Thursday, 8 September 2011

Coz I need to get over it...

Sometimes in life, we do things that will inevitably come back to bite us in the arse. One of the biggest lessons I've ever learned is: don't shit where you eat. I'm constantly reminded of that. But I'm getting ahead of myself again. Let me start from the beginning...

We were driving between 140km and 160km's per hour for 5 hours straight. Literally zooming past hills, mountains, rivers and valleys on highways and national roads. And on more than one occasion I wondered to myself, "how the hell did I end up here?".

Indeed, how did I end up in a car with my 25 year old cousin; watching him belt out word-for-word every.single.track that Chris Brown and Usher ever recorded, and listening to him debate the merits of the latter's career after he decided to go commercial while leaning over every once in a while to check that his wife and baby were still fast asleep in the backseat?

Well, I guess we should thank FC for that... my 32 year old uncle who's visiting from Amsterdam (Holland) who incidentally just got married in Copenhagen (Denmark) and decided instead of having a reception in SA for the family (like normal folk would) that it would be apt to cart the entire family up to the northern province of Mpumalanga to climb mountains and look at waterfalls instead.

There was nothing unusual about it but out of the 11 cars in our convoy, I had not intended to be serenaded for 5 hours straight... seriously the dude is more than qualified to take the karaoke championship anywhere in the world... and more importantly, it was not how I ever imagined the weekend would end.

The ride wasn't that bad though. It was certainly better than the lecture I endured from said cousin and another considerably younger male cousin of mine, on Eid Day, on how to attract a guy and sustain a relationship. I mean, really, that was just humiliating. Afterall am I not supposed to be the one giving them advice? I am the second eldest of them all, I should know something valuable by now dammit. He did have a point though. Most South African women are very dominating and the men are generally weak. It's just a part of the SA culture. So men here tend to become more intimidated by women than usual... but I digress.

Anyway, what I didn't bank on this past weekend, was that FC's definition of family includes the people who helped him get to where he is today, which in simple terms is his best friend and his best friend's family.

Insert first of many awkward moments here.

Thing is, this best friend and I...well lets just say that we have a history of sorts and that it did not end well. But in all fairness, we were both young and very very stupid. I'm talking a solid 15 years ago. Much to my uncle's dismay at the time, I became the adoring female with a major crush on said best friend, and while said best friend liked me too, he loved the fact that I liked him. And even though there was quite a distance between us geographically speaking and there was no actual dating, we were seeing each other on quite a serious note.

He called me every single day, and I saw him every few weeks at some or other family event, but the distance soon proved too much to bear and in a matter of months I remained the naive doting female while he lapped up the attention of almost every other available female in a 10 mile radius. And before we knew it, it was a few years down the line, he was less interested and I resented him for stringing me along, not wanting to let me go but not willing to commit to something more tangible either. He was an asshole. A pathological liar. And I had already spent waaay too much of my precious time on him.

And so I cut all ties and refused to speak to him when he called and avoided him like the plague whenever there was a mutual family event. Not long after, I moved to London and he moved to Spain and we lost all contact, and I was perfectly ok with that. I didn't want to know about him. He had taken up too much of my life, I wasn't willing to give him 2 more seconds.

Fast forward to this past weekend, and it was inevitable that I would once again have to face him. But it was my own fault see... never ever shit where you eat. As my uncle's best friend, there was no way I could escape him forever.

So I was dreading it. I'd been dreading it ever since I heard that he was going to be there and that there was no way out of the weekend that was already booked.

The moment I saw him, I cringed inwardly and instinctively looked for somewhere to run to, someone to talk to or something else to do. There was no escaping him though because even though I managed to slip through the cracks at lunch - surprisingly easy with over 60 people in one place at one time - I wasn't so lucky at dinner.

And as always, Murphy was working overtime, thinking of every conceivable way to screw me over and leave me lying sprawled on the ground, dying from humiliation, because that's how we roll...

Dinner was a formal affair and I got dressed up in a satin blue dress. When I walked into the resturant, his entire family stared at me while I found a seat at one of the tables in the restaurant. The place soon filled up with other family members and then he arrived... wearing a blue suit. And being late, he attracted all the attention and catcalls... everyone (including his Mother) wanting to know why he was so dressed up and who he was intending to impress and if he was ready to propose... ALL with insinuations towards ME. I sank down in my seat, trying to hide my inflamed pink face, trying not to hyperventilate and DIE from embarrassment.

But alas, Murphy was not done with me. Since I happened to be seated at the main table with my uncle and his new wife, he had to come and sit NEXT to me... in his blue suit. From ALL of the tables in the entire restaurant, he just HAD TO come sit next to me. At this point, I was ready to barf all over him. And to make things worse, I had everyone, EVERYONE of my cousins and aunts and uncles and sisters telling me how nice he is and how good we'd be together. No one could get it through their thick skulls that I wanted nothing to do with him.

I honestly didn't know what to do at that point. Sinking further in my seat wasn't going to help. Ignoring him wasn't going to do either. And so I decided to react differently. I bit the bullet and began a casual conversation around the table that included him. As the night wore on, we chatted with only a tiny glimmer of awkward between us and then it dawned on me that I was holding on to my resentment and anger towards him for so long, that I hadn't noticed that he had changed over the years. That he was no longer the narcissistic, egotistical attention-seeking whore he once was and he was actually pretty decent. I was finally ready to let go of the past and what happened between us and accept it for what it was.

Not that I was ready to trust him again...or anything like that.

At the end of the evening, I walked back to my chalet with my uncle, aunt and sisters and was surprised when he joined us. It was quite cold and when I complained about the chill in the air, he took off his Jacket and handed it to me. I could NOT believe he did that... seriously, and in front of everyone too. So I said "No thanks, I'm fine", and he said "No, take it", and I said "No thanks" and he said "Here take it"... really it went on like that for a good 5 minutes much to everyone elses delight and entertainment. And in all the time, I kept on denying it, saying that it was fine, he insisted that I take it. I cannot begin to describe how embarrassing it was.

Anyway, so we get to my uncle's chalet, and he invites us in for tea. I had to pick my jaw up from the ground... this is a guy who would rather dunk me in a swimming pool... and he's inviting me for freaking TEA. At this point, determined to put this right before I left, I accepted the invitation and soon my aunt was making us tea and all the other guests had mysteriously disappeared leaving the four of us to engage in small talk. It was surreal. And by the end of the night, I actually felt sorry for him. I decided to leave first - because everyone was tired and I didn't want anyone to feel obligated to be there.

As I left I felt a twinge of regret. See, this is men... they never realise what they have until it's too late because they're always looking for someone else to make them feel better about themselves. I guess some women are like that too, but it's mostly men. And then 10 years down the line they want to fix it and they can't. And what grates me is that most of them know, they know that they will never meet someone as great or wonderful or attentive but that doesn't stop them from being assholes.

Like my 34 year old friend Jenna. Just yesterday she told me about this guy Scott that she's seeing who explicitly told her that she can never bank on him being the one for her or that there was a good chance that their relationship might not go anywhere important (a snetiment which she accepted). But then when she made a joke about her future husband taking her to Paris for their honeymoon, he got upset and asked her if she was just using him and if he wasn't good enough for her. She got angry and told him that maybe it would be better if they remained friends and then he called her that night, CRYING on the phone, telling her that he can't go back to being friends and that he can't live without her and that he loves her kids like they're his own blah blah blah.. and I was like, dude, YOU told her that there's no future for you guys so why are you crying about it now?!?

I told her not to make too much of it... that it seems like he had good intentions, he wanted to take things slow and he wants to be cautious while taking their relationship towards marriage (because most people in SA get married - particularly amongst the older generations - it's a part of our conservative culture) but that things seem to be out of his hands and what he says and does is two different things... it's just that he doesn't realise what exactly he wants.

So I told her all this... and it makes sense to me. But I can't believe the same about my uncle's best friend. I know he's changed. I know he's a different person. I know everyone else likes him and they all think it's a great idea for us to be together. But I can't help feeling that the only reason that everyone is so invested in this idea is because we're two single people that have known each other for a long time. I've forgiven him for lying to me, and hurting me. And I do feel bad for being so harsh on him all these years. But even though my cousins want to stalk him this weekend, I'm not so keen to jump back into that pool. Aside from not wanting to make the same mistakes again, I will NEVER run after a man... unless he's Damon and Damon doesn't exist. If he wants this, he's got to put some effort into it.

Maybe I'm being unreasonable...


  1. It is possible that Master Blue Suit now realises that he hadn't behaved well towards you and now wants to make amends? He could feel that way without necessarily wanting anything more than friendship.

  2. GB - I was explicity told from the beginning of the weekend that Master Blue Suit is looking for a "wife".

  3. OH MY GOD..... such a long post...! you are so talented to pen down long things :P coz i am not... mmm anywayz i so like your style of writing..! maybe MR BLUEY was trying to act like the showstopper...! :P
    keep writing

  4. mwahaha azra! i totally love you man! your blog is like the highlight of mah liooffee *ok now i just sound like i have no life which we all know is not true ahem*

    Anyway- i do love you so, you always manage to make me laugh and have me on the edge of my seat thinking "and then, and then what happened! come on azra man, get on with the bleeding story."

    People change sure, but at the same time- theres alot to be said for once upon a time assholes. Thats my opinion anyway. Once bitten, twice shy? although heck- its very hollywood movie-esque *flutters eyelashes*

  5. I may seem completely wacko when I say this, but perhaps it would be worth allowing him to make his amends and while he is doing that, you can find out if perhaps he has changed? Is he handsome? Did his personality seem worthy of conversation? 15 years is a very long time. Is he handsome? hehehe Just askin'!

  6. Speaking purely from the perspective of another guy, the truth is most of us are complete idiots with the DNA of a hunter. Guys only truly realize how much they love and want and yearn for that one woman when she's no longer around. Up until that point, they're complete assholes.... and then suddenly they change. Like that crusty surface suddenly broke to reveal an actual human being inside with emotions and feelings and genuine goodness. Of course some remain inside that crust thinking it's safer, trusting their ego's instead of their hearts. I don't know Mr Blue, but as a lifelong member of Team Men I'd like to think he broke through the crust and revealed his true self to you :)
    For what it's worth.

  7. Azra,

    I'm sorry. I agree with you and Kaloo. The hunter is a poor lover. Compassion and commitment are not primary tools in a man's kit. There are exceptions of course but in my experience they are in the minority. I am also critical of the so called "reformed man." What we are saying is that the leopard changes his spots one day. Again there are always exceptions, but if we spend our life finding the perfect mate and sometimes finding nothing but "also rans", how likely is it an asshole will become mr right? In the final analysis, men are not equipt with the emotional intelligence to understand what they do to women. I'm not condemning my entire sex but this kind of guy Is. So. Common.


  8. Thing is, you'll only know whether he has changed if you explore what is seemingly a changed man. Perhaps not all of his aspects have changed, but perhaps they have. Maybe he has succeeded in some areas, and failed in others. I think it will niggle at you until you Know. Find out. If he ain't up to scratch, it's easy to lose contact :P My one and a half cents.

  9. Behind all this is a lot of biology an anthropology.

    The woman has to make the man "put effort into it". That's how she tries to find out if he'll be there for the offspring.

    So she refuses him first, which lights up a firework of hormones in his brain that makes him want her more.

    Works for a while, but we all know what happens when teasing time is over. Shahrazad had a good recipe.

  10. Oh wow. I've been through a similar thing. I had a best friend for years and we'd make out and act like a couple when we were together and then when we were away at our seperate colleges, I wouldn't hear from him for ages and assume he'd lost interest. Then I moved to Australia for 6 months and he was suddenly ready to marry me and have kids (which was awkward, because I don't want kids)...when really he just hated the idea of me fooling around with Australian men.

    I cut him loose too. I haven't talked to him since! And good riddence, I say.

  11. Hmmm, you're not unreasonable at all. Some people really DO NOT deserve a second chance. Some people remain reckless with other peoples' hearts.

  12. Doesnt sound like a guy with whom you have broken the don't-shit-where-you-eat rule. Sounded like the usual way people meet.
    And oh my sides. Murphy is such a b!tch. But then maybe it was time to make peace with this guy and let go of past feelings.(which you did)
    I love how people use matchmaking logic: single + breathing + female + around his age(throw in a couple of positive variables) = instant marriage. Astounds me every time.
    Did you get to see those beautiful mountains and waterfalls?:p

  13. amazing how small a world it is when it come to running into certain people. and yet we never meet Ian.

  14. Everyone deserves a second chance if only just to set the record straight and nothing more. Yes he fucked up once but who doesn't? If you are the least bit interested what do you have to loose? Worst thing that can happen is you will realise he is still an asshole.

  15. I agree with the guys here, give him a chance to see if he wants to make amends. He could be pulling a Daniel from Bridget Jones (I cannot believe I just wrote that considering I disliked the books/movies) but he may be sincere.

    It's cathartic to let go of resentment. Often, its something which breeds within us based upon our own projections we cast on to the other person.

    Even if you can't/don't want to be friends (or more than friends) again, then see the good in this meeting. That 15 years later you're able to completely release the inner demons which have remained.

    By letting go, you're in control

  16. I don't think you're being unreasonable at all! You just happen to have a good head on your shoulders. ;)

    And my GOD, I would have been embarrassed just as much. Though your family sounds absolutely hilarious, I've gotten to love them through all of your great stories. I also love your narrating capabilities, by the way. You're a wonderful story-teller!!

    One particular line that caught my eye: "Most South African women are very dominating..."
    So are Spanish women, it actually kind of frightens ME, and I consider myself to be a strong woman. But I love the fact that there is very little passive-aggressiveness here - it's all blunt and to the point! No mind games, thank God.

  17. So I wrote this long response to each commentator and then blogger went all wonky on me and I lost the entire thing. Very frustrating...

    Anyways, thank you everyone for all your comments. I can see both sides of this and can therefore agree with everyone to a degree.

    However, this past weekend I had the chance to think long and hard about this and my life in general. And I've come to the conclusion that even if we became friends again, I cannot see myself with him.

    In fact, this past weekend has made me realised just how exhausted am I and how emotionally drained I've become when it concerns a Significant Other in my life. I'm beyond exhausted. I'm sick and tired of the same old thing over and over and over again. Besides, the bigger picture here is marriage. And to tell you all the truth, out of the 5000 couples I know, only TWO% of them are happy or content. The rest as as miserable as hell. So I've wondered, maybe I've got it all wrong... why would I want to be miserable too? Why get married for the sake of getting married? I'm not interested in anyone. At this point, I'm not even interested in being interested in someone. I'm tired. Tired of men and dating and all the bull shit that comes with that. It's EXHAUSTING!

    So I'm done. I've decided that maybe seeking a partner is not for me. Not everyone gets married. I've lived quite happily without a man for most of my life, so I don't see why I should rush into a marriage to be miserable so that I can conform to some norm or standard.

    So yeah, that's that. I don't expect to meet anyone and I'm not bothered about it either. I actually felt quite relieved and liberated when I made this decision. It's like a weight lifted off my shoulders.

  18. Forgive the typos... I told you all that I'm EXHAUSTED...

  19. Salaam Azra,

    I've been reading your blog for a long time but it's the first time I'm commenting.

    He's not right for you. That doesn't mean you should give up. Re-read your posts about Islam. Do you really believe? If you do, you know that this is your test. I completely agree with you, men are crap BUT there will be one man who won't be. You just need to have faith and be strong. Forget the losers. For every loser you meet, you have a chance of finding the real thing. It'll make you appreciate what you have more because of all the crap you went through.

    Don't forget, marriage is just one aspect of life, it's not your whole life. There's a much bigger picture...when you're least expecting it, it will happen with the 'right one' and only when Allah (swt) decrees it to happen.

    And the reason why only 2% of the 5000 couples you know are happy is because they don't know the true meaning of life:D

  20. Haha! Ah, your arse must've hurt quite a lot after all the biting past did last weekend :P.

    Random question, are you married?

  21. great post Azra! :) Do what makes you happy thats always the most important thing, and its how you feel and wht you want at this moment in time.
    Trust me, we all couldnt picture ourselves married but in the end we all end up there :) The right guy is yet to come along when you least expect.

  22. SI - Thank you for your comment. I do believe that when the time is right it will come in the disguise as the most natural thing on earth. But as long as I'm "forcing" the issue I'm going no where. We plan but The Almighty plans better innit :) I just think there is SO MUCH I still want to do... travelling, and learning other languages etc... that my my energies would be more useful elsewhere. I should focus on my constructive things instead of trying to please my parents and family and society while failing dismally at it. Thank you once again :)

    Nas - Yeah I'm married with a wonderful husband who's everything I've ever needed and wanted in a partner and we have four beautiful confident conscious obedient kids that listen to every word I say ;D

    Nadia - I agree, if it's meant to happen, it will happen in the right time. However, now isn't the right time. Thanx girla :)

  23. Well, stranger, you do know something valuable by now (dammit): never run after a guy, unless it's because you want to beat the shit out of him, as they say. But, hey, is that really true what you wrote - South African men are weak? Those wimps.

  24. Randy - LOL, they are wimps. And I don't chase men, never mind wimps ;)

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