Kgomotso Matsunyane

Everybody's got the fever

2008-04-24 08:23

Kgomotso Matsunyane

One of the perils of being relatives or friends with writers is that sooner or later, hidden under pseudonym and innuendo, friends' dramas makes for great column fodder. This week, I'm tackling the issue of unrequited love, a guaranteed recipe for serious depression to those affected.

I've been living up to my name and have been of comfort to a friend who is seriously bitten, poor sod. After introducing me to the woman, I myself fell to her bewitching charms and have subsequently become seriously chummy with her, much to my (original) friend's befuddlement.

My verdict? There's nothing worse than loving someone who just does not love you back. That's bad enough, but it's worse when the object of your affection still keeps you close enough to feed their ego off your humiliating puppy dog obsession. I've been at both ends, and I'd say it's significantly preferable to be holding the leash than to be at its opposite end.

I know I'm being flippant and derisive, and my friend is suffering real pain at the hands of this seductive creature, but I'm trying to make a point. In that moment of addiction it feels like you're prospectively missing out on what would be the most important relationship of your life.

Not worth it

In retrospect, it's not lost on me that none of the goats I ever thought I could never live without were ever actually worth the tears, feelings of inadequacy and resulting sleepless nights I spent pining for them. Think about your last biggest romantic pre-occupation who kicked your dented ego to the curb, were they really worth it?

But when you're in that demented, unreasonable "this person is my oxygen" zone, there is very little you wouldn't do to get their attention and love. In fact, you might even sympathise with the Kathy Bates character in the Stephen King horror, Misery and have fantasies of holding your unreciprocated squeeze chained up in the basement, against their will.

What would you do to make someone to fall in love with you? Some inyanga's sell muthi like "beka mina yedwa" (have eyes only for me), and psychics and palm readers alike lure us with the promise of being able to change our love fate.

The idea of a love potion is an ancient one and is as familiar to this continent as it is to every single culture all around the world. When you have "the fever", most of us will go to embarrassing lengths to attempt to get who we think we love.

The afflicted friend quotes another friend for coming up with this gem: "We don't get who we want, we get whoever will have us." Depressing as that may sound, I think it's the truth.

School of love

Another school of thought suggests that in all relationships, one party always loves the other more, and therefore that in love there is always a slight discrepancy in intensity between the parties involved. Zuluboy's father seems to agree with this as he had this pearl of wisdom to share: marry a woman who loves you more than you love her.

Basically, you can get away with almost anything in a relationship if you are with someone who has the fever for you. The problem becomes that when we think we're in love, we have a propensity to abdicate power from our own lives and put it firmly in others' hands, especially if you're the wantee and not the wanter.

As for my whipped friend, the object keeps going hot and cold on him, and every other day he professes categorically: "I'm done, it's over with her. I'm moving on with my life." Only to be in her presence and be reminded of her wiles for him to make a total U-turn and remember why she is the only woman for him.

What can I say, the man is sick, and frankly, better him than me.

  • Kgomotso Matsunyane is a partner at TOM Pictures, an award winning film and TV Company in Jo'burg. She's going on medical leave and column with return on May 22.

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