I am a victim of Matric Ball mania for the third time!

Sasha Before The start of the 2014 school year and the MBM buzz

Look, I am risking my motherhood by writing this post about matric balls. But I need an outlet and you are my best confidant now. You see, my daughter, Sasha, is rather ambivalent about her relationship with me during this period. And it is all about this MBM ( Matric Ball Mania) fever that has struck our home.

Only two weeks ago I was still the 'fun Mom'. Now I am more the grouch in the closet and her dad is probably the hippest dad on planet earth. I can't recall having a similar experience with Brett and Christo. They knew we had to hire a Tux, buy the shirt they identified and get the shoes. It was that easy. Not so with sister dearest, though.

Everything was pretty quiet at the beginning of this year. Sasha and I had agreed last year (December 2013) already that her Matric Ball was going to be relatively low key financially, but an historic event. We decided on a limited budget and got all the aunts to pledge their commitment to either pay for the hairdo, the shoes and the jewellery. That is how the family operates and we were sorted. After all, we had agreed Sasha can go on the Amore Italia tour in June, so our shoestring Matric Ball budget was justified.

That was a lifetime before January 2014 hit and the start of the school year. Suddenly I was watching more Youtube videos on make up, hairstyles and smart dresses. A few of these videos are long, very long. And most of them are American. And most of the youngsters are giving pretty much the same advice. But I persevered and I watched these, doing heavy, regulated breathing as recommended by the yoga experts.

Then The Shoes became the centre of the universe.

Suddenly Steve Madden shoes were the only shoes on the market.

"Why is there this sudden obsession with Steve Madden shoes? " I asked, as we trekked through Edgars stores one evening.

There was no reply, just a smirk that would probably have earned me a klap (slap) if I had dared doing that gesture when I was in Grade 12 and my mom was opposite me. Obviously dearest dad supported this look because he stared at me as if I was a resurrected cave woman.

While I was still examining all the shoes in Edgars, checking which one had plu leather uppers or genuine ones, which one's plastic heels would last longer and which platform would stay affixed to the MBM' s foot when the dancing at the ball started, I looked around to give Sasha my verdict. Guess what? Only the bored sales assistant and I were standing there. Sasha and her dad had gone down to the Steve Madden outlet somewhere in Canal Walk, the assistant told me. I cursed under my breath and proceeded to take pictures of the shoes and those irksome, barcoded glued stickers that cannot be removed.

Only after hearing the final call for shoppers to proceed to the till points because the shop was closing for the evening, I stopped my shoe label photo shoot and moved to the parking lot. I googled Steve Madden and learnt quite a bit about this American who spent some time in jail, who is accused of being a copy cat of shoe designs and who is very angry for not being acknowledged for his creative shoe designs. Somehow I got the feeling that Steve Madden is an equivalent of our HQ shoe outlets, but with the hefty price tag!

When Sasha finally arrived at the car, she and her dad announced that the only shoe they deemed smart was the one with the R1,600 price tag. You really don't want to know how colourful my language became upon hearing this madness. Fortunately both daughter and father's MBM shoe hangover ended 24 hours later and there was equilibrium.

That is only the drama with the shoes. Suffice to say, I have not been encouraged (or rather, not invited) to join the search for the bag and the earrings. Thankfully, both items showed that clear, rational thinking and glamour were in sync when the father-daughter duo made the purchases.

This week is the run-up to the Matric Ball and we have had relative calm thus far. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Saturday may be one delicious rush ; that there is no fraying of the nerves because of a broken fingernail or a hair tendril that is not where it belongs.

Then, of course, I will be forgiven if I am the one struck with MBM on Saturday. After all, Sasha is our only princess, our last born and she is presenting us with the finale of Matric Ball preparations in this family. We will talk about the studies after all the MBM frenzy has died down.

Let them have their fun before they have to knuckle down and hit the books!

Sasha and her dad


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