Winter Warmers

A few weeks ago at the onset of the Autumn season, a few friends of mine (some of my very best of friends) started making overtures about the need of “winter warmers” as the temperatures begin to drop.  Once acquired, said “winter warmer” would make an appearance in one’s life to fulfil the goal of keeping a brother warm during icy, wintry nights.

Normally I would have shrugged this off; as I believe I did (at least the first set of suggestions that I came across); until a few of my brothers cautioned that the others prepare “exit strategies” for the end of Winter as “winter warmers” tended to cling on to the hopes that their Winter services may be extended into the Spring Season.

A few shared advises amongst the “brotherhood” of how to approach one’s potential “winter warmer” later, and I got quite steamed under my polo-neck: these were men that were friends of mine, colleagues, creatives and men with whom I have broken bread, shared space and travelled with; men who I held in the highest regard and had occasion to exchange intellectual banter with into the early hours of many a morning; yet despite all of that they still harboured an acceptance of and “use” of the notion of “winter warmers”.

I am certain by now you’ve gathered that I speak not of warming devices of the electrical variety, but members of the fairer sex.  That’s just how I see it; this young lady (blessed with girth and amplitude to her frame) is a device considered worthy of sharing a bed during the cold months of winter, and discarding like the blankets that return to their place in our wardrobes come the Spring time.  This young lady could be me! The nerve!

Suffice it to say I was not raised to be a three-month warming device that mazes various beds in the winters of my adult life.  In truth I felt offended by what my brothers say not only because on some level they ceased being “male” to me a long time ago, and had taken on the form of the human; people with whom I can connect on intellectual, emotional, and spiritual levels; but mostly because they felt that it was acceptable to make these statements in my presence. I can only compare it to that white friend you have who one day feels your friendship sanctions the sharing of race jokes with you.  Your level of frustration with this situation is incredible: you didn’t even think such a thing was possible.  “I thought we wuz boyz!”

If you may allow me the freedom to express fellas,

we boyz and err’thang, but it ain’t cool that you can objectify my ilk and think that I’ll still see you the same way.

My only wish upon you is the infinite blessings of little girls to pass on the virtuous teachings of the “winter warmer”.

Writer: Tebogo Serobatse