Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – XLV. My Years at 12A Rue Khantaret Ghamra – My Brother (3 of 5)

Nothing was easy with me. My parents had to get involved in everything. Schoolwork was no exception. I will talk about that later on. But what I want to say here is that this was not the case with my brother. He knew what he was required to do and did it. He came from school, sat, and did his homework. He was not easily distracted. He was therefore left with plenty of time to play, read, listen to the radio, or sit with the adults. With me, homework dragged on forever. Of course I would complain, “How come Robert can do this or that, and I can’t?”

I was responsible for my own misery, but it took me many years to realize that.

In time, Robert would prove again and again that he was a go-getter. But before going there, let me narrate one more chapter of our childhood together.

There came a time when Robert outgrew his crib, so he shared my big double bed. But this bed was high, and one day, I fell from it and hurt myself. I still have the scar on my chin to remind me of that accident. After that, my mother sold the bed and replaced with two divans; and that is where we slept for many years.

A divan is a kind of bed with pillows placed all around it during the day to allow you to sit. It’s neither comfortable for seating nor sleeping! The divans were placed in the informal dining room where we ate and where my father smoked. Add to that the smell of food and other emanations, and you get the idea that, at least in the area of sleep, we were not exactly coddled. Did I mention that the divans came with impossibly thin mattresses?

The divans were acquired around 1945. Fast-forward to 1975. We had just moved to Ottawa and rented a beautiful three-bedroom apartment. Thus, my children, Rita and Michael, were given their own rooms. Their rooms were beautifully furnished and included beds (with a spring mattress and box-spring), desks, and dressers; as well, the rooms came with large closets.

In the meantime, Robert in Montreal built his own house and allocated to his two children, Allan and Frederic, two sumptuous, and richly furnished, rooms.

More than once, I stood to look at the rooms we (Robert and I) gave to our children. My own room? My own desk with a desk lamp on? My own dresser (actually, I was given half a drawer in a dresser!)?  They would have taken me away screaming at the mere suggestion of such a possibility! These gorgeous rooms were light-years away from our shabby divans.

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