How to Break the Family Curse

My family is cursed by the most unusual curse, it seems a bit harmless but it really is lots more sinister that it seems on the surface of things.

We are cursed to buy houses we never live in. We all buy houses we plan to live in some point in the future and rent an apartment on a temporary basis. The cosmic joker keeps playing his jokes on us and we never end up living in the purchased house and instead end up living in the rented place. Let me illustrate with a few examples of this family curse.

When I was a child growing in Kuwait, my dad built a house in Baghdad. The plan was that he would work in Kuwait for several years and once he collected enough money the whole family would move to Baghdad to our beautiful 5 bed room house. The two story house has a swimming pool, a garden with palm trees and custom designed rooms. I never got to even see the house let alone live in it. I have seen pictures of the house and grew up in rented apartments in Kuwait for 18 years instead. As the political situation in Iraq kept getting worse the likelihood of us returning to Iraq got slimmer and slimmer and so my mother decided to purchase a house in the Czech Republic so that eventually when we would immigrate there, we would have a nice house waiting for us. This house I did get to visit. Only because my mom’s family lives in it, I always get to stay in the attic on brief vacations. It is a really nice house, too bad we immigrated to Canada instead. Shortly into my marriage I realized that the family curse is stuck to me no matter what I do. My new husband proudly showed me pictures of the house he built in Mash-had his home town outside Nazareth. Only problem is that he is an academic and there are no universities in the area of his home town. I asked him why he built the house. He told me that when he finished his B.Sc. he had some extra money and his dad advised to use the money to build a house on the family’s property so that he would have a nice house waiting for him when he decides to get married and have children. At the time my husband didn’t think he would end up in Canada pursuing an academic career. When we lived in Jerusalem we lived in a rented apartment and about once a month we would drive to Nazareth to visit my in-laws and we would stay in this beautiful house on a hill top with an unobstructed view of the valley underneath it. Three fair sized bed rooms, beautiful marble entrance. The outside of the house is decorated with amazing rocks. Too bad we will never live in it and my kids won’t get to grow up in it. What a tease. This cosmic joker is cruel. If you think that not owning a house is bad, try owning a house you can’t live in. Try owning several you can’t live in.

This family curse is a head scratcher, I need to break free from it.

“I want my life to be boring; I want my life to get into a rut.” I told my dad when I moved from Israel to Vancouver. All this traveling around the world, learning new languages and discovering new cultures seems all interesting and glamorous; few people realize the toll it takes on your emotions and psyche.  I swore off adventures. I swore off interesting. I wanted dull, I wanted gray, I wanted ordinary. I wanted average. I am going to become the most boring person on earth. I am gonna buy a boring house with a boring backyard. I am gonna buy the most boring family sedan for a car and I am gonna get a boring job. Preferably in an office where I just push paper around aimlessly. Even my food will be boring, I will eat boring meat and potato dishes. No interesting people allowed into my life. If you are the least bit interesting then please don’t talk to me. If there is a small smudge of excitement happening somewhere then please be sure to exclude me from it. That was my objective on September of 2000. I set out on my mission by striking bravely at the source. I am going to break the family curse. I am going to take the radical step of buying a house and actually live in it. I am not gonna just live in it I am gonna fully dwell in it. I will hang pictures on the wall and I am gonna  plant flowers in the front yard and I am gonna get me some of those boring  lawn chairs for the backyard. I know this doesn’t seem like such a radical concept but for a woman possessed by the gypsy spirit, it was destiny defying step. Dare I break the family curse? Dare I change my destiny in such a defiant manner? Will the cosmic joker leave me alone? Or will he punish me in retaliation?

As I moved into my newly purchased house I felt a tremendous trepidation. I woke up every morning expecting something horrible to happen. Surely I will be punished somehow, somewhere, when I least expect it. If I believed in Arabic superstitions I would have bought 50 evil eyes and blue beads and hung them in every room in the house. If I was Jewish I would have bought 50 mezuzahs and placed them on every entrance of every single room of the house. If I was a Christian I would have bought 50 holy pictures of the baby Jesus cradled by the virgin Marry and crosses and hung them in random places in the house. But since I don’t believe in any of that I had a dilemma. I knew I needed to do something to ward of the evil eye that is sure to strike me, but how can a heretical, non believer infidel like me do that? What do you do to bring good luck and good fortune into your home when you are an agnostic? I couldn’t find anything so I had to invent it myself.

One day while on a business trip to San Francisco, I was walking around looking at art galleries of which San Francisco has plenty of. When suddenly I saw this large hand woven medieval tapestry. I fell in love with it right away.  I didn’t know why at the time but I felt a sudden urge to buy it. The sales man urged me to buy it, I responded by saying that I had to consult with my husband first and since he is back in Vancouver I won’t be able to do that. “Surprise him!” said the sales person in the most mischievous way. What could I say other than “Ok! Here is 900 dollars for it”. After some haggling to be true to my middle eastern roots.

The beautiful tapestry depicts a merry Medieval scene of music, food and dance. It is based on an antique that is hanging is some historical castle somewhere in Europe. When I got back into my room and examined it closely, I realized why I had such strong gut instincts that made me buy it on an impulse provoked by a clever sales man.

It has a women, her husband and three children. The woman is typing on a keyboard, the husband is pursuing an academic goal of some sort and the tree kids are playing around. That is exactly like my family and I. Notice How each one of the children has a very different personality, the eldest is pulling a cats tail and the middle child looks like an angel and stands adoringly between the two parents and the youngest is goofing off and petting a dog. That is a very close representation of my three children. Notice how they all look very bored, they all look like they are infinitely staring into the void. They look so serene and calm. I have found my good luck charm. I will hang it my living room and stare at it every single night until my family becomes the family in that tapestry. Forever stuck in a bored stance.

Several years later. I continue to live in the boring house walking distance from the beach in one the nicest neighborhoods in Vancouver. In the evenings I sit in my backyard sipping herbal tea and watching the trees softly sway from side to side. In the morning I will get up early, make breakfast, go to work in my character deprived Toyota corolla. Aaaaaah! The bliss of living la vida boring. The gypsy spirit is nearly gone, the cosmic joker seems to have finally given up on me. Who says you can’t change your destiny?

breaking the family curse tapestry

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