Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Emotional Leg Warmers

When my husband travels overseas for months at a time for work, I go through a roller-coaster of emotions. I usually start out numb for a few days and then I'm fine. But after a few weeks, I start to get depressed. And I usually feel it coming on ahead of time. It will manifest itself at first in anxiety attacks, complete with tightened chest muscles, short breath, and red, itchy blotches across my chest and up my neck. Then, as I force myself to maintain composure and control, for the sake of my kids, I start to internalize the stress and I begin to cry over stupid things like So You Think You Can Dance choreography and realizing we're out of milk when I've already poured myself coffee. I oversleep a lot during this phase and my kids end up missing a few days of school. Also, I will sometimes realize that it has been a few days since I've showered. Usually, my oldest daughter will walk up and sniff my hair and say, "Eww. Hair stinks. Gonna  puke."

Way to all of a sudden get verbal there, Kid.

Anyway, so yesterday I recognized where I was in my cyclical depression and as I tried to pull off my leg warmers, I realized something else. It's not 1984 and I don't own leg warmers! So I decided, "That's enough of that!" and grabbed a razor and hit the shower.

It's amazing how much better I feel. I got up in time to take my kids to school today. (They didn't actually attend though because the power is out and won't be back until next week.) And I have lamb chops marinating in the fridge and just sent one of the boys out to buy me a head of lettuce. I took my younger daughter to buy the yarn she needs for home economics. I'm only two loads away from catching up the laundry. So, things are looking up. And if it would just rain, I'd be a smiling, happy person again. (I love the rain.) 

And maybe, just maybe, I'll make fresh buttermilk biscuits with cheese and fried eggs for the kids for supper tonight before they go to bed. And we'll read aloud on my bed like we used to do when they were younger and I won't miss my husband and my son so much and I'll be able to sleep without waking up all groggy and blue again....for a while. But it's a cycle that I go through every couple of months while he's gone and I recognize that it's just a part of me. 

Monday, October 29, 2012


I got this flash of genius about Labels around 1 in the morning while laying in bed trying to solve all of the world's problems instead of sleeping. Damn insomnia! Anyway, with Randa asleep next to me (because it's HER bed when her father is working overseas) I can't flip the light on and start rummaging through nightstand drawers searching for pen and paper to write down my brilliant epiphanies. So I grabbed my phone and used the recorder app. God bless technology. I hadn't even known that thing was on there until my kids, who are not allowed to even touch my phone, found it and began making really bad attempts at gangster rap. *face palm* 

Here are my thoughts:    LABELS.

They're what people use to define us. Sometimes they're what we use to define ourselves. And those labels with which we define ourselves are not necessarily the ones that others would use to define us. This is true in any kind of label. It doesn't have to be a good word or a bad word or whatever. We sometimes find ourselves in a position where others are defining us in a manner with which we do not agree, specifically, when people only see our outward appearances. My family is American. But when we live in the United States we are labeled as "Foreigners" because we are bilingual. We speak Arabic as well as English. We're Muslim. And because of our appearance (my daughters and I wear the hijab and cover our hair and wear modest, loose-fitting clothes in public) a lot of times in Texas, and other states too, people cannot look beyond our clothing. Immediately, we're "Foreigners." We're "Ragheads." We've been told "Go back to your own country" when we're in fact, already IN our own country. Every one of my children was born in the United States. My ancestors go back about 200 years of mostly Irish-American roots. My husband was born Egyptian, lived in Greece from 15 years old until he was 28 and after he and I married there, he came to the United States where he was naturalized. So, pretty much, we're an American family with very long roots that span several different continents and the labels that others have for us are not things by which we define ourselves.

The name of my original blog was "Square Peg in a Round Hole." And how does that fit me? Perfectly. Where you're trying to force yourself to fit into a society where you just don't fit. Being a family, inter-racial, inter-color?, international?....however you want to look at it.....couple with children, we don't fit anywhere.
In the States, we're viewed as "the Foreigners," "the Muslims," "the Terrorists," "the Weirdos who are always overdressed" no matter where we go. We have those, not necessarily prejudiced, labels applied to us in the United States.

We've lived in Egypt now for 11 years. And here we're also labeled. We still don't fit into the package people want to shove us into. We're "the Americans," "the Foreigners," "the could you leave America to come here?" or the reverse "How can your country bomb all of these innocent people?" It's all just more labeling. Here, at least, most people understand that Ahmed Q. Public is not writing foreign policy for his government. So in Egypt, people tend to be more forgiving of your countries actions with which they disagree. In the US, people forget that people are separate entities from the governments that represent them sometimes.

But the point is, we don't fit the labels of any place where we live. I'm very strict with my kids. I'm a lot stricter with my kids than my Egyptian counterparts are with theirs. In the States, I'm stricter in some aspects and laxer in others seemingly. I guess we have different parenting styles. I know my mom thinks that I'm raising my kids wrong. I guess. I don't know. But the things that we prioritize are different than those she  prioritized while I was growing up. We don't fit into a particular mold. Where my sarcasm and sharp-tongued wit is acceptable in the States. In Egypt, it's less acceptable. They think I talk "weirdly." I mean, they laugh and think I'm generally a funny person. I get comments to that affect all of the time. But self-deprecation is not something that people "get" or appreciate as much and it catches them off guard.
   "How are the kids doing?"
"They're I guess they're just fine."

That kind of a retort is considered scandalous. But we come from two different types of cultures. And where I am so adaptable in so many cultures, I still stick out like a sore thumb. In the States, I've been labeled as "leaving my American heritage" because I've chosen to conform to Islam on some points that I've come to agree with more than the things I was raised with. Not everything....but some things. The manners here are different than they are in the States. There are so many things culturally different....and so many things that are exactly the same.

I fit well here because of my Southern background. The Southern part of me is very generous. We're very good hosts to our guests. We offer refreshment immediately to our guests and come to aid those around us and we get to know our neighbors. And that's very much how it is here in the Arab world. It's like Southern-hospitality meets Lawrence of Arabia. Respect for elders is a huge part of society here like it was the way I was brought up.

Some of the things that I now find unimportant, things I've adapted to in Islamic/Egyptian culture leave some of my American family members at a loss. Like thanking everyone for every damn thing they've ever done for you in their entire lives, I don't think that's important. I would rather God thank me for those things on Judgement Day. I also don't want my kids to accept money for helping anybody with anything. Like if they were to babysit their cousins or to look after a neighbor's pets or plants while the neighbor is away, they're not to accept money for that unless there was an agreement in place for that ahead of time. Monetary rewards for being a good neighbor seems counterproductive to me. You're just a hired hand and no longer a good neighbor. You do this and you will be paid by God, in blessings. If you accept the offered cash, you've been paid and the blessings offer is no longer on the table. In Islamic culture the same is true of a verbalized thank you. When one thanks you for doing something, the customary reply in Arabic is " There is no thanks needed for duty." Because it is one's duty to assist his neighbors and no thanks should be required.

I want my kids to learn that not everything needs to be paid for. They have learned that. I have witnessed this in action. They've noticed their aunt struggling with groceries from the car to the house and without any prompting from me or anyone else, immediately go to her aid. My kids immediately offer to help neighbors or relatives by carrying heavy packages, groceries, or hold doors open because they know that that is what makes them good neighbors; good Muslims. They're very polite. They see that something needs to be done and do it. Okay, they're still not helping me with the dishes or whatever, because they're still teenagers for crying out loud. But if there is broken glass on the steps of our building, they'll not think twice about getting a broom and dustpan to clean it up before someone gets hurt. My two older boys climbed up on the roof of the bakery next door to us and cleaned up all of the trash and junk that neighbors had tossed on top of it from their windows or balconies over the last few years. It took them and a neighbor boy 4 hours to get the job done. And instead of thanking them, the neighbors all told them, "May God shine His light on you."

These are their expressions of love; their expressions of respect. And they don't expect payment. They don't want payment or tips. They don't want thank yous. They understand the appreciation is there, just as their appreciation is there for things that we do for them. They know that. And they know that if they're not thanked in this world, that in the Next World, they will be. That's the difference in the way that we're raising our kids. We trying to teach them also to respect each other.

We're having a hell of a time attempting to get that through to them right now. Respecting one another and respect for me are both pretty much out the window at this point. I'm only missing one in my teenage spectrum right now. Aiman will be 12 in January but because he's the youngest and prone to early-starts in everything developmental, he's already begun the "put upon" drama and teenage angst early. This is only because he's already witnessed it 4 times over in his older brothers and sisters. So, a houseful of five teenagers, I'm losing my marbles. My oldest is only 17 so I have a couple more years of all of them being teenagers at the same time. Oh yeah...back to labels...which, "teenagers" is just another label, isn't it? But with all of the hormonal crap I have to  put up with on a daily basis, I think it's appropriate.

So, labels. My son and I had a long discussion about the N-word recently. To him, it's something that he hears in video games like G.T.A. (the bane of my existence that I've deleted from our computer at least 3 times), and in gangster rap. He hears it used by 50-cent, by Ice Cube, by Snoop Dogg and others. To him it is nothing more than a word used by cool guys. I've tried my very best to influence him with original hip-hop from the early 80's, where rap was more about self-promotion and pride and not about keeping others down with the use of the N-word, "bitches," and "hoes." He likes that stuff, but still seems to be drawn closer to the  "clippin' N's with my 9" kind of lyrics. His response to my continued efforts to break the use of these words is always, "It's just the song. It doesn't mean anything."

Well, YES. It actually DOES mean something. The degradation of words like the n-word, is used to hold people down; to dehumanize. It was a term applied to people who were given a status one step above that of an animal. It indicates stupidity, ignorance, laziness, less than human. And it was meant to make our black brothers and sisters to feel inadequate and powerless. That is the history behind the word. It's a word that we hear the younger generations use interchangeably with "dawg," "brother," "homeboy" now. Maybe they're too young to remember the insult attached to it. I don't know. But I don't like it.

A similar comparison can be made to words like "bitch" and "ho." The degradation of these words is used to hold women down; to slander them; to make them feel like their sole purpose in life is for the sexual gratification of men. They are terms applied to women, usually by men who do not respect them. Or by other women, who seemingly don't respect themselves. While I agree that we've come to associate the meaning of the word "bitch" to someone who is crabby and complains all the time, this ultimately is NOT what it means. Bitch is a female dog....which means what? Pretty much the same as whore. Since dogs don't mate for life and tend to mate with anything anatomically opposite when they're in heat, wouldn't that be an appropriate definition? And when my son gets mad and calls his sister a bitch, isn't that true definition of what he's insulting her with?

I've explained to him that according to his religion, what he is saying is 100% haram, wrong. In Islam, we are ALL equal in the eyes of God and no man is better than another save for ANYTHING other than his deen, religion....AND HOW HE PRACTICES IT. Also, in the Quran, women have the same value as men. (Oh, yeah....far different than what many people in the West believe.) Women, just like men, have rights and responsibilities. And there is an entire book of the Quran called "the Women ( النساء ). Throughout the Quran and in the Ahadeeth or sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) the sin of sullying a woman's name or spreading untrue slander about her is a sin punishable in this life AND in the hereafter:

Al-Noor 24: 23 reads as:
Those who slander against chaste, innocent, believing women shall indeed be cursed in this world as well as the hereafter. For them shall be a grievous punishment.
Al-Noor 24: 4 - 5 reads as:
Those who slander against chaste women and then do not produce four eye witnesses, shall be awarded with eighty lashes and their testimony shall never be accepted after this. These are the [true] transgressors, except those who [sincerely] repent after this and correct themselves, for, then, God is indeed forgiving, merciful. 
(**These texts are from a source I fully respect, Understanding Islam. You can see it here: )

Anyway, I didn't start writing this piece to proselytize. I'm merely pointing out how I explained to my son the wrongness behind the use of these words. I also tried to explain to him by examples he might get since he's a boy whiter than mayo on Wonder bread. Because he isn't black or a girl and imagining just leads to all kinds of tangent conversations because that is how ADHD works. (Trust me. I know THAT first hand, too.)

I tried it this way:

     "Ismail, you know how when we lived in Texas those four months and the people across the street would let their kids play with you until they saw Randa and me come outside in our scarves?"

     "Yeah. That was weird the way their grandmother came out and ran them all back into the house and shut the door and they weren't allowed outside anymore after that. Why'd she do that?"

     "I heard what she was saying. She told the kids to come inside because we were terrorists."

     "But she was speaking Spanish."

     "I speak Spanish, too, son."

     "But why would she say that? We're not terrorists. We don't blow up planes."

    "I know. But a lot of people associate the word terrorist with Arab or Muslim. And so they think we're bad people because a lot of people want the world to think that about all Arabs and Muslims."

     "But we're American."

     "It doesn't matter where someone is from, what religion they are, what color they are, whether they are boy or girl, fat or thin, young or old, rich or poor. Labels are not a good thing to put on others and they are definitely not something we should judge others by."

     "So what does that have to do with gangster rap?"

     "Well, I think that you're missing the point of some of the lyrics. The underlying meaning of SOME of those raps have more to do with a situation or background that you cannot relate to because whether you were born in downtown Augusta, Georgia or not, you are NOT from the hood and you've lived an incredibly sheltered life. I am not certain why some rap artists find it necessary to use degrading words to define themselves and their family or friends and women in their lives. But I do know that the use of those words has done so much more harm than good. And I want you to stop using them. They're not cool words. They are 1,000 different types of inappropriate. Do you understand?"

     "Yes, ma'am."

Has it stopped it completely? Well, come on. He's a teenager. So, no. But he has agreed to work on it and I'm trying to stop dropping F-bombs. No reason to just blame THAT on my Irish label either, right?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

18 Years Ago Today

He saw me first, only I didn't know it. He was on a date. I was dancing with my best friend from the Seychelles. Mostly foreigners hung out at this club. I was dancing my face off when I felt someone touch my butt. I turned around and slapped the drunk Greek guy standing behind me. That's when I noticed him. He was tall and dark and handsome, wearing a leather jacket and his hair was pulled back in the "cool guy" ponytail that was the rage at the time. He smiled at me. The date gave me the hairy eyeball. I turned my back and returned to my dancing.

A few months later we were introduced by a mutual friend at a sandwich shop in Athens. We talked for a few minutes. He asked me for my number. I asked him why he wanted it. He said maybe we could meet for coffee sometime. I had a rule then to never date guys who were prettier than I am. I'd have to fight him for the mirror. So I said no.

Over the next year, I continued to run into him at various places around the city. And he always asked me out and I always refused. Then one night at a reggae club in Omonia, I showed up and he was already there with other friends. He kept waving me over so that he could tell me something. And he never said anything except a phone number; over and over and over every few minutes over the course of the next 3 or 4 hours. When I finally left that night, I'd memorized it.

Three weeks later, I talked to my friend, Vivi about it. And she asked me the number and then dialed it. I talked to him and I agreed to meet him at a garden cafeteria next door to my office. That coffee turned into souvlaki sandwiches on the beach in Glyfada and then the rest of our lives. We've been together ever since.

We were married not long after that. He turned me into a baby factory. After the birth of our 5th child we were reminiscing about how we met so long ago and he said, "You really didn't know?"

Apparently not.

"It was me that pushed you in the behind with my foot that first night."



Unless I'm working out, I abhor it. And due to my Irish genes, I am doomed to yellowed armpit stains on any white shirts worn for longer than 2 hours on a hot day. What? It's not all Irish people? Just me? Huh. Imagine that. And all this time I thought it was the "sweaty booze trait" handed down for generations. Silly me. I digress.

Anyway, I have now entered the perimenopausal phase of my life. And that's just a fancy-pants way of saying HOT FLASHES, MOOD SWINGS and NIGHT SWEATS........or total laundry HELL since I'm changing my shirts about 3 or 4 times a day now even while sitting in front of a fan.

I read on a blog about the other 33 symptoms I may encounter...Oh Crap. KILL ME NOW. Really? Bad breath? I need THAT on top of the aforementioned and dryness in all parts south of the face, which now if microscopic oil wells were to be built on it would solve the American dependency on Middle East Oil.

I know. I'm an idiot for moving to Egypt, right? The seasonal calendar consists of 2 months of rain and 10 months of H-O-T! And although we are in a desert area (near the coast) it's humid as hell all of the time. Egypt is a plethora of contradictory weather terms. Personally, I blame the Nile because it's running up instead of down. Whatever.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Secrets of the STANDER

Conversation of the Day:


     "Yes, Honey?"

"What hurts worse? Having a truck run over your ankle or giving birth?"

     "Giving birth."

"Yeah. That's what I figured. Know what?"

     "What's that?"

"I think girls can stand more pain than boys can."

     "Really? That's not what you usually say."

"Well, you know that I'm a 'stander,' right?"

     "Son, NO ONE says 'stander.' Everyone else on the planet just says 'I have a high threshold of pain."

"Whatever. Yesterday, Samiya took the lid off of the teapot with her bare fingers and set it on the counter so that she could pour her tea and she forgot to put the lid back on the pot. So I picked it up to put it back on and it was so hot it burned my fingers and I threw it across the kitchen. Samiya is a better 'stander' than I am."

     "Again. NO ONE says 'stander.' In fact, I don't even think that's a real word."



"Don't tell Samiya that I said that."

Monday, October 15, 2012


The candles are lit and I'm showered, perfumed and all dolled up. There is "don't-let-the-kids-hear-us-through-these-paper-thin-walls" music  playing softly from the stereo on the dresser. He comes in surprised and then the clothes begin to come off. Everything is perfect...and then he turns toward the nightstand and
blows out the candles.

"Why'd you blow out the candles?"
    "It's better in the dark. What if the kids come in?"

"That's why I told you to lock the door."

     "Oh. Too late now."

And so the evening proceeds but in a much more mechanical and obligatory way, with me wondering in the back of my mind why he doesn't want to see me naked anymore.

I am well aware that my curves that once attracted him are now a little lumpier...okay, a lot. And the fact that he was blessed with this metabolism that still burns at 46 like it did when he was 19 is not helping in the "Honey, I understand" department. And maybe I shouldn't have eaten those 10-pound seafood and crab submarine sandwiches with everything and bulgoki for dessert while I was pregnant with the first child so many years ago. But five kids later, I am still the same hot and sexy and funny and intelligent woman that he married. More so pun intended.

And I know that I still turn him on and that I am the woman of his dreams. I know from the way he looks at me across the room while I'm doing something mundane like folding another 6 tons of laundry and how he'll hold my hand when we're sitting on the couch watching movies together and how he goes out of his way to fix things for me in the kitchen to make my life easier.

And maybe he has other reasons for not wanting the lights on when we're alone in each others arms. Maybe he doesn't want me to see how thin he's gotten or how gray he's become or how much muscle mass has been lost since we first did this so many years ago. Being "MAN" sometimes causes him to swallow those feelings and insecurities and they won't be shared with me for fear that I will see him in a smaller, less manly way.

I know that I'm an amazing woman whether I'm tipping the scales at the 200-lb mark or whether I've managed to stick to my exercise program and portioning restrictions at meal times. I know that I am not defined by the size of my pants or by a number on a scale. But I still have those days when my shirt clings just a little too tightly around the middle or my inseam rips while climbing up the steps of the city bus and then my usually strong self-confidence is shot to hell in a New York minute. And if I am trying to make up for those feelings of self-loathe and fantasies of liposuction that I know we can't afford by making myself sexy for him, then can't he just suck it up and close his eyes and let me just pretend that he wants to make love to me with the lights on?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's Official...He's Out of the Nest

I took a ton of  photos on my digital camera of the boy and his brothers and sisters before he left for the U.S. to live with his father. And apparently my purse is not a safe  hiding  place for my camera anymore. Randa found it, reviewed the photos, and then DELETED EVERY SINGLE ONE before I could download them onto the computer.


So, I will have to wait for him to download the ones I took with HIS camera once he settle into his new digs with his father. I am missing him a lot. But I'm also strangely comforted by the fact that his father's mood should go nowhere but up now that he's got his son with him. (He gets depressed when he's working abroad because he's so far away from us.) Also, I think that the two of them may develop a much closer relationship since they have to rely on each other now. This is good.

But I still miss him and it is going to take me some time to remember to only buy 4 packages of cookies when I'm on my way home from running errands instead of 5. But I guess that's okay. I know that this is what our family needs for now. And so I'll continue, begrudgingly at first. Acceptance is sometimes hard for us moms. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Eau de Butt Funk

Have you ever been in a crowded place waiting, like a hospital or bank, and all of a sudden been keenly aware of a pungent odor that sort of turns your stomach but you can't find the smelly source?

In the United States, you don't run into that many people who smell bad. Americans have been convinced/brainwashed/conned into bathing everyday, wearing deodorant, putting on cologne, wearing their clothes only for brief amounts of time before washing to the degree that unless you are 5'3" and stuck on a crowded subway next to the guy who just finished a double-header basketball game holding onto the safety handle above his head, you probably aren't going to run into anyone who truly stinks.

In the rest of the world, people don't usually change clothes as frequently as we do in the US. In the Middle East for example, we wear pajamas or sweats in the house all the time and only wear our "going out clothes" when we actually go out. And if you wear them for only an hour or two, it's a waste of water, soap, electricity and time to wash them unless you've spilled something on them or you've gotten really sweaty. I've lived in Egypt for 11 years now, and when in Rome....

So, as a woman who wears hijab, I usually go out in a pair of pants and a t-shirt but cover with a loose-fitting overdress called an abaya and then wear a scarf on my head. Over the last 2 years, with all of the errands I've been running, I've managed to tear the crap out of 2 different abayas and I'm down to my last two. One is dark blue with burgundy trim and it's lightweight but it's also 100% some kind of  polyester and I hate wearing it because the sleeves stick to me. The other is black with beige and burgundy and gold and while it's heavier fabric (some kind of rayon blend,) I'm actually not as hot in it as I am in the blue one. Sooo, because I'm wearing a cotton t-shirt for maximum sweat absorption, I can usually wear my abaya for at least 3 days before washing it. Also, I'm still American enough that I still shower everyday and wear deodorant and all that so it's not as gross as it sounds.

Two days ago, I put on the black abaya fresh off the clothesline and went out to pick up a few things. I was gone all of 20 minutes. When I got home, I hung it up on the hook on my bedroom door for easy access for the next time I needed to go out. Yesterday, I wore it again for an extremely long outing from 8am until around 2pm. This outing required a lot of public transportation, walking around in heavy traffic areas and whether the calendar says AUTUMN or not, here it's still pretty hot. The last place on our list was the dentist's office and it was air-conditioned and I cooled off and had a nice rest in the waiting area and since it was just a short walk from there to our apartment, I was comfortable and seemingly dry by the time we got home.

Now due to all of this running about, I've been kind of behind in my duties at home. I'm grateful the 4 teens and tweens that stayed at home all day didn't kill one another or break anything so I sort of blew off the fact that they'd been walking around the dirty pile of clothes waiting to be shoved into the washer next. So I threw them in the washer and fell asleep.

This morning I remembered that I needed desperately to go to the bank. Only when I awoke from my nap I had totally forgotten that my blue abaya was in the washer and had sat all night wadded up and wet in the machine so I had to re-run the load. I, it's only been one day plus 20 minutes in the other abaya. How bad could it be? I did a  "sniff-test" on the scarf and it smelled okay, so I threw it on, "scarfed up," tied up my tennis shoes and hustled on over to the bank.

So I got my number out of the "hurry up and wait till we call you" machine and found an empty seat. They were on number 50 and I was number 66. I pulled out my recent purchase; a yellowed old copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickins that is so old that it doesn't even have a copyright date in it. I started to read and by page 2, the smell of hairy butt sweat hit me. I gave the woman sitting next to me the stink-eye.
"Gross. Really? That's like middle school boy smell....Why would she smell like that?" I asked myself.

I looked around me. There was a man who had what looked like dry cement stains on his clothes. It had to be him. But when his number was called and he walked past, all I could smell was cheap cologne. Not even cheap cologne covering sweat...just cheap cologne. I went back to my book. I finished the third page and turned to page four. "Ball funk!" I thought to myself. "That's what I'm smelling! Man alive! What is that?"
I noticed the door to the bathroom down the hall was open and figured maybe that's where it was coming from. I sniffed my scarf but it smelled like shampoo from this morning's shower.

I looked at my sleeve and noticed what looked like white paint had brushed onto it when I walked past. But I hadn't bumped into any white walls at all so far. I couldn't focus on my book. I closed it and put in into my purse. I tried to zip it closed but realized I was sitting on the strap. As I maneuvered to pull it out from under my leg without accidentally breaking the strap, the smell I'd been trying to pinpoint punched me right in the face. I put my sleeve to my face and breathed in. "OH. DEAR. GOD. It's ME!! I smell like hairy gorilla ass! WHY??!"

"Now serving customer number 66 at window 5."

I did my business and raced home to take another shower and burn the abaya. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nearly Time to Fly....OH GOD!

Stomach....knotted up
                                          He leaves in just 2 days
                                          He is the same age I was
                                          What the hell were my parents thinking?

I know it's for the best
I know his future is there and not here
It doesn't make it hurt any less
This emptying nest shit is for the birds.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Today Is 123-Friday!

In honor of my 123rd post on Squarer Pegs, Rounder Holes, I thought I'd mix it up a little bit and just write about all of the little blurb-y type things as they pop into my head. How is that different from my usual postings? Well, ordinarily I would have to scrunch up my eyebrows a bit and squint my eyes and focus really hard to stay relative-ish to the one subject. And what is the relevance of the 123rd posting? I like simplicity, counting, and while the number 123 is NOT a prime number, it does consist of the first 3 prime digits and so I like that. I like math. And I do hate round numbers so much, unless it's a string of zeros on the left of a decimal point as it relates to a check made payable to me.

Justin Bieber-  Really?! I mean, yeah, I come from the generation that brought us the likes of Milli Vanilli, Nu Shooz, and Tiffany.....but they didn't walk into glass walls and doors and then threaten to walk off of an interview set. Dude! Your following will ALWAYS be 12 year old girls. Game over.

American Football- I don't follow it anymore. Living in Egypt has sort of ruined sports for me since I don't give a crap about Al-Ahly soccer team OR Zumalek soccer team. I've heard people talking about NFL teams that weren't even in existence when I left the US back in 2001. So if your refs are on strike or suck now....I'd like to be concerned, but just can't be bothered. My apologies.

I attended high school (first 3 years) in Stuttgart, Germany and right now as I type this there is an all-year alumni/faculty reunion going on IN STUTTGART in conjunction with the Stuttgarter/Canstaadt festival and some of my friends are there now, reliving memories in our old school, football field, and stomping grounds and I am SOOO jealous that I couldn't be there with them. Hope you guys all have a great time. Go Stallions! Class of 1986 RULES!

Mosquitoes- I frickin' hate them. Especially those little tiny beige almost invisible ones that you can't ever kill until after they've drained at least 2 pints of blood from your fingertips, ears, toes, and legs! And then when you finally do, they explode with YOUR blood splattering all over the walls, curtains, and your skin where you've smacked 'em.

Why do we always run out of garbage bags when there is old food in the back of the fridge that needs to be thrown out? And then you leave it in the fridge because this inevitably happens at night and if you leave it on the counter as a reminder to throw it out, your whole kitchen stinks. But then you forget that it's in the fridge and needs to be thrown out and you don't find it again until you're ...that's right!....out of garbage bags again. Oh. And as long as I'm on the refrigerator  path, could you please...someone, anyone?....tell me what is the friggin' direct correlation between every member of my family and the top shelf of the refrigerator??? I use the top shelf for tall or "careful this is spillable" things or large things that won't fit on any other shelves. My kids (and sometimes my husband) will place the following things on the top shelf:  1 egg, a tiny dessert dish with 1/2 Tablespoon of fava beans, anything that requires use of the crisper drawer (because the crisper drawer is where they apparently hide things that they don't want to share with each other,) and the empty milk container. *sigh*

Word of Advice:  Never accidentally drop the f-bomb in front of your autistic teenager, because while MOST of her verbal skills are learned from movies and tv and books, the shit you DON'T want her to say in front of her grandmother to reinforce your shitty parenting skills, is EXACTLY what will enter (full time) into her vocabulary. *Score one more on my parental WIN card.*

Pinterest is AWESOME/DEVIL- I've now managed to complete 10 items from all the thousands of pinned items on my boards. Hey. That's not so bad considering we don't have craft stores or American conveniences here like chocolate chips, instant-ANYTHING (except coffee) or cool stuff like double-sided sticky tape or stencils. The entire DIY-concept is new to Egypt.

In a conversation on Facebook with my sister, MJ, last week, I decided that my list of favorite words included:  diphthong, bracket, penultimate, frivolous, superfluous, and sublime. My list, of course, is not limited to these. She prefers crapulence, kerfuffle, hornswaggle and canoodle.

I love my family...I want to build a garden-butterfly sanctuary in my backyard one day. Can someone tell me why leg hair after 40 is less frequently in need of shaving but some single damn chin WIRE because it's too coarse to be hair continues to pop out ever week or so no matter how often you pull the f***er out?! Will health insurance cover operations that shave bunions off your feet using lasers so it can be done outpatient? And why can't Rush Limbaugh just frickin' overdose already or spontaneously explode into little tiny piles of Rush-lets that only spew minute bits of bullshit at a time and are all polarized so that they can never be in the same place at the same time like tiny magnets? I think the movie "Idiocracy" should be run as a public service announcement to get intelligent people to do their civic duty and repopulate the planet with more intelligent life and stop waiting so damn long to have kids. You're NEVER going to be better "financially prepared" for kids. They will just suck MORE money out of you if you have more of it. Poor people know this. Just have them.

And I'll leave you with one last irrelevant thought:  Kids who are wearing their very last pair of hole-free jeans three weeks before payday will ALWAYS be able to find a tree to climb and "slide out" of it hooking the ass of their pants on that single spot of tree trunk that ISN'T smooth and rip a hole in the back. Murphy's Law? Yes. Me and Murph go way back.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Just Sharing ....

Okay, my friend, Leslie, tipped me off to this and OHMIGOD! It's hilarious.
So, I thought I'd share this dope jam as a shout out to all my soccer-moms and dads fans!

Check it out:

Love this!