Saturday, July 21, 2007


My MIL is adamantly opposed to K's plans to relocate. Last night, for almost an hour she lectured and lectured at the two of us. She was the only one talking though. He didn't say anything - which is an indication that he's made up his mind. Otherwise he would have made the effort to debate the issue.

And I couldn't think of anything to say either - despite the fact that I was the subject under discussion.

She's not opposed to the principle, though. Her main objection is to the fact that if K were to relocate now, we'd have to be seperated for 9 months to a year. According to our immigration lawyer, that's how long it would take for me to get a Swedish resident permit. That's assuming I don't want to be an illegal immigrant which I don't.

My MIL's argument is that my parents didn't want to leave me in UAE on my own. They left me in K's care. And therefore, it would be irresponsible of K to leave me on my own for that long.

It's a very Middle-Eastern parent argument, isn't it? It's more or less my family's position too. My father informed me in no uncertain terms that if K relocates to Sweden, then I am to relocate to Morocco. And he told K that just like K took me from my father's house, he should return me to my father's house anytime he felt he couldn't take care of me or something to that effect. And then he followed that up by asking K if he didn't have sisters etc...

Why do I suddenly feel like a valuable but inanimate parcel everyone is passing around by courier? I mean, shouldn't someone ask me what I want to do?

At some point in the conversation last night, K left us to go upstairs & check on his father. The only person K seems to want to be around these days is his father. Am ashamed to say I find it hard to be in my FIL's room for more than a few minutes at a time. Am not brave enough. So I didn't follow him.

Instead, I sat with my MIL & K's baby niece, who was falling asleep on my lap - a bit longer. Then my MIL received a phone call - from Egypt. While she was on the phone, I guess I fell asleep.

Not sure how much later, I woke briefly to find him carrying me up the stairs - which made me feel even more like a parcel. Was exhausted though. Went back to sleep the second he tucked me into my sleeping bag.

The next time I woke up:

Me: K?
K : Na3am?
Me: Don't you ever sleep?
K : These days, you sleep enough for both of us.
Me: Yeah, I feel so tired all the time. I guess it's the change of climate?

Silence. Ok so he's not feeling conversational.

Me: It's so cold. I wish you would hold me.

More silence.

Me : K?
Him: So what are you waiting for? An engraved invitation?

So I got out of my sleeping back and into his. He pulled me close. Without thinking, I slid my hands under his vest. My hands were freezing and his skin is always so hot. It used to worry me. I'd think he had a fever or something but it seems to be his natural body temperature. Or maybe it feels hot to me because am always so cold. Anyway, I have now stopped worrying about it & will use him for warmth anytime I feel like it.

I was still teeth-chatteringly cold though. It wasn't the temperature. It was the feeling that my whole life was caving in around me.

Him: You're cold. I'll get you a sweater.
Me : I don't want a sweater. I don't want you to move.
Him: Yes ma'am.
Me : And I want you to talk to me.
Him: 7adir. Fi awamir tanya? (Yes. Anything else?)
Me : If you make fun of me, I'll cry.
Him: La. Allah yikhaleeki. Howa ana na2is? (No, that's the last thing he needs.)
Me : So are you going to traji3ni bait ahli? (So are you going to return me to my family?)
Him: Ana 2olt kida? (Did I say that?)
Me : Is that a no?
Him: Inti habla ya bit? Arga3ik bait ahlik eh? Howa ana kont mistilif minhom ta2m 7ilal? (He's telling me not to be silly. That he wasn't 'returning' me to my family because I am not a set of kitchen pots that he borrowed from them.)

Parcel to pots & pans. Going up in the world, aren't I?

Me : Why do you call me habla(silly) so much?
Him: If the shoe fits....

I kicked his shin. He laughed. It was good to hear that.

Me : So what are you going to do with me?
Him: Wallah ma ana 3arif a3mil eh fi nafsi. (He says he doesn't even know what to do with himself.)
Me : Don't you want us to be together?
Him: Inti shayfa eh? Tiftikri in ana momkin akoon mish 3ayzik ma3aya? 3ayiz ab2a liwa7di masalan filzuroof bint elwiskha illy ana feeha di? (What do you think? Do you think I don't want you to be with me? You think I want to go through this on my own?)
Me : It's a big decision. Fakart?
Him: Mish mi7taga tafkir. Law laqdarallah abooki inti, konti ti2dari tsibeeh liwa7do? Howa ilwa7id byikhalif wi yirabi 3ashan yib2a lwa7do lama yikbar wi yi3ya ya L.?(I don't need to think. If it was your father would you leave him alone? People don't raise kids because they want to be left alone when they get old & sick.)
Me : He's not alone. Your mother is with him.
Him: Omi kaman sit kbira wi 3ayana ya L. (My mother's health is not so great either)Da howa illy kan wakhid balo minha.(My father was the one who took care of her.)
Me : Can't they come & stay with us?
Him: Ezay bas? Ma yinfa3sh tab3an asafar elragil wabahdilo. (Of course not. My father is not fit to travel.)
Me : So I guess I don't have a choice.
Him: Yeah. Options are in short supply at the moment.
Me : But I'm not going to Morocco.
Him: Ana ma 2oltish kida. Abooki illy 2al. (That was your father's suggestion)

I don't know. We have one more week here. Then we go back. He knows what he will be doing. He'll try to get himself transferred back to Sweden. If that doesn't work, he'll resign. He says that he can afford to be unemployed for a while.

And me? Well to start with, if am staying in UAE, I'll have to ask my company to sponsor me while I wait for my Swedish permit. Currently, I am on my husband's visa.
I'll think about my career later.

Right now, I am too busy trying to get my head around the idea of being single and alone for a year or so.

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Blogger La Gitana said...

You want an honest opinion? Do not, on your life, if you want to have a healthy relationship with your husband, live apart. Don't. I've been reading your blog for a long time and, not that this is a bad thing, you are very emotionally dependent on your husband. You depend on him for reassurance when you're insecure and happiness when you're down and etc etc. You also have an obsessive streak which is already more than normal and away it will turn ugly as sin. I'm not being mean wallahi I am like this too and I know what its like to be away from someone you love. It's very hard not to get paranoid and sickly insecure and I would do anything I could to stay with my husband if I were you. That is, if you value him more than anything.

7/22/2007 02:16:00 AM  
Blogger Jane said...

Lou Lou,
I sincerely apologize for my previous question. I do this stupid thing sometimes when I just say whatever pops into my mind. I am sorry.

That being said, I have to agree with the notion that long separations are not healthy for marriages. I didn't take into account the immigration issues you would face. I waited six months to come to my parents' city so I had time to prepare. But my father's illness was no longer life-threatening.

I'm sorry you are in such a difficult situation right now. If you need a friend you know how to reach me. All my love.

7/22/2007 04:53:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Am not leaving my husband. He's leaving me. He's made his choice. So all I have left to do is figure out what do with myself now.

This morning his mother was nagging at him about his plans to relocate and he lost his temper and blew up at her. He told her that if he can't be around to take care of his father, then he was going to put him in a home, that there's no way he's leaving his father with her.

His mother was devastated. I am still shell-shocked. I can't believe he'd be so cruel. True maybe his mother isn't physically strong enough to take care of a big man like my FIL in his present condition but she IS his wife of 40 years and who does K think he is to talk to her like that?

K won't let anyone else near his father. A few days ago, he got into a fight with his sister and she was asking him why he was acting like he was blaming THEM for his father's condition or something.

She's right. He does blame them. He blames himself too. He thinks that if they'd all been around more, then somehow they could have prevented what happened to his father.

He's got this weird over-protective thing going where it's him & his father against the world. And anyone who gets in the way is the enemy.

I don't dare get into a collision course with that right now. If he treated his mother like that, then he really isn't himself at the moment.

And I don't know if I would dare keep him away. What if something happens in his absence? Then he'll hate me for sure.

7/22/2007 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Puppy said...

It seems like a lot of admin work to do with moving to Sweden, but its another step for motherhood, even if its seems like a bad timing.
I wish you best of luck with your visa, and soonest resolution of the situation.

7/22/2007 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Um Naief said...

you have some serious life changes coming your way. stay strong.

living apart isn't easy... i did it for a while and i found it to be difficult.

i hope you don't have to go back to morocco, but lemme tell ya... you're a grown woman. can't you do what you want to do?? if you want to stay in the UAE until it's time to leave, then stay there. your father will get used to it... it's a safe place there and you have tons of friends there as well.

7/29/2007 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Mohamed said...


8/01/2007 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Forsoothsayer said...

your family are unusually overprotective. but didn't they let u go off to uni on your own or did they send a brother or something? it's weird. that they're freaking now. inti sit mitgawezza ya3nee and u can do whatever u want.

also, yes you are remarkably husband obsessed, but i think u'll be ok for the 9 months. or...why not get a tourist visa and go with and then when there apply for residency? talk to your lawyer.

8/07/2007 11:25:00 AM  

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