So you have finally arm-twisted your man into taking you to see his mother in the village as the first step towards Instagram hashtags like #happilyeverafter and #he’sminehatersgohang. However, before you get all excited about the trip to his rural home, there are few things you must appreciate. First, you should know that the village Mr Fancy Pants hails from lies in the bowels of poverty and uncivilisation.
He drives a Mercedes Benz in the city, but his mum and grandmama ride on jiggers and cracked soles. Yes, that’s where you are going. Let that simmer for a moment. When you get there, scan through the environment with the same enthusiasm you scan his wallet when he’s paying for your bills. Allow your eyes to wander, when you don’t see anything that resembles the little girls’ room, don’t even ask for it when pressed.
This will only cause ridicule and embarrassment to your host. Just be a fine sport and pluck a few leaves from the pumpkin vine behind his house and run towards the nearest bush. About your dressing, what you wear to the occasion should be a perfect balance between a Catholic nun, Legio Maria and Wakorino ladies.
Anything lesser than that is unacceptable and will lead to immediate dismissal. If the hem of your dress doesn’t sweep the leaves off their compound, then forget it. And keep your hair at manageable circumferences. Don’t show up with a humongous Afro wig that would call for the demolition of your in-law’s hut just to pass that gigantic head through! Let me assure you that no one will bat an eyelid because you’ve put on a new haute couture dress that is hot off the runway. Hell, no one even cares that you are carrying an original Louis Vuitton bag.
For all they care, that bag has a print that looks like the school uniform of Mshongoleni Primary School! So, all your slaying hashtags will fall like a rusty ladder on his dusty mum’s floor. Then tone down on the colours you plaster on your face, don’t paint your lips and eyelids like you are auditioning for Peter Marangi’s job, lest his old grandmother assumes that you are the goddess of the Akamba, protector of luminous colours!
Again, when you are there and your ‘mother-in-law’ asks you to point to a chicken that would fall in your honour, don’t choose the largest one in the crowd. You don’t want people thinking you have a greedy eye. Choose the thinnest one, the one whose feathers look like they were involved in a tragic hair relaxing incident. When it’s time to eat, use your fingertips to pick on small grains of ugali. Don’t rip through ugali in mounds equivalent to the size of a baby’s head, no matter how hungry you could be. So uncouth! Even villagers have standards, ala!
Last but not least, eat whatever is served. It doesn’t matter if you saw your mother-in-law lifting her grandson from the cooking pot; just drink the damn soup woman! And ask for a recipe, always ask for a recipe. Give her the satisfaction that you find her better than you in all aspects.