For a moment I froze. I tried to think hard and fast what had just happened. It was shock not a hidden desire for voyeurism that made me not move. My gate does not have a lock and am sure I had left it slightly open in any case. People assume that every gate in the suburbs is electric but truth the be told that’s not true. I think only if you leave in a township or village would you make that basic assumption. The reality is most of us lock our gates with either a chain or a lock in the handle mechanism. I am certain that in the rush I had been I had definitely not closed properly nor locked. Most of the people that come buzz at the gate but my wife and I being outside if they had, then most definitely we would not have heard it. Its not something I had foreseen though I must say with much annoyance my in laws had this uncanny habit of just showing up. This was not the first time they had showed up unannounced. They seemed to have this belief that what belonged to their daughter was also theirs. I had even once advised my wife that she should speak to her parents about this habit of theirs of just arriving as though they owned the place. She had accused me of not liking her parents when I said that!
My wife screamed at them to go away into the house and look away. They said they would but the door was closed and locked. They had all turned to face the house giving their backs to us. I looked to the side and saw my wife’s pair of bikini pants next to her father’s feet. I just wished the pool would create a whirlpool and swallow me now. Of all the horrible things to happen. My mother in law said she was going to sit in the car and will wait to be called when the coast was clear. My wifes cousin was actually giggling much to the dismay of everyone but that is what it means to be young. You get away with a lot. She too followed her aunt and uncle. We quickly dressed ourselves and my wife went to open the door and ran upstairs. She locked the door behind her. I asked her to open for me so I could dry up but instead she shouted at me to go away because it was all my fault that this had happen! That was the wife I had married! She had to look good always no matter what the circumstance was. I was too annoyed to fight her at that moment so I went and used the towels in the downstairs closet.
I now had to go ask them in. It was like doing a walk of shame because my driveway was a bit long. They had parked outside the gate even so how on earth would I have heard when they pooled up. These people were sneaky, trying to catch us with our pants down. Well they had gotten what they wanted to see now they must live with it. Your mother in law should never ever see you naked. We not white people. I know they can swim together but us black folk don’t swim for that reason. We do not go on holiday with our in-laws. In most cases in-laws in Africa culture are to be avoided at all costs because they will always find something they do not like about you. With me it was the fact that I had moved their beloved daughter all the way to the Western Cape something which my mother in law especially did not appreciate. She reminded my wife always how things would be different if she stayed closer. Although not the reason why I moved us to Cape Town, I always felt that us being so far away was a good thing because this woman loved interfering. She loved her daughter I got it but the way she was so overprotective of her was like she would marry her herself! I know of so many parents like that who do not allow their children to grow up. Even if she works as long as she stays at home she has to date in secret yet they expect her to get married? Like honestly now!
When I got to the car I could not even pretend to be happy to see them. The thought of what had happened earlier kept creeping back. I opened the back door for my wife’s cousin because in our culture its rude to open the door for your father in law like that. It looks forceful and once upon a time I tried it and they did not take it well. It’s ok to close the door for them but to open when they are still inside is a no no! When the door opened my mother in law clicked her tongue which came out like “mxcim” (honestly don’t know what that’s called in English yet every African knows what it means!). It was like she had stepped out of a scene in a Nigerian movie the way it was so loud and heartfelt. She said to her husband that she will not be sleeping in this house tonight she wants to go to a hotel! Inside me, a little warrior was doing summersaults in ecstasy knowing they were leaving until my father in law turned to me and said,
“Sibani this is all you fault, book us into the Garden Court near the stadium! When we get there it must be done already!”
The hotel was a ten minute drive down Main Road and the stadium he meant was Newlands stadium behind SAB. It was flippen’ expensive! This couple knew how to milk me! Last time they came they had read about the Fabiani in Claremont and asked me to take them there so that I could buy him a shirt. A shirt for r1500! Now I had to pay for them, my wife was angry at me. my mother in law had seen my dick and I thought I was still in charge of my own life? Really.
I obliged their request because I don’t think I would survive the shame of having to face them all evening in the house. Besides who wants their in-laws to sleep over. The house gets very formal and pretentious when they are around. They drove out but not before the marched out my wifes cousin. She had a few bags which I helped her with but she was laughing her lungs out. Disrespectful 17 year old. If I could I would clap her just to take out my frustrations on her!
“Bhuti, did you see the look on their faces! This is a hashtag moment!”
She said with glee! I just ignored her for I had had too much drama for one day. Too much! She was quite a forward child no wonder why they had shipped her out to Cape Town! Now she would be our problem. She asked me where my wife was and I said in the room and she must not disturb her. I gave her the downstairs room where Khanyi had left me an unwanted present under the bed. My wife will sort out all the other details later. I didn’t even know what had been planned for her school or worse, who was paying?
In ten minutes my father in law called me from the hotel. He said he was at the hotel and he still had not been booked in. The way he said was more like a boss talks to his secretary commanding and demanding!
I told him that he had driven off in haste so I did not get a chance to tell him I did not have money for that hotel it was too expensive! If they did not want to sleep at home then they should sleep at a bnb and I was calling the bnb now. I told him it was called Rondebosch Guest House behind Hussar and Grill and next to Rustenburg Girls Primary school! He was so annoyed. He said a man of his calibre does not sleep in a bnb so he would rather drive all the way back to the Eastern Cape. I told him there was nothing I could do that would be his choice but I will still make the booking I intended just in case they changed their minds.
An hour later the bnb lady called and said my guests had arrived!
A man of his calibre my ass, the man has lived in Mdantsane all his life now he wants to act like he knows caviar! It was my turn to try click my tongue and say mxcim but with a smile of satisfaction!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Today the letter is from me MIKE. I have a reader who is writing her PHd thesis out of UKZN and her topic is on Sugar Daddies and the reconstruction of identity and culture etc that influences a lot of their decisions to this end. Please she is seeking 12 volunteer sugardaddies willing to be interviewed. Your identities will remain secret if you want. Please get back to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping on this fascinating topic.
To those who have sugardaddies, please kindly ask them if they would be interested. I know it is a tricky one but we aim to help.