Thursday, 28 June 2012


Entering the big bad world of adulthood can be a daunting process. The responsibilities are constantly growing, not to mention the pressure that comes with making the best decisions to ensure a sustainable lifestyle, and with so many choices and options thrown in our face on a daily basis, the whole ordeal can be altogether frustrating. The red tape, the sales calls and all those hideous terms and conditions, why the whole process of committing to something long term can be exasperating, especially when you're still trying to figure out what the hell it is you want.  

No matter how hard we try to avoid it, we are bound to some kind of contractual agreement at some point in our lives. Whether it's work, home or personal relationships there seems to be a list of endless rules and regulations that govern the way we act and feel about certain situations. And while some agreements are strictly non-negotiable, I was curious to find out more about the unconventional kind lurking within the greyer areas of life. Even though I had never been that kind of girl, I was starting to wonder whether I may have overlooked the advantages of the so-called "friends with benefits" relationship. Although it seemed to offer much more flexibility than a full disclosure, I had difficulty understanding the "no strings attached" policy. Had I been too quick to judge the mutual benefits of being emotionally unattached?

Friday night was upon us and the "fuck buddy" had become a hot topic of conversation. I was pleasantly surprised to find more and more of my single lady friends embracing this concept as easily, if not as frequently, as men do. At first I thought they had all jumped onto the band wagon and given up on men completely but I quickly accepted the fact that sometimes all we really want is nothing more than a good shag. The idea seems unrealistic considering the stereotypes that women have to endure, that all women will eventually become emotionally attached so it was quite refreshing to see the idea of causal sex spread itself amongst my female friends.

"It's like pay-as-you-go", Anni said as she explained the basic guidelines to having a successful playmate. "You get it when you need it." Was she right? Have modern day women finally cracked the code of having sexual relations without forming an emotional attachment? Had sex become that disposable? As I investigated further, I found out that nearly all my single friends had or were having secret sex with some guy or another. Susan, Miranda, Jules, and even the little virgin Mary. The benefits were mutual and the rules were crystal clear. No false hopes or great expectations, just pure, amazing, unadulterated sex. Who needed Mr. Right Now when you could have Mr. Right Now Against The Wall?

As I flashed back to the late 90's, I almost forgot about my own former playmate. His name was Rick, a dumpy freckled ginger boy from England with whom I'd hook up with every Monday night while my parents were away at choir practice. Even though we had multiple mind blowing encounters in the bedroom, Rick was the kind of guy I would never dream of being seen with in public. Not that he was particularly unattractive or anything but I could see no future between us and the only chemistry we had remained between the sheets. Funnily enough Mary had the same issue with her fuck buddy. Could that be the key to having a successful open relationship? To have sexual relations with someone you find utterly dull and morally repugnant? Was it like a mutual trade agreement? A little tit for tat? 

The waiting room for the perfect plus one is full of single hopefuls, so until you find the most compatible partner to fill the void, there's nothing wrong with getting a little something on the side to fill your own void. Medical insurance, employment contracts, lease agreements...these are actually quite easy once you get through all the paperwork. Committing yourself to a significant other is just as tricky especially if your heart has been compromised before. Yes, it may take a bit longer than you hoped for but instead of stressing out why not invest in a reliable top-up package until you are ready to upgrade to something more substantial.   

When it comes to commitment, why are we faced with so much pressure?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


In a world obsessed with youth there is a very fine line between turning twenty-nine and hitting the big 3-0 and if you're lucky enough, you can usually disguise it with a good solid base. In a few short days, I will be entering the concluding chapter of my twenty-something existence. Am I sad? Devastated! Goodbye youthful visage and hello botulism. If wisdom is the only consolation prize for the irreversible side effects of the ageing process, then I'm in need of a massive refund. 

It's become a well-known fact that single women get the raw end of the deal when it comes to ageing gracefully while single men are promoted into the mystic realm of self-appointed bachelor status. As if the decay of one's physical attributes isn't stressful enough, they are faced with so many additional pressures that go hand-in- hand with getting older. Expectations, career opportunities, the pressure to get married, the biological tick-tocking of ones maternal clock and let's not forget the insecurities that somehow seem to follow us into the future no matter how hard we try to shake them off. Are there any perks at all? On the bright side, women are definitely on the winning streak when it comes to emotional maturity but is this really enough to compensate for what Father Time will eventually take away, especially if getting older means jeopardizing our chances of finding the perfect plus one?

Every year like clockwork, I throw myself into a premature panic, struggling to overcome the anxiety that comes with the ominous birthday celebrations. What should be a happy occasion turns out to be a pity party of multiple reflections on the years gone by. I thought that my social calendar had enough going on to take my mind off the Chronicles of Chronos but as I was getting dressed for a ball the other night, I looked into the mirror and noticed a tired expression staring back at me, one that still had so many uncertainties about life. How much had I actually achieved in my twenty-nine years of existence? How could I have done better in my career and were all my failed relationships and rejections up to now an indication of who I was? I couldn't work out whether I was being over-dramatic or whether the looming shadow of my forthcoming birthday was clouding my better judgement.

I was in no mood to go out but Charlotte had somehow roped us into going to the annual fundraiser for her local tennis club. Charlotte was naturally dressed to the nines and looked like royalty while Brenda and Miranda looked chic and sleek, kick-starting the evening with a bottle of Pinot Grigio.The theme was "ball" and we were having anything but. Any hopes of meeting a possible suitor were dashed as soon as we walked through the door. We were surrounded by happy couples all of whom were fifty plus. On the bright side we were definitely the youngest there. The topic of getting older came up and my friend Miranda seemed to adopt a different point of view. "I can't wait to turn thirty" she said. We all looked at her as if the sky had fallen down. She had a theory that the transitional tragedy of turning thirty should be embraced and welcomed with open arms instead of being looked at as some kind of curse. Was she onto something or had she simply had one too many? She wasn't doing the head tilt so she must have been stone cold sober. Is it true? Could the stigma behind turning thirty be a complete and utter waste of precious time, the key to our own demise? Are we the ones putting ourselves into a spin about absolutely nothing? Will entering the next phase of our lives actually provide some clarity to the issues we were too anxious about in our late twenties?

As I went back into the hall to fetch my coat, I witnessed something incredible. There on the dance floor, grooving to the smooth sounds of some unknown two man band, a sea of fifty-plus year old bodies strutting their stuff as if nobody was watching. The jaded cynic in me wouldn't have looked twice but right then, all I could see were a bunch of young souls having a good time. Maybe it's true. Maybe age ain't nothing but a number. Perhaps getting older is only a state of mind after all. Death, taxes and adding another year to ones life are pretty much the only guarantees we have in this lifetime and with so little to be sure of these days, it's refreshing to know that there is still a chance of being forever young.  

When you reach a certain age, I couldn't help but wonder: why do we feel the need to stop having fun?  

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Somebody that I used to know...

Every once in a while, a smash hit single storms onto the airwaves becoming the next overnight sensation. The impact can be so profound and universally appealing that it often becomes the soundtrack of the moment, penetrating our sonic senses with its infectious beats and relatable lyrics. But like every mass produced product, it doesn't seem to last for very long. Vulnerable and overexposed, the once playlisted track can only gravitate in one of two directions: a timeless classic or a one hit wonder.   

As I launched into the chorus of Somebody that I used to know, I started thinking about music and its inextricable link to dating. After countless dates with several forgettable hook-ups and one night stands, one noticeably builds up enough material to create their own playlist of losers, hits and misses, let's call them guy-tunes just for fun. You'd think by the time you hit your mid-twenties you'd be able to tell a hit from a miss, but instead we allow our hearts to get the better of us every time, opening up to the prospect of a new long term relationship. It's no wonder we give them so much airtime. Nobody wants to be lonely, right? Some dates are instant hits while others simply need a little more time to grow on you. But what happens when the novelty wears off and the record starts to scratch? Do we simply discard all memory of its existence and move onto the next big thing? Are we really that expendable? If music be the food of love, then we're in desperate need of a different tune. There has been a serious lack of originality recently with far too many monotonous bullshitters and disappointing covers, auto-tuned and synthesised to perfection creating the illusion of a potentially harmonious relationship.

His name was Adrian and like the song goes, I thought I knew him. We met in the summer of 69 - it was actually 2007 - after having internet relations for almost a year. He was amazing and everything I could have hoped for in a Buddhist. Over the next two years, we traveled the nation to exotic places such as Clarens, Montagu and Prince Albert. I could see that our friendship was beginning to blossom into something more meaningful and serious. It wasn't long before it became the pink elephant in the room, something unspoken that I dare not act upon out of fear of losing a very special friendship. But alas, my heart was pounding faster than an 808 drum so I took a chance and poured my heart and soul out on a platter. You can imagine my surprise as he took me into his arms and said he loved me back. And then we kissed. It was perfect, just like a kiss from a rose. For the next 3 days I had a vision of love with images of us growing old together and adopting baby Asians. Oh Adrian.

Just as I thought we found love in a hopeless place...Freaky! Freaky! REEEEEMIX!!! He flipped the switch quicker than a Will Smith song. For no apparent reason, our pseudo-relationship had come to the end of the road. I returned to Cape Town with precious illusions in my head. I had plenty of time to think about the past couple of days and what had happened between the Buddhist and I. My emotions may have been all over the place but I knew one thing for certain, I was not prepared to lose this friendship so I tried my very best to salvage it before it dissipated into nothingness. All my efforts were in vain and my communication with him had been snuffed out like some candle in the wind. Before I knew it, I was writing him a four page letter begging him to unbreak my heart. The silence was killing me softly leaving me torn and devastated. To this very day I still don't know why. Was he the one that got away? Do all good things come to an end eventually? How could someone who reflected such love and light throw me into such a black hole? It's a little bit ironic, don't you think? 

I have come to terms with this phenomenon but he didn't have to cut me out, have his friend collect his records and then change his number. I suppose the experience only made me stronger. I sleep better at night knowing that I'll probably be the best thing he never had. What a BIG mistake! Thank god for mainstream music! It's the safest, most healing platform from which to express yourself without seeming like a complete and utter emotional nut job. Yes, dating, like so much of today's current popular music, can be tedious and repetitive, but without it how the hell do we ever expect our hearts to go on?
When it comes to previous relationships, I couldn't help but wonder, are we all just rolling in the deep?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

I'm ova men

I remember the first time I laid eyes on David Beckham. My mangina flapped furiously as pheromones oozed out of every pore on my body. All those delicious tattoos inked across that athletic build, his chiselled visage, a head of perfectly quaffed was enough to keep me salivating for hours. I would even sit through a full 90 minutes of that insufferable game just to catch a glimpse of the future Mrs. Manni Bradshaw. For months I thought Victoria Beckham was a luckiest women on planet earth and while I played out several scenarios depicting their inevitable divorce (because he chose me of course), my fantasy evaporated quicker than crystal meth the moment he opened his mouth to speak...pretty ironic for someone who drops balls for a living?

What happened? Where have all the cowboys gone, Paula? According to Ang Lee they're either "out fishing", herding goats or camping it up somewhere on Brokeback Mountain. But what about the rest of the mutants from Mars? Surely they could not all have migrated to Uranus? Where are those archetypical, stable men that represent the ideals of masculinity? The protector, the gentleman, the cutie from the gym with the great sense of humour, the man who doesn't throw his ovaries around the room every time you talk to some other guy. Had there been some kind of evolution that scientists forgot to pick up on? This is a, worse, a castratastrophe! Somewhere along the way a new sub-species of hypersensitive male had progressively emerged out of post-feminism, one that feminists demanded but one they quickly forgot about the minute they decided to change teams. How the hell did we let the roles reverse so quickly? Has the metro-sexualisation of the rugged man finally overstepped its boundaries?

Some men - like the poor Blue Bulls who have to wear those ridiculous pink uniforms (thanks alot, Puma) - have no choice while others are just downright confused with the metrosexual movement. I'm talking about the guy who takes longer to get ready than you do (and looks better) or the dude who thinks that wearing guy-liner is in vogue. If you thought they only exist on the covers of some metro glamour mag being directed by some overzealous creative director who thinks they look fierce, then think again. I myself thought they were an urban myth until I saw one up close and personal. Margot was hosting one of her fabulous dinner parties and had just started dating this hunk of a foreigner named Kevin. Kevin was a gynecologist who not only looked good but smelt as if he'd stepped off the Red Square express.

As the evening progressed and the wine diminished, Margot and I got down and dirty on the dance floor as we usually do. Our display of usual fag-hag behavior such as motorboating and butt-spanking was clearly an affront to Kevin's delicate nature and he shortly stormed out of the room in a huff. While personal hygiene and good grooming are way up on Lass-low's hierarchy of needs, making a scene in front of your new girlfriend’s closest friends was something far less desirable. Some kind of insane insecurity set Kevin off into a frenzy, a performance I'm sure he would have won a daytime Emmy for. I was convinced she was about to have a stroke. And poor Margot. It was clear that she had to let this one go. 

As if the man drought wasn't bad enough, the rise of Captain Tampax has further limited the man pool from which to choose from. This is not good news for all my single lady friends out there. If it's not the ego-maniacs, the narcissists or the devolved neanderthals, then it's the misogynistic assholes and player fools. The middle man is either married, non-existent, gay or very hard to find. They are the rhinos of the male species so when you do find one that does not exude he-she qualities, hold onto him for your dear life.

When it comes to emotional men, I couldn't help but wonder...did they need a tampon?