Tuesday, August 18, 2009

American Woman

So, we have some neighbors that moved in the same day we did. But, we're really good at being anti-social so we still hadn't met them after living here for three months. That all ended yesterday.

Will was outside mowing the lawn and our neighbor, Abrahim, came over and introduced himself. Abrahim is apparently an officer in the Saudi Army. He and his wife have a son about Liam's age, whom Liam now loves because they gave him a water gun and invited him over to play (Funny story: Liam came in to tell me that he had a new friend next door and asked if he could go over to play. I wasn't aware that Will and Abrahim were chatting it up at this point, so I told Liam no, that I needed to meet his parents first. Liam replied, "Mom, Heavenly Father wants us to make new friends.")

Anyway, Will came in and told me that Abrahim wanted me to get together with his wife sometime and "exchange recipes." Umm, alright. So I filed it in the back of my mind under "Things I'll never actually do because it's outside of my comfort zone."

About an hour later I took some garbage outside. As I'm walking back into the house I hear, "You! Come!" It's Abrahim. I mentally prepare myself to be told to get off the lawn, you filthy, filthy whore.

So, I walk over. He extends his hand, so I put mine out as well. He sort of shakes it, barely touching it, like I'm a leper with syphilis and herpes. Awesome. Then he introduces himself and says that my husband told him I don't work (Thanks, Will!). I say yes, that's correct. He then informs me that I will go and have tea with his wife. He tells me I will go today. I told him that A. I don't drink tea, and B. There's no possible way I can go today, but I can get together with her Wednesday. Then he demands to know what time. Because he can't be home when I come. So, I say 1:00. He says that's acceptable. Then he informs me that I will teach her about American culture and food and cooking and help her with her English.

All I keep thinking is how this man has chosen the wrong American Woman to teach his wife about our culture. I'm pretty sure rebellious feminist Mormon housewife (who swims in pools with men!) isn't what he had in mind.

And I know I've mentioned that I'm a total culturist. My culture=good. Any culture that is different than my own=bad, and should immediately adopt my way of thinking and doing. Me hanging at Abrahim's house with his oppressed wife is a recipe for certain disaster.

So, if you happen to hear on the news that a Georgia woman was murdered for bringing shame to the Saudi family next door, it's probably me.

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