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I am just going to go out and say it, whichever girl tells you that they have never dreamt of getting married, having that big white wedding and the perfect husband is downright delusional! Growing up we were conditioned for it, playing house with the naughty boy next door, getting caught by someone and getting beat up for it by our parents. Yeah most of the kids who grew up in the township know this story all too well. Even white kids, those tea sets and dollhouses your parents bought you, what do you think they were training you for without even realizing it. In your teen years you called your boyfriend hubby or whatever even though the bastard more often than not went on to cheat on you. You hated him for it, sometimes forgave him and fought with him but often, and this is true you forgave the son of a devil! What did Maya Angelou say, “We condition girls to prepare for marriage…and to compete against one another for it yet we don’t do the same for boys!” I hope I got that right but the truth is not lost upon me. As a woman you are taught that getting the perfect family and husband is the most relevant thing you can ever achieve. Getting a good job and good friends are just a bonuses because husband and family come first. I hope I didn’t stutter when I said that because it’s a truth I can’t take back! I had it all figured out, by 23 I would be graduating with my honors at the very least, 24 I would be working and 27 I would have a husband and a one year old. You got to admit it’s a beautiful dream. I managed to achieve the first two with remarkable ease as I went to school on a scholarship that also got me a job in the process. Good times I tell you but it was hard work.
My name is Lungile Mbatha and I was on top of the world. I loved my job and it’s perks but I had a huge problem, getting a man firstly and on the few occasions that I did I learned very quickly that they just wanted to fuck me and leave me. I am not ugly at all nor do I have bad breath, bad attitude, pride etc. Nope, I am just like your girl next door without the bofebe tendencies but even as I say that she is getting married next week, white wedding and all. Miriam and I grew up together, we played together as kids but when I started to take books seriously in grade nine, my body took longer to develop than hers. She already had a boyfriend fingering her at the age of 14 and by 16 she had discovered the joys of sex and how truly relaxing opening her legs was because she slept with everyone who drove a GTI or could take her to the next party. I on the other hand preserved myself right through to my first year and only lost my virginity to Bongani who was and still is my best friend. I needed to get rid of it because I succumbed to peer pressure and fear of missing out as the girls who were having it seemed so happy so I arranged to do it with him. It was awkward but fun, painless and not that memorable. We only did it the once and things never got weird between us. In fact, he went on to date my university closest female friend Cindy Shabangu and today they are married with one child. Cindy dropped out of bio chemistry and ended up doing some HR degree. Again, I stayed in school and got my honours which came with a good job offer from one the chemical plants in Johannesburg. Some times that feels like that was the worst decision of my life.
Miriam never passed matric well enough to be relevant and ended up in a Jeppe College before she got call centre jobs. I see “A” Jeppe College because back then they were so many am not sure about now since some of their programs were found questionable! On a salary level I dwarved hers by probably 600% but one thing never changed, she was my first friend and we remained friends. You know how the naughty ones never seem to get HIV nor do they get unwanted pregnancies, Miriam was a true reflection of that. She would tell me great tales of her sexcapades which I am ashamed to say often left me quite turned on. Here is another embarrassing truth, if you are single and don’t get is as often as you want then your fingers become your bestfriends to keep you warm at night. Hell, girls like me know as much about dildos and vibrators than prostitute. I called my vibrator Boyboy and ladies, it never disappointed! After her stories, often before I sleep I would play with my rose garden and bring myself to an orgasm. The pleasure was momentary and then reality would sink in when I turned to find an empty pillow next to me. That girl used to traumatise me with her stories shem! Often she would feel sorry for me and invite me to some parties she attended but the thought of parking my car next to Bundu Inn was not my idea of fun, hell no. Once she took me to Mamelodi and for the first time ever my insurance phoned me and said, “You are entering a high risk area, please advise!” just imagine! On that occasion we had been going to bury one of her friends who had been stabbed by her boyfriend so you can imagine how out of my depth I was. We might have grown up neighbors but we were true opposites. With that said, imagine my shock when she came to me one Sunday morning after church and said,
“Lungi, guess what he proposed and I said yes. We are getting married!”
Firstly, I did not not know who HE was as they were many in her life nor did I feel her joy. Reality hit home that the biggest mogwanti in our street was getting married before me. The jealousy that swept through me at that moment was so profound for a good minute I hugged her in congratulations just so she could not see the pain in my face. I even cried but I told her because it was because I was so happy for her. That was both true and a lie. I was jealous and bitter and much as I tried to scold myself for it I could not help it. Was this God’s plan all along to let me be humiliated.
Speaking of God, I think I have tried every man of God possible. We are told that to get a good man go to church and so far to me it has become one big joke. Men have realized that picking up girls is easier at church because we let out guard down and see only good intentions from them. Think about it, if a guy approaches you in a club were often you are dressed like a little prostitute, 99% of the time you say no. You are programmed to say no because you know he is going to make an advance at you. At church where you are dressed like a nun, the probability of saying yes is so high because it’s the last thing you expect. We are easier pickings at church than at club. With that said I have had my fair share with men of God. You date for a few weeks and yes you give it up because everyone gives it up. Unfortunately he breaks up with you and lies that now he is drifting from his path with faith so he needs to focus. You are expected to understand because he is right under the bible as it is sinning. Next thing he is hooking up with that new girl in the choir! Yes if I sound bitter it’s because I am. One of those girls at my church who bricked me like that her name is Vuyelwa but I will get back to her later. The problem with looking for love at church is that you are competing with every single mother that’s there an trust me, they are many. It’s like after they are betrayed by their baby daddies church is an aphrodisiac as they can’t keep away from it. I wonder if they are praying for their baby daddy to be hit by a car or something. As a single girl with no kids even that crowd keeps you at a distance because one on one with a guy and you having no baggage like they do, they expect you to win!
With all these men I have realized the problem comes after my first pay checque when we are together. I earn a lot not because I slept with someone to do it but because I was smart enough to get a degree that is actually needed in this country. With some exes I would offer to pay the bills if I earned more but for some reason I was insulting their masculinity. With other exes, hurt and thinking I had learned my lesson from the previous, I would be girl and want to be taken off. Eventually the guy would call me selfish for not contributing as much as I could afford which would probably be more than him. At some point I started looking for guys who were CAs, actuaries, doctors etc but these were all interested in cheaper maintenance girls who would praise them for their intellect and allow then to cheat on them. It’s amazing really that the noose around my neck was my own education. Everytime I would tell a friend or colleague of mine not in the same situation they would tell me how much I must be proud of myself and it the men with problem so they must fuck off. I would be told how they were intimidated by me so I had nothing to worry about only a strong man could have me. What they did not know is that, alone at night, with my fingers yet again inside me, that was all irrelevant to me because I wanted to man to love me and call me his woman, a man to give me children and protect me. Even if I ended up in divorce court one day at least I would know what it feels like to be married.
It was then my phone rang. It was 1030pm and I had had too many savannahs. Oh, I am not a fan of wine, it’s bitter and pretentious. My vice is Savannah Dry with all its calories.
“Hey how are you?”
I said when I picked up the phone.
“Hi friend what are you doing?”
The voice said on the other side. It was Miriam.
“Nothing am about to sleep actually.”
“I have something to ask you and please don’t be offended because it is last minute. My sister can’t be my Matron Of Honor anymore. She has to go to Polokwane and will only be back late on Saturday night. She can’t prevent it. Will you please step in for me please please!”
Oh, I forgot to mention that my best friend at home had not even put me in her wedding procession. Instead she had chosen her sisters and his sisters to walk her fown the aisle. Now I was last minute after thought.
“It’s ok my dear I would love too!”
I told her. I was lying of course. That jealous animal in me just rose to the surface again. She might be my friend but I was walking a mogwanti down the aisle, in her white dress, when I could not even get a man myself.
I was truly young, educated, single and by the way things looked, I doubt I was coming out of it soon.