By concentrating only on the cups, we fail to enjoy the orange juice in them

After a brief silence, and speaking as if a bone had been stuck in her gullet, Jemima answered:

“No, temporarily.”
“I felt uncomfortable all along as your Grandpa continued asking my friend about her private life. I had invited Jemima, the most beautiful among us, to my birthday party and nothing else. After all, whether she’d been dating or not was none of your Grandpa’s business. Your Grandpa continued:

“Do you mean you have not given up on men yet?”

“No, not at all. It’s only that I’ve now gotten frustrated because I can’t find the man of my dreams.”

“The man of your dreams?”

“Yes, a smart, handsome, tall, intelligent, well-educated and wealthy man.”
 Turning his attention to my other friend, Umayyad, who was nineteen, he inquired:

“Are you also in the same dilemma?”
“Of course I am. It seems to me that all the smart guys have all been extinct  together with the dinosaur.”

A feeling of shock and discouragement engulfed all of us at the table. Your Grandma hadn’t spoken a word until now. I watched in blank dismay as she got up and headed to the kitchen. After a few minutes inside, she returned with a large jar of fresh orange juice. She then went back to the kitchen and later returned with an assortment of cups—porcelain, plastics, some plain-looking and some expensive and exquisite, asking us to help ourselves to fresh orange juice.

When all of us had a cup of fresh orange juice in hand, giving a chuckle of delight, Mama said:

“If you all notice, all the nice-looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones.” She continued:

“While it is quite normal for you all to want only the best for yourselves, that’s the source of your anguish. What all of you really wanted to drink was fresh orange juice, not the cups. However, all of you consciously went for the better cups, and surprisingly enough, you are eyeing each other’s cups!”

Leaning toward Jemima who had been sitting next to her on her right side, she continued:

“These cups are like the sort of men you young girls have been searching unsuccessfully for. These cups are nothing but tools that contain the fresh orange juice you are all drinking. The quality of the orange juice you put in any other cup, whether a cheap and a plastic one or an exquisite one doesn’t change. What matters is the orange juice—not the cups. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cups, we fail to enjoy the orange juice in them.”

To be continued…

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