Sunday, February 21, 2010

My family's worth in gold

"See?  This is how it starts.  First you eat like that, and then you start inviting Arabs into the house." griped my son-in-law, as I gave my daughter, his wife, some healing foods for her ulcerative colitis.  Brown rice with broccoli and carrots, drizzled with flax seed oil.  I was amused by his theory, wondering if it were indeed true.

He shook his head.  He truly believes that granola eating hippies, like his mother-in-law, weren't always loving and tolerant human beings, but turned that way when they eschewed mostly junk food for a healthier lifestyle.  His wife was eating crap, like diet soda and fast food nearly every day, and the result is ulcerative colitis, which I'm trying to help her heal through food.  And if that will heal her body as well as her soul , then why not?  Because she'll turn into me?  Is that what he's afraid of? 

I laughed at the prospect of her turning into a peace-nik and inviting all the Arabs who live in Jabel Mukaber into their tiny West Jerusalem home, and him, another middle-east Archie Bunker, tearing his hair out.

My son's school has been calling me all month trying to get me to come to another one of their "emergency" meetings about my son who shows up in school, but hardly in class.

"There are teachers who don't even know who he is!" exclaimed his principal.

I tell the principal's secretary that I can't make it on the Sunday she wants me to come because my boss has a slew of meetings that day, and I have to prepare her on that day.

"Isn't your son important to you?  Don't you even care?  Is your job so much more  important than your own son?  We made this meeting with a lot of people involved and that's when they could come!!"  The principal's secretary is actually screaming at me.  I look at the phone.  I'm totally pissed.  She continues,
"they want to throw him out of school.  Don't you think that's important?"

I glare into the phone.  Unfortunately, she can't see me gritting my teeth.

"You never asked ME when "I" can make it.  Keeping my job is showing my kids how responsible I am.  If I don't have my job, then we'll be living in the streets. I'm not ready to sacrifice my job for a meeting in school.  Sorry."

I think she was shocked by my response.  There was silence on the other end of the line.

I continued. 

"If you want to throw him out of school, it will just have to wait another week." I shouted back at the secretary.  I made the appointment for the week after, when my boss will be out of town.

That afternoon I went into the local mall where one of the shops was selling pillows.  My kids were all sleeping on pillows that had seen better days.  But that day, I was only buying for one of them.   I ask her to show me a selection for my 20 year old daughter.  The shopkeeper shows me a latex pillow that is the most expensive one in the store.

"It's quite a lot of money." I complained to her.  "I'd like to buy her a mid-range one.  Not the cheapest and not the most expensive."

She looked at me funny.

"But it's your daughter!!!   Isn't she worth the best?"

I looked at the shopkeeper funny.

"Absolutely not."

And then I walked out of the store, seeing the shopkeeper's mouth still open....

2 comments:

Ahavah-Shim'on said...

School secretaries can be rather full of themselves can't they?

Bet you a huge fan of 'Alice' in Dilbert aren't you?

http://www.dilbert.com/most_popular/

Sophie Huber said...

Hello,

I kindly invite you to take part in my survey about conflict related communication on the social web. It would be great if you - as an active contributor to the online conversation(s) surrounding the Mideast conflict – could take the time.

Please find the survey here: www.conflict.uti.at/survey/index.php?sid=31416&lang=en

It would be great if you could post the link and promote the questionnaire on your page(s).

I am a doctoral candidate at the ICT&S Center, University of Salzburg, Austria, Europe. I really appreciate your opinion and help – thank you,

Sophie Huber [sophie.huber@sbg.ac.at]