Sunday, July 20, 2008


Remember those electronic phone books- like before blackberries, palm pilots, etc? They would be about the size of a calculator with a full keyboard and you would thumb in each of your contacts.

Well imagine one the size of one of those TI 83 graphing calculators, maybe more like one and a half times the size actually. I found one of those on the shelf of Mohammad's apartment as we were packing up his stuff to move.

I picked it up and giggled a little, and mimed how it would make you walk crooked cuz it was so bulky and heavy. The outside of it was that sort of texture that used to be really common that would get sticky and crusty no matter even if you didn't put it in your chewed up gum wrapper-filled purse.

He looked back at me, forehead wrinkled, "maybe somebody would want it. It used to be great."

I stared wide-eyed back and opened it up and jammed my finger on every button uselessly trying to turn it on. "It doesn't work. Its gigantic. Its sticky. No one will use it. We're throwing it out."

To which he shrugged his shoulders and lifted his hands up and stated "It's such a shame."

It's such a shame. Almost as if it was taken from my father's lips. I've realized that my honey is similar to my dad many, many times before, but this simple gesture, the use of the words "it's such a shame" are the cherry on top. I love this regcognition I've seen in both of them, that something is old and broken and useless coupled with the unwillingness to get rid of it.

What makes it even more funny is that I co-opt one of my mother's tactics, placing the humongous glorified calculator in a place slightly out of his sight, and then smoothly slide it into one of the bags of trash that were on its way out the door.

Later that night Mohammad asks me, "So did you throw it out?" I avoid the question. I think to myself, young man, you have some learning to do. My dad would have anticipated my mother's move and pulled that calculator out of the bag on his way out to the trash and then place it in the basement, safe out of my mother's sight. He would have had the sneaky smile on his face all the while he was doing it too.

When I tell my sister and brother later of the incident and reiterate once more that I am dating my father, Reem mentions that there is in fact some form of an electronic address book actually sitting on top of the bar in the basement of the parents' house.

And then, just moments ago as Mohammad realized that I was writing all this down - I needed to remember the model number of the graphing calculator I mention above so I had to ask him, see- he starts arguing how revolutionary his address book thingy was, how it was like a mini-computer and that he can't believe I'm comparing it to a graphing calculator.

Not in function baby, in size. He then references some arabic saying something like "don't mock the glorified once they've fallen."

Oh man.

1 comment:

Reem Tara said...

This is absolutely brilliant.