Whenever I lay my hands on a copy of True Love magazine I quickly flip through to “Last Word”, my favourite column in the production, by the ever hilarious & waggish Jackson Biko. Some females I know don’t understand why I love his work seeing as he seeks to casually validate the thoughts, actions, behaviours & desires of the rest of the male persuasion that irk women folk every day. I however, appreciate the alternative POV into the anima of these creatures we can’t seem to live with or without. I mean come on, we can only learn so much about men from other women! Biko tries not to sugar coat his words as he enlightens us gals, which to me results in entertaining and usually mull-worthy reads. I just got done with his latest entry and I just had to make an official response! So here it goes:
Dear Last Word,
You broke my
recovering heart and yet you liberated me. For a brief moment. In the September issue you told me that as a woman I can manage to make a man happy but no matter what impressive amount of effort, ingenuity or heart I put into it, I cannot KEEP him happy. Why? Because as a man, you said, he is inevitably hard wired to get bored of life in Happyville and seek to find something else to enthral him.
After reading through the article my first thought was that we give and men just take then take off! I felt defeated. Demoralized. Disgusted even! Hence the heartbreak. In a matter of moments though, another thought came to mind: the problem isn’t that women cannot satisfy men, it is rather, that men are going to screw up the happiness and satisfaction either way. It was quite an emancipating revelation. I felt that women need not feel inadequate when they fail to mainatin nirvana with their men because it was not their fault. They were not wanting in any way. The blame was entirely men’s. “It’s not you, it’s me” made sense now.
Smiling, I stared at page 96 of True Love again & certain words seemed to pop out. Elusive; loathing ; test , bored , miss, hedonism, step out of character; and learn & reform. I started to gain clarity on what this was all really pointing at and the crystallizing sentence was “Every man in his 30s becomes bored with happiness.” Eureka! This was not about women being unable to keep men happy or men not appreciating happiness. This was about the less explored precursor to the infamous mid-life crisis. The point in their lives where men, owing to personal reasons, try to impulsively defy life’s progression or cope with stress (or whatever other reason) and lash out. This is a point where men feel like life is going too fast towards the slowing down and settling time for them. The point where they are still trying to cling to their 20s: their carefree lives where they could afford to screw up & mess around as they had no serious responsibilities. These men are not bored of happiness. They are scared. They are finally at that point they never thought they would get to and have no idea how to deal. A reality that they thought was years ahead of them. It is all just a futile attempt to clutch on to the life they were trying to improve on in the first place: better job, ideal woman, thinking about a family and the rest.
No human being is so misguided or so cynical as to loath happiness-especially his own. It is all a confusion of sorts that comes with the territory of that age. So, to keep with the theme of self improvement of the September issue of True Love magazine, I want to say to men (yes, you too Biko) Happiness is an end result of self improvement while dissatisfaction is a trigger for it. Do not mix up the two because if you do, you will only lose. Do not put the bright future you always craved on the line for the blurry past that has had it’s chance already. Happiness is timeless 😉