I hang out with women a lot. Like a lot. So much I even used the word ‘like’ unnecessarily in that statement. Now I’m no Casanova. Romeo and I have never been friends. Hehe. See what I did there? It’s OK, you’ll get it.
I don’t have any super lines that make chicks knees as weak as a new born calf. No. Actually I have no lines. But I make up for this by listening. My accursed gift. So, because of this I have found myself surrounded my women. One or many at a time. It started once I hit puberty. I matured early. By the time I was 11, my voice started cracking (or croaking), my shoulders had broadened and my face was more pimpled that a studded condom. I had a face for radio. Pubescent girls would come up to me and say ‘hi’ so that I could say ‘Hi’ right back at them and they’d go off giggling and twirling bashfully like ballerinas. I was giving that deep voiced guy in Boys to Men ‘compe’. Sadly, I didn’t know the power I wielded then.
In high school, I got approached by many a young filly. But I breezed past them like a tumbleweed in an old Western movie. My now well formed Adonis body and velvet like voice could not muster any knee weakening words to wow the soon to be disappointed young girls. It’s not that I had nothing to say, I just couldn’t silence the voices in my head long enough to engage that ‘point five’ Msongari girl in witty banter.
Then I got to university. So many girls. In all sizes, shapes and at varying degrees of mental maturity. I too had matured, mentally. And had learnt my gift. And they loved it. Loved me for it. I spent many evenings, lunch breaks and computer lab sessions listening to relationship problems and giving advise about men. If you’re discerning enough you will realise that I also spent this time locked up in the friend zone. Which is pretty much like window shopping at a Moi Avenue store while on minimum (or no) wage. You can see, touch or even smell what it’s in the display glass, but you can’t have it. The Indian store owner even telling you, ‘Iko discount bwana’, but the best you can do is head over to Toi market and get the next best second hand thing.
As per the predetermined life cycle, university ended and the job market was calling. I was fortunate to land a decent paying job and continued window shopping at Moi Avenue. (I don’t mean that literally, by the way) . I continued hanging out with the ladies. Most carried over from university days.
I had legal tender now. So we’d hang out often. Price or location wasn’t an issue. You want cocktails, have three. Ati plan in Coast? North or South Coast? It was not an uncommon sight to spot me with a group of four or five pretty ladies at the club.
Maybe it was because of my Luo genetic make up, the way I was raised or because of societal gender expectations, but I would at times find myself settling the bill of these nights out. A quasi sponsor of sorts, without any of the associated benefits of course. I’d also find myself on handbag duty. Because men and women go out to the club for different reasons. Women, to dance, and men to watch women dance. Handbag duty sucks balls. Basically, all the women leave you to look after their handbags, clutch bags and whatever other bags they may have carried to the club as they sway to the tunes of DJ So and So. They’ll periodically scream at the top of the lungs when he plays a song that they love, point at each other and swing their bottoms in appreciation. You, on handbag duty, will be torn between looking at their swinging bottoms and ensuring a chap from eastlands doesn’t make away with a clutch bag or two from the table. You’ll pile the bags on the table, so as to limit the swivel of your eyes from bag to bag, and form a bag mountain of embarrassment and friend zone-ness.
All this friend zone-ness was not in vain though. I met the missus in the midst of all of it. Magical, you may think. Romantic even. I know. I get it all the time.
‘Awwww. You married you’re friend. How sweet’
Maybe it was fate, or maybe it was the natural order of things. I mean, do you choose the eastlands chick who asks for weave money every so often or the chick you hang out with often and has a good, weave less head on her shoulders?
As fate would have it though, I still hang out with the missus and her pals. Because they’re my pals too. Is it awkward? Yes. I contribute to conversations I probably shouldn’t as a man. Menstrual cycles, relationship problems where I don’t side with the men, sexual discussions about dry spells and such like. I can’t even dance with them like before. I carry a standard Haco ruler when we go out, to dance a foot apart. You can’t be awkwardly grinding upon your female friend now, can you? Don’t answer that.
The missus is an excellent cook. She is. And not just for a kyuk. I mean, she’s an excellent cook by all accounts. And so, I carry home cooked food to the office. Cooked and packed with love. Even the potatoes and minjis, on the few days she decides to surprise me with them, are lovingly served. In the office though, I’m one of three guys who actually carried home cooked food. The bulk are women. So again, I find myself surrounded by women during my lunch break. Conversations are as diverse as babies at various stages of development, husbands (also at various stages of development) and the benefits of avocados. I now know the ins, outs, centres and in betweeens of avocados. They, the girls that is, still try to recruit me into that avocado cult of theirs. They mix avocados in everything. Githeri, Pilau, Matumbo and even minjis. They take with tea. Herbal tea even! Imagine Roiboos and avocados? It’s insane I tell you. They’re besotted by the darned fruit.
All this has taught me one thing though. I need to increase my sphere of guys to hang out with. Guys to catch the game with. Guys to eat nyama choma with and talk about women and sports and cars and women again. But then again, I guess, someone has to take care of the ladies once in a while.