Awê Ma Se Kinnes

This week my mother-in-law is coming for dinner, and sleeping over. And I’m looking forward to it. Now my spirit is telling me that many people reading this will never say those words, ever. And I don’t mean that your mom-in-law has passed. No. On the contrary she’s very alive, and definitely kicking. It’s just that two of you will never see eye to eye, unless you’re standing bors-teen-bors (Chest against Chest).  Which can be a very sexy situation, in a completely different scenario. But this is not THAT scenario.This scenario is spicy, not sexy.

So today’s little story then is essentially for those of you who don’t get on with your mommy-in-law. Because there are many out there who actually do get on with hubby’s mother.  And they will make a point of telling you so. And the rest of us look at that newly wed and think MMM WAG JY MA JY GAT NOG SIEN. Very loosely translated for our English-only speakers: YOUR MOTHER- IN-LAW IS A BIAATCH FROM HELL – JUST WAIT AND SEE!

Throughout the decades we have kinda been told to expect nothing less. I even remember a somewhat fierce looking plant called the mother-in-law’s tongue. It does not look like a rose. It does not look like a carnation. It looks fierce and sharp. Like your mother-in-law’s tongue mos.

I have the feeling that this drama mostly comes into play with heterosexual couples, throwing the spotlight on the relationship between the new bride and the groom’s mommy. This is going to be easier to read if we give them names. I’m writing this on a Monday so let me go with M’s all ’round. The groom is Mario, the young bride is Megan and the groom’s mommy is Michelle.

To grasp the mommy-in-law situation well, you have to understand that the bond between Michelle and her son Mario, is like a bond between peri-peri sauce and slap chips. Inseparable. (Slap chips is hot chips. Slap is then pronounced “slupp”. Also means limp. Welcome to Cape Town).

God help the brave soul that steps in to separate the chips from the peri-peri sauce. Of course it’s going to cause a thing, but along comes Megan. Mario falls head over hills in love with Megan and they decide to tie the knot. The journey to the altar is not smooth sailing. Michelle is initially dikbek that another woman is creeping into her son’s heart, note that Mario might be around 31 but Michelle still refers to him as “my child”. My child this and my child that. Ma dai jong is al groot.

So Michelle initially gives Megan a shit time whenever Mario takes Megan home to visit. Michelle will carelessly (but smilingly) say things to Megan like he brings so many girls in and out here – he will never make up his mind – would you like some tea or juice?  (By the way, when Michelle offers you tea Megan, you say yes. Even if you hate tea. Just say yes. Otherwise the story will spread like a Parliament fire: sy hou vir haa wat sy nie issie. Elegant translation: she’s pretentious).

When Michelle eventually realizes that Mario is serious about Megan, she accepts that she has to start playing the game. She has to play nicely. Megan now bravely begins to prepare Michelle for the harsh scenario that the peri-peri sauce will gently be scraped off the slap chips. Yes Michelle is the peri-peri sauce and her child is the slap chips. The tricky issue is that the slap chips must show a willingness to be separated from the peri-peri sauce. Indeed, it is during this time that the slap chips must not be slap.

Mario must now emotionally leave his mommy. This is easier said than done because we all know that a man turns into a boy when he is sitting in his mommy’s lounge and his mommy loves it. Especially when it comes to food. “Shame Megan why is my child looking so thin!  Megan is thinking “yirre Mario open your bek and tell your mommy that you are running every morning!”  But no, Mario just smiles at mommy and goes into mommy’s kitchen and dishes from mommy’s pot. Like he never left home.

Michelle loves this, Megan smiles and thinks “jy kan elke aand by jou ma gaan vriet!” (You can go and eat at your Mom’s every night).

Lol. The struggle continues. Good luck in getting that peri-peri sauce off the slap chips.