Saturday, September 19, 2009

The world on a silver platter

Why are all cab drivers here so nuts? First I wanted to believe it was all just a coincidence, but no..I can’t keep justifying.. they are way crazy...
We just came back from a mall – me and colleague – and took a cab. So the driver decides to share his vision of the country with us.
“You see, I tell you, this country, is all upside down. Here women are like bosses.... I am telling you now, I see many things here in these years… Everything is about women here! A man cheats, she will smack his head to break it now and its ok. But if a woman cheats, he may kiss her on the knees to beg her to forgive him that he found out! I am telling you..”
Me and my colleague are cracking up on the back seat
“It is true. Whenever women become bosses the country goes upside down. You see it here. Man has to wash the dishes while woman goes out with her friends! I see them here in the night. They are all wasted on the backseat. They shove the beer down their throat worse than men..”


Anyway; I am travelling for work now. It’s been an interesting time so far. From a professional perspective it’s been really good, and this has been the first trip for me without any of my local colleagues. I met the international ones here, but was basically by myself. Which I prefer because it gives more opportunity to be alone. Otherwise there are always too many social activities for which you kind of need to show up..

Now I met one of these international colleagues already on one of my previous trips. I did remember meeting him but didn’t know his name anymore. I guess during the last trip we just exchanged a few words, nothing special. Se here, he came up to me to say hi and still knew my name..( I thought that was really impressive, since you tend to meet so many people in these trips). We chatted a bit and that was that. I mean it was pleasant but really quite short.
One of the evenings, I came back to my room after a dinner with some customers and then saw a small bag there with my name on it. In it was just a souvenir from this guy’s home country (about 20 hours by plane from where I live!) and a simple note stating something like ‘a small gift from my country, enjoy” signed with his name.
So I sat on the bed thinking, now what does this gesture mean? I figured the best thing would be to send a message thanking for the gift, to be polite. It has happened before that some guy showed interest but always in such annoying ways. I really dislike it when you notice that a guy always walks up to talk to you when he spots you. At a certain point you just look for ways to stay out of sight. And then they try to make jokes and somehow ask questions to understand 1) if you are in a relationship and then 2) if its serious. It’s all always too obvious even when it’s meant to be hidden, and it’s just generally really annoying.
But this was different. This guy had always kept a professional, but kind attitude, and this gesture was not too intruding either. It was actually polite and respectful and that was nice.
I received a nice reply to my message, saying he hoped I liked it. I saw him during the day again and thanked him again for the souvenir. We chatted about some work-related things. I asked him at the end if he bought that souvenir here or if it was really from his home country, so he said ‘no really I brought it in my country’.

Now, that puzzled me. I am thinking that he had someone else in mind when he bought it, but that for some reason it didn’t work out and then he decided to give it to me. The other scenario could be that he really bought it with the intention to give it to me, but that just seems so unlikely.

We had dinner with a group of colleagues later in the week and he was there as well. It was a really nice evening, one of the more relaxed ones I have had so far. Usually you have to work quite hard to keep the conversation alive, but this evening was actually nice by itself. And during this dinner this colleague shared that he has a wife and kids and that then puzzled me even more.

I shared all of this with Mr.Hubby and he said that a lot of people cheat on these trips, with each other – this is true, I know a few colleagues who indeed did this. So Mr.Hubby says that he probably wanted to see if he had a chance with me. Mr.Hubby was by the way really relaxed about it. He said ‘Look at it this way, you’re still hot’.

But this whole thing made me think and gave me this feeling..a feeling that in front of me lies the option to chose a life of luxury and ease. A husband which you can present to the world, a life without hiding, without difficult sisterwives, a life with stability. And it’s there, for me to just chose and take. Such an odd feeling- like a sense of gravity that’s pulling my heart in that direction.

I sat in silence for a bit visualizing the real life in front of me. The life after this life, its endlessness and the choice which I am making for that life. And slowly the sense of gravitation towards all of this started to fade away.

Polygyny is a conscious choice. I guess like any marriage is a conscious choice sometimes. And maybe it would be better if it were a conscious choice every day. I will be going back home soon. New rounds of arguments, distrust and problems await, I am sure. But all of them give the opportunity for submission, humility, goodness, love, reconciliation. In all of them lie hidden gems. If I were only able to see these things while in the middle of things..


Donald said...

3rd said: A husband which you can present to the world, a life without hiding, without difficult sisterwives, a life with stability.

… a life of satisfying one man's sexual appetite… Let us not forget that one 3rd! :P

Mr Hubby said: Look at it this way, you’re still hot.

Oh you're such a tease 3rd. CM let us know that she was hot too, but at least she posted a picture to prove it! LOL.

Okay, seriously… this post is interesting and brings up a personal question, which I hope you don't mind me asking…

If you had the choice… to be married to Mr Hubby without your sister-wives in the picture… would you choose that? I mean sure, any difficult situation provides opportunity for perseverance and the development of a godly character, but normally we don't seek out these things… life tends to deliver its fair share anyway.

Sorry if I'm just repeating a question CM has asked before… It's just that in this post, more than previously, you seem to be conceding that there's really not a lot to like about polygamy per se, and that you're more or less resigned to it as an expression of your faith. That surprised me a little.

3rd, it would be really interesting to hear you talk more openly about your faith too if you ever felt like doing that. Perhaps you see that as a topic which divides people, and I can understand your decision to speak in general terms if that's the case. But I've found it interesting to see how neighborly this little interfaith community of polygamy-minded people can be. Sure, you get the occasional 'venonymous', but aside from that it's been pretty cool to see the love between people that wouldn't normally cross paths. I for one never had any Muslim friends before I came here. Aw gee… I'm getting all misty eyed now… Who's up for a round of 'Kumbaya' as we all link hands and sway…?

CM said...

Donald, I was thinking along the same lines. And you have asked several questions that I also have.

Third, I know I have broached this subject before as Donald stated, but this post seems to infer something more and I am not sure it is what you are really saying. After talikng about having thoughts of the benefits of a monogamous marriage, you write "I sat in silence for a bit visualizing the real life in front of me. The life after this life, its endlessness and the choice which I am making for that life. And slowly the sense of gravitation towards all of this started to fade away."
So, I have to ask (and am doing so out of respect and in an effort to understand better) - are you saying that living polygamy gives you a life in the hereafter that you would not get if you lived a monogamous life? Is that why you choose to live polygamy?

UmmUmarNY said...

I'm always reading your posts in a hurry(kids, house, not time!!)... and that's why I seldom comment, but this time I was left with questions which seem to have reached "Donald" and "CM" as well...

As a Muslim I know that whatever the struggle in this world, if we are patient and trust in what Allah has decreed, then we will be generously rewarded in the Hereafter. So, having said that, if I were (which I might some day) to find myself in a polygamous situation I would be confident that whatever struggles and pain I go through will be of benefit in the Hereafter. This is why you will find many Muslim women "longing" for that reward, and in essence it is what 'drives' them and keeps them strong. Polygyny is NOT necessarily the way to be successful in the Hereafter... It's not a 'means', but rather, the consequences of such a struggle, handled with correct intentions, is what will enable us (and hopefully our husbands) to reap the rewards in the Hereafter. We still get plenty 'curve balls' thrown at us through life, regardless of what kind of married life we live... and the rewards for such are only with our Creator, so success in the Hereafter is entirely due on HOW we deal with each situation, not due to the 'situation' itself.

Sorry if I rambled a bit... I just wanted to get this message across.

Natja's Natterings said...

I have to agree with the other posters, being a martyr for Polygamy? What is the point in that? What are you getting out of the relationship with ALL the Spice, not just Mr. Hubby. It seems that you are living a half life and no religion expects that.

new#3 said...

What a post! So many good questions come to mind, including the one Donald asks. You never say what you do for a living and what you do when youre not working or with Mr Hubby. Do you have an active social life? If not do you miss that. What do you tell your co workers about your living situation? Do you sometimes wish you had a mate to bring to business/social functions? I love this post :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I totally understand how you feel.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I totally understand where your coming from!!

Hidden Sage said...

What I said in my post that didn't get posted was that I liked reading your thought process over your colleague's method of approach.