Jun 14 2011

Faith no more

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

If a person has reached a certain age (anything older than five), then you should be able to trust that some things can go without saying. Right?

A few weeks now in Athens, a few weeks around the family, and we’re back to square one. ‘I’ll quickly park the car here and pop out to get a coffee’, my aunt said this morning, as she pulled over. Being really warm in the car, I asked her whether it would be ok if I got off for a while to get some fresh air. ‘I’ll go and sit under that tree in the shade until you come back; it’s way too hot in here’. She looked at me puzzled. ‘Yeah, fine, but you need to close the door behind you when you do’. I thought about it for a few seconds, trying to find the secret meaning of that phrase, but there wasn’t one. ‘Yes of course I will, it goes without saying’. She shook her head, a bit unsure. ‘I don’t know’… ‘What don’t you know? That I can think as far as closing the door and locking it behind me, when I leave the car’? She got off and walked away: ‘I’ve seen a lot in my life, I don’t know what to expect anymore’…

I popped into my place for a bit in the afternoon to change, and chatted with my grandma while she was having her lunch. I stood topless in front of her, really concentrated in a conversation we were having, until she finished and got up to wash her plate. ‘I’m gonna go and meet Georgia and we’ll have dinner with the other grandma tonight, ok? So don’t expect me home early’. She nodded, accepting it, but swallowed her last bite quickly to say something she really needed to get out of her on time: ‘You should wear a top though. Don’t go out like this’. I smiled, hoping this to have been a joke. ‘You really don’t trust me, do you’? ‘With all the weird outfits I see today… I don’t know what to trust. Are you thinking of wearing a top’? I nodded. ‘Yes, grandma, I am thinking of wearing a top’. ‘Good. You should do that’.

I met Georgia and we went for dinner to my other grandma, who had invited some friends of hers over. After saying our hellos with the guests, we asked where grandma was, and they told us she was lost in her kitchen cooking. We went to find her and let her know we had arrived: ‘How are you grandma?’, I said while hugging her and kissing her. ‘I’m good. There are some people in the living room, did you see them’? Georgia and I looked at each other, disappointed. ‘Apparently there’s a secret passage through which you can escape the living room, and we didn’t know about it’, she whispered to me, and made me see how useful a house map would be in a similar situation in the future. ‘Grandma… Of course we saw them. They told us you were here’. She looked at me deep in the eyes: ‘Did you say hello’? Georgia shook her head. ‘Shoot… I knew we were missing something’. ‘It was the hello’, I added, agreeing. All at once, grandma panicked: ‘You didn’t say hello? You didn’t speak to them at all’? Georgia sighed. ‘Nothing… We didn’t even acknowledge them. ‘Cause you weren’t there, so we didn’t know what to do’.

It reminded me of once when my mum came back home after work, looked at me seriously and asked: ‘Did you feed the dog today’? I was a bit taken aback, but then managed to see the comical side of it. ‘Do dogs eat? Sorry, I didn’t know that’… Her eyes immediately widened. ‘What? So you didn’t feed her’? I shook my head. ‘No… She’s probably starving to death as we speak. What can you do’? She rushed to our dog’s corner to check on the situation. ‘What’s the status?’, I asked, laughing. ‘There is food on her plate. Who put it there’? I decided to give her the answer, even though I was until then hoping she would come up with it herself. ‘I did, mum. I fed the dog. I thought outside the box and there you have it: Success’.

So, is it me, or do families not trust us in the slightest and never will? Is it me, or do we really look like complete dumbasses to them? And isn’t it obvious that things are not getting better for us as we are getting older, on the contrary, we just get more frustrated when we realise that it’s not an age and maturity matter, but more just them having absolutely no faith in our brains? ‘Feed the dog’, ‘say hello’, ‘put on a top’ and ‘close the door’, might well be replaced at a later date with ‘love your kids’, ‘eat fruits and vegetables’ and ‘don’t spend all your money in casinos’, but this is as good as it’s ever gonna get.

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