The Tomboy Bride 1/4

By Drum Digital
17 October 2013

YOU can't get married in trousers!'' Mama's shrill voice echoed off the walls. The mother-daughter tea Nomsa had organised to plan her wedding was not going well. Mama's eyes, wide and round, reflected her shock. But Nomsa had made up her mind.

YOU can't get married in trousers!'' Mama's shrill voice echoed off the walls. The mother-daughter tea Nomsa had organised to plan her wedding was not going well.

Mama's eyes, wide and round, reflected her shock.

But Nomsa had made up her mind. ??Why not?'' For a moment it seemed Mama would choke on her tongue at the cheekiness of the question.

Then she gasped, ??It's not bridal. . . and so unfeminine.''

??But Mama, I've never been feminine,'' Nomsa chuckled. It was too much to expect that this light-hearted reply would diffuse the tension. All it achieved in Mama was that puckered brow and a tight-lipped look.

Nomsa had seen it before when she had stubbornly insisted on a soccer ball instead of a skipping rope. Or when she had chosen a toy car over a doll. And when she had opted for computer programming rather than nursing.

Nomsa braced herself, rallied her defences for the verbal attack she knew was coming. Her mother had always been her most formidable opponent.

??It's unheard of!'' Mama declared, shaking her head.

??It's been done by women all over the place,'' Nomsa countered.

??But not where we come from,'' Mama assured her strongly.

??So I'll be the first,'' Nomsa chirped.

Mama's angry look left no doubt that she regarded this as a dubious honour.

??I'd prefer it if you followed the example of one of the lovely brides in these catalogues I bought for just this occasion.''

Three stacks of books and magazines were piled on the coffee table between them in Mama's lounge. Nomsa reckoned Mama had bought every bridal publication in town.

Too bad she'd not consulted her before ploughing headlong into a pointless exercise. Some of them looked pretty pricey too.

??I'm just not the veil-and-train type,'' Nomsa said flatly.

??You can leave out the train,'' Mama conceded reluctantly. As if it was her decision to make in the first place.

Gently but firmly, Nomsa said, ??Mama, a dress just isn't what I had in mind.''

??And what will Richard's people think?'' Mama lamented. ??What will they say?''

??Who cares?'' Nomsa replied. ??He doesn't. And it's my wedding.''

??Precisely!'' Mama threw her hands up. ??Your wedding! Not a birthday party. Not a Valentine's Day disco. Your wedding!''

Wagging a cautionary finger, Mama leaned forward. ??There are occasions for that tomboyish nonsense you choose not to outgrow, Nomsa, but your wedding isn't one of them.''

She clutched at the arms of her sofa.

??Other women glide majestically down the aisle like proper brides should. . . And you? You'll stride purposefully down the aisle, eh? There'll be no graceful gliding in trousers. Next you'll tell me that you want to wear miners' gumboots.''

??Mama, calm down,'' Nomsa said.

??Calm down?'' Mama's head shot backwards. ??My daughter tells me she's determined to embarrass me in front of her in-laws and everyone else we know ? and she expects me to calm down!''

??It can't hurt to let all his relatives and friends know right from the start that I'm more comfortable in trousers,'' Nomsa argued.

To be continued...

Story: Mirirai Moyo

Illustration: Caine Swanson

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