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| by Luci

Family As I Know It

Whoever said life was boring hasn't met my family yet. We're the kind of family who loves big gatherings on Fridays and for some reason everyone likes to interfere in the other person's business. Last Friday, as I was about to go out for a walk and brunch with Billy, my mother stopped me last minute saying: "Luci, don't be late, we're planning a big lunch today for the whole family."

Me: Mum, why am I the last person who knows about that stuff? What if I had plans already?

Mum: Well, cancel them, today's family day. Haven't you been living with us the past 25 years of your life?

Me: Not really, I tend to take a break every once in a while.

She didn't seem like she understood my joke quite well, and as I walked out of the door she ordered me to be back by 3 o'clock to help her out. I had to walk a bit faster to reach my destination, as I didn't want to waste a second with Billy. Yes, being with him makes me really happy, I'm sure you guys figured that out by now.

 

Billy: Hey gorgeous!

Me: Good morning! You look like you just fell off of bed hehe

Billy: Yeah, kind of. I was supposed to wake up much earlier than that to hang out with my Harley buddies, but I'll catch up with them a bit later.

Me: Once you ditch me?

Billy: Exactlyyyy hehe

Me: I have a wonderful family day today, care to join?

Billy: And what would you tell them?

Me: That you're a homeless dude I met, and my grandma would pretty much do the rest. She'll feel the obligation to feed you until there's no room for breathing.

Billy: Oh, that bad?

Me: Yup! At least she'll redirect her attention away from me...

Billy: Does she torture you with food or what?

Me: She thinks I'm way too skinny and I could look much more beautiful when I'm chubby. Not sure where she gets those ideas from!

 

We kept on making fun here and there about my family, cousins and aunts...etc. Then he started telling me about his as well. I have to admit that families here pretty much think the same way, except for Dina's parents of course. They're just cooler than that, but then again I'll dedicate a complete post to Dina's parents as they have a lot going on. Now back to my family day, I didn't want to hold Billy more than an hour so he can go have fun with his buddies. I then headed to the supermarket next to my house to grab a few things my mum asked me to get for her. Why the hell does she need nutella, whipped cream and carrots urgently. I wonder if she's trying out a brand new and personally invented recipe. I sure hope not!

I stepped into the house around 3.30pm and I could hear my young cousins shouting out my name as soon as they saw me. My mother came out of the kitchen and didn't say much, but her look did the trick. I rushed to the kitchen and started helping her out. A few minutes later my cousin Nayla arrived, let me just leave it at she's not quite my favorite family member. Remember when I told you back then about a cousin whose boyfriend had just proposed to, well that's her. She has this attitude, and since the proposal it has climbed to a completely new level. I'm happy for her of course, but please she needs to realize she's not the first nor the last who has a ring on her hand. Wake up WOMAN!

Nayla and my mum kept on blabbering about Khaled her soon to be fiance, as the engagement is three weeks away. I put the headphones in my ears and started listening to "Scream and Shout," because I didn't have more songs on my iPhone, I'm usually too lazy to download much on there. Even with the music being on, I could hear bits and pieces of what Nayla was planning for her engagement. From what it seemed like, she's planning an engagement nearly as big as a wedding. See, I don't get those people, when did engagement parties get that huge and wedding like?

The food was ready, but not all the family members were there. My dad was playing "Tawla" with his brother and my uncle's wife and kids were the only ones missing. If I had to count how many people my mum cooked for, it would be approximately around 20 family members. Shit mum, that's a lot! But I have to admit, she's quite a determined hard worker to be able to pull it off that quickly. I went over and gave her a huge hug, and to that she replied: "What did I do right?", and I replied with a kiss on her cheek and just smiled at her.

Finally my uncle's wife, Nevin, made an entrance along with my cousins. Now I can safely say my favorite family member has arrived, my younger cousin Amir (2 years younger than I am). We're so much alike and we always get along really well, cracking jokes about the awkward family moments, especially between my mother and his, and of course Nayla the engagement-zilla! We all sat on the table and started eating, I personally prefer to stay quite during any meal to enjoy it, but doesn't seem like they share the same passion as I do. Everyone was talking to each other, not just the ones sitting right next to one another, but you could also see talks happening from across the table. You could see that Nevin (my uncle's wife) wasn't very amused seeing others giving my mum compliments on how delicious the food is, some even said it was the best they have ever tasted.

Oh god, I hope neither I nor my friends turn into such a person who gets jealous when someone compliments a family member on their cooking. Blakh, get a life WOMAN! I could see my grandma winking at me from across the table, and knew for a fact this was a sign that she was almost done with her meal and now it was time for some "Luci feeding action". I love her, I seriously do. She's so funny, loves cracking jokes but also enjoys being in control. 

Grandma: Did you taste the chicken? It's amazing!

Me: Yeah I did.

Grandma: And salad?

Me: Yup, that I had too.

Grandma: But your plate doesn't look like it had salad in it.

Me: I love salad grandma, why would I make up I ate it?

Mum: That's the only thing she did, I'm sure she'll eat it mum.

Grandma: If you say so.

Once everyone was done, it was time to relax my stomach for a second round with my granny, my dad and his brother ran to play some more Tawla, Nayla and my mum were still discussing the engagement, auntie Nevin felt she was an outsider (not sure why but you could tell), so I went over with her son to entertain her a bit. 

 

Auntie Nevin: Next Friday, you'll be coming over, I have the best recipe for greek food.

Me: Yummm, count me in!

Amir: I have a football match next week mum.

Auntie Nevin: Then we can do it Saturday instead.

Me: Yes please, let's break the whole family day on a friday habit. I'll be so grateful!

They both laughed, given the way I said it, they noticed that I didn't like how forced it was. Don't get me wrong, I adore my family, and I love spending time with them, but the thing with families is not everyone gets along, and they have to pretend they do, and use food as an excuse to come together. 

Round two has arrived with my mum bringing in the dessert. I rushed once more to help her out. This time my granny sat right between me and Nayla. She started stuffing Nayla with the nutella cake, but no one else seemed to love it that much. I was happy to see Nayla eating it up just to suck up to my mother. Maybe I shouldn't have felt that happy, because grandma turned up next to me and before I could even put some of the nutella cake into my plate, she beat me to it.


Me: This is too much grandma. I'm gonna get a sugar rush that way.

Grandma: No it's not, chocolate will make you happy.

Me: I am happy, and I love chocolate, but not that huge amount.

Grandma: Just eat! 

Once I noticed she started engaging with conversations, I quickly gave half of the portion she added to Amir. Phew! Mission completed! Lots of different activities were taking place right after we were done with food. Amir and I rushed to the terrace and gossiped a bit about the family and then I told him about Billy. He was super excited and then told me that I should have rubbed this into Nayla's face (my cousin) as she used to have a crush on him back in school. 

There was still room for some ice-cream action, and our talks continued for almost an hour, mainly discussing why family members dislike, compare and pretend. We walked back in after our long talk and although there might be problems between some of my family members, I was happy to see them all hanging out together. The picture itself gave me hope that one day family gatherings would be as fun as they used to be when I was a child. I shall leave you with that thought, as we ended the night with some playstation fun. I lost, in case you were wondering.






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