DATING: WITH MY FAMILY

My younger sister and I have often toyed with the idea of me re-entering the dating scene through South Africa’s leading reality dating show: Date My Family, just for fun. Date my family is a show where a bachelor or bachelorette dates three potential mates’ families before they could date them. We love the show because it is full of real life drama, intrigue and humour from embarrassing family members, possessive parents, awkward questions and lots of laughs. The shows’ successes hinges on the fact that a potential partner is judged solely on the relatives, close family members and or friends they choose to represent them. The bachelor or bachelorette bases his or her decision on how the family members cook, behave and treat him/her not to mention what they say about the potential date in question who watches/monitors the date from a  separate location. It opens the door to South African society, while highlighting the dating habits of men and women in the country which are the foundation of how families are created and what values and principles most South Africans families hold.
I considered sending in a letter to date my family but decided against it. Thinking that if the show had existed 20 years earlier I would have been more willing to throw caution to the wind and ask to participate in this grand experiment especially since I’ve tried everything including online-dating, speed-dating, slow-dating , long-distance dating and no-dating at all to find a partner. None of it has worked.
When I told my mother that I was considering writing in to date-my family to participate she asked why was I  hesitant. Are you afraid of the competition? I had to suppress the urge to take on her challenge and accept that some things are best enjoyed on Television, I don’t have to be in them. Besides, it would make me look desperate and I’m not right? Right.
So I threw the idea in the rubbish bin and continued to watch the show via YouTube whenever I felt like having a bit of a laugh. But seeing as the word was out, even though it was a non-committal one, a moment came when I accidentally went on an untelevised, off camera, unproduced or edited date with my family – literally.  It was organic. I have never laughed so much! It was an unexpected – out of nowhere situation on my last night in Johannesburg. My brother in-law and his friend were having a boy’s night out together at HoggsHead restaurant where my journey began. They later invited my sister and I to join them so we could celebrate together. I liked him the first time I laid eyes on him; he had a wide smile, beautifully sculpted body, easy on the eye, and he literally swept me off my feet. He picked me up and spun me around a few times over an invisible threshold, you know, like they do in the movies after a couple gets married and I thought to myself, wow! I could get used to this. I felt safe and comfortable in his arms. No stranger has ever been this happy to see me!
Then he put me down, showed me his dance moves which left me immobile and breathless against my sister’s car. Bringing to mind a 90’s naughty song we danced to as children in primary school by Another level, called – Freak Me. All this while my sister and brother in-law looked on cheering, jeering, teasing and commenting on our every move. At another establishment we gravitated to each other. Even though he and I both worked the room from separate corners we had eyes on each other. He was surrounded by legions of female fans and I danced courageously with my sister to dodgy white (sic) music. Later as we left the establishment my brother in-law’s friend and I started coding. He told me he was into (prefers) vanilla but he works well with chocolate. I told him I love all the colours of the rainbow. So you’re a politician? He asked, Somewhat, I responded. Can you count? I asked him. What if I told you a story? He asked. As longs as it’s numerical poetry, I responded. That is so nice, so nice I’m in, he said. I smiled.
All four of us took an uber back home. He and I tried not to kiss while my brother in-law sat next to me and my sister conducted running commentary of my dating habits from the front seat of the car: My sister is into full PDA (Public Display of Affection). Then later on she reprimanded me: no! sisi you promised me you’ll never do that to me. I can hear the sound of your kissing, she said. The Uber driver nodded in agreement. I had forgotten they were there. I was only aware of him and my mission to find out if he could actually kiss. Despite the fact that he made me extremely shy. We had to stop. We parted just as things were about to get interesting. Then my sister asked about the kiss: How was it? It had a rocky start, I told her. He tried to shove his tongue into my mouth like a lizard from the get go. No I did not, he protested leaning into me with laughter. In fact you’re the one who initiated the whole thing! he retorted. #toosoon my sister laughed! But the kiss got better after I demonstrated how I wished he could do it, I told her wishing she was not there to chaperone the whole encounter. I wished we could be alone and it was impossible. We discussed the kiss at length until my sister decided to make the statement of the year, in his direction later that evening:
“we (women) are like ovens not microwaves”
That’s a good one, he said smiling. He is such a joy to be with, I thought.
We’re going to the shop,  what can I bring for you? He asked sweetly wrapping his arms around my shoulders. Death by Chocolate, I responded. When he came back he hadn’t bought it. Why? I asked perplexed. I thought it was a metaphor for me! He said laughing, I didn’t think you actually wanted Death by Chocolate. #duh. He laughed, I laughed too, so did my sister and her husband.

The next day as my sister and I made breakfast I breathed an old tune; rolling with my homies while swaying my hands like a  wave. That’s from Clueless right? My sister guessed. Yes, I said. I was happy and at ease, a rare combination for me. Once it was ready he and my brother joined us at the table, my brother was already protective of me. “Who is this guy? Where was he when she was in Senegal?” He questioned my sister. #Silence. We rummaged through the previous evenings events and retold the highlights. I wore the most unattractive outfit I could find to make things easier for myself. Then we were both roasted and teased about liking each other while we blushed together openly trying not to stare into each other’s eyes or talk about the future, follow-ups and if we wanted to have children. I felt like a teenager dressed in a woman’s clothes. “It’s too good to be true” he said to me. We threw pillows, glances and massages at each other, we were both relaxed in an uncomfortable situation.
He couldn’t believe I was flying out in less than an hour. I was happy to go home until I met you, I told him. We all took a sip of our drinks at the same time around the table. My brother, brother in law, his friend, my sister and I. #Deep. We gulped.
We hugged, he said goodbye Homie. I said I can’t believe you have friend zoned me already. My brother in-law said you just met yesterday, my brother said being a homie is a good sign, he’s the most attractive and  likeable guy you’ve ever introduced to me. I was beginning to worry about your taste in men he said laughing, I thought you like die skobo! #phew. My sister said she’s sorry it didn’t work out. I said I wish him well. He really is amazing.
We didn’t exchange numbers or social media contacts. #nothing. The experience was fun, exciting, passionate, embarrassing, it made me blush so much I needed a fan. It was open, honest, direct and refreshing. But I was glad that only my family was able to see me like that; all giddy, happy and vulnerable. What I loved most about him was how well he fit in with me and my family.
I was even happier to learn that my happiness matters to them so much. It was good to see how everyone wanted to see me smile again. I learnt that even when things I  try out or do,  don’t work out. I can still have fun (enjoy)  with the process and my family as a unit is a great wing man, they are my strength.

My New Homie taught me that there are three things which make love last in any relationship:
One: Empathy – The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Two: The ability to control your own stress and emotions.
Three: Having positive illusions about your partner: i.e. the ability to overlook what you don’t like about them and focus on what you do like…consistently.
This way you’re guaranteed to stay in-love for as long as you (both) want. Hopefully my next date will be for a lifetime. Until then…
I’m booked !

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LOVE: Ts & Cs Apply

Harmony makes Love

I told  one of my very close  friends on Sunday that she must ” never” listen to other people when it comes to choosing her mate. I said this to her  like the Guru I sometimes think I am (after all this time I still haven’t learnt to never say never ).  Love, if you find that there is someone in this world you love, in secrete or in public,  love them and don’t let them go.   She looked at me with that ” Are you listening to yourself, I don’t know what you’re talking about look” and replied where does this come from? It’s a response I’ve heard so many times in my quest for love – so I was prepared.  Look at me, I said, you see that I am alone  now, and if you don’t want to be alone ( which she doesn’t, myself included) then don’t listen to other people just go for the one you love, that one that makes sense to you, the one that works. I have given up on so many people as you know, I allowed the world and circumstances to determine my love life, and well if you don’t want to be alone. Don’t do what I did.  She stared at me still with that you have gone crazy look in her eyes and then she asked;  but what if the one you love  doesn’t want to stay…?

It’s a common occurrence, in fact its way too common as far as I am concerned. The ones who are willing to stay are  numbered, 1 or 2.   I guess you’ll just have to accept that they want to move and you must move on too, continue on your own journey. Wish them well. I say, in my heart as I walked out the door.  It was truly a bizarrely uncomfortable conversation, because we have known each other and each others lovers for years and we are both at a point where we want a change in our lives – again. It was a real conversation, we aborted. It was uncomfortable for me because I realized  there are so  many people I have hurt with my love, whom I’ve left with no choice  but to leave in order to save themselves, and there’s also been others who have left me gasping for air after they knocked the air right out of my lungs. I’d say we’re even now. So where to from here….

In thinking about love ( which here specifically refers to love of the romantic kind)  I have found over and over again, despite my best intentions that:   Terms and Conditions do apply;

Money: Are you able to make and keep money. how much do you have and how much can we make together.

Sex:  How important is sexual intercourse for you on a scale of one to ten? Once a day, week, month, Never?

Status:  How would a merger with you benefit me, in my career, family life, business etc. Upward Mobility, Downward Mobility, No change?

Love:   How do you know when it is real?

Faith:  Do you believe what I believe? also known as religion.

Each of these five Ts and Cs take priority over time depending on where you are in your life  mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. So what makes for a  good merger?

I asked this question to a good friend I met a few months ago. He has just gotten married now for a second time, and he is in his  60’s.  I asked him what he learnt from his first marriage.  He said communication is important. We  need to talk.

My first wife was very insecure, never experienced love in her life, so she never fully opened up, so in the end it didn’t work out.  He told me as if he was describing a great mature wine.  The only person I think she truly loves is  our daughter, he concluded.  Talking is important  I am learning as  I go along or should I say communication is more more important than talking. We need to  let others know where we are and what we’re going through.

And now the second one? I ask. Feeling like a ten-year old again… ” well” he answered with a wry smile ” she saved my life, you see, can’t imagine life without her”  Is all he said.

So how should I choose? I asked him.  It’s not an exact science he said but you can:

1. Ignore the  looks

2.  They must be even-tempered, able to deal with you and your various emotions, moods swings etc.

3. They must not mind you being in the limelight.

Sounds easy enough one would think. Okay What about me I thought, what do I want.

1. Children? Money? Wealth? Knowledge? Fame?

After having been knocked down by love so many times,  I have drafted what I think is a simple list of my terms and conditions . If we can do this, the rest will be just a Breeze:

1. I must be able to laugh with you

2.  Work with you.

3. Play with you.

4.  Cry with you and my personal and final  favourite  is…

5. Dance with you.

I am an Artist.  A love Activist.   Which is the greatest equalizer in any relationship, which ever way you look at it.

Never thought I’d say this but in my love life

Terms and Conditions do  Apply.

What are yours…..?

Sowe-to?From here…