A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

the danger of family gatherings

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on December 26, 2008

The danger of family gatherings like Christmas is that while you are having so much fun together, small details get neglected.

After opening our Santa gifts, my parents, grandmother, and I moved to the kitchen to put breakfast together.

In the midst of the breakfast bustling – getting out the coffeecakes, cooking the little smokies, making oatmeal – I decided to make a cup of tea. In the microwave, which for me is a luxurious treat (I haven’t had a microwave since 2000 or so – no space in New York, and not enough wattage in Beirut).

What’s that smell? Big Diamond asked. Big Diamond could be a perfumier, her sense of scent is so nuanced. I rarely smell anything when she asks that question.

I think its the sausages, I said, lifting the lid so she could get a better smell.

It smells a bit like bay leaf, my mother said, unconvinced – but since none of us smelled bay leaf, she agreed that it might just be the sausages.

When the microwave beeped, I maneuvered around my father, who was giving the sausages a good stirring, opened the microwave door and took out … an unusually hot, unusually light mug.

This is the danger of family gatherings: that because you are having so much fun together, you neglect small but critical details like adding water to your cup of tea.

This is what a tea-bag looks like, after spending two minutes in a microwave with no water:


And yes, nuked tea bag does smell like bay leaf.


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