Convo with male hairdesser:
Me: Excuse me this is my husband calling from overseas. I have to take this call.
Hairdresser (switching off the hairdryer): No problem.
When I am finished with the call:
Me : Ok now. Sorry about that.
Hairdresser: So your husband is away?
Me : Yes?
Hairdresser: Do you want him to come running home?
Me : Uh..
Hairdresser: Go home, put on a little make-up & take a pic of yourself in this same top you're wearing now and send it to him. I guarantee he will be with you tomorrow.
Me : ok thanks.
And I bury my face in my novel to discourage further discourse.
A part of me is vaguely depressed because I can remember a time when if I wanted K with me and he wasn't, then it really was no more complicated than a nice top, a hairdo and some make up. Actually, scrap the hairdo. He likes my hair natural, preferably wet or as wild as possible, which means virtually no effort on my part.
Why have I stopped blogging? Because when I try to write I sound like a broken record. What more is there to say? I've said it all before so many times.
Instead I go for long drives on the Corniche listening to California Dreamin (and similar) full blast over and over again. I find comfort in the strangest things lately.
In all our 8 months apart, he hasn't been out to visit me once. And he has no plans to anytime soon either. He's no less stubborn about delegating his family responsibilities to siblings or other relatives.
A while back, I was talking on the phone with his bro who was staying with K and their parents. He was telling me that he'd have to be getting back soon because his wife was going crazy. It hurt because am going crazy and it isn't causing K to budge an inch. So does it mean that K is just more stubborn and immune to feminine hysterics than his bro or that his bro loves his wife more than K loves me?
And still no light at the end of the tunnel as far as my immigration is concerned. It has cost us quite a lot of money so far because it seems he had tax issues to resolve before he could sponsor a partner etc.... I can't believe how high income and property taxes are in Sweden. And he was contesting some of them (successfully am glad to say) and so things kept dragging on and the red tape kept getting thicker and thicker.
What with that, and the fact that when I told him about some of my financial woes, he decided to settle everything immediately on the grounds that the longer we leave them, the more we'll end up paying in interest and finance charges, well, we're both a lot poorer than we started out.
That's all sorted out now.
But I keep expecting something else to pop up and delay things again. The average waiting time has now expanded from 9-12 months to 12-18 months. It seems that we - and others like us - are having to pay everytime somebody manages to defraud or abuse the system which doesn't seem fair but whatever.
And I am now left without access to my usual sources of comfort - i.e. shopping and pampering myself. I am on a very strict budget. I've never owed anyone as much as I now owe my husband and it's making me very nervous. I'd like to have enough money when I leave here to be able to at least offer to repay him. Whether he'll accept any money from me or not is another issue. He seems to feel that it's his responsibility as my husband to settle my credit cards. I don't know. Maybe he's right. But given his present circumstances and the fact that I didn't spend any of that money on anything worthwhile, I don't feel entitled to keep his money.
Besides, I've lost my appetite for shopping. The pain of packing has accomplished that. Now when I see new clothes, I think oh no, more stuff to pack and I shudder.
Today I did have my hair blowdried - for free. A long-forgotten voucher I got as a birthday present from a girlfriend. It's amazing the money-savers you manage to find when you're taking apart your home and you're broke.
And I did get that raise at work so that should help. The one positive outcome of the long wait is that every extra month I get to work improves our financial situation and gives me more to start with when I finally get there.
I've also been doing a lot of things I know he wouldn't like. Or at least he wouldn't have liked in that other life when our lives were less seperate and we were so close that practically everything I did elicited some kind of response from him.
Now he sometimes feels too distant to be affected by any situation I put myself in.
For the first time in my life, I don't have a family or a husband to answer to, so it doesn't seem as big a deal if I go clubbing every night and then attend after-parties at the homes of complete strangers where people routinely get drunk and hit on me. Over the last few months, I've discovered that the most unlikely people will hit on you given the right blood alcohol level. The funny thing is, I've become so detached and numb that instead of being upset or stressed by it, I am finding a strange kind of pleasure in how much it now embarrasses these people to be around me. I am enjoying their discomfort. It amuses me.
It's a big change from where I used to be. The old LouLou would have panicked. She would have blamed herself for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, as she was raised to do. And she would have felt guilty and never wanted to see anyone who had witnessed any of it ever again. Sheer guilt would have caused her to confess to the men in her life - if only to be reassured that they can still love and respect her after they learn of her lapse. She would have found redemption in that.
But the new LouLou doesn't care. She feels it's just one of those things. She feels it's ok to be in any situation as long as she can handle it with minimal harm done. And that those who don't like it should be there for her so she doesn't find herself alone most of the time if she doesn't go places they don't like with people they don't like.
She has no urge to confess to anyone. And when her uncle, the only male of her family still resident in Abu Dhabi got to hear about a couple of escapades and confronted her, she wasn't at all fazed by the fact that he seemed to think she must have gone insane.
I have a feeling that while I wouldn't go out of my way to let my husband know, if he did find out and if he did freak out, I'd react the same way I did with my uncle. The thought is nowhere near as intimidating as it would have been once.
Besides, I am not even sure he WOULD freak out, the way the old K would have.
After all, I am not the only one who has changed over the last few months, am I?