Text: Dima Karara
Image: Evita Belegri
I love gossip. It is truly one of my favourite pastimes. Every time I have any little morsel of information, I run to my friends to tell them and listen to their thoughts. Anytime a friend looks at me with that twinkle in their eyes I am beyond excited. I get all giddy inside, like a thirteen year old running into her crush in the hallway - giggly and unable to stop smiling. The urge to squeal is so strong, and I usually give into it. I am often wide-eyed and audibly gasping; hungry for every detail. It does not matter if the gossip is something that happened in their lives or if it is a scandal that happened to a celebrity I have only just heard about two minutes ago – Tell. Me. Everything.
I have always revered gossip. When I was a kid, I would sit at the kids table during family gatherings and try to listen to what my mom, my grandma and my aunt were saying at the adult table. It did not really matter who or what exactly they were talking about, what mattered was my exclusion. Gossiping was a signifier of adulthood. As soon as I was old enough, my mum would tell me the latest family gossip when I asked her. It felt like I had finally made it into this exclusive club I had been trying to get into my whole life. Over the summer I looked forward to large gatherings with my family, because I knew that is when all the gossip would be revealed.
Gossiping creates a bond between me and my family. Through gossip I always find something to talk about. For example with my grandma who I love talking to but usually cannot come up with much to say to. Or when I want to talk to my cousins, who I have grown apart from over the past few years, I usually go for gossip because I know it covers something we will all have something to say about. I think gossip is one of the only reasons I know most of the people in my huge extended family - people I would otherwise not know the names of.
I think it is quite clear that I don't see gossip as something evil and snarky like talking shit about someone. It has a pretty bad reputation, but perhaps it is because the people who see it that way just do not have someone to gossip with. Gossip to me is more like the front page of a tabloid magazine. It is about the scandal; the shock. It is news that might be unimportant to an outsider, but when someone comes to me with gossip, no matter how minute, I feel like I'm being entrusted with a secret and being made part of a community. So just between us, I don't think I'll ever stop gossiping.