Thursday, June 03, 2010

A "Jane Austen" Moment


It’s a truth universally acknowledged that...

African parents fly into a mad panic when their female offspring start approaching a certain age and the topic of marriage hasn’t been broached. True to form, my parents are in no way different and given their recent antics, are willing to break traditional parenting rules to get their point across...loud and clear.

Picture the scene: It’s a calm Sunday night, I’m winding down and prepping for the impending work day ahead of me when my Blackberry pings, signalling the arrival of an email. Thinking it’s one of my diasporan girls hollering, i nonchalantly reach for it, while simultaneously attempting The Sunday Times crossword (i only managed to get 5 words, hmmmph).

A glance at the email confirmed the impossible, that hell had well and truly frozen over.

Reflecting back at me was an email from my darling father...that wasn’t the shocking part...the distressing bit was the email subject title, and i quote, “Why are Black Women scaring off their Men?”

*crickets*

Now I’m not somebody accustomed to having nothing to say (many can vouch for this fact), but yah, gobsmacked doesn’t even begin to describe it.

After being dumbstruck for a marathon time of 5 minutes, my temper set in. I wasn’t so much seething as i was MAD...hopping mad. Please note, i hadn’t actually got round to reading the email yet, i just wasn’t happy about what the subject title implied...that if i was a black woman of a certain age and single, i was obviously actively going out of my way to scare the fellas off *smh*

A “sisterhood tribune” was necessary: Sister #1 was called, she found the whole thing hilarious and my father’s concern endearing, “He’s just concerned Vimbi, the man is feeling his mortality.” She was to “zen” for my liking so I bid her a hasty adieu. Now given global time zones, i knew it would be cruel to holla at Sister #2 and reasoned that I should probably sleep on it. Note, i still hadn’t got round to reading the email.

6:10am Monday morning, Sister #2 rings (clearly she’s not so concerned about disrupting my REM cycle, hmmph) and informs me that under no circumstances am I allowed to respond to The Email. You see, I’m not exactly the family diplomat, I’m prone to dramatic language not to mention, I’ve been told my voice levels climb an octave or two when distressed. Sister #2 calmly explains my father’s motivation in sending such an email and that she agrees with some points raised, she too sounds very zen-like (yes, that gene clearly skipped me). That’s when I stubbornly conclude that I should probably read The Email.

Ten minutes later, I’m less scandalised but not completely mollified. I still don’t understand what made papa dearest send The Email. You see, although we were raised on healthy doses of the The Cosby Show and my dad reminds me of the character Cliff Huxatable, do not be mistaken, my father is 100% African. This means, when it came to raising us girls, it was implicitly communicated that he did not want to hear any romantic mention of the male specimen unless it involved marriage, otherwise he was indifferent. So all boys who came a-visiting when growing up where dutifully introduced as “friends” and rushed out of the house asap.

Clearly the policy has changed, papa dearest now wants to school us on the wants and needs of the African man and give my sisters and I a heads up...this has reduced me to giggling hysterically.

A phone call to my mother, confirmed all suspicions. Yes, they were concerned, or as my mother eloquently put it, “Where are my grandchildren?!” Followed by a thinly veiled threat, “We are looking into arranged marriages.” That got me worried; my mother has always been a poor judge of character when it comes picking out potential suitors for my sisters and me. She inadvertently picks the one who sucks up to her the most, the one who’s just a tad bit too smooth and general randoms.

Nope, this woman cannot be trusted, neither can her accomplice husband. A week before I moved to Jozi, my father craftily put an ex-boyfriend’s of mine’s father on the line, so that my ex’s father could explain in length that my ex and I would be living in the same city again and it was in everyone’s best interest that we “link up” *insert subliminal nudging and eyebrow waggling*

This situation is getting too Jane Austen for my liking...next the parental will be talking about the yearly income of so-and-so, the prospects of every bachelor within a 100km radius and what a great family so-and-so comes from.

I think it’s wise to give HIM the head’s up that gentlemen visitors may start to come a-calling and it’s none of my doing *smh*

Holla in the comments chickens :-)
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Random Soundbytes

SATC: I won’t give away any spoilers, there’s so little to this movie that one line could give away the plot, ka ka ka. Okay, I’m being cruel, but I am the only person who feels a little sad for these mama’s running around Manhattan like they’re youngsters? Half the characters show some progression in life, the other half, eish...see for yourself what I mean.

But where they never go wrong is the clothes and the shoes! Surprisingly, the belle of this sequel ball is Miranda. Carrie’s looks are too overboard at times, Samantha’s over exposed, Charlotte’s doing her stepford wife thing, nothing new there.

The Warriors: Didn’t catch the Zim vs Brazil game, but the tweeting commentary on Twitter was so real-time, i felt like I was at the National Sports Stadium! So we didn’t school the Samba Kings quite how we would have wanted to, but it was a great game and my country people had a lekker time. Wish I could have been there *sigh*

Thank Me When? So Drake’s album only drops in stores in 12 days time, i.e. a lifetime away, so i may have coerced very good friends in emailing me a few tracks. Now ordinarily i would feel bad, but Drake himself said, and i quote, “I gave away free music for years so we’re good over here...just allow it to be the soundtrack to your summer and ENJOY! June 15th!” And my current soundtrack it is, i will still buy the album when it drops, nothing like poring over album sleeves :-)

PS I’m super obsessed with his track, “November 18th” off his ‘So Far Gone’ mixtape, “Closer” from his ‘Comeback Season’ mixtape and “Karaoke” & “Un-thinkable” from his ‘Thank Me Later’ album...yes, i’m crushing hard on Aubrey.

Afriqan Times: World Cup teams have descended upon the city of Gold and this city will never be the same again! For the next month and a bit I will be reporting on all the WC excitement and activities on the ground over at my Afriqan Times blog. I’ll post links to that blog, over here so you don’t miss out on the going’s on.

Like here, I’m hoping you’ll overcome your shyness and drop a comment here and there (read: help make me look good people, lol).

Pay me a at The Afriqan Times here.

Shout out to my girl Kookie for hooking me up with the gig! Check out her blog here.

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Keep smiling chickens, catch you back here real soon!

Love,

V x

13 comments:

My Bestfriend's Little Sister(MBLS) said...

LOL Vimbai, you had me in stitches with this one, zvanzi 'We're looking into arranged marranges.' My goodness! But I your mum's like my mum, not the best judge of character with regards to guys.

SATC- I haven't watched, but I doubt I'll be impressed, I could hardly stomach the last one.

Shona Vixen said...

Vimbai your dad is one not-so-subtle dad!! Mine had a tactical way of asking if I was on the dating scene he asked how my good friend was..and i was like good friend?and he laughed and he said 'yeah, the good friend, the special friend' and he laughed..LOL!!!
Will be reading your World Cup updates on Afriqan Times.

Still iRefuse to listen to Drake..the last time you and Kooks told me to give a musician a go it was JM!!

SATC2 - no comment

Thanks for keeping your end of the bargain by the way!!

Shona Vixen said...

Ohh managed to watch the game online and I will be rooting for Brazil as well as France/Germany/Spain and all the African countries in the World Cup - yes I have no ONE team..lol!!

Shamilicious said...

You knew I was going to comment on this one...actually I comment on all of them so this is not a shock...I didnt realize all African parents were the same. My mama is freaking out now that I have a man...when are the babies coming...before it was you dont have a man...imi ka imi...so i tell her 3-5yrs...and she damn near had a heart attack..."asi wakupenga mwana wangu" followed by " i give you a year"

kookie said...

Sha Shona, you are going to judge us on JM? What about Jigga? Banky W? We have taste...we are not to blame for JM's douchy persona nhai!

Anywho, Here's my question that no one has asked, why are your parents assuming you are desperate and dateless in Joburg... in fact why are they not aware of HIM? *eyebrow raised*

Shona Vixen said...

@Kookie - Ok, Ok, I'll stop bringing up the past..now y'all need to send me this music pronto! I listened to him on Timbaland's 'Say Something' and lets say for the first time I actually listened to his bit, wasn't half bad..lol..

Ehe nhai Vimbai why don't they know about HIM?

Now that my parents know about GB its hell...yeah guess what team they decided to tell me they're supporting for the World Cup!

Teshyah said...

LMAHBAO!!!!!!!!!!

Chiroorwai asikana, kwakwakwa. Ko ningi uyo wepanext door. Ingawani aneka business kekutengesa maserura fone. Anga gona kumuchengeta Vimbi wedu!

Kwakwakwa!

Vimbai said...

@MBLS: These African mothers are cut from the same cloth i tell you and what's up with them being such bad judges of potential-mukwasha characters nhai?

Best you wait till SATC2 makes it onto local telly if you couldnt get through the first one.

@Shona: "special friend" ka ka ka ka. My dad is usual extremely subtle, hence my shock at the email...it's so out of character!

So your parents are supporting GB's team, hehehehe, inga they are campaigning hard! I like it!

PS I'm happy you finally caved in on listening to Drake, like Kooks said, we generally have great taste :-)

PPS You are supporting a whole lotta teams, hehe, i think the WC winner is somewhere in your lineup ek se.

@Shami: These mother's of ours will NEVER be happy, pure schizophrenia man. If you don't want a man, they want you to get one, if no children, that too, if no MBA, better start studying...they're a demanding bunch, mean well, asi...demanding!

Vimbai said...

@Kooks: Good question (one i was hoping noone would ask, hahaha). Thing is, my parents are a demanding lot...yes they desperately want their son-in-law but he must fit THEIR requirements. I've long since stopped telling them who i was seeing as they generally have nothing to say about anyone.

@Teshyah: Seka hako musikana, but i KNOW you've been through it too and that's revenge enough, hahaha.


So realising i'm the only one who needs to pleased in this instance, i would rather keep such details from them till they behave (which is probably never).

Random: My mother once told me i couldn't date a rapper (i mean, really) after she had spent too many minutes on MTV Base one day. Her list of who i can't see, makes in-breeding with 2nd cousins one's only option *smh*

Deedza said...

Hezvo Uncle Livy must be having a mid life crisis of some sort. I know where the gentle nudging is coming from. Golfing buddies daughters are one by one getting married, and he is wondering ko wait i have 3 but not one has mentioned a peep about anything. There comes a point i think in their lives where they dont want to be the african dad who doesnt want to hear about boys, to that african dad who is cool and can hang and all of a sudden wants to know more about your love life( i think it may have to do with the free cash injection they get from roora and the ability to boast and throw a wedding that was way better than Mr xxx's daughter)
My dad doesnt say anything and if he does it comes through my mother. I still don't have the heart to tell her that my "special" friend is now just a friend. I mean talk about not putting the pressure on us, i mean we feel it ourselves we are grown independant and manless... Parents we know please stop reminding us....
As for SATC dont bother wait for it on dvd. I was a little overzealous and went with my gf for the midnight screening- i fell asleep sums up my review

Sarai said...

ROFL! You've made my day completely with that post babe - couldn't have conjured that out of arranged marriage hell if I tried!

I started training my mother early - she knows better than to expect any offspring from this postapocalyptic uterus. Zenzi, however, is already buying underwear for her unborn children and is being told in no uncertain terms that she's too young for it!

Basically, it's all about their biological clocks ticking - you just have to be patient and grab the nearest Cosmo and read a few articles to your dad about how he needs to understand that there is no "right" time to get married and have babies. Besides, they raised you as intelligentsia - they should have made it clearer earlier on that their expectations were different :)

Ka-danger said...

Hahaha this was indeed a laugh. Feeling the same pressure, my mum and aunt even went to the extent of trying to start an internet love affair with some random Mozambican guy my aunt met in UK at church who she said was 'simply lovely' in the email which me and my potential lover where cc'ed into she described how we could strike up a friendship and how "years' down the line we'ld be thanking her, lol, they must think my situation is desperate!!

Zim parents, what can you do. Here's another one, mom's friend upon seeing her daughter's single situation, is has saved up the dollars and is going on pilgramage to Israel, to pray to break the 'curse'...no joke!! Lol

thanks for laugh!

Zimqueens said...

Oh dear... the typical african dilemma... Our parents don't want us dating on Monday... then on Tuesday suddenly we are old maids and need to be married! Oh Vims... the sad thing is once the requirement of dating someone has been met, it's followed by:
1. lobola
2. marriage (think inviting 800 people, hiring buses to transport said 800 people to Harare, feeding those 800 people... and expecting it to go off without a hitch!)
3. children
4. how you raise those children
5. why you don't have the time to visit with the grandchildren 4-5 times a week
6.making sure "my grandchildren" aren't dating.
7. making sure "my grandchildren" are married (we don't want any old maids)
It's a never ending cycle.
But all this aside... I agree with your dad. I want to be godmother before I turn 35. Hurry up.