Not too long ago i shared a list of 10 Things i struggle to get my mind around…
This was quite a varied lists of topics and included such items as pineapple on pizza, litter [special mention to cigarette butts out car windows], people’s confusion with regards to four way stops, recent Adam Sandler movies [bonus cameo by Will Ferrell], the ‘joke’ insult, make-your-best-friend-look-and-act-like-a-tit bachelor party vibes, the difference between adopted children and real children, why it seems so important to everyone else that tbV and i want children [when we don’t], the amount of homelessness in South Africa compared to the amount of golf courses we have [1047 apparently], and the fees that soccer/football players get paid [with honourable mention to movie actors, singers, politicians, CEOs etc etc].
But turns out there are some more things i don’t quite understand [who would’ve thought?] and so here is my list of 10 More Things i Don’t Quite Understand… Which one do you resonate with the most?
Urgh, please stoppit! i know i gave cooked pineapple center stage last time but this one is probably actually worse for me. i could maybe queasy myself through a cooked pineapple if there was something to be polite about, but pickles are a much harder one. STOP PUTTING THEM ON MY BURGER. And possibly even # gasp # worse than raiSINs in this regard cos once a thing has had pickles in the taste is there for life – you remove the pickles and give me the burger and it still tastes disgustingly like pickle aka gerkhin. Please, for the love of food, STOPPIT!
 Hating raiSINS but only in things or out of things.
Now if you have known me for any length of time, there is a huge likelihood that you will know of my hatred of raiSINs. Yes, you may think you hate them, but not as much as me. Oh really? Did you write and record TWO anti-raiSIN songs? [Or notice that the word SIN is very obviously nestled there right in the middle of the word] Or have an evening raiSIN-burning ceremony in a back garden one time? Okay you get it, i lead that race.
i LOVE that Garfield hates them too. And actually a decent amount of other cartoon characters as well, do some research.
And it is not so much raiSINs that i don’t understand – i just hate them. Do you let an apple go black in the sun and then proclaim it the kind of food worth sticking into every dessert? Urgh, you probably would, hey? But where my confusion lies is in the two kinds of people you get who say they hate raiSINs, but… Those people i don’t understand.
“I hate raiSINs, but I can eat them by themselves.”
“I hate raiSINs, but I can eat them in things.”
i have met both types of people on many occasions and i just do. not. get. it. Pick a side. Stop straddling the fence. i’ve even met someone who said they hated raiSINs but could eat them with peanuts. WHAT? Mind blown. Just stoppit.
Oh, and i also started the ‘i hate raiSINs’ group on facebook and if you’re a true believer then you should really join. But none of you “I hate them, but…” people.
 Lateness without alert.
i must admit that i struggle to not be late sometimes. Someone pointed it out as a character trait of an extrovert in a sense of trying to cram as much stuff into the space of time available as possible, which really resonated with me. But it is not cool to be late and i am trying to be better at not being late
But Capetonians [in particular] seem to take it to another level. And my not understandingness here is more along the lines of possessing the knowledge that you are going to be late and doing nothing with it. So being late is still rude and i own that and need to do better. But if i am going to be late i will send a Watapp or drop a text or send out one of my carrier pigeons or something to let the person being lated upon know. Does that make it okay? No, unless you’ve been in a car accident or just helped someone give birth on the pavement, it is still generally not okay. But it makes such a huge difference when you have the courtesy [cos it is just plain and complete rudeness to not] to at least let the person who will be waiting for you know, that they will be waiting.
Some people i know are serial laters and just seem to have absolutely no clue or care at all. i was at the party of a friend where we waited for more than 40 minutes for a booked meal and the people didn’t even pitch up at all [some came really late but some didn’t even show] and gave my friend absolutely no warning or message to say “Go ahead without us.” It feels like absolute rudeness to know you are going to be late for something and not to tell someone.
This is an area many of us can do better on. So lets. And work on the lateness as well.
 Technology Abuse
Last night tbV and i popped into a restaurant for a quick snack after a long day and she drew my attention to the table behind me. Four people and three of them were deeply engrossed in their phones. i don’t get that and both tbV and myself have worked hard at reducing the negative impact that technology has on our relationship, especially at home and in the bedroom. i understand how easy it is for people to get caught up in that stuff but it is important to get to a place where you control technology and it does not control you.
When we have held our Deep Dive Conversation Dinner we have introduced the idea of the Phone Basket [which we have used at other family events as well to good effect] where everyone mutes their phone and sticks it in a basket as they arrive and gets it back when they leave. Intentional focus on the conversation at hand and removing distraction.
i love the idea i heard about of people in a restaurant putting their phones in the middle of the table and the first person who reaches for their phone any time during the meal foots the bill. A few rounds of that and some people might learn. If you are choosing to be with me [like you meet me somewhere for coffee] then be with me. If you have something more important to do or someone else you’d rather chat to or a wrong number you will even give preference to then rather go somewhere else and be with someone else.
 Phone light in the movies aka Technology Abuse II
This could be a whole post in itself. i don’t get to see as many movies as i used to and so it typically is a bit of a special event when it happens. Advert time is okay because get your stuff done. Trailer time and things are starting to get dangerous cos anyone who knows me well knows i proclaim trailer time as the most important time or as important as the movie. But once the movie has started you had better have your phone closed, muted and tucked away in your pocket, because if that thing lights up and i have something throwable [i am not advocating violence – i’m talking soft and bouncy more than likely] it will be aimed at your head and i am not the best shot so think of those sitting two rows behind you!
This makes me really mad. i paid a lot of good money to be in that movie and i assume you did as well so if you would rather be on your phone then save yourself the money and if you don’t want me getting verbally aggressive on you then keep it off and away and for the love of the movie experience make sure you have turned all the bits that make sound off. And if you don’t know how to mute your phone then you don’t qualify for being able to watch movies.
i once had a guy sitting next to me in a movie answer a call from a friend loudly in the movie where he was sitting. It was between Baptist Summer Camps and we were in Kimberley and he was a huge farmer type and it was a Leon Schuster movie so no great loss. But in any other movie just no.
 People who talk or text on their phones while driving
This is a bit of a tricky one cos, being a guilty villain, more so in the past, i completely understand the why of it. But having witnessed accidents and near misses and people on phones driving ridiculously and realising myself the lack of concentration that goes into a phone moment no matter how good you think you are this one should be a no brainer.
Know that if you are caught on your phone anywhere in the vicinity of a peppermint green coloured Hyundai Getz there is a HUGE likelihood that either tbV or myself will let you know that we are not a big fan in a variety of ways that might involve LOUD HOOTING, Angry Fist, Shake of Head or a combination of those and more.
i have really tried to cut it out completely myself. THERE IS NO EXCUSE. It is dangerous and it costs lives. If, in some rare moment, where i deem the need to shoot off this quick text and you catch me, i more than expect and welcome and encourage you to LOUD HOOT, Angry Fist, Shake of Head or a combination of those in my direction. It is not okay. This one freaks me out. Whatever excuses you are giving yourself, STOPPIT STOPPIT STOPPIT. It can wait. It can always wait. And if it can’t then pull over as i often do, send off that quick text and then carefully get back on the road again.
It is just not worth it. Ever. Think of yourself as a potential murderer, cos there is every likelihood. If you do it with a child in your car, that makes you an unfit parent right there.
Wow. That escalated quickly.
 The amount of pee on the floor around public toilets.
Seriously people, or at least guy people, that’s a lot of pee. How about we pretend we’re at your house for a moment. Or your friend’s house. Or a public toilet. It works the same. Aim for the hole.
 People who make their minds up before asking the question.
i enjoy meat, but have also felt uneasy about a lot of what goes into getting meat to my table. Recently i invited a number of my Vegetarian friends to share their stories of why they became Vegetarian and challenged some friends to join us in a week of meat-free-ness as tbV and i were much challenged by the stories we read. i don’t have a problem with people who ask the question [Let me take a look at how meat gets to my table] and then chooses to continue eating meat as much as i do with people who never ask the question. One reason we didn’t ask for so long [and there are still some questions we are probably too afraid to ask right now] was because we feared the answer would mean us having to give up meat, but if the answer was for us to give up meat then we really needed to ask the question and see. As opposed to burying our heads in the sand.
This is just one example – when it comes to conversations about ‘White Privilege’ so many white people have a strong negative reaction before they take the time to really hear what we are talking about [and often have a completely different understanding of the term and idea than the one we are talking about] and it is so confusing for me to see conversations end before they have even begun. Ask the question. And then stand by your answer.
Is there a God? Is Christianity the way to connect with Him? Is religion important or necessary at all? At least ask the question. I can deal with your atheism or agnosticism a lot easier if i know you have gone there. And for many people who are Christian because their parents were or cos you’ve always gone to church, you need to be asking the question too. Believe what you believe because you believe it, not just cos it’s always been there.
 How you can be South African and not know an African language [preferably the predominant one in the area where you live] at least in part.
This is a tough one. i think i’ve known it for like forever but couldn’t say anything cos i was chief guilty party. And still am. BUT am working on changing it as this week tbV and i signed up for Xhosa classes finally. i have also always known enough isiXhosa to get by in the initial “Hi. How are you? My name is… Where are you from?” moments of conversation, but as someone wanting to explore having a voice in the present area of Race and Reconciliation and Unity and Restitution, it is essential that i look to educate myself in this area, at least a little. It is terrifying [fear of failure – what if i don’t ‘get’ it?] and exhilarating all at once. It is worth both the time and money investment. Do it! Check out Xhosafundis.co.za if you are in Cape Town and want to learn. There are many other places too.
 An immediate response to posting this really helpful piece on the #BlackLivesMatter movement:
which was from a person i don’t even know first hand [cos you know, Facebook!] who simply responded with the words:
All Lives Matter.
And then proceeded to argue with me about why she was not completely missing the point by saying that.
In a nutshell, the idea is that all lives do matter. BUT no one is suggesting or has ever suggested really that white lives do not matter. Whereas History is full of ideas, systems and laws that express or work out the idea that black lives do not matter. So when there is a campaign and a movement that rallies itself under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter it is pretty much asking the question, “Can we say that black lives matter as well?” Jumping directly in with a response of All Lives Matter refuses to acknowledge the hurt, racism, onesidedness of the past or to suggest for a moment that maybe it’s good for us to spend some time on raising up black lives to the same level that white lives have been viewed/experienced etc.
When Cecil the lion was killed, no one was holding up signs saying ‘All Animals matter.’ All animals do matter but at that moment, it was not the point.
#BlackLivesMatter [as i see it] is about taking time to listen and really hear and try to understand [as best as it is possible for someone who doesn’t live it] and about being an ally to a group of people whose lives have not mattered as much as white lives in the media or entertainment sphere or politically or just in the day to day.
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i would LOVE to know which of these resonated with you the most [if the last 10 list i did is anything to go by it will be the Pickles] and which one you disagree with and what, after 20 things, you think is still missing in terms of something you don’t understand. Leave your thoughts in the comments section under this post. Thank you.
Also a lot of the points had links to blog posts which describe aspects of the post more deeply so when you have some time go and explore some of those as well.
[To check out my first list of 10 Things i Don’t Understand, click here]