Table for One

They never stay for dinner; you learn that the hard way. There’s always a plan to leave. Doesn’t matter how many hours you slaved in the kitchen, making the perfect meal. Even if you do get to set it on the table, all they’ll do is nibble at it. And then they’ll find their way out the door. That’s just the way it is.

Takes a few times to learn this, but sometimes all it takes is one time. Just one time to look at the empty chair across you and the banquet you had set, watching it grow colder by the minute, knowing all that effort and food was all for nought. Sometimes, once is enough.   

You learn to love them while they’re there; for the moment. You laugh and make memories but you note when they start to glance at their watch, when they’re gaze starts to linger at the door, when their foot taps incessantly… you learn to know when its time to let them go.

You learn not to cook for an army and instead, give a simple spread of tea ad biscuits. Sometimes they’re hungry so a crumpet or two would suffice. Put your jam and honey on the table; no one can resist those. It’ll give them enough energy to leave.

You learn not to close the door when they enter, rather, leaving if open.  You learn to give, not to expect. You learn that after they leave, and you know they will leave, how to set a table for one.


Love Like the Movies

I was brought up on a diet of cinematic goodness. To say the least, movies have been, and still are, one of my most favorite things in the world. I love getting lost in a story line, a great character who, for two hours or so, makes you completely forget about… everything. Everything except the tale unfolding before your eyes.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Well, I guess that depends. I’ve been told that sometimes I seem to be in another world, completely apart from reality. I’m still figuring out if that’s good or bad.

Anyhu, we were hanging out with some friends one time and one of the guys literally swept his girlfriend off her feet. Literally.
It was really sweet but, I confess, a bit of a cultural shock to me because it seemed like one of those things Kenyans don’t usually do . (Not in front of me, anyway.)

I love movies but there’s  a degree of separation in my mind between what I see on screen and what I have known to be reality. In movies, the guy sweeps the girl off her feet, buys her flowers and jewelry, writes her name across the sky and that is a great ‘aww’ moment. In Kenya, hug a girl for more than 5 seconds and the whole street stares at you like you’re slime. Try kissing her and the whole street will gasp collectively and get a heart attack. 

I’m no realist (the blog name says it all) but I’ve got to ask; is the love in the movies for real?

That adorable act got a guy saying (after he gave a disclaimer that nothing he was about to say should be held against him in any way) that his ultimate romantic moment would be if while he is walking with a girl he fancies, romantic music begins to play; suddenly and completely unplanned. We roasted him thoroughly for that and even tried to make his dream come true (we were that group of people on Biashara street singing completely off key. That was fun. 🙂 ).

But it got me thinking ; how real is it? Is it just a marketing gimmick? Will I truly look into someone’s eyes one day and think ‘this is it’? Sweaty palms? shortened breath? Flirty giggling? Hair twirling? (Yes, my hair is twirlable) Lying on the road just to watch the traffic lights change color? Wait! Scratch that; that’s equivalent to suicide in Nairobi. Ok.. just sit on the beach and watch a big ball of fire disappear behind the glistening ocean? And not think about the scorpions while I’m at it? Or the mosquitoes?

Will I ever figure it out? Have you figured it out? Or is it just one of ‘those things’? You know; ‘those things’ no one ever elaborates on but says it with a knowing look and a nudge with the elbow?