So I am struggling to be tactful in introducing a subject I find highly morbid & depressing. I get all tongue-tied & trip over words until he loses patience & tells me to just spit it out because he hasn't got all day. So I tell him I don't know anything about his finances or vice versa & that might create problems in the event of an emergency.
Silence. Then I look up to find him staring at me like am crazy.
Me : What?
Him: Ba2a howa da illy mday2ik wi mkhaliki min elsob7 3amala tlifi witdoori mish 2adra tinta2i?
Me : Yes.
Him: Eh ya 7abibi nezam Alzheimer illy inti feeh da? (He's asking if I've got Alzheimer's Disease.)
Me : What do you mean?
Him: 2olili how inti ma3aki elcard illy ana kont midihoolik zaman wala daya3teeh?(Do you still have the bank card I gave you long ago or have you lost it?)
Me : La. 3indi.
Him: El7amdullilah(Thank God). Ya3ni feeh amal(So there is hope). Tab ya roo7i. On the back of the card you will find an 800 number. Call the number and activate the card. I can't believe I have to explain this to you. You're supposed to be tech wiz in this house.
Me : You don't need to explain it. I know how to activate cards.
Him: Allah yinawar 3laiki. Tab lama inti shatra awi wi bti3rafi ma tgarabi kida wi ib2i 2oolili fi eh.(Good. So why not try & let me know what you find?)
Me : Why not just tell me?
Him: A2oolik(I'll tell you) wi malo. The card gives you access to all my accounts: current, savings, loans, credit cards. It's all there wi ta7t amrik min ghair wala emergency wala 7aga. 7atta el7asabat illy bara(Even overseas accounts) can be accessed online. Which you would already know if you had ever bothered to activate the card.
I was speechless. I thought it was just a credit card! It looks like a credit card!
Me(spluttering): You mean I could ruin you with a few mouse clicks?
Him(smiling): If you wanted to, you could make me a very poor man.
Me : I don't know what to say.
Him: Well, that's new.
Me : You didn't have to. I mean, thank you for trusting me that much bas really, isn't this too much?
Him: I knew you'd find SOMETHING to say. Too much eh wi bta3 eh ya bint elhabla? Inti 3abeeta ya bit? Howa ana baini wi bainik eh? Wara2it 3orfi? Inti mrati. You're my responsibility. Ba3dain howa ana 3ayel sogayar 3ashan tifootni 7aga zay kida?
Ok that's the stuff I don't like to hear. Am not his responsibility. Am an adult. Am responsible for myself. But I wasn't going to make an issue out of it just then. Was too shocked by what I found out. I needed time to take it all in.
And I was too embarrassed by his generosity. Generosity can be excruciatingly embarrassing I am finding. I mean, no one has ever casually given me the power to ruin them. Without even discussing it. Like it's the most natural thing in the world. Even if it's done out of chauvinism, how can I say anything but thank you?