My mom always tells this story about my parents’ first few years as a married couple. My dad’s side of the family had rented an RV and was going on a road trip. Naturally, as my dad’s new wife, my mother was invited. She was just waking up from a nap in the back of the RV when she heard my grandmother, my dad’s mom, talking about cooking.
“I have to cook something good for you because I know your wife is not feeding you.”
It was shade. The worst kind: mom shade. But immediately my dad responded.
“No, she cooks just fine.”
And that was the end of the conversation. It was a small thing but to my mother, who was pretending to be sleep at this point, it provided the reassurance that her new husband had her back, even against the first woman in his life, his mother.
I always remember that story because, just like so many of my parents’ interactions as a married couple, it set the tone for how I think marriage and romantic relationships should be.
It affects the way I interact with men and the way I interpret different types of relational conflict, in my friends and family’s lives and also on reality tv.
Friends, family and reality tv stars. What a world!
Generally, I find “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood” to be a hot booty mess, yet deliciously entertaining. So I watch. And I’ve surmised, that at this point, the people who seem to have the most sense on the show are Omarion and his girlfriend Apryl Jones. I really like Omarion. And Apryl seems like a smart and level-headed woman. The two are pretty adorable together.
But according to the show, the biggest obstacle in their relationship is Omarion’s mother, Miss Leslie. Miss Leslie, who is 45 and has had some health issues, believes that as the mother of a celebrity, she should be taken care of. And unfortunately, she interprets Apryl (and maybe even their child) as a threat to her lifestyle. Like, Omarion might not be able to provide for her like he once did because, you know, he’ll have to take care of his child and girlfriend.
And she hasn’t been shy about letting Omarion and Apryl know where she stands on that. She told Apryl flat out that she didn’t like her, basically insinuating that she was after Omarion’s money.
On the show, while Apryl and his mother argue, Omarion takes a very laissez faire approach. And he confirmed his stance in a recent interview with Hip Hollywood.
HH: Do you feel like you ever have to pick sides?
Apryl: He throws it on me to like fix the situation.
Omarion: When you’re dealing with someone who’s older, they’re kind of set in their ways. I think ultimately my mom wants the best and I think that she can recognize that, regardless of how she deals with it. I try to not stand in the middle. I try to go far away from it. Because they’re intense. I’m intense and it’s a whole lot of intense going on.
Apryl: From his grandmother, to his mom, to his aunt, they’re strong women. So he can’t obviously date anyone who’s not strong either.
Omarion: To be honest with you, I really feel like it was a plus because–excuse me baby– some of the other women who I have brought to the crib, they couldn’t handle that nature. If you’re going to be with the fan, you got to handle your own and she can hold her own.
Apryl can certainly hold her own. But I’m sure she’d appreciate some relief from Omarion every once in a while because Miss Leslie will make you tired, honey.
Even Snoop Dogg agrees with that. Watch this video he posted about his opinion of Omarion’s mother.
Now that was disrespectful. And yet Omarion regrammed it.
But the issue is really bigger than Omarion and Apryl. Do you think a man should defend his woman against his mother? And at which point should this defense kick in, should it wait until that woman is his wife?