She uses the word apathy in the first sentence of our conversation. Immediately I am compelled to accept that I am in a lot of trouble. Not as a result of not knowing the meaning of the word apathy, but partly because it means that I have to actually listen to what she is saying. The worst thing you can do in social situations is not listen to a coconut.
I have for a while now had a distinct dislike for these types. With their Pringle wearing, tennis playing, trust fund having selves. I wish they would all just move to Canada. But we live in a rainbow nation so I smile and wave like everybody else.
Admittedly because of this notion of integration over the past three years I have had to tolerate more than I thought was humanly possible. The overlapping cultural values of some of my contemporaries is at times mind boggling and at worst the catalysts of many minutes of cursing, that could easily have me being mistaken for an Irish man in a Boston bar.
An interesting thing that has happened to me over those three years is that I have become a sell out. Yes I said it. Some of my best friends are coconuts – from their twanging accents to their “I would never be caught dead in Cavella” tendencies. I have found a self righteous niche in the coconut world that is deeply attractive. Most of us have to start taking ownership of the reality that there is a slight feeling of jealousy amongst many of us for not having the kind of self assurance that comes with being part of these circles.
Many of us would give an arm and a leg to be able to look at someone and dismiss them without even flinching, but unfortunately we are not that lucky. So we do the next best thing, which is to inflict the maximum amount of injury possible – labeling those self assured trust fund babies coconuts (which they undoubtedly are).
I, myself however must admit that I do have my own conflict about being an honorary member of the boys club. As a guy who did not go to an I.V league school I do feel both cursed and blessed by this reality. The former because it means that I am now forced to cross reference words like apathy even in the most unusual conversations, but still feeling lucky because I too am now part of a fraternity.
Looking in from the inside you have to concede that there is something that is deeply admirable about these guys. There is a sense of “brotherhood” if I am use the cliché, partly which stems from singing war cry’s and wearing the blazer all the way home. Come on you if you went to a public school you know what I am talking about.
Those moments in town when you and the boys were walking around sagging ties and blazers stuffed in bag, and the local girl who went to that LSM 10 school walks right past you with her hat on, tie still fitted to the top and shoes shining as they did in the morning. It was disgustingly beautiful.
With that being said, the idea of the coconut as supreme is changing. In fact there are a lot of things that the folks up the hill can learn from us, and it is not just limited to the 411 on gossiping. Rather I feel sorry sometimes for my colleagues who grew up behind picket fences, were raised by the butler and went to the best A grade school in the country.
It might give you a good matric certificate (which is not a bad start by any measure) but there are certain things that R100 000 a year education at Hilton College cannot teach you. Such as self sufficiency. No! I am not referring to living alone. If there is something that one can learn from not being a coconut it is independent thinking. Trust me if you went to a school that could barely afford text books and had no teachers but still got a great pass symbol, there is only one way to describe you- #winning-and for all the guys at the boys club, busy lighting their cigars I would just like to say, thank you for welcoming me, but I am not going to clean your blazers. I learned to do that on my own whilst I was an outsider.