Adda B Say So:How To Deal With Village In-Laws
By Fatima Zahra Umar
(WARNING: THIS IS SATIRE.)
On a flight to Yola, I sat next to two beautiful girls who regaled me with tales of dealing with in laws who were not educated or financially buoyant. Both women were married to ‘breadwinners’, men who had broken the yoke of illiteracy and poverty in their families and were now the providers to everyone else. These wives were at a loss as to what to do to deal with their in-laws. Both women were from upper class families and had no sympathy for the poor.
I was disappointed and hurt that these women saw their in-laws as an irritating inconvenience. They were unable to see that these poor people had slaved away to educate their husbands, all they see is a drain on their resources. Their selfishness worried me. They were so annoyed that their husbands fulfilled all family obligations to these village people.
I was inspired to write a satire advising them and women like them on how to deal with village in-laws.
So you finally made it to the exalted position of Mrs. Somebody! You got the trending wedding you always wanted; you broke Arewa twitter and Arewa Instagram with your gorgeous pre wedding and wedding pictures. You got George “the king” Okoro to take breathtaking shots of you and your boo. Your parents have spent their entire life savings on giving you the wedding of your dreams (never mind that they are now in debt and rarely go out..) everyone is talking about your wedding, you even made it to Bella Naija weddings. Congratulations my sister, you have made it! I am very happy for you…
Except there is one little problem, your husband has relatives from the village who are eager to come and enjoy life in the city with you. So after your beautiful honeymoon in an exotic location (the pictures on Instagram are gorgeous by the way*wink*) the village relatives storm your beautiful carefully decorated home to spend 2 weeks with you.
Relax; Adda B has your back with these simple tips on how to deal with dirty smelly uneducated villagers who are unfortunate enough to be your in-laws:
- Rule No 1 is make sure you keep all of them in one room. All of them should stay in one room. Even if they are 50. Never make the mistake of allowing them access to your room and your other room. Let their village smell stay in one place. Don’t let it permeate and render your expensive turaren wuta useless. Let them stay there and nonsense the bathroom kawai. Because Lord Knows you are not about to clean up after shameless unhygienic poor people. Allah Ya Sawwake! Imagine the embarrassment of your beautiful home smelling like a village pit latrine!! Besides we don’t want your rich housewife friends seeing them roaming about your home in their cheap wrappers now do we?
- Dress in your most expensive clothes so that even if your rich Maitama and Asokoro friends see them milling about, they will know that you are the apple of hubby’s eye. Let them see that oga knows where his priorities lie. The contrast of your expensive laces and fabrics against their wretched faded cheap wrappers will send the right kind of message. Don’t dull.
- Do not feed them good food often, before they will think it is a right and start coming to visit you anyhow. While you cook chicken peri peri for oga and his rich friends please ensure that there is enough miyan kuka (with dry fish only) for your village guests. Why should village people be eating chicken anyhow? Something that they are not even used to eating ehn? Dry fish is sufficient protein for them. Chicken is for rich educated people and not for those who will be sucking and chewing bones anyhow. If you’re the generous type, a few sachets of milo and dano milk will suffice as breakfast and lunch. In the alternative, dumame once a week will be enough for breakfast and lunch (especially if you are a career woman). That is the village standard. This is actually mean but the goal is to make sure we keep them hungry enough for them to change their minds about any more visits. A certain aunt of mine even locks up her kitchen so that starving guests will not get any ideas of even soaking indomie. Try it! It works because for the past 18 years no one has come to visit her from the village.
- Let them wash all their clothes. Do not make the mistake of allowing them the enjoyment of your washman and his skills. The washman is not there to carry the burden of your smelly diseased village relatives. I mean who even knows what sort of germs they have on their clothes? If you are the generous type, a few bars of canoe soap will suffice. Maybe only for your mother in law. Meanwhile keep in mind the general idea is to make your house unbearable and as unhospitable as possible.
- While your village in laws are around please ensure you seize every single slight opportunity to display your annoyance and dislike at their presence. Hiss as much as possible and complain about the smell as much as you can. Don’t greet them every day, you don’t have to. If not that you are a nice girl with home training I would have asked you to kick them out. How can poor people come and be disturbing your life, as a newly wedded bride ehn? You must not greet them o, because they are not worth your greeting. If they want greeting, they should go back to the farm abeg.
- Make sure that your husband feels the heat for being from a poor village family. Make his life as miserable as you can for having the sort of relatives that do not fit into your Abuja life. Make it very clear to him that you are more important than his relatives. His life of poverty and struggle is now over and that is why he could even marry you. You are now his family. He must move on to the circles you approve of. Ensure he treats them with disdain or else he will have himself to blame.
- If oga gives you money or gifts to give to them, my dear make sure you reduce it before giving o! Before these insatiable villagers think your husband is now their personal ATM. Matter of fact, why not use the money to treat your rich Maitama friends to a lunch or something? I hear the food at Madres is the bomb! It’s much better than giving Hajiya Wabili money for her son’s school fees.
Remember he MUST choose between you and them. If not these people will ruin your husband financially and there will be no money for expensive holidays, brand new cars and Bnatural Spa Days o! These village people are like locusts, destroying every fertile farmland and never satisfied. Stop them now before it is too late.
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