Valentine’s Day tips for sisters

Valentine’s Day tips for sisters

HERE is a true story. It’s Valentine’s Day in 1993. A snobbish boy who had just landed in Mafube for school holidays invites Muckraker to a date.
Muckraker scrubs herself clean, stretches her kinky hair with a hot stone and puts on her Sunday best. And off to the nearest General Dealer we went.
Muckraker is still in the ninth heaven when a bottle of coke and a packet of Marie biscuits are thrust into her calloused but grateful palms.

We munch the crackers and nurse the drink over small talk, him bragging about his Peka High School while Muckraker nods in delight.
He says he wants to be a doctor and Muckraker says she doesn’t know what the future holds but is hoping to see the majestic city of Maseru one day. Hours later he buys bubble gums and we walk home hand-in-hand.

Home is not far but the romance of the moment somehow pushes it further.
The heart pounds and armpits are drenched in sweat. It must be love, Muckraker surmises.
The small talk continues while the grip on the hands tightens.
It’s getting dark and the boy is suddenly speaking in whispers.

“I love you so much,” says the boy as he transfers his hand to Muckraker’s little bums.
Then he suddenly drags Muckraker into a donga and thrusts his lips on Muckraker’s mouth. It’s almost a bite but what does Muckraker know about the art of kissing.
She obliges, parting her lips slightly. The boy is panting as he fumbles his belt when Muckraker comes back to her senses.

“Just relax babie,” he says, now aggressively fondling Muckraker’s breasts.
He means business but a scared Muckraker just wants to go home.
She bites him on the hand and kicks him in the groin.

The boy loosens his grip on the breast, lets out a scream and crumbles to the ground. Muckraker picks a boulder and is ready to unleash it when the boy starts calling on his debt.
“But, I bought you biscuits and coke. Why are you refusing?
Muckraker kicks him in the groin again and gallops home. She could still hear him screaming as she entered her granny’s house.
“I will show you your mother,” were the last words Muckraker could make out. And that was Muckraker’s last Valentine’s date until she came to Maseru several years later.
She had vowed that no Marie and coke fashioned against her shall prosper.

Muckraker has since learned valuable lessons about the pitfalls of Valentine’s dates or any date for that matter. It’s time to play aunt, so ladies should listen carefully for Friday is only tomorrow.
The world is a vile place full of spoilt three-legged morons who talk sweet and think they deserve everything.
A few date tips are therefore in order. It starts with basic etiquettes like handling the cutlery, knowing which instrument goes on what hand. Don’t grab the knife as if you are just about to stab someone.

Never flick your fingers to call waiters. They have names.
Proper restaurants will never give you waiters with tongue-twisting names like Lehlohonolo, Moremoholo, Mojakisane, Motlalepula, Maqekoane, Maqelepo, Raboshebane, Anastasia and Augustinus. They always cut them short or make up new ones. Pinky, Rose, Khotso, Palesa or Puly.
So what’s your excuse for flicking fingers as if you are calling a cat? Have some manners sister. Hao!

But then there are other more serious things to watch out for, especially on the menu.
Remember the menu is meant to guide you, not lead you astray. Read a book or watch a movie if you want to feed your imagination. The menu is a list of what the restaurant serves and prices. Finish!

If you cannot spell it without googling then it’s most likely you cannot afford it or your tongue will violently reject it. The same goes for food whose names you cannot pronounce.
Those who cannot say or spell “asparagus”, “lasagna”, “cuscus”, “gnocchi”, “worcestershire”, “risotto” or “calamari” should stick to rice and chicken.
As for cocktails, stick to the poison you know.

You are in a restaurant, not a laboratory. If you are so keen on experiments you surely should have passed that Form E chemistry exam whose U grade sits on your certificate with a 99-year-lease. Say “mango juice, please!” “Fanta Grape please!”
Ask what is in the food before you order because your Thamae tummy might be allergic to some exotic spices. Nothing is to be gained by feigning sophistication and then spending the whole night camped behind a VIP.

The tummy gets accustomed to your diet. For 25 years it has been subjected to papa ka lepu, papa ka moroho, papa ka mahe and a lot more within that neighbourhood.
The nearest it got to sea food is Lucky Star sardines yet you are batting your fong-kong eyelashes ogling the menu for prawns, caviar, lobsters and crabs. Hela!

Order what you can afford so that if the date goes horrible and the pervert refuses to pay you can sort yourself out. You know his name and phone number, not his manners and bank balance.
Some rascals will pretend to be going to the bathroom and catch the next four-plus-one home sooner than you can say ‘waiter!’ Carry your own taxi fare.
You don’t know what mechanical gymnastics have been performed on that borrowed sikorokoro. You are his date, not mechanic.
That jalopy might just start emitting fumes along Mpilo Boulevard, at which point you just have to slither out of the smoking thing to catch the first hooting yellow-bellied ramshackle that swerves to the pavement.

Carry as many “Nos” you can. Some scoundrels demand a pound of flesh for a Streetwise Two.
After feeding you that oily stuff they think the heavens have opened.
Remember Muckraker almost lost her virginity over Marie biscuits and coke.

Drink in moderation. Some idiots lack the talent for persuasion and always bank on the brewery doing their work for them. They don’t charm but intoxicate.
Every woman must carry something sharp in the bag. You didn’t raise him so don’t think you know him. His mother too is sick and tired of his ways. Avoid high heels because you might want to run away when he makes unwanted moves. Former goat herders don’t know how to say ‘please!’ Besides, goats never needed much persuasion to bend over in the veld.

Don’t you dare spray pictures of the meal on Facebook. Your excitement betrays your lack of exposure. In any case, you might just be blocking potential suitors by parading yourself as an excitable wannabe slay queen overwhelmed by a simple outing. Leave him out of your selfies as well.
There is no point in selling out the man to his starving mother or angry mashonisas. There is a reason he chose that dark corner in the restaurant.

It’s his business, not yours. Save your internet bundles for googleing table manners.
Avoid speaking with a stuffed mouth, it’s disgusting.
Your partner is just across the table so keep your voice low.

It’s prudent to keep the details of your life to yourself. You are not on a job interview. No one wants to hear about your heartbreaks and struggles. Go easy on the quizzing. You are on a date, not some premarital counselling. You are there to eat not to audition for marriage. Shut your beak about your pastor and church.
Everyone knows church boys don’t marry in their church.

Let’s now turn to dressing. Witchcraft is going on a date in a hair piece worth a 100 times more than that Form E mathematics supplementary exam you claim you cannot afford. It’s criminal to reward an empty head with opulent hair.

Don’t bring your itching bonding as well. No one wants to see you pounding your head or shoving your fork into that shabby hairdo.
A manicure is fine but don’t ruin the night with hideously long nails painted in shouting colours. The rainbow never asked for your representation.
Makeup is great as long as you don’t look like a ghost or you are going to a Halloween concert.

Horror movies are still scary no matter how many you have watched. Africans are scared of just the idea of a ghost. Seeing one in a restaurant will send them yonder.
Remember some couples are bringing their babies.
If you really need to have a lick of paint then do it right. Know your skin tone. Do not go around the village begging for paint from your yellow bone friends if you are dark-skinned. The face may look bright but the hands will reveal your true colours.

And make-up doesn’t replace proper bathing. Just bath!
No make-up will sort out a phuza face. You should have known that before you started on those ciders and cheap wines.
Embrace the consequences of your habits. Someone might just like you the way you are. There is demand for everything, something and anyone in the world.
Even drama queens, fugitives and murder suspects get married? Wink if you get the message.

Lastly, you should not beat yourself if you don’t get invited to a date or receive flowers on Friday morning.

It’s not your problem that you are married to someone who thinks buying a bag of beans is a romantic gesture. Love him for what he is.
For those single, it’s possible that your boyfriend might just have convenient amnesia. Just know that he is lying when he says “eish ke lebetse my love”. Its either he could not afford or he was treating someone else.

You are not chained to him though. Move on if you think he is a scoundrel.
Don’t worry if you don’t have someone in your life. There is nothing embarrassing about being single. It’s actually the fashionable thing these days. Just look at Muckraker enjoying her life as free as a bird. But if you really have to fit in then just order some flowers and get them sent to the office.
When the receptionist calls, pick a step and then pretend to be surprised at the bouquet.

Check the card – that you have written to yourself of course – and shed a tear or two.
When your colleagues ask who the secret admirer is smile, sigh and say “Ha ke tsebe!”
The office will be filled with envy while you feel better. No one will ever know your little secret. And even if they do, none can accuse you of being a fraud. They too have make-up, weaves and fake nails.

They are dabbling in the pool of deceit as well. Busy lying about their partners during lunch gossip.
Nyoe, nyoe, ntate is so romantic. Nyoe, nyoe, my boyfriend buys me flowers every day. Get out of here! It’s all lies to be ignored with a spring in the step. Walk tall and laugh them off.
And boom, the day is done sister. And done right too!

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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