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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Eish to marry young...

I remember the days when I used to revel at the very idea of getting all glammed up and hitting the town with my girls. My room in dissarray with dresses and leggings strewn on the floor, testifying to my indecision. Stilleto heels, expensive perfume in the air, Mac make-up and clutch bags in tow. A real Sex and the City type of existence. Ah, the good old days.

Since I got married three years ago, I've noticed a very worrying trend. It seems that most of my friendships have changed. Obviously my friendships with guys would change, that was to be expected. Unfortunately I'm talking about my girl friends; some of whom I have known for many years. In fact now that I think about it, my best friend and I started to seemingly speak two different languages pretty much the minute the ink dried on my marriage certificate, and the more I tried to reach out to her- the more I seemed to lose her. It broke my heart. Sadly this is not the only friendship that has suffered a similar fate. I've wrestled with this for a while now, but mostly I think I have been in denial about it.

As the party invites dwindled over the years, so did the impromptu 'lets meet for coffee' type requests. I get it though, or at least I think I do. People who are not married think that the minute you get married, your life needs to change. Yes, on a personal level a lot of changes occur- the main one being the fact that you now have to adjust your thinking to include 'us' not just 'me' anymore. The truth is, making the decison to get married is in itself a big enough adjustment in your life, the last thing you need is for everything, and your friends to suddenly seem foreign too.

Another thing is that my friends assume that I am not available to come out with them anymore. So whenever plans are being made to either go out or to go away for those awesome 'girls-only' weekends, my invite seems to always get lost in the mail. Then they have the gall to say - "Oh Sal, how we wish you were there" and my answer is always the same- I would have loved to have been there, had I known about it.

I must confess, my poor husband is sick to death of me moaning about how much i miss my girls, so much so, that at every turn, he practically pushes me out of the door to go and socialise with my 'friends'. So I guess you could say that I often find that I'm all dressed up with no where to go.

Have I changed? Are my friends just assuming that because I got married, it means I have changed? A lot of people say I should just start to hang out  with other other married peeps. The thing with getting married young is that most of the people you know and hang out with, aren't married and herein lies the dilemma. Seeing as most of the married people I know are older than my husband and I, we dont connect with them as much as we would with our peers because our peers know our struggles and understand where we are at as individuals.

Okay, okay, enough moaning. Here is a friendly plea to all my favourite girls... Before I was someone's wife, I was just simple old me. I still have the same dreams, fears and idiosyncracies. I still have a crazy laugh, a big appetite and the same set of shoulders to cry on. The truth is; the reason that you think I am not there anymore- is not because I moved, it is actually because you have.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Agony aunt Sal- "who will love the outcast?"

Dear Sal

"Most people are social outcasts. Me, I'm an outcast from my family. I just don't feel accepted for who I am. I can't speak my mind because it will offend them and I'll be accused of many things.

I feel so alone and lost. I don't really know where I belong. I don't feel loved and often have to hide my true self. I'm just misunderstood."

Your email made me so sad when I read it. I don’t know how to answer your question without bringing faith and God’s love into the equation. I will say this though, don’t put yourself down. The more you put yourself down, the more you suppress God’s love in your life. You are wonderfully and fearfully made, so you will never be alone. You are accepted in the beloved. You are an ambassador, you are a new creation, and God accepts you just as you are.
I used to feel the same way you are feeling when I was younger. I felt like my family didn’t understand me, I even entertained the idea of rebellion against the system that my parents were trying to run. Thankfully I didn’t stray too far, I fear that I would have lived to regret it. We tend to make bad, sometimes dangerous, decisions when we are feeling down on ourselves. Don’t go down that road.

You don’t have to prove anything about yourself to anyone- not even to your family; you don’t have to justify who you are to anyone else. DO YOU. You were created an original, God doesn’t make any duplicates, so stop stressing about not fitting in with you family, that’s not your job, or your calling.

You may not feel loved, but believe me- you are. Ever thought that maybe your family doesn’t know how to show you that they love you, because they feel shut out by you? Sometimes when we don’t feel loved, it’s really because we do not love ourselves, and thus view the world from that point of view.

Keep your head up!  

Agony aunt Sal- "Should I stay with him?"

I think I am going to need a new blog just for the Agony Aunt Sal section. I am getting a lot of questions. Hey, don’t get me wrong; I am not complaining at all. I am humbled that so many of you would trust me with some of your personal issues. We all need someone to listen to us every now and then, even if it’s someone who doesn’t know us personally. Thank you for letting me posts them on the blog- you never know who else may just be going through the same thing as you. A problem shared, is a problem halved…isn’t that what those in the know say?

(For obvious reasons, I do not mention any names in my posts) 
I'm in a relationshp 4 9yrs nw, I luv him a lot n he says he luvs me bt his actions says otherwise, he's not there emotionaly n physically while I'm always available 4him anyday,he's self employd n says he cnt afford 2take a day off BUT he'll drop evrythng &cancel all his appointment 2help out a friend, I hv 2deal wit my problms by myself. I talkd 2him abt balance bt he's so ignorant,Is it bcoz we've been datin 4such a long tym?I thought abt leavin him bt I'm scared of being alone, I'm scared I won't luv again,he's de only guy I've eva know,he was &is my 1st,my friends cal me old fashiond coz I'm borin indoor kind a girl while their busy double datin, playin games &is Not who I am or how I was raised, don't know what 2do I'm so confused. Pls help Aunt Sal...

It sounds to me like you are not in a very healthy relationship. That’s the harsh truth. You seem to be giving too much of yourself and receiving too little in return. I have often noticed that so many women are willing to martyr themselves in a relationship, even if it is not a relationship that makes them happy. Don’t be content with accepting less than the best.
“People are going to treat you according to the value you place on yourself.” You have allowed him to treat you like this for too long, he doesn’t think you will ever leave, so he has no reason to change his selfish ways.

Nine years is a long time to be in a relationship with someone, so I can really understand your apprehension when it comes to moving on. I have to ask you though, what are you doing staying with a man who firstly, hasn’t at least asked you to marry him after 9 years? Who secondly, still drops you for his friends? And who thirdly, doesn’t have your back the way you’ve got his? You have imprisoned yourself in your mind. If the relationship is still not making you happy, and you have known this man for nine years now, what do you think more time is going to change? Sometimes when you have been with one person for a long time, you stop making an effort with that person and you get so used to having them around that you forget that you still need to show them that you love them in word and in deed.

You are a beautiful woman. You are certainly not boring just because you happen to commit to a relationship and you don’t change men like people change nail polish. That is something to be proud of.

Love yourself enough to not stay with someone out of habit, or out of fear that you will not find someone else to love. I know starting another relationship can be daunting, but staying in a bad one just to avoid starting over, isn’t ever going to make you happy in the way that you deserve to be. It is time to take the bull by the horns; make him understand that you are not happy to just accept him taking you for granted anymore. If he isn’t going to make you a priority in his life, and let his friends know it too- then you need to make the very serious decision of possibly moving on.

One love...
Follow me: @salaminaM, salamina mosese on Facebook

Friday, 14 October 2011

WannabeTV stars- help is here...!

I think one of the most common questions I get asked by fans and friends alike is, "How can one get on TV?" So I thought why not blog and an official answer and see how many people it may just help. What can I say? I aim to please.

Not everyone can be discovered by an agent while throwing a tantrum at the bank ( like how it is rumoured to have happened for Charlize Theron), nor can we all be lucky enough to be spotted by a world famous photographer while buying fruits in a market (like it happens for so many supermodels). Some people will just have to be happy with taking the bull by the horns and doing the neccesary research themselves.

Step 1: This is not an exact science, it may work out for you and it may not. I always say the best and probably the easiest way is to leave to the professionals what should be left to the professionals, in other words, join an agency. An agent has contacts in the industry that you will not have starting out. They also know where and when auditions are taking place. Furthermore, a good agent will only send you for jobs that you are suited for. The briefs are sometimes very specific, for example: (looking for a beautiful, african girl, preferably with natural hair: a true african beauty.) <---- in this case, if you have blonde hair and a weave up to your butt, you know you don't fit the brief, so don't go- it will be a waste of your time.

Different agencies work in different ways, some will not ask for payment up front, but I have heard of some that do. Others will ask you to pay for professional photos before they can start sending you for castings and some take the photos themselves. Here are some good agencies for you to google and find out about:
- Gaenor Artiste Management (I am here!)
- Artiste Connexion
- Contractors
- MLA (Terry Pheto's agent)
- Characters
- Stark Raving Management
- Jaffit Management
- Thespians
-Full Circle Models

There really are so many, and not all of them work for everyone. You could also google acting agencies in S.A and see which speak to you. Please becareful of fly-by-night agencies that will demand large sums of money to get you on their books, this is not really a normal practice in the industry. You need to also keep in mind that joining an agency is not a guarantee that TV work will follow.

Step 2: Do your research!  Some people who are currently on TV didn't need to study anything TV-related to get there (like myself), but that is not to say that it wouldn't be beneficial to get some practical and theoretical knowledge to help you along. It is not always a prerequisite, but some agencies only take those who have experience or who have studied drama or taken other TV courses. So do your research. some sites to check out are: www.cityvarsity.co.za. or look up AFDA (It is a little pricey but it is a good school). There is also the National School of Arts to consider (If you are still of a school-going age) www.artschool.co.za.
There are also veteran actors and performers such as Zia Garfield and Fiona Ramsey who give classes privately. 

Step 3: Photos. A good head shot may be all it takes to get you into the door, so organise to have some really nice pictures taken of you.This will be your excuse to feel like a model for a day. Have 2 or three different photos, pretty-fy yourself and have a change of clothes.This will give the person looking at your photos, more to work with. Make sure you present yourself in your best possible way. People usually forget a name, but they do not readily forget a face.

Hope this helps. Good luck and hope to see you on tv soon. You can all thank me in your Oscar speeches! *wink*

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Agony aunt Sal- "To move or not to move?"

Your Agony Aunt Sal is back in the building. If you read one of my previous posts (Titled: Agony Aunt Sal: “Where have all the good men gone?”)  You will remember that I asked you to send me life/love/relationship questions and I would try to see if I could help out in any way. Well, my advice column segment seems to be taking off because I did get some questions, this was one of them:

Hi Aunt Sally
I know u have your own life and issues to deal with but I need someone's help who isn't involved.
Q: I've been dating a man for almost a year now and I do love him just not crazy in love with him, we have spoken about marriage and all but I'm not sure if his the name I'm willing to spend the rest of my life with. His a great man and would do anything for me as his currently doing now, my biggest problem is his over 10 years older then me and another thing we are not friends which means I can't talk to him about everything.
My biggest problem now is he just got an offer to head off a new branch in Zimbabwe and he wants me to come along with him, he told them that they must offer me a position as well or his not leaving and his willing to pay lobola before we go. I love him for putting us first and it would be a good career move for both of us but I'm just not sure about moving across country and things don't work out between us. What will happen then? Will I still have a job or will I have to come back home and start over? Please think about it and tell me what u would do if u were me as I'm really confused.

A: When I read this, my first instinct was to type out a response immediately, because it’s so easy to just churn out something clich├ęd to a question like this. So I went against that first instinct and decided to really give this some thought. I even had to consult my book of quotes. *Taking a deep breath*.

I can only advice based on what my own truth is. Perhaps you’ll find that I can give you a different point of view or, maybe just echo what everyone else has said to you already. So in reading this, please forgive me if you find that I say what you don’t want to hear, or if after all of this you find that I have left you more confused than you were before.

There are two things I picked out of your email that really stood out for me; 1. You are not crazy in love with him and 2. You are not friends; you can’t talk to him about everything. When it comes to making the decision to marry someone, be sure that you know without a shadow of a doubt that you are madly in love with that person. Marriage is hard enough when you are with someone that you are crazy about, I am afraid that if that isn’t your starting point, you may have to navigate your way through some difficult challenges in the future. (Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can't live without- James C. Dobson)

Look, don’t get me wrong, marriage is not always red roses and wine, but when all of that romance is gone, what remains should be friendship, because that is what will keep you going until you can get that spark back into the relationship. Another thing that you need to consider before you move is that when you are moving to another country where you don’t know anyone else, the person that you are moving there with or moving there for, will be the only person you can rely on for a while, and if you can’t talk to them about your fears, regrets, doubts, hopes and aspirations, then you are going to find yourself very lonely and really missing your friends and missing home.

With regards to your work and career aspirations- it’s difficult for me to advice you on what to do without knowing what your current work status is. Are you working at the moment? Do you like what you do? Are you financially secure? Does he provide for you financially? The reason I am asking these questions is because they will also influence the decision that you need to make. I will say though, I think it is really sweet that he doesn’t want to move if the company that offered him the job doesn’t create a post for you too. But on the flip side one can also say, it would be a bit like putting all your eggs in one basket if you accept that offer, because in the long run this may prove problematic for you and for your relationship. I am really a fan of couples doing things together, however working together, staying together, socializing together, may mean that you lose yourself in the relationship and end up losing the very essence of who you are. (The person he happens to have fallen in love with in the first place)

I know I have really said a lot, I tried to give you as well rounded an answer as possible. Holla back if you need me to expand on anything further. Best of luck!!

One love, Aunt Sal

(Twitter: @salaminaM, Facebook: Salamina Mosese, sallygatez@gmail.com) 

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The paradox of our time...George Carlin

I had the pleasure of coming across this message by George Carlin. It touched me so much that I thought I should share it. There are some things that are so succintly put ,and so beautifully written that you really wish you had written them yourself. I didn't write this myself, so I did the next best thing.

The Paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgement, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possesions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love seldom, and hate too often.

We have learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but we have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outter space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are the days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember; spend time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there anymore.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

I hope this blessed you, as much as it blessed me. It gave me a lot to think about, but mostly it gave me a lot to re- consider.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Social Network- Friend or Foe?

The ever increasing fame or infamy of social networking seems destined to grab more headlines than the ousting of an African leader or even the untimely passing of a pop starlet. The question I have often asked myself is whether all this attention lavished on the ‘notorious’ social networks is justified or warranted, or is it perhaps just another blame-shift attempt on the part of technology sceptics?
Some new age thinkers, also known as bloggers, credit or rather blame (depending on which side of the political pie you fall) the uprisings that we witnessed in Egypt on the power of social networking. It is alleged that Facebook and Twitter were effectively used to incite enthusiasm and drum up support for the rebel cause. Facebook was used to mobilize the troops and once that was done, all the chips just fell into place. The London riots followed and once again facebookers are said to have taken to the streets and then boasted about their exploits to garner more support for their looting and rioting.

I’m sure we have all seen how quickly news spreads on Twitter. All one needs to do is read something of interest then retweet it to their followers, and then their follower’s followers can do the same. Before one has even had the chance to turn on the TV to hear titbits about the latest drug overdose story or to hear about the sacking of a well known soccer star, you’ll find that the news has already sent thousands of mobile phones into overdrive. Such is the power and influence of this platform.

The irony of all this negative press that Facebook and Twitter seem to receive is the fact that when one flips the coin, you will find that these very social networks are being utilised by big brands, celebrities and even news networks to increase their reach. One cannot mistake the power of social networking, neither should it be underestimated. Many viral campaigns have been launched to great success on both Twitter and Facebook, and many careers in the entertainment industry have been revived thanks to some well placed comments, tweets or status updates. Mind you, we have also of course been privy to a fair share of celebrity melt-downs and twitter wars over who has how many millions in their bank account or who wore what dress the best.

Is it all just mass hysteria or is there enough evidence exhibited here to warrant that social networking has its day in court? Perhaps it goes without saying that, Love them or hate them, hail them or trash them, it is clear that the ‘social network’ has gripped their attention, has consumed our lives and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. Friend or foe? The jury is still out on this one, so you be the judge.

Excuse me; please may I borrow your helper?

I used to fantasize about a domestic angel, dressed in a pretty pink uniform with big pockets filled with sweets and treats just for me. She would sing happily as she swayed her ample hips to an imaginary beat, while vacuuming room after room in our big family home. In my fantasy her name was Sophie and she loved nothing more than to wait on me hand and foot. Of course this never quite happened. Not only was our family home never quite as big as it was in my dreams, but ‘Sophie’ also never had to wait on me hand and foot, and she certainly didn’t spoil me rotten with sugary treats.

Is it just me or does it seem that white folk are just luckier than black people when it comes to finding the perfect domestic worker? This is something that has intrigued me for a while. Intrigue with a little bit of disdain of course.

Growing up I remember going to my white friend’s homes, where domestic bliss was usually accompanied by the loyal service of their Maria; the wonderful helper that happened to have been working for the family since my friend’s brother was born. This I tell you was no mean feat, especially considering that he was at the time almost finished with big school.

My family on the other hand went through about six helpers before my parents finally gave up. I can confirm that that this was rather unpleasant. I wondered for a long time why they always seemed to leave, I mean after all they were neither underpaid nor over worked. On the contrary actually, my parents being very strict and traditional didn’t believe that getting a helper meant that our days of domestic chores came to an end. So basically our helpers only really worked for my parents. They were so adamant about this, that I remember my parents often asking our ‘Sophie’ whether we ever asked her to help us with our chores, and if so, they were to be notified immediately.

Of course kids being kids, we caught on quickly that if we wanted things to be done by our ‘Sophie’ we were going to have to make it worth her while. So my siblings and I would have weekly meetings to decide whose pocket money went to which chores each week. This didn’t last very long. As soon as our helper realised that she was never going to get rich off our measly pocket money on the side, our ‘domestic bliss’ ended abruptly.
So why then did we never quite find a helper that stayed for our entire childhood? I started to think that perhaps it’s because they became too familiar with our family, so much so that they seemed to forget that they had come there to work. At my friend’s house Maria never got to eat with the family or their visitors, she stayed outside and rarely ate the same food they ate. Furthermore, she wore a uniform and always referred to the Mr and Mrs of the house as Sir and Madam. Maria even seemed to have a healthy level of ‘fear’ for my friend, this I found very strange, and especially considering that we were only 8 years old.

Ubuntu meant that in our home, all our helpers got to live inside the house with us. They ate what we ate, when we ate it. They got to watch TV with the whole family and even got whole weekends off, because as my parents often pointed out- since we didn’t have any homework to do over the weekend, there was no need for us to get help around the house either.

I had to conclude that either my parents really didn’t understand that our ‘Sophie’ was here to work for us, and as such in treating her like she was an aunt that happened to be visiting us, they spoilt her, or we really just were not looking for our Sophies in the right place and in my mind the right place meant the place where my white friends found their ‘Maria’, the type that would stay with us indefinitely. So since my parents have long thrown in the towel, I decided to pick it up and continue the search for my fantasy helper. I am just going to go about it quite differently. It is simple. To all my white friends I have just one request; please may I borrow your helper?

Agony aunt Sal- "Where have all the good men gone?"

My friends often jokingly refer to me as their 'Agony aunt' because of how often I get asked to give advice on relationships. I guess once you are married people automatically think that it makes you an expert on all things love-related, or it could just be that I am getting particularly good at looking like i have got it together.(*wink*) Well, whatever their reasons are, I really do like wrapping my head around particularly tricky relationship matters.

Which brings me to the reason for writing this particular post. Not so long ago someone asked me, where all the good men have gone? She complained to me that she just can't seem to find one anywhere! Where are some good places where one can meet stable, good men?

So I gave it some thought;There are definately good men out there; it is not just a rumour. It is what defines a good man that varies from person to person. To some women a good man is one who provides for them and makes them feel financially secure. For some it is a man who spends time with them, whenever they want, and for others it is a man who does all these things and more.

In terms of your question about where are the places to meet good men? Well my first question to you would be where have you been looking? I have found that there are no set dos and don’ts when it comes to matters of the heart. Some things work for others but they may not necessarily work for you. Any place can be a place where you can meet a stable, good man. I have often heard some people say that you shouldn’t fall for a man that you meet in a nightclub. But honestly speaking, just because you happen to meet a man you like in a church, it doesn’t automatically mean that he is a good man and it does not mean that he will never hurt you or lie to you. It all still depends on the type of person he is.

Sometimes we go out of our way trying to find a good man, only to find that what we have been searching for has been right there beside us all along. A lot of the time you find that we are chasing the ideal men we see on TV and in the movies, men who buy their TV girlfriends flowers, cards and candy everyday; men who always have time on their hands, and who can just plan impromptu tropical island holidays for two at the drop of a hat. These things sound heavenly, but are not always realistic. Perhaps you need to start asking yourself whether you have not created such high standards for the type of man that you want that now almost every man that you meet can’t live up to your expectations.

Need some sound advice? drop me an email- sallygatez@gmail.com. who knows? I may just do this regularly.

Agony aunt Sal signing out. :-)