PLATTE-LAND 009: APOLOGY

Related imageShe met him in a pre-wedding ceremony of a close friend. It was love at first sight. He was considerably tall, looking sharply groomed and had a taste of fashion. He had this well taken care of strip of side burns that stretched all the way, meeting his chin beards halfway. He was in a fitting khaki pants, dark brown shoes and navy blue designer blazer. His short hair was neatly combed and she fell for his trimmed nails. Not many men have the diligence of cutting their nails after every 5 days, she thought. All throughout the occasion, Sly kept cunningly stealing glances at him hoping their eyes would ever meet, to no avail.

When she was made to understand they were both to be brides during the wedding, and would ostensibly form a pair, her heart melted down. A brewing friendship would crop up thereafter and before they made sense of it, a love story was being crafted and taking root. This would be followed by numerous coffee dates in high end uptown coffee houses, night walks in the estate, road trips to Nanyuki’s acclaimed conservancies – Ol Pajeta and Ol Jogi, day outs in the Arboretum, cycling along the tea farms of Kiambu and not to mention many night outs and sleep overs.

For close to two years now, their relationship has been nothing short of bliss and romance. But just like any other, challenges have been inevitable. Though they have a number of commonalities like being outgoing, art enthusiasts, movie people, and generally moderate extroverts – Sly has been consistently loyal while Chris has some ladies distracting him. For lack of a better phrasing; he has cheated on Sly a number of times behind her back.

You see in relationships, when the rubber meets the road, the fuel pedal must be depressed to keep the car moving. And if one party fondly depends on the other to supply gas and oomph to the relationship, dark days definitely lay ahead. In a nutshell, this is the situation Chris and Sly find themselves in currently. The curtains have been rolled up, honeymoon is over, infatuation has evaporated and cheating baggage portends to sink this ship if people don’t smell the coffee sooner.

It has been cold weeks for their relationship with Sly choosing to watch things as they unravel, from a safe distance. She has made up her mind not to lose herself anymore in pulling the first trigger as far as mending fences is concerned. So who’ll blink first, between the two?

In retrospect, she was having the best of her time with Njagi. He had stepped up, and just recently took her out to a night of reveling. They were hanging out more often, in and off school, in as much as she would insist to her close friends Njagi was nothing beyond a BFF. Their platonic friendship seemed to have gained a lot from Chris’s lukewarm tendencies to her. That said, she didn’t seem desperate anymore to reconcile with Chris, plus Njagi was working harder to soften her predicaments. On the flip side, Sly’s heart still loved Chris and missed his charming and coy nature.

You see, her attraction to Chris was in the onset influenced by physical magnetism while for Njagi was more of emotional chemistry and had nothing to do with looks. In fact, Sly found herself getting flattered with Njagi’s looks recently, halfway deep in a well invested relationship with Chris. Speaking of which, Chris is irresistible, romantic, adventurous and comical while Njagi is loyal and very dependable. Unlike Chris, Sly’s view of Njagi is of a special friend who has loyal and dependable attributes. He is authentic and available to her. However, she had never perceived him in any intimate way until Chris decided to play mind games and blink on and off to their relationship. As a result, she allowed herself to become vulnerable to Njagi out of frustrations, to a point of hinting at him to take her out which he gladly did, just to forget her woes.

When reality sunk to Chris that it wasn’t business as usual and that the relationship was caving in, he swallowed his bitter pride and called Sly. The communication was fluid and not promising. She didn’t sound the same anymore. He had to slow down, sound mellow and committed. Eventually they agreed to meet for a reconciliatory date.

They met at a city restaurant and spotting them you’d be forgiven to imagine it was just another couple out to pass time and confess sweet-nothings to each other. This was at a joint where middle class urbanites hole up; some to catch up, while others would be here to strike deals or meet social media acquaintances. Chris ordered for cappuccino served with banana walnut pancakes while Sly went for hot chocolate drink accompanied with bacon cheese burger.

“So, what have you been up to?” Chris paused. “School and stuff.” She answered. “I bumped with Mitch and he made me understand you were the brains behind your campus mag! You didn’t even inform me.” He lamented. “But you stopped calling and you’ve been ‘busy’ as you always put it.” She quipped, munching her delicious burger. “The workplace has been crazy but I’m sorry for going mute” He said. “Okay, I’m fine though. I’m at a place where I’ve let go the baggage, the nagging and being attached to people who don’t appreciate.” Chris interjected as Sly breathed tough. “You see Babe, don’t get me wrong, It’s not like I don’t appreciate nor love you. That’s not the case. I just felt, so much was happening in my life and I needed a break to make sense of it and reinvent.” He pleaded his case.

“I understand but that shouldn’t be the case. I also have issues but have never woken up and said, ooh I’m going mute on him. That’s a flimsy excuse, Chris.” She pointed out. “Yea I know, that was not appropriate. I’m regrettably sorry, Sly.” He implored. “So what’s bothering you?” Sly queried. “Nothing in particular apart from pressure at the workplace. I feel drained and overwhelmed. I have no joy of being alive. I feel morbid all the time and detached from life.” He said, sounding melancholic. “Isn’t that depression?” She quizzed. “I don’t know what’s depression.” He said. “Agonizing over death and generally feeling sad and lost are symptoms of depression.” She explained.

“Why don’t you visit a psychiatrist or rather talk to your family about it?” She added. “It will get better. I’m contemplating resigning and going back to production of music which is my passion.” He consoled himself. “By the way, I’m starting my internship at Syokimau FM next month.” She said excitedly. “Wow, good to hear. Journalism has always been your calling.” He stated. “Thank you! Similarly, you shouldn’t neglect your passions since that’s the whole essence of living. To make true your dreams.” Sly emphasized.

Meanwhile, she took the responsibility of reaching to Chris’s elder brother Jeremy to make him aware of his predicament. It was getting dark outside and so, Chris cleared the bill and escorted her to the bus terminus.

Strange girl: Hey Chris?

Chris: Hey

Strange girl: Who is she?

Chris: My friend.

Strange girl: That’s how you hold your female friends?

Sly: I’m just your friend Chris!

Before Chris responded, Sly hopped to a matatu plying route 111.

Previously on Platte-Land Series

Next on Platte-land series: Birthday

WEDDING COMMITTEES & THE CHARACTERS

weddingThe other day a female friend sent me a text message reading that I had been invited to a wedding committee. Actually, she was not really a friend but one of those people who possess your number by mistake. You know, there are those people who shouldn’t have your number, but they have it anyway and there is nothing you can do about it. The bad thing is that they will use it to invite you to wedding committees while in reality the two of you can’t sustain a two sentence conversation. You console yourself with the fact that your number stays dormant, cold and feeling out of place in their phonebooks. It’s hardly used.

Back to the wedding committee; What followed is that I was added to a Whatsapp group!

Two things;

One – If I have to be in a wedding committee then I have to be a mutual friend to the couple.

Or

Two – I have to be invited by the man, meaning that dude will have been my friend by the time he is inviting me to this committee.

If neither of the two – I will show up at your wedding day with my present of course!

The thing is, not everybody should be part of a wedding committee. There should be a criteria and something like benchmarking in deciding who should or shouldn’t qualify to this endeavour. This shouldn’t be a meeting where you gather acquaintances, would-be friends, frenemies, secret admirers, phantom friends or familiar people. And by the way, as a lady leave the functioning of the wedding committee to the man. You can help him come up with the list of trusted friends and relatives but this does not mean going all out fishing and combing-clean social media streets smoking out friends (stalkers) and dragging them to wedding planning forum half asleep. Neither is it a time to start looking for erstwhile friends whom you haven’t spoken to in a decade and then converting them to wedding committee members.

You know, there is something beautiful and manly about being invited by the man to this kind of a committee. From a man’s perspective, it reads recognition and appreciation. My point is, as a woman please focus on the gown, wedding cake and that humorous lady who perfects in cake cutting as she engages the crowd. Men are poor in these three tasks.  And for your information, a wedding is an expensive affair, save enough before imagining of who should be invited to the committee.

Assuming you will be convinced or feel the need to attend one, this is who you will meet. By the way it’s terrible to bank wholly on the wedding committee. They will fail you big time if you are not cautious. This is how it plays out;

You invite a hundred fellows, 30% turn up, 70% will never show up, respond to your texts nor pick your calls the moment they smell you need to part with their money. The 30% that turn up, 20% will only attend the maiden meeting just to be noticed and to see who has been invited and who didn’t make it to the list. These are people obsessed with titles and big man syndrome. This is how the rest will unfold:

Observers

Among the 15% out of the 30% that choose to attend, will be a group of the so called Observers. They will check in on time but will never contribute a point. They remain nailed on their seats, mum and occasionally on their phones. You can label them see no evil; hear no evil kind of people. They are mere observers rich in silence, big in attendance and zero on impact. End result – huge disappoint.

Phony People

These are quite interesting creatures better than observers. They contribute just one point in a two hours session and then drift to their pricey phones. Here they take selfies projecting how they are holed up in a big-wedding-planning and share them on social media. They will regularly walk out to pick calls and later comeback to remain glued to their damn phones. They will make it their point to ensure everybody notices their expensive smartphones by the time the meeting is done. Normally they walk in possession of two to three phones. End result – Below average

Technical Appearance Groupies

These chaps will check in to be seen they attended. They show no regard to the agendas of the day or any concern to how the wedding plan is progressing. They show up for 5 – 10 minutes and walk out in disguise of making a phone call. End result – Zero

Apology Lot

They throw perceptions of being very busy people. If they ain’t catching a flight, then they could be driving up country if not jumping to an important meeting. They specialise in giving apologies even on the actual wedding day. End result – Miserable

One Hit Wonder

They show up either on the maiden meeting or the very last one. They are a huge disappointment if one banks on them. They come to assess and gauge whether they should attend in future. They are big on promises but zero on delivery. End result – A mistake to have been invited!

Noisemakers

They are very social guys. They make friends effortlessly and create networks in minutes. To them, they view people as viable avenues to market their businesses, get county tenders, clinch jobs for relatives or buy or sell cars. End result – Fairly reliable.

Trusted circle

These could be close relatives, office colleagues or trusted friends. They are the main decision makers and major initiators of meeting agendas. They are tasked with specific responsibilities from Committee leaders (Chairman, Secretary & Treasurer), Transport Managers, Entertainment heads, Tent & Decor docket and tasks to find the best and affordable Photographers & MCs. End result – Extremely important

Big Kahunas/Financiers

Normally very influential personages, they are extremely critical. They have resources or connections to ensure the wedding is successful. They will avail cars, seek wedding venues and finance the wedding budget significantly. End result: extremely helpful

Wedding committees have been watered down over the years for two main reasons. One, the organisers have not been paying attention to the principle that no everybody should be invited. We are obsessed with numbers which in many a time end up to disappoint. I can confirm to have participated in a lean wedding committee that ended up delivering beyond expectations. The advantage with a small team is that, it’s easy to manage, to allocate specific tasks and to hold them accountable. Again, a smaller team works harder to prove they are equal to the tasks allocated.

Secondly, we are people that do weddings just to be noticed. That said, a majority don’t save enough for the big day but burden relatives and friends to finance their budgets. We do weddings we can’t afford just to smooth our egos and form the talk from the villages, church, office and to other social circles.

Let’s cut the slack and do weddings when we are sincerely ready.

 

 

 

 

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