Love and Family

Eric Winston

What is love? I get asked that a lot, by the females I chat with. Not because I’m a relationship expert, or a human psychology specialist or something close to understanding human emotions and how they work. But because I’m friendzoned by almost every female I know. Sometimes I suspect I’m friendzoned even by my girlfriend (or we are just too free with each other we talk about anything, or it’s just me who thinks I have a girlfriend). If you are a lady who knows me in real life and you haven’t friendzoned me, you are probably my friend’s girlfriend… and it would be pointless telling me your relationship problems because you know whose side I am on. Bros before foko-jembes, remember? I don’t make the rules!

Besides, if you are my friend’s girlfriend and I’m still friends with either of you, then it’s because I think you are a good match for each other. Please stick by each other. It’s much easier to blackmail my friends if I know their girlfriends. I can’t give you relationship advice because the only relationship advice I give is “If you are unhappy, and you don’t think you’ll ever be happy (again), break up”.

I’m the type of person you’d want to friendzone. I listen, not to reply, but because you need an ear to pour out your sorrows to. Or pretend to listen. Most of the time, I’m also just talking to myself, wondering who we wronged to be punished by Chelsea signing up Bakayoko and then having Conte always play him. That punishment is too heavy for us Chelsea fans. Then when I feel you need a commercial break from your talking, I’ll say something like “You deserve better.” It is a win-win statement. You think I mean your (ex)boyfriend is an asshole who didn’t deserve you. What I think I mean is that we Chelsea fans deserve better. We both go home happy, knowing we deserve better.

Love is nothing but a feeling.

And feelings come and go.

One moment a man wants to share his dreams and fears with his woman while cuddling. The next he just wants to get laid and anything in a skirt would do. That’s why men cheat, and still tell you that they love you.

One moment a woman wants to lay across her man’s chest as they play Candy Crush together on her phone, and later make slow sweet love the entire night and wake up at noon and make brunch naked in the house. The next moment only money turns her on and she goes to the highest bidder (who might happen to be your uncle), or just gives it up to your best friend because… hii kitu si sabuni inaisha. Believe her when she says she loves only you. She really does.

But what is true love?

True love is when strangers become family and help you grow. And even when you part (because you had to, not because one of you was shitty to the other), you still remember them in good ways.

For example, we here at Juniorelders, having nothing better to do with our lives other than writing about it, came up with this blog. We never had any intention of changing the world through our writing (though we will take credit for it if that happens). We simply wrote because we could. And you, internet stranger, kept reading us and helped us grow. We now feel indebted to you and has to come up with something dumb or inspirational, but mostly dumb, every week. That is love. And you are family.

Last week, I changed jobs. From a nation-building taxpayer to a full-time job seeker. My contract with my (former) employer ended, and it was non-renewable. On my last Friday on the job, the department organized a mini-farewell party. With a cake and beautiful farewell speeches. When everyone was done, it was my turn to say something. I stood up, straightened my blazer and said “you people have been family in ways you will never know. Thank you.” And I sat my ass down. That was not all I wanted to say. I had more. But that’s the most I could say without breaking down and crying. The last time I cried in public was when that full-time musician, part-time footballer wasted a penalty that could have gotten the first African country into a World Cup quarter-final. Madapaka that guy. Fuk him.

But I had to cry. I needed closure. So I booked the last night bus to Kisii after work. To see another stranger that had become family (met her when she gatecrashed my birthday party, and since then, she has been one of my favourite people to talk to. Story for another day. Note: she too has friendzoned me). And in the window seat staring out into nothingness, in the darkness with the rain pounding down, I silently cried my heart out. At that moment, I felt love. I felt taken away from my family.

Don’t believe Biology when it tells you that family is only those that you share blood ties with. I stopped believing science when they made sex dolls that moan out your name and squirt (I heard they do, ain’t tried them out) but can’t find a cure for cancer. Science is a joke. It is something you do when you are idle and aren’t creative enough to write or too weak to do sports. Go out and meet strangers and make a new family. And when you do, tell them to read Juniorelders.

Or else we will find you, and remind you to tell them to read Juniorelders.


Ps: The photo used in this article is not downloaded from the internet. It is a photo of a personal friend. Do not steal it, or at least have the decency to ask before you do. Anyway, how sad is your life that you can’t take your own pics of the sunset and have to steal others’?

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