When it rains I want everything

Someone suggested I write a blog post about having a dress made. I really like this person. I am also very grateful to this person for the Top Gear Festival tickets. She says I am the most random person she has ever met. But I still want her to find a great dress maker in Johannesburg. Recommendations will be accepted into the comments on this post. I did not take the accusation of being random too seriously.

So instead about writing something of value I will tell the world about how I feel today and write about the weather and the consequences it has on my life.

Rain is depressing

It’s raining. And I was monumentally stupid this morning. I had two qualified doctors in my house and I could have asked for a doctor’s note saying I contracted Foot and Mouth disease over the weekend. But I am too honest to even think about this until I am sulking at the office and daydreaming about how I could be at home faking illness.

The real problem right now is that when it rains I want everything. If I saw a cake right now I would want it. If I saw a rack of ribs, I would want that too. If I see food, I will want it. And I wouldn’t even want to eat most of it. I would just want to surround myself and look at it. Or I could ignore the food mountain completely. I just want that options. And only on days that it rains.

pile of food
I want a food mountain

I want the two minute noodles my colleague made, I want the cheese sandwich the other one ate. I have no idea what the third one is eating for lunch, but I want that too. I want whatever is being served for lunch at the restaurants in the area and the cookies that may or may not exist in the building next door.

Once the weather becomes nice again I am happy to go back to planning meals three days in advance and not deviating from the menu at all.

When it rains I want everything

A Weekend in ‘The States’

The Free State is a very special place. It’s always pretty and the air is fresh. Just because I don’t live there anymore doesn’t mean I don’t still think of it as home. And things happen there that just aren’t possible anywhere else. And a lot of unusual things can happen in just a few days.

For example, I went to the bank. This could happen anywhere in the world. But only in a small Free State town do they let you take out your phone and use it. While waiting in line, I checked and responded to my e-mails, then I logged on to Facebook and spent about five minutes doing pointless social networking and no one stopped me. In fact, most people were doing the same thing to pass time. Some guy even called two of his friends to arrange a braai for that evening.

This is why they should provide reading material in banks. Braai could be code for “there’s an old lady with 10k leaving now, mug her” or “the security guard is outside smoking, bring in the guns”. But besides the obvious security risks, waiting in line is boring. So to all bank managers out there – buy some magazines. To the bank managers in the Free State, there are magazines besides Farmers Weekly and the Afrikaans version.

And just like that, the world will be a happier place. Women can learn how to cook awesome meals and men can learn sex tips. Or women can read about the specs on a VW Golf and men can catch up on the latest fashion. The point is, banking could also become a learning experience and men and women would have more to talk about and more to do. Aggression and frustration levels will go down because we’ll all agitate less waiting to make a deposit. Once this catches on, we’ll talk about seating. Seriously, I already have a flawless system in place.

Also, in Bethlehem, they still have parking meters and I always forget to drop a coin in. I was sitting in my car, writing out a shopping list, when a traffic official walked by. He stopped at my meter and looked at the flashing screen. He then looked up and saw me sitting in my car, gave me a smile and waved. He then continued on his leisurely stroll, looking a meters and not writing out tickets. I drove past him again later in the morning, he was still just being a nice guy and I got another wave.

Of course, not all encounters with traffic officers are pleasant in the Free State. I was pulled over once and the cop wouldn’t return my licence to me until I agreed to have dinner with him. And I’m often asked if I’m transporting drugs. My best friend has been chased by the police because they thought she was a dealer (Yvette, I keep telling you, short girls in big cars arouse suspicion – but don’t sell the Hilux, it’s just too convenient).

And in the Free State you can sometimes just get really lucky. Really randomly lucky. On my return to civilisation I had some car trouble. The battery light came on, making me panic, so I stopped at the nearest garage in a one horse town 10km down the road. I asked the petrol attendant to have a look at my engine, because men just know these things.

He suggested my alternator was broken which made my heart stop. Then he looked around a little bit more and told me that I no longer had a fanbelt.

It was a public holiday. I had work the next day. I anticipated a crisis.

But no, around the corner was a shop that sold spares. And fresh milk in coke bottles. But more importantly, brand new fanbelts on a public holiday. So I returned to my car and asked my new friend, Joseph, if he could fix it. He said no, he didn’t have tools, but he got straight on to his phone and called Lucky who was there in ten minutes. Another ten minutes later and I was on my way back to the city. The whole thing cost me R50.

The Free State is lovely. In small doses. The food is good and it’s quiet even if nothing really exciting ever happens there, it’s a great place to get away from it all and it is entertaining. And there are men called Joseph who will help you out simply because they can.

Check it out some time. But take a book. Unless you like walking or heavy drinking you may find yourself at a loose end.

A Weekend in ‘The States’

No, I Don’t Want to Have Your Baby

The other day I received a bizarre message on Facebook. The person who sent this message is someone I added as a friend over a year ago, but we have not spoken for close to six years, either on social networking sites or in person. I’ve often thought of deleting this contact as his only hobby seems to be spamming my newsfeed with advertising for his business which is in no way applicable to me.

The message consisted out of a one liner enquiring about me and several paragraphs of how he and his boyfriend are getting married early next year and if I would be willing to carry their child. I was shocked in many ways. Yes, this man was serious. But I feel he could have at least taken me out to dinner before popping the question. I admit, I may have set myself up for that a bit, since when we did spend time together we often joked about doing it. But I was 18 and we were meant to be goofing around.

The rest of the message went on about how it’s so difficult to adopt a white baby and they want the mother to be someone they can trust. I was even more shocked. Surely, if you really want a child, the colour of the child should not be an issue (but this is for an entirely different post)? And they haven’t spoken to me in six years, so for all they know I could have turned out to be someone they can’t trust. I replied. I thought of just saying no and leaving it at that, but the message pissed me off a little. One of the first things I had to ask was if it was a joke and have they thought it through properly.

It's not like this at all.

Then I mentioned that I felt a bit insulted that they ask over a message, I’m not an effing broodmare, I don’t even want to have children of my own, and it’s even worse to hear from someone when they only want something from you. Especially if it is this huge. I wasn’t even flattered, I just said no.

I felt it was important to explain to this man what happens to a woman when she falls pregnant. For nine months she has to carry and grow a little person inside her. Women are not like ATM machines that you put something in and out comes what you asked for. In fact, you have to put a LOT into a woman, especially if you want a healthy baby to be born. And it’s hormones, and emotions and many other things that I don’t know much about. And I know that IF (which in this case means never) I were to carry a child, I would want to keep it. I’ve seen mothers-to-be love their bellies, and it moves me and it would happen to me no matter how much I don’t want to reproduce. As far as I know, the surrogacy/adoption laws say that for up to four months after the birth of a baby, the mother can claim the child. This is even if none of her own genetic material has been used. In this situation, I think mine would have been part of the bargain. So even surrogacy is a very risky option. And what would be in it for me? Financial compensation for my time and figure? Would they cover the medical expenses and find me smoked eel at 2AM to satisfy a bizarre craving? Would I be allowed to see the child once it had been born? Would I be expected to breastfeed? There were just so many questions surrounding the whole thing. I advised them to think it through a whole lot more, because they clearly hadn’t.

So that would be a no.

And I haven’t heard from him since.

No, I Don’t Want to Have Your Baby