Monday, 25 July 2011

Coz this is Mother's kind of funny...

Y'know that awkward moment when you're watching a perfectly normal movie that suddenly seems to turn into a porno when one of your parent's walk in? I get that alot. And it's not limited to parents only and generally includes little cousins, aunts, uncles and everyone else in the entire world that can, and will make you feel uncomfortable in such situations.

And forget trying to change the channel because in that moment you'll find that the remote plays dead. In fact you'll wonder if it ever worked, even if it's a brand new TV. If it's a DVD that you're watching, never ever press the fast-forward button. Trust me. Because it just magnifies whatever's on the screen and it looks at least a hundred times more graphic than it really is. The best thing you can do is to get up and walk away. You’re suddenly very thirsty and need to get a drink from the fridge.

South African's by nature are much more conservative than other more liberal Christian countries; however this is slowly changing with the times. I've noticed that there are things that younger generations can get away with that were unfathomable to us. For instance, like telling graphic jokes in front of their parents. While I'm not old (well 29 is old to some but fuck them) I would rather dig out my own cochleas and donate them to some underprivileged deaf kids than be in that group. It makes me uncomfortable.

I grew up with something called boundaries y'know. And in a world where boundaries are increasingly irrelevant or cease to exist, there is a new level of disrespect unfounded in previous generations. Even cavemen drew the line somewhere. The social consequences of respect and the lack thereof can never be underestimated. People want answers to the degradation of morals, values, ethics in society and that conscientiousness that is essential to maintain the world’s sanity, I say look no further.

But sometimes the jokes are so funny. In such instances, I hide my face and snigger contentedly. I find that as I get older, my parents are less inhibited with me. Maybe they’ve accepted me as an adult and therefore treat me as such or maybe they’ve always been un-inhibited and just hid it very well.

In any case, it would seem that tact diminishes with age and maybe that’s why Mother has no problem telling my sister’s friend that she looks like her dog (meaning that her dog resembles her the way most dogs and their owners begin to resemble each other after years together) and my father can tell me that he was fucked in the arse (meaning his partner figuratively screwed him over in a business deal). I can literally laugh at my parents for days on end – but they can become very embarrassing. And that is why I’ll always think thrice about introducing either of them to a potential partner. That’s life I suppose.

Here’s a “chin-up” email I received from Mother. Laugh she says, because if you worry you’ll die. And if you don’t worry, you’ll still die. So why worry :)


  1. That's one of the liberating things about growing old - you stop caring about what people think. I think I like the "No Sex" wheel best.

  2. Have your parents talked openly about their sex life in front of you yet? If not, buy the ear plugs now before it starts!

    The Boob Pit is truly an inspired idea though!

  3. "... or maybe they’ve always been un-inhibited and just hid it very well"... I think that's it. They hid it very well. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the people that I 'know' who close the curtains and become, well, themselves. Basically everyone's the same, don't you think? There are just degrees in hiding, resulting from that type of brainwashing we call culture.


    P.S. Here's a true story (I know it, because it happened to me) that may shock you, but it certainly shows that we're talking degrees in hiding.

  4. Those boundaries are definitely necessary! I feel the same way about telling vulgar jokes in front of my parents, but D-Man has a much more liberal relationship with his family, and I can't help but sink down into my chair and get red in the face when they start joking and laughing about, for example, how they "heard" us the other night. Why, why, why.

    (P.S. We've moved to the city now, so problem solved! Bah!)

  5. My parents have always been pretty uninhibited with me - which makes me uncomfortable, I don't think it's ever gone the other way around.

    I loved the dad who wouldn't pull his pants up until his kid did. Awesome.

  6. I relate so much to this post.

    I have a ten year old brother who has absolutely no qualms about bringing home his (way too explicit imo)Life Orientation textbook and revelling in explaining all the cringe-worthy bits to the rest of us conservatives.

    The rest of us- his siblings(all older, I'm 20...Go Figure yeh?)have somewhat , after the initial disconcertment, come to terms and I feel even embraced this new 'open communication' thing...

    But I still see my Mum and Dad blush when they answer him.

  7. GB - I know some much older people (colleagues) who still care what people think even though they don't say so. I also suppose it has to do with the kind of person you are and the level at which you accept yourself as a person - determined by your self worth and esteem.

    Angie - No but they've spoke about other people's sex lives in front of me and seriously, it makes me want to gag every time :)

    RCB - Oh I definitely agree with you, people are the same because as humans we possess the same spectrum of emotions. I think some just "dress" it differently, like you mentioned - revealing degrees of themselves in accordance to the accepted norms and customs in their respective cultures :)
    And thanks for the link to that entertaining story...even I was shocked :D

    Michi - Hahaha...oh no, I would DIE if anything like that had to happen to me. Just reading about it makes me blush :D

    Diedre - The irony is that my Dad can be SO graphic, it literally leaves me dumbstruck, like my jaw unhinged dragging on the floor in shock. Yet he chides my 8 year old sister for watching anything where there's a couple and it LOOKS like they *might* hold hands and kiss :)

    Humayda - My sisters and I communicate quite open... my cousins too. It's the parents I can't handle... especially my really graphic aunts who go into detail about their sex lives and menopause etc. etc. It makes me want to run out of the house screaming with my hands covering my ears ;)

  8. Again - please forgive the typos etc. Late night... and all that ;)