After I decided to join the rest of the population and be a relationships' capitalist, the universe came to show me a revelation. I'm taking hard knocks for everyone so that I can relate things to you. Just because I have a big mouth, I suppose. Live by the sword, die by the sword, right?
Now even my mom is on her path to the happily-ever-after.
She's mending things with her beloved Eric. After 10 years of separation. Talk about a change of heart. We are talking about the same guy she called a quiet cat who could catch a mouse with his eyes closed. Her exact words at the time were: "People like him are not to be trusted." As if she had something to hide. And she didn't.
I remember their first meeting like yesterday. My mom and I were doing our monthly stop here for meat, stop there for veggies. It was terrible for a girl learning how to strut her stuff in stilettos when the taxi rank was in Niniva.
Just as we thought our job was done negotiating for a bed we didn't need, in came a lad with the shiniest beard. He was eyeing my mom and it was kind of sickening. I mean everyone will attest to that unnerving feeling whenever a stranger gets the hots for their parent.
As far as I was concerned, my mom was a nun who had to remain that way for as long as I was under her roof.
But Eric, even though he was not Eric Benet, had ideas. He wanted to get down with her and couldn't be bothered that I didn't approve. He followed her sheepishly and with every turn it became clear that sooner or later I would have to find my own crib. She looked my way with blushing cheeks and his way with a shy beam. Hectic.
Before we knew it, Eric became a regular at our house, quietly sipping on his beer and enjoying whatever little movie my sister and I had on television. By day, Eric was the model stepfather who came bearing fruits and meat and by evening he was an eager beaver who worshipped at mom's altar.
They clearly had something in common and I had no means to get my own crib so I figured I'd stick around. What's the point of moping just because your mama is getting some? She didn't mince her words about life beginning at 40. And it was her house, so what could we do?
Eric tried his damnedest to keep her happy, but I know she worried about what my uncles would say. She also cared that we were not really getting used to this new arrangement.
But for all we know, she was thinking that she could doss better because a wise man once said that the heart has a way of lap dancing the mind into imbecilic oblivion.
In the end, the mind gave way to the heart and she followed it. Eric became scarce and although I was missing him (only he could calm her pre-menopausal irrational behaviour) it soon became clear that he had just been another guy who couldn't quite break the code. And so we waited.
Thankfully, we grew up fast, things happened and we flew out of the nest to make our own mistakes. She closed doors to relationships, having a nickname for each of her ex-flames.
There was the Crow. A guy in his 50s who came dangling cheques in her face every week. She didn't want him. "Other guys age like wine and he aged like vinegar," she said. She was right.
There was the pub owner who banked on his beard and went by the name of Ntshebe.
"You need to shave it off," she imposed. "What, shave it off and lose my brand?" We told her she had a problem, that she was too picky and she chose to be alone rather than settle.
Yet that didn't stop her from butting in, telling me Sandile was the guy for me. Sandile had dreadlocks that looked like nails and a dry smile. I didn't think he would be the one for me even if he cut them off and put gloss on his lips.
She told me Steven would make me happy, but I knew I would spend my life wondering if I couldn't have done better. So we stopped comparing notes.
When she found me smooching my ex in my room, at the age of 30-something, she looked at me like a woman who knew too much. And when he eventually shot me in the heart and danced on my clots, you could swear I was talking to a lass on a beach of Fiji. She was lukewarm.
Unbeknown to me, she had decided to work on her own house. She decided to focus her energies on her own well-being and the hat still had Eric's name in it.
She is adamant that she thought long and hard and that Eric is the one. I believe her. I also believe that there was never too much wrong with the other two guys. She just had a change of heart or maybe the mind decided after 10 years of being lap-danced that it was back in charge. I couldn't be happier for them. Those 10 years and all.