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.


Rosashe said...

Awwww dearie, I am so sorry to hear about this :( I have encountered people like this woman all my life, but none of them were as bad as her, gosh, does she have any manners??? May be you should have given her a lesson in the sunnah of being kind and polite to your guests!!! I will beg you only not to judge the Marine by his mothers mannersim (or lack of it). Not everyone is blessed with parents we are proud of.

AKA said...

I am just so utterly speechless...

I've heard stories of the wicked mother-in-law but this is over the top (I was going to say "this takes the cake" but didn't know if you'd laugh or be irritated...either way I've said it now and hope you'll get a small smile out of it for the corny joke I was attempting?).

I guess now it depends on what the Marine says. If he's said so much to his mom then I'm sure they are close. Hopefully he's a man that thinks on his own and doesn't hide behind his family. I would have thought that if this was his mother's reaction, he would have seen this coming..?!

Haleem said...

Oh no.. I am so sorry to hear this.. women like her will ruin her son's life is concentrating on superficial Islam like an abayah and not care about the real Islam like the actual Islam like the heart and character of a spouse. I could go on and on because I just have had a parallel experience with her mother as well (you know my story).

Parents. *sigh*

'liya said...

Aww I'm sorry to hear it went that way :(

I also think don't take this to judge him by how his mom acts, but look at how he acts afterwards. Did he apologize for her actions or did he brush them off? Is he acting like a man or does his mom "rule" over him. The way he acts will tell you a lot about him and how he would treat his future wife.

And I suggest that you just ignore the fact that he "abandoned" you when you first met her, that's what my fiance did when I met his mom (who didn't like me either because nobody is good enough for her precious little boy) and I didn't talk to him for a day afterwards because you know we think they should be there to support us right? No. They want to see how you can handle the mother on your own. Do you stand up for yourself or do you break down. You obviously were able to stand up for yourself in a way that made it seem like you had perfect manners - you were the better person in the situation and it's always good to take that role because it tells a lot about your character and how you can handle the things that are thrown your way.

singlemuslimah said...

Rosashe: No, she clearly doesn't have any manners. I'm not judging him by his mother's behavior. However, I will be judging him on his behavior after the incident.

AKA: Okay, the "takes the cake" joke was corny but funny. Thanks. They are close, obviously closer than I thought, so we'll see. Lord knows I don't know why he wouldn't have warned me that she might have a problem with the fact that I only wear hijab.

Haleem: "Parents." Exactly. Hopefully things will turn around for both of us.

Liya: You can trust that I will be looking at his behavior after this incident. The abandonment bit was my small attempt at humor. I think I handled her pretty well and God knows I behaved better.

TwennyTwo said...

Assalamu Alaikum,

Ohhhh NOOO!!!!

Awww maaaan! Booo. There's always got to be someone (or someTHING) throwing rocks in your road. Boo.

I'm sorry to hear his mother reacted so. I wish we (as Muslims) wouldn't take it upon ourselves to create more divisions than the ones we already need to heal.

Now. I know it was incredibly rude of her, but honey, the picture you painted of some screw-mouthed muniqabah jilbabed older lady callin' you high siddity was HILARIOUS. Hi-larious. That's a word my mama uses, and you know we're country as all git-out. I guess you must've looked right nice.

And, um, now I'm all confused- I thought you are muhejebah? not that it's my business, was she picking on you for not covering at all or for your degree and/or style of coverage? And, as long as you were modestly dressed, does it matter?!

I bet the Marine has had /will have a good ole time finding anyone to put up with that. The minute she met you? Good grief, sounds like maybe she was going out of her way to see if you will 'stick'.

Yeah, let me (from my comfy armchair) give her her 70 and say that that was just a test to see if the mama will let go of her baby boy.

Laugh, sis, and move on from sour folks. I know I do. Thanks for the story!


Searching for the Skinny Me said...

That sucks!! WOW! I cannot even fathom being that rude to a guest in MY HOUSE! umm.. how did she raise someone so charming..

I have a mother in law who doesnt speak to me ( doesnt hate, just doesnt know me!) Sometimes when I read stuff like this.. I think wow I am lucky I guess..

Searching for the Skinny Me said...

ok i forgot to add that I am so glad u kept up your dignity and remained calm. Kudos to you!

Searching for the Skinny Me said...

ok i forgot to add that I am so glad u kept up your dignity and remained calm. Kudos to you!

Atifa said...

Wow, subhanallah. Now that’s a bad story, but good blog post. :/ See there is a bright side to everything. I agree with Rosashe, the mother totally needs a Islam 101 for Muslim etiquette towards guests.

Also, call me suspicious, but I think there is something lurking in the background that you don’t know about. I know some ladies can be rude, but this was really extreme. I don’t think this might have anything to do with you, per say. I’m wondering if the mom already has someone in mind for her son. Either someone he didn’t want to marry or someone she wanted and missed her chance with. Or maybe you’re the first gal he’s brought home…Normal people don’t behave like that. I also think the dad taking your side, kind of validates my suspicion.

As far as he is concerned, I dunno. I’ve never thought it wise to head into a relationship where the parents don’t like you. I mean even if he’s wonderful, etc etc that means you having to deal with her your entire life. Not to mention that he has the responsibility of caring for them in their old age. Remember his janna is at her feet, not matter what she does or how she’s like to you. He’ll always have an obligation to her…a serious obligation that transcends this life. We marry families; I dun think you’ll ever be able to get away from her.

The only thing that has me scratching my head is why did you go alone? Why did they invite just you and not your family? The only reason I’m asking because if your mom was there, she couldn’t have attacked you like that. It’s easy to attach someone who is at her kids level, but someone at her own level openly, that almost never happens.

singlemuslimah said...

TT: I'm glad you're amused, girl. It is kind of funny when I step outside the situation. You should have seen this woman. And I did indeed look "right nice." That being said, I am muhejebah. Her problem is with how I wear hijab and, of course, my lack of proper knowledge of the Qur'an and Sunnah. And let's not forget my impure heart. We certainly wouldn't want to leave that out.

Skinny: Remaining calm definitely took effort but I'm glad I did it. As to how she raised someone so charming, your guess is as good as mine.

Atifa: I just found out that there is something lurking in the background so you are spot on with your suspicions. We do marry families and now my family is like "cut and run." Her attitude is definitely something to think about because, like you said, I'll have to deal with her until she dies. And they say evil lives forever (j/k). I went alone because they only invited me. I agree, she never would have gone after my mother like that. If she had even insinuated something my mom would have been on her in a NY minute.

rubytuesdays said...

Its a credit to you as well as your mother and the upbringing you have been fortunate to receive that you were calm, polite, well mannered and well bred. Its unfortunate if his family isn't as well mannered or well bred (quite frankly their manners are all sorts of horrific) but good for you for being who you are! As for "high siddity"....someone get me a calendar, who SAYS that in this day and age???

MuSLiMa FlOwEr said...

Salam 3alaykom sweety. Im so sorry to hear that. Im in the process of getting engaged and its so hard because my family isnt that great to him. Actually they are very rude. I wont get into details but I`l let you know one thing. Dont judge a man by his family because thats one thing he doesnt have control over. If you can judge him about anything its how he is towards you and how he treats you after you met his family. I know i would be devastated if my fiance changed because of how my family is.... Inshallah god sends you the right man.