You know, getting that ‘yes’ from a woman back in the day was considered a precious moment by the menfolk all round. It was the culmination of hard work and a lot of back-and-forth moments. There was real meaning to the word ‘love’ and when you finally got into a relationship with a woman, you invested a lot into it, knowing how hard it was to get her to give in to your overtures. These days things are much different and I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing, but we’ll come back to that later. Back then, chasing a woman was no child’s play, believe me. You had to be relentless in your pursuit, not of a faint heart and know the moments at which to strike. I mean, you could not ask for a couple of minutes of her time while she was in the company of friends, unless you did not mind ukulaxazwa and be told where to get off. I remember in my early high school days, there was this girl I fancied. So much so that I pictured me and her doing things, in the privacy of our space of course. She was a sought-after ‘commodity’, if you happen to catch my drift. And in such cases, you are always careful not to be beaten to her ‘signature’. For, how would you live with yourself, should you see her a permanent feature in your neighbourhood, taking careless strolls with another fellow to the nearby park? Anyway, this girl of my dreams was one to spend sleepless nights over, or at least I thought so. I would park my small frame near the school gate soon after the 14h30 home time, earnestly waiting for her to submit herself. On such occasions I would prefer to walk it alone, so that if I received a hostile reception from the pursued, I would be safe in the knowledge that not many people played spectator to my moment of misery. But, even then, it took me a while to conjure up the confidence to waylay her, more so when she seemed immersed in conversation with friends. To go or not to go, was the decision. When I did finally go, she blocked my advances with all her might. At the first attempt nogal! I was heartbroken. I do see her now and again and we are on good terms, but I sometimes do wonder if she remembers the heartache she caused me. Some girls would tell you straight: ‘Andikufuni’ or ‘You are not my type’, without batting an eyelid. How you digested that was none of their business. I have two friends that always give me a tough time about a girl – also from those high school days – that I courted without success. I used to ask the duo to accompany me on evenings when I had made an appointment to see said girl where she stayed. This was so I have some company, in case foul thoughts permeated her father’s medulla oblongata. But those were rather forgettable trips, for one would come back with tails between one’s legs, much to the amusement of these friends. When I bump them at one Philippi East joint these days, they are quick to remind me: “Our shoes had to regularly go in for repairs because the soles were finished from all the accompanying that yielded no results. Go get us a beer.”All that said, I have noted how easy it is to get that ‘yes’ nowadays. You do not even need to make much of an effort. You meet her at one of these fun establishments, exchange numbers, next thing you’re calling her and hitting it off. The perception is that girls have become cheaper; that peer pressure is at play and there is desperation to be in a relationship. How true? Or do we put the blame on the changing of the times?Not that I am complaining, though. I am a guy, after all.