January 26, 2011

THE RULE OF GOLD

Last Sunday my wife and I, along with some other friends of her had our yearly dose of socializing. I had all the perfect excuses not to attend, but my wife said that she didn't want to do it alone, so I went along.

Not one but two different friends of her from the office had babies last month. This is obviously a happy thing and I am really happy for them both. But that's it. Do I have to visit some guys who I haven't seen more than 10 times in my life because they had babies? Well, not exactly. But my wife does. And even though she is a much more social person compared to me, trust me, she didn't want it either. But what the heck, these people are from her office, and these are the people she sees everyday, she felt she had to follow the expectations.

And we did not only visit them, but also bought a golden coin. We bought only one coin for only one of the families, and we only bought some fancy baby coat for the other family, because those coins don't come for free. So, she just had to make a choice, and this choice was made according to some complex social formulations. 

I always hated the ways of society. When I was a teenager, I remember one time when I told my mother how stupid it was to try to live according to some shitty social norms which nobody seemed to enjoy but yet everybody was eager to bash who didn't. And I still think it is stupid. However though, while growing up, i pretty much realized that everybody needs everybody and a society needs some sets of  least common denominators covering everybody, so that the society can survive. If you want to expect people do what you expect from them to do, you just have to do what they expect from you to do. And yes, i know, it is as stupid as it sounds.

Let me tell you that i don't want to sound like i support the opposite: a total individualism. well, it simply doesn't work either. Yet, that's another matter.

It is a pretty common tradition to buy golden coins in Turkey as a gift for happy occcasions such as weddings, child births, and circumcisions. However though, since the gold rates are really very high, people don't do it unless it is an occassion they feel like they must.

So we bought our golden piece, and since it would be rather rude to hand it just like that, we bought a pretty cheap ordinary baby undervest too, and attached the golden coin to the undervest. And we made our visit. And then it came the time to hand the gift. So the guy is sitting there, his wife with the baby in her arms is sitting next to him, and the guy is opening the package. He is like "Oh look, dear, what they bought for our little boy." - or girl, i really don't remember. So he holds the undervest, shows it to the wife, and they both thank us for the...  right the cheap ordinary undervest, and pretend as if that golden coin is totally irrelevant, doesn't even exist, and as if the real gift was the undervest itself. Why? Becauce it would be rude other wise. That's why.

OK now, I totally understand that there should really be ways of doing things as long as we are dependant to each other. And even if we are not dependant, there should still be ways to do things rather than acting like true gorillas. But, I don't understand why we insist on complying the most hypocritic stupid social rules when everybody knows it is totally bullshit.

3 comments:

Ayak said...

There seem to be a hell of a lot more social "rules" in Turkey than in the UK, and even after almost 13 years here I still haven't really grasped it all. Do you not think though that the younger generation (and I think I may include you in this) are rebelling a bit against it all?

jedilost said...

well, thinking my own young(er) agaes and being into some of the most rebellious groups, i can say that, it is true that the younger generations rebel against the archaic rules but this doesnt mean that they create their own set of rules to obey.

Ayak said...

Yes I think that's true..it's the case with younger rebellious people anywhere in the world I think. Then of course they get older and start to either conform to the existing rules, or make their own!

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