I have this special personality where I forget faces. The Gods blessed me with it for a reason I am yet to ascertain. Over the years, I learned that I have to meet a person about five times before I remember them.
This facial recognition deficiency appears to be limited to men. I know, weird right? At first it used to mortify me.
Me: “Hi, I’m Lindsey”.
Him: “Yes, I know. We’ve met”.
Me: “Really? When?”
Him: “Four times”.
Me: “Oh. Well, erm…okay, great to meet you again!”.
Me: “So what’s your name again?”.
I thought I would improve with time. Nope. But I have adjusted quite well to my mental illness.
Me: “Hi, I’m Lindsey”.
Him: “Yes, I know. We’ve met”.
Me: “I’m so sorry. I have this thing where I forget faces. So how many times have I forgotten you?”.
Awkward pause as the man fights with his ability to practice social niceties.
Him: “You’re the one who introduced me to so and so at this event”.
Me: “I’m sorry, who? And what event?”
Another awkward pause. For him, not for me. He needs his moment of incredulity.
It may make me seem like a cad but if my facial recognition software is fried…
I regret nothing
P.S: And this is nothing compared to my spatial intelligence. Last night I spent 15 minutes looking for a place I’d been to twice and it was right in front of me. With a glowing neon sign.
This is a story dedicated to all the annoying people that think a taxi radio is not sufficient to entertain us.
There are the people who play their phone music throughout the journey as I try to figure out who to listen to. Driver or ingrate? And then there are the addicts who click on video after video on their phone until I begin to be concerned about their space.
It drives me craze insane and I keep a very tight lip to prevent simply exploding into the person’s ear, tossing their phone out the window and then stopping the taxi to run after it and stomp on it.
Jesus would understand, Sister
Why, thank you Kirk. That is precisely the feeling I had when I one day tapped a woman on the shoulder. She reluctantly looked up from her ear shattering video to see what I wanted.
“Are you the DJ of this taxi?”, I inquired. “Because if you’re not, please buy earphones. I don’t want to listen to anymore of your videos and music. It’s for your ears, I didn’t sign up to be entertained by you so please buy earphones to avoid inconveniencing passengers.
To prove my point, I got my phone out, plugged in my earphones and drummed her out.
I endured a few more episodes of this in public taxis until again, I was seated right next to a woman who was the taxi DJ. We were in a traffic jam. No, thanks. No, no, no. I tapped her on the shoulder.
“Do you have earphones?”, I asked her.
She had the grace to look uncomfortable.
“I’m sorry to have disturbed you. I’ll buy earphones today”.
I’d seen it growing up. Someone caught trying to steal something and in seconds he’s hovering between life and death. It disgusted me, those herds of raving lunatics hypnotized by the the Lord of the Flies mentality, heaping upon one thief all their personal rages and frustrations.
Pathetic. I rescued a thief once. Used to be real proud of too. And then I grew old enough to be a thief magnet. And then society evolved so that thieves stopped just taking stuff and started killing you along with it. Let’s just say I view them as less than unfortunate beings as people who now quiet literally kill their victims over a phone. My former sympathies now reside in the circle of the Andromeda galaxy.
I’m sorry, did you want my property?
I didn’t know just how much a thief can disorganize your entire life. They have disorganized me enough to make me want to hire a hit man for stealing even nail varnish. The pains I have endured due to laptop, phone losses and the worst-national I.D-makes me have pleasant dreams of throttling thieves and not saving them.
Theoretically mob justice is wrong. I get that. I also know that if I manage to catch a thief, I can’t deny that a small part of me won’t go livin’ la vida loca for every thief that’s ever messed my life up.
On a more serious note, mob justice would not have to be an option if we had safe roads, street lights and a non-corrupt justice system.
I was having a conversation with a neighbor’s daughter once in the kitchen as I poured myself a cup of coffee.
“What’s that”, she asked.
“Coffee”, I slurped.
“I can’t take coffee”.
“Why not?”, I wanted her to answer the question very very badly coz like, I’m always seeing on TV that kids shouldn’t drink coffee till they’re like 34, and I’ve always wanted to know why.
“Mummy will beat me if I drink coffee”.
“Why?”, I asked her.
“She’ll just beat me”.
So child doesn’t know why she can’t take coffee. Mummy has more time to beat child over and over than explain why coffee is bad for her. And I guarantee you child is drinking coffee.
See, this is what beating ever did for me. I learned to lie, cheat, steal, evade responsibility for bad behavior, frame others for my sins and breathe a sigh of relief as they got punished for it…
Oh dear. I was a very naughty girl.
The worst effect though was academic. Before the environs of school I was beaten for having a literary and not mathematical head. Ironically it turns out I do have a head for numbers but my brain just preferred literature more.
Enter school where I was beaten for failing damn near everything except English and Composition (God bless you, colonialists). The more I was beaten, the worse I got. By the time I finished school I believed I had an I.Q of (sssshhhhh) and made no attempt to see if I didn’t.
This beating thing is evident as children mature into adults. We don’t talk, negotiate or compromise. Punitive measures are the easiest ways to get results out of people and that, I assure you, is one of the reasons we are backward. We think backward, we act backward, we stay backward. Period.
To wrap it up. A few days ago, I rescued a little duckling which I kept for a few days while I canvassed the neighborhood looking for who had lost a duck. Upon finding the owner, I was returning the little darling back home when I was besieged by neighborhood children who wanted to hold it. Then it happened.
“When it pupus in the wrong place, do you beat it?”, asked a victim of domestic abuse.
“What?”, I exclaimed. “Why would I beat it for anything?”
All the children were suddenly attentive.
“You mean you never beat it?”
I adopted a look of shock and horror on my face.
“Why would I beat it? I mean, why would you even ask me that? Beating is…beating is….my goodness, beating is just…”.
A light bulb flickered in the mind of one of the children.
One of the banes of my existence is human beings (Ugandans only now that I think of it) jumping a queue-usually in front of me. The responses vary when I tap their shoulder and ask them what the f*&k they’re doing.
“Do you have to be so rude?”
“Okay, fine. I don’t want to fight”. Deep sneer in my direction as they retreat.
My favorite one though is, “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there”.
Come again, person possibly in need of corrective glasses? You didn’t see me there? I know I’m short but nuh-uh. You scanned the line, looked for what looked like the most delicate flower least likely to raise a fuss and planted yourself in front of it.
Last night I was in a supermarket and had lined up behind a man. I had only one carton of milk I was buying. A tall, big and I must admit, scary looking woman walked towrds us and stood in front of the man I was standing behind. Her trolley looked like a Christmas store. If she’d had just a lollipop I might have led it slide. But this was disrespect that the gods themselves demanded I address.
I leaned over the man whose order was being scanned and spoke directly to her face.
“Excuse me. You were not here when I arrived”.
She gave me a disdainful stare. I decided to expound.
“If you were not here when I arrived then that means that you should be lining up behind me”.
“I didn’t even see you there!” She snapped.
Sister, them’s fighting words.
“Yes you did, otherwise you would not have lined up IN FRONT of the current customer. You did see me and you were hoping I would not tell you to stand behind me. Which I might have done but you have 100 items including the boat God used to stop the flood and all I have is a milk carton so WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
She was startled out of her deception.
“Whatever”, she said. “I don’t want to fight over petty things”.
“Good”, I smiled at her sweetly. “Because I don’t want to fight with a shameless liar”.
The cashier looked delighted at this excitement added to her day, and smiled at me as she ignored the woman’s heap of items and processed my milk carton. Glancing sideways at the woman, she said to me loudly, “Have a great day!”
“Why thank you”, I beamed. “You have a great day too!”
The woman tried to maintain a face of composure but her fury was radiating off her in waves as I left her with an orderly queue forming up behind her.
If you’re going to use the ‘I didn’t see you’ line, make sure that person isn’t dressed like a peacock first
I woke up around 4.00 am this morning with a sense of foreboding. It was back. That voice in my head, that pit in my stomach, the devil on left shoulder telling me they weren’t going anywhere unless I wrote a blog post.
“All right”, I groaned in resignation. “What do you want me to write coz I like, have nothing better to do than follow the orders of imaginary monsters?”
“That’s the spirit, child! You need to write about why you write stupid shit”.
I could understand my demons. A lady I admire once posted on Twitter that whenever she looks back at her past writings, she cringes in shame. It was a hallelujah moment for me, to know that I am not alone.
But I do not delete those posts (okay, some of them). But for the most part, I know that someone somewhere is benefiting from my oversharing, my bashing, my self-righteousness and all the dumb crap that I sometimes put out there.
Know how I know? Thank you, I’m glad you asked. I appreciate the honesty of individuals on the Internet. People who write constantly about depression may never be understood by the healthy individual but some of us do who want to take like, a two week hibernation in a morgue before returning to this abyss called life. I appreciate all the unusual, over the top, ‘was that really necessary to write?’ posts because they are oh-so-honest. Especially the ones on Twitter by a growing number of women who embroil us with their sexual exploits. Those of us with cobwebs for vaginas really appreciate you.
One day, all ye too will look back and go, “Gaaaah! Did I really put all of that out there?”
Fear not. I believe you may suffer from the same illness I do. Or maybe you have a different one, I don’t know. But for me, an idea enters my head from outer space and if I don’t let it out I will go insane. I will regret every word I’m typing but it’s the only way to let it go.
I love this new world we live in. People can go online and not be shy about looking for a hook up, a blow job, or someone to look after their 27 children.
But some of you men take this amazing opportunity that your grandparents would have killed for and make a horses’s arse out of it by shooting yourself in the foot.
You don’t even use a clever gun. You up and type “Not looking for gold diggers”. “If you’re a gold digger, swipe left”. “I’m not an ATM”.
Listen, you traumatised men. I feel you, I really do. But if you think there is a long list of things women aren’t hoping to avoid with you blokes, your egos rival that of Thanos.
For example, do you see us going, “I’m not looking for ugly men”.
Wait. Some of you who don’t want gold diggers are also ugly. Lure the women in with the money they think you have and then win them over with your charming personality. It’s a trick that’s stood the test of time. Use it.
I promise you that any woman worth her salt swipes you left as soon as you let her know you’re a judgemental, possibly narcissistic and a poor man to boot.
Do what women do. Meet the girl, regret it and keep the assembly line rolling. Keep your dislikes out of the picture. It only makes us judge you.
Have you experienced sexual harassment? From someone you know or a stranger? At least twice a week, you say? Well, have I got some great news for you.
It’s your fault.
That’s right. I said it.
It took three kind policemen to show me that life would be a jolly good affair if women would only go about behaving themselves.
Three men had sexually harassed me on the street one day, and I (oh bad mannered me!) delivered an ‘F’ bomb in their direction. Understandably upset, they ganged up on me for my temerity to not see that they were deserving of immediate sexual capitulation.
Because, you know, I knew them so well.
In what I now see was a moment of madness meriting admittance to a mental institution, I trotted to a police post a few meters away, and reported the matter. Blithely unaware of my part in the whole affair, I awaited a swift deliverance of justice.
Fortunately for me, the policemen turned out to be good Christians. Spare the rod, spoil the child, etc.
They told me that if I had only not abused the men, I would have had “a case”. I had “aggravated the situation” by “taking the law into my hands”. There was no way they could help me because I was a bad girl. Hit the road, they sneered.
Well, how nice to come face to face with such frank honesty! A fresh view on crime!
I have taken the liberty of compiling a step by step guide on how women (you hot sexy things) can endure sexual harassment while being good girls.
MIND YOUR LANGUAGE
Hush now! Don’t say a word to your tormentors. When you go to a police station and report the matter and the police ask with keen eyes: “And you, what did you do after he touched you?” – you can hold your head up high and say “Nothing. I came straight here”. They can nod in satisfaction as you have given them sufficient justification to want to help you. Who’s a good girl? You are!
ARE YOUR MORALS IN ORDER?
You know, some of you women are fornicators who flirt in public and have more than two lovers a year. If everyone in your neighborhood knows you for the slag that you are, and a man (quite rightly too) judges you as deserving of a buttock groping, I beg you to save us and not disturb the police. They only help married women and virgins.
SPEAKING OF WHICH…
If you don’t dress like a virgin, please be sure you have invited whatever sexual reactions you elicit. I’ve seen women with exposed cleavages, lord a’mercy. If you’re not a lady, don’t expect to be treated like one.
THERE IS A TIME TO CARE, AND A TIME TO STEER CLEAR
I have an acquaintance who went to a police station at two in the morning, make-up heavy and dress all a’glitter, as she reported a case of sexual assault.
“But now you”, they told her. “Out at this time, all alone. What do you expect?”
REMAIN CALM UNDER ATTACK
I know a girl who reacted to an attempted robbery by beating the thief in question. Quick as lightning, a police truck arrived and she was hurled into it, and on her way to the police station before shecould say boo hoo. The thief was not disturbed by the police or eyewitnesses.
Now if she had simply cried and screamed for help, instead of taking the law into her hands with her shameless display of self-defense, she’d never have been arrested.
YOU’RE NOT MARRIED? OOH LA LA!
Nowadays African women like to embrace ‘western’ culture. Co-habiting and what not. Acting like it’s proper. Please. If you’re not married to a man, you have no reason whatsoever to enter a police station and complain about him sexually abusing you.
I mean, hello? You have feet. Walk away. Your sexual partner must be accompanied with a ring before your complaint becomes legit.
ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES ARE FOR MEN ONLY.
I once performed a dance of avoidance with a cheating, married Neanderthal who, in a last ditch effort to punish me for rejecting his sexual advances, said “Why are you pretending to be decent when you’re a smoker?”
So there’s this thing where an office or hotel or whatever tells you a retarded rule and if you object to it you’re told ‘you can go if you don’t want’.
For the sake of my future blood pressure I go along with most of these policies until last week when I guess my inner warrior was dying from lack of warriorship.
I was in an ‘important’ ‘upscale’ supermarket chain when a security guard approached me and told me I wasn’t allowed to enter with my two bags. I had to leave one at that counter. You know the counter where they have this disclaimer that if you leave your valuables there, they are not responsible if they are stolen or damaged?
So I told the guard, “I have a laptop in this bag on my back and my handbag on my shoulder. You want me to leave one of them at your counter?”
“No, you can keep your bag”, he kindly obliged. “But you must leave your laptop at the counter”.
So I asked the guard, “Would you tell me to leave my mobile phone at the counter?”
“Well, my laptop is as important as my mobile phone. It’s staying on my back. You are free to screen my handbag on the way out if you think I’ve stolen anything but none of my electrical equipment is going to your counter with 10,000 disclaimers”.
“Madam, it is the policy”, he sneered. “If you refuse, you will have to leave the supermarket and find somewhere that’s your level”.
Oh Negro, you didn’t.
“I’m not going anywhere”, I smiled sweetly at him. “I’m going to shop and you are going to look for the manager and tell him or her to drag me out of here by force because I’ve refused to leave my laptop with you. Peace!”
And so I shopped in peace. But man, oh man, I need me an explanation from someone who understands this rule. Why are customers told to leave valuable items in places with disclaimers against theft and damage?
Part of the reason I have serious issues with this policy is that I once forgot an item at those counters and remembered days later. When I returned it was no longer there because disclaimer. Go figure.
These ones get to inspect the items they force you to leave there. And that, children, is what we refer to as an oxymoron.
“I saw her going to a shrine” – Says the personal investigator mama hired.
This is more or less the talk that occurs when a man is marrying a woman and his loved ones either don’t approve or are threatened by her impending inclusion into the family.
Have you ever wondered why a man is seldom, if ever, accused of similar underhanded tactics by his woman and her kin? Men can’t be witches. Or can they?
It is my pleasure to inform you of the greatest artillery of witchcraft a man can have in his arsenal. This artillery is-wait for it….
The weapon of dance
A woman will forget how many men she’s slept with (you little slut, you) but she will always remember the men whose hips didn’t lie.
If you date a man with money chances are the money makes it easy to date him. If you date a handsome man, his face does perk things up a bit. If you date a guy with important friends and connections, ditto.
But Lord have mercy if you find a man who knows how a dance floor is meant to operate. You will be swept off your feet and you will have trouble remembering the laws of nature.
I attended a conference one evening and was mingling after it was over. I found myself speaking to a Dutch gentleman about nothing in particular. Then one of these waltz pieces song came on over the speakers and I mentioned how I could never dance to ‘this Muzungu music’.
Taking me by surprise, he placed my hand on his shoulder, took my hand in his and swept me onto the dance floor, expertly weaving me in and out of tables. I will always remember that dance because now I know that with the right man, I know how to waltz.
Another time I was at the national theatre attending one of their open salsa dances. I can’t dance salsa for shit and said so loudly. Without listen to my entreaties, this grey haired elderly man launched me onto the floor a-let me fan myself first-made me do things with my legs and feet and waist I did not think were capable.
I think I know how his wife fell in love with him.
I was not romantically attracted to these men, and others who have taken me out of my comfort zone in a similar manner. I’m hinting that as a man it may help if, in addition to your charming personalities and ‘making it rain’, you may use the language of music and dance to woo your intended.
Music speaks to the soul for a reason. That’s your witchcraft. Use it.
Remember Son, all rock stars get girlfriends. Even the really ugly ones.