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!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

So what's your number? (NOT a movie review)

This post is actually not meant to be a movie review, it's more of my opinion on Ally's relationship. So yesterday was girl's night out and as usual the majority wanted to see a chic-flick.  Believe it or not I'm pretty anti-chic-flick.  It's not that I'm anti chick-flick exactly, it's just that most of them happen to suck.

ATTENTION: SPOILER ALERT.  However I wasn't completely disappointed by our pick: What's Your Number?  In this movie Ally's younger sister is getting married and this forces her to evaluate her own relationship status and whether or not she's headed to be a spinster.  Perhaps she's been too available to too many men and as a result might not ever get married.   As to not add to "the number", she digs up all her past boyfriends in an effort to see if one of them was meant to be "the one".

So during this time she enlists the help of Colin-her very sexy single next door neighbor.  Colin is immature, unstable, a broke struggling musician, and seems to have a of one-night-stands.  Needless to say, Colin is a fun guy but not exactly marriage potential and Ally is well aware of that. As predicted, Colin and Ally can't help but start falling for each other.  During the movie Ally actually successfully gets in touch with an ex from high school, Eddie, and they totally hit it off.  He's a successful world-traveling philanthropist and he takes Ally on expensive dates and treats her like a lady.  He's definitely marriage-minded and sees Ally as potential.  However something isn't quite right and that's Ally feels like she's not quite herself around him.  She acts a little more proper and like a lady and can't quite let loose and act crazy the same way she can when she's around Colin.

So how does the movie end? She decides to "follow her heart" and leaves Eddie for Collin, STUPID GIRL! I'm sure I was the only person in the theater who thought that.  She might be in love now, but what kind of life is she going to have with Colin?  He's still immature and broke.  Although the movie ended there, I'm pretty sure he's not going to be proposing to her anytime soon.  Eddie could take care of Ally in a way that Collin never could and Ally needed to use her brain a little more in order to see that.  I'm not saying girls should change themselves and who they are to be with guys like Eddie, but there is a middle ground here and Ally didn't give the relationship with Eddie a proper enough chance to see if that middle ground can be reached.  She felt a bit out of her comfort zone and just ran off.  I call that being a little stupid.