OPINION: Of longboards, fold-up bikes and wedding gifts
Adulting is hard. We work endlessly. Spend sleepless night fretting about how at any moment in time we might find ourselves unemployed and unable to pay our rent or bonds. We mostly move from day to day convincing ourselves that everything will be okay if we just focus on one portion of the elephant at a time, and eat it bit by bit. We do this by drinking copious amounts of coffee and taking a lot of pills to manage our psyche. Remember the days when we could get up in the morning and face the day without being major investors in big pharma?
The duvet is our closest friend. It's warm, it hides us from the world and it doesn't talk back. It demands nothing except to be changed every so often so that we don't break out in scabies. The only reason to surface from its warm enclave is to consume a massive doughnut before going into hiding again and escaping the horrors of our disappointing lives. But sometimes, just sometimes, we have the opportunity to get exactly what we want, enter the wedding registry and one of the few pleasures of adulting.
Who cares about love and having a partner you can talk to? Who will satisfy your endless need to be loved all the live-long day for the rest of your life? Who cares about the fact that your partner makes you laugh harder than you've ever laughed before, that they inspire you, engage you and make you want to choke them out of cute aggression because they are so damn perfect. Who makes you feel like you would just explode into a million hearts, like in a cartoon?
Well, I do. It's kind of cool and the best gift ever, but at the end of the day, I'm not Oprah or Jesus or some other worldly overrated philanthropist or saint with a sordid past who is in fact only human. If you find a love like this, a perfect partner so to speak and if you so choose, you can get married and get all the things. Stop acting like it doesn't matter, it does.
I am in the midst of planning a wedding. I do not want pots and pans or that pair of salt and pepper shakers that are shaped like blob ghosts and look like they're hugging. I don't want a Le Creuset pot. It's wonderfully pretentious, but really, food tastes the same if you cook it in a Hart pot from Shoprite. I definitely do not want that Carrol Boyes nonsense from the Liberace house of crap. Besides being downright ugly, they're so freaking heavy. I don't want to use a forklift every time I dish up some salad.
I want a sponsored trip to an exotic island with a care package that includes a daily allowance, sunblock and vouchers for delicious meals. I can live without the tours and entrance tickets to museums. They are too much work. I prefer staying in and soaking in the culture of a country or city by watching local television and ordering room service while trying to scrape the beach sand off my sticky skin. Really, I want a longboard, a fold-up commuter bicycle and a PlayStation. There, I said it.
My partner is more reasonable and refined. She wants to register for books on Amazon. Admirable. I am ashamed of my more material needs. But I have books. What do you buy the person who has all the books? A bookshelf. Get me that. But make sure it's a really cool mid-century modern piece of furniture. You can't take a bookshelf to the Sea Point prom and look insanely cool though. I want to look insanely cool. I want to ride a fold-up bike for no reason other than that it's so trendy. I want a reason to feel good about my life and myself. I want a reason to get out of bed that isn't restricted to fetching comfort from the kitchen. I want to feel like I am legitimately good at being skilled at something, that I kick ass at wheelies and ollies. I want all the superficial reasons to go out and buy suitable attire for these activities.
Having said all of that, the worst gift by far is soap. Or anything related to hygiene like those baskets filled with Body Shop stuff. Why are you guessing at my choice of suds?
In the meantime, Rhodes is falling, education is expensive, there are more people that need books than longboards, Hlaudi, Trump and other mediocre people are still running for or being given top jobs.
I know. All legitimate concerns and far more important than wedding gifts. But I can't control any of those things. It doesn't matter how much I feel entitled to an opinion, or how many times I tweet about it, or write lengthy Facebook statuses. I am a middle-class citizen like many of you - who this one time is in control of what I can get in this swamp of adulting. Just give me what I want.
_Haji Mohamed Dawjee is employed by Code For Africa at the head office in Cape Town as programme manager for impactAFRICA - the continent's largest fund for digital-driven data storytelling. She is a regular commentator on gender equality, sexuality, culture, race relations and feminism as well as ethics in the South African media environment. Follow her on Twitter: @sageofabsurd _