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Misbehaviour lands me in the soup

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It was just after the soup course this past Friday night that I was sent to my room. This was the first time in some years that this has happened. And it was apparently, according to my wife, as a direct consequence of my poor behaviour. Both she and my daughter had agreed that I was “unplayable”, and that the only viable option was to send me away from the table to reflect on my (appalling) attitude.

The duo claimed that all other remediation methods had been tried and had failed, and that it was clear that I was either unwilling or unable to self-correct. Like the African National Congress, but without the corruption.

As I slowly, sulkily, and sadly mounted the stairs to my room, hoping for a stay of execution, I considered parting with some powerful and devastating words by reminding them that not since the Victorian era and the days of Oliver Twist had we treated orphans this way. But self-preservation prevailed as deep down, I understood that at 55 years old, I was a good 30 years past the “orphan” sell-by date. And that if I was too old for Arcadia, I was probably too old to demand sympathy for no longer having parents. Even if technically I am an orphan.

As Hamas apologists are keen to point out, context is important. Which is why I would ask you consider that the events of Friday night didn’t actually begin on Friday night. It was the end of a two-day work week. With Pesach only a few days past, and a public holiday ironically called “Workers Day”, the pressure catch up was a bit overwhelming and immense.

In addition, our adult children who had been visiting from Israel for the holidays had returned, leaving us once again to our own devices. As anyone honest with grown offspring will tell you, as much as it’s too wonderful to have them visit, it’s equally magnificent to have them leave. The house can right itself, the kitchen is no longer an industrial production zone, conversations between spouses can resume and, once again, we become entitled to hold our own opinions on numerous subjects.

Slowly we can rebuild our confidence, knowing that our children have left, shaking their all-knowing heads wondering how we managed to raise them, let alone tie our own shoelaces without them in the country to manage the process.

A visit by adult children also requires the elders to behave with an additional maturity. And whereas this might be absolutely appropriate for this stage of life, it’s also exhausting. And, in my case, completely unsustainable.

Which is probably the reason that not only did I behave so poorly, but then found myself after having been sent to my room, lying in the dark, arms folded, thinking how much they would miss me if I ran away. And, if there had been vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Joel Friedman

    May 17, 2024 at 1:03 pm

    Kolhakavod someone telling the truth

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