Playing an away match; the rules
By Silas Nyanchwani
In the soccer world there are two matches played between any given teams; the home and the away match. The team playing in its home ground is invariably advantaged by the familiar grounds, the fanatical support from the locals and an unshakable confidence of the players determined to impress the fans. When it is an away match all these advantages are stripped off and any team playing away from home is predisposed to a draw or at worst lose.
But as you would have guessed right from the outset, this is not about football. Rather I’m talking about men and women in relationships and when it comes to those visits. In the days gone it was always men who invited their girlfriends to their houses. Consequently, women always played by the men’s rules that were not necessarily favourable to them.
Thanks to the female empowerment, women now occupy nice rented apartments and others own them as well. Nowadays in all the city’s sprawling flats, especially in the better groomed Eastlands estates are women living singly and paying the rent. Thus, they can invite men over rather than driving across town. Nowadays the question ‘my place or your place?’ is a vital one when a decision has been arrived on. Much as men will always prefer she comes over, occasionally they have had to do the reverse. Thus it pays to know some of the necessary rules to avoid any embarrassment or disappointment.
Remember it is not your house and revise your manners or else you ruin a likely pleasant evening. So, no going there drunk. Unless you were drinking together. You have to carry yourself with decorum lest you offend her. What you consider small stuff is normally big stuff from where they come from and can create so much fuss.
So, no leaving socks at the door or walking on her carpet with dusty shoes. Smelly feet have no room for discussion here. No leaving the jacket beside the sofa. Remember she is not there to pick after you. Leave the remote where it is and don’t question her movie library. Remember that those old Billy Blanks in movies that you relish are not her choice either. Her level of hospitality is dependent on how you conduct yourself. Some ‘behaviours’ have been known to tamper with the libido considerably.
We live in times when women are challenged so much in the culinary sector. OK may be we can blame it on their taxing careers. In the event you are invited be very afraid that your gastric demands may not be well taken care off. Fries with chicken served with a non-alcoholic drink continue to be a standard quick fix meal. Any man of my age knows that this cannot sustain a satisfying match. You will be left panting and exhausted.
Off course preparing a well, warm-cooked meal is not an exciting romantic idea as some experts might tell you. Unless she studies nutrition in town. The spirit is ever willing but the body never ready.
A good meal that can generate the necessary energy in anticipation of the night ahead normally consists of a carbohydrate (Ugali or chapatti are the Kenyan standard), some protein like beans, beef or chicken are nice accompaniments. And naturally some greens are good to guarantee good performance without any doping.
This calls for adequate arrangement but I can bet no one has the time or the energy for that. So when going out for an away match, pass via a joint that sells local food and have your fill. It will serve you just well.
In an away match, she is the referee, the player, the linesman and the instructor. She makes the rules and she oversees the rules. You better play along. Do what you are told. Women have an uncanny habit of changing the rules and you will have to read the moods properly. If she says no, she means no as in the dictionary.
Occasionally when she is at your place, you do break the rules. Something that can be considered rape. But when at her place be civil. Very civil. Remember if you offend her, the repercussions are not very attractive.
Away matches come with a dozen responsibilities. Some precautions are vital. Make sure your back is covered. The stigma associated with a man walking out of a single woman’s house is still very much around. It is expected the other way round. If neighbours are used to her hosting different women, it will be in their eyes. Know your host and her ways well.
Occasionally two men have shown up in the same field and it can be embarrassing. So, know the kind of games she plays. Men have walked with physical injuries out of such situations and it is difficult to explain that cut above your eye (I wonder why it is always in a conspicuous place that elicits sympathy).
And as expected, unlike her who can extend the weekend up to around Wednesday, your time is always limited. So in the morning, pick the jacket, get into your shoes and leave in time.