I have these relatives who love to talk about themselves. They’re not wealthy; probably as middle as middle class can get in Jordan. Nevertheless they enjoy nothing more than to speak of their accomplishments. Their kids are tremendous. They’re not big achievers or anything, mediocre at best, but nonetheless, anything small they do is a huge thing. One of them went to Canada for about a year and his mother now talks about that as if he went to work for NASA or something.
Yesterday, during their Eid visit, the mother was busy talking to my mother and sister, while my father listened to the father (I pretended to do the same but really I was trying to focus on both conversations). So she says, “you know my daughter’s husband bought a house in Greenland” (the new complex), and then she turns to my father and pulls him out of the conversation by saying “did you hear abu-Naseem? So-and-so (the husband) bought my daughter a house in Greenland.”
My father had a confused look on his face and so I let out a laugh because I knew he was thinking they had just bought a house in the country of Greenland, where basically no one lives except for polar bears.
The husband will talk about how he “fixed up” a run down public school, which is fine. But you know if I had accomplished that same feat, I wouldn’t really boast about it. When you do a selfless deed you don’t really need to publicize it or else it becomes selfish. It becomes something you do to tell people you did it, which is fine in the context of raising awareness, but not so great if it just becomes a story about how cool you are.
They’ll ask about the ma3moul and then point out a better and more expensive place, which is of course, where they (don’t) get theirs.
Anyways, I wasn’t present for the entire conversation as I was busy writing yesterday’s post, but I hadn’t seen these relatives for almost 7 years.
Nothing has changed.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually kind of like these relatives in comparison to other people related to us. However they have these bad conversational habits that are so overwhelming at times. Actually, all the time. It’s like there’s nothing you can do about it; you see it coming and all you can do is stand there.
When they rose to leave, the mother quickly stuffed a few ma3moul and chocolates into her purse which I thought was hilarious.