Being A PK

My dad. The meaning of constant, of protection, of love, of everything.

I often think about other pastors’ kids, commonly referred to as PKs. I think about the parameters that were created around them, the worlds or experiences they were allowed or not allowed to access, the parents who were both present and absent; who were accessible at all hours, all days of the week, who belonged to everyone else but them, the fathers who led less devout lives outside of the church – behind the congregation, the pastor’s wife – the PK’s mother who was kinder and softer with other people’s children and their sins, than she was with her own.

I often think about how the need and pressure to be perfect and an example, how being watched, picked apart, seen and unseen has manifested in the PK’s adulthood, the workplace, school life, relationships and personal aspirations. I wonder about the kind of habits that have grown from the fractures that happened when no one was looking or when people who should have been looking were either praying or looking in other people’s homes. I wonder about the resentments that have built up over the years: for God, religion, structure, forbidden things, parts of your selves, other Christians, your father, the church, all the things that have robbed you of a childhood not built on doctrine, isolation and harmful teachings disguised as love or protection, i.e he who spares the rod.

If you had asked me a few years ago what kind of people were you raised by, I would have probably given you my parent’s professions – as a marker for how they moved and operated in the world, what took up most of their time and informed the ways we were raised. If you asked me the same question now, I would say: I was raised by healers. Both of them lay hands on the sick. Both of them use prayer as medicine and hope for a miracle, they give counsel where and when it is needed, the one buries the body when its soul has left the body, the other holds the body when the soul leaves – they both hold the family of deceased when the news is delivered. I think a lot about death and grief and the process of mourning the people who were called and needed by the world more than they were present for their children. I was raised by people who loved the word, to speak it, to live by it, to teach it. I now hold that same reverence and love for the word – it’s ability to move people and shift realms.

I was raised by people who occupied a different kind of using the word, but a word that served the same function as the one I have come to love and occupy. The former operates on people with machines and medicines, the latter operates on people with stories. I would say this as a way to mark my shift in understanding how or why certain things played out the way they did, even if I don’t fully understand all of it just yet.

I think a lot about death and grief and the process of mourning the people who were called and needed by the world more than they were present for their children. I think about this process of mourning people who are still alive, the fissures that happen when we become the people our parents have to mourn, and in return, the parents we mourn when we begin to realize that we lost them to the things they were more present for than our needs. It’s not a thing that makes me sad or upset, I just, you know, think about it – often. But even if it were upsetting, this too, would be ok.

When you have been raised as Christian for 23+ years, you start to realize that the process of detangling from your upbringing and doctrine is going to be lifelong commitment and practice. It’s weird – because in many ways I feel like we were also raised by liberals. My parents believed in the power of making your own decisions, speaking your mind and pursuing your dreams – which is huge in any household. The day I told my parents I wanted to pursue journalism , they did not flinch, my mother said “ if that’s what makes you happy, then that’s what you must do” – and in the list of things I do not fault or resent them for, I add that not-so-small blessing.

So, I grew up in this environment where you could kind of follow your heart but as long as your heart was not offensive to God or the things of God, or an embarrassment to the photo-op that had to be upheld at all costs.

The things that have come with that dance, the split persona syndrome we develop over time to keep the peace and maintain facades at the expense of being able to be our full selves, is a tough one to go into battle with and undo. Not sure if it is something that you can ever fully undo or unlearn, especially at the intersection — friction that is family and queer life and so many other things. But, I’m beginning to learn that choosing to be your full self with family will sometimes cost you, but being the version of yourself that is acceptable to them, costs you even more. It’s a kind of death — really. Hoarding multiple lives in one body gets heavy and tiring, and at some point you have to shed the bodies that no longer serve or protect you, the facades you put on that make you invisible, the voice you use that muffles you even when you are speaking.

These days, I’m holding the little girl inside me and gently nudging her to let go, to shed the bodies, to live, to try things, to experiment, to dispel the myths around recreational drugs, and substances, secular music, other kinds of people, loving women, religious practices outside of christianity – to not be scared to dive into the new or unfamiliar.

Sixteen year old me was busy accepting Christ as her lord and saviour, getting baptised 20 millions times just to cleans last night’s debauchery. The furthest she was willing to go where experiments were concerned was with risky sexual experiments in backrooms, Stuyvesants, and Russian bear (yes, me too!). Drugs were a hard no-no. Ancestral practices were a hard no-no too, (remind me to touch on the relationship / tensions between Christianity and ancestral practices in another blog post).

The conservative part of me has manifested itself in different ways in my adult life. I have had to face how I am not as “open-minded” as I thought I was. I have had to face how insidious indoctrination is, how deep and complicated the hooks and strongholds of your upbringing can be, and how they will play out in different settings and when you least expect it – how moving towards healing and undoing will feel like funeral and a birthing ceremony.

It has taken me 23 years to say it’s ok to cut through this parameter, to give myself permission to indulge my curiosities and complexities, to research the risky things I want to experiment with, so I can do them safely and knowledgeably, to sit in the mess and beauty that was my childhood and begin to give the aftermath of that other names; names that do not shame me, that do not make me invisible, that do not demand smokescreens or my silence, to sit in the experience of psychedelics and surrender to the grief , joy, and transparencies that come with it, to ask more questions, to seek more, to lean into that avenue of healing and discovering self, to not group psychedelics in the same WhatsApp group as sin or harm.

Coming out of the shrooms experience, it dawned on me that I don’t have boundaries, and that I don’t insist on them either – this has been dawning on me for a while, but after the experience, it was made clear how most of my relationships do not have clear boundaries, that I have moved through the world without having interrogated and thought more intentionally about boundaries when it comes to people and peopling.

Part of that learning, that people can have full access to you however, whenever, at the expense of your everything – comes from observing the ways the world has had access to the healers who raised me. The 24/7 open door policy we grew up being subjected to, the non-discussions about strangers slash church folk who pulled up with their mattresses and became family; family we took in but never took us in in return when it mattered.

Visibility and hypervisibility is a blessing and a uncomfortable monster to navigate. I often have weird online experiences with people crossing boundaries and feeling entitled to my time and audience. Before, these encounters were things I would address with a boundary I improvised on the spot.

I think about the ways we had to be available and eager to be accessed as PKs To kiss this person. To greet that person. To read that verse. To show up and show off parts of ourselves that were engineered and detrimental to our well-being. I think about and hold PKs close often. The skills they have had to learn. The brick and mortar we built around our hearts at the expense of our vulnerability and the freedom to just be our full selves – in public – out loud- without judgment or fear of hell or banishment and failure.

I often joke with the people who really know me about how conservative I really am. I am taken aback by it every time a situation happens that shows me back to myself. Of late, I am reconciling with my upbringing. No one can prepare you for how the funeral will often feel like a birthing ceremony, and really, all you can do is show up with the tools you have.

Your Protein Treatment Questions, Answered

The healthy hair care journey can sometimes be a tedious task. At times we search high and low to find the perfect remedy to repair or prevent damage. Many times, the answer is in the information we can’t easily find in our YouTube binge watching sessions. However, for those of us that let our inner scientist reign supreme, we’ve learned that protein is a core necessity for strength throughout our bodies. Protein treatments sometimes get misused, causing other issues such as severe breakage. It’s time I answer your most frequently asked questions about protein treatments.

1. Can I do a protein treatment at home or should I go to the salon?

In this day and age of using YouTube videos to teach us anything and everything, we’ve become DIY experts in life, especially with hair care. However, as much as we want to do things on our own to save money, we have come to the realization that there are some things we should leave to the professionals. Though protein treatments may seem easy peasy to do at home, if you are new to the protein treatment game it is highly recommended that they are performed at a salon. High-end protein treatments contain natural combinations that harden the hair. They are considered to be safe to use under the supervision of hair professionals who know how to properly handle them when they are applied to the hair. Natural hair has to dry a certain way and be handled delicately; many testimonials can be found with individuals that handled their hair too roughly with the treatment in which led them to experience more damage.

After wash day today I realized that I’ve run out of my Protein treatment, but I didn’t panic because I’ve read somewhere that eggs got proteins, especially the egg white. Though my hair was moisturised I could tell because I had crazy curls it later felt so dry I then used a deep conditioner, oh before that did I tell you that the eggs cooked on my hair?!😂 You don’t have to go through that ever! So I’d advise that you use cold or lukewarm water to rinse off the egg.

Now to the ultimate question!

2. How often should you do a protein treatment?

This question tends to go under heavy scrutiny because many naturalistas have a different answer based on the condition of their unique head of hair. To eliminate all confusion, protein treatments especially deep treatments should be done every 4 to 6 weeks. Protein treatments should be applied so sparingly for a couple of reasons, the first being that applying protein treatments too often can lead to protein overload causing breakage throughout the hair. Secondly, using deep protein treatments more than once every 4 to 6 weeks may not provide any further benefit. Some hair care professionals may suggest getting a protein treatment every three months, about the same length of time in between regular trims.

3. What do you do after a protein treatment?

When dealing with protein and its application to hair, it is important to know about the rules that govern the protein-moisture balance of your hair. It is a highly interdependent relationship; the hair cannot be of great quality if one component is off. As I said before, after doing the protein treatment my hair felt dry and I still had to deep condition afterwards. The only explanation I have of why a deep conditioner is important I “a deep conditioner is what a fabric conditioner is to your clothes” hope it makes sense.

I use this Deep Conditioning Protein Pack from Palmer’s my fave.

There’s often an overload of information when it comes to protein treatments, but I hope that my advice will help you identify whether your hair needs one, as well as more confidently choose the treatment that works for you.

Tourism takes a Pounding in lockdown Purgatory

Growing up in Soweto I have evidently seen this sizzling city evolving from a shanty town of corrugated barracks and huts to a sprawling city of gracious up market suburbs, poor shanty areas, first class malls and exotic restaurants. It is rich in political history and steeped in consumer culture. Malls have sprung up in every suburb and housing prices have boomed over the years. It is a city which evokes all the senses, emotional, tactile, olfactory and visual. Vibrant murals, heart breaking museums recording the pain of the struggle for freedom, smelly muddy roads in the squatter camps, if it was not for the lockdown regulation #nophysicalcontact and facemasks which makes all of us look unfriendly, hugs and smiles from friendly residents and mouth-watering smells from a bakery, are all part of the wholesome experience of being in Soweto.

For the past five months this historical place has been quiet, that you could literally hear the sound of an Autumn leaf falling from the tree to the ground. Presently and sadly a deserted place.

Vilakazi African Curios shop managed by Sipho Vilakazi has made Khumalo Street in Soweto its home. This is a one-stop shop together with Vilakazi Espresso coffee shop and The Soweto Pizza Company, is almost impossible to pass by without noticing its attractive colourful hand-crafts fully displayed through the glass walls.

When I got into the shop, the first thing that Sipho Vilakazi asked is “where are you from?!” and really I busted out in laughter, “just down the street” he then further more said “I guess it’s true that those who live nearby the river cannot swim”.

The local tourism sector came to a halt at the end of March when strict lockdown measures were imposed resulting in the closure of many businesses. Although most sectors of the economy are permitted to operate fully on level two, the tourism sector will be left out of the eased restrictions. “The shop’s revenue began to decrease as soon as the travel restrictions was implemented by governments across the globe,” hinted Sipho.

Small businesses are really great at being more agile and resilient in the face of a crisis. Unlike big businesses, they are not attached to the traditional ways of conducting business and therefore are able to make the necessary adjustments. “With leisure travel within one’s own province now allowed, people will gradually cross provincial lines and that means there will be a flow of visitors coming into our shops, confidently related Sipho,” who further mentioned that, “most people around here are still working from home, so they do come sit in for coffee.”

Tourism is one of those low-hanging fruits that South Africa should leverage and harness, not just as part of how we achieve our national priorities but also showcasing what our country can offer. Our story, our people and our culture to the world. For South Africans it is sometimes also important to be reminded of the beauty, splendour and diversity of our country. I can think no better sector to achieve this than tourism.

I must say that I agree with Sipho when he said those who live nearby the river cannot swim, I have never been inside his beautiful shop until last week people come from different parts of the world to witness our culture while we are not even mindful of its beauty. This is the mistake we do as locals, thinking that these places are meant to be explored and enjoyed by tourists. I actually came across a beaded necklace that I liked and affordable.

Happy tourism month ✈️🇿🇦🌍

Thanks for passing by 💓

The Writer’s Prayer

I don’t remember the last time I picked up a book and indulged in it, as an avid reader this has made me less creative and my writing a bit rusty. During this moment short poems have been my daily dose and this one by Zachary Phillips saved the day.

Image: Min An on Pexels

I am a writer.
I have given myself this time to write.
This time is sacred.
I will not waste it.

I will not worry about the quality, worth, or potential audience.
I will just write.

I will get the words on the page, as they come, without judgement, without filter.
I will write because I love it, because I have something to say, and because writing heals me.

And when the time is up, I will let it go, until I sit down to write again.


MOTHER

You’re true evidence that not all angels have wings like the Seraphim and Cherubim in the bible. I dedicate Women’s Day to this woman, my mother.


Genetics are so crazy, my mother literally made me with her body and as a result I have parts of her in me. I have inherited my mothers beautiful face and I am mostly grateful that I have also inherited her beautiful hairline, the human race is beautiful.

I know this because people see my mother in me, even though they are days I fight this because I don’t yell at people for not washing the dishes, or send them to the shops more than four times a day but I know she has to be there because she made me inside her body, because women are freaking human incubators.

I’m grateful most that my mother always taught me to be myself at all costs, I think she knew that I needed to be allowed that the most. I needed to be myself because it always hurt when I didn’t. I am world of complexities and she told me it was not my responsibility to explain the various extensions of my being to anyone but myself.

She taught me to wear myself proudly, loudly and boldly. I want to teach my children that.

At 14 I’d imagine myself as the greatest theater performer and she would make sure I got to that acting auditions, at 16 I’d wake up one day filled with the thought that Social work is my calling and yet again she’ll fully support that, at 18 when journalism qualification made more sense to me so it did to her.

I also maintained good grades throughout my entire highschool career because she also taught me that it didnt help to be pretty in a world that eats pretty girls like me whole unless they are sturdy and well rounded beings. I am blessed with a good head on my shoulders.

I know myself better than I know anyone and anything else in this entire world. I was such a loved child by my mother, even as an adult I feel her love grew more for me.I know because of her where and when I am not loved, I know that I’m allowed to feel, to leave, to stay, to do whatever the hell I want to do.

I think she made me a hedonist. I cannot make myself do anything I do not want to do.The line of work I intend to go into does not favour criminal records.

I reward love with love, and loyalty with loyalty. I thank my mother for the woman that I have become, that I am becoming.

Looking back at this special memory with my mother, I think of how she has been there for me and my siblings at all the pivotal moments of our lives. For the exhilarating successes and colossal failures. Come hell or high water.

Is it selflessness or are we a very important part of her self? If I ever get to be a mother, I hope I can be as fully present to my children and as whole within myself as my mother has been for us and for herself.

My name will always sound better coming from your lips. You will always be the person whom I want to annoy and be annoyed by. I will always seek you.

This lovenest that we’ve built with our strength and sometimes our tears curried us through so many things.

I want to be the one who gives my mother the opportunity of seeing the world. I want her to get on a plane. Be scared shitless and land in a country where she knows no one, a place where no one speaks her language. I will be by her side the whole time enjoying watching her wildest dreams come true.

I want her to feel like a child again. I want her to dream again.

from your last born daughter

With love ❤

LATEBLOOMER

Since it’s August, I thought I should write something related to blooming. Well, I relate mostly to “late” blooming lol. I hope you also relate and enjoy this ❤


You once mentioned you were a late bloomer.

Told me that at age 3 your sister could recognise her own name on a large, but you on the other hand could hardly C A from B even at age 4.

I couldn’t help but imagine you in a field of daffodils watching those around you blossom into beautiful flowers.

And you, this agly bud, unmoved by the obsessive drive for early achievement.

I could imagine you as a crawling little baby in no great hurry to walk. So when you did not laugh at my joke, it did not bother me.

I knew you’d get it eventually, maybe 4 hours later alone in your bedroom.

Or a week later at the library, I couldn’t help but imagine how you would suddenly explode in laughter. Shocking yourself or all those around you with the volume of the explosion.

I hoped with all my heart that you’d soon realise that all a late bloomer is, is a dead flower that blossoms as it withers.

And wished I could see your face when you finally learned that even at your worst, you were beautiful.

The Pandemic Proves Security Service’s Prime

While security guard service is being reduced in various areas and verticals, in other places security services are being viewed as more vital than before.

Last week I was at Food Lovers Market to get some fresh veggies. For me greeting people is very important because it says “I see you, I respect you“. I say my “hi” at the entrance of the supermarket, yes even with my mask on, the security guard at the door was quite suprised by this because social distancing resulted in social disconnection from showing kindness and respect, when last did you laugh with a stranger in public? Okay that’s a discussion for another day.

Today I was fortunate enough to have a chat with a security personnel and this is his story:

Sithembiso Khumalo was working as a security guard at Maponya Mall, Soweto until one day around May, when his employers assigned him a new job, conducting temperature checks for shoppers entering the mall.
Khumalo was given a mask, goggles, and gloves

but what we did not get was sufficient training, Khumalo said they basically handed us the equipment and a printout of a PowerPoint presentation.

On the first day, he learned how to use the thermometer gun, stood at the front of a line while shopper after shopper gets inside the mall and started taking temperatures at the door if their temperature was higher than 38 degrees Celsius he was supposed to send them home. It all felt like a lot of responsibility.

I had to basically become a medical tech, but I am highly unqualified to do this, he said.

Throughout the first months of conducting temperature checks for shoppers Khumalo said he was concerned about lack of training he was provided, especially when things did not work as planned.

He said that at times he had to take the temperature of shoppers who were not wearing marks, so to protect himself, he asked them to turn around and pointed the thermometer gun to the back of their heads and what do I do if someone shows a high fever? What if they refuse to listen to me? What questions should I be asking? I had plenty of questions.

I am content that the president has reinforced the regulation of every person wearing a mask in public spaces now, and it seems like everyone has accepted the new normal and gets the order of the day, concluded Khumalo.

BLACK TAX

That is the curse of being black and poor, and it is a curse that follows you from generation to generation. My mother calls it “the black tax.” Because the generation who came before you have been pillaged, rather than being free to use your skills and education to move forward, you lose everything just trying to bring everyone behind you back up to zeroBorn A Crime by Trevor Noah pg 66

For anyone who might be wondering what “black tax” is and hasn’t overheard it yet at a braai chill out or in a WhatsApp group, “black tax” is the extra money that black professionals are expected to give every month to support their less-fortunate family and extended families.

When you get your first job, nothing is more liberating than the thought of finally getting your own salary. You think of all the things you’ll be spending your money on that you couldn’t afford while you were studying and unemployed. The sad reality is that all this might take some time. Especially if you come from a black African home, where you have the responsibility of financially taking care of your extended family.

I remember randomly talking about “black tax” with my friend who recently got a job as a nurse. She said she feels like she’s paying her mother for giving birth to her and we laughed about it, I don’t personally relate because I am still a student. But putting myself in her shoes it left me with so many unanswered questions, will I be able to save some money for myself, invest? travel to countries I’ve dreamt of as a child?

This understanding of supporting family or less-fortunate family to be a “tax” had me thinking about the way black people relate to one another.

Wouldn’t anyone who is in a position to help their family do just that?

While “black tax” is not entirely a bad thing. But it can have its harsh realities. This is how I would deal with them:

1. Choose Your Battles

Pick certain things that you are willing to support. For example, you can help with education. That way, you will not get financial requests for parties or fashion items.

2. Set A Deadline

Let it be known upfront when you expect to see the fruit when helping someone to allow you to focus on your savings objectives..

3. Plan For The Unexpected

Invest in financial vehicles such as funeral cover that can help you smooth out financial stress related with helping when there are family funerals.

4. Give But Don’t Spoon-feed

Don’t destroy the person that you are giving to by letting them depend on you. Help them empower themselves so that they too can give to others.

5. Let Everyone Take Responsibility

Work with your extended family to help them make sound financial decisions when they start earning an income. Sometimes you need to let everyone experience the discomfort of their bad financial decisions for them to learn to make better decisions.

6. Exercise Financial Discipline

You cannot do an infinite number of things with a limited amount of money. You need to trade off, otherwise you will end up so heavily indebted that you may even lose your assets.

7. Put Money Aside For Yourself

Give what is left after you’ve saved for retirement. Ensure that you will retain independence in your old age, otherwise you will perpetuate the cycle of dependency.

8. Instill Financial Discipline In Your Immediate Family

Start with your own children. Let them know that you have a budget to stick to when you shop. Start managing their expectations from a young age by limiting impulsive spending and talking about money with your children or the young people in your life.


Ps: Also, here’s a book to enlighten you and I about “black tax”

A secret anguish for some, a proud responsibility for others, black tax draws heated and wide-ranging reactions. While the debate rages, these payments and other forms of support to family members remain a daily reality for many black South Africans. Black tax has its historical roots in the inequalities created by apartheid and the loss of land. Consequently, thousands of black South Africans still live in poverty today. Some believe black tax is an undeniable part of black culture and part of the philosophy of ubuntu.

Others feel they should not have to take over what is essentially a government responsibility and should be allowed to focus on building their own wealth. In this book, award-winning author Niq Mhlongo has brought together deeply personal stories that tease apart a multitude of thought-provoking perceptions on black tax by well-known writers, such as Dudu Busani-Dube, Sifiso Mzobe, Fred Khumalo, Mohale Mashigo, Thanduxolo Jika and many other new voices.

The stories cover an engrossing cross-section of experiences, ranging from the student who diverts bursary money to put food on the table back home, family members who make outrageous demands on individuals often resulting in debt to look after their families, to people who are happy to open their homes to provide shelter to jobseekers or the downtrodden. In giving voice to the many different perspectives on this topical issue, this book hopes to start a dialogue about this undeniable part of the lived reality of black South Africans.

Catching Butterflies

So you are in a long-term relationship and now that you’ve been together for a while, you’re finding yourself hitting some road bumps. Perhaps, at this point, you’re wondering exactly why relationships are so difficult to maintain. In the beginning, maybe you found everything to be relatively easy, things unfolded pretty well, you didn’t fight or disagree, no one freaked out while trying to decide which movie to watch on Netflix or which restaurant to order from.

Do you know that feeling where you simply just love being in love? You feel physically better, the sun seems brighter, all is right in the world, and you can’t wait to wake up and you don’t want to sleep, you just want to talk and be with that special person? Maybe I have once been in that moment.

I’ll tell you exactly how it feels, it feels like catching butterflies and putting them inside a glass container so you can revisit, and look at the glass container over and over again just in case the other decides to wake up someday be distant, and leave your text on read for days.

Too many times we enter into relationships with unrealistic expectations. We long for the perfect relationship where our partners are perfect and say all the right things, take care of our every need, and understand us.

The reality is that you enter into a relationship as strangers, and over time you grow with that person.The problem is that sometimes we grow into different people with different interests and desires. People change over time. And don’t ever think it’s your fault we changed into different people than when we first met, it just happens.

The person you’re dating or married with is not going to be the same person five years later. People’s thoughts, ideals, goals, and appearances change over time, and there are some of us who cannot accept those changes in their mates. They feel that this is not the person I fell in love with.

This may be true, but in time you could learn to understand and fall in love all over again with the new person you are living with. Relationships go through stages because life throws you so many curves, and those curves cause people to change their perception of life and relationships.

Sometimes you can’t control the changes that take place.Sometimes there are reasons beyond your mate’s control that creates that change. In any case, you still have to remember that you made a commitment to that other person, and you owe it to them to work on making your relationship work. Younger couples today don’t honor the commitments they make which is sad.

It’s easy for them to walk away and look for something younger, prettier or richer. The problem is you will still find yourself in the same situation with someone else if you don’t learn how to maintain a long lasting relationship.

Money also seems to be high on the list of reasons couples don’t make it. In a long term relationship there will be times that finances are great and times when finances are low, but always remember that you love each other through the good and the bad.
No matter what life throws at you, together you can make it through anything.

When times are hardest is when the strength of your relationship will surface. You will either band together and work as a team, or like some couples, you will argue, blame and have resentment towards one another.

Last but not least, you have to make time for each other. Take weekend getaways, go on dinner dates, take long walks together, go for a massage together or just watch a movie together but a chill and Netflix makes sense during the lockdown. Spending quality time together is key for having a relationship that lasts.

These times you spend together allows you time to communicate with each other when you are both relaxed, which will allow for a more productive conversation to work out your disagreements.

Relationships don’t last anymore because people are not willing to sacrifice a part of themselves for someone else, or make the comprises needed to make a relationship work.

Also communicating your dealbreakers to your partner is important, so they know the things you can’t stand for.

If you truly love someone you will put the work in to make sure your partner feels secure, loved, and needed. At times it will not be easy, but the payoff is a lifelong friend, lover and companion for life.

Image: rawpixel.com