In case you missed the last episode, read here – THE NEW WIFE SERIES: Just Married
If I ever wanted to go out while living with my parents, I tried as much as possible to dress up and leave after my mum had left the house. Reason being, as long as I could recall, my mum had had something against any type of clothing I loved the most. Not like a personal attack on me or anything but that’s what it was.
My love for wearing trousers in University was unquantifiable. I don’t remember having more than two skirts maximum per session (the two skirts in 300 level would most likely have been carried over from 200 level and they still looked as good as new). I was that uninterested in skirts. It was just convenient to jump on motorcycles without fear of the slit of a skirt giving way.
Nothing could separate me from my trousers. Not even the campus fellowship I started out with. As soon as they told me I couldn’t wear trousers once I joined their workforce, I moved on to find another that would accept us…Me and my jeans.
At home, mum was the problem. Anytime she saw me clad in jeans..
“Don’t you have skirts? Don’t you know wearing trousers is a sin?!”
Me: ”I have only one skirt and the zip is even bad.”
NEXT DAY: Mum hands me some skirts in a shopping bag.
Luckily, she somehow always bought me oversized skirts so that would be my valid excuse for the next few months. I survived this season because most times I was away in school anyway.
The transformation must have come when I met Mr Husband. He could not understand why I always had to ‘steal’ his belt for my jeans. I need to mention at this time though that I was so light-skinned on my legs compared to the rest of my body, thanks to zero exposure of the legs to the sun. So much so that if you looked at me from my feet up, you could mistake me for someone of mixed race (half-caste). But if you looked at me from my head down, well… you’d still mistake me for someone of mixed race. (Having a Benin Mum and Yoruba dad qualifies me, right?! #PleaseDontArgue #Thanks)
So every time Mr Husband had to get me a gift, he got me a slightly-above-the-knee length dress. Before long, jeans got relegated to the back of my wardrobe. And the love for skirts/dresses was born.
Once again Mum wasn’t pleased.
“Ah ahn, Tope. Is this skirt not too short?”
I just consoled myself each time with this – “When you start to disagree with your mum constantly, it only means the house can no longer contain two madams. You will need to play ball until you become a madam of your own castle.”
On this bright sunny day in December, mum was in town visiting. Mr Husband and I were about to set out to see her where she was staying and I was dressed in one of ‘those my dresses.’ Then I remembered who I was going to see and I almost rushed back into my room to change.
But wait…Wasn’t I married now and under a new government?
With that confidence, I walked to Mr Husband for validation on my outfit.
“You look perfect, babe” was his answer.
Aha! Oga at the top has spoken. Gingered!
As expected, we got to Mum’s and the first thing she said to me after we exchanged pleasantries, this time whispering (as she wouldn’t want to disrespect a married woman LOL)
“Is this one not too short?!”
Me: Mummy it’s okay. It’s the way I’m sitting.
Because she’s my mum and I’ve acquired years of experience in handling matters like this with her, I stylishly dismissed that talk with a joke and we forgot about it in no time.
Next stop was my mother in-law’s home. We went with my mum. The crowd I met there wasn’t what I anticipated. Everybody seemed to have chosen that day to visit. My brother in-law and his fiancee, my sister in-law and her husband, and now three of us.
I suddenly lost all the confidence I had in the length of my dress. The perfect plan would have been to sit quietly in one place till the visit was over but as I was the youngest most loved there, my mother in-law said to help get drinks for everybody from the refrigerator. I refused to assume all eyes followed me as I got up, did my chest out and ‘eyes right’, all the way to the kitchen and back, served everybody with a broad smile on my face but no eye contact, and made it back to my seat in one piece.
Phew! It was a great day. Everybody seemed happy as we chatted away and laughed as time flew by. Bliss… Sadly, it was time to go. Everybody else got up to walk the three of us to the car. Finally, I let out an almost loud sigh.
“All went well after all. You were over-thinking it, Tope.”
With a smile of victory on my face as I faced the entrance to my side of the car, I was about to open the door when I heard my mother in-law’s voice behind me, in the softest sweetest tone ever,
“Tope, this one no too short so?” (in pidgin English)
Before I could even turn around to reply, my mother goes…“Ehen, shebi I told her. I kuku told her before we left the house.”
The way I felt must be the same way children feel when their parents disown them. My own mother?! What happened to us against the world. LOOL the woman just couldn’t let an opportunity to exonerate herself pass.
Slowly, I managed a smile as I muttered a reply of ”Mama, your son bought it for me oh. He said that’s what he likes.”
Even though my sweet brother in-law came to my defense immediately saying something about leaving me to wear what my husband liked to my two mothers, all I could think of was my mother’s betrayal. LOL. Oh, the pain!
Now I’ve got two mother hawks watching over me. I’m grateful for them and won’t trade them for anything. <3 <3
But most importantly, I learned, that there is such a thing as new management that can silence the parents on some matters. And….just when you think getting married will help you run from your mum, guess what? You just earned yourself a Mummy 2.
….but still, I love being a wife.