To Ask or Not To Ask

A comic video from Uganda has been doing the rounds recently in Kenya. The hilarious comedienne asks her fiancé a series of questions about their relationship: how long they have been going out for (7 years) and jokes about how her friends think she is crazy to be dating someone for that long without walking down the aisle; how old she is (and jokes about how close to the national menopausal age she is); reminds him of how she really liked it when she visited with his family (to which he replies that his family liked her too) but the guy doesn’t seem to be getting the drift of where she is steering this conversation to. In exasperation, she goes ahead to practically propose to him with a somewhat humongous, scary looking ring. Needless to say, the guy is in shock but all is done quite comically.

Now, this video is about an Eve who gets tired of courtship but Adam doesn’t seem to be asking the big question she expects him to. As I chatted with a friend about this, we got to talking about whether and how Eves ask the questions they ought to ask in relationships. As evidenced by the comic video, sometimes people stay in what turn out to be long term relationships without necessarily having questions answered especially those about where the relationship is headed.

Whilst we are all different people with our own personalities, many of us have grown up in very similar cultures where there is some veiled teaching that women are not meant to raise too many questions especially when they are trying looking for a potential partner to settle down with. (Sometimes, I wonder how in the end all this works out because the number of times I have heard men complaining about their nagging wives are uncountable – is it that the ‘nagging Watergate’ is unleashed after the knot has been tied?).

en.hydo.orgGetting back to the gist of this post, it does depend of course on what types of questions are being asked. There are questions of gravity, questions of significance to relationships and then there are just questions. Just questions are such as: ‘do I look fat in this?’, ‘what are you thinking about?’, ‘is she prettier than me?’ – these are questions that mostly have no direction other than for things to head south but it is surprising how many internet pages are dedicated to advising men on what the right answers are so that they do not end up in hot soup with access restrictions to the cookie jar.

Now there are those questions that Adam and Eve ask each other when they are in the dating phase as they get to know one another and to gauge how compatible they could be as a couple. According to a well-known writer and relationship guru, questions from Eve to Adam at this stage should be: what his short-term goals are, what his long-term goals are, what his views on relationships are, what he thinks about her and what he feels about her. According to this guru, these questions will help Eve determine whether Adam is a keeper or a player and will also help to keep his intentions (and Eve’s too) clear.

Then as time passes and the relationship grows (although that is not always a given ;)), there comes a time when questions of gravity and significance need to be asked. Now, round about the time of the AFCON or any other major events may not be considered the appropriate time to ask these questions, but sometimes it is important for answers to be sought. When Eve has invested time, energy, emotions, etc in a relationship over months and years but some significant question still hangs in the air, getting an answer out of Adam can be a daunting affair for some Eves. Eve may be afraid of change, a grand negative shift in the relationship; she may be afraid that her question may lead to a clash of minds and exchange of words. One other factor that determines whether Eve will ask a significant question is how she will be perceived – if she is looking for answers about where the relationship is going, she may not want Adam to feel like she is pressurizing him to pop the question – after all, she may been brought up with the thought that she must be the demure damsel in waiting who waits for him to propose and thus may not want to seem to needy or eager.

Among us, there are those Eves who are not afraid to ask – it is in their nature to go ahead and seek answers because living with the festering uncertainty is something they just can’t bear. Kudos to them.

cheekychicago.comSuffice to say that any relationship with a lot of questions and few answers is akin to a boat in stormy waters and hence the need to clear the air as much as possible. The truth is that sometimes Eves are not ready to hear the answers to the questions, because they fear what the answers may be. However, asking the questions just means that you are ready to face the truth of your relationship, whatever that truth may be and all one has to do is to prepare to embrace it – it could be positive, it could be negative but that’s just part of the mystery of life unraveled.

By Joyce

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Letting Go Reloaded

“There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this”. – Terry Pratchett

I was having a drink with my buddy talking about everything, from the weather to fear of PEV, before we finally started talking about matters of the heart. She had just come out of a relationship and she was wondering how to let go. You know you can tell when someone wants to vent or to talk, but you just let the weather stories have a small spot before the ‘dissecting’ begins. This is why you need girlfriends who can listen without necessarily telling you that they did not see why you were with that loser because “you are made for greater things”.

She seems like she has it together but you know ‘seeming’ like can be far from ‘being’. By the way, many of us need to learn that when you hurt, there is no point of trying to be strong; there is no one you must be strong for – you are human – so it is OK to admit that all is not well within. So I directed her to the piece that we did about letting go. She is an ardent fan of Project 44 and she told me that she had read it already.

“That was about the benefits and wisdom of letting go, I want to know how to let go”, she tells me.

“Well, how about you just let go?” I ask her as I smile – she knows I am joking, She smiles back faintly, I can see the pain.

BLI have been through a few meaningful relationships and if you ask me, the way I let go was more like what other people would conclude as “you just do not love with the heart”. Talking of loving with the heart, when you hit nimbus, and then Adam shows exemplary meteorological knowledge, what is left other than purging yourself up and moving on? Does that mean that you do not love with the heart?

I look at her and I think that maybe she is underrating her resilience. “You have the power within you to heal – you will pull through”, I tell her, although I can’t quite tell what exactly she is feeling. She had what I would call a nice relationship.

She looks at me, smiles, sips her drink and tells me, “I think the darkest part is over”. I wait for her to expound, but she doesn’t; I do not explore further. I let it hang there, and I think to myself that she is a little tiger.

I tell her, “There are no formulae, I wish we had one like “density equals mass over volume”. She laughs. This is deliberate – not to try and pretend that I had the answer. Sometimes people just want to talk and not be burdened with information on ‘how to’; we all go through these motions very differently.

So we bid each other goodbye but she remains in my thoughts. And it got me thinking that if I were to give some advice, what would the advice look like?

1. Delete, Delete, Delete

We are the digital generation; the world has become one village with its numerous interconnections; you can connect your Yahoo! to your Facebook, not to mention the power that video chats hold. This technology is all very good especially when things are cozy and rosy between you. Lo! When things start pointing south, this interconnection can lead to serious emotional instability. If you want to let go, you just simply can’t – even for those who do not love with the heart. This presents its fair share of challenges. So Facebook brings up the updates “What a day, I am headed to Shompole” accompanied with a grinning smiley. This makes your knees go weak, heart rates escalates as you wonder whose ass he is tapping. It does not help! You do not need to know the details of his life – probably you never need to know, so Delete, Delete, Delete and Block, Block, Block.

2.Tears

Let the lachrymal apparatus work: yes, machozi. I actually envy people who are able to cry. They just let the tears flow; even without tissues or hankie to make it look pretty, they just soak in tears. Scientists refer to crying as a “secretomotor phenomenon related to the lachrymal apparatus” which relieves stress and pain. It helps one to release those pent-up emotions, and clears the head to think; it is one way of dealing with sorrow – it brings relief. When I see people crying over lost love, then I know that healing is not far off. So feel free to let the tears flow.

3. Distract not destroy

Do not burn his undies hoping his balls will burn too as the cloth goes up in flames and neither should you flash his Tag Heuer down the toilet. Distract yourself by doing something that was not part of your usual routine, like swimming or another sport, take some Portuguese lessons hehhehehe –  the language is so sexy, if a guy tells you look amazing in Portuguese, even if you do not understandamazing it, you will know he has said something that is likely to ‘toa wewe pangoni’ (woo you). Outdoor stuff makes you feel revitalized before you launch the new you. Yes, it will take effort but it is worth the effort.

4. Explore

There will be a high chance that your self esteem has taken a beating, and you will feel the need to protect yourself. Truth be told, some relationships end because they are not meant to be, and you quickly realize that. However, some of them end prematurely, a lot of things are left unresolved and that affects the letting go process. No matter the course it takes, do not be afraid to explore; gauge yourself to see when you feel ready; when you can genuinely see the beauty of all the life around you, then you are probably ready.

Relationships are not easy. If you dated for months or weeks, it might not be as hard – you barely know his bowel movements anyway hehehehe. However, if it was for years, then you know him, his friends, his family (if they are not in Guantanamo – Project 44’s reference to those hidden places and people you never get to see or know, much as you are in a relationship with someone) and the scent of his perfume accosts you everywhere. You have planned, you have been bombed or obliterated (kidding!) and you probably saw the ring coming but do not be hard on yourself; it will take time but that statue shall surely fall.

One of our fans here at Project 44 said that, not every relationship has to end up with you and him on the aisle, proclaiming unending love. Some people you will meet along the way might just come into your life for a season. After all, what is life without some degree of exploration?

Have a good week and share some ideas on how to let go.

By Fridah

The Story of Love

Some say they walked into love

Others say it crept in on them

Catching them completely off guard

Some believe it fought its way into their   hearts

What is your story of love?

 

 

My friend says she stumbled and fell into it

My sister voluntarily jumped into it

My brother grew into it

While my grandmother?

She found herself in it

What is your story of love?

 

Similar strands bind the stories together,

…the smile when they narrate their story

The dreamy look in their eyes

The confidence in their voices that say “I have found the real deal”

This is the love story!

 

Amazing how the clouds fade and everything looks more beautiful

How everything smells much better and   even tastes sweeter

All over Sudden we notice the colors dancing around us, there is a rainbow in the cloud!

We take note of the smiles of kind neighbors, even their annoying dog

Suddenly looks better

We notice the children playing cheerfully   on the streets, and their noise sounds beautiful!

This is the love story!

 

The songs sound clearer the loads become lighter

The grass seems greener and prettier and we notice the flowers on the paths

The raindrops tenderly kiss our skin as listen to the whispers in the wind

The head stands higher, the eyes shine brighter

There is Laughter in our voice and smiles linger on Body, soul and spirit, unite in perfect harmony

 

When you have a story about love

Whether you fall or grow in love

Whether it creeps in you simply find yourself in it

Hold on to it, celebrate it and write your story of love!

 

By Linet Kanana: The Poet

https://www.facebook.com/LinetKananaGitongaThePoet

 

 

The Stapler Affairs

I haven’t trusted polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I’ve never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex.” – Erma Bombeck

“Can I use your stapler? Mine will not do the work properly.” That is how two office affairs started. I call them the ‘stapler affairs’. The General Petraeus incident had me thinking of why office affairs take place in the first place, but then my situation came to mind which means I am not one to throw the first stone.

They all look lovely in the office – the women that is. They are all at their very best. Only on those on days when they wear caps to the office, I know that in the course of the day, they will sneak out to have their hair done.

After sitting down to use the stapler, the stories start. Oh, women can talk. If I am in the mood or if one meets my basic credentials, I just sit back behind my desk, ignore the computer, the paperwork in front of me and concentrate on the spot between her eyes, never her twins (they will notice and walk out) and I just listen.

For the married, it usually starts with the maid. “She – the house help – did not agree with baby this morning, so I asked her to do the breakfast and I washed baby, dressed her  up and fed her breakfast”. I guess it never occurs to her that that is what baby wanted in the first place. She will see mom much later tonight, who will be too tired to play mom, and daddy will be around so mom will not be fun anyway. Or so I think is what is going through baby’s mind.

In between, she had to look for the husband’s grey pair of socks and the strap for the  husband’s laptop case. My job is to remain absolutely silent and nod or smile at the appropriate moment. About thirty-two minutes later, the office assistant pops in to say the boss is looking for her. She jumps from her seat, shuffles the papers she had come to staple together and heads for the door, pulling down her blouse down over her lovely ass (that is the only time I look at her figure) and throws a ‘thank you’ over her shoulder for letting her use my stapler.

For the unmarried but in a relationship, the best times are when there is a popular soccer tournament. “Can I use your stapler? “Mine………. “. She will talk on and on about having her beau over with two of his friends joining just before the match, and how much beer they consume, the loud cheers or groans depending on how the match goes. She will talk of this being the only time that he gets to really eat her food, and then there is the massive lot of dishes to do after the match… until she notices her cell phone, which had been on vibration (how come). She shuffles the papers while shooting to her feet, heads for the door straightening her skirt over her lovely bottom and shoots a thank you over her shoulder.

If you are a patient listener, this can go on until such a time that it becomes some sort of dependence on her part. It is either what is happening at her home, the in-laws, the office politics although I try to discourage this, or just about anything. The opportunity to really talk to someone with no interruptions seems to give some huge of satisfaction on their part.

What is in it for me, you may ask. Aaahh, the overnight meetings arranged by head office to network with the regional heads. I have never understood why these meetings have to take place in big hotels away from head office. The further away, apparently, the better. After the usual morning session, comes tea and pleasant conversations in between, mid morning session to heavy lunch break with much more personal conversation comes next, the afternoon session to tea break and finally the evening session to late dinner with politely naughty conversation all round while most zero in on their respective targets.

After dinner, you know you have been chosen when you are asked to help carry her heavy case to her room, or she calls you to her room to help her open her case for her. She had not noticed the zip was jammed when she packed. If the zip is not jammed, then you know it is an invitation. Or she calls you to help her set jobo bombingup her PowerPoint presentation because the person who should have done the presentation did not turn up today.

Whichever means she gets you there, sooner or later, I will be massaging tired shoulders, next caressing smooth skin all over and desperate sex later. In the morning it is usually: “damn, the soap pieces are so small they will not be enough for both of us.” That is the cue to get up, throw a guilty edged “see you later at the hall” and dashing off to my room to shower and dress.

Should it be more than a one-day seminar, I might get summoned by the single one in a relationship or the married one – depending on who it was last night. Last night’s project usually likes to spend the second night in long conversions with the daughter and or son and husband or if single, in long conversations with the beau. The trick is to know when you are not needed. Until the next time.

That is my version of office affairs. At least what I have encountered in my working life, for the past twenty or so years. Office relationships have led to marriages, breakups or even divorce and I have seen it all.

The worst part is the guilt. It hits you with a force and pain that is too powerful to put into words. The married lady here-in was at some point thrown out by her husband who is now married to a house wife. My pain is that, I am one of the reasons or may be the main cause of the breakup. It hurts. It really hurts. I can only guess what is happening to the former couple, the child(ren) and the families and friends.

Look at the General’s case. PROTUS has lost a very capable Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; I do not even want to go into the respective spouses’ present state of mind. The children, going through school knowing what mommy did with that General. An investigative officer having his credentials questioned because why investigate in the first place? The general public is even at some point going to question the Feds’ invasion of their privacy. All this because of an office affair. It really is not worth the few minutes of fun.

I have done many bad things in my life and deep down I am very sorry for what I have done and also learnt a bitter lesson: no office romance or relationships and certainly, keep away from people in relationships or married ones. They still come for the stapler but I have learnt to ignore them and concentrate on paperwork on the desk, non-existent texts, or my screen top – even if it is a computer game. It is painful but then hey, it is better for both of us in the end.

By Mahe Goat – Guest Writer