So define for me what a snob is? Merriam Webster says, “Someone who tends to criticize, reject, or ignore people who come from a lower social class, have less education, etc.”
Uncle Google’s urban dictionary says, “Anyone who thinks they are better than someone else based upon superficial factors.” Now these are some harsh and quite specific definitions, so clearly somewhere between here and there I have misunderstood what it means to be a snob in the 21st century generation living in ‘Woke South Africa’
I am a fourth generation from my mother’s side who is Swati. I am third generation from my father’s side who is Pedi. Do I speak Swati, my mother tongue? You could talk about me and I would not have the faintest idea. And how is my Sepedi? It’s basic, quite conversational but I understand it very well. In mixed company I can comfortably hold a conversation. The only barrier might be that I am a socially awkward extrovert.
I have had the opportunity to have lived in the township, suburbs and currently on my father’s plot. I still live at home and have no ambitions of moving out right now. I enjoy the solitude of the one neighbour being too far away to hear me host one man Rihanna or Beyoncé sing-a-long concerts. I have become accustomed to my own company in that we don’t have the luxury of an unexpected visitor who was just passing and noticed that we were home. In the same breathe I like being in my grandmother’s home with carpents stained with the a travellers tired footprints. I have a love hate relationship with kids running across the road when they see a car coming. I like seeing childhood happening when they play umgusha, diketo, or skopti – I am reminded of me; scrawny buck teethed and still growing into my forehead.
If this is what we will deem ‘snobbish’ behaviour then I gladly accept the title. But get this right, I appreciate what I am and how my environment has shaped me. Perhaps you have had the opportunity to be more exposed to the black experience in ways that I have not and I applaud you.
When did we regard one experience to be better than another? How is my learned behaviour less black than yours? Essentially what is an authentic black upbringing? Don’t though, shame me for being different – ironically that makes you the snob and not I.
I refuse to apologise for my personal culture. One that is multilingual, fluent or not. One that has close to none of the fundamentals of the Sepedi traditions. One that is faith based and morphes to new intelligence.
I have sat through thirty six hours of unbrushed hair and pyjamas, locked in my bedroom eating only astros and drinking stale wine from my water bottle. Why? Blair Waldorfe. *insert face palm emoji* I know this sounds ridiculous but Gossip Girl grips me with its basic plot of Chuck loves Blair then hates Blair then loves Blair. Pathetic as it may sound this in fact has happened, and this post is tribute to an episode wherein Blair fears that she might be the one that draws out the dark in Charles Bass Jnr.
This made me wonder then about how we say that we surround ourselves with people who defines us, we could just as well say we define those who surround us. So context being Blair’s epiphany shall we hypothesise that like moth to a flame, you can also be the mermaid in the dark of the sea lurring the seamen into the Bermuda triangle? Morbid? I’ll take it down a notch. We are all sugar and spice and all things pheromone. Who is to say that your particular scent is an sealed invitation of red sugars and a spice of best kept secrets.
The real question here is in fact this: Is it possible, even at all that there is a diagnosable condition? One that cause you to purposely reject all forms of real passion and sincere love, deliberately seeking the tastes of bitter wine from a chipped glass that is sure to cut your lip? What are the chances that one can be so broken that they seek out those who will unintentionally validate their brokeness? Can it be said then, that exists a people who have been made an accomplice to breaking a heart by the very keeper?
We are not always aware of the loves we keep. We often hope that they are the truest forms of it. And sometimes, should the stars be aligned they are. I think we are all believers of love, what it looks like, what it should feel like. I have momentarily allowed myself to miss that, watered-down what I believe in.
This is not to say that I no longer advocate love because I do. What we need is not always well dressed or adorably uncoordinated and sprinkled with random gestures of affection. What we need is unexpected, uncontainable, and impeccably punctual – wait for it.
It’s been three days and I’ve typed only to delete the four lines of my brain ramblings. It has ranged from hurt to love to anger to just simple confusion. It has been that type of week, wherein I remember everything all at once and I miss and hate and love it all at once.
Right now I’m sitting in the car listening to Yuna talk about how he remains her favorite thing and I too yearn to one day pen something amazing about you. Eventually I will feel like what Brian was talking about when he said “If you think this is as good as it gets.”
And also I’m sitting here thinking about how impractical it is to completely trust someone else with your most priced possesion – heart – only to never be entirely sure if they know what to do with. We literally play Russian Roulette with our hearts.
See – it’s been a week of silly toss ups between optimistic forevers and the accepting of the wine dinners in my onsie going through an Scandal box set.
Is there a statute of limitations on nursing a broken heart? Does the concept of love at first sight really trully exist? I need to believe that the answer to these two questions is yes. That one day you will not learn to live with the catch in your heartbeat everytime you think of that one time. But that rather after a set period the poltergeist just disappears in the rear view mirror of one’s subconcious memories. That one day you will meet and you will know and you will be forever.
So perhaps my tossing and turning has just been an arrival to this specific place I am in. Where I understand that time does not heal but rather what you do to deal with your hurt, that tends to your wounds.
I don’t think I am ready for love. Excuse my cynicism but allow me to explore my statement.
I have reasoned that love is a form of energy. How else do we explain the heat that kisses your face when receiving a phone call or text from that specific person who’s face has now conjured in your mind? And equally so that deathly desire to disappear into your sheets when your heart has been shattered? The polarities of hot and cold that radar your heartbeat should at least say that love is much much more than bland emotion.
In the twenty even years that I have been alive I cannot truly say that I have learned enough about myself to give it all away to someone else. One can only treasure something they value, should I not know the complete value of me how do I trust you with its safe keeping?
Personally I think my love carries the frequencies that liken light. Given any particular prism I project an array of colours and I am only discovering the palette of my spectrum.
I fall in love all the time with different features of the human being. I am not experimental, I just do not know what my best colour is.
Right now I am in the kindergarten of discovery, enjoying bright and dull and the picture it gives against clean canvas. So how can I honestly say to one person, “I love you”. It would be a tragedy that would disrespect the passions of Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet (probably not the best models for love either)
So indulge me universe. Tease my taste with bright and dull. In due time – perhaps not through trial and error – but surely I will discover my pink in the colour wheel of love.
A while ago I was asked where do I stand on being wooed. I had never really thought about it. I mean I am only twenty even and the whole wooing thing sometimes evades me. I thought about the guys that I liked and considered if they had wooed me. Nope they hadn’t, and maybe that’s okay.
This question, which I answered almost immediately made me realise that I am a simple girl. Being simple is never a bad thing too. So I owned my simplicity and discovered that once you do all else falls in place.
Really it is not about the fanciest things people say to or do for you. It’s the simple things in life we forget like Usher crooned those old years back.
Well to tell you my answer quiet simply I said.
“Like any woman, there is an 1820s girl in me walking topless with a calabash filled with water resting on her head. Hoping that one day that young cow herder from across the fields will one day tell her she has a beautiful smile and if she’ll allow him he will sing to her about them under the stars. In due time he will draw a line on the river bed and ask her to cross over it symbolic of her joining him to be together till forever”
I believe in that simple love that captures you so deeply that you can only catch your breathe many years later. I believe in an impossible love. This might not be realistic and it may also grain against my cynical nature – but who said my cynicism is my all and end all?
With love, Tumishi