Train Them by Example

September 29, 2008

So I was putting away laundry and my oldest two are nearby playing.  They’ve got those little Lego people out and are playing  a game where they are conducting marriage negotiations.  The exchange went something like this:

FLDaughter:  “Okay, you bring him and we have to see if he is suitable to marry her.”

(FLSon walks up a little man and faces the prospective in-laws) 

FLDaughter, now in character:  “What will you feed her?”

FLSon, also in character: “Umm, chicken, and steak, and tacos, and cake for dessert, and salad, and sometimes go out to dinner, and broccoli, and bread..”

Daughter: “Where will she live?”

Son: “I will buy her a nice house.”

Daughter:  “You will pay for her clothes?”

Son:  “Yes.”

Daughter: “And fix things that break?”

Son: “Yes.”

Daughter:  “Now, what will she do for you?”

Son: “Carry water from the river.”

Daughter:  “That’s not enough.”

Son: “And, wash the dishes and clean the kitchen.”

Daughter:  “That’s not enough.”

Son: “And, do the laundry and iron my clothes, and do the shopping, and put away my socks, and run the errands…”

Daughter (very solemnly): “Ok, you may marry her.”

This little game, while very amusing to watch, also brought home to me again that children are deeply impacted by the relationship their parents have.  It was so sweet that my son feels that it is a man’s role to provide for his family, and equally gratifying that my daughter believes that a wife should work hard to contribute. 

Not to mention that listening to their little game made folding and putting away the laundry less tedious yesterday.

The Rug Doctor is the TRUTH!

September 24, 2008

It works!It really gets the dirt out of the carpet.  Here is someone else’s review, I’m too lazy to type one out:  http://www0.epinions.com/hmgd-review-3D18-DEC3E0C-3936D7AB-prod1I do not even want to tell you about the dark grey, murky water that came off my steps yesterday.

Oh, I guess I just did.

I need to rent it again and do my minivan.

Not a Martian

September 18, 2008

It's not like you're dating Marvin

It

Over at Monica Mingo’s blog, Tiffany in Houston expressed a trepidation about dating white, followed by a statement that she would like to communicate with someone who knew  how it felt and got over it.

I will admit that it does seem odd to me to be so nervous about dating a white man that it would stop you from actually doing it.  It just seems silly.

But I have issues and hangups that I know would seem ridiculous to people who don’t have them.  And saying “oh it over it, already!” may not be terribly effective.

This conversation was taking place in one of those chat-box thingies so I couldn’t be verbose.  But I can type as much as I please (and have time for) over here.

My first bit of advice:  Like Kenya’s dad in Something New said, “The boy’s not a Martian, he’s just white!”  In other words, don’t make it a bigger deal than it has to be.  Yes, he’s white, and that’s different.  But you aren’t talking about dating an alien and in most cases, you’re not even talking about dating a man from another country. 

You will have some differences which may or may not be attributable to ethnicity, but you most likely will share generational as well as cultural similarities, simply from growing up in the same country.  That being said, you are dating someone from a different sub-cultural group.  Any intercultural relationship benefits from clear communication and a willingness to consider a viewpoint other than your own.  (Actually every relationship MUST have this but an “interracial” relationship adds another dimension.)

When I was about to marry my husband, my father told me to remember that we were from different cultures.  “Not just race,” he said. “Remember that there is also the culture of the family.”  That was helpful advice.  Don’t assume that the way you do things is a default that he should know and accommodate, or vice versa.

When we were newly wed and organizing our apartment, my husband came to me one day and said, “Foreverloyal, I need this shirt ironed.”  I told him that the ironing board and iron were hanging up in the hall closet.  He was asking me to iron the shirt, and assumed that I would be handling all ironing duty, because that’s what his mom did growing up.  I assumed he was simply asking for the location of the ironing board, because in my house my dad ironed his own clothing. 

I think he thought I was being sarcastic, but we cleared it up quickly.  We’ve come to an arrangement that works.  I do all the ironing but he does a fair amount of cooking.  Works for me, neither one of our dads cooked.

I didn’t mean to go into this long digression, afterall the subject was dating and not marriage, but you get my point.

I would say treat anyone with the respect and openmindedness that you would hope to receive, and that would set you up for success.  And remember, the man’s not a martian.  He’s just white.

And of course I don’t have all the presents bought and wrapped.

Masha’allah.

I’m going to have fun going thru the closets and garage and pulling out all the decorations though.  Maybe this year I’ll even post pics.

“Mommy can I have this?”

“Why does she get that, I want one too!”

*Me continually putting things back on the shelf that the littlest children keep putting in the cart

“I want one too, it’s not fair!”

“Please can I take the baby out? She’s sad.  I don’t want her to cry! I’ll watch her!” *two minutes later engrossed in children’s furniture while the baby wanders around the corner*

*Other toddler takes off running to the vacuum cleaner section

Sometimes I feel like the old woman who lives in a shoe, for real.

Are you following Shaytan?

September 6, 2008

“Whoever doesn’t have a sheikh, the Shaytan is his sheikh….” 

It’s an interesting little saying.  It has been thrown out to those who do not have a scholar/sheikh from whom they get all their knowledge about what is right and wrong in islam.  It seems to be used in an effort to get people to shut their brains off and find someone to follow, and quick! 

There’s just one teeny little problem with it.  Following this logic, we would have to conclude that the Prophet, prior to receiving revelation, was following shaytan.  All the people who came to islam by reading the Qur’an and its (people’s best attempts at) translations? Following shaytan.  If they die two months after their shahada, without finding a sheikh? Well, they were following Shaytan all that time, right?  And we know what happens to people who do that.

Even if you want to find a scholar sheikh to follow, how do you choose someone to follow?  What force is operating in your life while you are making your decision?  If this saying is true, then you guessed it:  the one who has led you to your guide is none other than the Shaytan.

Doesn’t seem right to me.

Happy Ramadhan!

September 5, 2008

Have a blessed month, and don’t forget, get some protein at suhoor!

Never bought more than two pair of shoes at a time ever in life before.