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Tag Archives: Family Matters

Put That Woman First

My parent’s relationship is the blueprint from which I have tried to mold all the relationships I have had so far. Albeit with a far lesser degree of success than they have managed over the 32 years that they have been together. In my eyes, my parents are the dream team of the marriage game. This is not to imply that theirs has been a perfect marriage – no marriage is. And that is probably the most important thing I have learned. Theirs is an imperfectly perfect union. They are each other biggest fans. They continue to consistently make sacrifices for each other. They have an innate understanding of each other strengths and flaws. They complement each other. And even more significantly they are the very best of friends.

My parents do almost everything together. They spend as much time as they can together. They are open and transparent with each other and whatever their differences they have always presented a united front to me and the rest of the world. They even have a joint bank account! Having had my fair share of relationships I am fully aware of the level of trust and openness that is a prerequisite for such a decision. Most of us won’t even allow anyone we are in a relationship anywhere near our phones, let alone our bank accounts.

As a team, my parents each had their assigned role when it came to raising us, their kids and they both did it exceedingly well. I am a living testament to that. Growing up I naively assumed that this was the modus operandi in most marriages and families. It is only in my teens that I actively started noticing how this was not always the case. That some of my school mates came from either abusive, single parent or ‘broken’ homes. How often one parent had to shoulder all the responsibility and play both roles that my own parents shared between them. That only served to magnify the gratitude I continue to have for my parents. Everything I am is direct result of the sacrifices they have both made. And I become more and more preoccupied with the purpose of my life I have begun to look more and more at their example and to try and learn as much as I can from it.

Being a man I have looked more specifically looked to my dad for guidance as I try to navigate my way into manhood and what it means to me. A lesson I have learned from my dad and his relationship with my mum is about putting your significant other first. This manifest itself best by you able to find happiness in your partners happy.

The best example of this come from when I started working my first professional job in Melbourne. My parents flew over to visit and take what was to be their first holiday alone for the first time since they had had me. Detouring through they arrived in Melbourne two love birds crazy in love with each other. This is probably the first I actually looked at them as two people just truly, madly and deeply in love even after all the years. During that visit I realised that they were not just my mum and dad. They were soul mates.

Whilst I ran the rat race during the week they indulged themselves taking in the sights and going on dates. It was only on weekends that I got to spend time with them and even then I felt like I was the third wheel. On one particular weekend I decided to take them shopping. I remember I bought my dad this really nice suit that he absolutely adored but on that day in that particular mall my mum couldn’t find anything that was to her taste. So she went home empty handed. What happened as we made our way home and for most of that evening will always stay with me. My dad was visibly upset and disenchanted.

Later that night I worked up the nerve to ask him why he had been in such a foul mood, his response surprised me. This guy was even more disappointed than my mum was that she hadn’t been able to find anything during our shopping trip. I was pretty certain he loved the suit he had got, but he couldn’t get himself to appreciate it because his wife hadn’t been able to get anything on that day. When my mum caught wind of the reason for his sourness , she told him to stop being silly and reminded him that she still had time to get something she actually wanted. To which my dad responded ‘ You know I can never be truly happy if you are not happy. You are my happy.’

It might seem like it was a trivial matter, but in that moment my dad taught me an important lesson. Always put your woman first.

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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Trivial pursuit’s

Random fact. I love Trivia. Correction – I love winning at Trivia nights. Why? Because boo-yah, that’s why. Granted there are often prizes to be won – its a jackpot system. Not only do you have to knowledgeable enough to win, you also need luck to walk away with the R500 jackpot. To date the jackpot has proved elusive. Instead I have often found myself on the receiving end of many a free meal voucher and bottles of cheap obscure wine. I am convinced I pissed off Lady Luck in a past life. Hell hath no fury… But I digress.

I am a nosy somebody. That might also partially explain my love for Trivia. From an early age I have always been compelled by curiosity. I must have been 8-9 years old when my Dad brought home the first of many sets of Encyclopedia Britannica’s. I was soon flipping through the thick pages of its many volumes. Little did I know at the time but the Trivia seed had been sown. I had slowly began cultivating my passion for picking up random and often useless facts. Around the same time another “nerd tendency” was also in its infancy. As fate would have it my love for comics would go on to have a symbiotic relationship with the Encyclopedia Britannica’s. Unlike the Encyclopedia Britannica’s the comics were viewed with the same contempt as contraband in our household.  So whenever I wanted to go on my adventures with Asterix and Obelix, it was under the guise of having my nose stuck in a Encyclopedia Britannica.

However as testosterone became the major driving force in my pubescent years my focus shifted. Girls became the motivation. So began my love/hate relationship with the nerd. A conflict that initially played itself out in the comfort of our lounge. Ever so briefly in black and white before fully blowing up in technicolor. On one hand I was Team Urkel (Family Matters). The Urk man. The epitome of a nerd. I was always rooting for him to win over Laura Winslow.Team Urkels wins though were low. “Did I just do that?” … ‘Yeezy taught me”. Moving on. On another 90’s sitcom I totally despised Carlton Banks. I wanted to be Will. The Fresh Prince. He always got the girls. With my focus now shifted, my inner nerd took a back seat. I would go on to spend the remainder of my teenage years and a huge chunk of my early twenties in the pursuit of awesomeness. Desperately trying to get jiggy with it. For the girls.

Back to the future. *Hopes into DeLorean*. The year 2012. Over the last year Trivia nights have enjoyed a resurgence in my social life.Its become quite an obsession. The revenge of the nerd. I have come to terms with the harsh reality that I am probably never going to be sent to live with my Aunt and Uncle in Bel-Air.

Alfonso … Still not a Carlton fan. Still very much Team Urkel. In fact a mate recently brought to my attention an episode when we were introduced to Steve Urkel’s alter ego Stefan. The Urk man for the Trivia nights.  Stefan, for the girls. That settles it – embracing the nerd. Bi-winning.

TRIVIA

True or false? Charlie Chaplin once lost a Charlie Chaplin look -a-like contest.

answer

True

Not only did he lose. He  failed to even make the finals. He later told a reporter at the time that he was ” tempted to give lessons in the Chaplin walk, out of pity as well as a desire to see the thing done properly.”

Charlie Chaplin was the King of the silent movie era. By the end of World War 1 he was the most famous actor in the world. His most famous role was that of ‘The Tramp”.

Now that my seem like a trivial story ( pun intended), but there is a lesson in there somewhere. An explanation for the loss is that in look-a-like contests people look for the exaggerated and over the top mimicking of the character.The caricature. Often times in dealing with people in our lives we will lose our own look-a-like  contests. People’s perceptions of us might just be based on caricatures of us they have formed. So when you lose your own look-alike contest, ask yourself… ‘What would Charlie do?’

In this thick fog of my nostalgic rants I am just really looking for myself. So if I ever lose the look-alike contest, I will be ready to give lessons in the “Chaplin walk”. Also I am always looking to testing out material for my writing – like I’m on stage. Why? Because tout, au monde, existe pour aboutir à un livre,.( Because the whole world exists to end up in a book).That’s why.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Nostalgia Junkie

 

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