Arnon Grunberg

The ugly ones


My sister, her husband and six of her seven children are visiting my mother.
The second oldest daughter, who is 19 or 20 years old if I’m not mistaken, has a boyfriend in Jerusalem.
When I called my mother tonight she told me: “The girl talked to her boyfriend on the phone for more than twenty minutes and I have to pay for it. I have seen a picture of him. He is fat and very dark, I would say really Semitic.” To me she once said about my girlfriends: “You prefer the ugly ones, don’t you?” My mother’s talent for jest is infinite. That’s why I admire her.