What is it?

Is it a headdesk? Is it a facepalm? Is it a handcheek? No, it’s just the sourest of grapes. Apparently.


So when, for some reason, I am feeling rather uninspired and I can’t think of anything decent to write about, I walk into the nearest semi-public space and say something most people in there won’t want to hear. Something that will get them pissed enough to offer to kill me, even. Pissed enough to, say, get my number from heaven-knows-where and send me texts like, ‘OK. I have Hepatitis B pellets and a guillotine. What will it be?’

Thus, I walked into the adjacent room, mouthed a few hellos, sat down and applied myself to the task of reading the youngest-looking magazine I could find. Or rather, I pretended to apply myself to the task of reading. After about five minutes, I abandoned the magazine, affected a facial expression (and body posture) of supreme boredom and then opened my mouth.

‘Marriage is sooo overrated. Women can be alone without being lonely. It is not unheard of.’

I might as well have said, ‘Cue system prompt. Open floodgate 1. I’m asking for it.’

Every woman—and I mean every woman in that room—acted as if I’d blasphemed.

What in the name of plant lice?!—Didn’t I know that there wasn’t, IN FACT, any such thing as a happy, spouse-less and child-less thirty-six year-old woman?

Shock Surprise

One senior citizen-ish woman offered to counsel me free of charge—had I not heard about how society will never respect an unmarried woman? One under-dressed middle-aged occupant offered an open invitation to her churchwomen’s group meeting thingy, but not before she let it go on record that my generation was responsible for everything that’s wrong with this world. That I needed more than counselling. To be sure, I needed prayers. Divine intervention.

Another senior citizen asked, ‘How’s the air up there?’

‘Up where?’ I asked, feigning innocence.

‘Up there where you live,’ she said.

I thought of saying something clever-ish. Something like, ‘Uh, it’s a bit rarefied, to be honest…but I’m trying to acclimatize, thanks.’ However, I clamped my mouth shut.

She looked at me with a look of extreme pity, returned her attention to a newspaper she was scrutinizing, and said, ‘Anyway, let me give you time. Once you realise that no woman can live a fulfilling life without a man of her own, you will climb down from wherever you are.’

Another woman (let’s call her Betty) said women like me annoyed her. No, actually, the word she used was ‘disgusted’. Women like me disgusted her. She apologised for using such ‘strong language’ but argued that there was no other way to get her point across. ‘You are the women that fail to get men. You only say marriage is overrated because no man wants to marry you.’


If I didn’t know a guy that’s convinced I’m 76.5632999% marriage material, that comment would have stung like hell.

‘Every woman wants to get married. Every woman wants a ring. That’s the rule and there’s no exception,’ Betty continued. ‘Every woman wants to wear that white dress. Any woman that says otherwise is lying. Yodda, yodda, yodda.’

And I just sat there and took it. I thought: Gnymm mnbnmmmk…the things I do for diasporadical readers.

I found myself saying, ‘But Oprah and Condoleezza…well…last I checked…they were happy.’

‘This is not America! Besides, you only see the outside. How do you know they are happy? You think because you make a lot of money you are happy?’ Betty asked.

Before I could say, ‘Er, define happy’ she added, ‘No matter how much money a woman makes, it can never replace a man. Can money keep you warm at night?’

‘Well—’ I began.

‘—it can’t!’ Betty cut in, spitting the words onto my shoes.

Right, I thought, this chick needs to take it down a notch. Nonetheless, I looked as contrite as I could under the circumstances and mumbled something about a willingness to be guided and counselled. A willingness to cash my reality check cheque. I promised to stop speaking pseudo-emancipationese. I said I would get a life, as they had so helpfully suggested. This rather pacified everyone in the room. Nonetheless, they were all shaking their heads and clucking their tongues at me even as they pretended to get back to work.

So there it is people.

Betty’s message to you is this: if you have failed to manipulate a guy into liking and eventually putting a ring on it find a guy that’s willing to marry you, just shut up and drive and deal with it in your own private way—that there is no reason for you to spoil it for the millions of VIPs (Very Impressionable People) out there.

That is not all.

The second related instalment of ‘It is it a headdesk?—is it a facepalm?—is it a handcheek?’ will be a competition of sorts. The reader who comes up with the most creative ‘no, it’s a (_________) answer will win a hamper of DR goodies worth 500 bob a third opposable thumb 35 tweets, every single one of which will be written in the spirit of glorifying and honouring his or her or it’s genius.

Auf wieder.

Editor’s note: Terms and conditions apply.

12 thoughts on “What is it?

  1. Is it a facial hi-five aka faceslap?

    I think i’ll blame this one on outsourcing. It seems to have worked very well for businesses who now boast of focusing on their “core competencies” (more often than not an euphemism for “corporate masturbation”) so lots of women have outsourced self validation and and self-identity….

    Yeah…so about those 35 tweets..

    • …outsourcing self-validation … I’m torn between laughing and crying, so I’ll settle for an eerie, befuddled grin. Very clever though, and deep.

    • Facial high-five? Outsourcing self-validation? Damn. That’s pure deep-calling-unto-deep stuff 😉 Walk over to counter nine and demand your glass of complimentary champagne. Now.
      PS: And as for the 35 tweets, keep this streak of creativity running and, come the next instalment, and no one else will stand a chance 🙂

  2. Heehee can I like something twice?

    I suppose I should give my opinion. Hm … well … I’m heading thirty … but I have a child, so I don’t suppose I qualify. All I know is if I ever get married, I’m wearing a red dress.

    • You can like something as many times as you want 🙂
      First, though, complete (and balance) the following equation:
      2 (Red dress) + 1 (civil marriage) + 3.5 (X) = Y (living happily ever after)
      *wink, wink*

  3. I think there’s a concious effort by both men and women, within very well structured rhetoric and ideology, to mark a woman’s happiness with an attachment to men. Just look at it, marriage, sex, babies…while all these can be secured and enjoyed through egalitarianism (had to go there) and other alternatives where a woman’s emancipation is considered, more often than not a man has to be involved to make it all necessarily happy. Such arguments demean a woman’s worth as an individual. Good piece.

  4. My two cents worth is, ‘what sauce is good for the gander is not always ever good for the goose..’

    Get a life beyond the parameters and expectations of society.

  5. All living creatures are created to relate, human beings more so. Oprah is happy, but she has Gail or that other dude (forget his name), depending on who you’re listening to.

    Do we need men and children to be happy?
    Well, recent developments have proven otherwise, but bottom line is, we do need a mate (whoever and whatever you perceive that to be), to be complete.

  6. Pingback: “What Is It?” Part 2 « Diasporadical

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