Flip Flops

What was the environment you were raised in? Describe your family, home, neighborhood, or community, and explain how it has shaped you as a person.

“Don’t turn the flip flop upside down!” I heard my grandmother let out a screech, that truly, could have awoken the dead had my mother not briskly calmed her down. Weird, I thought to myself. It was only a brown leather flip flop that my brother had unwittingly laid upside down on the soft carpet thickened with a decade’s dust. Why was she so enraged by something that was, well, extremely insignificant?

This was not the first time that my grandmother had allowed a superstition to be the cause of her distress. In fact, I can recall numerous superstitious beliefs that my grandmother adhered to– leaving the scissors open brings bad luck, throwing grains of salt over the shoulders leads to great cooking, knocking on wood protects from misfortune, and more. Beyond amusing to think of now, these superstitions had only prompted blank expressions and enlisted fear throughout my childhood.

For the majority of my childhood, I was raised by three guardians–my father, mother, and grandmother. My grandmother, however, carried out what seemed to be the most crucial role of the family. Despite the peculiarity of many of her requests, the Egyptian tradition of respecting the elderly regardless was to be carried out. Her requests were...

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