Girls, Girls, Girls
I don't fit in with other girls. I don't get them.
I sit in the middle of a group of girls who believe in traditional values. Girls who have been looking for a husband since they were about 20 years age, some before that. Some of them are married now, some are still looking. They talk about their experiences in meeting a man, having him express an interest in them for 5 minutes and then being disappointed because he did not go and knock on their father's door the next day.
And all the other girls nod wisely and tell the story-teller that she is right of course, that if he was a respectable man, he would 'yidkhol elbiyoot min abwabha' which mean 'enter a house by the door' i.e. openly and not clandestinely, by declaring himself infront of her family and making his interest official.
How on earth do you build up that level of expectation from a virtual stranger! You don't know him. He could be a psychopath, a conman!
Every single time, I hear a story about a girl who slapped a guy's face and then he married her for slapping his face and they lived happily ever after, I sit there open-mouthed! Do these people even know what marriage IS? Can they begin to imagine the one million levels on which a man and a woman can click or clash?
What's the concept here, that all men and all women are clones and any man can marry any woman provided he likes the way she looks and is satisfied that she wouldn't speak to another man outside marriage because well, she refused to speak to him, didn't she?
It is so surreal. I am left with this disbelief that I'm actually having this conversation, that there are people who believe love is haram. If love is haram then what is halal? Hate?!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whenever I talk in these gatherings, they look at me like I'm a heretic. Girls my own age! Educated girls! In 2008.
They talk about how you can't possibly speak to a man and not turn into a promiscuous, sex-addicted slut no man would ever want as a wife.
I probably AM a slut in their eyes. I mean, I loved my husband before marriage. And marriage was actually his idea. I was just caught up in the experience of falling in love. I couldn't have helped it.
And yes, there have been men in my life before my husband. And yet I never felt my virtue was in any danger. I always felt capable and confident that I could take care of myself and impose my own boundaries on the relationship. The man I was with either respected that or didn't. If he didn't I considered it his problem, not mine.
But then I've also known girls who can't remember who they may or may not have slept with last night. I had friends who were much more 'liberal' than I ever was and to them I was relic of a long-gone and decayed age. They couldn't understand me either.
And I have to admit I never understood them either. I couldn't understand the concept of sex without love and non-monogamous sex always struck me as something yucky and unhygeinic, sort of like using someone else's tooth brush, or unwashed underwear. I just never could see the appeal.
And girls like that never seemed too happy or well-adjusted in life generally. Morality aside, I never actually met a girl who was promiscuous and whose promiscuouity was making her happy.
So where is the truth? What is the magic formula? Somewhere in the middle? But where IS the middle point between such different planes of viewpoints on life and love and sexuality?
The number of girls I can see eye to eye with on these issues appears to be dwindling all the time. Everyone seems to be one extreme or the other.