Tag Archives: Marriage

No flowers for me, thanks!

The husband I have under my “jurisdiction” is a sensitive man though lacking in romantic chromosomes. The sole romantic action he has ever undertaken, apart from lending his lighter to a friend who was about to propose to his long term girlfriend, was scanning a comic I liked and mailing it to me when I went overseas.

But you see, at the time, we had been together for only four months. In other words, he still felt the need to woo me, which worked, giving me hope for future surprises…

A hope to be diminished in the years to follow.

On one Valentine’s Day, a time of the year we had never celebrated during our relationship of then four years, -since being the “intellectual” individuals we were, we saw it as a pretext for increased commercialized expenditure-, I decided I did want to obey the industrialized shopping day.

Despite my negative opinion about the day, given that we did not celebrate our relationship on any other day, I needed a change! I needed a “festivity” to show our love for each other.

So I called him on a mid February day, only to hear a woman’s voice, that of his mother.

I asked her to wake him up, which normally I would have never done and she would have never accepted. No one shall perturb her precious baby’s sleep, but she must have heard the determination in my voice, because eventually I heard his sleepy response at the other end of the line.

“Huh?”

Thus, began my instructions:

“Get up, come over here to my place. On your way, buy me a bouquet of flowers. If possible, daisies. When you get here, act like it is a surprise and say ‘Happy Valentine’s!’ when you hand me the flowers”.

Being an engineer, he did an excellent job following clear instructions.

However, when I found out the price of the damn plants, I felt terrible. Plus, the flowers died a few days later, and guilt took over.

So, we went back to no celebration…

Especially, NO flowers!!!

So far, it has worked fine. We enjoy our evenings together, watching “Walking Dead” or cooking, or simply lying at the opposite ends of the sofa, our feet touching while we surf the internet on our laptops. These give me more pleasure than any high priced flower doomed to die in a few days. I think what we are doing is spreading the heightened pleasure that lasts a single day throughout the whole year…

Or so I would like to think… 😀

PS: I am still expecting a major proposal. After five years of relationship and three years of marriage, he must have figured out what I like, right? And he can’t go wrong! What are the chances I will reject him after having officially said “yes” a long while ago?…

Written in response to WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/writing-challenge-valentine/comment-page-4/#comment-310890)

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The Visit

The first guests arrived. I was among the party to greet them, since it was customarily expected of me, the oldest female child, to stand by the door and welcome people I had nothing in common with. Extended family and a family I was seeing for the first time but still, they were the community I was a part of and I had been taught ever since I can remember, that community and its requisites were to be held above all. While my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles shook the guests’ hands, I could barely make eye contact, since being the youngest woman among the household, it was my duty to find slippers that would fit each and every one of the strange feet I was getting closely acquainted with at that moment. The same procedure repeated with me handing out the slippers until all the groups of guests had arrived.

Before I took my seat on a chair at a far off corner, close to the door, I welcomed all the guests kissing and holding the back of the hands of older guests to my forehead, kissing the cheeks of younger guests as well as my peers and merely shaking hands with male visitors I did not know very well. Just before a conversation began with the familiar “How are you?”, “How are the kids?” questions, I made sure to do the tour of the seated guests dripping lemon cologne they rubbed in their hands or wiped on their heads and offered them candy from a crystal bowl.

Once all formalities initiating a major gathering were covered, I pulled a chair, one of the least used ones, since all sofas and softly padded armchairs had been offered to guests and my elders, and dutifully watched the proceedings for a while.

The eldest family members of both parties began asking the usual questions with a pinch of reference to the weather. Then, it was time for me to retrieve to the kitchen to make the Turkish coffee in the cezve with some sugar, one of the most poignant symbolic customs of the night. The first boiled coffee with the greatest amount of foam went to the eldest and preferably to the male guests, to be followed in descending order the estimated date of birth and of course the sex of the others.

And thus, in between tiny sips of sweet foamy coffee, the eldest male guest commenced the much anticipated speech: “Our son is well educated, respectful, considerate and earns a substantial amount of money. He can easily provide excellent conditions for a good family. Our valuable friend has seen your daughter and highly recommended her as a befitting match for our son. We have asked around, and have been told she is a well behaved, hard working, gentle girl.

“Long word short, with the grace of god and the word of the prophet, we would like the hand of your daughter for our son in marriage.”

What should have followed was a gaze at me from my father for the sake of performing what the customs command to receive the conceding answer from my meek mouth: “You would know the best, father. He seems like a nice man.”

Satisfied and proud, my father would have continued, “the young people have seen and liked each other, and for us, nothing is left to do but give our blessings,” and we would put on golden rings tied by a red ribbon to be cut by the eldest man in the house. We would all smile, take collective pictures and determine a schedule for the future wedding.

Instead, I said: “No.”

I said “no” to all the elders I had showed respect in due accordance with every aspect of our traditions, and refused to accept what they saw as befitting for the “son”.

I said “no” to marrying a man I barely knew; “no” to being deprived of the right to continue my life under the terms I determined merely to become a home maker, a dependent cleaner instead of an independent individual.

I said “no” to years of tradition followed year after year; “no” to the grace of god and the word of the prophet.

I said “no” to submission, to servitude without agency, to showing respect for old age and waiting for old age to earn respect in return.

I said “no” to being overlooked and being perceived only in search of a potential wife for a man.

I said “no” to force an outlet for my own personality, to find my own way, to be my own; “no” to descriptions that would be coined solely in relation to the men around me; a wife, a sister, a daughter…

In saying “no”, I said “yes” to free-will and to being free.

Joy: the balance between computer parts and body parts

Being able to change the ram of a laptop when you are considered to be computer illiterate by your tech savvy husband. That is real joy with a touch of satisfaction and a pinch of in your face.

PS: Dear “computer illiterate” reader, if you ever plan to keep secret notes from a tech savvy spouse, keep them old school, on pieces of paper and not on some weird file on your computer. These people enjoy fooling around longer in the most meaningless parts of computers than on parts of your body scientifically proven to bring great joy to your relationship…

Note for spouse: I love you hubby! Of course I keep no secrets from you and you are great with all parts, whether animate or inanimate and you should have read that word document when I asked you if you would be OK with my blogging it …