I paid a visit to my parents recently. They were pleased to see me, I think. I don’t see them very often; only ever couple of months or so. Now, the previous time I paid them a visit (dodgy grammar, I’m so sorry), I had Victor with me. We were in the area; why not go visit them?
He spoke Afrikaans to them, even though he is very much English. I thought it was sweet of him; never mind that he speaks Afrikaans very often, almost on a daily basis. I don’t have any difficulty understanding him – bar his dodgy grammar and his reluctance to use the Afrikaans double negative! – so I didn’t think they would have.
Even more surprising was when I noticed him quietly chatting to my mother just before we left an hour later. We didn’t stay long; it was almost dark and we still wanted some hanky panky during the daylight hours…
So, yesterday, I had a chance to speak to my ma-goed. I asked her what’s her – admittedly very brief – opinion on Victor. She couldn’t really say anything and declined to comment. (Ha! I make her sound like a celebrity!)
My sister finally said what was on my mom’s mind: he mumbles when he speaks. Now, this isn’t such a big deal to me; I also mumble. Ek praat binnensmonds. And I’m far worse than him, actually. They’re used to me; they’re not used to him yet, which is why they find it difficult to understand him, methinks.
But I’m sure that’s not the only reason they’re not too keen on poor Victor. I’m just too scared to ask.
But. And this is a rather big but. My paternal grandparents weren’t too keen on my stepdad when he was courting my mom and even when they were already married for a couple of years.
They kept gossiping about how very stupid and very Bushman-like he is! Well, dear reader, my parents have been married for over 20 years. So parents are not always right. Or are they? As long as I’m happy with him …
- He reads
- He thinks I’m amazing
- He can cook – even if it’s only bean curries and bunny chows thus far…
- He can talk about just any subject with authority
- I think he is gorgeous
- We’re sexually compatible … mostly
- He makes me feel valued and feminine and clever and treasured
- He isn’t a pauper
I wasn’t bored at work. I had more than enough to keep me occupied, especially those articles I never finished last year. remember those, Tarah? Hmmmm.
So I must’ve been feeling very acreative, as I spent most of today trawling the interwebs. I did searches on many, many people. I spent hours looking at Victor’s Facebook profile and spent even longer looking at his friends’ profiles. There’s one horsey looking crazy in particular whose profile I always check out. I don’t know why I do it… But she did used to have a crush on him, so I need to make sure she does nothing blasphemous.
So I decided to google his surname. His surname is not very common in South Africa. His father’s family is Dutch. I found oodles and oodles of dirt on his family! Now I even know what his mother looks like. I’m pretty sure she is the lady whose picture I found on the university’s website. It would just be too much of a coincidence.
I think his little brother is just adorable! And his younger sister, Catherine, is gorgeous and clever to boot. His dad’s name sounds very typical Afrikaans, I’m surprised to note. Of course, I’m not supposed to know what any of them look like. Or that almost everyone in his family is actively involved in a certain South African university’s activities. He doesn’t exactly gush over his family and I don’t think I’ll be introduced anytime soon.
I’m sure it’s because his family is a very academic one and I am … what am I again? Not academic. I mean, imagine his mom’s shock when he introduces me:
Victor: “Mom, this is Tarah, she’s a copywriter.”
His mom: “Oh, hi Tarah! Did you study at AAA? My younger sister’s daughter is a student there.”
Victor looks worried, I’m flummoxed that he didn’t tell his mother about my … defects.
Me: “No, ma’am, I didn’t study at AAA. In fact, I started working straight after school and only recently became a copywriter.”
His mom: “well, that is rather unusual but to each his own, I say. Victor, where did you put that pot I asked you to fetch me?”
And with that, I am dismissed as not being good enough for her eldest son who is on his way to becoming a professor, y’all.
You don’t know me; I’m your future self. Twelve years older than you, and still the same size! My darling, today I would like to sit you down, and talk frankly about what is happening in your life, and what is still to come. I promise this won’t take very long, you’ll still have time to finish Sophie’s World today… or are you reading Crime and Punishment today? Sorry, my love, I get confused at times with everything you’re reading.
Though I’m sure you’ve noticed that men like you, you don’t really realise just how amazing you really are, so you settle for the scraps. There’s nothing wrong with the men you chose to have in your life, but they could (have been) so much better. As people, as mentors, as friends, as lovers. There’s nothing wrong with sex on the first date, or sex on the third date, or hell, sex on the seventh date, however, soon you’ll realise that for some men, sex is merely a fun game and it does not mean as much to them as it does to you. You’ll cry many tears over the years to come. Please act wisely and wait until you’ve known the person better.
You’ll lose your virginity at 18.5 years of age. Well done, my darling! It’s a good age. I’m so proud of you. Oh, that boy you were head over heels in love with? He is as sweet as you thought him to be, though you never really knew him. In twelve years time, you’ll chat to him on the odd occasion on something called Gchat and Facebook, both of which still need to be developed in 1995. In fact, you’ll both joke about getting married… though he is slightly religious, so might not be your type.
Your mom is going to give you lots of trouble over religion. Brace yourself. Be yourself. Don’t feel bad for not believing. Well done on being so opinionated, though.
I’m unsure of what to say here, as there are many goods, and many bads. Don’t waste the first three years after school as I did. You’ll live to regret it. Do something, anything! Stop watching Ricki Lake with your mom during the day! Get a loan, even if it means you have to get out of your comfort zone. You’re a great writer. You should hone your skills. There will be a period in your life where you don’t write anything for just over three years…What a terrible waste of talent. One day, at Woordfees, you’ll meet one of your coloured idols. Speak to him about your love for words and ask if you can submit something to his newspaper. He’ll go on to become some fancy editor for that newspaper, so act now while he’s still in love with you. Yeah. He was. Trust me. lol
You are worthy of a great salary. Call centre positions are actually beneath you. Get off your arse and get a proper job!
Go see your grandpa today. He’s worth it. He will live a while still, but he isn’t around in 2007. Try to see the rest of your family, too. You might not like them, but they’re part and parcel of your life, and should be treated as such. Spend more time with your sisters, even though you live slightly far away from them after leaving school. You’ll enjoy it as much as they do, I’m sure!
Don’t be ashamed of being coloured, my doll (and stop freaking out when people call you my doll). Get out of your comfort zone, the one where you’d rather read a book than go to a coloured fete. There’s nothing wrong with reading as much as you do. It’s absolutely amazing! But. Trust me, some years down the line, you’ll regret not having more fun away from the constant books.
It is nice to be missed. Sometimes, though, one gets a surprise and the people who missed you most, are those who you always thought never really cared about you in any case.
The other sad realisation is when you consider, with a shock, that the people who were supposed to care about you and miss you, don’t.
I experienced these strange feelings when I paid a visit to my parents’ house. I don’t go there very often, yesterday was just one of those days and I needed to be in good company: my two sisters, the new baby and my mom and dad.
My neighbours were all over me! I always knew they loved me, I just didn’t know how much, I suppose. It warms one’s heart, actually, to see how much they care.
This is in stark contrast to a couple of weeks back when I saw family members from my mom’s side. They could not have cared less about my presence. Could it be that our neighbours (for those of us who actually know our neighbours) know more about us, and care more about us than our own family?
This is one of the reasons why I want to get to know my neighbours here where I stay. I guess all I really want, is to feel wanted and needed. And not just in a sexual way. I feel out of touch with those around me, partly cause I don’t know them. I want to be able to ask the guy next door if he can spare me some sugar when I run out. I want him to come knocking on my door next time he needs an egg, or two.
I will not promise anything, but I will try, henceforth, to get to know my neighbours, though I stay in a flat. It will be difficult, that I can promise you, but I daresay it’d be worth it.