Jun 06 2011

Parent Trap

Published by at 10:00 am under Just another day in Paradise

We get it. Your son/daughter is the best. And we should be very grateful for even being allowed to be around him/her. Could we now move on and talk about something else?

Today I realised that all parents and, in general, relatives, are made in the same factory. Having a day filled with family get-togethers, I woke up this morning but couldn’t get out of bed. After seriously considering having my first coffee ever, I finally decided I could get through this day naturally, so I got dressed up and left the house to go to my first family meeting. We all sat at a nice restaurant and ordered some food. Halfway through our lunch, my grandma leaned towards Theo and filled him in on what had been happening, so that he didn’t feel like an outsider. ‘Basically, my daughter is a genius’. Theo looked at me. ‘Does she mean granddaughter?’, he asked me. I shook my head. She meant daughter. ‘She has an extremely high position, she is considered one of the best, if not the best in what she does, she is highly intelligent’. Theo nodded and had a sip of his wine. ‘She studied in Sorbonne and was always the top student; her teachers kept calling us over to tell us how amazing she was. And is, of course. She is the smartest woman you have ever come across’. Theo couldn’t help but be very happy for my aunt. He turned to look at me. ‘That’s very impressive… I guess’.

We left my family meeting to go to one of Theo’s family gatherings. We sat opposite everyone, and just barely made it to devour three slices of cake, when Theo’s uncle started his speech. ‘You know, Angeliki, Theo is an extremely handsome man. Don’t look at him now, try to picture him with shorter hair. When he cuts it, he resembles a statue, an ancient Greek god or something’. I reassured him that my boyfriend was extremely handsome even with longish hair and that not one bit of his godlike presence was being spoiled by his new hairstyle. ‘You should be grateful; I imagine you must be very happy with a good-looking boy like him next to you’. ‘I thank God everyday’, I replied and looked at my sister sitting next to me. ‘When are we leaving?’, she whispered. ‘What does it even matter? We’ll get out soon, but then we’ll find ourselves back here again eventually’, I said on a pessimistic note. She shook her head in despair.

We went to Syntagma and joined the protests in the evening. Behind us were standing two women constantly talking about their kids. ‘She’s only six and she can already tap dance’! The other mum was left unimpressed. ‘My son is only five and he plays football like Pele’. The first mum couldn’t help but laugh. ‘You’re just saying that because he’s your son. You’re not being objective and you know it’. ‘What? It has nothing to do with that! Everyone says that he was born to be a footballer. It’s not me that says it’! ‘Well, my little Danae sings like an angel. She has Tina Turner’s voice’. The boy’s mum shook her head. ‘I never liked Tina that much. Good voice, but a bit tiring I’d say. I prefer men’s voices, they’re softer. If you hear my Nico’s voice you’ll be amazed’! It was then time for me to turn and look at those unbelievable kids. They had both sat on a step, bored of their mothers’ conversation, looking like they really couldn’t be bothered spending the rest of their lives pretending to be geniuses.

This reminded me of a time that a guy said he didn’t think I was that pretty, and that he really couldn’t get why this whole fuss about me had broken out. My sister made the big mistake of bringing that piece of information to our house, and of course, hell broke loose after that. My grandma got unbelievably angry and started going around the house shouting: ‘Who does he think he is? Who? I’m asking you’! My sister kept trying to calm her down. ‘I’m sure he was just kidding. I don’t think he actually meant it’… ‘He better not have meant it! He doesn’t think my Angeliki is that pretty? Has he looked at himself in the mirror? He’s a sample of a man! He’s half a person! He’s weird and he’s ugly, he’s annoying and obviously blind’! ‘That’s it, maybe he’s blind, don’t let him bother you, if anything, you should feel sorry for the guy’, my sister tried. ‘His problem is that he would never be as lucky as to have someone like Angeliki even looking at him. That’s his problem… What’s the fuss?… He wants to know what the fuss is all about? I’ll gladly tell him, give me his phone number. I want to talk to him’. We eventually convinced her not to call him, but I know that if she had the money and a good lawyer, she wouldn’t think twice about taking this poor guy to court.

So… Although it is of course true that your son/daughter/nephew/ granddaughter is the most attractive, intelligent, talented and good-hearted person in the world, can’t you find it in your heart to forgive whoever doesn’t straight away see it? Let’s face it, there are some blind, stupid, unappreciative people out there that don’t immediately spot and recognise your kid’s uniqueness. But as long as you know the ‘truth’, isn’t that what matters?…

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