On a scorching weekday afternoon, a huge crowd has assembled on a street corner, fully engrossed and invested in the featured event. Nope, it’s not another bunch of misguided individuals at a political affair. Instead it is a bunch of secondary school students completely enraptured by a fight between two girls. And what was at the center of this brouhaha?
Amidst the exchange of verbal warfare, which included various references to their mother’s anatomy and father’s endowment, one name remained consistent: Alfred. Apparently at the heart of the mutual hatred was a prepubescent boy. Hopefully. These days the man in question could be well into his thirties or forties. Sadly, I never got to confirm my theory because while the girls made wild attempts to claw at each other and continued their venom filled rant, Alfred was nowhere to be found.
Gee, what a surprise. Two women destroying each other over a man, with the object of their shared affections MIA. It’s a common occurrence that dates all the way back to the good book. Isaiah 4:1 states: ‘And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, we will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name; take thou away our reproach.’
Now seven women fighting over one dude seems like a bit of a stretch but you catch my drift.
The two youngsters made me recall my first up close and personal encounter with this type of imbroglio. While getting ready for a show at secondary school one Saturday morning, a car driven by a young man pulled up with a classmate. Within seconds all hell had broken loose as another classmate ran up to the vehicle, wrenched the passenger side door open, and dragged the girl out on to the gravel filled pavement by her hair, taking her to task for daring to show up with “her mun”. As the drama unfolded, I distinctly remember the “mun” in question not deigning to leave the comfort and safety of the driver’s seat, eventually scooting off to possibly his next, less nutty, conquest.
But my question is why fight over a man that is clearly cheating on both of you? How does the guy always manage to come out of the situation unscathed? It a phenomena glamorized by trashtastic tv talkfests a la Jerry Springer where fighting the other woman is encouraged and even celebrated by the presumably soulless studio audience. Our own local guilty pleasure ‘Lettre la’ has even proven that this type of behaviour hardly causes a ripple on the scandal meter anymore and there are in fact guidelines to avoid such mess.
In response to one letter where a woman was questioning whether her better half was indeed being unfaithful, after he received several nocturnal calls from a mystery woman, one caller stood above all others as the voice of ‘reason’.
“Us outside women need to know our place,” she stated emphatically. “You know you on the side, you call in the day when he is at work. Not at night.”
So ladies, if you remember nothing else from your ‘How to be a Jabal handbook’ or you missed a meeting of the Sidechick Association, keep these words of wisdom close to your heart and act accordingly.
Or if all else fails, take a page from the cheeky dame who called into a request program and selected a sweet little ditty for her rival: “You ain’t woman enough to take my man.”
In these streets, that’s called taking the high road.
Media queen, Oprah Winfrey, has discussed this subject ad nauseum on her now defunct show and has always stressed this simple concept; “Never borrow someone else’s man. If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat on you.”
For the two young girls grappling on the road, who probably haven’t even fully grasped Pythagoras’ theorem, Winfrey’s words would probably go over their heads.
They are currently consumed by their love for the absent Alfred, who is blissfully removed from the line of fire.