What’s Love Got To Do With It?

When I was growing up my mother, who was single at the time, made it her obligation to find a soul mate and a father figure for her beloved son. Being a snazzy “with it” kind of woman she had a premeditated recipe for “Mr Right”. The guy would have to have a decent job with decent pay, a dash of ambition, an indulgent sprinkle of stature, a generous serving of good looks and acceptable doses of charm. The candidates came and went. Some drove Beemers, some drove Volvos. Some were old flames looking to bag the one that got away. Most of them were working on these deals and tenders and were always about to make it big and often they made it sound like they would suddenly be better equipped to love her if they made it big.

I generally paid them no mind, but my mother would ever so often probe to see if I approved of any of these guys. I never put her off any of them and often was indifferent about these knights in shining armour. Somehow when you’re a kid, you see past the bullshit. My mom was shit-hot for her age and they just wanted to have a little fun and move on I thought. The more disappointments my mother went through the less receptive I was to the next guy.  The whole experience left my mom despondent and exhausted from the game eventually. She wasn’t finding the security she was looking for in a man.

Things are hell of a lot more overt these days. Women have simplified this formula and love is being traded as though it were listed on the stock market. There are songs out there that spell it out for us guys. “Asinamali, futhi asinamoto, kodwa sipheth’ iwewe!” (we don’t have money and we don’t have cars, but we’ve got punani). In other words my punani for your wealth, your car, your fame and so on. Women are attaching a value to their sexuality and as such making it a commodity. Your stock will rise and fall as it pleases.

The meat market is a female invention and when guys bite the bait and get away with it we’re persecuted for being heartless bastards. Even when sisters are financially secure in their own right they want a brother to have more than she does, ‘cause hey I need a man I can show off with. I’m not negating the fact that you need a man that will make you feel secure which includes financially as well, but making it a prerequisite for any relationship leaves us brothers feeling like cheque books, what does that make you?

The Bottom line is sisters need to take responsibility for complicating the idea that is love, just as much as we often own up to our own mistakes.

Let’s face it. We’ve gotten used to blaming men for everything. I’m a guy and my immediate instincts are to blame guys for whatever damage is unleashed on the idea of love. But alas I’ve realised that we do the least damage. The only thing about us guys is that we have the ability to take responsibility for our part in the whole mess. Think about it for a while, “I’m sorry my love” is as synonymous with guys as cones are with ice cream. Women would much rather die than accept responsibility for their actions, but guys do it all the time.

“Why would sisters get this idea called love so wrong? What explanation can we fathom to lay the blame on a brother? And why would it be worse today than it’s ever been?” I thought to myself a couple of days ago. So I met up with the beautiful, but sadly suicidal, Anna Leigh to hear her attempts to defend the women on this one. After debating for a good hour it boiled down to one key ingredient, POWER.

More women today believe their sexuality is power and their confidence in this regard is growing by the day. And let’s face it power is just a defence mechanism for fear. Humans only exert our power when we feel threatened or insecure. So sisters are afraid of the real thing. But fear is the enemy of love.

Real Love is a free fall with no care in the world. It swoops you off your feet and carries you wherever it will. Cause that’s the law of the universe my sisters. You don’t always get what you want, but you’ll certainly have what you need. Love is when see into someone’s soul and see yours too. It’s when you know you would be with someone if they lost their job tomorrow or had to downgrade to an UNO ‘cause the bills is getting heavy. Love is about sacrificing yourself for you and man. We are looking for sisters with substance and foresight. There’s nothing practical about love. You simply give in and let the universe serve you. It’s idealistic, but that’s the whole idea. The more you believe in it the bigger it is.

My ex-girlfriend warmed me up to the idea of real love, but I wasn’t listening at the time. I wasn’t ready. Selfish me wanted love to come to me in a certain way, a way I understood, which is silly. My grandmother’s idea of love was clothing and feeding me and for most of the older generation that’s how they express love. It took years to grasp it, I always thought they made me and therefore it’s their obligation to feed and clothe me. If they want to express love they must get me toys, now that’s love. It’s childish and if I were to think that way today then I haven’t grown.

My mother finally found her soul mate and by that time I’d become a rather cynical young man. This guy had no job, lived in a backroom somewhere in the hood and drove this beat down van that looked like it had been through a war or two. We weren’t exactly wealthy either, but mother has always been able to make miracles happen. Enough for the struggle not to show. I remember thinking dead weight. His demeanour was quite and soft-spoken, easily mistakable for a lack of drive and ambition. This guy wasn’t anything like the jet-setting fools who jetted fast, but in circles. They looked like they were going somewhere, but really never went anywhere. That man I now proudly call my father. He didn’t have copious amounts of money to give her, but he became the engine to her soul. His resilience sparked something in her that made her get up and live again. His support kept her going. My mother lit up. She didn’t have a million, but had a real man and I had a father I could genuinely say I respected. They stood together when the chips were down and sadly it seems as people we first need to go through hell and be stripped bare before we see past the illusion. My dad taught my mother humility. The ability to see oneself for who you are. Nothing more and nothing less. Today they bank with the manager directly and money is still inconsequential to their relationship. They still spread themselves thin from time to time and go through a rough patch, but they go through it together and the love remains strong, regardless.

The universe never gave my mother the guy she wanted, but it gave her the man she needed. It gave her substance. It taught her to thrive. Substance is about your principles. If you’re lacking, it will eventually show.

Writer: Dumisani