Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The entertainer

On Sunday I am fixing my first official meal for my in-laws (hmm, at least I didn’t mistakenly type “of” instead of “for”). It seems like a long time – five years – to invite them over for dinner, but I’ve had pretty good excuses until now, including not living in Thessaloniki and not having a proper eating area. Finally, we have dining and living room furniture, so I can actually play hostess again.

What was my mother-in-law’s initial response to the invitation? “I don’t want to have you cooking for so many people, let’s just go out somewhere” (the number of people will be 8 if my brother-in-law and his wife come). Yes, of course, after we’ve spent some money on an eight seater dining room table our intent is to invite people over to go out to dinner. I like cooking, and I think I’m relatively good at it (as long as I pay attention and don’t use twice as much butter as a recipe calls for), so I’m thrilled to finally be able to fix a good meal for my in-laws, especially after countless delicious dinners at their house. It will be a bit more challenging to come up with an interesting menu, since we are all fasting, but I figure you can’t go wrong with tofu lasagna.

As for the house, all we really need now is a couple of rugs for the living and dining room floors (ok, that dark African wood is gorgeous, but even the cleanest foot leaves a print and drives me crazy) and curtains (the rods are being installed this week). We haven’t gotten furniture for the guest bedroom yet, but that is something that can be accomplished relatively quickly at IKEA. After that, it is all cosmetic, putting up pictures, combing through boxes, organizing storage closets, etc.

I’m finally home. And I’m loving it (crap, I hope McDonald’s doesn’t sue me for stealing their slogan there).


Cheryl said...

Sounds nice...enjoy!

Anonymous said...

How does somebody, who does not work, afford all these luxuries?...heck, I work and so does my spouse and we still have to purchase used, second hand furniture for our home.

CaliforniaKat said...

Anonymous - Pish posh. I sympathize with your situation, but there's no need to take out your bitterness and resentment on others. Being happy for others often begets happiness for yourself. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

californiakat - my question was rhetorical - I wasn't expecting anyone to answer it as I already know the answer...it's called Trapeza Mama & Baba!! (Bank of Mommy & Daddy)LOL

Cheers ;)

CaliforniaKat said...

Nai, to katalaba na mou eipes. Your question wasn't rhetorical; if it was, you wouldn't have added the telling bit that followed.

And if it truly was, then obviously it was an attempt to be mean and spiteful to someone for no reason, which would also explain your need to be anonymous. Don't you have something better to do with your time?

Aside from the fact that Thanos DOES work hard and often long hours, I don't see anything wrong with accepting a gift if it was willingly offered, especially when the recipients are grateful and humble not self-entitled or greedy (qualities that are sadly so commonplace). Everyone needs a little help in the world.

I hope you find some happiness, then perhaps you can leave others in peace.

Anonymous said...

Ntropi - ti stigmi pou e kuria tou spitiou bori na thoulepsi kai na boithisi ton seeziyo kathete sto spiti kai fotografizi tis yates...contribution to society=zero. Ntropi!

CaliforniaKat said...

Like I said, you're a mean, bitter and obviously unhappy person. What others do in private and choose to share in public is not your concern.

There are plenty of bored and useless Greeks as well, leaving comments at 2 a.m. in the morning. I'd much rather be friends with someone who photographs cats (harmless) than someone leaving spreading hate on the Internet (harmful).

Please find a hobby if you're unwilling to work on yourself to find joy in small, everyday things.

Anonymous said...

CaliforniaKat: You failed to recognize that I might be living in another country and that your 2 a.m. is not MY 2 a.m. LOL

People that do not work are the last people who should be making comments and voicing their opinions on the current labour dispute going on in Greece.

Get a job Mel and then you can voice your opinions!!

FYI - When someone advertises their life on the internet it becomes EVERYBODY'S business!!!

Get used to it!!!

CaliforniaKat said...

I intentionally made the 2 a.m. comment to bait you into admitting you weren't in GR as I suspected, and it worked. Still think you're clever and want to LOL? Amateur.

If you lived and worked here, knew a regular (unconnected, non-wealthy) woman of childbearing years who worked here or cared to read a newspaper or stats from Eurostat or the Greek govt, you'd know that women aged 25-45 are twice as likely to be unemployed than men; employers regularly fire/discriminate against women over 30 non-pregnant women; and females in general are looked down on as workers who don't deserve to make a decent wage because they "can can get money from their families and husbands." Pure patriarchal society rife with cronyism. Greek women have it bad and foreign women even worse, with or without the additional challenges Mel faces (and I'm sure you failed to recognize what those additional challenges are, just as you failed to recognize she worked for years and her husband took the photos of their cats).

But here's the main point: You're a hypocrite.

On one hand, you're telling Mel that she can't voice an opinion until she gets a job here. On the other hand, you're mocking and voicing an opinion on Mel being unemployed without knowing anything about her or the job climate in Greece. Hypocrite is a Greek word, in case you didn't know.

Further, Mel didn't tell you you're not entitled to your opinion or delete your comment, even though it is based on obvious ignorance. That automatically makes her better than you, while you persist in being a small person and looking like a fool in public.

Mel and I have chosen to share small slices of our lives publicly for different reasons, but readers need to realize that the Internet doesn't give you or others the right to act without manners, morals or accountability. We are sadly used to judgmental commentators like you, but it doesn't mean we have to sit back quietly and put up with your neuroses.

Anonymous said...

FYI - I know a hell of a lot about Greece! I may not be in Greece RIGHT NOW, but for your information I lived AND WORKED in Greece for nearly 10 years. You may THINK you have me all figured out but you have just proven to me (and the blogosphere) that YOU are an ignorant, biased and one-dimensional individual. Perhaps this is another one of your cunning tactics to supposedly draw information out of me to so that you can later claim your “bait” approach!! Such an old strategy (Greek word – yes I know)…next time try harder to think outside the box! LOL

Also, I find it quite interesting that you are the one speaking here and not the person who owns this blog. What are you her bodyguard? What a typical, passive female behaviour to further add to the female unemployment stats!! Which, by the way, are not at all 100% valid. It’s so easy (read: lazy) to attribute female unemployment to merely statistics alone. It’s definitely a cultural thing more than anything else.

Have you ever heard of the term "exceptions to the rule"?? There are a lot of women that work in Greece (A LOT). Both local Greek women and foreign women!! Furthermore, so what, if women don't make enough money to make it worth their while. Every little bit helps. Mel has a University degree - she can teach English at a frontistirio!! Or conduct private tutoring lessons in her home. She isn’t disabled. And she isn’t nearing retirement age. Don’t use that old excuse of sexual discrimination as a cop out…its so 1980s. Sisters are doing it for themselves nowadays!

I have many, MANY female friends in Greece who work. Some are nurses and some are teachers and some work for foreign organizations in Greece. It is not a rare sight these days to see a woman working. Gone are the days when women stayed at home to raise children and cook and clean, while the husband brought home the money.

In contrast, I'm also acquainted with Greek women that sit at home all day and watch gossipy talk shows and soap operas. They do the grocery shopping and clean the house (once or twice a week) and sometimes they meet up with a friend for a kafethaki to gossip about TV celebrities or where they will be going for summer vacation. Many don’t have children, so they can't use the traditional excuse that they are "raising the kids" and as such, cannot get a job.

Personally, I have NO respect for these women. It is women like Mel (and perhaps even YOU) that set back women's liberation by 100 years.

Going back to my original argument about unemployed 30-something year olds living off their parents/in-laws: there is a saying in Greek that says "mazi me to basiliko potizete kai e glastra". Parents help their biological children financially and that's fine to a certain degree, especially if the children are ALSO working and helping themselves at the same time. My gripe is that the female spouse or male spouse (who does not work) also reaps the handouts from the in-laws. That is sickening!! So very archaic!! Oops - there's another Greek word for ya!!

If people's opinions and comments are not to your liking perhaps you should disable the comments option.

And don’t bother with your attempts to classify me as a “bitter, angry and mean person”. I am not offended or insulted. People have opinions and exercise their freedom of speech accordingly. There is nothing wrong with being passionate and opinionated about something you believe strongly in. Isn’t that what most Greeks have a penchant for doing in the first place? Being passionate (and opinionated) especially about sports and politics? One would think that you would be use to this by now.

CaliforniaKat said...

You're just mad at yourself for falling for the bait, so like a child you try to strike back in a similar way. I'm not Greek, but I knew you were, so of course I have to use ancient, archaic methods to reach you because I understand you're still stuck in the past.

Feminism has nothing to do what you say. It's a woman's right to do as she wishes, plain and simple.

Another thing is you obviously haven't worked here for decades because you are out of touch with the job climate. And the people you know have likely been working some years and are thus established. If one tried to get/change a job now or even 5 years ago, you (and they) would know the stats accurately reflect reality. I've been working here for 11 years, so I'm also speaking from personal experience and that of the diverse group of women I know -- Greek, foreign, educated, unskilled, new arrivals, established, old, young, with/without children, divorced, married, disabled, public/private sector, etc.

The other point you fail to grasp (though not shocking to me) is these people you are criticizing do not live off of inlaw money. Mel has far more money than you, me or many of us from her years of working, and Thano works now. I already addressed why they probably won't respond to you, and I already said that we are indeed used to people like you. Sorry, I don't deal with remedial learning.

I also don't need to classify you; I'm simply pointing to the obvious based on your behavior. Everyone who reads your comments can clearly see you're bitter about something that has nothing to do with anyone but yourself. You're simply projecting your deficiencies as a person onto others, so you don't have to deal with or fix them. If you had self-esteem, a modern feminist attitude and true knowledge of Greece, you would have kept to yourself or realized you are wrong and moved on by now. There's nothing wrong with being passionate and opinionated. But when it's misdirected and based on false information, then it's just foolishness and ranting.

In short, you would have no gripes with other people and how they live their lives if your own was full and happy. Same as what I said in the first comment.

The Scorpion said...


It seems to me from reading Mel's blog that she uses her time enjoying things SHE likes to do. That's the great thing about living in a Democracy (Greece, USA, Canada etc). No one has to do anything if they choose not to.

Plus, Anon, where do you get your info on second hand furniture?? I lived in the USA and Greece and the only people who use second hand furniture are cheap skates and maybe really poor people. If you and your husband both work, then maybe you need to get a financial advisor so you can budget your money better.

Then again, maybe you like second hand furniture? If this is the case, then so be it, but don't deride others because they choose to have the nicer things in life.

I enjoy living vicariously through the lives of rich bloggers.

Please don't spoil it for us with your whining!!