Meet the Parents

Nope nope nope. I’m not meeting his dad, family are off limits, it’s much too early in the relationship to ask such things.

I got the, “But my dad is really great, you’ll love him.”

He got the, “This isn’t fair, you haven’t met my family yet, why do I have to meet yours?”

Yes, I am dramatic and immature and make a weak argument. Why he’s still with me, we’ll never know.

Long story short, he won and my pettiness was shown up.

He proudly introduced me to his dad, and I pathetically laughed at nothing funny and otherwise sat mute. Of the four times I spoke to him, two times I shouldn’t have opened my mouth. The first incident was worse than the second.

After boyfriend left to make us tea, it was just me and boyfriend’s dad. Boyfriend’s brother walked past and I said, “Hey, come sit with us.” His reply was, “I’m just going to put a shirt on.” I responded with, “No! You look great without a shirt, come sit.” All the while, boyfriend’s dad was watching.

The second, albeit not as bad, was finally building up the courage to make conversation with the dad by asking him if he enjoys living in the country that he has been living in for the last ten years. When he said yes, I replied with the most surprised, “Really?” He’s ever heard.

Now you’ll understand why I really didn’t want to meet the parents; not because I was worried that they wouldn’t be nice, but because I knew that I would be a complete disaster.

Good luck to his mom who gets to meet me next week.

“Back to school, back to reality”

Back in reality, so distant from hyena calls at night, glorious purple beach sunsets and slow- morning sleep- ins. Life is accelerating into needing a weekend after the weekend; “should I really eat another piece of cake?”; early nights for early mornings.

The lazy holiday feels have evaporated and I find myself arguing with my student, “I know your mom said you can eat when the food is ready, but I said you can eat when your work is complete.” Unfortunately my anger levels never reach above a 2 out of 10, and I can’t stop laughing at her death stare that she so kindly and perfectly shares with me.

We do have a lovely relationship with lots of giggles and disses and hard school work, and after our little tiff she walks me to my car and asks me to stay a little longer.

Even in the busy mundane of working days, there are moments of true hilarity where water snorts out your nose, true understanding where you watch the animated light bulb atop their head ‘ting’ on, true friendship where a secret is shared with you that you promise to keep safe.

I’m so corny, it’s face flushing. I always get sentimental when the holiday comes to an end.

How safe is it living in South Africa?

We were lucky to have my two British cousins in our car. The big old Prado bounced around the Kruger roads while the inhabitants laughed and blasted music and fought within. The other car completely contrasted ours, somber and serious, searching for African creatures hiding in the bush veld.

Our first full Kruger day held eight hours with these two contrasting cars zooming about the roads at a whopping forty kilometers an hour, stopping every now and then when a passenger shouted “stop!” All other passengers would magnetize to the side of the car closest to the creature of interest, a picture or two was taken, and then we would continue on with our journey.

We were kept highly entertained by the little British voices next to me. One comment that came from the young teen was, “imagine if a guy lived on his farm and had to help his wife have their baby because they can’t get to the hospital in time. He would see a lot more of his wife than he’d ever bargained to.”

We saw a jackal, a hyena, hippo and some birds of prey. Other than that, we came across a momma ellie (might even be scarier than a momma bear) eating leaves hanging over the road with her two little babas next to her.

An infantile bakkie driver (bakkie is a pick up truck in South Africa) roared past in his haste to get to wherever he felt necessary to roar off to. Momma elephant flapped her ears, desperately wanting to protect her calves, while our cars desperately reversed backwards to get away from momma ellie.

My cousins and I, who aren’t much in the way of brave hearts when it comes to elephants in their best moods, lay as low in our seats as we could. What you can’t see, you can’t fear, according to us.

Squeaks and squeezed tight eyes happened behind my parents as they tried to assess the situation, deciding when the best time to pass the elephants would be.

Eventually momma and baba ellies crossed the road and headed further into the bushes, and we were able to get out alive and tell this near death story to others.

We, again, ended our first full Kruger day with GnTs with the sun setting over the quelea- munching crocs in the dam below us.

Got me a boyfraaand

“Hey dad, I just quickly wanted to tell you something.”
“Cool Jords, I’m just going to put you on loudspeaker so that Tom (my uncle) can hear too!”

“Oh okay dad. Well, I just wanted to let you know that I have a boyfriend.”
“Awesome, is he nice?”
“Yup.”
“Ooh Jordy, our curries are here! We’re going to have to call you back.”

Between the jumping screams of my friends as I make my happy announcement, my parents casual take on the whole situation is a little bizarre, but also a little calming and relieving.

So guys, I guess it’s time that I tell you that I have an actual boyfriend. The dates and sweeties and messages and movie nights have resulted in the official business of an official relationship. Who would have thought?

On a cold Wednesday, a guy set up a projector in the courtyard, moved a couch outside with blankets, beanies, popcorn and yellow M&Ms (I had mentioned how we buy those whenever we go to the movies).

We watched “Eddie the Eagle” and sipped hot cups of tea.

Once the scene closed off the movie and the credits came up, he turned to me and said, “you’re the prettiest girl.” I rolled my eyes and replied, “I think only you think that.”

Then he said, “Jordy. Jordy.” Now he had my attention and I turned myself to look him dead on. “Would you like to be my girlfriend?”

“Are you joking?” And at the shake if his head, I replied with, “Oh. Okay.”

That’s the story. It’s rather anticlimactic after that. We both sat there and were like, ‘cool, guess not much changes now except that people will know.’

It’s been four days of people announcing it in meetings; jumping, screaming friends; heart eye messages when people hear via the grapevine; and the most asked, girly question, “so…. how did it happen?”

I’m still a little overwhelmed at the reactions we get, and sometimes melting into the floor sounds nice, but it’s calming down and the new normal is slowly settling in. Even my housemates have to get use to a new male hanging around, or a housemate not hanging around so much anymore.

Who knew getting a boyf was so much admin?

“Tell him he’s cute. What’s the worst that could happen? He could hear me.”

Goal number 4: ask someone out on a coffee date.

Easy peasy.

It’s just coffee, and what exactly is the worst that could happen? I agree with Monica, “He could hear me.”

And who exactly am I going to ask? I mean the last guy that came along was a little not good, so head- shy is a good word to use for myself.

My housemates give me names of boys who could all potentially work as a good date. I give it some thought, and then I give it a little bit more thought. Eventually my brain locks onto a name of a male that isn’t such a bad choice. Actually he’s a pretty good choice. There’s just one problem… I totally turned him down over a year and a half ago. He gave a good pursuit, but I think my singleness was more attractive to me at that stage that I would have said no to anyone.

Poor kid. Sometimes the timing is just off.

Plus this little anecdote of information is going to make my job just a little bit harder and a little more humbling.

I asked another male friend how he would feel if a girl asked him out, and he said it would be fine, but only if she asked him out for coffee. Honestly, I don’t quite know what would be so wrong about her asking him out for dinner or whatever, but I guess I just wanted his opinion, so I can’t really tell him that he’s wrong.

So now that I have a name and advice, I could totally do it today, I could totally ask a boy out for coffee. The only thing I’m missing (minor detail) is any courage to do such a thing.

I take my hat off to the guys and girls who have gone before me, pioneered the way of the ‘asking out,’ the brave ones who swallowed their pride and set forth on quite a scary mission.

I’ll be here, searching for a backbone to complete this goal.

“I’m a lone wolf. A loner. Alone”

This morning, Male Housemate woke up early, made himself some tea, began making a quick breakfast and doing the usual before- work routine when he looked at his phone and proclaimed in anger, “There’s no work today! Why am I awake?”
He promptly grabbed his tea and went back to bed, leaving me standing in the kitchen, highly amused by the show I got to witness so early on a Sunday morning.

Upstairs Housemate has gone home for the holidays so at the moment it’s Married Housemates and Third Wheel Me. And when it comes to third wheeling, I have no ‘skaam’ (shame). After making my dinner, I join them on the couch while they’re eating their food and watching a movie. This morning, we all made breakfast together and ate it on the couches, deciding what we were going to do for the day after the electricity went out.

Last night I couldn’t fall asleep. I usually come home and end up sitting on Upstairs Housemate’s bed, telling her how my night was, with dramatic flair added. I felt too overloaded with my stories to go to bed, so I snuck downstairs to sit on Married Female Housemate’s bed and tell her my tales. Luckily Male Housemate was studying in the office. She got highly surprised to see me, but promptly moved over on the bed so that I could share my evening with her.

To be fair, they are a couple who make room for a spare wheel. They call me to join them and offer for me to have breakfast together, so I guess I’m lucky.

In our beautiful symbiotic relationship the other night, Married Female Housemate and I were sitting in the dark (load shedding duh) watching series that we had downloaded in preparation, asking poor Male Housemate to please replenish our tea mugs for us, “and while you’re doing that, please bring through some chocolate as well.”

People often feel sorry for the third wheel, but honestly they should rather feel bad for the poor male who has to cater to two fussy girls.

“Smelly cat, Smelly cat”

On top of the two dogs that I mention multiple times, we also have a cat. A sweet little tabby, that “meows” her entrance when she comes into the room, and who likes to snuggle on your legs while you’re sleeping, so that often times you will wake up with numb legs, wondering when they fell off.

We think she is rather cute, and she thinks we’re rather great, and in her attempts to let us know this, she has begun to bring us presents. Most cat lovers will know what cat presents are… Yup, live creatures.

The first time she tried to show her appreciation, it was me she was gifting, and in my room I found a long, tail-less skink, breathing heavily on my floor. I called my Upstairs Housemate to come help me get him out, and when we returned to my room, he had run into her room. Male Housemate came upstairs to find two hysterical females hugging each other on the bed, screaming, and this little thing ran around the room trying to get out. Poor Male Housemate had to catch it, amidst more screams and dramatics as we watched him pick it up by the stump of its tail.

We got some more skinks until Marmalade realized that we didn’t quite like her gifts. So she gave the present- giving another try. Within the space of a week, we found four baby rats in our house. We found one chilling on the door handle… He died. We found one in the kitchen. With game plan in place, Married Female Housemate and friend were going to chase him towards the door, while I was supposed to guard the other side of the kitchen. However, as I watched this siff scurrying rodent running towards me, I dove on top of the oven to get out of his way. I am quite the brave heart.

The last night of rat week, Married Female Housemate found two rats running around her room, and I came downstairs to find her screaming for help, not knowing what to do now that she had cornered them. Again Male Housemate had to come to our rescue and try catch these disgusting gifts, courtesy of Marmalade. As Male Housemate ran after the rodents, our timid Border Collie lay in a puddle on the floor, and practically fainted as the rats ran over his face and tail. Eventually our house was once again rat- free.

A few nights ago, Marmalade decided that the creatures that scurry where clearly not received well, and it was time for a new kind of present all together. As Male Housemate hopped into bed, he turned to Married Female Housemate and casually asked why there was a bat flying around their room. Another late night of catching creatures was had, as my two housemates had to capture the winged animal and release it into the wild of the city lights.

However, I think last night was the absolute last straw. Marmalade had come to the conclusion that we did not want anymore live presents, and so instead she brought Married Female Housemate a dead one. As Married Female Housemate was going to sleep, she became aware of a really bad smell. With Male Housemate away for the weekend, she had to investigate the situation herself. What she found was half a dead shrew, dried and stuck to the floor with its blood, and after a few more seconds of searching, she found the other half under a pillow on the floor, partially cat- chewed.

There was some gagging and chundering and considerations of calling Housemate Jordy down to help, but then throwing that idea out the window when she realized that she would have to deal with a torn- in- half- shrew and a fainted- Jordy if she went that route. I think Male Housemate was stoked to be out of the house after this find. Poor guy has had to be savior to his three pathetic female housemates so often this year, that the relief was great.

The cat- gifting problem has yet to be resolved but we’re thinking of buying a cat bell…

The ever- thankful culprit scoring some cuddles