Thursday, September 20, 2007

This Ramadan

It's so different. I was seriously dreading it. As it turned out, on the first day, I was invited to have iftar with my uncle's family (the aunt & uncle I was supposed to stay with if I hadn't met & married K before my parents left AD and also the aunt & uncle who gave me my wedding dress as a present). When it was time to leave, I must have looked so miserable, that before I knew it, they had me agreeing to spend Ramadan with them.

What a relief! Lack of privacy notwithstanding, I hated going home to that empty apartment. And it would have been my first Ramadan ever while living alone. Actually my first time living alone ever. Let's face it, am not the stuff people who live alone are made of. Am not even the stuff people who can be alone for 5 minutes are made of. I am too neurotic/obssessive/anxious/excitable, you name it.

Part of the dependance on my husband that everyone so deplores is that a husband is a sort of unpaid full-time companion, no? It's great to have someone whose job it is to be your companion. He's not like other people. I don't have to be grateful for his time. I have rights. If I don't think am getting enough of his time & attention, I have a right to complain & demand that he shape up etc....Can't do that with anyone other than a husband/partner. You can do it with your parents but only when you're little.

He saved me so much grief. All my life, I've hated being alone so much that I became utterly indifferent to who I hang out with. I had no standards virtually. Sure I knew who my friends were. But none of them could be with me 24 hrs a day because well, they had lives, no? So whenever they weren't available, I would hang out with whoever. I would hang out with people who I knew talked about me behind my back, people who were using me, total strangers I'd just struck up a conversation with, guys who I knew only wanted to get laid & were going to stop calling the second they realized that wasn't going to happen, just people who were really, really bad news. For years, I'd go out, get in my car & start calling people on my cell to see who could join me. If you had time to meet me today, if I could count you to keep me company for these 2 or 3 hrs, I was willing to disregard what you did yesterday & what you were likely to do to me tomorrow.

I got a lot of lectures about being too extroverted, about that being a sign of low self-esteem, about it attracting the Mr.Wrongs & repelling the Mr.Rights etc....But I don't think it was low self-esteem. I didn't hang around with bad people because I thought I was bad & didn't deserve any better. I knew I deserved better. But 'better' wasn't always around when I needed human company so I was willing to put up with 'worse' until 'better' was free. I mean, you don't need blind faith in someone's integrity to go dancing or ice-skating or sheesha-smoking with them, I didn't think. And really, it beats doing any of those things all by yourself.

Yeah, I got myself bitten a lot. It's amazing the way some people can get to you & hurt you or cause you problems no matter how much distance you keep & how much on your guard you think you are around them.

My husband saved me a lot of that in two ways. First, because he sort of pushed me to get rid of people I was really too lazy to bother getting rid of myself incase they came in handy one day or something. He made me feel so ashamed of some of the lowlives whose company I tolerated that I finally cut them off for good. Second, he WAS my companion, like 80% of the time. The remaining 20% was just about enough to keep in touch with my closest friends. And so suddenly I had no time for the rest. My time became a valuable commodity. I learnt to ask myself who was worth my time & who wasn't.

One thing am afraid of, is that now I'll slip back into my old habits. I'd already started, sort of. But then this invitation to spend Ramadan with relatives saved me. Now my social schedule is practically full of safe & trust-worthy people. I can't be a guest in somebody's house & not spend time with them, right? And it becomes obligatory to help them entertain guests & to go out with them etc...It's keeping me so busy that I haven't been tempted to do anything too stupid yet. And while I won't be getting any packing done in Ramadan, I think that can wait. I have enough time to worry about it after Ramadan.

I still miss my husband more than is decent. I hadn't realized it was possible to miss one person in so many different ways. But at least it doesn't hurt so much that I hate him for putting me through it anymore. Because I did for a while. I kept wanting to kill him for making me feel so crappy all the time.

The desire to kick him has receded considerably. The edge is coming off. As a result, it's becoming easier for us to interact. Am more tolerant & less likely to bite his head off or put the worst interpretation on everything he utters.

It would be an exaggeration to say am getting used to not having him here, though. But the passing of time without him isn't as excruciatingly slow as it was at first. When you have to wait 9 months, it really doesn't help to be checking your watch every 10 minutes to see how much time is left. At least, I've stopped doing that.

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Blogger N said...

you sound better :)

9/20/2007 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Completely Anonymous and 100% Private said...

I know exactly what you mean. I used to live in NYC all by myself. Well I had a roommate but we had our seperate lives. I used to feel so so so lonely. At first I would hang out with people I knew were so jealous of me and hated me, but after making lots of new friends, I stopped giving my time to anyone I didn't think was worthy. I still felt lonely thoughI used to wish I was a little less extroverted, or had a husband...or something.

I went to this girl's party once. When I was heading home, I asked her if she wanted to go downtown with me. She said no..and that she's staying in for the rest of the night. Her male friend however..wanted to go with me. So as he walked out the door..she goes like " do you wanna go downtown with me to meet up with friends" and I was standing right there still. I live with my parents need to hang out with idiots anymore.

9/21/2007 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Um Naief said...

i'm glad things are getting better.

i also think its better that you don't hang out w/ the undesirables. no need for those type of ppl in your life. believe me. you dont need those kind to fill a void in your life. you have too much to do.

think of this time as a way of spending necessary time w/ your extended family. after ramadan, concentrate on getting things done in the house... packing as the most important. don't put it off, you do not want to do this. i know it may seem like something that can't be done, but it can. and it needs to get done.

i know how bad the missing him can be. i have experienced it first hand. i'm just really glad to hear that you're dealing w/ it better.

take care of yourself. ramadan kareem.

9/25/2007 01:38:00 PM  

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