Blind Date Genius

Yesterday I came home to the bathroom screaming Taylor Swift’s new lyrics, my housemate frantically applying mascara, and then more mascara, and then a little more after that. “Does this shirt look good, or should I change it?” she asks me and I start telling her about my day, the funny stories the kiddies wrote for me with their actions, and my friend and I sitting on a roof sipping hot coffee.

If she is distracted she won’t stress so much about the blind date that I set up for her. For a moment she is listening to my rambles, but eventually I have to bust her tranquil forgetfulness with reality. It’s time to leave, and I would rather she isn’t too late for my friend who would so patiently wait for her should she be.

The delay tactics she plays are good, but another housemate helps me in ushering her to her car. Now it’s just fingers crossed that she will drive to the meeting place, walk into the meeting place and talk in friendly tones to the meeting face.

I got a message from her telling me that she had just parked, and then it was her turn to fly, “fly little bird!” Can I tell you the helplessness you feel being on the wrong side of the blind date. I mean, my boyfriend wouldn’t appreciate me being set up on one of those, so I guess it’s a good thing I was on the wrong side.

I sat on the couch, waiting to hear the gate bumping open. I was joined for a bit by my housemate who eventually lost interest and went to get ready for bed. My boyfriend also kept me company for a while, bringing me tea and playing ‘Friends’ in the background of my anxious wait.

JC with the feline, while cooler people are out on dates

Minutes turned to hours turned to days…

Kidding. She finally walked through the door, “be cool, Jordy. Be cool.” I held my tongue, but couldn’t hold my giant smile that scared her as she came in. “All I’m going to say is that you chose well,” she said as she ran upstairs to pajama herself.

You guys, I crushed it. Maybe they won’t go out again, maybe there will be one or two more coffee dates, maybe something more, but there was a date with lots of talking, laughing and stories because two people were brave enough to trust their friend.

I didn’t even go on the date but in the end I think I felt the happiest out of everyone involved.

“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.

Isn’t that just kick- you- in- the- crotch- spit- on- your- neck- fantastic?

My housemate thought that we should ask everyone that we came into contact with what their most awkward encounter with the opposite sex was. Just for laughs, and something to talk about when the conversation gets stale. We missioned for a little bit, collecting gold, and some not- so- gold stories.

It doesn’t really come up in too many conversations anymore, I think the momentum died when we went our separate ways for holiday. However, before time sweeps away great stories, and I never share these with you, here are my top two most awkward encounters with the opposite sex:

Many young people in a student town leech off the more fortunate, car- owning students. They sometimes forget that we’re not so fortunate because we have to buy petrol before thinking about food, but all is in the past and I now forgive their ignorance. Their future reality will be revenge enough.

Back to my story. Student boy catching a ride home with fortunate/ not- so- fortunate car- owning student girl. It’s a pleasant car ride, and luckily he doesn’t live too far away from her home, so she’s not nervously checking her petrol tank too often.

Oh wait, before I continue, you need to know that my old, powerless steering wheel- ed, hot gold mag-ed City Golf does not have central locking. So I needed to always make sure all the doors had been manually locked once I was in or getting out of the car.

Ok, continue; She stops outside his home, he turns to face her and thank her for the lift. Without thinking, she notices that the back left passenger door is unlocked, so she reaches over to slide the lock down, only to realize half- way through her conscientious actions that it really looks like she’s pulling in for a kiss. Student boy doesn’t know Student girl very well and his eyes are screaming enough for the both of them. She tries to explain through stuttered words that she was just trying to lock the door, but he’s already standing on the driveway trying to get away from this seemingly over- eager Student girl as quickly as he can. He didn’t ask for another lift after that.

Second story is about a boy who didn’t realize how much girls just adored him. Most times when you saw him, he would be surrounded by small posse’s of eyelash- batting girls. It was funny to see, but not as funny as the fool that I made of myself when trying to say goodbye to him.

As I was leaving one evening, I turned to say goodbye to him and his young fan- club. With too many people to hug farewell, I couldn’t decide what the next best thing was. Do we wave goodbye, or do we high five goodbye? Clearly my brain thought that both were acceptable and merged the wave and the high- five so that the words that came out of my mouth were, “I’m not going to give you a hug, I’m just going to give you a wife.”

Hand in the air, and multiple sets of death- staring eyes on me, I had no more brain power to try explain myself. Instead I just walked away from the group, ashamedly staring down at the ground.

If any of you care to try top my own personal stories, I would love to read about them!

Causing enough awkwardness to ensure that I remain ‘that weird cat girl’ for a very long time

We were on a Break!

The ‘break’ in the title and the ‘break’ I am using in this post are different kinds of ‘breaks’. However, in continuing with the theme of using ‘Friends’ quotes for my titles, I thought that this was probably the most relevant one.

To give readers a vacay from having to skim through my fears splashed onto screen, here’s another traumatizing story from my young days.

A little girl, seen as timid and quiet, and was told multiple times to speak up in class, surprisingly had a stubborn side who often refused to take no for an answer when it came to getting what she wanted.

Eventually her mother found herself driving said little girl to and from horse riding lessons, her car smelling like saddle leather, and a constant traipse of muddy boot prints all around her home.

As comes with the territory, this little girl would often leave the stable a little bruise, or blistered, or bleeding but rather than putting her off hopping onto a massive creature with a mind of its own, it only fueled her passion and made her fall in love with the sport and the animals more.

Skip forward to a high school girl, still with a passion for horse riding, still with a pain threshold that rivaled the deepest parts of the ocean (aka low), there is a horse who is standing in the summer sun shooing flies with her tail flicks and hoof stomps. Poor high school girl didn’t see it coming. The irritated horse had stomped the flies away for the ninety- eighth time with a hoof that landed on high school girl’s boot, with her foot inside.

There was a scream, and there was also a sharp instruction from her trainer to tough it out and hurry up, she only had an hour and they needed to get going on the lesson.

Not wanting to reveal how weak she was, high school girl continued with the lesson, squeaking and holding back tears throughout painful hour.

At home, her mom, quite used to her daughter’s theatrics when it came to the slightest ‘eina,’ gave her some pain medication and told her it was not that bad.

I am not joking, three months later, she was still limping through the school corridors, battling to stick her swollen foot into a school shoe. Sure, her mom feels bad about it now, but she’s pretty certain that she will always have a foot with bones that haphazardly healed themselves.

“Im’ma just break my human’s foot real quick”