My Father In Law

My FIL told me recently that I am not a very good daughter.  I agreed with him wholeheartedly, I mean sheesh my father could have told him that year’s ago and I’m pretty sure my mum used to tell me the same thing every single day.

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Why am I not a very good daughter (this time) you wonder?  Well I totally get it.  I am a bloody disgrace.  I had the audacity to go down to the bakery and buy him some piping hot pide.  I mean this bread is straight out of the oven and it is so soft that it will melt in your mouth and put centimetres onto your ass.  Anyway he didn’t want pide.  Why did I buy him pide?  What a bloody awful DIL I am indeed.

I also do not feed him enough although when I do feed him he declares to all and sundry that my food is not good.  I also do not make Turkish quality cay and I do not bathe him.  I’m just going to make a very public statement here – I will never, ever bathe him!  Never ever!  I bathe myself.  That is it.  I did pull his pants up the other day when he was shuffling down the street and they fell down around his knees – but that is where I draw the line.

My FIL is a stubborn old man.  He is nice enough but only as long as he gets what he wants.  God forbid if shit doesn’t go his way then everyone suffers.  I suspect that The Turk will morph into him when he gets older which worries me a lot.  I don’t want to have to bathe The Turk either.

My FIL likes to sit on the street and yell at people as they go past, in fact in my recent post about Google maps there is a photo of him no doubt yelling at the Google car.  He likes to sit at my front door and yell at me when I go past.  He can often be seen sidling up to a neighbour and complaining about this and that.  “I need a haircut”.  “Nobody feeds me”.   “My family hates me”.  These are a few of his most favoured rants but there are many others that he throws around at all of us and no one is safe from his rages either.

Dede on the street Google maps

He doesn’t, however, yell at people who steal The Turk’s Batman undies off the line.  Something a little off kilter there I think.

Why does a lot of his ranting fall on me you wonder?  Well I am the only one at home.  Everyone else works.  Which shits him too.  Why do the women have to work?  Don’t get me started on that!  Last weekend I went to a picnic in Limonlu and God forbid I did not get home until after 7.30pm.  My FIL informed The Turk that he cannot control me.  The Turk’s reply?  “I wouldn’t even try!”

When I think of my own excellent father I could never imagine him raising his voice or calling me (or The Turk) names but then I guess that this is the way that my FIL has always lived his life.  If one is never told that the behaviour is unwarranted or unacceptable in today’s society then one will never change their ways I guess.

I could take it personally.  I could raise my voice or blow my stack at The Turk but I wonder if I would be wasting my energy.  I have realised that I honestly don’t really care what he thinks of me.  I cannot change him but as long as I am true to myself then all is well.  I continue to be respectful.  I was taught that as a child – respect your elders.  I ignore his blabbing and his sulking.  I ignore the fact that my food sucks balls and my cay is weak and tasteless.  Between you and me I totally understand now why my MIL was constantly screaming at him.  I used to think it was cute.  I used to think that she was a feisty old lady and when he would laugh at her it was like how I imagine a couple married for 50+ years would act.  Now I realise that she actually wanted to kill him.  All the time.

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*Deep breaths*

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Weddings and Funerals

In my pre-village life I could count the number of weddings that I had been to on one hand (including my own).  I could also count the number of funerals that I had been to on my other hand (including both of my parents).  Now since our move to Türkiye our life is inundated with them both and honestly, enough is enough!

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Thankfully this year’s düğün (wedding) season has started to slow now that we have moved into autumn although I did come home to find yet another invitation on my door step yesterday afternoon.  This one is for The Turk’s second cousin’s daughter (for feck’s sake), yet another person that I have never met in my entire life.  That’s fine although as the yabancı I am usually dragged around the room like a trophy.  Between you and me I think having the yabancı at your wedding is a sign that you have really made it.  A yabancı is a real drawcard.  Regardless a Turkish wedding reception is great fun, whether you know the wedding party or not and usually the whole village turns out for the event.

Here in the village it is not uncommon for a wedding to go for two or three days not including the nikah.  There is the kina gecesi (bridal henna party) where all the bride’s female family members, friends and neighbours get together on the night before the wedding to paint the thick ochre paste on her hands and feet.  Then you have the traditional village reception usually held in the school grounds or on the bride’s street where jeans and t-shirts are acceptable attire and, finally if finances allow, the salon reception where you will find yourself dressed up like a starlet on Oscar night with more sparkle, makeup and hairspray than you thought you could wear in a lifetime.  The latter two nights are jammed packed with earth rattling Turkish müzik coupled with pounding drums, all night dancing, fireworks and tribal yelling  – after all the more noise you make, the happier you are.  The only downside to a Turkish wedding is they are generally alcohol free.  The Turk and I have taken to hiding the little baby bottles of Angora and an opener in my Fossil handbag so if you ever see me lugging around a huge handbag at a wedding don’t shake it too much.  Desperate measures people.

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Although most of the weddings are out of the way for the season a cenaze (funeral) can happen at any time of year; actually here in the Village they seem to happen all the time.  The first funeral I attended here was for my mother in law.  It was heartbreaking.  Since then, however, I seem to find myself constantly attending funerals from people in the village, again usually people that I have never met.  Of course I have to attend.  It is respectful to be seen by the side of The Turk at these events however personally I find funerals highly emotional and, even though I may not have known the person, I hide behind huge sunglasses teary eyed.  A funeral will also go on for days (7 days to be exact) and it is necessary to attend every single day, drink copious amounts of çay and, in my case anyway, burst into tears at every prayer.  Sadly I now know there is a funeral even before The Turk can open his mouth because I spot the dark blue jacket neatly hung over a chair ready to be slipped on.  At that point I usually blurt out, “Oh no!  Who’s died now!” because the dark blue jacket is his funeral jacket.

I’ve got to tell you, you run the whole gauntlet of emotions living here in the Village from the excitement of an over the top wedding, the comedy of a ridiculous family feud or the emotions of a neighbour’s death.  Even with all the drama that goes on around me I am incredibly happy with my life as it is right now – and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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