A Vendor's Dating Life: "Vendors and Hwindis are the last thing girls want to label as boyfriend material"

A friend asked me about my love life last night, being articulate and making no bones about it I sent her an eight-minute voice note. It's not an easy thing to be transparent about relations with the opposite gender as a lot of people are as insecure about that business as about their weight, finances, academics and the like. But for me I made peace with my relationship life's standing, I am not fazed by jeer "uyis'gwadi mampara" because I know if I put myself back in the game these okes will have nothing on me.

One of my biggest fears before selling bananas in early 2019 was losing my stance in the game. I have been on this block since I was 10 years old with my childhood sweetheart, so I have my way with girls and having come up in the suburbs I've always gravitated to and landed a certain calibre of girls. So when I started selling I knew my graph would decline and that the hustle would take a huge toll on my dating life, and I did fear losing chances with a hun I messed with at the time and ultimately foul playing my dating pool altogether but because my motivation to sell wasn't centred on women, all this was just whatever. 

You see vendors & windies are the last things girls wanna label "my boyfriend". It wasn't a worst-case scenario though with me as I really started my hustle with great guns. It was a downgrade but I did it in style and got recognized and commended for it, so that cut me some dating slack and at least enabled the appropriateness of a girl associating with a vendor without any stigma hinged to it because look it's not just any vendor it's Ricky, of which had it not been for my uniqueness in doing things I would've otherwise been written off the market completely, so girls were rather pretty cool with and proud of my choice. However, inevitably, my dating value knocked. It was only cool to just be friends but dating was a bit much, so I found myself in unsuccessful talking stages, some prolonged, until I figured I was no longer relationship worthy, well to the girls I was into, and to those that gave me a chance it was easy to throw me off upon any mistake or inconvenience without room for concession, it's like "date him but don't tolerate him" and as a gent, you absolutely don't want to be on that edge.

Vendors & windies (bus conductors) are notoriously rowdy, witty, rude, badly groomed & just blatantly disrespectful, so becoming one associate you with the stigma it encompasses even if you're not built that way. Just think about it, your sister, daughter or friend tells you she's found a boyfriend, as a friend you'll jump in excitement and, we all know what your first question will be, "What does this lucky guy do?". There's this weight of disappointment in hearing someone say "He's a vendor, he sells bananas across the city, on a scorch cart, and sometimes he delivers on a bike. I really like him." So often times girls feel like they'll be selling themselves short especially if their friend's date guys doing better jobs, it's termed "settling" or "dating down", and the idea of randomly bumping into your boyfriend pushing a cart on the city pavements selling bananas under the baking hot sun and having to embrace him while walking with your friends makes them cringe.

Black Couple holding hands

My unsuccessful talking stages made me realize, understand and accept reasons pertaining to their fallout and that my hustle had a significant bearing on them among other things every human may generally encounter. It's equally mortifying to sell fruits and vegetables in the streets as is to date somebody who actually is, there's this secondhand embarrassment which nobody wants to deal with and in my observation, it's quite an inconvenience to one's personal image dating a vendor because vendors are prone to many bad days, low income and just that dialogue about how your day went, nobody wants to hear about your market stories, a flat tyre, how you ran down a block evading municipals, foodstuff perishing, rude customers etc. It's depressing, you are literally exposed to raw realities and it requires someone mature to accept them with understanding without feeling as though they're being absorbed into some poverty spectrum.

My thing however is, throughout the years I've received life's hardest blows and I've developed this hard-nut attitude to not let anyone get between me and my bread. Money is such a hard thing to come by and I've grown disposed to the belief that our early and mid-twenties aren't a conducive time to pursue a relationship, especially if you haven't established a career or a stable enterprise, something to keep your head above water. I think I'm still too young to commit because it's generally challenging to push a relationship and a grind properly. Girls are needy (support & attention) & demanding, they've got emotions, shit tests and mind games, and they take more than they give. If you don't pay for her hair & nails then why are we dating? The grind also needs a commitment. If you're balancing it all at this age then kudos to you! We've got different strains. Otherwise, I think you've got to be mature, established & had a great deal of personal development to actively balance both effectively without neglecting the other, and leadership skills are such an important aspect in a relationship, often times most guys become good leaders in their thirties, that way you are reliable, trustworthy, a good conflict resolver and you are communicative. Besides all of this, a relationship is generally an indulgence which constantly needs relationship tools to maintain and sustain it: dates, picnics and outings are important settings. My position in the economic spectrum doesn't afford me the luxury to casually buy myself a Steers burger without crippling my immediate expenses, what more for two? And with the advent of blessers and gents who just offer girls money simply out of sheer like and admiration, it's hard for girls to remain loyal to someone who renders them low-budget experiences and doesn't have much going on when they have chances with somebody who actually does. The only challenge for girls lies in being taken seriously, but that doesn't outweigh their need for a neat image regardless, or what's termed "cred". So dating a vendor even if he takes her seriously still inconveniences her image because young people generally date with concerns of improving from and or flexing on an ex, among impressing friends and family. This is really the way times have changed in my opinion, adapt or perish. So my way of adaptive mechanism is focusing on myself without any relationship stress. I only worry about my profit margins and my fitness on the bike as I am a prone cyclist, amongst other things like my position in my family, personal growth and various other interests.

There are people who are inclined to just land a sweet one, they have the motivations that drive them even in the midst of their career or entrepreneurial ventures. In fact, my colleagues tell me about the issues they have with their girls, issues that everyone trying to establish a relationship is prone to face they do adjustments and life moves on. I put a stop to that.

Chances of being in a relationship aren't off limits though, but they're slim especially if you are picky with your women. If I wanted I could make my advances on the girl I always see selling tomatoes and cabbages at the market, which by the standard of me being a vendor is classified as my type. So being a town fella let alone from the suburbs my chances of landing her are very high as, like most vendors in the city, she has a strong rural background. However, our relationship may not be sustainable as we have completely different interests, tastes, perceptions and preferences. I listen to Party Next Door, she listens to Ndolwane or Sungura. I think a woman is a woman by the food she cooks, she thinks a man is a man by how he herds cattle. I like lasagna with mashed potatoes and mushrooms & corianders in my gravy, she thinks a seven-course meal is unnecessary and itshakada (samp) with peanut butter is amazing. These are just examples amongst many of the disparities that may actually ultimately tumble our relationship, rendering it unsustainable.

I've always said that choosing to be a vendor was a paradigm shift for me, it took a toll on a lot of things and my relationship life is one of them. It's as though I have uptown standards working a dead-end job. This is why I have taken it upon myself to work my way up to meet my standards instead of financing them through family coffers. It's easy to degrade from having lunch at Nando's to having pap & mogodu (tripe) kwaMkambo because there's not much associated with it as opposed to dating someone.

It's generally a complex world, this is mine.

Eita daar, I'm Ricky! A chilled out guy, dog lover, cyclist and a banana bread patient. Like yourself I'm taking life's blows as they come, trying to figure out my placement and purpose in this life, luckily I can write the journey out to share with you how ancient encounters were shared and taught about through dusty scrolls, only difference now is we've got tablets. I hope you'll enjoy my writings and mostly draw inspiration off of.

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