Friday, March 31, 2006

Female Sexuality

A girl I know once commented that there should never be male sex symbols because unclothed men just look stupid & nowhere as beautiful or graceful as unclothed women. The occasion was the New Year's (& New Millinium's) Party at the Hiltonia Beach Club in Abu Dhabi. I remember looking at her & thinking well why don't you just give me your man?

We all thought it was pretty ironic that she should be the one saying that. It was a beach party mainly. Her husband was definitely one of those 'unclothed men' she was talking about & we frustrated single females - & a few not single females incidentally - were all having trouble taking our eyes off him! I mean it. The guy was Greek god material. All I can say is that woman is lucky none of us were the type of girls who would go for a married man. If we were he was certainly attractive enough to be a candidate & she was definitely stupid enough to make us think she'd deserve it for not appreciating what she has!

An argument ensued with many different views being aired. Among them was that when women dance they look sexy while men just look gay so there should be no male dancers because they're not attractive & they're all sissies etc...At one point one girl said that Allah made women beautiful. This is why we have to cover. If He had meant men to be equally attractive then He would have told them to cover too but He didn't so they're not. And I thought oh well. Should have known someone would drag religion into it. And the conversation trailed off after that because I guess no one wants to be on the opposing side when religion is brought into the argument.

It was the first time I heard this point of view expressed. Over the years I came to hear it again in many different ways. That female sexuality is not visual. That this is why male models are never as successful as female models. That women don't care about a man's looks etc......

On a personal level this point was often pushed at me as a form of criticism. During long years in which friends & family were matchmaking for me - trying to hook me up with various guys, their number one complaint became that I cared too much about phsyical appearance - that I don't give perfectly nice guys a chance because they may not be my idea of good-looking and then the clincher of every such conversation -
LouLou you think like a man.

So am I a freak of nature?Because let me tell you that:

1) I do find the unclothed male form fascinating. Much more fascinating than the female form. I do not believe for a moment that men are not beautiful or that women are more beautiful.

2) I find that there is nothing quite as sexually attractive as a man who can dance. One of my biggest gripes in life is that my husband dances like a white person. He's improved a lot now because I've been working on him, taking him to lots of hip-hop, soul & R&B nights but he still has some way to go. I keep hoping that because he's Egyptian & Egypt is located in Africa he must have some black genes in there that will one day come to his rescue.

Disclaimer: Nothing against white people in general. That's just my personal taste in dance, music & men.

3) I do expect - & did always expect - to feel phsyically attracted to my partner. A nice guy that I don't feel attracted to might make a good friend. I might come to respect/care for him like a brother. But to have a physical relationship you need physical attraction. Especially given the fact that I know that he would never express a romantic interest in me if he didn't happen to find me phsyically attractive. Who says only men have this right to choose sexually while women just have to accept being chosen?

4) I spend a lot of time, money & effort taking care of myself & I expect the same from my partner. I would not appreciate it if he were to let himself go. Being busy is not an excuse. Am busy too but I still manage to make an effort for his sake & I deserve the same.

Would I stop loving him if he did let himself go? No. Am not that superficial. But I would definitely be less physically attracted. And there's no point in lying about that. Or in denying that the fact that I enjoy looking at him is helpful to our relationship.

So am I freak then? Is it that women don't care about physical appearance as much as men or just that they're socially conditioned not to admit that they do? And is it really superficial or immoral or 7aram to want to be attracted to your partner?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Long Day

She popped her head into my office early in the morning & said: "I'm leaving."

I was on the phone with someone who expected me to type out a long email & send it to him while he stayed on the line talking to me non-stop about all the other things he wanted me to do. You can imagine the state I was in. Keep typing the email?Listen to him?Take notes?What to do exactly?

So I didn't really pay attention to her at first. I thought she meant she was leaving for the day or something. I just waved dismissively. Am told that I multi-task well but I do have my limits.

Then she came up to stand right behind me, leaned over & whispered in my ear.
"I'm leaving. For good. Today."

I told the guy to hold on.

Me: You quit?

And she nodded.

Me: Today?Don't you have to give notice?
Her: Without notice.
Me: But why?
Her: My baby is so small.....

And I thought oh God. Just what I needed to hear.

Got back on the line, told him we had an emergency & can I get back to him. Then I sat her down to talk. Didn't know what I was supposed to say really. Just tried to be supportive, asked if her decision was final & told her how much we'd miss her...etc...

After we hugged goodbye & promised to keep in touch my hands were freezing & I could feel my upper arms trembling but I had to ignore that & stay focused. All day I was hoping for a few minutes of peace & quiet so I could think. Or at least have a cigarette. No such luck.

When I saw the clock strike 4:30 I threw everyone out of my office. Nearly crashed into some guy's brand new BMW as I pulled out of the carpark. He was yelling are you crazy & a few other things. Just ignored him. And the incident didn't stop me from speeding all the way home. My husband keeps saying am going to get my license revoked soon. Some new traffic laws apparently.

On the way home I realized that the reason for the rush was that I was hoping to catch my husband before he left for his evening shift. And I did catch him. In the shower. Walked into the bathroom & he asked where all the clean towels were before I had time to say anything. Sigh. If I've told him once I've told him a million times where everything is. Didn't even bother this time. Just went & got him one.

Ended up getting him just about everything else in the end. He said he overslept & was in a mad rush to get to work on time. Clearly not a good time to talk. And besides didn't know what I wanted to say really.

He called me about an hour after he left. To ask if I was ok. I'd had time to think & decide against telling him. He's been showing signs of impatience with the 'baby' conversation, indicating that he thinks we spend entirely too much time talking about it etc.....I didn't think he'd want to hear it basically. Especially not when he was calling from work with very little time on his hands. It was a potential argument & a futile one really & I didn't feel like ruining our weekend over it.

Told him I was fine, not to worry. After I hung up I thought at least he noticed my mood & cared enough to call & check on me. The thought helped.

Would have spent the entire afternoon imagining little boys who look like him but there was no time because he'd told me last night that a group of his friends invited themselves over for dinner. Now when a group of single Arab expatriate men are coming over for dinner you can't order pizza. They expect home-cooked food. Of course he still suggested we order pizza but I wouldn't have that. I don't mind cooking for them so much. What I do mind is that when they come over they never seem to leave. No matter how early you serve them dinner. They have tea & sheesha afterwards & just stay around playing cards & talking football & politics all night.

It's 12:14am local time now & they're still here. Now I don't mean to sound inhospitable but really me & him have both had a very long day, I haven't had an hour alone with him all day, am not in the greatest mood ever, I have work in the morning & I would like a little of his time before we're both completely exhausted. Is that too much to ask?


Monday, March 27, 2006

Second Wife

B. is a girl I used to go to school with a long time ago who now works with my husband. Ran into her at the hospital where he works. Was surprised she recognized me. I certainly didn't recognize her. Last time I saw her was in 8th grade. But of course I was happy to renew the acquaintance. We exchanged numbers a couple of weeks back but with our busy schedules we only managed to get together for lunch on Thursday.

She's such an interesting person. Articulate, witty, cultured, well-read an all-around brilliant conversationalist. And I thought she was gorgeous. Stylish, very fit - not surprising when you consider that she is both a nutritionist & a physical therapist -, long, black hair, tanned skin, lovely smile. I could see heads turning as she walked into the restaurant where we had lunch.

Of the two of us, she was the talkative one. Am a chatterbox myself but some people make me want to fall silent & listen. She was one of them. It was almost a couple of hours & I was starting to think I needed to go home when the conversation started to get personal. I ended up sitting back down for another 2 hours.

It was when she showed me pics of her husband & children. She married her old high school boyfriend. Which would not have been surprising if I didn't happen to know the guy & hadn't happened to attend his wedding. I wasn't going anywhere after that. Curiousity killed the cat maybe but am not a cat & I was going to get to the bottom of this!

Things got a bit awkward because I didn't know how to ask her what happened to his first wife which is what I was dying to know. In the end I decided that I should just get to the point. So I told her I was surprised because I had been a guest at his wedding in Dubai - almost 9 years ago.

She said no he wasn't divorced, that she married him 5 years ago. And I thought oh my God. She was 24 & she married a married man? Why? Why would an intelligent, educated, fairly wealthy young woman want to do that to herself & to another woman?

Her answer was simple. She said she'd loved him all her life - that they were forced to break up because his family wanted him to have some sort of arranged marriage & her family refused because his family refused. They were from different nationalities so that was also a problem. But they just couldn't stay away from each other & in the end both families were forced to accept.

I was so full of questions. But how can she bear it? If she loves him so much how can she bear to share him with another woman? I just couldn't picture that. She smiled & told me that she was happy with her life. That she has 3 days of every week to herself to pursue her own interests, be with her friends etc....& when she does see him it's always more exciting because they missed each other. And besides she knows she's the one he's always loved - that he never wanted the other marriage.

I asked her about the kids, the responsibility, doesn't she feel it's unfair that she's a part-time single mother? She told me that it's not as tough as it sounds, that she loves her kids & is not afraid of being responsible for them, that she enjoys it & that he helps when he can.

I had to stop there because it would have been rude to force her to defend her personal choices anymore than that. But am not satisfied. She seems happy but is she? Is it possible for a woman to be happy in such a situation?Does she never feel guilt, jealousy, self-doubt, insecurity, loneliness? And what about the other wife? Is she happy too?

What makes women accept this?Doesn't matter whether the law allows it or not, whether he married both of them or had one as a wife & one as a mistress, that's not what puzzles me. It's the basic fact that two women - each of whom are aware of the other's existence - seem to have come to an agreement - spoken or not- to commit to the same man that am having trouble with. It's so alien to everything I ever thought or believed about love.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Last night my friend M. asked us to babysit so she & her husband can go out & celebrate their anniversary. So K & I got to experience what it feels like to have a house full of kids for one evening(baby LouLou, her brother & her sister).

They need so much attention!

The brother & the sister fight with each other all the time. And it looks so dangerous. I mean the kid gets up on the couch & jumps on his sister's back! I don't understand how their parents managed to keep them from killing or seriously injuring each other all these years. I mean I was in a constant state of panic until K got home & at least there were two of us so he took the girl to the playground up on the roof while I was playing Nintendo with the boy until he was ready to go to bed. Then I called K & told him he could bring the girl back now. It was the most effective peace-keeping we could think of. God knows am not new to sibling rivalry but these kids are vicious!

Poor litte LouLou was largely ignored all this time because like a perfect little angel, she peacefully slept through all the racket. What this meant of course was that just as we managed to get her brother & sister to finally go to sleep, she was up & raring to go.

Couldn't get her to eat at all even though she was crying & I knew she had to be hungry. Don't know what I was doing wrong but K managed to convince her in the end. I think he was sending out fewer stress signals or something so she relaxed in his arms, stopped crying & let me feed her.

Me: You know strictly speaking I don't think you should be holding that kid without your shirt on. I think it can be considered child molestation.
Him: Look if you want it just say so. Ya3ni you don't have to get jealous of a toddler.
Me: Haha. You wish. I am just worried about her mental well-being.
Him: Mental well-being eh? Look at her. She's comfortable.
Me: I know. Was just picking on you. Did you think I was really jealous of her?
Him: Ya 7abibit albi ana 3arif in inti 3arfa inik mish mi7taga tigheeri min 7ad khalis. Da ana koli leeki. Inti to2mori bas.(Basically he's saying that he knows that I know I don't need to get jealous of anyone because he's all mine.)
Me: You mean I don't need to worry about being dumped for a blonde nurse in a short uniform?
Him: Ikhsa 3laiki. Ikhs. Ana a3mil kida bardu? Bilzima mish maksoofa min nafsik?(Shame on you(for thinking that). Aren't you ashamed of yourself?)
Me: Tayeb khalas if you're sure then am sorry.
Him: Ba3dain aslan the uniforms are not that short.

I gave him a dirty look, refused to dignify that with an answer & continued to feed the baby. Who chose this exact instant to start happily sucking her thumb - refusing to take a single spoonful more from me.

Me: She won't eat. She's sucking her thumb.

He was trying to gently pull her thumb out of her mouth. She was vehement that this was a BAD IDEA. And expressed herself very loudly. But he kept holding her hand away from her mouth. I can't bear it when babies cry. I just want to give them what they want. They sound so much in distress & coming from such a little, fragile-looking being, it makes me feel like a heartless monster if I don't just give them anything they want.

Me: You're making her cry.
Him: She'll ruin her jaw.
Me: 7abibi tonight you're not the dentist. You're the babysitter. Try to adjust will you? The idea is to keep her quiet.
Him: Stop nagging. She'll quiet down in a second.

And she did. So we managed to finish feeding her. Of course she got the food all over the two of us but we didn't mind. Getting her to finish her food was like winning a contest or something. Especially because I knew that M. was always complaining that she can't get LouLou to eat & she has to chase her all over the house etc...We didn't have to chase her. It didn't take all day. It took about half an hour. And apart from the thumb-sucking incident she didn't cry at all. So I think we did pretty well actually if I do say so myself.

M. & her husband showed up to pick up the kids pretty late but it was ok. I offered to do it & I knew they'd be out pretty late. The poor girl can't find a decent maid/babysitter who won't go out with her bf as soon as M & her husband leave the house in the morning, leaving LouLou by herself. She's changed maids 3 times since she went back to work. I just thought they deserved a break for their anniversary. Especially given how supportive she was when I needed it.

Last night gave me a lot of food for thought. But it's not going to be consumed today because we hardly got any sleep last night so am too exhausted to think this morning.

I like seeing him with kids. Just one thought to register quickly. And now I'd better get back to work.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006


I think saying that am an active blogger jinxed it or something. It feels like it's been so long since I wrote anything - except for work. Infact am going through a phase of illiteracy these days. I write less & I don't read at all. Haven't actually read a book since ages before the wedding. Haven't even started one. Starting to feel like an ignormous because I meet people & everyone is talking about some book they all read except me.

Can't seem to fit everything into my days anymore. The reason is that I used to get so much done at night. Now staying up all night is not an option anymore because my husband feels he has to stay up with me & I really can't deprive him of his sleep everyday.

And things are getting so hectic at work. My promotion was supposed to be a higher grade but at the same position & with the same job description. I don't have a new job title. I guess I was silly to assume that means no new responsibilites. Things have really changed at work. More meetings. More direct contact with clients, auditors, vendors, lawyers - people my manager used to handle before. And after my last trip to Germany am a certified instructor for some courses so now am responsible for some training programs. That is really new to me. I mean what am used is being asked to give a two hour lecture to some trainees. The lecture is usually already prepared with examples & everything. So I essentially just go through it & then take questions & am done. But now they tell me we have 4 people on 6 months internships so what do you think they need to learn? And I have to design a comprehensive training program, tasks, daily schedule etc...And I have to monitor them & evaluate them. It is overwhelming. Like constantly being tested. I must admit all this people interaction is uncharted waters for me. For years I've been a purely technical person. What are the requirements? Then it's me & my team & my system & that's it. Now I have all these new responsibilities in addition to what I used to do before.

It's making me so worried & stressed out. When I go home now instead of going out or blogging or reading I find myself working. I don't even have time to talk to my friends on the phone like before because am always taking calls for work. So far I've managed not to let it affect my marriage because my husband works two shifts. He doesn't get home until about 9:00pm so that gives me from 5:00pm onwards. When he comes home I switch off my cell & try to forget work. We miss each other so much all day that at night we don't want to see anyone else. And we want to have the weekends to ourselves too.

This is costing me my social life to a very big extent. I don't have time for friends or for myself anymore. Not even time to think. In a way that has been good for me. In light of recent events, being busy & not having time to obssess probably saved me from going into a deep depression. But this new pattern that my life is falling into is making me worried about the future. How am I going to manage when we decide to have kids? I only have 40 days maternity leave. Then what am I going to do with a 40-day-old baby?

It's weird the way everything in my life is happening at the same time. My career is actually going very well these days. And I worked very hard to prove myself & get to this position. But why couldn't it have happened when I was still single?I remember how frustrated I was by the way I was being passed over for promotions because am a woman or because am not a local etc....And I hated seeing the best projects go to other people for the same reasons more or less. Now all these problems have vanished. The management changed & the company's policy changed & am one of the first people to feel the benefits of that. I should be pleased & I am.

And I also remember how sad & lonely I used to get when I'd start thinking what if I never find love?What if I never meet the right person?And now that concern has vanished too. And of course I am pleased & grateful for that too.

But am really starting to worry about how am going to keep these two parts of my life from clashing with each other. And what exactly that is going to cost me in other respects. Colleagues tell me that in time I'll settle down into the new position & feel less overwhelmed & manage my time better. This is what I keep hoping & praying for.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ten Quotations To A Happier Life

1) Cry a river; build a bridge; get over it.
2) Everything happens in its own time.
3) All glory comes from daring to begin.
4) Laughter is the best medicine.
5) Happiness is journey; not a destination.
6) Do today what others won't; so you can live tomorrow like others can't.
7) It is never too late to be what you might have become.
8) Treasure the love you receive; it will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished.
9) The journey of a thousand miles starts with a step.
10) Always have something to do, something to love and something to hope for.

Disclaimer: I didn't write this. Am not that wise.:) Source is Unknown. I received it as an email forward from someone who received it from someone else etc... Can't be bothered to trace it all the way back. Who knows how long it's been circulating around the net right?

Comment: Some of them are a bit too corny for me but I like & believe 1, 5 & 10.


Monday, March 13, 2006

My Shopping Sprees

Shopping Spree One:

1 White Dress Shirt(for men)
1 Navy Blue Jumper(for men)
1 Paperweight - Ebony in the shape of a bull with onyx eyes.

Shopping Spree Two:

1 pair of Khaki shorts (for men)
1 sleeveless black t-shirt (for men)
2 pairs of pale blue boxers(They came together)
1 pair of black Timberland boots(for men)( Love them but I don't think he likes them. Which is a bummer.)
1 can of shaving lotion

Question: Why do I never feel like buying anything for myself anymore? I spend more time in men's shops than in my usual favorite haunts. Even Mama commented on that.

I mean it's not like he ever asks me for anything. Is this like a side-effect of being married or something? Is it healthy? Am I getting too obssessive? Are we looking at Fatal Attraction - the Remake?

Not that I haven't enjoyed the attack of selflessness & generosity but can I please go back to being my usual self-centered, shopaholic self now? I mean it. I miss that girl!


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Should I trust him?

Me: 7abibi?
Him: Hmmm?
Me: Remember when you said that if I decide on dental jewellery you can do it for me?
Him: And have you decided?
Me: Yes.
Him: Tayeb.
Me: You know exactly what I want right? I showed you the pics.
Him: And you know what I said. You'll get your crystal but if I see anything else that needs doing it's gonna get done. Inti 3arfa ana ma yi3gibneesh el7al elmayel.
Me: Nothing is wrong with my teeth. My teeth are perfect.
Him: No. You have good teeth yes but they're not perfect.
Me: Yes they are.
Him: Ma3laish ba'a da shugli.(Sorry that's my job)
Me: I don't trust you. You're going to pull something.
Him: Only if it needs to be pulled.
Me: You said you love to pull teeth.
Him: Mashi bas hamsik a3sabi shwiya 3ashan khatrik inti bas.(Yes but I'll try to control the urge for your sake)
Me: Why are you so bloodthirsty?Why can't you just stick a crystal on my tooth like you do for other people?
Him: I've never done that without at least cleaning & whitening first. It looks ridiculous on yellow teeth.
Me: I don't have yellow teeth. We just did the cleaning & whitening stuff for the wedding. And you didn't do anything else then.
Him: Yes I didn't want you traumatized before the wedding. Howa inti konti na'asa? Ba3dain kont tali3 agaza wilduniya ma'alooba 3andi filshugl fa ma kontish fayei'i lik. (You were nervous enough. And besides I was going on leave & very busy at work so I had no time)Now you will have all my attention.
Me: Oh no! Look wallahi I don't NEED anything. I don't have pain or bad breath or bleeding gums or anything. I just want a crystal.
Him: We'll see.
Me: I think maybe I should just find another dentist.
Him: Your insurance won't cover this. And I come free of charge. You just have to give me carte blanche.
Me: I just have to let you do what you want with my teeth.
Him: Aiwa tiseebili nafsik khalis.(Yes leave yourself in my hands)
Me: I think you're just trying to scare me.

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Ya Ba3adhum

Scene One:

Yesterday in my office around 3:00pm. Business meeting with a representative of a prospective client. Said representative coincidentally comes from my country of citizenship.

Having established which part of Morocco both of us are from, which areas/families we know or do not, how terrible everything is in Morocco but how homesick we are etc....I politely steer the conversation back to the issue at hand.

Things get a bit difficult. My manager asked me for a technical evaluation of this client's request i.e. he wants a report on whether or not I think we have the technical resources & people to take it on in the time frame suggested. And it wasn't looking good. The guy was clearly not pleased. And I knew my manager was not going to be pleased either. I don't know why he asks us to do this sort of thing. He's the manager. He should make this type of decision. Instead he makes us conduct these interviews & write reports which he never accepts without a struggle if they happen to be negative & without making you feel he thinks you're only saying no because you don't want to do the work. And of course if you say yes you will be pleasing him & upper management in the short term by bringing in more business but at the same time you have to take responsibility if things don't go according to plan later which you KNOW they won't. He calls it developing our management skills. I call it setting us up. Besides what is all this developing our management skills stuff? Does he want to convince me that he's preparing us to take over his job? Yeah right.

Anyway I digress. So there I was doing my best to negotiate something workable with the client when he sits back, loosens his tie & asks if he can smoke. I say fine & that I think I will have one too. He offers me one & I refuse because I smoke a different brand. I take out my pack & search for my lighter. No lighter. I look up & he's offering me a light. I take it & say thanks. We get back to business. About an hour later I'm feeling the need for another one & I take it out before I remember that I have no lighter with me. Am obviously embarrassed by having to making him offer me a light again. With a 50-megawatt smile he excuses himself, opens his briefcase, takes out an obviously new lighter & hands it to me saying please keep it. I say thank you. Then he adds I just didn't want to give you this one(the one he is using) because it's used.

He just had to blow it didn't he? Up until that point I was thinking what a nice guy. But after that I thought he was so full of it. He didn't want to give me his lighter because it was obviously Cartier & very expensive. So he gave me the cheap Bic lighter. Which is perfectly fine. I mean I can afford to keep myself in lighters & he didn't have to give me anything at all. He chose to offer & I accepted only because I knew the cost was minimal. And I said thanks. He should have said you're welcome & left it at that. Why does he have to ruin it by lying to me & treating me like an imbecile? Is this his idea of a charm offensive? Did he think that this is actually going to make me give him a good evaluation or something?

Scene Two:

This morning at 7:30am, meeting with a prospective vendor & several colleagues at the conference room. Said vendor gives a 20-min presentation on the product he thinks we should buy. Presentation concluded. We start asking questions. He answers one of mine. I'm still sceptical. So I ask him a follow-up question.

Him: Laish ya ba3adhum? Mithil ma kint agoolich....(Why? As I was saying....)

Except he called me 'ya ba3adhum'. That's an endearment used by GCC Arabs to mean basically 'dearest of all'. I kept my face impassive, didn't smile & didn't thank him for the explanation. He must have received some negative vibes because he came up to me after the meeting & apologized saying that he didn't mean anything, I was like a sister to him. In the course of this apology he called me 'Yalghaliya' which means 'precious one' twice. All in the spirit of brotherly love I suppose.

I'm thinking ya ba3adhum? Yalghaliya? You think am going to let you call me that? I mean I have a husband & he doesn't call me ya ba3adhum! You think am going to let YOU do it? Then I got even more worked up. Why doesn't my husband call me ya ba3adhum? Briefly considered calling said husband & telling him 'ya3ni elghareeb yiqool ya ba3adhum winta la?' or 'a perfect stranger calls me his dearest & his precious & you don't?'. But then I thought better of it. I had a feeling he might not see the funny side, that he might call me something other than ya ba3adhum & that I might not like it.

Seriously though what a pain. I'm not this guy's dearest or his precious or his sister. We just met. It's just business. I find it irritating when people suck up to you like that. Can't decide if it's sexism (she's a female so sweettalk her & she'll agree to anything) or just an abundance of social hypocrisy & nauseating, cooing sweetness that is entirely inappropriate in the workplace.


Friday, March 03, 2006

In Gratitude

1) Libyan Violet : My inside source on Libya - a country am ashamed to say I don't know much about given the fact that they're our next door neighbors over in Morocco.
2) Global Cairene : He's a traveller. Liked his travel posts on Tunis & Beirut.
3) Safiya : A new blogger but an active one - the best type of blogger there is. Good sense of humor & different interests.
4) Me ®: Reminds me of myself when I was her age.
5) aroundtheclock24_7: Fellow Libra, sweet, supportive, a good virtual friend. Hers is an artistic blog with lots of color & poetry & quotes.
6) Nerro: Another active blogger but she still can't keep up with me.;)
7) Alina: Always liked Haal's description of her. Sweet-Sour-Firey Blogger. Her K is not to be confused with mine.:)
8) MoonLightShadow: Just celebrated her blog's first birthday. Happy Birthday Moon.:)
9) Rain: Excellent karma but she should blog more.
10) Wonderer: Always has something interesting to post about. We've missed her lately on the blogosphere.
11) The Sandmonkey: Not for the fainthearted. And your stomach needs to be cast-iron. No he doesn't write pornography. This the place to go for controversy though. One of the liveliest blogs around. Except almost every pic he posts I can't see because they're blocked over here.(
12) Rehaam: Her latest posts are hard-hitting & the tone is different from the previous ones. Interesting term quasi-Sufi philosophies. Check her out.
13) Twosret : Would love to link you to her but she's too lazy to start her own blog.:)
14) Me: Sweet, pink blogger. Yalla come back soon ya meme.
15) Haal: My favorite historian. She's in hiding nowadays but go back & read her old posts.
16) Tota: Great taste in classical music. Tota is a Mystic so don't worry if you're mystified sometimes.:)
17) Doshar: Helpful, supportive. Always has practical advice. And again a wide varitey of topics covered.
18) Bint Alshamsa: I wish you good health always. And a very happy Mardi Gras.
19) Mohamed: Too busy floating to blog these days but go back & read his archives. You won't be bored.
20) Jane: You're my hero.:)
21) Roora: Lazy blogger but very nice, empathetic person.
22) bosbos: Unique, poetic, musical blog. Only just started reading it & I'm so impressed.
23) Dalulla: Passionately wants to help & to make a difference. I wish your family the best of health.
24) Forsoothsayer: Never failed to make me laugh yet. And she's not really mean. It's just an act.
25) Alb Sayed: Love the blog name. He writes very well. Thank you.
26) Cliche~: Someone else who reminds me of myself when I was her age.:)
27) Al Sharief: Our favorite perpetually missing person. Denies that he's a philosopher but don't listen to him.:)

Guys thank you all for your support here and here and here. I owe you all one. Don't know what I did to deserve so much kindness. All I did was write a few posts. I'm a lucky girl. Then again. There's 27 of you. If you all decide to call in a favor right now maybe I won't be so lucky after all.:)

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Being in IT means that I can't help thinking in acronyms. DBR is my latest invention. It stands for Dead-Baby Related. So that's how I guage my mood these days. I know am doing well if most of my thoughts are not DBR.

The night my mother arrived was well where do I start? We left around 10 to get her from the airport. On the way we got into a fight that was definitely DBR. Am not going to write any of it down because I have an uncanny memory for conversation anyway & writing it down will just make it stick in my head even longer. And this is something ugly that I won't do anyone any good by not forgetting.

When we were out of the car & in the airport I'd had it with him so I told him that if he doesn't shut up I'll scream & people will think he's with a deranged person. He said you mean they'll know. I said are you going to shut up or not? He said yeah but only because he prefers to keep my derangement private. Then he said but he wasn't done with me yet. I thought oh God let me run away & join the circus & felt like tearing my hair out by the roots. But I let all that slide because I could see my Mom.

On the way back I sat in the backseat with my mother. Couldn't stand being near him in the front seat. We were trying to be civil infront of her but it wasn't easy. I was still furious. And he was too.

At home over dinner, I was more or less calm. He was still mostly silent. So the conversation was mainly between me & Mama. She started asking me questions, about how I was feeling, my latest test results etc...& before I knew it I was telling her the whole story of what happened that day. My parents didn't know until that moment that it actually happened in the street. My mother's first reaction was you were alone(at the hospital)? Together with an accusing glance at him. I said Mama he didn't know, I didn't call him, he wouldn't have left me alone if he'd known. Then I looked up & he was smiling at me. He still didn't say anything though. Neither did she. I did all the talking. Mostly confused DBR gibberish. The two of them didn't say anything. They just let me get it all out. And best of all they didn't come near me. I was at that touch-me-and-I'll-electrocute-you mood again. I guess my body language was issuing correct safety instructions.

When I was all talked out, I realized two things. It was the first time I actually talked(shouting insults about it in the car doesn't count) to him about what happened. Ok I wasn't really talking to him but I was talking infront of him so it was definitely progress right? The second was that I didn't cry. Not a single tear. Not even when Mama started crying.

At some point the two of them were cleaning up. I went into the living room, sat on the couch & switched on the TV. Flipped through a few channels & then left it on Orbit's Fox News of all things. Watched the headlines & was surprised by my supreme indifference to the state of the world. Didn't care who was getting blown up, didn't care who invaded who, didn't care if civilizations clashed or crashed etc...Figured it could all happen just as well on its own without my involvement. Impressive actually because Fox News never failed to infuriate me before. Am always sending them nasty emails. It tells you just how numb I was.

Mama came in & stuck a cup of tea in my hand. Nice tea. She sat with me for a while & we talked about non-DBR things. Family gossip, the state of affairs in Morocco, how my sister was doing in school. Then she gave me a hug & said she was tired & going to bed. She wasn't. She was just being tactful, thinking he & I want to be alone. Little did she know that I was actually terrified of being alone with him & talking about anything. I meant it when I said all talked-out. And he'd said he wasn't done with me earlier. What if he wanted to carry on where we left off earlier? Wanted to beg her not to leave me alone but didn't.

After she left I sat there a bit longer. My legs felt like they were made of water. I started thinking what if I never get off this couch ever again & having visions of life permanently attached to the couch. It would give a whole new meaning to the term 'couch potato' wouldn't it?

Then I heard him in the kitchen. We exchanged a few meaningless comments then he said that if I didn't want to wake my Mom I should stop shouting from all the way over there & come in he didn't bite. So I made myself get up & go. He was making sheesha. He looked at me & I froze thinking please don't say anything DBR or about the fight we had earlier. He caught on & didn't. Guess he figured out that if he'd even hinted either way I'd have bolted. Am getting so good at running away these days & making myself unavailable even if I happen to be right next to him. He said didn't you always say you want to learn how to make it(sheesha)? I said yes. So he said ok come here. So we had a sheesha-making lesson. I got it right on the 4th attempt. Then he made tea & we took the lot into the bedroom & out to the balcony.

Watched him smoking for a few minutes then went back in the bedroom & started looking into all my old handbags trying to find an abandoned pack of cigarettes. Was sure there had to be at least one. It was my lucky day. I found it. Got an ashtray from the kitchen. Came back out into the balcony & he said I thought you quit. I said that now we know for sure am not pregnant so I can smoke if I want. Then I teared up a little. He took my hands in his & kissed them. He wiped the tears off my face & was kissing me all over my face. Which made me cry even more. Gentleness does that to me these days.

We sat there smoking in silence for a while and I started to feel better. Told him thanks I could kiss you. He said hey you should always go with your feelings. So I did. He deserved it. He deserved much more actually but it wasn't going to happen that night. He put his arm around me & I put my head on his shoulder. Don't know how long we stayed like that because I fell asleep.

Woke up in the morning in bed. He was getting ready for work. Watched him for a while then I asked him if he still thought I was deranged. He smiled & said always. So I asked him what I always ask him when he calls me crazy/abnormal/deranged etc....which is: so why are you with me then?

Him: I'm a simple man. Give me a pretty face, good legs, long wild hair & I have no complaints. Sanity is a plus but not a requirement.

The answer is always some variation on that theme.

Pretty face I was fine with. Wild hair I wasn't but was more or less resigned to. But good legs? I was used to 'great legs' or 'amazing legs'. He said they were my best feature. Ya3ni if they're my best feature they can't just be good! That's almost worse than normal! So I asked him why I was suddenly demoted to 'good'.

Him: Good is the best I can do from memory. I mean I haven't seen them in God knows how long.

Well I knew how long but that was definitely DBR & not to be pursued. So I kept quiet & waited for what I knew he would say next.

Him: And do me a favor next time I see your legs can it please not be in public?

I know him so well. Told him that if I go out in short skirts it's all his fault since I never did that before I met him. It's true I didn't. Here in UAE where I grew up the sight of bare legs is very rare unless you're on the beach. Women might wear revealing tops or tight pants but short is just not in fashion here. And before I met him I guess I was an adherent to that fashion.

When we started dating I couldn't help but notice what I thought was his unhealthy obssession with women's legs. Oh he has the usual male fascination with the female anatomy but about legs in particular he seriously worried me. I mean we'll be out in public & I'll say something like did you see what that woman did & he'll answer who Skinny Legs over there? And I'd be like how did you know what her legs are like she's wearing a long skirt? And he'd say yeah but it's see-through & she's walking in the sun.

And I had to come to terms with the fact that I was dating a man who identifies women by their legs. It's like if he doesn't remember your legs he doesn't remember you. I swear he's just too perverted about legs. Now I like to think am not an unreasonably possessive woman but I really didn't like the idea of my bf checking out other women when I was right next to him. Ok I never actually caught him looking. I'd always just suddenly be presented with the findings of his observations & find myself wondering when he'd seen this or that. He must have eyes in the back of his head! But I still didn't like it. So my skirts slowly started to get shorter & shorter. And to balance it out I started to cover up on top. Basically my whole style changed. The idea was that if my legs were visible right next to him he might not look elsewhere out of laziness if not fidelity. He did stop but not for either of those reasons. He stopped because he was too preoccupied with glaring at everyone else who he thought might be checking me out - usually a lot of people - because like I said it's an unusual sight here. Sometimes it made me feel uncomfortable. I was used to wearing a top that was a little bit revealing but always carrying a jacket or a scarf to go with it so that if I find myself somewhere where all the other women are hijabed or niqabed I can wrap up a little & not have some of them glaring at me. When wearing something short what can you do? Carry another skirt? Nothing. You just have to take it.

Me: Well if a 4 year old doesn't want to play with his toy what does his mother do? She makes him think someone else wants to play with it.

He smiled & didn't say anything so I guess he agreed that he was like a 4 year old.
Then he suddenly told me that I don't laugh anymore. I said what? He said that we used to laugh all the time & now I hardly even smiled. I said I was sorry. He said don't apologize, that he just felt bad that I was so sad. I was quiet for a while. Then I said well maybe you're not funny anymore. He said what? Told him maybe you can't make me laugh anymore. And he said you reckon? I said yes. So suddenly he grabs me & starts tickling me. Am extremely ticklish so I woke up the neighborhood this time not just my Mom. Was laughing so hard I knew that if I didn't stop soon I'd start crying. I really can't afford to laugh too hard these days because it tends to turn into hysterics. Begged him to stop because I didn't want to cry all over him. It would have made him sad. I wanted to send him off to work with a smile for a change.

So I did. And as soon as he'd left I felt happy that I managed that. At least I can still make him happy even if it's in little ways like that. My spirits lifted. And stayed up for the rest of yesterday. I even went back to hounding him with phonecalls & sms all day at work. Was out shopping with my mother who knows me really well & so had figured out that shopping(bought another short skirt & a pair of boots) would cheer me up. Me & her also went to a beauty salon where I had a facial & she had her hair done. They refused to touch my hair because I had no appointment. My hair takes so much time that I can never get it done without a special appointment. In the evening we took my Mom to the Cultural Foundation to see a play she'd been talking about, then we dropped her off at a friend's & me him went to dinner. I'd say yesterday was pretty good on the DBR scale.

Today started out a little on the downside because I had a doctor's appointment. Went with my Mom at about 9:00 this morning. The doctor confirmed that everything was ok & that it would be fine for me to go back to work on Sat. She also said that I should wait 6 weeks before I get pregnant again. Ok that's nice to know. Left feeling down but didn't have too long to think about it because as soon as we got home, we were beseiged with visitors, female friends of the family who came to see my Mom & to see me since of course she had to tell them why she was back in town. I just stayed busy making tea, coffee, handing out sweets, helping Mom make brunch for those of our guests who stayed long enough. Didn't give anyone a chance to ask me too many questions because I was in & out of the kitchen the whole time. I don't know if I enjoyed it really. I guess I did. It was nice to see the house so full. And to catch up on everyone's news.

K came home for lunch & I didn't have to cook anything because we had so much food left over from the brunch. After he left M called from work to check on me & I asked her something I've been fretting about for a while. Does everyone at work know why I'm absent? She said yes. I should have known. My medical report is supposed to be confidential but who sticks to these rules here?Of course the secretary will gossip. What this means is that I'll have to deal with questions & sympathy when I go back to work on Sat & I really didn't want to. Work is one place I want to stay together. It would so humiliating if I come undone there. Just have to pray that I'll be feeling much stronger on Sat.

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