Why I am not a feminist

Every time I write about something that is potentially controversial, I always preface with the proclamation that this article is my opinion, evoking my feelings and experiences, with no desire to inculcate anyone into the way I see and feel things. I am not trying to change the world. I am just sharing my point of view; a different point of view. This opening is actually going to be addressed as one of the reason why I am not a feminist and cannot identify with feminism, as it exists in these times.

Feminism was originally rooted in women achieving the right to vote. In almost all major democracies, this right was granted in the first half of the 20th century. While we live in an era in which every individual is considered equal law and has equal rights and duties, the problem is that feminism did not stop after achieving this original goal. In fact, the feminist movement made a deviant tangent towards erasing gender inequalities and boundaries that actually cannot be undone.

The problems that exist in countries where women are tortured, raped, uneducated, oppressed and killed, also deal with many other tremendous problems of the violation of human rights, not just women’s rights. Feminists see great value in fighting for women, rather than fighting for mankind. This is a particular area of discomfort for me. If we are standing for equality then we must understand that for equality to exist between men and women, that the rights of men are not ignored, in the name of feminism. So, I would like to be very clear that I do not need to subscribe to the feminist mind-set in order to be horrified by the atrocities that women experience worldwide – I can feel horrified because I am a human being.

The hypocrisy of feminism exists in trying to proliferate the image of the modern woman who is independent, self-sufficient and proud. While these are not necessarily negative qualities, they are projected by feminists with unspoken and hidden conditions. We cannot proclaim that we are independent and don’t need a man to complete us, then complain that all men are dogs. We cannot want to ‘open the door for ourselves’, then be disgusted when men allow us to. Feminism has become very convenient to its immediate, and what seems like its ever-changing purpose. We are happy to be considered independent, but we want more than three months maternity leave, a whole lot more maternity leave than men and reserve the pride that only WE can reproduce.

Our natural, as well as our societal roles, differ. It is an inherent difference that laws cannot change. The difference lies in our very nature; in basic understandings like yes, we are the only ones who can bear children and breast feed them. Feminists are proud of this, as though it was one of the things they fought to achieve. However, there are some gender imbalances that simply must exist.

In almost all sports, the gender bias is expected and the feminists are silent, accepting of this gender imbalance. Although there is the existence of vastly different amounts of output of energy and displays of strength and stamina among men and women in various sports, there has still been a recent clamouring for women to be paid equal prize money as men. The hypocrisy and blind acceptance of this school of thought continue to bewilder and amaze me. The reality, the harsh reality, is that the public wants to see men play the same sports, much more than they want to see women. Therefore, men’s tournaments generate a whole lot more revenue than women’s sports. This cannot be ignored in times where sports is a big business. Women’s sports fail on every level to attract the revenue that is generated by their male counterparts. Feminists cannot expect women to earn the same amount as men, in prizes and money, when they generate so much less of it. I think it is fantastic that there are women’s teams at a national level of so many sports and I truly hope that this grows, but the fact remains that women do much less than men in tournaments like Tennis Grand Slams, but expect the same rewards.

Women, generally, and especially feminists, do not want to be judged and valued based on how they look. They should not be pressured to shave their legs in order to be attractive; or wear make-up and sexy clothes in order to be considered desirable; or be a size four to not be considered chunky. Yet men are constantly judged and expected to live up to a certain standard and expectation in order to be considered good enough for the modern woman. The hypocrisy is glaring when men are pressured to be big income-earners with nice cars and homes; they do not need to have six-pack abs, but they dare not have the very front-pooch that we want overlooked in ourselves; we want them to be the hunters and providers, even if we can provide for ourselves (being strong, independent women, and all), but we must not be expected to be the child-bearing home-makers, all in the name of being ‘progressive’.

Feminists are proud of the women who run marathons while menstruating, without wearing any feminine hygienic product, in the name of ‘liberty’, not realising that the only thing more absurd that actually running and bleeding all over the place, is the celebration of the absurdity. We do not need to be distasteful and offensive to prove a point. In fact, I found Kiran Gandhi to be quite backward to run the London marathon while ‘free-bleeding’. This is a step in the opposite direction, away from progression and equal rights. Society is not ‘uncomfortable with the natural process’, as she accused. Some of us are simply disgusted with her display of tastelessness. I am not sure how much awareness was raised about our sisters who do not have access to sanitary products, as was her aim, but I do know she made a name for herself. One thing she was right about though, is that ‘women’s bodies do not exist for public consumption’. That is why her bodily functions on display for the public was highly inappropriate and backward and a giant leap away from all that we should be trying to achieve.

The irony of feminism is that while they believe that they are fighting the good fight to achieve equality for women, they do so on condition. Any view, opinion or nuance that is in disagreement with what they subscribe to, is instantaneously shot down as being ‘un-feminist’. But you cannot be fighting for equal rights on one hand and then be dismissive of any opinion that differs with yours. True equality lies in allowing and respecting everyone to have their own opinions and make their own choices without ridicule or threat. For example, this entire article is simply my opinion, to which I am entitled, yet I expect to be put in my place for misconstruing the true meaning of feminism, because a feminist will disagree with me and find it fit to share her opinion. Her opinion is, of course, acceptable because it is a feminist view, while mine is not.
Female politicians in many countries drive the support of the female vote, which in the eyes of feminism, is acceptable. If they lose however, it is because she was somehow persecuted by her male opponent in some way, not at all because she was simply not good enough as a candidate. If a man lost to a woman, I am not sure he would be supported if he complained that it was because he was a man.

Our celebrities are revered for spewing hate in the name of feminism and we do not just condone it, we celebrate it. If male celebrities spewed hate about a female politician, the way Madonna and Ashley Judd did, I do not know if they would still be respected in the industry. Displays like Madonna’s and Judd’s simply project feminist as extremists. Let us not forget that terrorists are considered extremists, as well. These women were put on a feminist pedestal for trying to incite the crowd, even if it was via the irresponsible spewing of potential violence or the misuse of Nazi ideology. I cringed when I listened to them; they actually made me ashamed of my gender, unaware that such beautiful, intelligent and progressive women, could actually project themselves in such a terrible light.

We want to teach our girls to shatter glass ceilings and blaze their own trails, but not at the expense of male persecution, in the name of feminism. We should raise our girls to respect themselves, as much as they respect others, even men. The real world is hard for women, but it is hard for men as well. They should be taught to work with men and women, not against them. We cannot achieve equality by teaching inequality.

I am quite capable of doing everything for myself and I WILL do it if need be. But I do not need to be in constant competition with men in order to feel strong in body, mind and character. I love that some men still understand the value of chivalry and I think more women should expect it and enjoy it. Whereas I don’t consider us to be the weaker sex, I like considering myself the softer gender. Soft doesn’t make me weak or dependent…it simply makes me a woman, it makes me feminine, but I am not a feminist.

The Aftermath of Adultery

Finding out that the person you love and have committed to, has been unfaithful, can be one of, if not the most devastating experience one can have. The disbelief, the shock, the wrenching feeling in the pit of your gut – nothing can truly describe it; but it is a feeling that we all share when we do find out.

 

I don’t believe that any of us go into a relationship expecting the other person to unfaithful, even if their past indicates the high possibility of it happening. We still hold on to the hope that our relationship will be different from the previous relationships we were both in; and of course there is that underlying hope and expectation that we can change the other person. Yet, when the unfaithfulness is revealed or discovered, it is truly a crippling feeling. It shatters our every hope and trust; it destroys our self-esteem in a single blow; and we are brought to our knees in pain and disbelief. Not to even mention the anguish of the public humiliation and the thought of the end of the relationship.

 

There are also so many questions that plague us almost instantaneously.

  • Why did you do this?
  • How could you have done to me, something that I’d never do to you?
  • How could you do this to me…period?!
  • How is he/she?
  • Why him/her?
  • How was I not good enough?
  • Who else knows?
  • What did I do wrong?
  • What did I do to cause this?
  • What happens now?

 

The way in which we find out only affects how we receive the news and thereafter how we feel, in small ways. If the other person in the relationship tells you of their adultery, it helps to preserve a semblance, even if a false one, of dignity. There is the feeling that your entire social circle does not know, and thereby makes reconciliation a bit easier. If, however, we find out from a third party or witness it on our own, somehow the betrayal seems to be deeper, at least at first. It makes reconciliation more difficult because we then feel judged since ‘everyone knows’. Regardless of how we find out that we have been betrayed, our world really does come crashing down around us and the hole in which we immediately find ourselves, seems so deep that ever getting out is impossible.

 

The overwhelming feeling of anguish and betrayal causes us to react in various ways. I am almost assured that there is only an extremely small percentage of people who actually handle this revelation with true grace and dignity. The worst in us is uncovered and unleashed. The mistakes we make after hearing or seeing the worst thing possible in a relationship, become as overwhelming as the feelings themselves. The reasons why we handle things in the most unbecoming ways, are obvious. We are suddenly dealing with a situation that we never anticipated, expected or hoped for; so it is an impossible one to handle.

 

We have all been there, regardless of which side of the adultery we fell on. It hurts everyone involved and destroys parts of us that can probably never be repaired. However, for those of us who have survived it, or watched someone survive it, we know a thing or two that we so wished we knew before. We know now, in retrospect, what we should and should not have done, and most of us feel an inherent need to warn others of these potential ‘mistakes’, in the hope that someone, anyone, can just not go through what we did in the aftermath of such a disaster.

 

Being a woman, it is only honest to share what I know to be true from our perspective. Not bashing our men in any way, I really cannot, should not and will not speak for them and their experiences. Even other women may not agree with me in what I share, but that’s the joy of this being my blog – I can pretty much write my opinions at all times, regardless of potential approval or disapproval. These ‘blunders’ that we make are forgivable, for the most part, but avoidable if we try our best to keep our heads on. An impossible task at the time, I know.

 

  • Unless it is a very special friend or relative who loves you to the end of the earth and is loyal beyond a shadow of a doubt, no one actually cares about your happiness or your misfortune. Do not let Facebook, Instagram and other social media ‘likes’, or thousands of smiling faces or admiration for your beauty, success or happiness, ever make you think that people will not apologetically laugh behind your back. This is the ugly truth of the human condition. We laugh at celebrities, therefore, you and I and everyone else, are just as easy to laugh at. Your business is yours, not the world’s. So as best as you can at the time, refrain from instantaneously telling anyone and everyone of your unfortunate experience of adultery. Think long and hard before you decide with whom this delicate but heavily judged information should be shared.

 

  • We have all been there. At some point in time or another, we all felt loved and respected enough to fall into a false sense of security, and believe that it couldn’t happen to us. Adultery is inevitable, depending on with whom you decide to share your life. Some people are inherently prone to disloyalty or are attracted to it along the way. Either way, it is not your fault, neither are you responsible for the actions of others. Their actions are theirs to own. You are only responsible for yours. But at the end of the day, none of us are too good or beyond disloyalty. We have all been there. It’s a learning experience. Never give in to the haughtiness that you are better than that or that it can’t happen to you. You are just lying to yourself and setting yourself up for a harder fall from a higher height.

 

  • The support that you think you get and the accolades you feel you deserve at your darkest hour, come from people who are willing to feel for you and feel for your current experience. The problem with sharing every intimate detail with others about your betrayal, is that when you decide to forgive and forget and reconcile, they don’t. They don’t forgive him for what he has put you through and they won’t support you in the way you need them to, just because you have decided to forgive. Therefore, please refer to point #1.

 

  • Grace and poise cannot simply be learnt by modelling or dancing. These are skills that are developed through time and experience. The joy of youth is that repercussions are not the priority when actions are decided upon. However, the frame of mind in which we make certain decisions, tends to change and pass, but our actions are already done, and we are judged by them. They cannot be taken back, just because you don’t feel that way anymore, or because you have decided to now handle things differently. Reacting with grace to a horrific realisation is difficult for us, the older ones. We understand, way better than our younger sisters, how we would feel in the morning, after a disgraceful display, and we are still learning how to get it right. Learn from us, take our blind advice even. But whatever you do, please refrain from making yourself look foolish, in an attempt to make the perpetrator look foolish. Because then we simply end up with two fools instead of just one. When we say that ‘this too shall pass’, we mean it. Most times, ‘stop and stfu’ are your best bet, especially if there is even a remote chance of forgiveness and reconciliation. Don’t make a permanent mistake over a temporary feeling.

 

  • Do not contact ‘the other woman’. This is a big one – a hard one from which to refrain but an extremely important lesson in the making. Remind yourself that the misdirected anger at her is only going to make her see you as foolish, insecure and juvenile, after she already had no respect for you to start with. Do not waste your time or energy on her. She cannot help you. She cannot give you closure. She cannot undo her actions. She may be the enemy, but one that must not be attacked. Misdirecting your anger towards her is simply going to give her more ammunition to use when she tells all her friends about you and what you did when you found out. Let her be and let karma take its course. Remind yourself that you were not in a relationship with her. You were in a relationship with him. Therefore, he is the one who owed you respect. He is the one who owed you loyalty. He is the one who owed you honesty. Not her. She really doesn’t matter because if he was unfaithful, it means it would have been with someone else, if not with her. She is not the reason he was unfaithful; he is. Therefore, do not contact ‘the other woman’.

 

  • No one can ever tell you whether or not you should reconcile with him after disloyalty has occurred. That is and always will be your and his decision. Never feel guilted into not hearing him out or into not reconciling. That is a very personal decision that cannot and should not be judged by anyone. That having been said, there are some extremely important, yet difficult factors that must be considered before certain decisions are finalised. Before deciding to reconcile, you must accept that if he has been unfaithful before this, the likelihood of him doing it a third time is very high. While people can and do change, you must ask yourself exactly how many chances must you give before you start feeling like a fool. If you decide to still reconcile, that’s on you, because you know how this adultery feels; you know how the last one felt; but you are willing to possibly go through this again. Remember what continues is what is allowed to continue. You already sent the message after the first reconciliation, that adultery is forgivable; he is forgivable. Therefore, the message he may receive is that he will be forgiven again. He is not wrong to have received that message, whether it was the message offered or not.
  • Never ever believe that you will not get over or get through this. That is the feeling that overwhelms you at the time, but it is a false sense of self-inflicted hurt. You will survive this. You believe that you are too old or too worn or too damaged to start over. This is utter nonsense. Unfortunately, the pity party of which you are the guest of honour, prevents you from realising this. It is never too late to make a better decision for yourself. It won’t be easy – that cannot be sugar-coated. There will some impossible days ahead if you decide to cut ties for good. These impossible days may even make you doubt if you made the correct decision; or if you should go back and try again. But these days pass, as do those feelings of desperation. Blind faith becomes your best friend. I say ‘blind’ because you don’t know what lies ahead for you and you go forward, away from your comfort zone, with no guarantees. However, that blind faith is worth it. The self-respect you feel and the dignity and grace that you enjoy, cannot be qualified by anything or anyone. There is a future for you – not right away, maybe even not for a long time, but that’s ok. You will be happy and healthy and complete again. You must believe us. We all came through the dark and lonely tunnel into the light; with some cuts and bruises, but all limbs intact. This too shall pass.

 

  • In your response to adultery, never believe that all men are dogs; they really aren’t. It may seem so at the time, but it is an unfair and irrational mentality to believe that because some…or many men are dishonest, that all will be. In time, you will learn to trust again and have faith in people. It takes time and conscious effort. We never want to be painted with a broad brush as a gender. We don’t want to be compared to the women who have hurt us. Therefore, why should we compare all men to the one that betrayed us? That behaviour is on him. He did it. The world of wonderful men out there didn’t. Take time to yourself’ hate men for a while, if you must; but you can dust yourself off and eventually believe that men and even other women aren’t as bad as the ones who just hurt you.

 

You will all get over whatever has been dished out to you. I know this, because I have; we all have. We survived. We moved on. We lived to tell about it. The most important thing is that when you tell about it in a few years, or even in a few months, ensure that what you do now, doesn’t make you cringe at yourself down the road. Ensure that you ca hold your head high in the face of this demeaning experience. Whoever you think MADE you do it, really didn’t. You did it. You lost yourself and you were disgraceful. A lack of poise and self-respect is never an appropriate response to hurt…it is simply the easiest one.

And sometimes, just taking the blind taking advice from someone who has been through it, can save you much regret, disrespect and humiliation in the months to come.

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

You always hear that not all superheroes wear capes – some wear love, a smile, a kind word or a helping hand. I believe that we all have a little superhero in us, even if that superhero is just to rescue one person, on one day, once in their entire lifetime.

As I got older, I realised that super-heroism isn’t as uncommon as we think. It all depends on what you think a superhero actually is and what their qualities are. A superhero isn’t a perfect being. A superhero is someone who possesses qualities that are more benevolent than that which we are capable. Superheroes are people who make us feel a way that we need or like to feel. They protect. They love. They care. And they really don’t all wear capes…

Some superheroes, when they meet you, it’s under less than ideal circumstances, with much resistance against them being in your life. Sometimes they are called horrible names and discouraged from pursuing any contact. But true superheroes, strong and wilful ones, go bravely forward regardless of the repercussions. They don’t see the odds, only that the chance they are taking, might actually be worth it. These types of superheroes have resilience replacing their capes. They don’t look back and they don’t regret their decisions. They become more concerned about protecting you from anyone that opposes, disapproves or dissuades you; always there by your side, never abandoning you during the transition to acceptance or during the most trying of times. These are very special superheroes…not like the other ones who wear capes. They take a chance, because they know how absolutely perfectly things can turn out to be.

Superheroes do very strange things that the average human would not understand. For example, when you are sick, superheroes leave work without you knowing it, to take you to the Doctor, that you don’t feel that you needed to visit, to get medication that you didn’t want. Strange superheroes give you a bell at your bedside so that you could ring it if you needed anything, once it meant that you didn’t have to get out of bed.

Superheroes can make you cry, though. Have no doubt about that. On your table as you open the front door, superheroes leave things for you, like a Cosmo magazine, a pack of bobby pins, a very sexy wine glass and flowers. You don’t know how, when or why it was done. Such inexpensive gifts that are seemingly unconnected to each other, can confuse you. But superheroes have their own special way of getting things done, like leave for work, go shopping, and return home and set gifts on the table, then go to work. Not being a superhero yourself, you may need to ask about such gestures. You see, superheroes know when you are having a busy week. The wine glass is because it was big and could hold more prosecco in one shot; the magazine is so that you could sit and relax and read it when you got home from work, while you drink from the glass; the flowers were because you just love fresh flowers in the apartment; but the bobby pins? Superheroes buy bobby pins because they figure you are running out of them, because they are constantly found all over the apartment floor, so superheroes feel the need to replace them. It is only a superhero could bring these gifts together in such an incredibly mindful way to bring tears to your eyes.

Slowly, but very deliberately, superheroes stop and take notice of smaller things. They realise how much you hate cleaning and doing any form of housework. So they get it done and take it all over, almost obsessively so. It is sometimes a superhero rule – that you aren’t allowed to do housework. Why? Because they just don’t think you should have to do it. So eventually, superheroes start investing in super-mops, super-brooms, super-vacuums and super-energy to clean every two days.

Superheroes get very odd things done. For example – gas. Superheroes don’t want you to go to the gas stations to pump your own gas, so they do it for you, until you realised you haven’t put gas in your own car in close to 28 months!

Superheroes love to leave notes; sometimes all over the apartment. These notes brighten your every day and your every mood. The notes also leave you dumbfounded with silence. From notes, it starts to progress. They leave you money in the notes, telling you to go shopping that day and spoil yourself. They leave hidden cash in strange places because they know that you never remember to keep cash on you, and one day, you may just need. Superheroes send you emails that contain airfare confirmations for vacations for you milestone birthday, to spend with your mom.

I didn’t realise how many small things superheroes do on a daily basis, until you are all alone in the apartment for a week, due to a business trip – like a superhero convention of some sort. It’s only then that you realise that on mornings, you never before had to see about your coffee, because it was brewed and brought to you while applying your make-up. You only then realise that you hadn’t been responsible for putting out garbage for over two years. The most embarrassing realisation is when you notice that you have stopped washing dishes, yet there were never any dishes dirty in the sink! It was almost as though a superhero used to magically make these things happen. During that week of the superhero convention, it would be a very big bother to have to re-stack the refrigerator with your own sodas, wash up the dishes after you cooked, make ice and even adjust the AC for yourself. So you start asking yourself what was really going on! Are you really that lazy? Then you realise that these things were all done for you just so that you wouldn’t have to do it for yourself.

Superheroes don’t allow you to cook on Sundays; or ever, if given the chance. The reason behind it is that you work hard all day and all week, and you shouldn’t have to slave in the kitchen when you get home, especially on a weekend. The aim of a superhero is to get you to come home after work and just take a nap or watch TV. They even prepare your side of the bed before you leave for work, in a way, that when you get home, you can just literally go under the covers. You never actually figure out how and when that happened, but yet it was always there.

Superheroes can be very supportive, which you may have never known before. They support you with your job, late hours, and bringing home your work – the paper work and the emotional work of being a teacher. They assist you in your whims and fancies, like latest hobby of making and selling organic body scrubs (selling, because there is no superhero space for you to make and keep them, just because you like to make them). They support you when for the first time in your entire seventeen career, a student lies about you and convinces her entire form that she is being honest. They get legal counsel for you, they print all of the screen shots and posts in which your name was called on a public forum without your consent, and where your name was threatened in social media. Superheroes are great with legal guidance, not just emotional support.

Superheroes are very trusting. They trust not just you and your intentions, but they trust your judgement. They don’t doubt your dedication and commitment because they know that theirs is unwavering. They share their experiences with you – good and bad, knowing that your opinion or response is valuable. They make you feel valued in every way. They respect you, your family, your friends, your co-workers, your students, and anyone who you hold in appreciation.

Superheroes encourage you to be who you always wanted to be – the person you were meant to be, the person you like to be. They support you when you want to raid wardrobes in the house because you found out that there is a child who needed clothes for the weekend. They tell you that it’s ok to take our wedding money that the staff gives you, and contribute it to the school so that my girls benefit from it. They don’t just give the support to help a child that you know who is in dire straits, but they go do the grocery shopping for you to give to her family. They never ever say that it’s their money too, and you are just throwing it away seeing about everyone else, while we have our own commitments.

Superheroes equip you surroundings with 24/7 cameras that record everything – just so that you would be just a little bit safer. They turn an entire bedroom into a home-gym just because you don’t like going to a real gym. They get you pantry shelving systems so that you and your scrubs can be more comfortable.

One of the best things ab out superheroes is that they never get angry with you. They never shout at you, or curse you, or insult you. Superheroes use their superhero words to tell you if they are perturbed by something, because perturbed is as angry as they get. They don’t just not argue, but they let you win arguments that they know you lost half hour before, just so that you don’t feel like a boob. They apologise when they think they are wrong but superheroes also stand their ground when they know they must – like when it comes to you eating snacks everywhere and leaving a trail of crumbs wherever you go; or when it comes to your online shopping disease, or mall disease. They know when to reel you back into reality.

Superheroes share parts of themselves that silence you. They wear their hearts on their sleeves. They love with everything inside of them and with all of which they are capable. They are brave enough to put their feelings on the line, without shame or fear or expectation. They do nothing just to get something in return. They give and give and give to you, not just gifts and tokens and notes, but they give themselves and of themselves. They love completely because it is the only way that they truly know how to love, and it is the only way they want to be loved in return…freely and wholly.

I met a superhero a few years ago…and he made me the luckiest woman in the world when he decided that he wanted to marry me.

The woes of a non-mother

DISCLAIMER – the views and opinions shared by the writer of this blog are offensive to all, and no one should read it. If one proceeds to read it and disregard this warning, the writer of this blog will not be able to accept responsibility for any feelings felt.

 

My mother was not just a full-time working mom, but one who was forced to raise me single-handedly. Money was tight and she made innumerable sacrifices for me and for our family of two. Not for a second do I discount the difficulty one faces in trying to juggle children, work and money problems.

There are so many videos, posts, stats and especially blogs about and from mothers, who share their many experiences and struggles that they face daily. Much societal admiration exists for working mothers and stay-at-home mothers, and even more sympathy and empathy is extended to them. I do not for second disagree with what they experience daily, in fact, I can’t. I don’t walk in their shoes, and I don’t judge them…contrary to much public opinion.

It just seems quite negligent of us as women and as a society at large, to assume that mothers should be admired more than non-mothers, and are somehow off-limits from any type of criticism. Men and fathers are criticised relentlessly and are all judged the same, because of few who are as valuable as a cent. I cannot understand the over-sensitivity women feel because other women disagree with them. I think it may be because I’m not easily offended. However, we non-mothers also face our struggles, which should also be highlighted as much as the struggles that mothers face. It seems only fair and equal.

So here are some struggles and complaints of a working, childless, therefore and obviously heartless woman, with whom one should not empathise.

– Who is going to take care of me when I grow old? I have no children. I have no idea what is going to become of me in twenty or thirty years, when I am too old to care for myself! Is there no one to feel sorry for me that I must face these last daunting decades of my life alone? It should not matter that I chose not to have children. Mothers who choose to be mothers are sympathised with. They went in with their eyes open and facets intact, yet we must all feel sorry for their daily frustrations. Why are my choices not being sympathised with? Who is going to take care of me when I get old? Will I have to be placed in a home where there are absolutely NO parents, because their children always have them at home taking care of them…always!

– I will never experience unconditional love. The love of a child is seemingly the only love that matters when a child is born unto a mother. Their lives are complete and nothing can describe that love that is given by a child; a child that you created all on your own! I will never feel that love. I am now forced to go through life not knowing what it is like to be loved unconditionally. I will never be called ‘mummy’ and have my heart melt in my chest. I can’t understand why no one feels sorry for me that I will have to make do, with the love of JUST my husband, who can leave me at any time, but children never leave. They always stay and care for their parents. A part of my life will always remain incomplete because I chose a different path. It being my choice, is of no consequence. It is my FAULT that I will never feel this mystical love.

– My time just doesn’t seem like my own. I never have enough hours in the day. I never have enough days in the weekend. For that matter, if I want to be truly honest – I need more god damn hours in the work week! Between the work that I do at work, and the work that I bring home with me, I feel sometimes that all I do is work! Who cares that I chose to be a teacher (and love it, btw)? Work comes with the territory. But then, I have to juggle into my work, at work, and my work-work at home, the time for nail appointments, hair appointments and the oh-so-necessary wax appointments! In addition to those struggles, I constantly have to decide what to cook, which is four times harder than actually cooking! By the time I finish work, do the groceries, have my appointments done, cook, do the laundry and prepare to do it all over again tomorrow…it’s….night fall!!!! I’m exhausted and have no time to do anything other than shower and hit the sack. Where is my time going? I mean, it’s not like I have children.

– Is money ever going to be enough? My bills are somewhat different from mothers. I have a cell-phone bill (which is admittedly way too high), rent/mortgage, car upkeep, groceries, electricity bill, entertainment, clothing and travel expenses. Granted, I have no pampers, baby food, school fees and other child-associated expenses. That simply means that my entertainment, clothing and travel are increased to fill the void that is my childless existence. I feel very frustrated that I can’t always buy whatever I want for myself, because I have to consider things like retirement and medical money that would be needed later on! It is so unfair. You would think that since I don’t have children that I should really be exempt from such tedious responsibilities. I really thought that it was only parents who faced these struggles. If I had only known that we, non-mothers, face the same financial woes, well I don’t know, I may have just popped one out!

– Oh the judgement! The hurtful, deliberate and insensitive judgement I face from….the world! How selfish I am made to feel that I didn’t want children. My time is judged; my money is judged; my travelling is judged; my drinking is judged; my appearance is judged; my life is judged!! I just can’t take it anymore! It hurts the depths of my soul when people find that I don’t know what it is like to be a mother. I mean, I am not a mother, but I am somehow not empathetic enough towards them, and I am judged so brutally for it! I feel like if my accessories match or I buy a new handbag or I eat out four times a week, that I am being judged for being irresponsible, and I am brushed off as, ‘well she doesn’t have children’. I want to be part of club too, in which I am understood and empathised with for facing this type of daily judgement.

– It is only obvious that I hate children. I must be a meanie who thinks that all children should perish in hell. Because if you aren’t a momma, you cannot possibly love children! It is such a struggle to be looked at as a child-hater. Mind you, my JOB is taking care of and educating other people’s children all day, in their absence, and I have only been doing it for a mere seventeen years. Why have I stayed in a profession for so long, that exposes me to teenagers on a daily basis, if I cannot possibly understand what it is like to have a child?? The struggle is just too much at times. The thought that I actually love other people’s children is not accepted or acceptable in any way, because the only way one can love a child is if one makes one for themselves, on their own, alone. The amount of times I have had to endure the torture of being accused of not having children and therefore have no clue how to interact with them! Because, of course, you must be a parent to understand children and interact healthily with them. Me being a teacher really counts for nothing. Don’t even get me started on how I actually feel about my students, because no one would even believe me! I actually love them and I care about them and I think about ways I can be a better teacher…all the time. But no one cares! I make tea for my girls when they have their period; I keep extra pads around as well; I counsel them when they are upset; I endure the complaints about their parents while trying to get them to understand how hard it is to be a parent. I hug them when they cry. I check on them when I know they are having a bad day. I clean and bandage bleeding toes; I make myself available 24/7 to my older girls; and sweet Jesus, I love it. Yet not a person would or should believe that I know a thing about children or loving them, because I have none of my own. This is so unbelievably hurtful. I must be overreacting and just accept that I must just hate children.

– I hate when mothers deliberately post things about their children, JUST to make me feel lesser about myself. All the beautiful pictures and videos of how much mothers are loved by their gems, is sometimes too much for me to handle. The report cards, the pottery…things they make (I really don’t know what they are called), the mother’s day cards, the hugs and kisses and, oh, the matching outfits! Why, oh why, do people share these things for me to see? Do they not know that I take offense to these posts? They were obviously MEANT to make me feel barren and irresponsible and heartless and jealous! It could not possibly be that they are just proud of their children! Oh no! They MUST want me to feel bad about myself, because God knows that when I post about loving my child-free life, I MUST be trying to deliberately offend all parents, and not just enjoying my choices. Don’t even get me started on those vehemently offensive ‘motherhood challenges’! They tear me to pieces! Please stop hurting me with your beautiful family pictures.

Thank you cyber world, thank you. Thank you for allowing the downtrodden childless women like myself, vent! It is really important that I am allowed to share these feelings, even though I am not lucky enough to be a mother. I feel so understood now that I have shared this. I feel…normal. My struggles are so real. I feel like no one really understands me and that society has made insignificant all that I go through. But now that I have faced who I really am and shared my frustrations, I so hope and pray that some semblance of empathy, or at least some sympathy is extended to me.

The 17 Fcuks that won’t be given in 2017

Every New Year it’s the same thing with everyone – resolution after resolution. Every year we decide that this is the year we lose weight, we eat healthy, we stay positive, we remove toxic people from our lives, and we develop ourselves professionally. Most people are quite successful for the first few weeks of the New Year, others make it to February, but most of us fail within a month or just don’t bother at all.

Some years ago I stopped even thinking about resolutions. I have even stopped giving thought to making them. As I grow older I realise that resolutions are nothing but a bother to me; an unnecessary and usually unreasonable expectation that I force unto myself, and for the love of God above, I cannot figure out why I even bothered in the first place. The truth be told, resolutions often, if not always, consist of starting to do things I hate and stopping doing things that I love. So for 2017 I decided to make a real change…which I suppose is a resolution in itself, minus the pressure if I fail.

Instead of making a New Years’ Resolution List, I decided to make a ‘’Fcuk It’’ list! This is a list of things that I have decided to NOT do for the New Year, and the Fcuks I plan NOT to give!

 

  1. Accept disrespect

This can be a difficult one to understand and even remove from our lives, because we often think of disrespect in a very direct way: someone cursing at us; someone embarrassing us in public, etc. Disrespect, however, takes many forms. So, for me, I decided that 2017 was my year to stop allowing the disrespect in the more subtle forms. No longer am I going to allow anyone to assume my time. I can’t have plans made for me to do things for others on their time, with no respect for my time and my life. My time is my own, to do as I please, with whom I please. Disrespect only occurs when we allow it to occur. When people treat me as though I am not good enough for some things, but good enough to run errands, I will have to make the necessary adjustments. So for 2017, if I am not good enough to be part of the fun times, then don’t make plans for me to pick up your junk, do your dirty work, or accept the scraps of your tribe. I’m out, bitches!

 

  1. Need acceptance

I’ve always been somewhat…or quite a bit…of a non-conformist. I have never felt, seen or understood the value of fitting into a group, society, family or clique. While teamwork is an entirely different concept, I have no desire or inclination, in my personal life to be accepted by anyone. To make matters even more complicated, I have tattoos, a bitch face that offends, a teacher’s tone of voice even when I’m actually being nice, and a clear intolerance for people in general. I’m tired of trying to smile at random children who actually irritate me in the supermarket and other public places, or at people who are deliberately stupid as though it’s in style. Usually people accept you more easily when you conform to their idea of what you should be. I have decided that in 2017, if you can’t accept me as is, you need not accept me at all. I am not at the age of the possibility existing of drastic change. In fact, I am pretty comfortable with who I am, numerous faults included. My faults are cute to me and since beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I really don’t need anyone else to appreciate my ‘cuteness’. So with the exit of 2016, though for me I think it may have actually been 2013, so too is the exiting of filling a mould. Like I have said many times before, moulds are for cakes.

 

  1. Smile through insults

Our parents have always told us that if we can’t say anything good, we shouldn’t say anything at all. Value in this took quite a long time to penetrate my psyche. I suppose I never saw the importance of that golden rule because of the brazen confidence of youth, perfect bodies and pretty faces. As my old ass approaches 42, and my body has decided to grow in its own direction, without my direction, I realise that there is never any need for people to be blatantly unkind to others. However, since one good turn deserves another, I will no longer be accepting the unwanted observations of unimportant people without the return of an equally discourteous observation about them. So the next time some scholar notices any weight gain, or doesn’t like my new hairstyle or comments on the difference in age between my husband and I, 2017 shall meet them with a relentlessly politically incorrect me. Usually the ones who notice your faults are blind from their own. So, if I am going to be insulted, my 2017 reaction to it is going to be less than accepting.

 

  1. Reduce my vices

Every New Year meets us feeling guilty about our vices, accompanied by promises to break them. Why? I quite enjoy my vices, which is why they ARE my vices. Coffee is a necessity on a morning, before I can even have a rational thought that is even applicable to life. It is also a necessity at least two more times during the day, since alcohol is not as yet allowed in the workplace, if I am to even function on a semi-normal level. And to be clear, I love coffee. I love it so much that I’d prefer to be caffeine deficient than have to lower my every standard and swallow instant coffee. Life is way too short for anything other than French-pressed Italian espresso. The other vice I intend to NOT eliminate or even reduce, is my love for, as well as my consumption of alcohol. I am not an alcoholic (as all alcoholics say), because I don’t NEED prosecco; I just LOVE prosecco and yes, there is a difference. Prosecco makes me happy; it makes me tolerant and tolerable. I can’t understand why we must cut out the things that we love the most. Isn’t life just way too short and unpredictable to not eat the cake? To not buy the shoes? To not drink the prosecco?

 

  1. Stop dropping the ‘F’ bomb

The extent to which people’s sensibilities are so offended by curse words, has become ludicrous, if not comedic. I think they are offended by these words because they believe that they should be; good people are not supposed to like curse words; intelligent people don’t need to use curse words to express themselves. Don’t get me wrong – I do take time and place into consideration for all that I do. I obviously won’t curse in front of a class, around children, in the presence of my in-laws – all for the same reason: respect. But seriously, I curse and I really don’t care. There are so many worse things I could do – like kill, scheme, cheat, lie, be cruel to animals! But if I just like to drop an ‘F’ bomb or two in every conversation. Wtf is really the problem?

 

  1. Feel guilty

This is a pretty big one! Family especially does a great job at guilting you into doing things that you really have no interest in, no time for and really just don’t want to do. I’m pretty much done with it. I am no longer going to be dancing to anyone’s music a minute before they need me to help with something or someone, on the ridiculous assumption that I MUST have the time because I don’t have children. Neither am I going to be guilted into cooking, running errands, dropping or picking up anything or anyone, if it isn’t convenient to me and not ASKED of me in a considerate amount of time in advance of the favour. Respect my time. Respect my life. Respect me. ‘No’ is a perfectly acceptable answer. People finding me to be rude because I opt for that answer, simply have an inflated sense of self, and believe that they are entitled to me submitting and committing to them in ways that aren’t convenient to me. In 2017, guilt has been put out of this house and got its ass kicked to the curb.

 

  1. Grow old

I have just pretty much decided that growing old just isn’t for me. What does that even mean? Growing old? Growing up? It is quite overrated if you ask me. Responsibility is a part of life regardless of age or status. I don’t see why I need to grow old and fit a mould of what people in their 40’s should be or should do. For example, the amount of times I have heard that I am too old to be enjoying social media as much I do. But why? I am technological – in my job, in my personal life. So why should I not be keeping up with technology, while having a job in which teenagers are everything? So old folks like me should just sip some tea, take their calcium and not understand how a computer works. We should not dress trendy, sexy or risqué in any way. We should not dance until the sun comes up. Well! These limitations do not work well for me. While my girls stand straight without the sag, I intend to enjoy any bloody-hell low cut top that I want. Not only will I dance until the sun comes up, but I will do it on a table, if I so desire. Age isn’t a number; it’s a state of mind, a mentality, a hindrance. I will live and dance and drink and love until the day I die, because life has no meaning if we stop living while our hearts are still beating.

 

  1. Save useless relationships

I have often compromised myself in order to avoid confrontation in relationships. I have often turned a blind eye to disloyalty, dishonesty and destructive behaviour in order to save a relationship, whether it was a platonic, familial or romantic one. The only result was me always feeling disgusted with myself and others for remaining part of a toxic relationship. Family and friends who truly love you and care about you, would not have you accepting their poor behaviour and sacrificing parts of you, just to have you keep them in your life. These types of relationships are truly useless. They serve no purpose other than to suck the joy and life out of you. In 2017, I will work on the relationships that are worth it, with the people who work on their relationships with me. Everyone else can go toxify themselves elsewhere.

 

  1. Stop dancing

No, I am not too old to dance. I am not too old to be a dance teacher. I am not too old to dance on tables. For so long, dance and dancing have been silently associated with children, whores and the shameless. I’m none of those…well at least not the first two anyway. Every time my husband and I travel, we somehow end up somewhere, in some bar or restaurant or club, in which they play our local music. For anyone who knows me, I cannot hear ‘soca’ music without ‘bussin a wine’. So yes, when I get called out in Mango’s Tropical Café in SOBE, or in Café del Mar in Ft. Lauderdale Beach, I will dance! In front of everyone, I will represent my country, my music and just be me. So my answer is no – I do not feel shame to just get up and dance. I am a dancer, I am a dance teacher….I mean, seriously, have you met me?

 

  1. Worry

I just can’t do it anymore. I can no longer worry about what might happen with my health as I get older. I can no longer worry about how my life may look to others. I can no longer worry about useless relationships. I can no longer worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to come whether I am here to celebrate it or not. Tomorrow will bring its new joys and its new sorrows, regardless of how I spend today. So, in 2017, worrying will not get the better of me. Tomorrow will come until it doesn’t, and I will deal with it however I need to. Until there is something to worry about, I’ll just sip my hot, rich, French-pressed Italian coffee, guzzle my fresh, bubbly, extra-dry prosecco, dance like there are no worries in this world and just live my life. Shit happens regardless.

 

  1. Feel ashamed of what my body looks like

Oh mother hell! I’m almost 42. I only exercise when I feel like it. I juice my vegetables and then eat fried chicken. I don’t work out like a mofo and I refuse to starve myself into skinny! That’s for people who still need to impress others and receive their validation accordingly. Don’t get me wrong…I think exercising regularly and eating healthy is great, but only when it’s for the right reasons. Validation and recognition can never be some of them. I have cellulite, granted, not as much as I should have at 41. I have wrinkles around my eyes, probably because I spend so much time laughing with (and sometimes at) my husband. I have lines on the sides of my mouth, probably from the constant smile he has on my face. I will no longer entertain a navel breaker or a micro mini. But that’s ok! After one time is another. I enjoyed my twenties, maybe a bit too much. I was even able to dress as I wanted way into my 30s! What more could I ask for? So now, I wear what’s comfortable and I accentuate that which has not as yet started to sag or wrinkle. I’m ok with my highly imperfect body, because this ‘temple’ of imperfections still allows me to dance every single day and share that joy with my students. So I’m good…tattoos, sag, wrinkles and stretch marks alike.

 

  1. Be impressed with people’s perfect pictures

Seriously parents! Just before you finally got that perfect picture of your little angel smiling just right, he or she was eating his snot, digging his ass, or peeing his pants! You post away and I will continue to hit that ‘like’ button, but don’t be fooled into thinking that we don’t all know the reality of parenthood. As for the pictures of the non-models putting VS models to shame with their posing techniques, feigning aloofness and unawareness of the orchestrated photographer…gosh you do look great, but at the expense of some poor husband who has no choice but to feed your ego and take only 15 shots before you find the perfect one that will project the image that you so desperately NEED to project so that you can be validated by people you don’t know and by those who don’t matter. I’m no model and I don’t know how to stand to look sexy, cool or slim. My husband takes THE WORST pictures, because he only believes in ‘candid’. Like, wtf! I will always look like a crow if he’s taking the pic, which is how I know how many snaps it takes to get a perfect one, or in my case a semi-decent one. So this year, I will like the crap out of your posts and pics but you ain’t fooling me!

 

  1. Need an HGTV home

Yeah, I’m not the best homemaker. I’m uncreative, and very likely unambitious when it comes to having a picture perfect house. My home is my haven. It is where I need to just relax and be me. It’s clean and organised but the buck pretty much stops there. Ornaments are the devil’s gifts and dusting is the lifelong punishment for having them in your house. I like simple and uncluttered and I absolutely love convenient. So our TV snacks are kept in the living-room ottomans; we have a completely separate beer and prosecco fridge that’s usually fuller than the food fridge. The treadmill is in front of the TV, because there is NO WAY I can exercise without watching one of my shows. Our second bedroom has been converted into a ridiculously well-equipped gym, which I actually use. There is no TV in the bedroom, because we take our night sleep very seriously. Every single room is air conditioned because i feel hot all the time. I hate to decorate for Christmas, because it is such a bore to put up and take down a tree. The only two clocks in the house, reflect dance, coffee and alcohol. I do not make up my bed on mornings, because when I get home after work, an afternoon nap is a high likelihood. We have no children to entertain and dazzle with Christmas trees and gifts, and we don’t allow people who intend to judge us, into our home.

 

  1. Publicise charity

Public charity is always easy, and I suppose fulfilling in many ways. It has its value, I am assuming, in group and team work, pooled resources and maximising of time and effort. However, there seems to be a movement and mentality that has surfaced, especially in this age of social media, where all charitable offerings and activities are shared with the world. It isn’t something I understand or necessarily subscribe to. While I would never bash any form of helping others, I am highly irritated by people who feel the need to TELL me that they are going to feed the starving, help the poor, clothe the downtrodden and house the homeless. Do your thing! Why must you make that the sole topic of your conversations with others? Is it that you need the validation or recognition or reverence? Or maybe you think that if I knew about your ‘selflessness’ that I would be so inclined to follow in your footsteps. However, that would then be your inflated ego assuming that I don’t do anything to help others. Well I’m not the oak up which you should bark. I do not ever feel the need to let anyone, and I mean anyone, know what I do to help others. In fact, no one except my husband even knows what we do. It doesn’t mean that our hearts are in a righter place than anyone else’s but we simply do not NEED anything in return, especially attention. People who must always tell me about all the good that they do, don’t impress me; they worry me. I worry that your hearts are in a place of doing, so that others can see. Karma is real. If you do it for the wrong reasons, that shit comes back to bite you in your ass. For 2017, and way before, this boastful mentality has turned me off tremendously and disgusts me when that is the only thing about which you can converse. So this year, my response to your boasting is simply, ‘Yeah ok’. Charity is the way you live your life and the way you treat others everyday, not just when there is a reverent audience.

 

15. Allowing last minute demands of myself

While this was touched upon in previous points, I feel that it needs to be re-iterated and expanded upon, all by itself. I think people believe that because I have no children that my time is more available than theirs; or because my work day ends at 2:15 p.m., that I have more free time that others. But what needs to be clearly understood, is that being childless is a choice; being a teacher is a choice; having a husband who helps with all that needs to be done at home is a choice in partner. While my choices have allowed me certain comforts, it must be understood that they are still MY choices. They are not up for discussion or assumption. So when people continue to assume that they can call me for favours at the umpteenth hour, I will have no choice but to say ‘no’. I almost always have plans; whether with my husband or whether by myself. I value my time alone and even more so, our time together. I will not upheave my plans for anyone who didn’t have enough respect for my time, in the first place. Most times, the very people who don’t respect my time, know very well that they cannot do that to others or to their own people. That in itself sends a very clear message to me. I have no problem assisting family and friends whenever I can, on the condition that I am given ample notice to check my plans and choose if I want to adjust them accordingly. But you cannot expect me to give a care in the world about what YOU need from me, when I am not important enough to you, to be respected. So toodles to you and your assumptions of my time. Not this year!

 

16. Allow anyone to mistreat those I love

While I am quite aware that I am neither Superman or Wonder Woman, and I can’t stop people from treating others badly, I can control my interaction with them and limit it to the absolute necessary. In 2017, out the door goes any respect I used to or would have had for people who are exhibiting a blatant disrespect for the people I love. So, you treat my grandmother as though she is a second class citizen, who is supposed to be a punching bag for insults, you can fcuk yourself out of my life. You treat her as though she must bear the burden of your incessant complaints about me, you can fcuk yourself out of my life. Man the hell up and deal with ME if you have a problem with me. She is 85 years old. She has NO control over me, so attacking her will never get you what you want, except a very special place in hell. If you treat my parents as though they are there to serve you, you can fcuk yourself out of my life. Be clear, any courtesies they extend is out of the purity of their hearts and not to be taken advantage of. They can continue to do as they please and I will always respect them and their choices, but I will see people for who they really are in 2017. As for my husband! Well!!!! The buck stops there! I will not only allow you to fcuk yourself out of my life, but I will do it for you. He is an amazing, loving and generous man with no ill feelings or ill intentions towards others. So when people decide to speak ill of him and assume I don’t know what is being said, all hell will and has already broken loose. I will not be tolerating anyone to speak of him or treat him as though he is some sort of nuisance. The most ignorant parts of my soul will surface and I am happy to sin my soul for him! So in 2017, please be aware that I know more than you think I do. My husband is off limits!

 

17. Stop boasting about my husband

We love to talk about our failed relationships and blacken the names of friends and spouses who have wronged us in some way. It is so easy and entertaining to make horrible people look bad. We take pleasure in portraying ourselves as the victims at the hands of others. So if I think that my husband is the most amazing man I have ever met, I don’t see why I can’t shout it from the roof top! He does everything in his power to make my life easier, happier and less stressful. He is attentive and thoughtful, hardworking and dedicated to our life together. He is incredibly accepting of all of my faults, having very few himself. He is considerate and accommodating to who I am, who I truly am. He doesn’t just allow me to be me and and to do the things I love, but he encourages it. He has made my happiness and comfort his priority and treats me as though I can do no wrong. He loves the people that I love, because they are my people. His commitment to us has been resounding. So, if I want to post on social media about him, and post pictures of all that we do, it isn’t to show off, or to make anyone feel bad. It is to revere him, because I know how much he deserves it. So in 2017, the people who feel the need to ask me if I must post everything we do, and ask me if I don’t feel like I am embarrassing him, please think twice. He is perfectly happy with my posts and I am perfectly happy with him.

 

So these are the Fcuks that will not be given in 2017. I shall continue to live carefree, think happy thoughts, forgive endlessly and love completely. Cheers to good health, acceptance and lots of prosecco!

 

Happy New Year!!

#41IsTheNew41

Just as I was getting accustomed to turning 40, and accepting it, almost gleefully, 41 just came out of nowhere and bitch slapped me when I least expected it. I thought I learnt a thing or two when I turned 40, but the past year has actually been a lot more revealing than I had ever anticipated. So much has happened and changed in my life and in the lives around me. It makes me wonder if this is how it’s going to be until my last day in this life, or is it that age is making me more observant to the seemingly smallest occurrences.

1. I’ve realised with conviction and conclusion that family is thrust upon you because of blood relations, and they can’t be chosen. Blood, however, may make you related to someone but it doesn’t guarantee you their love, support, genuinity or loyalty. Family can be as untrustworthy as someone you barely know. People you barely know can be more dependable than relatives. This is a sad realisation for me because I always felt that family should stick together,  despite differences of opinon and life choices. The past year has made me stand humbly in my wrongness of believing this. Family is a bond that doesn’t need blood to make it strong. It can come from places and people you least expect and the most important thing about family that I have realised,  is that I really don’t need anyone in my corner who doesn’t have my back, no matter what.

2. In the past months some illiterate fool who doesn’t even know that ‘learnt’ is a word, and who has a thousand and one opinions about VaneetaTellsAll, has been creating false email addresses with the name of my ex husband and has been posting comments under every blog. The comments have been vile and distasteful, to say the least, and truly reflect a drain water mentality, as well as complete and utter cowardice. What I realised about myself if that I actually believed it was my ex husband, at first, it being his name and all. Then I stopped for a moment and considered that this could also be some fool trying to cause trouble where none existed…where nothing existed. So, I called him. Turns out I believe him…that it wasn’t him. This was a breakthrough for me: not thinking the worst of him. So let a clear message be sent: he and I are really on the same page in disgust of you. I have reported it to the police and the cyber bully is clearly a cyber coward who isn’t particularly intelligent or competent in the English language.

3. I realised in the past year that I am much more disliked than I ever noticed before. Because I don’t usually concern myself too much with people who are insignificant in my life, I have not as yet deciphered if it is that they always disliked me, or if the dislike only started recently. The answer to that question is unimportant anyway. What I do know is that people usually dislike in others something they wish they were. So, having a need to be with other people’s husbands and boyfriends comes from a deep, dark hole in one’s own life that cannot be filled with a disingenuous existence. Drowning oneself in fashion and parties and pictures, while trying desperately to project an image of a perfect life, comes from an emptiness that cannot be filled with the insubstantial flattery of others. What I do know is that projecting hate unto me, doesn’t make my life any worse, nor does it drain my happiness.

4. Friendship has been one of the greatest disappointments of the past year. People I thought I could have trusted and people that I did trust with parts of me that we never before shared, turned around and happily betrayed me, justifying it in the most foolish ways. Silence is consent and is thereby a form of betrayal. Doing something that you couldn’t tell me about, is betrayal. Life is too short to burn bridges of friendship over elements that aren’t worth it. At least, so I thought. Until this past year has shown me in the most brutal ways,  that what I value as important, is not as instantly gratifying to others as I had believed.

5. I no longer GAF. Literally. I have no time nor inclination for people who drink and hang out with me at social events, like weddings, then turn around and make fun of a past post I made on social media. I no longer have patience for people who said sorry for hurting me, then continued doing what they are doing with my ex’s and their friend’s husband. I no longer have patience for people who cause trouble among others, in an attempt to use them to fight their battles against me. I no longer have tolerance for whoring, dishonest, cheating men, when I know that better exists.  I no longer have patience for people who are not my blood, deliberately causing dis-ease among blood family members. And I truly don’t GAF about who has problems with my blog.

6. I have realised that women who have no say and no control in their homes, try to exert control elsewhere. It is a form of insecurity that particularly plagues women without us even realising it. We exert control over our children so that we can feel loved and needed, not encouraging their socialization or not trying to develop closeness to others. We exert control over our staff so that we can feel powerful. We exert control over other people’s men so that we can feel sexy. I prefer to exert control overy TV and my prosecco. Only because I don’t care enough about feeling anything but happy. But then again, I no longer have a void to fill.

7. Forgiving and forgetting are two completely different entities. When someone is truly sorry for what they have done and have proven that by changing their behaviour,  it is much easier to forgive and forget transgressions against you. However, when someone claims to be sorry, but continue the very behaviour that is offensive, then one can only try to forgive without forgetting the capabilities that they have. I’ve realised the difference in the past year.

8. I am baffled that in this era of knowledge and self realisation and self actualisation, that silly women put so much worth on their weight. It’s one thing to want to be healthy, and another thing to want to be seen as thin. It’s sad that in this day and age where we are responsible for shaping the self image of young girls, that we put such emphasising association between beauty and smallness of size; and ugliness and weight gain. I suppose I should not be critical of this, as I was the same way when  I was younger, in my 30’s  in a final desperate attempt to feel young and thin and sexy and worthy. Hitting 40 last year was liberating and enlightening. It isn’t until one experiences it, that one will ever truly understand. The only thing that reflects our value is what we do and who we are when no one is watching.

9. Charity really does begin at home. It matters less how many houses we build for others; how many mouths we feed; how many bodies we clothe, if we have no compassion for those closest to us. We cannot be uncaring for our parents,  grandparents,  spouses, but go outside to help others. We must first take care of those in our charge. So if my grandmother…my only remaining and living grandparent, needs the world of attention from me, then she gets it. I have the rest of my life to do more for others after she passes. I can’t claim to love my grandfather, if I don’t do this for him…it’s what he would have wanted. It doesn’t stop me from helping others but it keeps my priorities in check. This is something I try to teach my students – to give, give, give of yourselves, as much as you can. There is no need to advertise all that you do, or do it through a self revering organisation. It is possible to give without talking about it. Feed others, not your ego.

10. The past year has shown me how amazing my husband is. He does everything in his power to make my life easier and happier. He helps with the housework. He does all the things that I hate to do. He reveres me for my cooking and all that I do for him. And he has shown me how wonderful a healthy relationship can be. He makes me feel that nothing else in this world matters but me. He supports my every venture, not just in words. He would take time off from work to help me with my grandmother or take me to the doctor. He insists upon nothing during my vacation, other than me resting. He is truly a man of God, without even realising it. I never knew that men like this existed until I met him. He supports my blog, my choices, my family, my job and my life in ways I never before experienced. And if any of our ex’s didn’t get this from either of us, it’s because they simply did not bring out the best in us the way we do now. Everything else was just practice for this. But I’ve always said it: great parents raise great children.  How could I not love my parents-in-law for what they have given to me.

The most liberating part of being in my 40’s is that I can stand proudly by my decisions with no fear or concern for consequences. My choices are mine. When I wasn’t much younger than this, I thought that I was in control of my choices, but there were always underlying repercussions for them all. Now it’s different, and not everything can be explained. What I do know is that I know what and who I need, and more importantly, I know what and who I am…and while it isn’t all good….it’s still all me.

DISCLAIMER – My blogs are MY truth. I don’t need them to be anyone else’s.

Friendship is but a subset…

Women place very high expectations on men concerning trust, loyalty and honesty. We are always very cognizant of the type of relationship we want and what we will and will not accept.

We often forget that a friendship is also a relationship. Therefore, the same high standards of loyalty, respect, trust and honesty should be placed on that as well. In fact, women should expect more from our friends than we do from any man. After all, these are the people who see us through our lowest points and supposedly help along the way, with no ulterior motives.

Therefore, a betrayal from a friend is always more unacceptable and unforgivable than the betrayal of a spouse.

We forget that the same vulnerability that makes us place our trust in the wrong man, is the same weakness that makes us trust the wrong friends. The blindness that prevents us from seeing a man’s true colours, is the same blindness that prevents us from seeing the falseness in friends.

 
So when such a betrayal occurs, it really is a no compromise policy about maintaining such friendships.

 
After the past years of my life, I have no room in it for people who pretend to care about and respect me, when there are selfish, hidden ulterior motives in all that they do and say.
Someone who betrays a friend, is no different from any unfaithful man. She is one that is capable of anything, and that renders her dangerous. The sacredness of female friendships is only destroyed by a very special breed of woman. A calculating, manipulative one.

 
I am by no means perfect. But the mistakes that I have made over the past years have allowed me to understand consequence and repercussion.

 
I have come a long way in rectifying my wrongs and learning from them so that I don’t repeat my mistakes. Those mistakes also include not trusting the wrong people.

Why we stay with the wrong men

If you ask someone what it is they love in their partners, most often there is a hesitation before the generic answers start to flow: because I just do; because I love him; because he loves me; you wouldn’t understand; because he’s so nice; because he treats me good. I have given some of these answers in the past. While nothing is wrong with any of them, their lack of depth reflects a lack of knowledge of the real answer. The answer is so often that we do not know why we love someone. In some cases, when forced to dig even deeper, and believe me when I say I’ve been there, you realise you really don’t love them at all.

Women are especially guilty of reflecting on to men, the qualities that they are looking for in a partner. I have even witnessed women making their partners sound like other people’s husbands. We do this for so many reasons and we often end up with the most wrong people in our lives, as a result of it. I am by no means a psychologist, but I’ve been a woman all my life, unlike Caitlin, and I have and had lots of friends and cousins and acquaintances who have been put through the wringer because of being with or staying with the wrong man.

So before writing this blog entry, I started asking myself if it is that we dated, married, loved and hated the wrong men, or if we just chose to stay in a wrong relationship. I realised some years ago that women love to blame men for not providing us with a good relationship, one in which they are supposed to make us happy. We tend to forget that men are entitled to have their own personalities, traits and tendencies that do not need to be fixed, changed or compromised to suit our immediate needs. If this role was reversed we would not find that we are selfish, demanding or unreasonable. However, when men can’t ‘provide’ exactly the perfect image that we created n our minds of how and what she should be at all times, it is his fault.

We love to stay in relationships that make us unhappy and feel unfulfilled and we love to, in turn, complain about it…to our friends, our family, our co-workers, anyone really, who was willing to agree with us that the problem is the man. I was as guilty of this as anyone else. So, after my divorce, and couple mistakes, I started to reflect on why we stay in the wrong relationships.

Insecurity
This is one of the most real and least admitted reason why we stay with someone who does not add value to our lives and who does not contribute to our well-being. We always believe that we can’t do better, that he already ‘loves’ me with all of MY faults and we must let that count for something, everything even. Women have been programmed by society, our parents, and our peers to believe that we are not whole unless we are in a relationship. Single women are not revered for their independence, discerning choices or their happiness. We have all looked at our single friends and felt sorry for them and wished that they found someone who would just love them. That same foolish pity with which we are so content to see in our single sisters, is the very source of the insecurity that makes us stay in a bad relationship. After all, it’s better to be with someone who treats me okay, than to be alone.

Age
This one is a killer as well. God forbid, we approach 30 and either be single, in a relationship that is not on the road to marriage or engagement, childless. So when at 32 you find yourself dating the same fool for a year, and he isn’t fulfilling all your needs, you make the decision – Men aren’t perfect, and at my age what else is there out there for me; it is best I stay and try to make this work, rather than starting all over again in a year; maybe he will change his mind; maybe I’ll get pregnant for him. The biological clock ticks at ear-shattering volumes in our thirties and deafens and blinds us into staying in the wrong relationship. Insecurity then slips in, as well, and together with age, we suddenly convince ourselves that no one else will want us as we get older.

Investment
This is more of a double-edged sword. On one hand we say that we have stayed for so long, and although he hasn’t committed to marriage or even cohabitation, so much time has already been invested. We love to see things through. We use this as the excuse not to leave an unhappy union that we know, deep down inside, is going nowhere, slowly and painfully. But we stay, because we have invested. On the other hand, we stay because of investment because we can’t stand the thought of someone else coming along and benefitting from all the work we have done on him. How dare another woman reap the rewards of what we were working so hard to achieve and so easily just take our investment? So this dangerous sword really does cut both ways and once it is even a reason for staying in a poor quality relationship, it will hurt either way.

Change
By nature, women are nurturers. We always believe that we can nurture the wrong man into the right one. So we stay and try to instil change. We do it through our love, our care, our encouragement and support. When that doesn’t work, we have to get serious about what we want, so we prod a bit harder. It even reaches the point of nagging and giving ultimatums, threatening and entrapment. We prefer to run ourselves ragged, lose all semblance of dignity and of course, throw our pride aside, all in the name of love. So we stay and try to instil change. We refuse to understand that people change when and if they want to. It is not something that can ever be forced. But we are still willing to stay and try to instil change, because who would want us at this age, and he already loves me as I am, and I’ve invested so much time in him. The least he can do is change.

 

Making the decision to end a relationship is an enormous one, for all the reason list and so many more. Starting over at any age is daunting, even more so as we get older. Staying in an unhealthy, unfulfilled relationship in which the good that exists is the good that we created in our minds, is even more detrimental to our well-being.

If he hasn’t committed after a certain amount of years, he probably won’t. What even worse than that is him committing because he succumb to the pressure and ultimatums and entrapment. If that happens, resentment down the road is not just inevitable, but assured.

Marriage is not and should no longer be the end goal for women. We have too much more of ourselves to offer than to indulge in the undignified behaviour of expecting or forcing marriage. We don’t even consider that the success of a relationship lies in its healthiness, not in its legality. If our relationships are healthy, fulfilling, supportive and we couldn’t ask for more, then we shouldn’t. Marriage isn’t for everyone and that is perfectly fine. Marriage is no longer a legal bind. Marriage is a decision two people make together, to commit, to build a life, to raise a family and to be happy. A legal document can never provide any of those things, if they didn’t exist before. If you are hypo-religious and believe with all your spiritual soul that marriage is essential to a serious relationship, you should also ensure that fornication was not part of your journey, because then you are just a big ole hypocrite.

The bottom line is that women do not want to see the warning signs. We deliberately ignore all that they telling us by their words and actions. If you met him saying he just wants to keep it light and have fun, understand and accept what you are getting into. If he doesn’t have time for you, it’s because he doesn’t want to make time for you. If he doesn’t take you out regularly, it’s because you are NOT his girlfriend and he doesn’t really care for you to be.

The longer you stay in the wrong relationship with the person who is wrong for you, is the longer it takes to regain your dignity and open the pathway for the right people to enter your life. The right choices are hardly ever the easy choices.

Women are liars as well…

Men have always gotten a really bad name when it comes to lying. And truth be told….they DO lie…a whole lot, probably even more than women do. But women lie too. The hypocrisy lies in the justification. Women lie for the very same things that men lie for, yet when we do it, it somehow seems ‘justified’.

 

If a man lies to us to ‘spare our feelings’, he’s an ass. If we do it, we are compassionate.

 

If a man lies about the true nature of his current relationship status, he’s dishonest. If we do it, we are just trying to sort things out.

 

If a man lies to make himself look better, he’s a chauvinist. If we do it, we’re well-marketed.

 

The list goes on and on. But what I have realised is that we can’t want to be considered ‘better’ than men when we are doing the very things that make us condemn them. We are no better, in fact, it makes us worse, because we claim to know better.

 

A lie is destructive to any relationship or friendship and is no foundation upon which anything wholesome should be built. If lies are essential for a friendship or relationship to run smoothly then it’s definitely a friendship or relationship that needs to be re-evaluated.

 

Vaneeta

Whatever men can do, we can do better

Needless to say, I disagree with this statement in so many ways. I am all for equal rights for men, women, alternate lifestyles, pro-choice activists etc., but I really never burnt any bra in the name of feminism. Equality doesn’t make me a woman – being a woman makes me a woman.

I understand and agree that we can do almost anything that men can do and vice versa. But do I really WANT to do all that they do? That would be a definite, no. I can change a tyre, I can change a cooking-gas tank, I can wash a car, I can fill my tank (well, kinda with that last one)…but really, I don’t like doing it. And if a kind gentleman, usually my indulging husband, does these things for me, I am always truly relieved and grateful.

I am quite capable of opening a door for myself, but any man that LETS me, is not a man I would waste a second glance on. I don’t have to do everything for myself to be independent or self-sufficient, and a real man wouldn’t allow me to.

I like make-up and dresses and dressing up and being treated like a princess, Princess Margaret according to my very facilitating husband. He says that I am high maintenance, spoilt and princess-like in my taste, behaviour and lifestyle. I deny none of these things and I am not ashamed either. But he also knows that I am high-maintenance because I am capable of treating myself that way, whether he is or isn’t part of that process.

I don’t feel less independent because he physically puts gas in my car whenever it needs. Rather, I totally appreciate that he does it because he knows I don’t like to do it. Of course the list goes on and on, of all the ways he indulges me by helping me with all the things I hate doing.

I am quite capable of doing everything for myself and I WILL do it if need be. But I do not need to be in constant competition with men in order to feel strong in body, mind and character.

I love that some men still understand the value of chivalry and I think more women should expect it and enjoy it. Whereas I don’t consider us to be the weaker sex, I like considering myself the softer gender. Soft doesn’t make me weak or dependent…it simply makes me a woman.

 

Vaneeta