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Can't teach old dogs new tricks

By unknown | Jun 08, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Y AUNT, who used to twist all her facial muscles at the sight of cider and said: "Ibeer ayingeni kwami!" (Beer is not allowed in my house), has got her groove back. She was bound to, sooner rather than later.

Y AUNT, who used to twist all her facial muscles at the sight of cider and said: "Ibeer ayingeni kwami!" (Beer is not allowed in my house), has got her groove back. She was bound to, sooner rather than later.

Ever wondered how the bashers are eventually forced to redeem themselves and admit their ignorant ways?

Well, my aunt used to say that the smell of alcohol from the neighbour's house could wake her from the deepest sleep.

But last Saturday, after being surprised by wedding band number four, she was singing: "Intwenhle uyazenzela!" (Build something nice for yourself).

Yes, she was drunk and she loved the feeling. And she was making sense. It appears that she was right about succeeding in being able to moulding her partner.

My friend says that I'm toooptimistic if I think I can teach old dogs new tricks. Well, new tricks are only new on the first day, I say.

"How do you teach someone to say thanks and not tanks?" she asks. And it leaves me exasperated just trying to think ofan answer. The truth of the matter is some mothers do a very bad job of raising their sons. A pack of wolves might as well have taken sole custody when it comes to some black guys.

They won't do the dishes, won't help women carry heavy bags and will enter the lift before anyone else, without even blinking. It's disgusting.

Women like me aren't necessarily trying to marry Prince Charles, in the etiquette stakes, but black guys are so uncultured they leave me reeling.

Now they will write and ask me: uncultured according to whose culture? I have no time for such nonsense. The truth is, they expect women to be cultured and foot the bill in a restaurant, drive them around and so forth. But they sulk when the tables are turned.

So my aunt, who happens to be in her late 30s, decided, to hell with bashing the male species and worked on transforming her sow's ear into a silk purse.

She was gentle and reminded him, without losing her cool, to take everyone's dirty dishes to the kitchen sink after they had eaten.

"Phela, he used to leave me sitting in the lounge and vanish to the bedroom without breathing one word about going to sleep. I'm sure even a jackal tells his wife when he goes to bed," she complained.

And South Africa is crawling with guys like him. They overtake your car on the road for the sake of overtaking. They come home late at night and don't bother to call. They shamelessly look on as a woman tries with all her might to juggle the chores, balance the budget and even hand over the remote control. And then they wonder why some cats are loved and cherished like mine is.

But my aunt refused to wait for heaven to send her The One. She decided to make a gentleman of her former couldn't-care-less guy. She bought him new clothes because someone once told her that clothes maketh the man.

"You have to feel like, and look like a gentleman to act like one, isn't it?" I once asked Dr Phil. And for the first and last time, the doctor and I agreed.

Yes, his old clothes from Jet were thrown out and they went shopping for fragrances. The fragrance actuated a new love for water. Soon he was bathing twice a day and washing his hands every time he went to the toilet.

"Before, he used to think washing hands was optional," auntie says.

Soon the guy was taking the rubbish out and shaving so as not to be mistaken for a Shembe member. A new dawn emerged.

Even his friends started taking their cars to a car wash and buying sunglasses.

It's a job I could never attempt. Every dog for itself, I say.

My mom sang the same tune as me.

"Life is not supposed to be that hard. You can't be a teacher, lover, mother, maid, stripper and an employee in one lifetime."

And she unleashed a selfish streak in me. I am, after all, my mother's daughter.

And then after my aunt came out flashing her fourth engagement rock at her fourth engagement party, we both sulked and wondered what we were doing wrong.

"You are not moulding them," she answered.

Then a week later, someone (thanks for the camera phone technology) spotted aunty's fiancé holding a woman who looked very much like Zindzi Mandela at the Zoo Lake.

And then I was instantly reminded that sometimes you mould a guy just for someone else to take him.


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