You have 17 voicemail messages…

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Picture it if you will… it is the 26th of December; you are on your way to meet your bestie for your annual Boxing Day sales and you decide to check your voicemail (VM) messages as you’ve realised you hadn’t checked since the 19th (of December).

You check your VM:

1>     Your mum asking you to call her back

2>     Your mum

3>     Your mum again…

Of my 17 voicemail all but ONE of them was from my mother.

Each VM from her went for more than 90seconds and went through a myriad of emotions.

When I get a missed call from my mum I DO call her back usually within the hour… in 99.99999% of the time there has not been emergency which would require her to leave the message: “call me back – its very important”

When I DID call her back from one such message (“call me back AS SOON AS POSSIBLE – its very important”) I discovered it was relating to a letter she got about free Foxtel (“what is this foxtel? Why they send me this?” was also asked) and the cut-off date was that day and should she get it for the house? So as you can imagine the term “important” is loosely termed.

*in fact since writing this I decided to check my VM again.

So Since 27 December to date (today being the 30th) I have 6 messages.

5 from my mum ALL stating the same thing ( a letter I told her I would write for her, and give to her on TUESDAY the 31st of December… I told her in more than one language, on more than 5 calls during the weekend that I would write this letter for her on Monday and give it to her on Tuesday.) I TOLD her that I would DO IT and give it to her BY TUESDAY – at the END of each call I asked her if she understood and she said she did.

Since then AND through that week each call related to this letter.

EACH call! And for me to call her “as soon as possible” because “is very important”

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Not quite feeling myself this week…

I haven’t written in awhile – it’s not really that there’s not much been much happening but rather that the stuff that has been happening I think you would all find boring; its all wedding party stuff really:

Trying to source a wedding cake: My hot tip is to not do too many bookings on the one day – eating cake samples every 2nd hour does not clense the palate and DOES interfere with the weight that one is desperately trying to lose!

Dress fittings: I had my calico one today and am amazed at how cold it was standing in a room in all but a calico dress. I think I handled the whole pinning situation rather well and must give props to the designers assistant who did not prick me once!

Bridesmaid issues – actually there certainly IS a story there… forget being a bridezilla – I have a covert bridesmaid-zilla… and I personally do NOT think she is very covert about her ‘diva-ness’!

But all the above is sort of the least of my worries as I battle to understnad why I have been feeling rather ‘funny’ and ‘weird’ lately – I have no idea how to actually define or describe how I’m feeling but its a little “off” to how I am normally feeling – Mr A has noticed and keeps asking me “what’s wrong?” and “have I done something to upset you?” and more often “what can I do to make my princess smile?” Bless him greatly for trying – i appreciate it beyond comprehension! I’ll be ok for a little while and then I am back to this ‘funk’!

Then there’s me thinking about having to get mum’s tickets organised; oh yes did I forget to mention? Mum apparently wants to head off to Indonesia and possibly UAE for Eid this year and is hoping to head off on the 3rd of September. She very diplomatically (not) asked about how once she’d found the best price and got the dates sorted how “we” were going to pay for it – which was clearly mum’s way of saying “how and are YOU going to pay for this?”. I told her how her last years trip cost me a bit as she had wanted an open ticket that would be valid for a year and did not want to travel something like Virgin/Air Asia/Tiger (read: budget airline) that this meant the tickets were a little bit of a pretty penny (which really makes me wonder why when she paid for her own tickets JetStar was more than sufficient but since I had to pay somehow JetStar was now far too inferior!). Anyway, i said that based on last years costs i was happy to pay half that amount… Well, she’s done her research and organised her ticket to be a one year open ticket (like last time) where she still has to put in some rnadom return date (she has selected 03/03/2011) and she leaves on the afternoon of September third – oh and apparently the travel agent has emailed me the details and I am paying for her ticket – ALL of it.

Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t really a blog post about me lamenting that I am having to pay for the ticket. I worked out a long time ago that I am definately great at driving her places, paying bills, fixing ‘stuff’ and organising appointments. What upsets me is that i am having to “suck up” that this beyond a one way street – that i am not a complete moron to have not noticed that she is conviently away just prior my wedding party and a whole shitload of time after. I am come to realise that i have no idea about anything when it comes to my mother –  that even as i am typing this i am ranting! In some ways I more than expect it (this ‘situation’) and am happy to claim it as my duty as a Muslim daughter – i mean some people would claim that as a Muslim child my job is to “shut up and put up” and to remember that as she is the mother her word is gold – her requests should be met with nothing more than ‘yes mother’ – but i ask these people: where and when is the line drawn? I am NOT talking about retribution or being vengeful or rude, but rather at what point do i continue to take the ALL of THIS???????  Would a simple ‘thank you’ would go astray. Plus, whilst I am pre-programmed that this is how it has to be I don’t understand how my mum must think that it is more than ok to say what she wants, expect the earth and still its never enough  

Before you quip that that perhaps i should remind her that this means (her departure + return dates) she will not be here for my wedding party – believe me I know and i did remind her! I spoke to her about it the other morning; the conversation entailed her asking me if I had already paid for her ticket (*sigh*) – I told her that I was paying for it on Thursday (today). And her asking if I would come to Indonesia with her? I told that I was very sorry but that I wouldn’t be able to come with her – she then went on about how the family would LOVE to see me as they did not see me on the last trip she went on. I went on to telling her that I was not able to come as surely she must remember that i mentioned my wedding party was on the 30th of October – her answer was so eloquently put mashallah:

“I don’t care about your wedding – I want you to come with me…”

I must say that although I knew that she probably would not be at the party and that I more than realise her stance and her denial on the subject matter that is Mr A and I, that hearing this statement has hurt more than all the denial and other stuff she’s said in passing. I can’t quite put my finger on why though – perhaps its because that while she was putting her head in the sand i could rationalise to myself that she doesn’t really comrehend what i am doing – that she is just lost by this whole situation. But the fact that she is able to very clearly articulate that she DOESN’T care is such a slap in the face that as a daughter my role is to care and provide but that i should not expect the same in return. Perhaps this really hurts because its just one more hurtful thing that she’s said that i have to sit there and take. 

After that little comment she proceeded to make other little jibes comments that again, i sit there and listen to whick led me to sit there and pray for more patience – it is beyond words to just sit there and hear that sort of statement and never be able to say anything back – because as a daughter my role is to be patient; to listen; to not utter a bad word that would upset her (God only knows I upset her enough), to remember that she raised me and that in her way she is trying to do what’s best for me, that I am to respectfully sit there… and take the verbal slings and arrows with silent prayers and deep breaths I silently sat there listening to her say:

“No one loves you like me – I am your mother and I am the only person in this world who really loves you. everyone else is just lying – its ALL camouflage; one day you see – there is only me; everyone else is just pretending… ”

I tried to stop listening at that point – I am sure you catch my drift. We said our goodbyes and I got off the phone not long after that. I sat there next to Mr A (he was driving us to work) thanking Allah that I somehow ended up a rather well adjusted human being and that it truly is by the grace of God that, when I think about all the f#$ked up crap I had to endure with my dad and then with they way my mum behaves and says in the last ten-ish years that I did not end up a mentally screwed individual!

A few minutes after I get off the phone Mr A then turns to me and asks; “everything ok?”

My answer?  “Fine sweetie – i love you…”

He knows me so well and touches my knee, smiling he tells me he loves me too – SOOOOO much (he says).

 I mean really – what is there to say?

My Trip and Mum

You know how i am off to Bali tomorrow? Well – you guys are all one step in front of my mum! I have not even told her… i had thought about it. Seriously i had – but then i knew how it would go – how she’d be disappointed and sad and that she MUST see me and blah, blah, blah… so instead i DID mention to her sometime ago (probably about a month back) that Mr A and i were intending to head off to Indonesia… you should have SEEN the look on her face as she thought i was heading off to Jakarta and was obviously wondering how she was going to ‘create’ some lovely concoction of a story about me and Mr A…

Anyway; i seriously cannot be bothered with all the mayhem anymore – its all a little too ‘much’ and melodramatic for my liking; she has sid a few things of late (more than once) that has upset me SO much that i don’t even think i can write about it at the moment! I will let you know once i am over it!

Rather than let things fester and let myself feel more like crap i decided to play around with dates when i was planning this trip…. in case you all didn’t realise (not that you would) BUT….

I WILL BE AWAY FOR BOTH MOTHER’S DAY AND….

MY BIRTHDAY!

This was (in NO way) an accident – it was actually purely purposeful – i seriously couldn’t deal with spending mother’s day pretending that we’re a happy family of 2 with her; it would seem BEYOND hypocritical to me… BUT at the same time i couldn’t think about not spending mother’s day with her when i knew she was only20 minutes away. Then I thought about my birthday (on the 12th of May people) and how i knew it would create an issue with Mr A and his parents who would want to do something for it and my mum would not want to come/be there BUT she would expect me to be there with her instead… and then i would inevitable end up having a fight with one or all of them!

So this was my solution!

WHILST I AM AWAY:

I shall take heaps of photos – I am generally a rather snap-happy photo-taker! I know it has been ages since I posted any pics on my blog but I WILL be doing so once i get back… PROMISE

I will TRY to get a spare minute away from Mr A and post a few bits and pieces on my blog – failing that i will pop on some twitter updates… something to try and let the blogsphere know that all is alive and well!

Well people – tomorrow i am off! Tonight i am headed to the movies with Mr A and some of his friends to watch Ironman II….

Talk to you all soon!

P.S Mr A has told me that i am NOT to make friends on this trip – i am notorious for being friendly and end up organising ‘stuff’ for us and new friends to do which (apparently) annoys Mr A… grrr – we will see how long i can go without forging a holiday friendship!

P.P.S Mr A is MOST excited about the prospect of riding an elephant… he asked me today if there was ANY way we could arrange for him to ride a tiger (bless him)! i told him that i was pretty sure that they are NOT meant to be ridden and that if he TRIED that he may get eaten… no amount of bibery would save him then!

P.P.P.S Funny other thing that Mr A asked me today? 1) Will they have ATM’s over there and 2) Will they have internet over there – again i thought: *bless*… then smacked him across the head and told him that we were NOT going to a 3rd world country and that i would hazzard a guess that even THEY (3rd world countried) have internet in the major cities these days!

Mr A Gets Promoted!

At First I didn’t actually see it this way – a promotion. It took Susi and I chatting about the situation and chuckling of at the madness of it all to realise that it is, indeed some kind of a promotion i guess!

Remember how aaaagggeeesss ago i mentioned how a male family member came to Perth to visit? Remember how I mentioned how mum has high hopes for said guy and then all hopes were dashed when both people’s personalities conflicted? Well; when he left Australia he had left some of his luggage here and had asked that we send it back to him. “We” became ‘MY’ job and my mum cut all sort of responsibility on grounds that since they had had an argument that clearly the responsibility would be mine. And so (yet again) i sucked it up and dealt with it.

I told him that I would more than happy to send his (22kg of) luggage once he had transferred me some money – I mean, didn’t get me wrong here; I have no problems sending 1, 2, 5, or even up to 10kg worth of luggage but aft3er a few quick quotes online I discovered that sending 22kg worth of luggage was hardly cheap… plus i have a house to pay for (does anyone realise that porcelain slab tiles are NOT cheap?)

So after nearly a YEAR later – yes, nearly a year the guy transfers me some money – far be it for me to tell him that since the start of financial year that the cost of sending said items would be increased. Whatever; I was just happy to have it off my hands (and not have to hear anymore about it from my mum… again and again… and again!).

Everything was organised through Discount Excess Luggage – yes it is some shameless advertising but the man was really great (for more details head to http://www.discountexcessbaggage.com.au/) and the prices were really competitive! The plan was that he would pick up said item from my mum’s place; weigh item, call me and I would give him my credit card details. What actually happened was that he went to pick up said item and mum would not take any of the paperwork from him?

The poor guy had no idea what to do – i spoke to my mum later and apparently the rationale in her mind was that as NONE of it was her responsibility that she would not take ANY of the paperwork. That this man HAD to give me the paperwork – she told the poor guy where i worked and said that he should drop it off to me!

When the guy (his name was Laurie by the way) said “you can give it to your daughter when you see her” apparently she said a few things – mum told me that she had told him that i do not always come home and that sometimes i sleep at my friends house!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I told her that she KNEW that I most definitely was not staying with a “friend” and that I am staying with my in-laws and my husband she went onto say “no – I tell him you sometimes stay with your friend; what for I make bad my daughter’s name? I not want to tell him that you won’t come home to see your mother”

I mean let’s just be serious here for a second – as IF the Caucasian man is seriously caring what I do with my life and where I am living! I mean – WHO would he gossip this ‘vital’ tid-bit of information to??? If anything, her behaviour has probably made him go “yep, I’d be living with my friend too sweetie!!!”

Anyway; although at first I was a little frustrated, annoyed and flabbergasted by her incessant denial Susi and I realised that in some twisted way she had finally acknowledged Mr A’s existence as being something more than (how she affectionately refers to him as) ‘Satan’.

And it only took us this long!

Another 3 years and he’ll be my boyfriend/fiancé!

What’s in a name? Baby Names 101

There is a point where enough is enough is ENOUGH already! Where nurses/doctors/midwives have an obligation to newborns and their future development and assimilation into society and NEED to tell parents that some things ARE NOT A NAME!

In the last few weeks I have been receiving details regarding actual childrens names that make me wonder if people are signing birth details for their children far too soon before the effects of epidural or drugs have worn off.

I mean; whatever one might want to say about Muslims, Wogs, Desi’s, brown people or ethnics at least we give our children REAL names – names that mean something; whether its religiously or culturally; they are names that stand the test of decades; passed down generation to generation.

The following names are ones that have been seen on a birth certificate in the last month!

Strawberry (apparently it’s a female name)

Butterfly (another female name – but wait her middle name is just as maddening – Indigo!!!)

Peetree-nella (yep – her first name has a hyphen in it!!!)

Virtue (hmm – I wonder if these parents are being hopeful that by calling their daughter ‘Virtue’ that she will have some?)

Kyeesha, Sharnell and Mayeelia – this ONLY works if you are from the ghetto or wish to remember your ghetto ‘ancestry’ it does NOT work when you are Caucasian and NOT from the Bronx/Ghetto! And don’t EVEN get me started on the fact that these 3 children are SIBLINGS!

Do these people not realise that whilst famous people can name their children after inanimate objects that this is primarily because they are famous and therefore have LOTS OF MONEY and therefore will not be entirely scarred for life! I mean think about it; Apple might be a pretty crap name for a child but at the end of the day that kid can say that her mum is Gwyneth Paltrow… push comes to shove she can at least hire a hit-man to pay off the bully at school!

I mean seriously – what is wrong with good old fashioned names like John, Matthew, Allan, Mohammed, Jason and Ali? Hmmm? What so absurd about Miguel, Michael or Abraham/Ibrahim – obviously nothing to a lot of people… BUT then there are others that I seriously wonder about…  Do these parents forget that their child will have this name FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE? Have they forgotten how mean/creul and unfeeling other children in the playground at school can be? These parents may think its a great ideal to call their child Danielle but then decide to spell it Daniieyle – what is UP with that?

So – any odd names that you’ve heard of lately?

Your parents = My Inlaws = My Parents

Western ideology claims that you marry a person and not their family. Ethnic/Islamic ideology states that you marry the family and the person – the reality is you DO marry the person and their family AS WELL as their extended family and the entire community they come from!

Growing up, my own father was pretty vacant in my life (they divorced when i was about 8 years old and didn’t want any access – that’s the really condensed version!) – my mum’s oldest brother was the closest thing I came to a father… and I really only saw him about twice a year (he has since passed away). So every now and again I am astounded at just how much Mr A’s dad is REALLY dad-like. In fact, in saying that I am super-lucky in how parent-like both his parents are with me. Seriously – I thank Allah that I have wonderful in-laws….

Example #1:
As per previous post; Perth went through a rather serious storm of late that meant that thousands of homes were without electricity for some time. Our house was one of them – for 2 days and 2 nights we sat by candle-light (have you tried to shave your legs by flickering candle? Well – let me tell you that it’s tricky but definitely do-able!). Our fridge and freezer had to be cleaned out; the large esky/cooler-box was brought out and filled with ice and the few items which could be salvaged.

Almost every night – winter or summer I will have a glass of cold milk before bed. Generally about half an hour before going to bed I will sit by the TV with my glass of milk. I love it – I have done this ever since I was a child regardless of where I am. If I can’t have it I crave it, I think about it and am despondent about the fact that I can’t have it. Mr A and his family make fun of my need of milk – Mr A will jokingly say that I ‘need to grow up’ whilst his mum and dad will say “oh – you’re off to bed then soon are you?” no matter what is said, I am not deterred – I will have my glass of milk; it’s a relationship that has stood the test of time!

So, when there was no electricity and I knew that almost all our stuff in the fridge/freezer was not going to keep, I knew that having my glass of milk before bed was a long shot – so imagine my joy when Mr A’s dad tells us all that (quote) “I saved the milk in the esky so it would be cold for Farah to have before she went to bed”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

🙂

Truly Mr A has a lovely family – seriously; we may not have had any
electricity to light up the house BUT I can promise you my heart was lit up by the fact that this man thought of me!

Example #2:
I like chicken – nothing odd there (stay with me – i promise i have a point!); I don’t know many people that don’t like chicken… BUT I cannot be bothered with dealing with taking (cooked) chicken off the bone. Seriously – I think this may be the only bit of proof that shows I AM an only child! Growing up my mum used to take the chicken off the bone for me when dishing up my food and then serve it to me. Even when she cooks using bits of whole chicken she makes sure there are bits of chicken that have no bone – just the meat. When I’m cooking chicken I am happy to butcher into a whole chicken carcass (so it’s not because it grosses me out or anything) but then when it’s cooked I get ‘lazy’ – I will eat the breast meat but I seem to always leave some meat on the bone. I hate chicken wings; i don’t understand the love and fascination that people seem to have with them – I think it’s a lot of work for TOO little meat – its primarily fat and skin… who wants to eat just that? Not me!

About a month-ish ago Mr A’s mum cooked a whole chicken. We all sat down to eat it – I took my serving of breast and Mr A gleefully watched as I ate the meat off the breast and then leave the rest. Mr A’s mum asked if I didn’t like the chicken – I said I was full… Mr A laughed; Mr A’s mum asked him what was so funny. Idiot-head Mr A told his parents the ‘thing’ I have over picking chicken meat off the bone. I sucked it up/held my head up high and told Mr A (and company) that we ALL have our quirks… and that if MY flaw is that I don’t do taking ALL the chicken meat off the bone well isn’t that pretty much nothing by comprison of some people’s ‘quirks’? I mean some people KILL and MURDER other people, some people fart a lot and others have sex with dead people… i mean come on!

Anyway; a week-ish ago we had a chicken dish for dinner… I could see the chicken was just pieces that had been cooked on the barbeque and had bones. To be honest I don’t cause a fuss about it; I just eat what bit of it i eat and leave the rest (i have no idea why it is such a big deal to everyone)! Mr A’s mum then pointed out one on the chicken pieces on the tray and said (while looking at me) “that one’s yours… because it’s a piece of breast without a bone!”

Seriously!
I am very lucky (alhumdulillah )!

My mum – the QUEEN of guilt!

I spoke to my mum last night. I can’t explain how gut-wrenching it is. How there is a largest part of me that is certain that what I am doing is purely a last resort… but then she gets to me. Makes me feel terrible – as though that because I am doing what she wants me to do I certainly not pleasing my mother and therefore going to hell.

Isn’t that just beyond words? Just seeing that typed there makes me feel anxious and overwhelmed. At what stage does a Muslim mother need to step off the methodology of enforcing obedience and commence some sort of acceptance?

I see Mr A and I am beyond grateful of having him in my life – of having someone who gets me and understands me. Who loves me and expects nothing more than to make me happy – how I think sometimes he doesn’t listen to me in when I natter about Islam and yet later on down the track proves me wrong by coming out with concepts of Islam. He amazes me – and yet my mum can’t accept this.

Yesterday I got some insight into mum – how she thinks that if she stays strong in her resolution to oppose this that somehow I’ll change my mind. I am shocked by things – that she thinks I would just change my mind? Like I’d just walk through the door and say “oops, I made a mistake but I’m back now and all is well” really? What kind of fantasy-land is that? She says that since she’s gone to Hajj that Allah has given her more strength. I perturbed – I don’t know what to say anymore; she’s has an uncanny knack for making doubt things – she says that one of my cousins (who I confide in) may say one thing to me but that they cannot believe I’ve done this – that to her I am appalling… and I don’t know what to say. Is my mum trying to make me second guess Fifi? Would she say that?

I hate it – I hate how when I don’t call her for a couple days I want to check up on her and make sure she’s ok. I want to touch base. But then when I do talk/listen to her I wan to get off the phone ASAP and hate how I feel afterwards. I think about how it’s been like this for years – how its not really because of Mr A. that our dysfunction has been here a looonnngg time; but she doesn’t see any of that – she doesn’t see all the times I lied saying I was on campus (at uni) when my classes were really only 4 times a week. She doesn’t see all the days off I took from work but pretended to have training days, all the times my uni days seem to stretch on for longer than they needed to be so I wouldn’t have to home til later; how I would actually purposely choose tutorials at 8.30am and then another tutorial at 4.30pm on the same day so that I would need to be on the 6.30am bus to get to campus 20 minutes before the tutorial and be home by about 7pm. She doesn’t see the countless journal entries where all I wanted was a way out. The way I wouldn’t let her pay for anything that I wanted or needed for h\fear of having hear her say “but I did this and this for you – all I ask is that you do that and that”.

But then she doesn’t see all the Arabic guys who have been interested in me but fled when they truly realised how intense my mum is. How the ones that didn’t care were nerdy idiots that could string an intelligible conversation together past “what did you have for dinner?” that my mum thought sweet and kind that I would sooner remain a spinster that marry – but because they came from a good family who cared that what they looked like or that we didn’t get along. She doesn’t see how Mr M was disappointed that he couldn’t spend time with me when I was over there and I was hoping things to progress because she stifled him by expecting him to ask for my hand then and there.

I am torn. I have no idea what to say or do for my mum anymore.

Mr A is great though – he tells me that he’s here for me; that he’ll do whatever I need him to do. That I am his princess.

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