Saturday, June 30, 2007

Weekend Blog

A hectic week and it's ending on a sad note. My husband is officially depressed. His father has some health issues and it's getting everyone down. It's getting me down too.

Have been trying to cheer him up and rapidly running out of ideas. This side of him is new to me. I've seen him tense, angry, cold, withdrawn. But sad & bored & listless is new. He's not in the mood for anything & keeps making dark, fatalistic, philosophical comments about the meaning of life response to anything you ask him. It's freakily deep & depressing & unlike him.

I feel lost. I know it's selfish but I keep thinking wait a min, he can't be feeling hopeless, he's my rock!

Yesterday I came home from work to find him watching TV. I asked if he didn't go to work today. He said no, he didn't feel like it. I had to bite my lip to keep silent. I mean, I'd been calling & calling his cell all day and he never picked up. I could've asked why, if he was home all day, he didn't return any of my calls but I told myself not to give him a hard time when he's so down.

For the next 2 hrs, I tried everything doable to distract him. And failed.

Me: 7abibi, what do you want?

I felt bad. It came out sharper than I meant it to. I didn't want him to think I was losing patience with him. I just really wanted to DO something for him. I hated seeing him like that.

Him: A double whiskey.
Me : You feel like getting drunk?
Him: Yeah.
Me : Ookayyy.
Him (smiling): Don't look so worried.

I wanted to cry. Even his smile looks sad these days.

Me : Wanna go out?
Him: No. I'll get completely drunk. And you won't like it. Only laziness is keeping me.

It wasn't the time for me to lecture, nag or otherwise give him a hard time.

Me: If it will really make you feel better, I'll live with it.

Him: For real?
Me : Yeah. But just this once.

He gave me another one of those tired smiles but didn't say anything.

I tried to make conversation for a little longer. At one point, I was suddenly given a shut-up-woman-you-talk-too-much kiss. Being very familiar with those, I left him alone, watching TV. Lately, he seems to spend all his time watching TV or sleeping. And he rarely feels like talking.

Just after Isha (Evening prayer), two of his friends dropped by (A & B).

I always knew my husband drank once. I'm not sure how much or how often but judging by the friends he has left over from that era, it must have been quite a lot. And so I can never be 100% sure how much of a temptation alcohol is for him or how much he can withstand it.

After what he'd said earlier about being in the mood to get drunk? Those two were the last people I wanted to see. Was afraid they would start drinking infront of him any minute. They know we don't serve alcohol so they tend to bring their own beverages when they feel like alcohol which is often. And despite what I said, I really, really, really didn't want him to drink.

But what to do? They were already there. Fact of life. Deal with it.

It's funny the way I always end up cooking elaborate meals when we have them over. The need for an excuse to spend time in the kitchen instead of in the living room trying to be a good hostess. That's kind of a pattern with me. If you are a visitor I like and am comfortable with more often than not, you'd get sandwiches or take-out for dinner. If I am not comfortable, I take refuge in the kitchen. It's a perfectly legitimate excuse to escape unpleasant company. And so you get better food.

I guess it's kind of counter-productive though, isn't it? If you feed people well, they keep coming back, no?

Last night, I made a special effort though. In addition to the normal reasons, I thought having his friends over might give him more of an appetite.

I started to hear voices raised in argument. In Swedish. A little later, I heard laughter. His. Well, good. Except I won't pretend it didn't hurt that they managed to make him laugh when nothing I did seems to have worked.

Maybe I should start on my Swedish lessons?

Then I had an unpleasant thought. Maybe that was drunken laughter? Quickly, I went into the bedroom & SMS-ed him: are you drunk? Instantly he SMS-ed back: No.

I was about ready to serve dinner by then, I called him over to come help me. They all came to help. I couldn't smell any alcohol. I looked in the living room where they'd been sitting. Nothing.

Good. Unusual but very good.

B managed to corner me alone in the kitchen. To apologize, he said, if he said something wrong the other day. IF?

I hate it when people I dislike apologize to me. Because then you have to act like you're a big person & say it's ok. There's no other response to an apology, is there?

I essentially just gave him my back, pretending to be busy in the kitchen & mumbled dismissively: "Doesn't matter. It's not important."

Liar, liar, liar. Like I haven't obssessed and obssessed about that conversation. Like he didn't really upset me. Like he doesn't always get under my skin not just by putting down women in general which being a woman, I can't help being affected by, but also the way he's always so contemptuous & dismissive of his own partner of the moment, both to her face & behind her back. Infront of all of us. ESPECIALLY given the fact that, he always seems to pick girls who wear their heart on their sleeve, really appear to care for him & deserve much better in my opinion.

He said something to the effect that he knows I can't stand them.

Good I thought. Am glad that message is coming through alright.

Then he said: Bas yigoloon khatir 3ain, tokram alf 3ain. (Arabic expression meaning that sometimes you have to be nice to 1000 people you don't like because of one person you do like. In this case, I guess he means we should try to get along for K's sake. )

Which pissed me off. I thought it was really presumptuous of him to tell me what I owe my husband. Did he think that was a lesson I needed HIM to teach me? If it wasn't for K, would I put up with the likes of him for 5 MINUTES? Would I? Hell, no.

Me: Wala yihimak. Law million 3ain. (Essentially, that I'd be nice to a million people not just a thousand if that was what it took.)

For some reason, that made him laugh. He said I was very diplomatic, that he noticed that I didn't try to deny I can't stand them but it was good to know I wasn't planning on making things difficult.

Then he left. Before I could set him straight. He kept saying I couldn't stand them. Plural. That was wrong. He's the one I can't stand. The others are nowhere near as provocative. I may not enjoy the lifestyle but at least, they're always nice to me personally. The guys that is. The girls I normally just feel sorry for.

The rest of the evening went along ok. After dinner, we had tea & sheesha. No one was drinking. The general convo was nostalgic. About their families, their life & times, a lot of shared memories. I guess that was triggered by my father-in-law's illness.

I learnt a few things about K and his family that I didn't know before. There were a few laughs. But it was sad. I kept wanting to cry & throw my arms around K. But something told me that wasn't what he needed then.

I wish I knew his family better. Before I fell asleep, I resolved to make a real effort when we go this summer.

And I really hope my father-in-law will improve. Yarab.



Blogger NAB said...

hey salams!

I have been hooked on to your blog for the last couple of days and I actually read it from top to bottom, spanning the two years you have been writing in it for. Loved it! May be it's because I am narcissistic and you remind me of myself? Haha! anyhow, you're a great writer and your ability to put down entire conversations in your posts is absolutely commendable.

Anyhow, sorry he's having a tough time. iA it'll all blow over soon.

7/01/2007 02:57:00 AM  
Blogger NAB said...

oh and i do hope your father-in-law gets better soon.

7/01/2007 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Thanks but I get really surprised when people tell me am a writer. I mean, I don't bother to vary my style. Or write complete sentences. Or diversify my vocab. It's all one tone etc.....

If I was doing this for English class back in school, a single post would take me a week to write. I'd make much more of an effort. Not a single post in this whole blog took me an hour to write. Not the longest one.

Some bloggers out there really, really write.

Me, I just scribble. This is only a slight improvement on the gibberish I used to put in my personal diary. And it's online only because I like the idea of a diary that talks back to me occasionally.:)

7/01/2007 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger 2 B || ! 2 B ® said...

yaaaaa rab, we isA kol 7'air...

7/01/2007 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Puppy said...


I wish that your FIL will get better soon and K will be in better mood.

Try to feed him chocolate, it helps to fight depression.

Dont forget of yourself too. Take care.


7/01/2007 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Will E. said...

I like the 'shut-up-woman-you-talk-too-much kiss'. I always feel like doing it.. need to be a bit more fluent though.

7/01/2007 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

He said I was very diplomatic, that he noticed that I didn't try to deny I can't stand them but it was good to know I wasn't planning on making things difficult.

This sounds crazy, to me. If your husband has to choose between his friends and you, he chooses you. Period. Sorry if you find that offensive, LouLou, but that's the way I feel about it. I can't believe his friends feel like it's your responsibility to try to get along with THEM, rather than vice-versa.

Sorry K is down. Hopefully it is just short term. He'll come out of it in his own time. All you can do is be supportive of him and wait. I know you are not a really patient person, but give him some time :)

7/03/2007 01:23:00 AM  
Blogger Bee said...

i'm sorry about your husband, try to make him do something physical like swimming and it might release some pressure and stress that he feels. i'm also sorry about your father in law.

also, just to let you know, i have read your entire blog from beginning to end (or end to beginning rather) over the past few days that i've been sick off work and enjoyed it immensely.


7/03/2007 04:34:00 PM  

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