My Grandmother and I Have The Same Social Life

No but actually, it’s true. This past weekend I went to parties with my sisters on both Thursday and Friday night (the equivalent to Friday and Saturday in the US since our weekend starts a day earlier). When my sisters told me about the party Thursday they had done so in hushed voices and described it as very scandalous – it was in a hotel, there were going to be boys and the girls were all going to wear pants!

Having never been to a mixed-gender party here I was excited come Thursday night to see what it was like and had told all my friends about my crazy weekend plans.  We all got ready to go (makeup, heels and all) and then waited for our aunt to pick us up. Seeing as I was under the impression that this party was a little bit against the rules I was very shocked when the passenger seat window rolled down and I saw my grandmother sitting in the front seat.

Now don’t get me wrong, grandmothers are great, and I’m lucky to now have three – two biological and one adopted – plus one fabulous great grandmother, but they aren’t generally the people that come to mind when you’re heading to a not-totally-allowed birthday party for a 25 year old. And it turns out that we weren’t the only ones who had grandmothers in tow, there was a whole table of them front and center at the party.

Friday night was a surprise party for my first cousin who turned 19 and I was less surprised to see Bibi (a common word for grandmother) because it was much more of a family affair. Still it was a bit of a shock to realize midway through the party that my grandmother and I had the same exact weekend plans.

Bibi and me :) Sorry for the photo quality, it was taken by a seven year old...

Bibi and me 🙂 Sorry for the photo quality, it was taken by a seven year old…

I knew before I came here that social circles were much more centered around the family, very extended family included, especially since people generally live close to their relatives and it’s easy to get together often. However it wasn’t until that party that I realized how integral family really is to everything I do here. Family isn’t just part of the social life – it is the social life. My sisters have friends from school but they’re really just classmates, they very rarely get together outside of school and our weekends are almost always taken up with going to the houses of family members, having family over to our house or going somewhere else with family.

It is a saying in my (American) family that cousins are the glue of the family. I have realized how true that is here when on a Friday night my sisters and I will go to the beach or to a movie with a group of maybe 15 cousins, from both sides of the family, ranging in age from 6 to 26, something that, although I love all of my American cousins, I could never picture us doing.

The girls! Me and some of my cousins at a family get-together

The girls! Me and some of my cousins at a family get-together

I love being able to join such a close-knit family here and I have gotten to know my extended host family pretty well. However I can’t deny that realizing my grandmother and I were going to the same parties was a bit of a shock. It is fun though; Bibi’s a great dancer! Grandma and Bubbe, when I get back we’re definitely going to have to go out sometime!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Allen Israel
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 14:17:27

    Miriam,
    Great story to pass on to GM and GMM (on this side of the pond) but now it is time to consider Grandfathers!!!!
    Poppa

    Reply

  2. Jeri Israel
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 17:51:20

    Dearest Miss Miriam, please send my warmest regards to your Bibi…. And tell her to make room on that dance floor for me!!! Sounds like wonderful fun! Loved your post!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply

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