Saturday, July 7, 2012

I told my dad I wanted to marry him

In the end things didn't work out between me and Juice.  It was everyone's fault and at the same time no one's fault.  As he later told me "it just wasn't meant to be".  I told my parents that I wanted to marry him and I caught my father off-guard.  That's actually an understatement, my father didn't take it well at all.  This was the first time I ever told my dad about a guy and he was not happy.  As far as we conconcerned I was engrossed in school and didn't even know boys existed, even though  was in my mid 20s.

My father's stated reason for not accepting and refusing to speak to Juice was that he was from a different ethnic background. He said I'm free to do what I wanted to do but that he wouldn't be a part of it.  He said this knowing very well that I wouldn't act without his approval at the time. Looking back on it today I'm pretty sure that wasn't the real reason.  My father wasn't ready for the announcement and had I told him about anyone else he would have found a reason to shut it down.  I think my father especially didn't like that he had nothing to do with the process and that I had met Juice on my own.  My father was a great father and I credit much of my success to his fathering, but one of his downfalls is that he was a control freak and liked to have some type of control or say in every significant aspect of my life.  The fact that he had nothing to do with this didn't settle well with him and caused him much sleepless night and heartache.

I was young and had too much of a romantic view of the way things were supposed to be.  I thought if things were meant to be everything would just fall into place perfectly and there would be no challenges.  Juice was at fault because he decided the fight wasn't worth it and became distant.  When push came to shove he was no longer my prince charming and began to exhibit glaring weaknesses. I was at fault because I felt the situation at home was too much for me to deal with and I gave up.  My mom gave up.  We all gave up.

Although me and Juice still keep casual contact today I have accepted that  perhaps it just wasn't meant to be.  In the end what did I learn from my relationship with Juice? I learned a few valuable lessons about myself, guys, my father, and my family as a whole.  I learned that I need to fight and need to stand my ground.  I learned that I need to be more proactive and not dump my situations on everyone else to deal with for me.  That wasn't fair of me to do to Juice, my father, my mother, and my brother and it caused much stress.

More importantly though, I and I feel bad saying this, but I learned that my father doesn't always know what's best for me.    As baba's pride and joy, this was the toughest lesson to learn.

Monday, January 9, 2012

We found love in a hopeless place

I had plans for this blog, big plans to release all my halaal relationship tales onto the screen in front of you...and I still have those plans-but for right now I'll be spending the next two months of my life working on a huge project.  A project that is requiring me to be one-track minded in order to blow it out of the water.  After that they'll be moving me to a different city for the next phase of my career.  A city with nicer people, and much cheaper rent.  It's also a city where this boy that I have a crush on lives close to.

Yes the title is not related to this post.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why do people have to leave each other?

I've read this article numerous times now.  There's a lecture version which I play on my iphone and fall asleep to.  The very first time I discovered this lecture was when one of my facebook friends posted it.  I was fasting at the time and it was close to iftar so I was stripped down to my basic human need of starvation and thirst.  

Within the first ten minutes I was bawling crying.  I couldn't believe that someone knows exactly my struggle and was able to very eloquently put it into words and communicate it.  It was such a relief to know I wasn't the only one.  Like Yasmin I'm also one of those that gets very attached to people.  I always had to have a best friend.  My free days always had to involve hanging out with people.  I always had a boy in mind whether it was an actual relationship or just a fantasy in my head.  I was always so dependent on my relationships with people.  When anything of significance happened to me I needed to talk to someone about it.  I get attached easily and I get hurt easily. I was very dependent on my friendships.

Yasmin relates her emotional vulnerability to that of a vase that keeps falling and breaking.

But the problem wasn’t with the vase. Or even that the vases kept breaking. The problem was that I kept putting them on the edge of tables.

 Listening to this lecture forced me to confront this and the first time it was overwhelming.  I cried for a long time.   The point of the article is the powerful message that she reiterates.

There is only one place where we can lay our dependencies. There is only one relationship that should define our self-worth and only one source from which to seek our ultimate happiness, fulfillment, and security. That place is God.

This might be the most important piece of wisdom I was given.  I listen to this lecture when I need the reminder.  This week I listened to it about 5 times.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Last Goodbye

The last time I had to said goodbye to Juice I actually had no clue of the storm that was looming upon us and the pending demise of our relationship.  I still felt like this green eyed prince's princess

He was leaving to go back to school and I met up with him that morning.  We were at a cafe by the airport and he bought me orange juice and nothing for himself.  It was his last year of dental school and I gave him my words of encouragement telling him to realize how far he made it and letting him know how proud of him I am.  I assured him that I was in this 100% and in turn he told me that he pretty much knew I was the girl he was going to marry from the first time he saw me.  In my head I questioned how valuable his judgement was considering he was previously engaged and that failed...but that thought lasted only 5 seconds.

It was a bittersweet meeting.  I was sad to say goodbye without being sure of the next time I would see him. Even more though I was happy at the possibilities the future held for us which I was very optimistic about.  Last year was a bad year, and this year was going to make up for it I was sure.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My response to "The problem with marrying the first person you meet"

In a recent post post blogger Naddoush contrasts attitudes to relationships in the Middle Eastern culture with that of Denmark's (and the rest of Europe). She referenced a previous post of mine to use as an example of the problem of the way the eastern culture approaches relationships.  First of all Nadoush, I'm a fan of your blog so I appreciate the shoutout.  Second of all,  I disagree with the implied overall conclusion that the West's way is more superior.

My blog talks about my own personal experiences- making conclusions about the norms of cultures and societies was something I intended to stay away from doing, but since we're on the subject....

I'm a practicing Muslim and I'm American.  I have many non-Muslim American friends who approach relationships differently, as well as Muslim friends that choose to live a lifestyle similar to mine.  Between all of them I have witnessed a wide range of relationship trials and tribulations.  With that said, I don't think my parents approach when it comes to teaching (or lack of) their daughter about men and relationships was the best way to go about it (although I have to give my mother credit for coming a long way since the first time I told her about a boy); however, I definitely don't think the Western culture's approach is in the interest of women.

I have girlfriends that have relationships with men that are detrimental to their own interests and mental well-being.  Being "Western" I've seen girls be in a relationship for too long-and yes there is such thing.  They're meeting all the man's needs without him ever giving her what she really wants-a REAL commitment.  Why buy the cow when you're getting the milk for free?  Sometimes it works out in the end, but many times it doesn't....and what do you think that does to a girl's self-esteem, confidence, and level of standards? This doesn't make her wiser and smarter, this results in heavy-ass baggage that she's going to carry on in the next relationship.  I've seen it!

How about the belief that just because you're a single girl it's ok to open yourself up to all forms of male attention because you're just "having fun".  This homegirl doesn't help you understand, become wiser, or grow as a person.  This is DANGEROUS!

Most detrimental of all is when girls date guys that they don't believe they would ever marry or know would never marry them.  Sounds crazy right? but girls do it all the time!!!!!  Girlfriend have some respect for yourself and save it for someone who deserves it.

I also must add that me being single isn't because of the way my "middle eastern culture" approaches relationships.  There's nothing wrong with having standards and expectations for yourself that don't result from having had 20 boyfriends and played house with 5 of them-but rather stem from your faith, beliefs, and culture that you were brought up in.  A couple of my friends married the first and only guy they were ever serious about and they're in the most googoo gaga awww-inducing relationships I've ever witnessed.  It's better to be single and have some self-respect than to be dating because you give your digits out to every guy whose "good enough."

In conclusion, having had previous relationships is not essential to a loving, healthy marriage.  Sometimes it could even result in qualities that could be harmful to a relationship such as lower self-esteem, being paranoid, mistrustful, and just plain confused.  Just watch Sex and the City!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Our Last Date

The day before he had to go back to school Juice planned for us have dinner on a sunset cruise.  It was something I really wanted to do and he took care of the details-or else he intended to.  Only when we got to our destination Juice realized he completely got the dates and times mixed up and he actually made reservations for a completely different day.  So no dinner cruise for us.

I was disappointed and sat down on a nearby park bench sulking while he got on the phone to speak to someone about about getting a refund.  "I'm sooooo sorry" was all he kept repeating to me and I just said "it's ok don't worry".  We were both all dressed up with nowhere to go.  So we decided to just get in the car and drive around for ideas.  "Maybe we can just go see a movie" he said, "ummmm nooooo I kind of wanted to do something nice".  Call me vain, but I wasn't interested in doing something that I could do with my girlfriends any time.

Went drove through a suburb on the other side of town and I remembered that we were close to this reservation-only upscale restaurant that both of us have heard about and neither of us have been to.  I called them up and lucky for us they had reservations available within the hour.  My mood flipped and I became really excited.  For a moment I remember feeling guilty thinking that this was going to be a pretty expensive meal for a spontaneous plan.  Spontaneous idea usually involve burgers or ice cream, not five-star restaurants.  What if it was beyond his means?  Of course he would never say anything about price or accept any financial contribution from me.  I told myself I'll just make sure to look at the lower priced entrees even if it just vegetarian, and I wouldn't think about getting a starter.  I looked up the menu on my phone and of course there were no listed prices!

"Hey I've never been here and I heard that it's really expensive.  We don't have to go here we can look for another place...." although the reality is I wanted to go there more than any other place.  "Don't worry about it habibti".  Of course he was going to say that.

It was definitely the fanciest place I'd ever been to.  We were dressed up, but not as dressed up as the rest of the patrons who wore suits and dresses.  The uniformed waiters pulled out your chairs, strategically placed the napkins in your lap, and walked the ladies to and back from the restroom.  We would say things in Arabic to each other so that no one else could understand. "I feel like I should have taken an etiquette class to eat here.  What's the difference between the 3-prong fork and the 4-prong fork?" He insisted we go all out and while we're here try appetizers and deserts too.  We held hands across the table and I was all smiles.  I must have said "thank you for taking me here" about 5 times to him and each time he just smiled back and squeezed my hand.  He kissed the palm of my hand a couple times during dinner and commented on how soft they were.

For me that evening was one of the highlights of the year.  I was really happy and felt like the luckiest girl.  Unlike him I had no previous relationship experience, he was the first guy I seriously thought of as my future husband and to me his visit couldn't have gone better.  He made me feel protected and beautiful.

Little did I know that was the last time I would go out to dinner with Juice.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Title!

I changed the title of my blog, and the URL respectively to something more representative of me. This is meant to be a blog recounting my relationship experiences and journey to "the one", but I don't feel like a "princess in waiting".  I'm the stereotypical over-scheduled, over-committed 20-something who always feels like I really need a foot massage..  The last thing I do is "wait".  I feel more like a pink sour grape.  What's a grape personality?  According to a random online personality quiz.

You are very reflective, sensitive, flexible, creative, and prefer to work in groups. you learn best when you can work and share with others, balance work with play, can communicate, and are noncompetitive. You tend to have trouble giving exact answers, focusing on one thing at a time, and organizing.  

The pink represents femininity, and the sour hints to the occasional touch of bitterness.  So here I am, pink sour grapes!