So here how it goes. Following the menopausal change, my mum developed a major behavioural problem – she believes my father is cheating on her. She suspects almost every woman they know of trying to seduce him (this includes our neighbours, my mum’s widowed sister, and my dad’s niece). At some point she also had a theory that my dad had a girlfriend – a Bulgarian prostitute. I have no idea how he would have managed to conduct an illicit affair since my mum doesn’t let him out of her sight and follows him everywhere. I’m also not sure where the Bulgarian angle comes from, and what language she’d communicate with my dad. My dad is seventy, bold and suffers from heart problems.

A couple of years ago, on Xmas day, my mum read a very silly horoscope “who you were in your past life”. According to that horoscope my dad was a Renaissance nobleman who loved women and parties. To my mum this was a proof that she was right all along. (My sister and I checked who our mum had been in the previous life. Turned out she was…. a Genghis khan’s soldier). So here we were, having a family dinner on this most important night in Christian tradition. My mum sat in silence refusing to talk to my dad. The rest of us actually had a blast. We got happily drunk and ignored mum’s poignant silence. My dad was sticking his tongue at my mum and saying “blah…. you Genghis khan!!” This was the last Xmas I spent at home – following year I went to Mexico!”

My sister is on her third divorce… from the same man. They were teenage sweethearts but this went wrong when they actually grew up. Between all their divorces and marriages, her ex managed to save her life. She had a brain aneurism. Luckily for her he was at home and got her to hospital on time. When this happened, me and my parents were visiting a family in a different town. I had to bring them back home without letting them know they may never see their older daughter again. My dad’s heart is really weak and I was afraid it might give up. On our way back we passed the ambulance taking my sister to a hospital in the city which we had just left. Her case was too serious for our local hospital. This was one of the most trying moments of my life. I was watching the ambulance disappear in a rear mirror, too worried about my dad’s heart to tell him to turn around; whilst my mum was curiously gazing at the same ambulance and loudly commenting how some families “have all the worst luck in the world.”

 

My sister is well now. She’s finally put her marriage behind her for good, and she’s moving to a different country to follow a great job. She now has a younger boyfriend who lives in yet another country and who is about to pack his whole life and follow her to her new place. She also has a teenage daughter who, I strongly, suspect is gay and probably will need some help in the future to deal with this in a country as traditional as Poland. My mum doesn’t know it yet …. but that’s another story.

Sometimes I look at my life and wonder if those things really happened to me or if I’m an actor in a wacky soap opera….

Kasha, 33, Sofia (for a couple of days:))

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