I thought I was funny. Not the kind of funny that deserves a half hour segment on HBO, but the kind of funny that can draw more chuckles than the regular guy. You know, when I post something on Facebook with what I imagine is a witty caption, I get enough people reacting with that laughing emoji. And on Twitter, same thing. I get a good number of likes on my tweets, and you know on social media, those are the holy grail for reactions. Corporates pay big money for such numbers. Then yesterday while having drinks with a couple of girls from the TL (that is, timeline, for you pensioners), I realized that I am not a hilarious person.
“You are not funny, Magunga,” she said, “Crazy Nairobian is funny. You…for you maybe your face is funny.” OK, she did not exactly say that last part, but she might as well have.
We were sitting inside Cocoa Jambo in Kilimani, having conversations lubricated by bottles of WhiteCap, talking about what happens in the TL. Then these ladies brought up a conversation that we have had more than enough times, but have never quite concluded: women seducing men. In their opinion, they believe that women do hit on men, but we are too clueless to notice it.
There is only one problem, though.
When these girls say that they hit on men, and that men are too blind to see when a woman is trying to get his attention, what they mean is that they will come to your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and like one post – just one! – and then wait for you to notice. And so she will do this every other day, or sometimes, every fortnight, and you as a man, are supposed to realize that she is eyeing you.
If that does not work, now they up their game. They start reacting to everything you say with a laughing emoji. Which brings me to my predicament. I, particularly, was singled out because I do not gitch. I am sleeping in the classroom. And when I think about it, there is seldom anything funny about what I say on Twitter. I post pictures of cocktails, videos of me dancing salsa, and travel photos of Rusinga sunsets – where the sun bleeds as it slides off the sky.
For the longest time, I used to wonder what is hilarious about a margarita. I mean, if you drink more than three, the tequila in it can make you laugh like a tickled hyena, but just a photo of it? Not really. Unless the liquid in your brain has started to curdle.
Now it all makes sense, and I want it to stop making sense, because my ignorance was blissful. It is annoying as it is hurtful, because here I was thinking we left high school in that other decade. That we are grown-ups, and when adults want something, they simply ask for it. And we are not just adults, we are human being adults. The one species on earth that was gifted that rare commodity called intelligence.
We are not baboons or dogs or birds who have to sijui drop hidden clues and perform rituals to attract the opposite sex. How was I supposed to know that someone who likes my tweets every so often, is actually performing a mating dance for me? It does not make it easier that I am an artist; I write, I take pictures, I dance, I create content around alcohol and I travel. A good number of people compliment my work – which is an ego boost, by the way, do not stop – so how do you expect me to sift through and see who amongst these ladies in my replies is actually making an application to have my babies?
I guess they have always been like this, these women. When they were kids, they beat us, pinched us, refused to share their sharpeners with us, and we took it like any rational creature would take such meanness. We thought they hated us. Then we grew up and we were told that they actually liked us, which is why they slapped us on the head and run away. Same way our mothers licked our skins with freshly cut olando canes, and then had the audacity to say, “I am caning you because I love you.”
I never understood it as a child, and I will never understand it as an adult. I am not good at interpreting clues, because I am neither Inspector Gadget nor under the payroll of the DCI unit. I went to law school, and I am a writer. I use words. If you want something, say something. If you want to date me, say it. If you want me to rearrange your internal organs, text it. Do not use emojis. Do not send me a picture of an eggplant and a peach – that will only make me hungry. Do not text me wamlambez? because, I don’t know, wrong decade?
Use your words. I mean, there are men who will prefer being seduced by taking hints and following clues like they are on a treasure hunt. Which, they are, when you think about it. But I am not one of those men, and there are more of us who prefer direct communication. It makes things easier, it does not leave anything to interpretation (because goddamit, even the law is very clear), and it saves a lot of time.
In short, drop pins and pnaties not hints and clues. Just like you, we also just want to go down on our knees – not on the damn Amazing Race.
Oh, and isn’t it funny? The people who will pant their lungs out after making the herculean effort of seducing you by reacting to your post with a laughing emoji, are the very same ones who will come shouting on the TL ati “Dear men, when you come to the DMs, let your Hi be followed by what you want!”
So rich, right?