Replies.


Seth,
Let this be a reply to both of your comments.

First, kudos to both of your well-thought of comments. It's always nice knowing there are thoughtful people like you out there.

The only reason why I'd be a feminist is when somebody tells me that I can't drive when he could. When somebody tells me that I can't go out without telling him, and he could.

And I do agree with you. Good marriages are rare to come by, but when they do, it's heaven on earth.

It's the bad marriages that makes writings like these come up every now and then. Maybe they're not as frequent as I see it, but they sure raise a lot of steam. *grin*

So thank you for reminding me of my own biases.

********

‘Ndhik,
I’m sorry I broke your heart. It was a fantasy. Not him. It sure did get me into a lot of trouble though. *nyengir, salah tingkah*
I’ll see you Friday.
And thank you for your prayers.

********

Nat,
I reckon that you still want to get married. So be grateful. I’m doing you a favor. Tak sadar jugakah kamu?

********

Bugz,
Dude…busyet deh. I can smell you when you think of me. Stop thinking of me, because it’s driving my kids nuts!

How can anyone regret singlehood when life is generously fulfilling?

I’ve never met a single person (pun intended) in Saudi who doesn’t complain of loneliness and spousal longing when they hit that certain age. Heck, I keep losing guy friends because of this. Either because they start treating me as a girlfriend, or because they get married and don’t want to “cheat” on their wives by maintaining a friendship with a quirky female like myself. Oh, you know who you are!

Is life really that unfulfilling in Saudi?

Don’t know for sure, but I think that marriage becomes the next best thing when you run of out steam for life. Marriage is the social solution to everything in Saudi: are you sad and depressed? Get married! Do you have an addiction problem? Get married! Are you jobless? Get married! Are you homosexual? Get married! Are you tired of your marriage? Get married again!

What would happen if people suddenly stopped pushing marriage as a solution to everything? Would we start becoming grateful for what’s already been given and ask for no more?

That’s not realistic, is it? Humans are prone to sin, prone to fall in love, and to succumb to temptation, no matter how tough our yearly resolutions are.

Prayers don’t always work in repelling temptation. The thing with temptation is that, when it strikes, it will force aside every danged mental and physical obstacle, persuade like there’s no tomorrow and raise an iron-clad demand. And crawling closer to God actually makes temptation harder to deny, sometimes. Because the closer you are to the source of light, is the darker becomes the shadow that follows you around.

(That’s why I’m always wondering what catholic monks do for fun).

*****

One point of blogging is to raise questions I cannot answer to the surface. Let whoever out there think along and maybe ask more enlightening questions. The goal to asking questions is not to get answers, just to bask in wonderment and let that damned grey matter click its way on its own.

Some people aren’t meant to get married (at least not right away). Some questions aren’t asked to get straight answers. And some of you out there should stop worrying about what’s coming ahead of you; because whatever is coming, will come on its own time. And when that happens, nothing in the world will have the power to stop it.

So have a good one, folks.

There was a difference between a lazy day spent with IT and with Jai.


Both of them were ‘boys’ in their early-thirties. Both of them expected to be cuddled and loved. Both were very enjoyable to spend time with. And maybe both of them sincerely loved me. (Hey, wishful thoughts are always nice)


But with IT, when I needed to go out, what I said to him was, “I’m going out now, need I pick up anything for you?”

With Jai, what I said was, “Can I visit my mother, and pass by Jareer on the way? I’ll be back by eight o’clock. I’ll call you when I get there. Do you need anything from anywhere?”


See the difference?


With Jai, I was asking for permission.

With IT, I was giving information.


With Jai, unless I was asking for divorce, he’d have to know exactly where I was going, whom I’m seeing, when I was coming back, and make sure that I stick to the proposed plan by the letter.

With IT, unless I was near death, he wouldn’t bother knowing more than what dinner I’m bringing back. He wouldn’t offer to be my knight in shining armor, knowing that by eighteen I should have had my own.


Jai would call me as soon as it strikes eight o’clock. And make sure that I remember that I have a husband waiting for me at home.

IT would text me every once in a blue moon. Just to make sure that I don’t get sold to some slave market in some foreign land. Or forget his dinner.


Jai’s expectations were as normal as every husband would have.

IT’s were as normal as every close friend would have.


The relationship I had with IT was impossible to occur with Jai.

Because IT expected me to be safe and sound, while Jai expected me to be obedient and attending.

Because one treated me as his friend and the other treated me as his wife.

Oh, wait…

Let me rephrase that.

Because one treated me as his equal and the other treated me as his wife.


I have no doubt that if IT were my husband; he’d have the same expectations as Jai did .

Normal men have normal expectations of their wives.

Normal men expect normal wives.

Not feminists.

Not ‘westernized’ women.

Not women with ideas about gender equality, individuality, and self-actualization in their minds.


Normal men expect replacements of their own mothers, and pedestals for their egos.


****************


Bugz told me about a friend whose wife is refusing to let go of her job in order to live with him.

Why can’t he let go of his job and live with his wife instead?

What a Stupid question.

Right, so is that why people get married? So that the woman would blend into the man’s personal life and not the other way around?


Let’s say she does let go of her job, live with him, serve and attend, is that all marriage has got for her? Because she’s a woman?


Valin used to say that society wouldn’t condemn a woman for not having a career but would harshly judge a capable man if he didn’t work.

So if the man didn’t work, should his wife also quit, saving her husband’s face?


***************


Women have been arguing like this for years.

And it always boils down to this:

Family always comes first. Even if it erases an individual’s identity.

Women don’t need identities when the children are raised and fed, the house is neat, and the husbands are loyal and happy.

Isn’t that all the identity and self-actualization that she needs?


Man, sarcasm is going to keep me single for a very long time.


***************


Is it true that a woman may not enter heaven unless her husband consents it?

(Dude, are you still pissed about that one time I made you break the rule that expelled us out of heaven? I thought we got over that!)

What kinda bullshit is that?

What if my husband abused me?

What if my husband neglected me?

What if my husband was HUMAN, full of flaws and sins, just like me?


Is God worried about Femme-Fatale? Or is He worried that insolent women might start a suffragette campaign in heaven?

“So, men, tame your women well.”


***************


When men blamed women for driving them out of heaven, isn’t that another way to admit what powers women have over men?

Dude, we’re so hot you’d prefer what’s between our legs than any other heaven that God has given you. And I know I like what’s between yours. So let’s break the one rule that’d give us more access to each other’s crotches.


Our kids would love us for this.


***************


God, I know You ain’t no guy, so I know that You ain’t that dumb; I’d rather have normal men as my lovers and friends for the rest of my life than have my relationship with You be disgruntled with bitterness.


God, when You made marriage as a venue for us to love and respect each other, You didn’t put an invisible footnote somewhere that stipulated in women to be subordinates to men, did You?


God, You gave me as much IQ as man, more strength and patience than man to bear his children, more forgetfulness and kindness than man to forgive him, how can I possibly believe that You’d be so ignorant to place him above me?


***************


I’m grateful for the friendship IT had offered. He made me realize what kind of relationship I’d want to have with a man in marriage.

I’m grateful for the attention that Jai had for me. I wouldn’t have been so relieved to be single again if I didn’t have him as my husband.


Next time,

If I have to ask for permission from my guy, so should he.

I might need him to pick up a tampon on the way back.

Titi


I have a really quirky maid in the place where I live.

She calls my pets the oddest names (Soup for my cat, Wono for my dog Misha), and intends to make Indonesian dishes out of them.

She calls me stupid and naïve.

She makes fun of all of my friends.

She makes fun of me all the time.

She’s the only maid I know in the world who likes booze.

She would prefer money to anything else in the world.


But she’s there when I need someone to talk to.

She’s there when I get sick, spooning medicine into my mouth.

She’s there when my room is so wrecked that it takes hours to clean up.

She’s there when I need someone to cover for my ass, feeding and playing with both of my kids, accepting letters, getting the grocery and paying the bills.

She’s there when insanity touches me, with her “It doesn’t bother me if you die out of starvation, but it’d bother me cleaning up your stinking carcasses, so EAT SOMETHING!”

And she’s honest to the Rupiah.


Last night I made her sit on the floor with me.

I just came back from a four-day trip, loaded with ache and loneliness.

I had a bottle of Bailey’s, and needed the company.


Between giggles and name-calling, I half filled the mug with ice and Bailey’s, took the first sip and offered it to her.

She looked at the mug reluctantly, “maybe I should drink from another cup.”

“Why? I don’t mind.”

“Are you sure? I’m just a maid, remember?”

“Yeah? So what am I?”

She looked at me for a beat of a second, and with laughter and appreciation all over her face, she took the mug. “You’re stupid.”

That was the most endearing ‘Stupid’ I’ve ever hear her call me.

 
Copyright © 2016 Hning's Asia All Right Reserved
Designed by OddThemes