a way that will make them want to meet you again and again…how are you unable to sell yourself? I mean why would a company reject you? You must be the problem! Pause! Lock those small condescending thoughts in there, freeze them. Actually kill them with fire! This life has a way of serving humble pies, and it will even teach you how to swallow a whole one in a single bite without chocking.

The last semester flies. Finals catch you somewhere. You have started your job applications. You have refused to start as an intern, you have a fixed minimum amount that you can charge for your time, and a separate charge for your services. You have selectively chosen the top paying companies in the charts of premium employers. Money seems to matter, in fact, money matters! Your mind is fixated that the salary is what makes one job better than the other. It’s a tough race, everyone across the country is applying for these jobs: competition is pretty stiff. But you are good anyway, excellent by your imaginations! Some chronies have made it a habit to sing to you oh how ‘you are the créme de la créme of the 2015 graduands’, Very sweet lyrics to the ears. In the midst of the applications and aptitudes and first interviews, you finish school. It happens so fast, much faster than you expected. You have not thought of your exit plan just yet. You start coming to touch with reality.

End of school! Current status: job hunter.   Fudd_JobHunter

Expectations mismatch.Nothing is free out here. If you went back home, it will take you a little while to understand this money affair. In campus, you were accustomed to demanding for money, the uncompromising type that would ask them where they expected you to get money to keep you in school. They worked their *teeth* off to give you a comfortable life, daughters are delicate. Not now, you can’t demand for money anymore, it is a favor. But you need it to move out or keep you going before you get a job. You will embrace scarcity of money temporarily. Soon, you get accustomed to being asked why you are asking for money to go to town and if you must go. Budgets take a new dimension. Buying clothes, going to java for a bite or Coldstone for a scoop, random parties and all those other things which involve unnecessary spending are pushed to the luxury zone. (read as no go zone). You become tolerant to questions on why you are going for so many interviews and aptitudes and you still do not have a job. (as though the recruitment process takes a day, rolls eyes). After an interview, they will follow up. “Mlikuwa wangapi? Sasa unaona chances zako za kupata hiyo job ni? (Yeah yeah,I know! Like what you do in interviews is count how many applicants have come, go round asking them what position they applied for,then pick your geek glasses and start analyzing who looks like they won’t get the job…)

Oh, I hope they are paying? You know we apportion costs in this house! The last bit is almost painful. (si I told you nothing is free out here, you need that job! ). You will start realizing that the job issue is not just your problem; it is starting to become a family concern too. But good thing with family is that you can be sure they have your best interest at heart. They might give you tough love when you want soft love, but they will support you, they will walk you through the transition. You’ve gotta learn how to ignore all the annoying questions and devise a way of answering them without losing your breath though.

Interviews will come and go. Real pain is the first rejection. RejectionYou will miss sleep. Your saliva will even chock you on that day while struggling to fight the thoughts. (didn’t I tell you to kill them with fire?)Who would have thought you would give your best shot and still be rejected?  Ha ha! Whether it comes in the form of failing an aptitude test which basically makes you feel like a mental dwarf, or at the interview stage where it feels like a case of being dumped before the relationship matured, it will break your heart. It will make you want to go back and ask for the files and see where you went wrong. It’s even worse if it is a company you had feelings for, some of these companies you don’t mind marrying. You had even imagined how your hubby would one day ask if you were married to your job, and then you’d say something like “No darling, it is the company I am in love with. Buuuut not like the way I love you, c’mon, don’ be jealous now honey….”

Any-who, something went wrong somewhere and such marital battles of love might just never happen. You can’t even admit your love for this company publicly anymore. You will find all the reasons why it was not even worth the try in the first place, the unfriendly gate-men, the morning traffic ( like there is a place in this Kenya today without traffic,sigh)…and…blablabla. Get over it graduand, and move on. More regrets might come. Get serious, Who am I kidding here? The ‘might come’ bit is a joke; More regrets WILL come! You will need to revise your mindset and adjust your expectations.

Truth is,there is no particular selection criterion in the job hunting phase. Eventually, you will all get jobs, but at different times. To some, now: to others, later. Some will be spoilt for offers, some will get only one at the first instance, and some will have a series of rejections before that job comes. You will realize that what you thought was a cohort of ‘poor interviewees’ is no cohort at all; anyone can fall in that set. And it is humbles you in mysterious ways, it really does. But remember to pull yourself together soonest possible, and keep trying. Because stopping the search to save yourself disappointments is like stopping the clock so that you can save time

As times goes by, you will learn that not every interview means a job. You will stop telling people of interviews because you have chosen to do the hard work in silence and let success do the talking ultimately. It will get sickening why they keep asking how interviews went, and where else you are applying and so on and so forth, as though a job is what life is all about. ( That’s just me bitching)…You will start to appreciate that some rejections are meant to pave way for other opportunities.

ladderAnd there is absolutely nothing shameful about starting small, it doesn’t mean that you are any less. There will come a point in time when you will stop looking at the money behind offer, or the big name behind the company. When you will not look at what the company is bringing to the table but what value your presence will add to them.   It will no longer be about the salary or the prestige. Sometimes, it is about the opportunity behind the offer! You wanna learn about your field, put yourself out there. Volunteer if you must, use the networks you have made. Drop those bizarre standards and quit imagining that people start at the top. Small beginnings just never end small! You grab opportunities and grow them. Building the bigger thing from whatever level you start is what matters. I hope that the point will not only come when you are tired of rejections, or when you are almost running crazy because all your friends have jobs. It’s not for anyone else, but for the trust of your ability to be productive, with or without a reward. Do it for yourself, for the experience and for the dare of growing your way up. So while applying to those giant names, keep the small and growing names even closer!

startLast one, quit comparing yourself with your peers dear graduand, our paths are so different you’ll be surprised. Good luck in YOUR path to stardom. Bonne chance!

The third cent: Part one

Human wants are unlimited and insatiable, and that is why economics as a subject will never be irrelevant to the society, especially to students in THE University. You learn how to manage the little resources that you have to satisfy your wants” He hesitated; ‘little’ was not the term to use in an economics class.

Scarcity creates value,” he went on. “Some of you girls are already living in  well- furnished and refined apartments, or driving ostentatious vehicles, thanks to  the resources that you sitting on!” There was a roar of laughter…

…but again, when these resources are too available, they lose value, tihihi, and when the high bidders stop their bids, you start realizing that even your classmates whom you thought to be immature and unworthy of your attention can afford to…” he did not complete his statement. The joke was perfectly sinking through the class, and knowing glances being thrown to a few girls. (more…)

The third cent (Part 2)

Part one…

….5 months later: Brains encountered brains!
Like every other teenage girl, she was increasingly getting the urge to have someone
she could call her own. A man of her caliber who would understand her and walk the
journey to greatness by her side. And well, she wanted the fondling and squeezes
that made a girl’s heart race wildly. Her friends called such men glow machines
because they made the girls faces glow with euphoria whenever they talked about
them. She wanted to belong to someone, and to own him in equal measure. It’s only
normal that she had a list of ideals longer than her age and that the little girl still
believed in fairy tales. Most of her classmates already had that special person. She
was spoilt for choice with so many suitors around her who were working pretty hard
to win her over.
The lucky boy was Neville. He was a bright and conserved final year student in the
University. An eye candy in his appearance, and evidently wiser than his years. He
had never mentioned that he was interested in her and he first invested in forming a
very strong friendship with her. He was keen not to make any passes and always
chose his words carefully. For the first time, Nas had found someone whom she
believed matched her expectations. But no, he was only playing his cards right, you
know brains encounter brains. They went out for movies and played indoors games.
Dinner dates became more frequent. She started getting butterflies in the stomach
whenever they were together. At times she would make herself believe that it was
only a crush which would end, but then, crushes as she had read lasted for a very
short time. Neville had mastered the art of taking one step at a time. You know in the
University, relationships are formed within hours. People meet, get acquainted and
soon enough they announce that they are in a relationship.

During the time, Neville had secretly been learning her and playing with her psychology. She wanted to be respected and pursued with dignity, and he surely did. (Whatever dignified pursuit means, shrugs shoulders). He never proposed to her. Instead, he moved to the next level without any formal announcement. Naserian was human by all means. When they first kissed, he was very passionate. He however stopped without warning and told her that they had to take control their emotions. He did not want to spoil her future and he felt obliged to ensure that she got the best she could.
This was the beginning of Naserian’s series of wrong decisions. He would introduce
her to new habits and remind her that she had to take control of her life. There is a
first time for everything and it always gives a reason to have a second try. She saw
nothing wrong in alcohol as long as she did not lose control, or skiving classes as long as she made up for it during her free time, or spending the night at Neville’s
room as long as things did not go wrong. But losing control or things going wrong are
relative terms, no? He never prided himself how she was at his service, and she liked
him more for that. Three months down the line and his wish was her command.
Were they dating or just more than friends? Did he consider her his girlfriend? She
was already dreaming big about her wedding, children, home… in fact, she
developed a keen interest in books which talked about relationships and marriages
that defiantly stood the test of time. She had every reason to thank God for her
imaginary boyfriend. She had seen her friends in abusive relationships, or being
taken for granted, or being cheated on. Hers was, let’s call it-*different! 

When she lost her virginity to him, she had no regrets at all. After all, she was convinced beyond doubt that sooner or later, she was bound to lose it anyway. So many habits were now normal to her, as long as she was safe. For the first few times, a lot of caution was taken to avoid unwanted pregnancies or anything else going wrong. She knew he was faithful and so when she heard her friends talking about just how stupid it was to force your partner to wrap it up like a bonbon, she thought that she could as well save him the burden. This was the gravest mistake she could ever make.

(more…)

The small black dress…

A dress for a sunny day, a dress for dinner and another dress for Sundays. The University introduced you to a new type of dress, the dress to RAVE with. Usually, this is the small black dress. Image result for black dressIt comes in different variations. Some of your classmates call it scandalous, but who said their opinion ever mattered to you? For four years, they remained in the classmates’ zone, not more not less. The most you interacted with them was during the group discussions which the lecturer insisted on being the one doing the allocation. So you found yourself with them, discussing all the signs that signify that we are living in the end times.

“The dress codes around siku hizi, hata sijui, aki women nowadays! I look at them and wonder if they respect themselves…” (Insert a forced look of sorrow on her face, coupled with a cynical tone)… Then the others joined in. They mentioned the women who appear almost naked in music videos. They said that men were wise beings because they would never dance in boxers, or do the bend-over kind of dances in the videos: the devil only lies to women. They further talked about the classmate who can never cover up her cleavage and the one who has a thing for pieces of clothes. Oh, and the one who always wears torn jeans, or hot-pants and tumbo cuts. Goodness! The tumbo-cut phrase betrayed your resolution to keep a flat face. You looked at them in disappointment trying to remember the last time you heard such a phrase.

Silently, you thought to yourself: “How stupid can people get with fashion? Those clothes have a name, rugged jeans and halter tops.” Then you rolled your eyes, looked away and put your left palm on the lower jaw on your left cheek. Simultaneously followed by a deep breath and loud exhalation.

They asked what a man would possibly find attractive in a woman who shows her things to other men, and to the world at large. You listened in tolerant annoyance, trying to distract yourself by playing around with your short nails. You almost wanted to ask them what THINGS they meant. But you realized that a thing is a thing, that an exposed thing remains exposed regardless of the dimension you looked at it, and that they had some valid points they were trying to put across. You felt a little agitated because you have always been one of the defiant kinds of girls. Your dressing has always depended purely on your mood for the day, sometimes scandalous, sometimes well covered up.

Take it easy darl, easy.” You convinced yourself to henceforth do deaf-listening to the villagers and let them talk about whatever floated their boat. If it made them think that wearing rubber shoes, combined with the shiny silky pink skirts they wore for their aunties’ weddings and matching yellow t-shirts was fashionable, then who were you to dispute? By the time the discussion ended, you couldn’t help thinking of your small scandalous dresses. You asked yourself if you had a multiple personality disorder: if what you wore made you a different person and if your dressing spoke volumes about the person you were.

So today was the day of reckoning, the day to answer whether a dress for a sunny day could comfortably be worn on a rainy day. You had a dinner and an after party (Read as Rave/Dunda) on the same night. You had recurring questions:

  1. A dress for dinner, and a dress for rave? Means you will have two dresses.
  2. A dinner dress for rave as well? or
  3. A raving dress for dinner as well?

You stood in front of your closet, totally confused. All factors held constant, a dress for dinner meant a clutch bag to go with it, one of those shoes you wear only and only when you will walk less than 100 meters and the elegant confidence to wear the dress with. A rave dress needed nothing but the energy to rock the dance floor. You have never been the girl scared to change clothes up to ten times in a day. But how would you carry another dress? What was so wrong with wearing a dinner dress for rave? WhaRever, stop over thinking it! Oh, in case you are wondering, rave is synonymous to disco, if I am not wrong.

The devil is truly a liar. He convinced your inner voice that whoever invented different dresses for different occasions was a fool. And you did not even think through it. You wore your dinner dress, wore your shoes, wore the fragrance to match the look, grabbed your poise, and sauntered to your gorgeous girls who were waiting for you.

“Woo, look who’s looking all royal tonight!” They exclaimed with the usual zest. You were not sure if they were flattering you, dropping polite undeserved compliments or just saying something to break the silence. If you do not know the sarcasm which comes with some of these compliments, you need to stick around girls more often. They will pour praises on you and maintain very plastic smiles until you leave. And even before you are fully out of sight, they turn to each other with something like ‘Is it just me or she looks like a choir mistress in that dress? And that body of hers does not even do the dress justice…’ Don’ be surprised, those are girls for you. The compliments today were well deserved though. And the dinner came, and passed. You liked being on the spotlight, you enjoyed the glances and the winks which made your heart skip a beat. You had a wonderful time. End.

Club

Whoever told you that a maxi dinner dress could go raving lied to you. You walk in with your well prepared friends. The ones who had stockings know what to do with them. The ones who had worn trench coats know where to place them. It is hot in there, the music is loud, and the lights are flickering in different colors. You hesitate. You look at your friends all looking like romans dressed for rome. A quick glance at the elegant look on you going down to waste. This is not exactly the place for elegance, it is not the place to showcase your long free dress. You are not sure how again you will hack the dancing styles here. Fast music, fast moves…everything is FAST.

“Weka weka…me huweka-weka.”… There is a dance style for this song which you cannot manage today. The most you can do is nod your head and look around as people do their thing. Every one of your pals is in the mood to shake it. What is making you feel odd is the fact that they are all set for the night, from their dresses to the energy. You decide to take a back seat and man your friend’s drinks. You almost feel out of place, you start listening to music lyrics word for word and internalizing them. But this is proving hard, the music changes faster than you can catch the next line. You switch from the music to the boneless dancers on the floor, you wonder who taught them how to dance like so. Then this whitish man comes over to your table.

“Senorita, lonely?”

“No”

“Why are you taking your drink alone like a leopard”

(Some pick up lines though! So you decide to play equally outdated, or is it old?)

“Oh, Leopards take drinks?”

Stiff laughter from him.

“No, they eat alone though…”

This is not the kind of conversation you wanna have with an old man still struggling with clubbing. For a moment you wish you had ‘him’ around you, then maybe you could laugh and invent a dance. But he was not there.

You have two options, keep listening to an old chap telling you leopard tales, or join your friends. You choose the latter. It’s okay to have the stares, it’s okay by all means to try alter the dress to suit the environment, and it’s even okay to dance without shoes here. And you dance like no one is watching. The drinks always make you as boneless as those dancers you were looking at earlier. You forget the weird glances being thrown on you for your conspicuous dress, (Did I mention it was yellow in colour? But maybe the disco lights are making it appear black, who knows?). You forget the smooth tunes that go with dinners and get accustomed to the loud hits.

You do not know how conspicuous you are until some small boy comes up to you and asks you if your friends never told you how to dress for these kind of things. You really look like you are fighting with the dress…. “Next time, do not forget to remember to wear a dunda dress when coming here, sawa mammy?…”

You look at his tiny body and genuine concern…then you respond with obvious vexation… “Sawa, lakini focus on what brought you here. Achana na dress yangu, sa-sawa ba’ba?” He obviously walks away, and you smile to yourself with some sense of pride…The night is still young and a silly comment from a small boy won’t steal your energy.

Point taken home though. Next time, just stick to the small black dress for heaven’s sake.