Romeo and Juliet

I have got a good one for you today. It is a love story told so many times before, a family drama usually reserved for a Shakespearean play.  In fact I think homage to Shakespeare to begin suits:

Two households, both alike in dignity (or perhaps lack of dignity),
In dusty Mersin (I couldn’t say Verona), where we lay our scene,

And so on.


This story is not about me.  It is about my brother in law Vito.  Again.  He obviously has a much more interesting life than I do.  I’m going to have to go back in time a bit so bear with me.

Twenty five odd years ago Vito fell in love.  Romeo and Juliet style.  She was a little bit older than him and was, perhaps, not quite suitable for marriage.  She had been married before and his family suggested to him that he wait until he can find a more appropriate wife.

“Noooo,” he cried, “I love only her.  I cannot, nay I will not live without her.”

Believing he would rather die than live without his love he threw himself into the middle of the road and lay there until such time as his family agreed to the marriage.

Remember I was not here when this happened and am merely repeating the story as it was told to me but yes he lay on that road until such time as his parents, my in-laws, gave in and allowed this ill-chosen marriage to go ahead.

Vito and his love (The Onion) married and had two boys in close succession.  The love was, as feared, no longer as strong as it once may have been.  She became distant with him.  His eyes started wandering to greener pastures, lots of greener pastures.  But they stayed together for the sake of the children.  Was his family right?  Should he have waited for a more suitable partner?  Does he think back to those days and to his parents and think, “Damn it I hate it when my parents are right!”  I always hated it when my parents were right.

The Onion never forgave his parents for their meddling (and I will call it meddling even though I cannot believe that my wonderful in-laws meddled and anyway is it meddling when they are right?) and she distanced Vito from his parents and the two boys from their grandparents.  Despite all of this she is the woman who wailed like a baby at my mother in law’s graveside in January (no doubt suffering from that unforgiving emotion called “guilt”) and yet had not spoken a civil word to her in years.  She is the woman who did not invite her mother in law to dinner or to family events and she is the woman who is, frankly, a bit of a bitch.

Fast forward to 2014.  Vito’s eldest son is a credit to the family.  He has completed his university degree with honours and will find himself with a successful career.  He is in love with a girl who is considered quite suitable by his family and they are to be married as soon as he has finished his army conscription.  He will forevermore be known as William which means, of course, that the younger son will be known as Harry.  Harry is, well I am going to say it, just like Vito.  A little bit of a larrikin, he enjoys a night out with the boys, loves the raki and loves to have a bit of fun with the ladies.  Harry has been courting a young girl (and at 17 she is very young).  He loves her.  She loves him.  Romeo and Juliet style.  He wants to be with her and she with him.  Unfortunately his family do not feel the same way and believe that she is unsuitable.

“Noooo,” he cried.  “I love only her.  I will not live without her.”

Sound familiar?

Yep we are living witness to a Groundhog Day, Shakespearean drama of epic proportions.  I wonder whether Vito and The Onion have sat down and thought, “Maybe we should learn from past mistakes.”  Or how about, “Let’s just let him live his own life, make his own decisions.”  I imagine I will be very opinionated when Daughter brings home a love.  I imagine I will hate him with murderous passion but I would like to think that I will let her make her own mistakes, sorry I mean decisions.

To finish this off it seems that the real answer is that the young lady in question does not like The Onion.  Well she must just be lovely.  I am sure I will have a lot in common with her.  I said to The Turk that he should encourage Harry to make his own decisions and follow his heart.  The Turk said I am a troublemaker.  I merely smiled.


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The Puker

Daughter’s first overseas flight was when she was 10 weeks old.  We flew from Sydney to Bodrum so she could meet The Turk.  Daughter slept for the entire flight.  I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck.  Thankfully there was a lot of assistance from other passengers to get me from Point A to Point B otherwise I would still be wandering around Bangkok International Airport right now in tears (it’s a big airport).

On a whole, however, Daughter is one of those kids who always puked or always had a problem on a flight.  I know right?  I was generally mortified by her behaviour.  I know she couldn’t help it and I understand that, I really do, but it was just so damn embarrassing.  You name it, it has happened to us.  Lost luggage?  Check.  Missing connection flight?  Check.  Crying for 5 straight hours.  Check (and I am sorry).  Stomach aches, ear aches, head aches?  Check, check, check.

I’ve been on flights where they have separated me from my then 5 year old daughter and I even had one instance where Daughter’s name was called over the speaker.  Upon speaking with the attendant they were offering to upgrade her to Business Class!  Hello???


The most infamous flight, the flight that I am sure the other poor souls who were unfortunate enough to be on that flight still comment on, went a little something like this:

  1. Half way through flight.  No problems.  Daughter feeling good.  Daughter feeling happy.  Me feeling relieved.
  2. Seat belt sign comes on.  Captain makes an announcement.  Turbulence.
  3. Daughter has finger up nose (she does enjoy a snack).
  4. Plane jars a little, finger is pushed into the roof of nose (possibly reached brain matter) and yep, you guessed it, a river of blood, a tidal wave of red terror gushed over us both.
  5. Daughter has a complete meltdown, starts choking.

Outcome?  Projectile blood pukage (is “pukage” a word) all over herself, me and . . the Canadian couple in the seats in front of us.  Dear God!

After vomiting for a straight 20 minutes Singapore Airlines refused to let us on our connecting flight (as we looked like extras from a Freddie Kruger movie) and so we spent the next 2 days at Changi International Airport waiting for another flight.  We missed the Anzac Day service at Gelibolu (that’s Gallipoli for you Aussies) and I said at that moment those words that I have said many, many times before, “I am never flying with her again”.

Yes, I have flown with her and yes, she has vomited since that flight.  Many times.


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