Thursday, January 28, 2010

News: Rinse, Lather, Repeat

I visited my family abroad this past fall. After not having been there for 20 years, we created a laundry list of memories. All of which I will cherish and some I have already shared. It is time for the next installment.

I spent a week with my Mother’s siblings all gathered together in one location. Their ages range from 68 to 84. My Uncle a retired dentist would be the first to rise and leave the house to gather fresh bread for breakfast and probably every newspaper printed in the town. He would return with at least eight different publications.

We would enjoy our breakfast while the television was on always set to a news channel. Their daily itinerary went something like this:

9 am: Hearty breakfast with the entire family, television on.

10 am: The youngsters would clean up the kitchen; the elders would retire to the family room each with a publication, television still on.

11:45 am: A few of the elders would go down for a nap.

12:45pm: Lunch, accompanied by a spirited recollection of the major headlines of each publication, television news on.

4:00 pm Tea time on the balcony, no television. Instead, each sibling would report a headline as though it was breaking news. Those paying attention would listen intently.

7:30 pm Multi course dinner with television on and discourse on all the days’ news.

By about day 2, I was bored with the news. I was on vacation, didn’t care what was going on in the world. However, I did not want to offend my Aunts and Uncles so I paid attention to one of the many news related television shows only to find that 2 gentlemen were actually holding up each of the 8 publications that were rotating through our family room. They were reading the news to the viewers. What a concept? Perhaps it was a service for those who may be homebound or maybe for the illiterate. I made the mistake of asking my Uncle why he bothered buying the papers since all of them watched this program in addition to reading the papers. He told me that was the only way they could all be entertained en mass. He also told me to keep my revelation to myself.

Basically, if it aint broke, don’t’ fix it. You have to love the crazy family. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Michele said...

Great post.
I love the way you wrote it. I can totally see them all sharing the headlines.

Too funny!!
I always look forward to your posts ;)

TC said...

Families can be so exasperating can't they? But as you said their uniqueness makes them great and your family.

Nutcracker Sweet 54 said...

Hey too bad they didn't have that show (the one where they actually hold up the newspaper and READ it to the TV audience) around when our grandmother "Fatma" was alive. Bless her, she would "read" the paper to whomever was around to 12 year old who could not read Turkish, I quickly noticed that while she read the paper was acutally UPSIDE DOWN!!!! Bless her heart, may she rest in peace, she had Aunt Ilhan read her the paper before anyone else got up and THEN and only THEN did she "read" the paper to others :)

Wicked H said...

Michele: Thanks, I was worried it would not convey. Good to know.

TC: Spending that time with them was great on many levels. I figured out where some of my many quirks originated.

NS54: didn't Mom kick you under the table for telling G-Mother Fatma the paper was upsdie down? I think I may have made the same mistake during another visit, I was 8 at the time. Bless her heart!

Frances said...

LOL You described it all so well.
I can actually it on my mind's screen.
I'm with you I wouldn't buy a paper if I could get it read to me.
Take care.
Waving at you wildly from ole New York

Jen said...

My husband is a total news hound (drives me dotty :o)

cube said...

Actually it sounds like my family, well except that at my house we'd be watching FOX News and not CNN or *Yikes* MSNBC.

*Sounds of feet running before the inevitable attack on the conservative polyhedron commences*