The cockroach in the eyes of his mother looks like a gazelle.


Y: Let’s start with my dad’s story. So, one day I was asking him for praise or validation, like I always do. And his, so like I showed, I think I was showing him something I was really excited about. And his response- I was like, “do you think it’s good?” And he was like, “the cockroach in the eyes of his mother looks like a gazelle.” And <laugh> he explained like it’s a proverb that his father told him.  I mean, his mother told him over and over again. And I was like, “I’m so offended.” He was like, “no, I’m just saying I’m not a reliable witness cause like I’m always gonna think you’re amazing.” But I still, like, bug him about that proverb to this day.

Background: Y is a 20 year old who was born and raised in New Jersey. She now resides in Los Angeles, California. 

Context: This story was told to me at a hangout among friends.

Analysis: Y’s proverb reminded me of other proverbs or sayings that relate to the unconditional love of a parent. Although it has a more negative connotation, I thought of the saying “they had a face only a mother could love.” What’s interesting about evaluating these sayings side by side is that there’s a notable difference between the statement of unconditional love coming from the parent, such as in Y’s proverb, versus in the second saying, which is meant as an insult from someone outside of the family. The connotations are vastly different.