Thursday, January 5, 2023

Dear Prince Harry, families are complicated, get over it

Jacket for Prince Harry's "Spare" memoir - credit: Penguin Random House

The scene happens inside one of Beirut's wealthiest families.

The eldest brother is furious that his sister in law (the wife of his youngest brother) is pregnant. How come? Without a heir to his brother the families' meatiest property (literally, a Beiruti landmark) would revert back to him. With a child, his brother can keep it. Now the "eldest brother" in question is married to a foreign woman of excessive wealth (I cannot reveal her family name, obviously) so basically he has no need for the property in question. 

Do I need to elaborate? 

I come from a very very large extended family - from both sides. As times goes by people you were close to would no longer be close, cousins you were very tight with you only speak to biannually. Just to be clear, this does not mean bad blood, it's called "life". I mean, imagine the scene: My cousin passes literally in front of me at a funeral, and does not even say hello. well, considering the last time he saw me was practically 35 years prior, it only makes sense. 

Actually, at this point, there is "something" happening in my nuclear family which I still did not tell my eldest brother about. My middle brother knows. There is no point sharing it with my eldest brother (both my brother and myself agreed on that) at this level, so I am postponing this.

If I am writing all this it's because Prince Harry just gave gruesome details about his fight with his brother, the current Prince of Wales, or Prince William for us commoners. Here's the issue, I think it was idiotic for him to share it.

How come? Listen, yes, my brothers and I have had our differences. Major differences. And this is where I will stop my sentence. The rest is private. If we had any "fights" it's no one's business. What we agree on or what we do not remains our internal business. There is no interest for anyone to know what happens behind our closed doors.

I am not playing saint and saying I do not share snippets with a close friend (I have the grand total or 2-3 close friends so it's not like I am writing a book about it and calling it "Spare" har, har) when things get extremely difficult. But still, even such sharing is kept to a minimum. 

I still have this idea, that no matter how much it ebbs and flows, I still consider a brother, a brother. In Arabic, so many people use the sentence "mitl khayye" (exactly like my brother), also these days the notion of "chosen family" is also very rampant (particularly in the west). 

I tend to disagree with both notions. 

Friends, no matter, how close, might tend to go away, or were not with you since birth and have shared things only family members remember or are aware of. With family you are bound to them - whether you want it or not. 

Of course, this notion might be childish, but believe it or not I tend to stand by it. 

So yes, explaining to the whole wide world about a fight that happened with your brother - is not really how things are done in my dictionary.

Long story short, Prince Harry needs to understand that families are complicated.

And eventually he needs to get over it.