Dump him; if you cross that bridge

Crossing the bridge and the art disposing him

Death and rape are certainly the two most affecting human experiences. But there are other experiences that are equally devastating.

Take for instance a woman who dedicates all her love and fidelity to one man only for the man to walk out on her, disappointing and betray all her emotions. Consequently, she will sink into deep self-loathing and spends the rest of her life man-hating. Forgiving men and their indiscretions becomes a big problem and wherever there is a gender inclined debate, the approach of such a woman is most of the time militant.

For men, if there is one thing that is absolutely demoralising, then it is being left by a woman because she crossed the economic bridge. It happens. Morning, noon and night. Many men have been left by their girl friends or wives once they got that dream job, that magnanimous promotion or simply struck whatever gold.

It is heartbreaking. I have seen men break down completely because a woman walked out on them once she changed her fortunes. Being dumped by a woman for men is sad enough. But being left because she changed her status quo is a deeply emotive subject that ought to be discussed.

Our egos can hardly allow us to accept the fact that a woman can actually dump one as she climbs up the social ladder. It is men who do the dumping according to the old rule book on relationships. But with the latest economical and social emancipation, women are now very much in charge of their relationships as men. Whenever they feel like they are holding the wrong end of the stick, they can pack and leave.

In a scenario where a woman lands a plum job that makes her purse heavier that the man’s wallet, suddenly she realises that she can do with a serious man. A man with ambition. Ambition is a turn on for women. If you are a struggling, middle income earner or in one of those inconsistent jobs, she can only sympathise with you as long as they don’t earn as much.

No sooner does she cross the bridge than she feels the compulsive urge to drop the man. To her the man is a limiting factor towards her hard-earned success. The man becomes a baggage that ought to be disposed with all the immediacy.

When men cross that economic bridge, they do not necessarily feel compelled to dump their current girlfriends, albeit quite inevitably, most of them take up a mistress or two or sometimes go for a second wife (especially the politicians).

But for women they go about it differently. They believe that their success is entirely on their own. Listen to them on female talk shows on television and you get the drift. They have never said who is exactly behind every successful woman as they said for the man. Admittedly, women sometimes endure torturous experiences on their way to the top, but the way they personalize their success can be so off-putting.

The desire to dispose the man is a natural one. For the man normally will feel insecure and inadequate in that relationship. Anyone who holds the financial keys in a relationship would patently wish to be in charge. But the way women go about it is hardly satisfactory. They will always find problems with the man as soon as they cross the bridge.

Women can be selfish about their success. They would wish to date someone from their class or above. But lower! Hell NO. Sometimes I believe this element of class was invented by women. Women who date men down their class do so out of genuine naïve romance tales or fall for the chicanery of the man from the other divide. But most of the time, they tend to stick it up with their classes strictly.

In the event a man is left, he will be mentally disturbed. Denial is a natural reaction and excuses such as ‘she became big headed’ or ‘she started cheating on me’ are quite common place. Very few men can agree that they were left. It is suicidal even to merely acknowledge that you were left when the woman struck gold.

So men ought to subscribe to the Sicilian school of though that dictates men should avoid women who are more ambitious than themselves. They are dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Most of the time, they will dump you, if not verbally, they will use sign language. So callous. So condescending.

Silas Nyanchwani

How the Kenyan female drunkard came to be?

The evolution of the (Nairobian) female drunkard

Alcohol consumption among women in urban places in Kenya has come full circle. Gone are the days when women mostly subscribed to soda and coffee in the up-market restaurants. Women who took hard liquor were generally considered spoilt, social misfits, and at worst loose. Gone are the days when women who insisted on hard liquor woke up in unfamiliar settings and awakening realization that they had been violated the previous night. Alcohol did more harm than good to their social lives, health and general societal perception.

Today in any given joint, you will find women having it from the brown bottle. Scarcely a decade ago, most women gave beer a wide berth. Beer was bitter and sour. It tasted awful for the first timers and almost invariably made many throw up. The taste of beer was sufficient to draw a monstrous grin on their faces. They always went for something sweeter and with low alcohol content.

But in a decade or so, women have undergone a tremendous transformation. So much for the freedom, economic empowerment, the demanding urban lifestyle and the free will that has become a part and parcel of individuals in this millennium.

Any casual observer might have observed that it has taken four phases for women to fully opt for beer and other hard stuff.

1. Era of coffee and soft drinks

Long time ago, or 2000 if you like, women liked it in Dorman’s and the Javas of this Nairobi. Coffee was the in-thing for the urbanites. It was an era where many women were ladies in the Victorian sense. Dates were equivalent to coffee in the overpriced cafes in town. If women went partying, majority opted for soda and other drinks non-alcoholic drinks. Those liberated enough opted for something sweeter, if it had to be alcohol.

2. Era of softer-alcohol drinks

Let us go into olden times, or 2002-03 and thereabouts. Alcohol manufacturers on realizing the newly financially empowered woman, decided to increase the supply of alcohol drinks that were female-friendly. With good marketing and the selling of the idea that alcohol-intake is the only way of cooling off on a Friday night, women discovered that the manufacturers had their best interest at heart. Canned Reds and sweeter brands were all the rage. Young college women breathing the air of new freedom after emancipation from tighter grip of parents for the first time took to these brands with an unprecedented alacrity. Nairobi was just about to usher in an era of unbridled alcohol consumption that broke any sexual or age-related barriers imposed by the society.

3. Era of expensive liquor

In the period leading to the 2005 national referendum on constitution, expensive rum became the only thing worth drinking. The low-alcohol drinks were left for starters and other equally naïve women. Fashionable, working class women took to Amarula and other expensive brands courtesy of their pockets or men who took them out. The price of one such drink could afford a round of drinks for the boys at the table.

Expensive liquor defined style and class. They carried home the drinks from the supermarket. At the poshier joints, these brands were clearly advertised by huge posters that made those drinking something else look not only bad but completely out of place. Cheap and uncivilized. Expensive liquor was the mark of independence.

Those who could not afford made sure that the men who took them out forked out all their money to feed their sporadic epicurean tastes. Funny enough, if a man’s pocket was not deep enough, they could take anything that he could afford. As I have observed many women’s tastes are purely dependent on the depth of the pocket of the man footing the bill. They can eat and drinking anything from chips-chicken to pizza, or cheap alcohol to expensive wines. The creed is, ‘show me the depth of your pocket and I will show you my knowledge of various tastes’.

4. Era of Beer.

There is something surreal, exciting almost unbelievable about a woman drinking it from the brown bottle. It is the ultimate mark of independence. And defiance. A perfect insult at masculinity. It is coldly threatening at the glimpse it opens into the future.

After the expensive liquors, women decided to let go their guard, and asked for beer. At first they grinned. They mixed beer and soda, to neutralize the ‘appalling’ taste. Before we could say ‘wait!’ they abandoned that childhood stunt of mixing the two and instead chose the undulated beer.

Somehow they found it refreshing. Men have become less forgiving. And at home having their Tusker, as she gulps her GK (Guinness Kubwa.)

Retaining an ex for all seasons

By Silas Nyanchwani

An ex for all seasons

Retaining an ex after a breakup has become an integral phase of relationships lately. Every where I’m looking are individuals breaking up, amicably or acrimoniously, and getting back together sooner than even Kenyan politicians regroup after every debacle. Lately, people are treating their ex-lovers with a curious respect hitherto uncommon when people part ways.

How come that more and more individuals are ensuring that they part ways with their ex in such a way that the door is not completely shut? It is now almost agreeable that you keep your new partner close but your ex closer. In my circle of friends, nearly all my male friends are closer to their exes than they are to the women they are dating presently.

They call each other as often as possible and sometimes the phone calls can be affectionate. And not falsely affectionate like when people are in love or they cheat with. They meet regularly and there seem to be a mutual agreement that even though they parted ways, their friendship was more important than their love or lust for each other. It is an increasingly fashionable trend in dating circles. Now many individuals have at least an ex-lover tucked away who can avail himself or herself any time called upon.

It will strike one as odd why people who, when they were in love had many wars and quarrels, suddenly become the best friends after breaking up. It is crazy. It is unreal. It seems as though it is easy to break up but extremely harder to let go a lover. People who have dated for long (long in present time can be anything between six months to two years) have a tendency of breaking up but leaving the door so wide open that it can accommodate ten exes at one.

Many individuals choose to retain their ex-lovers for a number of reasons. It can be the emotional and psychological comfort. That air of familiarity. Maintaining the status quo. We are all afraid of venturing into unfamiliar grounds. It is better to eke it out with someone we are at least conversant with their behavior, moods and attitudes. Starting a whole new relationship, balancing it until it takes off is like taking off from airport in foggy weather with an inexperienced pilot.

Secondly, many retain their exes for financial dependency. Especially for lovers who had a relationship pegged more on finance than romance. Nobody can be more trusted with money than your ex. S/he can’t be a bad debtor, unless of course extremely financially constrained. And after all, many ex lovers are often more honest to each other since there are no inhibitions whatsoever.

Thirdly and more obviously is the cheap and guaranteed access to sex. If one is in good books with his or her ex, it is extremely easy to fall into these temptations. It happens morning, noon and night. An ex needs no convincing or conviction. If the two enjoyed a particularly good sex life, the temptation is ever rife. This is the number one reason many retain their ex.

What I have observed is that most of the time people break up to rid off any commitment to the relationship. Lately many people are increasingly becoming suffocated with demanding relationship. With academic and professional work taking centre stage, nobody wants anything more imprisoning. So rather than having a partner with whom you commit your love, time and money, it is better to be independent and work out a different arrangement. This arrangement in turn turns out that one shops for a good partner, enter into a relationship, break up but retains the friendship bit.

Without commitment, it is easier to carry on with other clandestine relationship without a nosy partner who wants to know every Jane, Linnet and Mary in your phonebook. It is far much easier for women to have more male partners without the sheer envy of the overbearing boyfriend.

So the relationship reverts back from lovers to friends. It can only be explained simply; either no true love ever existed or they love each other so much that if they are too close, it might hurt their relationship.