Dear Sylvia

September 1, 2014

“Am Sylvia winns 30 yrs from CANADA, based at Turkana working with American Org. that support orphans, widows, Refugees & Churhes. Am looking for a long term relationship that can lead to marriage. I got ur no. from a local dating site. If intrested call/sms on: 0787547997” (sic)

Dear Sylvia,

Thank you for your SMS and for your consideration. Sylvia, I know word might be going around that I am single, and I have been for a while. Rumour has it that I also don’t seem to have any interest in neither long-term relationships nor marriage. To put it bluntly, I am really not interested in any sort of relationships and that would include booty-or-whatever-call-related relationships and ‘chips-funga’ arrangements. I am sure that you have heard of these two kinds of relationships since you live in Kenya and I would imagine that you find them as unsettling as I do. Anyway, it is not entirely untrue that any advances that might resemble a relationship get me running. Running (away) not walking. A lot of people are, of course, quite correct to say that I have exhibited signs of loneliness in the recent past. Indeed, I have had moments of being alone. Sorry Sylvia, I am not lonely, at least not yet.

Regarding your Canadian roots or leaves, I have issues with you shouting it at me like that. I am assuming here that you may be aware by now that when people use capital letters in text messages and elsewhere (especially on the internet) they mean to scream. I am sure that you agree with me that we do need an ITALICS option (see what I just did there?) on some of these platforms to emphasize without being misconstrued as rude. Anyway, Sylvia, I really don’t want to date a Canadian who works for a U.S Organization. You know that’s a little complicated, right? I know that my issues with these two governments should not be a factor in choosing an unsolicited life-time (Lawd, that’s a long time) partner. However, I don’t want to get into a situation where we can only argue about governments. I am tired of my very own government as it were.

Thirdly, Sylvia, if I were to date if at all, I think I totally would love to date someone who works with orphans, refugees and widows in Turkana. Of course, this would be a perfect person to indoctrinate with a lot of morbid talk on death and a heavy dose of feminist ideals around dead men, the dangers of nationalism and national borders, and marginalized communities in Kenya. However, this sounds like a very generic way through which White folks, notoriously from North America and cheeky Scandinavians, with money have invested in poverty tourism in Kenya and I am not sure that I would be very supportive of your work as a partner. I am not sure that I would be willing to go to bed with a Messiah. Speaking of which, there is that small matter of this U.S organization working with churches (or as you call them Churhes). I do not entirely trust Christians and especially American ones across Africa. If you think that I am making this up just ask around about the work that U.S Evangelicals have been doing in Uganda. Also, you know that thing that Missionaries (aka Cultural Colonialists) did here with our grandparents? It will take us centuries (collectively as a continent) to undo that damage, Sylvia.

I am sorry to keep you reading but seriously Sylvia, I cannot have a relationship (long-term or one-night stand) with you especially because you have set yourself up for failure. This is with regard to your claims that you found my number on a dating site. I have never joined a dating site. I will never join a dating site. I think those sites are for a particular kind of person that I may not be. Also, why would I join a dating site if I do not intend to date? If there are other benefits of such sites that you may know please do fill me in. I am easily persuaded. Finally, I am not sure that I want to date someone with such bad grammar, dear Sylvia. No, no, Sylvia, I don’t mean to offend you but you know how it is with initial communication with strangers. Some of us need copy editing services for that first email or SMS. You might want to consider paying a lot more attention to these things, you know?

Thank you very much for your email and I am sorry for such a long response and my rejection of your well thought-through offer. I hope that the points I have raised will be beneficial in/with your future contacts.
All the best,


P.S: You might want to consider 419 or some other Scam specialists for clues on how to improve on your skills or they could offer you job opportunities, who knows?

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