The guys’ girl 

I’m friends with people I like spending time with, period. The fact that most of these people happen to be guys is completely out of my control. See guys are simple creatures, well, for the most part. If you’re lucky to run into the normal ones you can be sure to expect no drama, have a good time doing nothing of value and bond with fist pumps, bumps and cool ( read: silly to everyone else who isn’t you and totally embarrassing in public) handshakes. Being a guys’ girl comes with a lot of perks. If you don’t mind talking about cars, watching and arguing about sports, chugging beer and blending in to fit into the stereotypical male lifestyle, the ride is pretty fun. Don’t get me started on the overwhelming self-confidence that comes with the territory, like thinking you can just change a tyre with no prior skills whatsoever or maybe punch a giant😂… you know, guy stuff.

But then there are the not so good side effects of spending too much time around guys, especially to the girls that think bro-zone is a step closer to dating one of the guys. For one, you lose all or most of your female aspects to them. Forget that you bothered to dress up, made your face and all that, being one of the boys means that they see you as exactly that; one of the boys. Sometimes it can get to you when they don’t notice or just decide to overlook those efforts, worse if you happen to like one of them. You know that thing about bros before hos, female friends come after the hos. Sad, I know 😢.

Having to listen to bro-talk is by far the worst part of hanging around guys. If you only knew the type of things guys talk about in their “gangs” in those bachelor’s pads of theirs (I still think bachelor’s pad is too fancy for a bedsitter with this huge TV, gamepads, a four by six mattress on the floor, maybe a couch and a maximum of two cups but since I can’t think of another word…) So yeah, bro-talk, a short word for things they like, don’t like or find extremely disgusting or disturbing about girls. The fact that you’re present doesn’t change anything. With time you even find yourself contributing to these convos. SMH. 

Also there is this thing about strangers making assumptions about you especially about your sexuality and hobbies. Guys also happen to be brutally honest, believe me you don’t want to hear their point of view. Too real. Good advice that works most of the time but still …too real. 

Some guys will also want to use you to screen for potential girlfriends, or just for social acceptance if you’re cute enough, lol😂. To them you’re like a museum artifact on display, admire all they want but can’t touch. They’ll practice flirting with you, there’s not even a heads up of some sort to let you know they were just practicing (but then you  did agree to the platonic terms and conditions so…)  Your relationship with the other females in their lives is also complicated. Doesn’t matter whether you have a face for radio, or you’re in a serious relationship yourself or pose no threat of any kind, she’ll still hate you and if she doesn’t there must be something wrong with her. That’s just the way the world works.

Finally if you decide to date some other guy it becomes hard to ignore the fact that most (read all) men are generally gross creatures. You already know too much than you should, setting the bar too high for potential dates so much that any decent guy seems like a mythical being from the West. Unless you’re looking for a tall person to reach for things on your upper shelves, scare away creepy guys trying to approach you or beat up someone you don’t like for you, bro-zone is not a place you want to belong. 

Wild horses run faster 

She was always scared of something permanent. Maybe that’s why she never got a tattoo. That rock n roll phase hit her pretty hard; the whole weird clothes, acoustic and bass obsession… You know what I’m talking about. She’d like to think that her Christian upbringing and fear for damnation played a key role in ditching tattoos. Truth, she hated baggage, carrying on parts of her past to the future. Her teens passed without much hitches right up until she met a boy. You know how you read stuff about first love and then get thrown off by these unicorn and rainbow lies the fiction tries to depict? She did too. She didn’t want to believe that you can meet someone who makes you feel like you’d cushion all his falls, paint a perfect universe and throw both yourselves in it, she didn’t want to believe in perfect strangers. Having lived the first quarter of their lives in completely different settings then on a fateful night they cross paths and suddenly become hitched. Too alike to tell apart, same beliefs, same ambition wavelength, same fears… Like I said, perfect strangers. You ever had someone who takes you on a natural kind of high?  Just a graze of his fingers on you and you’re a goner? His lips on you…don’t even get me started on that. You wonder how you two fit so well, then you get stupid and do something silly… Something that makes you realize you might have met your soul mate a little too early. That’s what she made of it after they fell apart. Didn’t give her much consolation either way, hurt like a bitch. Few years later she still thinks about their times, both good and bad. Most times she’d end up smiling. Smiling because she knew what love looks like. Smiling because she was hopeful he would cross her path again. Smiling because she hated wrinkles. He hated wrinkles. In case he came back, she didn’t want him finding her all wrinkled up. After her throw back sessions she gets up, promises herself to live wild, be wild, go all the way. Some people tell her she walks like she owns the world. She wishes she owned the world. She has had her moments alright. She lives by her beliefs. Like the power of visualisation. As long as you want it bad enough the universe will provide so, where do you see yourself?  She’s one of the most positive people you’ll ever meet. Things will be all up in turmoil but count on her to create a perfect illusion.  You know how you think after getting rejected so many times the blow softens with time?  It doesn’t. Looking for your first job might be the hardest job you’ll ever do. The negative feedback still hits you the same way a series of failed interviews later, but it makes you stronger in a way. It took a while before she got a worthwhile callback. The job wasn’t all bad. It wasn’t what she was after though. Months later into it and her expectations weren’t anything close to the level she could compromise to. It was like buying that well packed potato crisps sachet and after opening it you’re not sure whether the salt and vinegar flavor was meant for the air inside or the three pieces of crisps. You just end up not getting what was promised, you know. She believed in going big or going home. She went home, well, at least for that day. I don’t want to say quit because  it ain’t an admirable trait so we will call it leaving for better conditions elsewhere. When you are bold life tries to find ways of humbling you. Don’t let it. Always remember that wild horses run faster… Go further.  See being nice is okey. Nice works for some people, but then there is a type of nice that is simply the textbook version of people going nowhere fast. She learnt the rules of the game with time. Learnt never to give up or stay down. To always use everything at her disposal. A smart outspoken mind, her selfpresentation, relevant papers, looks… In some cases beauty became lethal. For some reason people tend to think that you’ve had it easy in life just because you have a nice head above your shoulders. These are moments you have to work extra hard just to prove your worth. Beat stereotypes who think you slept your way in or up. At one time someone asked her during an interview what her drive was. That was a simple one. Satisfaction. The guy seemed interested suddenly so she had to explain. It wasn’t power or money or whatever else anyone would say that got her out of bed everyday. I mean those too are part of the motivation but above all else, it was her need for self-contentment. To reach a certain level where she felt she was living it all, doing all the things she had set for herself. He was intrigued… hooked. Kept asking questions that felt personal now. Like if he could buy her dinner sometime. He had given her a bargaining chip and she wasn’t shy to take it. Close the deal while it was still on the table. 

“That’s workable, but you have to get me on that swivel chair behind my own desk first.” 

Insurance Anyone?

We all want to be living on a fast lane at some point don’t we? We want to take chances, feel the thrills that come with the high but fail to consider the possible chills that result from the lows. This whole rollercoaster living may seem appealing to most people but in the spirit of being rational, consider other choices. You know that phrase about pushing to the edge just to discover your limit? That falling hard might be your turning point to reaching greater heights? Boomerang-ing has worked for some people and turned out positively. Emphasis on some, meaning that at the same time others got burned. Some daredevils will convince you that it should be all or nothing. That backups are mediocre. That it’s like becoming a carousel, always rotating on an axis but never experiencing the thrill at the extremes. You’re stronger than you know but sometimes a backup plan never hurt anyone, none I know of anyway. Having a backup plan could be interpreted as setting yourself for failure. Instead, view it as a recovery plan. As insurance. As a way to get back up in case things don’t go as planned.

Taking chances is an exciting ride full of hope and expectations. Taking extreme chances, however, is irrational and could back fire on you pretty bad. Spread out your assets, invest your time in different ventures worth your attention and at the same time keep  your priorities straight. Don’t steer too far from the main thing. Avoid starting a circus you can’t control. This comes up when the ‘mpango wa kando’ hustle becomes too much of a bother. If you can’t balance options it’s better to cut off the extras and do a single thing to the best of your ability. It’s all about insurance. It’s all about risk management. It’s all about exploring other interests.

Screw Small Talk 

The ability to sit down with another person and talk for hours about anything and everything is more important to me than anything else. Alright, Koi Fresco said that first. Small talk is boring, painful even. It feels forced, shallow and inauthentic… a definite barrier between two people especially when the people involved are complete strangers. Ever find yourself in those situations where a random person walks up to you, asks what you study or do and out of nowhere you just decide to get creative and make up something like, you know, rocket science? That’s not the worst part. Wait till they light up with overwhelming enthusiasm and hit you with a “Me too, let’s talk about radioactivity.” It’s not like you hate what you do, it’s not even because it is inferior in any way but your need to avoid any further communication with this person ends up putting you in an extremely uncomfortable corner.

Introverts are commonly mistaken to hate people. It is not about disliking people, we just don’t appreciate meaningless conversations. I mean, it’s weird starting up a conversation with taxes or current stock exchange rates as your opening line but if all we are going to speak about for the next ten minutes are hey, how’re you doing and can I get your number? C’mon, if we can’t keep up a convo now what makes you think it will get interesting over the phone? Getting people to open up can be tricky. Going from hello to a heart to heart conversation is even trickier but after listening to a couple TED talks and Googling a thing or two here’s a guide to get you started.

Give genuine compliments. You like something someone has on, go ahead and let them know. Everyone likes vindication every now and then, but don’t dwell on it for too long. Your surrounding will tell you where to take the conversation next. If you’re in a formal event, lean towards topics surrounding that occasion. Ask about what they think of the event so far, maybe the setup or the guests. If you’re in a social event and you’re looking forward to making new friends, get the other person familiarized with you first. Speak about yourself and maybe they’ll find common ground along the way and join in. Don’t mistake this for over sharing. No one asked about your failed social life in the past or about dead relatives. No offense but this whole pity party you’re trying to throw only drives people away. 

If you’re with someone for a limited amount of time, maybe a queue or a matatu lean towards general topics. This is not the time to ask about their social media handles, just two minutes after meeting someone. Find out what is likely to make them tick, like the music they like or movies everyone is familiar with. Heck ask if they know links to awesome blogs with great content like this one. If they don’t feel free to be that person who introduced them to awesome living haha. The thing about meeting new people is getting to know things you didn’t know before. Let them learn something.
Conversations are a two way thing. Some people are more of listeners though so don’t get offended when all one wants to do is hear what you want to say. They will show if they are interested. They will also show when they can’t wait for you to shut up so do yourself a great favor and take the cues they are sending your way. When it’s your turn to listen, listen to understand what they are saying, not for you to identify when it’s your turn again to speak. You ever met those people who think they’re so awesome and whatever they have to say is more important so they overthrow you in your own story? Yeah, me too.


He’s been noticeably distant lately. His phone has a password now and for some reason he no longer leaves receipts on his trouser pockets. He has this new smell too, I mean, I’m not the type to go sniffing sniffing his stuff for evidence but when you haven’t changed your perfume and suddenly your shared closet reeks of Tom Ford, that’s a big red flag. He flips over the slightest of things and pins all the blame on me. Guilt maybe? 

His new favorite sentence changed to ” I just need time alone” and with the way things are going, bud you’re in for one heck of a long time alone. His playlist has 360’d overnight too. A song will come up and I’ll wonder who he is and what he did with the guy I used to know. Maybe I’m being paranoid. Maybe the universe has a way of genuinely changing people’s interests or maybe it’s time for detective instinct takeover. It doesn’t take long to solve the puzzle with all the clue trails he’s leaving behind. I mean c’mon, if you want to play this game at least give me a challenge right? 

It’s Saturday evening, nine to be precise. Supposedly he’s watching the game with Mark and the guys. Of course Mark will cover his ass and swear he’s with him even if the guy doesn’t know whether he’s even alive so I don’t bother putting bro code to the test. The  sports bar is scarce this particular day. There’s also something about the gender ratio that’s starting to raise alarms. Sure most guys stopped dragging their girls to these things but still… I can’t see Mark, I can’t see any of his boys either. In their place however is this guy, fine face, chisel defined jawline and a good smile to go with it, the type I’d be into. A new friend maybe? They seem deep into a conversation I can’t overhear from my position. The view though makes it obvious that these two are really invested in whatever the topic is. It drawed their concentration from the game for chrissake! I’m I jealous? Sure, I can’t recall the last time we connected like that.

It’s now pretty obvious that I raised a false alarm. He probably found a new friend who is responsible for these recent interests maybe. Him distant? Maybe I’m the one who has too much free time. The perfume? Tom Ford is pretty strong, it could have easily diffused into his clothes daily on his way home. He’s on the clear. It’s time to pick up what is left of my untrusting suspicious self and get back before he realizes I’ve been stalking him. 

Then it hits me, these guys in the bar, there’s something about them… Wait, this is a gay bar! Sure it’s 21st Century and everyone has freedom of choice or whatever but still, a gay bar? The new ‘friend’ too now seems too ‘ friendly’. Andrew wasn’t a cover up for a certain Andrea, he’s cheating with a guy! So is he like gay now? I mean, how do I even compete with a guy for a guy? The only thing on my search history is catfight confrontations and I’m not even sure I can effectively handle that either. Wait, was he always gay? Do I have manly features by any chance? Wow, gay? 

That awkward moment

I’m not saying I’m a bad person. I’m not even implying that I was once a bad person but, Lord dear Lord, may my exs never meet. May they prosper beyond prosperity, so much that they’re widely and I mean widely distributed all over the globe. May they be bosses of their own so that one day Mike won’t apply to this job and coincidentally happen to work for Dan. Who knows, maybe one day Dan will be bored. Maybe Mike will walk into the office as usual to deliver some files then Dan will out of nowhere ask,” Have you ever had one of those ex’s that you later on look back and wonder what the heck you were thinking dating them in the first place?”

Mike will suddenly light up and take a seat. He’ll listen to Dan ramble about a certain someone from his younger days. The stories will be like a blow from the past to Mike as a series of relatable craziness hits him. Then he will be like, ” You remind me of someone.”

The two will look at the ticking clock on the wall and notice it’s already past working hours.

“Wanna catch a drink?” Dan will offer but Mike will try playing the good employee he definitely isn’t.

“Are you sure the missus won’t mind? The other day she practically stormed in here to confirm you were working late.” Dan will chuckle at the memory. His fetish for psychos will be the death of him.

“C’mon, just one drink.” Twenty minutes later the two men will be sipping Whiskey by the bar. Their previous conversation will spark back to life, this time a lot more descriptive considering the two are a little buzzed. Accidentally Dan will mention my name and Mike won’t even hide how astounded he is. His hands will reach for his phone and go straight to Instagram where he’ll search my profile. For reasons I can’t explain he still stalks me. 

“This Diana of yours, did she look anything like this?” He’ll then show Dan one of my least filtered posts.

“After all these years those eyes are still the prettiest thing I’ve seen.” Dan will say, right before taking one last sip of his  Old Forester, it’s spicy undertone more defined now. 

Without a word he goes ahead and clears both his and Mike’s tab before walking away. Talk of an awkward ending to a night out with the boss. 

When Mike reports to work the next morning, Steve from HR will deliver his letter of dismissal. You see, the boss is all about business, apparently Mike is now too familiar. 

Jobless now, Mike has all the time in the world to stalk me. What if one day word gets out that I’m getting married? What if he decides to camouflage himself with the nicely dressed crowd that day waiting for his moment?  

That’s the moment the preacher will make the mistake of announcing an altar call.(Btw is that word reserved only for times when people are going there to get saved or just a general walk to the altar?)…Anyway…  That’s the moment anyone objecting  the union of the lovely couple in front should speak or stay silent forever. That’s the moment Mike will realise ” Oh hey, here’s a good time to reintroduce myself dear long lost friend, after all, knowing you did cost me my job…call it payback.”

Pretty young thing troubles

It’s Monday morning, thirty minutes to eight and I’m killing my feet in the new heels I have on. In half an hour I have an important interview with the resource manager at Willy’s and Sons Corporation and I plan to impress. My papers already do but I still need to work on that inviting smile my roomie Tracy keeps talking about.” It’s your new poker face. Chin held a little high but not like you’re about to recite a poem but rather in a way that says the unspoken welcome to Willy’s and Sons, how may I help you?” She’s one dramatic person, this girl. I’m suddenly self conscious. Two more blocks to my destination and some guy has been trailing my tail for the last five minutes.
” Excuse me miss, I couldn’t help but notice your good walking style… What’s your name?”

I’m quiet. Ain’t going to lie I get that comment a lot. He’s massaging my ego right now but I’m in no mood for small talk. Did I mention that I’m going to an interview? Okey, stop scrolling up, I think I did. Point is, I spent the better part of my night last night prepping for it, you know, the do’s and don’ts… What to say when asked this or that… That stuff is fresh on my mind so sorry Mr. but you’re not messing that up with a chit chat. I give him a quick dismissive smile and keep walking. So many types of smiles huh? Who knew.
“If you don’t mind, I really want to know your name.”

The guy says and I ignore him hoping he’ll get the memo. A car quickly zooms past me as I half way cross the road. I must have been too distracted to notice it before.

“You have awfully long strides for someone your size.” 

Okey, now I don’t know why someone would choose to throw shade at a complete stranger. He must have caught my sudden change of enthusiasm.

“No offense, but you could have gotten yourself killed back there.”

I ease a little and slow down, catching full sight of my tormentor for the first time. Brown no collar jacket, kaki pants and sneakers. I think I see a black V neck tshirt inside… Unlike him, some people here are trying to get to work. Okey, potential work.

“Damn you’re tough.” He says under his breath not meaning for me to hear but I still do. I somewhat feel sorry for the guy. He’s been following me around for the last ten minutes or so for a chat that I’m still not into.

“You’re young, pretty and obviously a little busy right now so how about we meet up sometime later?”
This is what I’ve been working so hard to avoid. Now I need to give Mr.Laid- back- closet-choice-on-a-monday morning one of my reality checks.

” Look, I don’t mean to be rude but I think you should go on your way now. What’s your name leads to can I have your number, then to let’s meet up and a series of unnecessary I miss you’s not long after. Before I know it we’re pseudo dating. Then I’ll be stuck in a relationship I never wanted, except now it’s a little too late seeing that there’s something I really like about you. You’ve also noticed how different I am from your exes and start feeling like I’m your ‘ The One’. Then you’ll propose and because I’m not ready for commitments and stuff I’ll break your little heart. So yeah, to you it’s just a name, to me… That’s a marriage proposal right there. If I wanted all that, you won’t have to ask twice.”

” You’re crazy.”

” I’m just letting you down easy.”

” Have a lovely day miss.”

He takes a right turn, I take a left. Satisfied with my image reflecting off the mirror doors I push them open and walk to the reception.

” Hi, I’m here for the interview?”

The woman behind the desk looks up my name on a list and urges me to wait in line together with the other applicants. Shortly after I’m met by you’d never guess who…Mr.freaking laid back closet choice on a monday morning! He walks past us greeting the receptionist before walking into some office I assume is his. Was I too rude this morning? Chill girl, he could be a nicely dressed janitor for all we know. Maybe he won’t remember me. 

My heart is still throbbing an hour later as my turn finally comes. I’m almost sure I don’t stand a chance with him as boss but one try won’t hurt right? Plus I paid the interview fee.

“You know, if I knew your name you wouldn’t have had to wait in line that long.” 

Way to rub it in Mr. But I’m not going down that easy.

” I’m a sucker for protocol.” I say, taking a seat and handing him my papers. He merely scans the pages before putting them down. Here comes my dismissal…

“Welcome to Willy’s and Sons miss…” He pauses and checks the résumé again.” Miss Irwin, ha look, I even know your hobbies now, and I didn’t have to beg.” 

“That’s it? I really spent a lot colour printing those…” The things I say while in shock haha smh…vigorously.

” You know what you want, you speak your mind and I don’t have to worry about you flirting with the clients. Everyone exaggerates their papers these days.”

I’m still shocked I have the job. Okey, so it’s an internship,no big difference. I compose myself and start giving a thank you speech of how grateful I am for the opportunity and that he wont regret choosing me before he cuts me short, urging me out. I’m at his door now but I realize I don’t know his name and the last thing I want to call this person is Boss. There’s none of those intimidating name tags with big titles on his door so I turn around, ready to ask him. 

“Mr.Jackson.” he says and again I start leaving his office. Just before I lock the door, he starts speaking again, this time with a playful tone in his voice.

” And no, you can’t call me Jack.”