I keep getting these random calls from strangers seeking counselling of sorts. This is over a year since I went on public TV, and radio to share my story.
Through those phone calls have emerged the most memorable friendships. They have also brought unbearable nuisance in equal measure. One thing is for sure, if you plan to be in the limelight, limit your exposure, at least for your peace of mind. At the end of the day, you are also a human being who can snap with just the right amount of stretching.
Last year, I had to call a radio station’s reporter and complain about their replaying my story without alerting me. I used to be bombarded with phone calls immediately after the program ended. That is how I knew they had played the prerecorded program. They replayed the program five times that year, and this particular time I was going through a rough time, that needed my me time- I snapped.
I have for the past two years been receiving random texts starting with Hae Juliet…. Not from one, but several people. People who want to hold a conversation with you yet it seems their keypad is missing lots of keys. Now reading such texts and trying to figure out what on earth the person meant before trying to respond, in the politest way possible, sometimes is just too exhausting. Not that I don’t try to respond. In fact, my friend Judy used to tell me that I have too much time for nonsense.
Just after a program, I received texts from people proposing to marry me as if I needed rescuing from my desperate state of single-hood. This is not to trash the good intentions of some of those calls and texts. I just don’t see myself responding to a proposal from a stranger whom I have never seen. But then again, maybe I am still in the stone age where for a relationship to work, it has to follow some logical path.
Yes, I have been invited to join network marketing to sell health products. (This was right after coming from a TV program, where the producers put my number on the screen without seeking my consent.) Maybe the lady thought that I needed to use the health supplements and be a brand ambassador. That time, I didn’t have enough money to use for transport back home, let alone the 6000 to join the program. Polite me, I just sat in the meeting and listened, not showing my disappointment to the well-meaning lady.
Other people have called me to convince their spouses that it is possible to have babies while in a discordant relationship. Imagine myself calling someone’s wife.
Me: Hello, am I speaking to so and so.
Wife: Yes, who is this?
Me: I am Juliet, a counsellor, I got your number from your husband.
Wife: What do you want?
Me: I wanted to let you know that it’s totally safe to have a baby even if your husband is positive.
Wife: How did you know my husband? Are you married yourself….
Ok, maybe I let my imagination run wild. Maybe the conversation would take a better direction.
A recent call I received was when in a matatu. I was going home from work. This call was from a desperate man. Within one minute I had known that he was 32 years, he had two children and suspected his wife of cheating on him. He just wanted to meet me so that I would test him together with his wife for HIV. I told him that unfortunately, I don’t test people any more, but I could refer him to the nearest health center. He hung up…
Welcome to my world, where you have to fish out a smile, even after the most ridiculous conversation. My advice, if you choose to go to the media or get a public platform, DO NOT give your personal contact. I am just a normal Juliet, yet I was overwhelmed by the phone calls.