Appreciation

Mid week I rated as yummy a bottle of wine offered to me. There were already three other reviews under the same label: one yum, one hmm and one yuk. That left me wondering about wine reviews and differences in general. Few people are able to pass an independent opinion about wine, especially women. I suspect that most of them rate a wine accordingly to a successful or unsuccessful date, and not to the wine itself. We all have different approaches to rating and sometimes they are strangers to the intrinsic qualities of the wine. My top reason to rate a wine as bad or good is my migraine mechanism, the taste coming only in second. If a wine tastes good and the next day I suffer from a bad migraine, it means I’ve been drinking bad stuff. In general it works, but I have to admit that sometimes my migraine might have been related with some other issue and my judgment was unfair.

Surprise, surprise, the above paragraph is only marginal in terms of this post. Sometimes I touch the subject of resenting this and that about my father. I know I shouldn’t have loved him so much for half my life, so that I wouldn’t have to feel pretty disappointed the other half. These days I look back with a more impartial look and find a man that had good and bad.

There were three major visible traces of his personality: playfulness, emotiveness and selfishness. I was captivated by his playfulness, felt uneasy towards his emotiveness and hated his selfishness. The curious is that, lately, one of his less perceived characteristics has been coming back with a disturbing persistence, living inside me and changing the way I see him and people in general.

Instead of using adjectives, I’ll give you a good example of the aspect I am talking about. Since I live in Mozambique he visited us three times, two of them he stayed with us for a couple of weeks. He was always polite with people, thanking with words and smiles any attention or favor received, but during those two occasions I remarked how he noticed the work other people realized for him. Before traveling back to Portugal, he called our maid and gave her a present accompanied with the thanks for the few shirts she ironed for him. It was a very touching thing to watch and she (and I) never forgot it. The second time he gave an envelop with some money to my cook Mario, joking with the fact that he deserved it just for sharing the same name with him.

I know I inherit many of his faults (his rages namely) but I am sure that his politeness and his capacity of appreciating the work others realize – even the humblest ones – were passed to me. I resent not to see those qualities around but a family is a kaleidoscope of influences and circumstances. Maybe one day I’ll also have the opportunity to pass them, unaware that one given occasional gesture will speak more than a thousand words.

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