Growing up I've always had the guide list for hooking the ideal partner; the man in my life, my sunshine, my happily ever after. I was on a mission to secure my future husband, and my gullible moral compass felt compelled to devising a plan; 'the list'. The blueprints were there designed by our past generation, I could hear the women chanting 'you should marry well my child, love doesn't pay the bills'.
So every guy I brought home or introduced to friends was scrutinised, well, lobola (dowry) had to be paid, if the guy was from an affluent family and moneyed the wedding bell dance would be heard from the peaks of mount Everest and the first question presented, "what does he do for a living?" Translated: "how many cows can we expect?" Or in my case: "which brand of weave can he afford", as I pat my braids.
As a result I ticked my way through, painting a canvas, for the man of my dreams. It's really hilarious how I would add and subtract my way for the ideal partner, my future bae, my prince charming, the wind beneath my feet, my knight and shining armour; my happily ever after. It's all about knowing which river to fish in and what type of fish tickles my fancy; nothing wrong with that *wink.
It all started with my dad affirming how I should never settle for less, that I should stand on my own two feet, that I deserved the best. As a result daddy's little girl, bounced herself through life with a guy list in tow, well I wasn't going to allow any tom dick and harry to stain this angelic birth-suit.
From then on I began carving my ideal guy, butch like Vin Diesel, Suave like Maps Maponyane, couth like James Bond, a loyal partner like my dad, ambitious like Steve Jobs and has a certain degree of intellect, which meant I will be moneyed for life; because this is life and money talks, darling. I had my ideal guy mapped out and I humbly waited for my lottery ticket to cash in. But it soon turned out it will require bucket loads of patience and a reality check.
The ideal guys popped in the picture all handsome, gentle and gallant. I would find myself transcended to the butterfly garden with my tummy doing the happy dance. They ticked the right boxes and I would feel like Cinderella finding her glass slipper, however years down the line I'm still riding the wave of disappointment and heartaches all because of a list of unfathomable expectations.
I realised not every girl lives the happily ever after like Cinderella or Sleeping beauty or better yet Beauty and the Beast.
The list was a part of my life however when I knocked the 30s, the list decreased until I fazed it out of existence, as I came to the realisation that life is more fun being serenaded by a guy whose far removed from the norm; the eat, pray, love moment. A contrast of self, a deviation from our boxes of ticks, steering away from the titles of lawyers or doctors, what car he drives or which crew he mingles with.
Within the 30's maturity schooled me to realising how short life is and who cares if he's artsy or a choreographer, it was about building self and waiting for my significant other to join me in my journey of life. It will hardly be about him completing me but rather us complementing each other as we build our empire together where the I and him become an us and we.
I realised not every girl lives the happily ever after like Cinderella or Sleeping beauty or better yet Beauty and the Beast. Those are just fairy tales of confusion, brainwashing our little girls into believing in a world of impossibilities; they are literally just that, pages of imaginaries.
You see, the guys I encountered ticked the boxes and as I toasted my glass of red to pride, time brought forth a wave of disappointments and heartaches. I became the one who was either nursing him because of some girl who bruised his ego, he was either cheating or married and my parents' separation screwed the part about meeting up with a guy who reminded me of my dad.
So my list is dead and buried, and the first question has gone from 'what do you do for a living?' to 'tell me a bit about yourself?'