By Janine Milliken
My bipolar is a bit out of sync right now. I am feeling like the Madhatter at his tea party, while singing ‘a very happy unbirthday to you to me, to you.’ Also not forgetting the Jungle Book where all we need are the bare necessities and also Madagascar where everyone is raining on your parade. Just thought I would put that there, so many of you readers will know that I have watched those cartoons not just once, not just twice but at least a hundred times – and then some.
I was reminiscing about our holidays in Durban, back in the day Zimbabweans had money for that. Right now all I have money for is food and we counting every penny as it walks out the door.
We used to own a timeshare close to Umhlanga – yes call us snobs! Well the mighty have fallen as we have had to sell the timeshare just so we have money for groceries.
I used to get in the sea with my nephews, as Aunty is the fun one and she does things like that and I love making memories with my nephews. Unfortunately for my nephews, Aunty is also a mad bimbo lady. I spoke to everyone in the sea that was close to me. I got dumped so many times from the huge waves that my whole costume was filled with sand and it looked like I had pooped in my brooks! I had to walk out the sea with an enormous lump in the lining of my costume, stuck between my legs and try and do a ladylike walk out the sea. At this time my nephews were not teenagers and rather than be embarrassed they thought it was hilarious, until it happened to them.
I remember looking up the one time and I just saw 3 pairs of feet sticking out the wave. They received no sympathy from me as I thought it was too funny and I laughed so hard tears were running down my face. However, karma came back to me that day. I was standing with an old man and this wave pushed me into the floor of the sea. I quickly found my footing and shot up out of the water. I then started talking to this man and telling him how bad the water is today and the current is very strong. The man talked back to me, but was not talkative and moved away. I turned to my oldest nephew and carried on the conversation with him. In sign language my nephew points to my breasts with a grimace on his face. I looked down and I had lost the entire top of my bikini. I was wondering if I should pretend to drown so the lifeguards could rescue me with a towel or if I should run to my towel on the other side of the beach. Well, I think you know which one I did. I got out the sea and ran to my towel. Swimming over for that day, talk of the town for a week.
The next day, hoping everyone had forgotten what I looked like, I changed my costume and my hair colour and went back into the sea. As soon as I entered, a huge wave knocked me over. I was unable to get out of the sea and actually had to crawl out because of the current. My nephews scattered and left me crawling to my towel. My family have pictures to prove it, rather than helping me, they thought it was funnier if they taped it.
We were in Durban for 3 weeks so I could not sit at the flat and hide from the world. The next day at the beach, I decided to wear a granny costume with a straw hat and sunglasses on, after all there may be paparazzi there now and would know this demented Aunty was in town. On this day, of all days, the lifeguard station was full of hot, athletic, 30 year old lifeguards. In my mind, I thought maybe I should pretend to drown this time and see who rescues me. I was so tempted to do this but thought better of it because I might be banned from the beach for being an old granny groping young men. Headlines would be ‘Old granny keeps misplacing her costume while swimming and groped all the lifeguards. Court date set for ( ) for sexual harassment.
All my dramas at the sea were getting a bit too much for my family and they almost had me on a leash just so they would know where I was.
Now the crazy behavior did not stop there. I went into the sea, in a full costume, everything where it should be and wrapped up like a mummy. My dad was the first one to notice me walking, in the sea, in the wrong direction. My brain had decided to have a seizure and now I was wondering off into the sea, unsupervised. I was this lone figure in the distance. My dad ran to the shore line and was calling for me, but I did not hear a word as I was in my own little world. My dad then called my nephews and shouted, ‘get aunty out the sea.’ So aunty was pulled from the sea and taken back to the flat for further inspection. We discovered I had had a seizure (thankfully not the grand mal one) and I had wandered off to nowhere, causing chaos behind me.
At this stage my nephews are quite sick of me. Sick of babysitting me in the sea and I was told to sit on my towel until I got further instructions from the family. They were now worn out and told me it would have been easier looking after a 2 year old than me. They are now suggesting that next time we go on holiday, I take a babysitter for me, and me only. Babysitter will have to know how to swim and help me when my costume decides to go AWOL, also stop me from buying shoes, jeans, shoes and did I mention jeans?
When we did go shopping to Gateway mall, my nephews would wait outside the fitting room and I would have to show them the item of clothing. This was a very painful exercise because everything I tried on was either too short, too revealing, too young or ‘don’t even think it.’ Which may be why I have resorted to online shopping and just pray no-one is here when my package arrives. A comment from the youngest nephew was, ‘Aunty please just accept you are 40 years old now.’’
While at the casino the one day, I saw a gentleman that I knew. I could not remember where I knew him from, or his name, but I did know that I knew him. When he looked at me, I thought I better say ‘hello’ to him and not be rude. This gentleman and I had a long conversations, I asked him how his kids were and his wife (I didn’t know if he had kids or a wife as I still did not know where I knew him from.) When I had nothing more to say, I said ‘ok then I better go, thanks for the chat and hopefully see you soon.’ When I turned around my whole family, all 9 of them were standing in shocked silence with their mouths wide open except for my one nephew who was under the table with total embarrassment. I said to them, ‘sorry I could not introduce you, I could not remember his name and do not know where I know him from.’ My dad then says, ‘Janine that is Brett Lee from the Australian Cricket team.’ My first thought was that I looked like a dug up tramp who’s drug deal had gone wrong. I sat on the edge of my seat for the rest of the night as I did not know if I was going to be put into an interrogation room, handcuffed to the table, then taken to the police and finally ending up at the looney bin. My mother also let me walk out the flat looking like a tramp and so I will just tell everyone now that my mother dresses me!
On this very same holiday we ended up at the water world at Ushaka. I had to go on every ride with my nephews because I am an adrenalin junkie and I love making memories with my nephews. We arrived at the bottom of one slide, I got up and noticed the bottom half of my bikini was missing. Grabbing a big black tube I put it round me and ran to my towel. There are photos to prove exactly where I lost the bottom of my bikini and it is still a hilarious story for my family, however it remains a mystery to me that none of them rescued the bottom of my bikini. I was now running out of bikinis.
I must tell you that this madness runs in the family. My mom was on the lazy ride, relaxing on her tube. As she rounded the corner, two statue elephants sprayed water on her. My mom screamed and screamed. The lifeguard jumped in the water, walked in 2 feet of water to my mom and rescued her off her tube and they both walked back to the safety of the grass. Thank goodness I was not present for that heroic rescue and dangerous rescue. Imagine the lifeguard retelling the story. ‘ Hey everyone, I rescued someone today. I walked up to her, got her out her tube and made her walk to dry land. ‘
In Umhlanga, I locked the front door without knowing my mom was on the balcony. ( Only I did kind of know she was there). A monkey jumped onto our balcony and touched my mom’s leg. She screamed and tried to run inside. The door was locked and she ran into the glass (not serious). My dad and I could not help her as we were in hysterics now, on the floor rolling with laughter. They say revenge is sweet and she got her revenge on me. One morning a monkey came and sat on me, while I was sleeping. Thinking it was one of my family squashing me I muttered something, opened my eyes and then shouted ‘oh sh**, help me.’ My mom immediately got up ( I thought what brilliant mother protection instincts she has), she ran to her bedroom door, closed her bedroom door, locked it and went back to sleep.
My sister and her family were in the flat next to us. My mom, dad and I in the one flat and my sister, husband and 3 boys in the other flat. Every morning at 5am I would go sit on the loo and sing. Eventually I heard my brother-in-law shouting ‘shut the f*** up’. I got such a fright as I thought it was a ghost only to find out my extraction fan was connected to his bedroom. So of course, you know what I did for the rest of the holiday. I sang into the pipe every morning.
I was colouring my nephews hair when something fell out the sky and landed on both of us. In fact not something, a whole herd/group of them. I screamed and ran inside, locking him out. My normal trick apparently. I then had another look and there were crabs all over our balcony. They had escaped from the balcony above and were making a run for freedom. I went to the room above us and said ‘I have crabs and I think they yours? Do you want them back?’