Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Little Lady Agency

I don't know how many, if any of you, have read or heard of the Hester Browne book "The Little Lady Agency." It's one of my absolute favorite books. It's a British novel about this somewhat self-conscious girl that's super organized, exquisitely mannered, and good with people when she puts her mind to it. She decides to start an agency that basically provides girlfriend/mom services to me. You know the type; organizing things, sending gifts and proper correspondence, making sure they are clothed properly, improving manners, those kind of things. She's really good at it. She's firm but nice, which is exactly what you need to be.

Apparently almost everyone that knows me thinks I should become a professional organizer. My mother is constantly telling me this but I always figured it was so I could organize her closets. ;)
Anyway, since I'm OCD about etiquette, I've been to finishing school, I have a true gift for shopping and gift purchasing, I'm not only organized but really good at organizing others, and somewhat bossy; everyone thinks I would be really good at this. My older sister is like, "just let me make you some business cards and go for it." One of my cousins says that I'm a "Black, Muslim, Mary Poppins." Hmm, okay. I knew I was organized and, admittedly, a little overly concerned with manners but I had no idea everyone viewed me as this Mary Poppins/Clarisse Rinaldi (Grandmother from Princess Diaries) type of person.

While providing these services may be a good idea, I think it's best if I leave the single men alone. Although, God knows it would be a great way to meet them. Kidding! No, everyone else might be onto something. In addition to organizing parties, I could organize lives. Food for thought.

BTW, I mentioned the book because I'm currently reading the sequel and when this conversation happened; it made me think of that book.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tag! You're It!

I've been tagged by Ruby to list my five favorite places to eat. Here goes nothing.

1. Cheesecake Factory. I absolutely love this place. They've got great food, ambiance, and they're really good with large groups. Also, they're one of the few places where I still like something on the desert menu.
2. Chipotle. Good food fast. Need I say more? Pretty much the only Mexican place I really like. I was so excited when I moved to NC and one opened a few weeks later. Really, y'all can't imagine my joy.
3. IHOP. Oh, the memories. This is my family's gathering place. We've done a lot of meeting up and catching up at IHOP. This weekend, the morning after my cousin's wedding, we all met there for breakfast. Everyone almost always gets the same thing but it doesn’t' matter. We're really not there for the food.
4. Olive Garden. Love this place, always have. I used to beg my parents to go to the Olive Garden. I like the music and I love the food. However, I will admit to some bitterness over them taking chocolate lasagna off of the menu. It was my all time favorite dessert anywhere.
5. Food Corner Kabob. OMG, they know me and my (immediate) family here. I've been eating there for as long as I can remember and every time I'm in VA I have to stop there. They have the best kabobs anywhere. You can't beat the food or the service. They give you so much food that most people (me included) have to save half for later. It's small and family owned, which is what makes it special.

Mmm, yummy. Alright, y'all. I want to hear from Haleem, Twenny-Two, Atifa, Sarah, and AKA. Thanks, y'all!

So much for my happy ending

The marine and I are dunzo. We ended it before I went away for the weekend. I'm a little sad about it but it was the right thing to do. There were quite a few things we disagreed on, he's got a bit of a temper, he rarely thinks he's wrong, and there's the whole mother thing. After our fight, we talked.......a lot. I prayed on it and I decided to end it. I mean, he doesn't think he has anything to apologize for. As far as he's concerned, he hasn't done or said anything wrong. His attitude is it was a fight and fights aren't pleasant. It just hit me; I can't spend the rest of my life with that kind of attitude. I'm actually glad we had that fight because the gloves came off. We stopped being nice and polite and that was good. The truth came out. And the truth is he thinks I'm spoiled and my family (that he hasn't even met) is pretentious. I think he can be a jerk, his mother is incredibly ill-bred, and he's a bit of a mama's boy. Obviously, this was doomed from the start. We just didn't know it.

Oh, well; you win some, you lose some. InshaAllah, I'll have better luck next time. Who knows, maybe I'll meet someone at the ICNA convention. Lord knows that's what my mother's hoping for.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Meet the Parents.......Part I (The Aftermath)

Alright y'all, he called me today. He was giving me time to "calm down." I'm sure that was for the best. Anyway, he called to apologize for her and her behavior. What follows is a transcript of our conversation.

Marine: I just wanted to apologize to you for my mom's behavior.
Me: Oh, that's fine. It's not your fault. I was just a little, I don't know, shocked I guess. I've never really been treated like that in someone's house before.
Marine: Well, she was out of line but you have to understand where she's coming from.
Me (only in my head): No I don't. She needs to get some manners.
Marine: She's always had a different type of girl in mind for me.
Me: A different type of girl?
Marine: I mean, I don't know, someone a little more modest and traditional.
Me: I see. And does she have a particular modest, traditional girl in mind.
Marine: I really don't see how that's relevant. (What?! How is that not relevant? I'll just take that as a yes.)
Me: That's not really an answer.
Marine: That's all the answer you're going to get.
Dead silence
Marine: ::heavy sigh:: Try not to take it too personally. You just represent the kind of woman she doesn't like and doesn't want for me.
Me: I beg your pardon?
Marine: See? That. You say things in this society girl tone and my mom just doesn't deal well with that. Because of how she grew up she hates society girls. With the finishing school and the sorority and they way you dress, you just represent that. She's never been part of the white glove and pearls set and she just doesn't have any use for it.
Me: I didn't throw that stuff in her face. I would never have said anything about it if she hadn't mentioned it. You told her all of that, not me.
Marine: It came up in conversation.
Me: How does that just "come up in conversation?"
Marine: She asked about you and I told her. Do you want a play by play of the conversation?
Me: You know what? The sarcasm isn't necessary. My mother didn't verbally attack you for not being a good Muslim and being a snob. Oh, I'm sorry, "high siddity."
Marine (in a tone that could freeze boiling water): Alright, you know what? It's over; I've apologized and explained her behavior. You're a big girl and you're old enough to know that not everyone has to or is going to like you. You're going to have to move past it because as far as I'm concerned, it's over and we're done discussing it.
Me (in an equally cold tone): Is that right? Well, then I guess there's nothing left to say.
Marine: Guess not.

Oh, no he did not even try to get an attitude with me. Telling me when a discussion is over. What? Who does he think he is? Oh, I am so mad right now. And what was that tone? Please, I am not scared of him. He does not want me to have to get ugly.
Y'all, I have just seen the future and it is not pretty. If we ever speak to each other again, we will have quite a bit to discuss. And don't even get me started on the other girl that's waiting in the wings. Such total crap. I'm so disgusted right now.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Meet the Parents.......Part I (Recap)

Okay so dinner was a bit of a disaster. His mother hated me on sight. She turned her mouth all up like she was sucking lemons. And she seemed to be insinuating that I was a questionable Muslim. I'll start at the beginning.

I arrived right on time bearing homemade chocolate cake and a pretty bouquet. I wore a very pretty navy blue dress and pearls (oooh, I also wore the cutest spectator pumps in ivory and navy). Pretty, tasteful, classic. It was very Ann Taylor. We'll call this mistake number one. The Marine let me in, complimented me, and took my stuff. So far so good. He tells me the men are downstairs and the ladies are in the kitchen. Cool beans. We go into the kitchen to meet his mom and sisters (I've already met one of them). His mom takes one look at me, turns her mouth up, and says, "Sweetie, you never told me she didn't cover." COW! Where does she get her nerve? There is dead silence for a minute and he just says, "Mom" with this slight tone. I just smile politely and say, "it's a pleasure to finally meet you, ma'am." She cuts me this look and he says, "She brought dessert." It was kind of random but he was trying to move past the hijab incident (she wears jilbab). One of his sister’s pops up with, "oooh, that's so nice. What did you make?" I tell her a chocolate cake with butter cream frosting. I confirm that it was indeed made from scratch and we start talking about baking. His eyes start to glaze over (standard male reaction) and his mom tells him to go on. After he leaves (abandons me), she turns to me and says, "I never would have guessed a girl like you could cook." I lightly laugh and ask, "A girl like me?" You know what her response is? "A high siddity little debutante." WTH? Do people still say "high siddity?" One of his sisters is like "Momma!" This heifer is not even remotely shamed. She says, "What, this is my house and I can speak my mind." I started to give her ill bred behind a piece of my mind but, unlike her, I have self-control.

She proceeds to tell me that her son has told her all about me and she is not impressed by my "high flown" manners or over-priced clothes. What impresses her is a modest Muslimah with a pure heart and knowledge of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Really? Did she take it there with someone she doesn't even know? I told her (preceding with "please don't that this the wrong way) she didn't know me and therefore couldn't possible know anything about my heart or my knowledge of the Qur'an and Sunnah. I also told her that she also didn't know me well enough to judge my manners and that she need not concern herself with the price of my clothes. Then I neatly changed the subject and asked her if she'd like my help with dinner. Unsurprisingly, she declined.

Sometime after that, while I was coming back from the bathroom, I overheard two of his sisters talking about me. One of his Muslim sisters talking to his non-Muslim sister and telling her that she didn't know what (other than my looks) her brother saw in me. She said, "I mean she's nice enough but what's he doing to do with some prissy little sorority girl from the city?" ::sigh:: These people. At least his non-Muslim sister likes me. She told her to grow up and get over it. I'm not sure what she meant but she went on to tell her that I was a perfectly nice girl and they should all give me a break.

Things continued to be tense during dinner. His father was friendly and polite, asking me about my life and goals for the future. That's when The Marine's mother chimes in with how her son told her I was trying to break into event planning. She says, "That doesn't strike you as a little frivolous?" His father told her that there was nothing wrong with a young lady being a little frivolous. She then says that she considers it shameful that I have no higher goals than "throwing over priced parties for a living" but I'm not interested in staying home with my children. Oh, no she didn't. Y'all can't begin to imagine how shocked I was that he told her that but I kept a polite expression on my (very red) face. I told her I couldn't imagine how that was her concern and I didn't plan on discussing it with her. And on it went. She asked a million questions about my family and upbringing, all the while making little comments or noises. We made it to dessert without any bloodshed and everyone loved my cake. His mom even unbent enough to tell me it "wasn't bad."

Like I said earlier, total disaster. My sole consolation is that they enjoyed the cake. I can honestly say that never seeing his mother again would be too soon. She was a total witch and she has the manners of a troll. I don't care what her issues are; her behavior was completely uncalled for. At least she had the decency to wash my cake plate and give it back. Otherwise I would have had to explain to my mother why she could forget about it.

Naturally, I'm not too sure where this leaves us (the Marine and I) but I'm not really expecting to hear from him tomorrow and it doesn't bother me. I'm not crazy about the fact that he's (in my opinion) over shared with her, just a touch. Whatever. I'm tired so I'm going to bed.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Real Men Don't Crush

This one's for you, Atifa!

Awhile back, during college, I was teasing a guy friend about having a crush on another friend. He denied it and then proceeded to tell me that "men don't have crushes. That is a silly female affliction." Apparently, men get the hots for women, they have a thing for them, they like them, and they're interested in them. They never, ever have crushes unless they're gay. Maybe not even then. After I got over my shock (and laughter), it kind of made sense. I mean, when you have a crush, you're all giggly and stuff. I don't really see a man acting like that. On the other hand, having a crush is really just liking someone so even if you don't say the word aren't the feelings are the same? Hmmm, food for thought. I guess the jury's still out on this one. What do y'all think, do real men crush?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Time Flies

I can't believe it's been a year since I started blogging. Before I started blogging, I thought it was kind of silly and self-involved. Now, I can't imagine not blogging. I have gotten to know a ton of fabulous people through this blog and I look forward to getting to know many more. Everyday I'm amazed by how many people read this blog and actually care about what happens. I expected less than five readers; I never would have imagined so many people would be interested in my personal life. I guess I was wrong because not only are y'all interested, you clamor for more.

Thanks for an awesome year! I look forward to another one.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Meet the Parents.......Part I

OMG, OMG, OMG! I'm meeting his parents this weekend! Oh, my goodness. I'm pretty nervous. I hope they like me. They probably will, most parents do. Anyway, the invitation totally came out of the blue. There I was, trying to cajole him into coming to this art thing and all of a sudden he invites me to his parents place. Apparently, the entire family has dinner together once a month. This month, I'm invited. Now I've just got to figure out what I'm wearing. Obviously, I'm wearing a dress. The question is, which one?

Alright, y'all, wish me luck!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

This could have been ugly

Me, the Marine, his sister (the non-Muslim one), and her boyfriend spent the day at the park. We were all off from work and she called and invited me. Nice of her, don't you think? Anyway, this particular park has a riding trail which we were able to take full advantage of thanks to her boyfriend. His family owns a ranch. We pair off into couples and before long, the sister and her boyfriend have gotten kind of far ahead of us. I am not what you would call an accomplished rider so we hung back. It was nice........until the horse threw me. Yep, I was thrown to the ground by a stupid animal. Something must have startled her because one minute the Marine and I were chatting/flirting and the next, the horse was rearing back. He's an excellent rider so he grabbed the reins and tried to stop the horse but it was too late. I'm not that good of a rider and I couldn't hold on. I hit the ground hard. In like two seconds he was off of his horse, containing mine, and checking on me. He made sure nothing was broken and fussed over me while I sniffled and tried not to cry (it hurt). Y'all know he carries a handkerchief. Naturally, it's of the crisp, white variety.

Anyway, there was no help to be had so he had to maneuver poor bruised and battered me and both horses. He did really well. He asked me if I thought I could sit my horse alone and I was like, "I don't know." Climbing onto the horse was definitely out of the question so he lifted me onto his, gathered my horse’s reins, swung up behind me and led us out of there.

I'm pretty bruised and sore but other than that, I'm good to go. The Marine was really sweet, he even called tonight to see how I was feeling. His sister called too, she told me that her boyfriend felt bad because it was his horse. Apparently she's usually very tame but she's never left the ranch before. Great.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Buck Stops Here

Okay people, we're done. It's over. There is no more Anonymous posting on my blog. Not only is it confusing trying to figure out who said what, I also find it kind of rude. Recently I have been somewhat taken to task over things. I don't have a problem with this; I believe in free speech. However, this is my blog and you'll play by my rules. If you have something to say, by all means say it but don't think to hide behind a mask of anonymity because I'm not having it.

I hope I haven't offended anyone because I do value your readership but I don't care for all of this anonymous shenanigans.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Kentucky Derby Test

As y'all may or may not know, the Kentucky Derby was this weekend. While, obviously, I didn't go; one of the Marine's CO's (commanding officer) had a Derby party at his house (gorgeous estate home) and we went. It was a test, plain and simple. The same test men always give; can you fit into my life? Please. Honey, I'm a Southern almost-Debutante, I can fit in anywhere. I showed up at the party looking like a million dollars. I wore a pink dress with a little cardigan over it, cute shoes, and the coup de grace; a fantastic hat (pink wide brim with feathers). And, yes, I wore my hijab. I tied it in a chignon at the nape of my neck. I looked fabulous.

Not only did the Marine have compliment after compliment for me, but everyone else did too. His CO's wife told me how much she loved my hat and I was a "darling' little thing." I danced with her husband twice. He's actually pretty charming. He thought I was the "prettiest little thing." Another wife commented on how good I was with the crowd. She said this was obviously my thing and that she wished she was better at it. I told her all she's got to do is fake it till she makes it. Then I started taking her around introducing her to people.

I'm sure most of them were expecting some mealy mouthed, socially inept, walking ten paces behind her man, stereotype of a Muslim woman. Never going to happen. I didn't hang on the Marine; he actually had to seek me out a couple of times for introductions. I was all things charming, polite, and gracious. I don't think there was anyone I didn't speak to at least once. Of course, I love all things social so I was in my element. As a result, I passed my test with flying colors. He says to me, "You were great tonight. I think you charmed everyone." I asked if I charmed him and he said "since the day we met." He wasn't sure I would enjoy myself because I didn't know anyone and it was mostly Marines and their significant others. Silly man. I just smiled and told him I love meeting new people, besides, after an hour together you're no longer strangers. He laughed but there was definitely relief in his eyes. It's basically like, can she handle this or is she going to make things difficult? I can handle it and now he knows so if we don't work out, it won't be because I can't fit into his life.