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CITY GIRL: The men in my life and the little roles they play

I have never shied away from writing about the men in my life. I find it absolutely fascinating to write about them.

I am a naturally shy girl and a lot of sentimental thoughts go untold, lying in the depths of my soul. Writing frees me off these feelings of gratitude, affection and often, frustration.

It gets even better because I know most of them are reading this column. Nothing gives me more joy than to deny that I wrote about them – on that lazy Saturday morning – when they wake me up with incessant calls and scream at me, “You wrote about me, you little idiot!”

If you remember, I once wrote about my multiple dating experience you know, where I was dating four men simultaneously. I stopped dating several guys at the same time when I mixed up WhatsApp messages and sent the right guy the wrong message.

Yeah, it gets crazy, when you have four balls in the air (no pun). Juggling men is not my forte. You are at a coffee shop waiting for one, and you have to text the other to tell him you are at your niece’s ‘Parent’s Day’ so that he doesn’t bother you.

Anyway, things got very ugly. Two former childhood friends are now not on talking terms because of me.  We all make mistakes.

Today’s piece though is dedicated to all the men in my life. I am talking about the constant men who are always in my life at any one given time. They change with time and season. Many have filled these spaces and vacated to move on to other things (or other girls). But the positions and roles remain the same.

1.  The one that got away:  He is the man that my parents absolutely loved because he seemed good for me. You know, the man that my father threw hints about now and then, trying to nudge me into dating him, but I didn’t really love him? That guy.

The guy that was always there for me when I run around with cuds who broke my heart and I would run to his shoulder to cry on? The good guy, the one with a decent job and seemed like the perfect husband and father to my children, but I was too blind to see it? Yes, that guy.

He got married last December. And by the time I realised that he could have been the one for me, he had already started dating this nice girl from Kirinyaga who wears long skirts and cooks better than me. Damn! I have tears in my eyes. So I will stop there. All the best man, you know yourself.

2. The friend without benefits: I find the ‘Friends-with-benefits’ arrangement devilish. I mean, why would you just be with someone for ‘that’? Anyway, in my life, I have that one good, loyal guy friend who is my friend without benefits.

That man friend we have been through thick and thin together. Internship. First salaries. First house hunting. That good guy whom everyone thinks we have a thing going on but he is just a good friend. I know ‘he is just a friend’ is a threadbare cliché, but this guy really is just a friend. With a girlfriend, who happens not to be me.

I am okay with that since he is not my type and I not his type anyway. I have seen girlfriends come, give me the evil eye, hate me, get envious and go, leaving me there. That friend who is your regular lunch partner. Yes, that guy friend.

Thanks for being the one I call when I have car problems or need to be picked from the airport. Thanks for being the friend who would leave everything hanging, just for a girl who is just a friend.

3. The bad boy: I have a penchant for men who are not good for me. The one who will never commit. The one who will hurt me, I know it, and I am still in it.Why? You ask? Because I love covert, dangerous, almost fanatical relationships that will get me into trouble.

The ones that come into my life with a tide of euphoria, a rhapsody of illicit romance and blissful utopia that winds into a tragic end. That is my kind of thing. My hamartia. My fatal flaw.Something about forbidden alliances that quickens my heartbeat. A cunning kitten like me thrives on stealthy dalliances.

So I will always have this guy, who I know dad would never approve of. Mother would fast for days if she found out. And it feels so good when I am with him, adrenaline flows through my veins like a gushing river bursting the moral and logical banks within me. But I don’t care. I feel like I am downhill on a bicycle that I cannot control. I love it.

4. The good one: He is good for me but I am not good for him. He ticks all the boxes. He is single. Age appropriate (less than a decade older). Nice job. Visionary. Wants to settle down. Well read. My father would smile with approval when I mention him.

The sad bit is that I am not good for him. He is too normal; bordering boring. He doesn’t make my young blood rush with excitement. He doesn’t push my intellectual boundaries. He is brilliant, but not witty. He is interesting, but not funny.

I am no good for this man because I will hurt him. I will get bored like a child does with a new toy and toss him. If only I could reciprocate his love, before it is too late – and he becomes the one that got away.