Due to unforeseen technical problems we will not be able to post Missteps today. We have been trying to fix this all morning but it’s getting late. To appease you here is chapter two of Young Employed and Single. We really do apologise for this and if we fix this today the posts will come up.
Thoz and Mike
I think I drank three more Savannahs before I slept that night. I was embarrassed by myself really but it’s ok, God will provide, right? In the morning I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and actually enjoy the occasion. It’s not like I had never been a stroh (bridesmaid) before. With all my friends getting married around me I was always on their list of bridesmaids. I knew every wedding step in the book so I was a safe bet. Eish, I got so good at it I often taught the other bridesmaids too. This just goes to show that I was not frigid, in fact I was fun-loving and loud enough to be noticed but not embarrassing. Why then did I feel like this for my own true friend’s wedding? I did not want to have these feelings because I truly loved her.
“Mum, Miriam wants me to be her Matron of honour at her wedding!”
I told my mum. She had to be the first to know because she had questioned why Miriam had not involved me in her plans. See why I say it was awkward. She was happy for that but she then said, “Eish will I ever have grandchildren? I am growing old and you obviously don’t want me to see and hold my grandchildren!”
Eish the pressure. Every second conversation with my mother ended up with this discussion. It was as though I was the one who was supposed to marry myself the way she made it sound. Of course I wanted to get married to get her off my back but a man had to want to marry me first or so I thought!
“Mum I am going now! You just know how to spoil my mood!” I said very annoyed and then I hung up. I can’t believe she had said that yet again but what did I expect. I hung up.
That evening I went to Miriam’s house to hear what the program and schedule was as I was obviously behind schedule in their planning. She was waiting for me even and her mother was there. Education or lack thereof makes you do funny things indeed but at the moment it was not funny when she handed me the dress I had to wear at at the wedding. The bridemaids dresses were beyond hideous. It’s like we were being punished for not being married ourselves. I was too scared to ask her if she had never gone to a wedding where she saw bridemaids dressed in dresses that they could actually be proud of but then this was Miriam, right. The few weddings we had attended together she had been drunk out of her skull and I had to be the responsible one between the two of us. Don’t think I had much of a choice in the matter. I reached a point where I did not take her anywhere because it was embarrassing. Her sister and I were roughly the same size meaning that dress did not have to be adjusted at all and still it looked and felt borrowed. Zanele, her sister was two years older than us. We both did not like her because she was very bossy and judgemental. Even as kids we used to fear her meaning we used to do whatever she asked us to do. I actually think Miriam had initially chosen her as her Matron of Honor only because her mother had forced it on her. Mam’Dolly, her mother was a piece of work. She reminded me of that song by Brenda Fassie, Vulindlela. The neighbourhood gossip in everyone’s business and that gave her power. People were scared of her and of all the houses in the neighbourhood she just had to be my neighbour. The one thing you could not fault her on however was that no matter how many scandals Miriam had, she did not give a fuck. Miriam was her pride and joy, her little angel and when she was getting married, the whole world knew about it and contributed. You did not want to be on her bad side because she manufactured gossip more than twitter produces hashtags. Point is, everyone was going to see me in this dress.
“That dress suits you. It was made for you I swear!” Mam’Dolly said to me the first time I fitted it. I have always felt she thought I was competing with a daughter. I can’t place it but it almost felt as though she kept comparing us and making sure her daughter came ahead of me. It was kind of hard though because Miriam was not a horse you backed for success. On this one though, the big one, she had beaten me: ten – nil.
“You know I always thought you would get married first with your fancy education and big car but nope, Miriam beat you to it!” she was saying to me as she was looking outside the window. Miriam rolled her eyes and made a finger gesture to show her mother was looney. I was not offended funny enough because this is what she always did. When I graduated she said that it was good thing but I will probably never get a job and when I got the job she said I probably slept with someone to do it. Miriam and her had a huge fight about it and she came and apologised to my mother. She even admitted it was jealousy that made her say it.
“Mum I did not beat her to it. I was just in the right place at the right time. He is the right man for me. He just gets me!” she said changing the topic.
“Tell me again how you met? I love that story so much!” her mother asked her. I actually didn’t know how they met.
“Mum I have told you a million times. I was at the garage and we were doing that car wash for charity thing. I washed his car imagine and instead of eating the shisanyama that was there he bought me KFC and said it was because I was too skinny!”
Her mother laughed as though that was funny. It’s weird really, in my world had a guy said that I have no reservations in saying he would have been destroyed for saying such. It’s disrespectful to talk about a woman’s weight. KFC had gotten her a ring, I would have wanted a formal date with the works. Maybe my standards were too high.
“Isn’t that a beautiful story Lungi? Most of you girls want to be taken to Dubai for a man to prove his worth forgetting that it’s the simple meetings that create the perfect endings!”
This woman can be so annoying at times. So what if I had standards?
“Mum leave her alone! Her Prince Charming is going to arrive just wait and see. He will be in a Rolls Royce or a Bentley.” she said with a smile. I don’t think she meant it in a bad way at all, it’s the first thing that came to her mind but, and it’s a big but, she had just made me look stupid. I was looking for the corporate type to match my intellect but truth be told so is everyone else.
“It’s ok. Mam’Dolly you must find me this man! I have been struggling as you know…” I said laughing tried to lighten the mood.
“When we were young, men used to line up at my street corner to try and shela me! Back then I had big buttocks and big breasts before life happened!” she said about to reminisce
“I don’t think you have ever told us how you met Malume Rex?” I asked her. That was her husband and Miriam’s father. They were still together after all these years but everyone in the neighbourhood knew – though it was impolite to whisper – it was because of fear and not love. He was terrified of his wife and trotted behind her whenever she wanted.
“Ah Rex. He used to be a teacher at the time. He was new in the area and all the girls wanted him. Guess who won pshhhh…. they never stood a chance!” she said proudly, which made Miriam and I laugh. Her mother, when not gossiping was the funniest woman ever.
“I went to him one day when I saw him standing at the corner with his friends too scared to come to me for fear of rejection. Imagine, all the men chasing me and I went to pick him up myself. People thought I was crazy but today 29 years later he is still my husband.” she said. Tjo, in this day and age women can’t still approach men, that would never work for me. What would people say?
“Ah mama you never told me this story before. That was so romantic. How long did it take him to propose marriage?”
She laughed this time, her mum that is and I was not sure I got the joke.
“How long did it take him to propose you ask ngwanaka? In three months he had paid lobola. I was not going vat en sat! We didn’t even have sex before the wedding come to think of it but that night he was a bull…” she said with a mischevious glint in her eye! This woman though, boundaries!
“Mum!!!” her daughter screamed, “Euuuuw, that is over-share!” she said disapprovingly but her mum was on a roll,
“O come on Miriam, I know you have seen a man working on you! Kids today can’t open their legs fast enough yet want to act all conservative and churchy when it’s spoken about!” she said of which I laughed. She had just described her daughter in one breath but the moment was short-lived as her husband walked in and called her outside to talk to the catering lady.
“My mum needs to learn that some things are best not said out loud, sies!” Miriam said, still angry. I just laughed it off. This was me making lemonade with situation.
“Never settle for a man that does not deserve you ok. You will get your own I promise!” she said. If I could get a penny for everytime I had someone say that to me I think I would be a millionaire!
I was depressed.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)