‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ doesn’t even skim the surface, just a taster of what a Greek girl’s life is really like. These days it’s not so tough for Greek girls, count yourselves lucky.
Way back when in the ‘village,’ you were sent away even if you so much as looked at a boy! For some passionate Greek girls (and there where many) the urge was too great so they sneaked their way to olive groves for a quick fumble with Yianni, the goat herder. Yianni and all the other goat herder’s could fumble to their hearts content, after all they were men.
The fight of these women’s lives was to gain their freedom from the oppression that was bestowed on them and the guilt, oh that guilt!
Baba: “I feed you, I clothe you. Why are you doing this to ME?
Mama: “Do what he says, please do it for ME”
It’s all about ego. ‘The self’…another great Greek invention!
God forbid you might even be remotely pretty or have the potential to resemble Aphrodite herself. No, the mono-brow and the moustache have to stay…a form of chastity belt if you will.
Seriously, that’s what father’s thought! Once removed, your virginity is lost forever. The women are dressed in black and whaling, the men are locked in secret talks, a bottle of Johnny Walker and a pile of pistachio nuts to help them come to a decision about what to do with you. Oh, the shame!
How things change, the ‘Spartan’ army would go to war on the word of their women and the secret talks included them, their theories where valued. Women with spirit who knew how to kick ass!
Where did that spirit go? Well we still have it that’s for sure and the removal of facial hair is symbolic of our fight for emancipation.
I remember getting rid of mine. My first boyfriend wouldn’t kiss me because of the ‘thing’ sprouting from my top lip…mortified I was! But I wanted my first kiss, or snog…it was the 80’s.
The mono-brow followed to the horror of my father. Sitting at opposite ends of the dinner table he noticed I looked different. There was an uncomfortable silence…I thought, “He’s going to kill me”. I slid down in the chair trying to avoid his gaze. His raging eyes followed me as I went down further…I’m now on the kitchen floor!
So, the girl in the olive grove or the Spartan wife?
It’s all Greek to me!
© Michelle Sotiriou 2012