Time and beauty

written for the Weekly Writing Challenge:  The Golden Years

Being a child in South Africa, at the time when I was, was a very strange time to be a child.  At that time, somehow, I don’t know where I got the idea from, but I did not think I was pretty.  I must have got it from the wider South African perception of beauty.  My hair was not quite kroes, not quite straight.   I had brown eyes, not blue, green or hazel.  And of course there was also the color of my skin.  For some reason, I thought I was also fat.  Which I wasn’t.  All these things were also affected by the fact that the cousins I was closest to were tiny, and had smooth, long shiny Indian hair.  Whenever we would have a beauty pagent amongst ourselves, it was always one of them winning.  Once I asked my mother why she had to marry a man with kroes hair.  I swore one day I would get married to a Chinese man so that my children could be pretty.

In South Africa at the time, inside brown circles, beauty was at a high level if the hair was straight, skin light, eyes hazel, blue or green.  If you looked more Malay, more Indian, more white.  Truly, at the top of the beauty ladder was anything white.  At least in my mind that was it.  That thought must have come from somewhere.  People were big on admiring other people with these politically beautiful characteristics.  I did not get admired much.  My sister did because she had dimples.  I will always remember being offered a compliment on being ‘pragtig‘ after the person realized they were complimenting my pretty sister and that they thought I would feel bad.  Looking back even now, I’m sure that’s the way it was.  I’m sure.

Today I look around me and see people who look like me walking around looking and feeling beautiful.  No special dainty, or other facial features, hair half kroes, half straight, brown eyes, not surfboard flat abs or other picture perfect bodies.  People born at least a decade later.  And yes, I too think they are beautiful.  Because yes, they are, and also because confidence is beauty.

After three decades, this warped perception is somehow living inside me still.   Its hard to change something that has become so deeply part of one’s psyche.  In the future I suppose everybody will have to come to terms with losing their physical beauty as age slowly erodes it.  I look forward to that time when beauty is irrelevant.


Ground-Hog Day

crazy woman

There’s this woman, Az.  She is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.  Why, because it seems her life has been in the same place for the last 10 years at least.  I’ve known her for about 4 years, as little more than an acquaintance.   The backdrop to her current life is a failed marriage.  Her ex-husband cheated on her time and time again and eventually she divorced him (or he decided, I’m not sure which).  From this marriage came 4 kids (I think).   The eldest daughter (barely 20 years old now), had fallen pregnant at the age of 16 from a chap who very soon went AWOL.  The youngest of Az’s children is about 10 years old.

So, it seems shortly after Az’s divorce, she got involved with a man who, by means of efforts to console her, made her his ‘other woman’.  He has a long term girlfriend of at least 10 years who ‘keeps’ him.  So, he will probably never leave because I doubt he is by the means or the inclination to ‘keep’ himself. Once, when it seemed that Az (his ‘other woman’) might win 400 000 smackaroos in a lawsuit, he proposed to her,  but the proposal was short lived as the parties she was suing appealed the court judgement and so the lawsuit is dragging on for another few years.  In the meantime, Az is  in a continually precarious financial position –  mostly because she is still responsible for all her children and her grandkid as well- So she is in no position to ‘keep’ any additional individuals.

Now, I watched Az’s status updates on facebook for as long as I could handle it.  Eventually, I just ‘hid’ her/or deleted her off my friends list because it was just killing me softly.  I gave her some riding lessons once, and since then I’ve had her on blackberry also.  And the wonderful status updates have been as entertaining as they were on facebook.

From the status updates, I judge there are periods (not longer than a month) when Az is being left alone, and then, perhaps, the ‘kept’ man will call her ‘my darling’ or something sweet like that and she’ll maybe have a roll in the hay for one night hoping that the sweet nothings he whispers softly in her ear might be true(er) this time.  Usually shortly after the ‘forgiveness’ and ‘happiness’ have made their appearance, come the updates indicating he’d disappointed her, perhaps by standing her up or something like that.  Then shortly after that come the updates that she has become a stronger, changed, wise woman.  And then (I guess when the ‘kept’ man doesn’t respond to this), come the updates of threats and revenge.  And finally, of course, the updates indicating that she is over it all.  This all happens within as short a timespan as a day.  So here’s the latest series of status updates Az put up starting (believe it or not) three days ago.  I’ll try to stay true to the typos, probably make of my own too.

“Really Happening? Pinching myself! 😀 “  – probably a roll in the hay here

“Do I really want this? Doubts or Reality?? 😕 😡 or just Truth?” – Probably he is not answering his phone and stood her up

“I have done enough” – She is growing in agro-ness because probably he is not responding yet.

“Time to focus on what I have neglected … me” – Here begins the self-upliftment.

“No sense wasting my breathe …” – Probably still trying to reach out to him.  Note the typo.

“Enough said. 🙂 time for change.” – Self upliftment, just so he knows it.

“Public Transport has its moments LOL 😆 “ -Just so he knows she has happy days too.

“Cape Town, you gotta love it! 😆 “ – She is so happy, he better know that.

“No1 has to Ask for someone’s time and their love … its suppose to be given from the heart” – Just so he knows she is a wise woman who is not gonna ask him again, but he can come around if he wants, I guess.  Note the typo.

“No1 has to Ask for someone’s time and their love … its suppose to be a given” – Maybe she thought this one sounded wiser.

“I have done enough for everyone and it was not appreciated … focusing me. 😀 “ – Self improvement again.

“Not surprised … LOL” – Maybe he stood her up and now she is pretending to find it funny.

“If I had to live my life again … I’d make the Same Mistakes … Only sooner”  Because she has become a very wise woman now from all the mistakes.

“Putting the truth out there, wueva falls … falls.  Done being fucked over!”.  Probably now she is going to make sure the girlfriend gets to know her guy has been busy with her again.

“I am not the woman I once was … I have become so much more 😀 “  – She is so wise now.

“Found my peace and quiet and it was right in front of me all this time. 🙂 “ – She is much better and much happier now, he better keep that in mind.

“Found my peace and quiet and it was right infront of me all this time. 🙂 later peeps”.  later peeps, makes it cooler.

“Now I can put the past to sleep” – He better know she is totally over him now.

“Not wasting this beautiful day at home! 😀 “ – He better know she is a happy go-getter now that she is over him.

“When people portray the innocent victim to others, yet in reality they are the villains … to each his own I guess”.  My guess is the girlfriend’s been scandaling around talking bad about her.

” 😀 “ He better know she is happy, and that whatever shit is going on, she is above it.

” 😀 Upliftment” –  yes because that’s what strong wise women do for themselves, and she is reminding him.

“Two close calls … not waiting for a 3rd one … need a break! 🙂 “ –  Things are happening in her life.  Mysterious things, I think here she is trying to tempt him to contact her to find out what’s going on.

“Had a moment of concern there … was just a moment of stupid lapse on my part … Not to worry, I brushed it off. 😆 “ – So he called, and the made a date, and he stood her up (or something along that lines), but he better know that it doesn’t affect her and she is laughing at herself for being so silly.

“Oops!!Had a moment of concern there … was just a moment of stupid lapse on my part … Not to worry, I brushed it off. 😆 “ – I guess the Oops makes it cuter.

“Music and laughter … perfect recipe 🙂 “ – Just to let him know she is so happy, and enjoying her life.

“Music and Laughter … perfect recipe 🙂 and my mood is set 😀 “ – Thought of something clever to add to the last one.

“Its awesome when things go wrong … cos there’s always a life line on the other side. 😀 “

I’m gona stop with my commentary now, you can see the pattern I’m sure.

“So lets talk about my bike!”

“So lets talk about my bike! Time to let the truth out! FB?”

“So lets talk about my bike! Time to let the truth out! FB? With names!”.

“My Bike! One by one they are gna fall.  And I will ensure it! And”

“My Bike! Nomore covering up.  The truth! Hell yes!”

“Start spreading the news … Az’s word is her honor! And everyone knows it! I will bring the biggest shame to biking history!”

“Oh this is one helluva THREAT! Pay up! Or I bring the BUILDING down! NO1 fucks me ova!”

By 7:30pm 2mrow nyt! There is nomore forgiveness for those who have done me more harm than good.  No revenge … just TRUTH! Something people no longer Respect!”.

“The countdown has begun! 😡 “

“Sorry peeps! I am a person of my word, 24 hrs has been given.  If my request I not granted then I have no need to keep silent”

“Just when you think you can’t anymore, God in His infinte wisdom sends you something or someone that makes you forget. 🙂 “  he came back and got her in the sack again.

“Misplaced Loyalty … now restored. :)” – Shoo, I guess a roll in the sack is enough to win back her loyalty.

“Now for the”

“LMAO Crap phone I have! I wonder what the Sony Exp Z is like?”.

“When people have no Conscience” – Here we go again

“Me Time 😀 all me 😉 “

“When you going through Hell … Keep walking … “Winston Churchill” “

“Never push a woman past her pain! LOL! Hell is a Haven when that happens” I guess she means Heaven.

” 😕 “

” 😕 😕 “

“today is my alone time 😐 “

Wow, typing her status updates out on a keyboard was a hell of a mission, I can only imagine what a mission it is via a cell phone.  Hats off to her for her drive and dedication.  This is only for the last 3 days.  She is 40 years old.  I firmly believe that women who’ve been through a divorce should go for serious counselling.  Many turn out to have a ground hog life as demonstrated above.

People who thrive on diminishing others


There are people among us who thrive on diminishing others.  You find them everywhere, at work, in the family, masquerading as friends, romantic partners …  they have for whatever combination of life circumstances, developed this modus operandi of subtly but effectively belittling others.  And why they mostly get away with it is because the rest of (unsuspecting) us have been raised to respect the feelings and boundaries of others, to be kind, and give others a chance before we give ourselves a chance.

What I have learnt is they cannot make me feel ashamed of my expectations.  They cannot make me ashamed of my feelings.  They cannot make me ashamed of my passion.  They cannot force their beliefs on me.   They cannot discredit my opinions.  They cannot make me do anything I don’t want to do.  Their opinion about me is not important.  They cannot make me feel small.  I don’t allow them that power over me anymore.