Category Archives: Musings

Forced Conversations

Have you ever been engaged in a forced conversation that had you wishing you could teleport? I have had several such conversations. Why does this happen to me every other month? That is a question only the universe can provide an answer to.

I was busy minding my own business at a bus terminal recently. Out of the corner of my eye I saw this guy, dressed in all black, complete with a baseball hat, walking by. Yes, out of the corner of my eye, because I make it my business to notice everyone and everything around me. Go ahead and blame Dateline and Criminal Minds for that. Those two shows will ensure that your alert levels are more acquainted with the ceiling than the floor.

“Are you a model?” a voice said. I turned around and looked into the eyes of…Dude in Black. Can you tell I have read Lion King one too many times? Ha! “No,” I replied and looked away. Nothing says ‘I am not in a conversational mood’ like a monosyllabic response. Everybody knows that except Dude in Black because he was probably bothering someone else when the memo was being sent. “Well, you look like a model,” he said. “I feel like I have seen you on the cover of some magazines.” Hallo pick-up line? Is that you? Look at you making a comeback on Flashback Friday and everything!

Now, I am a 5’3″ regular Kenyan about town, when is the last time you saw a non-celebrity who fits my profile on the cover of a magazine? People clearly have jokes on these streets. “That’s a lie,” I said. “No, it’s the truth,” he responded. I kept quiet and summoned my I-hope-this-conversation-doesn’t-continue smile. But alas, it wasn’t wide enough because the forced conversation proceeded without missing a beat.

Him: Are you enjoying your day so far?
Me: Yes.
Him: What about it are you enjoying?
Me: (Make conversation by all means…huh!?) Life.
Him: Are you here with a man?
Me: How is that relevant?
Him: I gotta know before I start talking to you.
Me: (Basic meaning of talking…yeah!?) You are already talking.
Him: Would you give me your number if I asked?
Me: (Is this a joke…stop playing Universe) No.
Him: How old are you?
Me: (Maybe if I use a non-response response he will finally sense the absence of a conversational mood) Young.
Him: C’mon. What is young?
Me: (That obviously didn’t work…sighs in Swahili) Young.
Him: You look like you are in your early twenties. Like 24.
Me: Yes. (Cue ‘Forever Young’)
Him: Do you have kids?
Me: (I don’t even know this guy’s name and he is already asking about my offspring situation?) No.
Him: Why? You don’t wanna lose your nice shape?
Me: (Because obviously that is the only reason a woman would not have children) No reason.
Him: I can give you mine…I have one.
Me: (Wait, is this man trying to get rid of his child at a bus station?) No.
Him: Don’t hold your bag like that. You will get a wrist injury.
Me: It’s not heavy enough to cause an injury. (Yay long response!)
Him: No, seriously, my friend was carrying grocery bags like that on her way from doing laundry and she injured her wrist.
Me: Oh…OK…thanks for the tip.

I am surprised that I remember so much of a conversation that I put very little effort in having. The mind works wonders, I guess. These forced conversations though…ah ah. Isn’t it easy to tell when someone is not interested in conversing with you? Why then insist on having a conversation that just gets uncomfortable for everyone? Hmmm…I am yet to see a man force a conversation on another man who is standing around minding his own business.

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Are You Wifey Material!?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Irina Shayk have had, in a certain famous person’s words, a conscious uncoupling after dating for five years. Why do I know this!? Well, because a certain Kenyan chap tweeted the story and added this caption…”Ladies, I keep telling you, if a man dates you for over two years, you are not wifey material.”

This actually made me laugh out loud. Sometimes it’s the only way to deal with people’s “school of thought.” First of all, what is the correlation between length of dating and being wifey material? Is it not possible for two people to decide to take it slow? When did two years become the magic number? What if the two of them have mutually agreed that they want to take their time to get to know each other deeply? But, hey, that can’t be the case because men call all the shots, right!? The woman’s role is to just sit around and hang on until the man decides if she is wifey material or not…huh?  So, if you are dating for more than two years then you are some type of failure? But only if you are the woman, right!? Because it isn’t possible for the man to not be hubby material? What if the lady is not even interested in marriage!? What if she is into the Oprah and Stedman type of relationship? Does that mean she is somehow not worthy when they decide to go their separate ways!?

Marriage is not everyone’s dream. Yes, that’s a difficult idea for some to grasp but it is true. I think that people have been socialized to believe that a relationship is a dictatorship led by the man. He cherry-picks the woman from among the many available to him. He then decides if she is worthy to be his wife, have his last name and bear his children. As women, we are expected to rejoice that a man has picked us out of the masses. Then promptly start fantasizing about the wedding and married life we have been dreaming of since we were little girls. If the dating relationship results in anything but marriage then it is solely the fault of the woman. You and your shortcomings will never be anybody’s wife, they say.

Except that that is not how things work, or at least they shouldn’t. Relationships are not dictatorships. They are mutually beneficial partnerships, and the only way to truly be happy in them is to treat them as such, in my opinion. Yes, women are decision makers in their relationships. Yes, we also walk away from relationships when we realize the man is not  who he initially claimed to be. Yes, we also agree with the man to call it quits when the relationship is going nowhere fast. We don’t sit around waiting for the man to say, “Well, you are not wifey material so BYE.” When we realize the man isn’t in it for the long haul, we also have the ability to bid him adieu and keep it moving.

So calm down with trying to impose your timelines on women. Stop passing judgment on people’s relationships, that you were not a fly on the wall for, and then confidently using said judgments to give women life “pointers.”

Music Video ‘Review’ – Monie by Wyre ft. Benjamin Kabaseke

Every time I hear a  new song, I am always curious to see its video. Yes, collecting dance moves and unsuccessfully attempting to copy them is one of the reasons for my curiosity. Another one is seeing the concept.

A few days ago, I came across the music video below. The song is called Monie by Wyre ft. Benjamin Kabaseke.

If you have listened to it you know that they sampled Kanda Bongo Man’s Monie.  Hearing Kanda Bongo Man always results in me cruising down memory lane. His music was the soundtrack to many house parties back in the day. Of course we had the mandatory kids’ kwasa kwasa dance competitions with the winner taking all the money the adults were dishing out. Someone should have told us about college loans back then so we could put the money in some trust fund instead of spending it on goody goodies, KSL and eclairs! Talk about young and reckless…ha!

Back to Wyre’s video. I love Wyre’s music. Who can resist a song that starts with “Lovechild pon’ de’case”!? Not this gal, for sure. The song itself is a winner. The video tho’ has some eyebrow raising bits. You know, the kind that have one asking questions. Why are the ladies in the video just standing around like they were taking profile pictures instead of shooting a video!? Is this a response to those men, you know, the ones who go to the club to hold up its walls!? Were they not feeling the song’s vibes!? What about the ladies sitting on the motorcycles!? What’s up with that? Those bikes look like the kind that should be involved in some sexy showoff-ish action not parked on a set. Am I the only one wishing all the ladies danced like the one in the harem capri pants!? She gave Kanda Kid, the king of the dance floor, a run for his flex-that-lower-body money! Wouldn’t the video have been so much better? Or?

Anyway, I am not in danger of prospering in a career in music video production so I will stay in my lane. In the meantime, anyone know where I can buy this song!?

NEW YEAR VIBES

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

 5 days in…it’s still as fresh as an organic lemon no!?

I used to make new year’s resolutions until I realized that I was making them for the sake of. You know, like those people who love to be controversial just because controversy is an available option. When I was in high school my yearly resolution was to improve my grades and tone down the sarcasm be nicer. You see, I was determined to excel in chemistry and biology. Every year, I wanted to improve in those two subjects so that I could give myself a chance at a society-approved  respectable career. My brain however did not get this memo. It simply switched off more times than a politician in parliament during those two classes. I wonder what would have happened if it had wandered off instead…hmmm. As for the sarcasm, well, that is still here along with it’s fraternal twin clever wit.

That’s how long I dabbled in resolutions for. Maybe I should give them another chance. They might actually work this time since I now know better…or at least I think I do…ha!

It’s A Different World

I was on the bus today…you know, minding my own business…paying attention to everything and nothing in particular. Suddenly, a young boy, about 3 years old or so, started yelling, “Listen to me, Mommy.” He repeated this phrase about thirty-seven and a half times. His mother was quiet the first thirty-seven times. She lost it on that extra half though, and yelled, “Be quiet.”

Ha…now I don’t know about you, but I could never imagine raising my voice at my mother, no matter what. Even now, at forever twenty-one years old, I cannot even dream of doing it. You see, I grew up in the go-ahead-and-prosper-in-your-being-seen-and-not-heard-situation-child era. So having a shouting match with my mother was simply out of the question. Back then a glare from a parent meant that you were acting a fool and you would pay for your foolishness sooner rather than later.

Parents never seemed to forget back then too.If you acted a fool in the presence of polite company or in public, they would have this your-future-looks-dim smile while committing your crimes to memory. After the guests left, or as soon as you were out of the public eye, you would finally understand why the sky is blue. Those were the days when every parent’s motto was spare the rod and spoil the child. Timeout for who!? Grounded for who!?

There was always the dilemma of whether to cry or not after being disciplined. Crying would earn you an extra can of ass whooping because of all the noise pollution emanating from you. The opposite was worse. A lack of tears was taken to mean that you were too disrespectful to even feel pain. The caught between a rock and a hard place idiom must have originated from such situations.

I remember once my sister tried to have a debate (argument really) with my mother. That must also have been the day that my sister forgot rule number one of the children’s playbook – the parents are ALWAYS right. Needless to say, things did not end well for my sister. All I remember is my mother telling the rest of us to leave the two of them alone. A few minutes later my sister emerged with red eyes as though she hadn’t slept in months.

It’s a different world though. Nowadays children can argue with their parents, yell at them, disobey them like there are awards for disobedience, and even call them names, among others. What happens to these children? They get grounded, put on timeouts, and have their electronic gadgets taken from them for a few hours. Punishments that some of us couldn’t even in our wildest dreams have thought possible.