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?

Advertisements

Mr A meets a cousin!

Last night I spoke to Zaen – he’s one of my first cousins. We generally chat rather often but I say that in the last few months or so we haven’t chatted at all. Maybe its because we’re both busy with work or maybe its because he’s got 5 kids all under the age of 12 (where 3 are under the age of 6 – yikes), or maybe it’s all the mayhem with mum, etc – whatever; essentially we’d sorta lost touch.

Anyway the other day I thought about him and I was thinking that he’d such a snob for not calling me and really was a little overdue – so I gave him a call, left a message and called him an arrogant so and so for not calling his little cous(in).

It was a really good chat – I know mum had told me that he’d been in regular contact with her whilst she was over there (he lives in Doha; Qatar) but Zaen told me that it’s been roughly ever couple 4ish days. So imagine his surprise when he asks what I’ve been up to and I’m like “oh, well; I am in the midst of planning a wedding reception – you should come over to Australia in about October as that’s when we’re hoping to have it!”
The poor guy was shocked – he was like “how come I haven’t heard ANY of this – what is going on? Did you do all this while your mum was away?”

And so it began; I sat down and told him that naturally mum knows, that I moved out to Susi’s and then… well obviously everything. How Mr A’s parents are lovely. About him fasting with me this year – about why I suggested mum go on holiday if she didn’t want to mosque ALL together for eid. He silently listened and then said that he couldn’t believe my mum has said nothing to him about ANY of this. I told him that I seriously wasn’t surprised as I actually wasn’t allowed to mention it to anyone and not even suppose to talk to her about it as apparently I am then ‘killing her’.
He didn’t know what to say – Mr A then walked up to me and was like; “oohhh – who are you on the phone to?” when I said that it was Zaen he asked if Zaen wanted to talk to him – and so they spoke!!!

Granted it wasn’t a long conversation – just the basic salam and good to finally meet you. I am sorry that she (my mum) isn’t happy about us; but inshallah soon she will understand. Standard; please come to visit us in autralia; Mr A saying that we are building so inshallah he will be here either for our (civil) wedding and reception but if not then to come visit when we have our house; the good salam and then I got the phone returned to me!

Haha – the call ended with Zaen telling me that he is going to call me again soon – as clearly he misses TOO many events when he leaves it too long!

*sigh* One small step for man…

How to have a REAL conversation

A few days ago (3 days ago) I spoke to my mum… or should I say “spoke”. It started off with me calling her whilst on my way home from work; Mr A was driving and so I thought I’d call her to touch base – I thought I’d write about it so you can see just how beyond insane this has all become:

So I am calling her – she picks up and I say salam to her and ask if she is ok as her voice sounds tired; she was having a nap and I have awoken her. I ask her if she wants to go back to her nap and I will call her later; she declines.

She then tells me about the place she went to that day; about how she went to do the final Tawaaf to demonstrate the end of her Haj (for the people that don’t know she’s at Haj/Pilgrimage in Makah). She then tells me about what happened to her the day before yesterday and how she bought something the other day that has been forgotten in the Taxi that now she will never get back; she tells me that Insha-Allah this will be a blessing. Mum then tells me about where her and a friend of hers went to last night; what they had for dinner and how she is wondering if she could call Mr M’s mum and dad when she gets back to Jeddah and that she has decided that she will call them as they are still family even though she is less than impressed with the behaviour that Mr M demonstrated back in the day!

During this entire conversation the only thing that I am saying is actually “yes”, “uh-huh” and “yeah”. No time during this conversation does she ask about me and what on earth I am doing…. Then after a good solid 9 minutes (I know because I had checked the timer on my mobile) she asks me how my day was:

Mum: how was your day? Were you at work?

Me: yes, I was at work – my day was not too bad actually; I am just on the way home from work now –

Mum then goes on to tell me about her plans over the next couple days; a few other things that she had actually already previously told me and to make sure that the house was ok. She told me a few other things; about how my cousin had called her from Qatar (he lives in Doha) and that he had not spoken to me for some time. I can start to hear that she beginning to run out of things to say and that she’s slowing down – she reminds me how she was having a nap before I called her.

So I say to her (once I find a pause) “ok then – I suppose I’ll let you go so you can rest. Inshallah I will call you again in the next 2 days or so. Stay safe and I will talk to you then. Yes of course I love you. See you”

That’s it. That was a 22 minute call that really, lets be honest here – nothing REALLY was said. Amd that’s the way we are – that’s the way we’ve been for SO long now – i don’t even know how we got this way… what is even more frustrating is that in most cases i am NOT one to NOT talk – i’m the conversationalist – i could literally talk your pants off… ok; maybe not literally but you get my drift!

I am astounded – I find it a profoundly interestly and yet disturbing thought that my mum seems to think that this type of ‘conversing’ is fine; that she would much rather talk about nothing than mention his name; than have us have a REAL conversation. And heaven help me if i TRY to commence something that might actually help to rebuild our relationship – heck no; better to leave it broken and ailing then to create anything worth any substance!

ugh – so these are my conversations with my mum. Nothing ness – nothing real, nothing to ‘hurt’ her, nothing that will (as she puts it) “kill her” but really all we ARE doing is killing any possible chance of us getting anywhere.

Any thoughts? Because in all honesty i am at a loss as to where to go from here – and lets be honest here; i have tried and tried and TRIED many, MANY a time that in essence i too have grown tired and short of giving her EVERYTHING she wants i decided that in this – to simply not have any really conversation with her is actually the easiest thing for me to do. I can see though how much distance it creates though – especially now when i see how Mr A’s mum and i get along… but i suppose it could be worse…

It could always be worse… couldn’t it?

What’s an emergency anyway?

My mum called me today at work – she does this every once in awhile; calling on my mobile. While I lived with her I would wait until I got home and then talk to her about the fact that when I am at work I am at work and that she should only call me if it is an emergency. Since I have departed that residence I am trying to show her that though I am not physically there that our relationship will be all the better for it. So when she called me today while I was at lunch I decided to call her back – I mean, it could be something important right?

Me: Sorry I missed your call – what’s up? Is everything ok?

Mum: It was raining really heavily before….

Me: Yeah – it’s raining here too (thinking: well, we are in the same bloody state!)… Is everything ok? (trying to get to a point where I can see if this call is emergency related)

Mum: I was scared because of the big rain – I took aunty XXX home before and now I am at YY’s house… I am fasting today.

Me: So nothing major is happening right? There’s no emergency?

Mum: well, I am scared because of how heavy the rain is and I am fasting today… so come back home tonight so I’m not scared.

Me: mum, I’ve told you that unless it’s an emergency that you can’t just call me over things like this when I am at work… I’ll call you later.

And the frustration continues!

I don’t know why I bother sometimes – I mean really, I should just ignore her calls and then call her later once I have finished work because I will say that NONE of her calls made during work hours have been emergency related! But I live in fear that one of the days I totally ignore her calls there will be an emergency and I really will be the terrible daughter!

So far the rationale behind her calls made to me at work in the last few months (that I can remember) have been because of the following:

“I am bored… what are you doing?” 

“Aunty XX invited me and you to dinner – so after you come home we go to her house…” 

“You think its ok for me to cut my hair next week instead of tomorrow?” (Can I just mention at this point how maddening this question is because she wears a scarf/hijab… no one would even see if she had or had not cut her hair! This line of questioning is redundant!) 

“What time will you finish work today?” (Again this is a lame reason to call – I work Monday to Friday with the exact same working hours every day…)

“… Don’t forget to pay the bill…” (I wish!) 

“you know what happened today? I went for a walk and then -” (I generally will cut her off and ask ‘is this important?’ or ‘can this wait until I get see you tonight?’ in which case she gets all “huffy” and I get off the phone with her!) 

“I went to the shops just before and I bought the wrong thing… do you think I should return it?” 

“I am at the shopping centre and I locked keys in the car – what should I do?” (hmm – call the RAC – that’s why you’ve paid for road-side assistance). When I told her to call them you know what she said? “Can you call them for me because my mobile phone bill is too high and I just called you…” (cue: internal desire to scream) 

There are a few more instances but I cannot remember them at this point… once upon a time I was stupid, naïve, gullible innocent enough to give her my extension number at my previous employment (never again my friends! Consider it lesson learned!) to which I told her to use when there was an emergency and she needed to get in touch with me. Imagine my frustration when to her the emergency was whether or not she should get a fringe or not!!!!

A fringe!!!!

I turned on my most ‘calm before the storm’ tone and asked the following questions with utter seriousness:

Is the house on fire? (She said “no”)

Has the house flooded? (She said “no?”)

Has there been an electric fault? (She said “no”)

Did you leave the stove on or are broken down on the side of the freeway? (She said “no”)

Have we been robbed? (She said “no”)

Have you been arrested? (She said “no!”)

“Then Mum (*speaking firmly*); I love you but this is not an emergency… I will talk to you later!”

*hang up*