Typical Ramadan Day at Uncle's
1) Get up for work - after a struggle.
2) Develop a massive headache the second am on my feet. (Sexual frustration?Lack of sleep?Caffeine withdrawal?)
3) Stare in dumb misery at hair in the bathroom mirror. Hair in spikes sticking out of my head in all directions - frozen from the previous day & night's over-application of gel the manufacturers claim is re-moldable.
4) Shower & wash hair clean of gel.
5) Aunt calls on my cell from the kitchen to tell me to get my little cousin up for school. She never comes into the bedroom I share with my 10-year-old cousin since I came to stay with them. It's some sort of exaggerated respect for my non-existent privacy because it's not like I have the room to myself anyway.
6) Pile on more gel. Don't bother blow-drying anymore.
7) Wake up cousin. Frog-march her to the bathroom to make sure she doesn't just go back to sleep.
8) Throw on an I-don't-want-to-go-to-work-today outfit - which usually consists of one of bland clothes worn with the wrong shoes.
9) Sit around for a while with a scarf tied so tight around my head it makes my headache worse. This is to reduce the volume of my hair into something borderline acceptable for the office.
10) Watch cousin eating breakfast.
11)Remove scarf from hair. Add more gel thinking if K was here, he'd kill me. He'd never let me put anything sticky on my hair. This is why I've been ODing on hair products since he left.
12) Aunt asks if we - cousin & me - have prayed.
13) Pray with Cousin. Sometimes with Aunt & Uncle too.
14)Take Cousin downstairs to wait for the schoolbus.
15) Cousin safely on the bus, go & search for my car in the parking lot. Find it. Feel depressed because it's so beautiful & I have to get rid of it soon and it's not FAIR. That's the second car I've had to get rid of in less than a year. I can't take this anymore etc....
16) Silent whine over, I drive to the office.
17) Tip-toe in hoping I don't run into manager on the way to my office.
18) Flop on the chair behind office desk, lean back & close eyes, praying no one will try to talk to me for at least an hour.
19) Phone rings. I ignore it.
20) Manager comes into my office to ask why am not picking up my calls. Clients tend to call him when they can't reach me.
21) I tell him because I had other calls. Lying in Ramadan. Great.
22) Reality-check. Am in the office. I have to work. Switch on laptop. Return some calls.
23) Headache recedes or is forgotten in the rat race.
24) Time to go home. Headache is back full blast.
25) Sleep not an option. Pray. Then must help getting Iftar ready.
26) Finish Iftar. Pray Asr - just in time.
27) Eat. Have coffee. Pray Magreb.
28) Collapse infront of TV, watching Arabic soaps (Sultan ElGharam & AlMalik Faroo2 this year)
29) Time for Isha & Tarawee7. Go to the mosque with lots & lots of other people - mostly women - one of whom enjoys telling me things like not to wear perfume while my husband is away because it is haram to wear perfume for anyone other than him. Sigh.
30) Home again. Pray we're not entertaining. If we are, it means spending the rest of the night in the kitchen with Aunt to keep guests supplied with snacks, tea, coffee & sweets. The part I hate most is that, being the hostess since it's my uncle's house, am not allowed to sit down & enjoy the gossip. No. I have to wait on everyone.
31) If not entertaining after Tarawee7, more options available. If Aunt & Uncle are going out to be entertained, I can join them. If not, I can offer to take Cousin out for a movie & ice cream. Or I can go out shopping or for tea & sheesha in one of the Ramadan tents with friends. Good thing they're all new. Don't want to have to go to places I used to hang out with K in. Too depressing.
32) Get back home. Pray Tahajod. Either in mosque or at home.
33) Get into bed so I can talk to K now that Cousin is asleep.
34) Sleep for like 2 hrs, then get up for work.
It was good of them to have me but I think I've been here too long.