Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I have this weird Catch-22 in my head.
Sometimes, I'm a party to conversations in Urdu. I do understand a lot of the conversations, but throw in one difficult vocabulary word or some of those "bonus words" that I have trouble with, and all of a sudden I'm completely lost. I hate this. Actually, it doesn't only happen in Urdu. Sometimes a desi friend or family member will be speaking in English and mention something that I have no idea about. If the conversation is very fast, I might not have a chance to inquire about what it was. M is a really great translator for me, and he often knows when I've missed some important part of a conversation and can clue me in, but M is not always around, either. While it's an understandable part of living a multicultural life, it can get annoying to feel like you don't know what's going on.
The reverse of this is even more difficult to explain. Sometimes people assume I DON'T know things that I do know, and THAT gets annoying too. I know, you're all like "What? Woman - pick a side!" but it's difficult to explain. (LuckyFatima does a better job of it in a post she wrote about the same thing.)
An example, perhaps: Once, the wife of a very close friend was asking about my cooking. She said that she really needed to get a daal recipe from me.
and then she cut me off "You know what Masoor daal is?" She asked, giggling.
OF COURSE I know what masoor daal is! Why are you asking me for a daal recipe if you think I have no idea that there are different kinds of daal? (LF - why is it always daal!!)
Another example: another friend of M's was visiting and talking about his family; something about his older cousin and his older cousin's wife, who he called Bhabhi. Then he told me that Bhabhi meant sister-in-law. I said "I know what Bhabhi means. I AM a Bhabhi! I married the oldest son - EVERYONE calls me Bhabhi!" He was offended by that.
I know this is inconsistent. How can I be upset when people assume I know TOO much, and also be upset when people assume I DON'T know certain things? And how the heck is anyone supposed to know what I do or do not know about desi culture? Well, I don't really know how to explain it either. I will say that the examples I gave above were all about people who should know me very well, and therefore should have know that I'd know these kind of pretty basic things.
I did meet one woman at a party for the first time once; I had been to her wedding as a guest of the groom, but she'd been too busy to do more than meet & greet. At this party, I finally got the chance to really talk to her, and I complimented her on the beautiful wedding. She said that it was actually more of a Valima function (a post-wedding celebration) and proceeded to explain what a Valima was. I wasn't upset at all because how was this girl supposed to know that I would know what a Valima is? In that kind of situation, I was actually appreciative that she would try to make sure that I was up to speed. I guess what I'm really trying to explain is that if you KNOW me, and know me well, you should not underestimate what I do know, and if you don't know me, you should not overestimate what I know. Not that you have any responsibility to me at all one way or another. Just a courtesy tip.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I'd much rather answer questions than have to come up with my own ideas! So here, goes (from Gori Girl)
What are your middle names?
My middle name was Paige before I got married, but I took M's last name and now my maiden name is my middle name. I still use all three names because I don't want my father's name to stop being used. My father is a great man who adopted me after marrying my mother, and I fought to have his name as my own throughout school, and I've always been honored to have it. M doesn't have a middle name. My son's middle name is my father's first name, which sounds pretty funny sandwiched between his very Pakistani first and last names.
How long have you been together?
We met August 2, 2002, and we married 16 months later. Our son showed up almost three years after that in 2006.
How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Uh. None? Zero? What's the appropriate answer for that? We talked for an hour one night and went on our first date the next.
Who asked whom out?
M did. Well, he actually said something like "So what are you doing tomorrow?" and I said I was seeing a movie and told him he was welcome to come with. I still say that's M. He opened the door, y'know?
How old are each of you?
34, 28 and almost two and a half (respectively.)
Whose siblings do you see the most?
M's. His has a sibling in the states, and I see the other two siblings when I travel to Pakistan. One of them is hopefully coming to America soon for his studies.
Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
I think year 3 of marriage was the hardest. All of a sudden all the things you loved about each other become the worst things ever - and you realize they're not going to go away. Probably ever. Other than that, probably having to change the oil on his motorcycle together.
Did you go to the same school?
Are you from the same home town?
Who is smarter?
M. Definitely M. And I'm pretty darn smart, so that's saying something. He's just brilliant - the smartest person I have ever met in my entire life.
Who is the most sensitive?
Me. I'm very sensitive, although M says I've made him into a softie. I think the softie inside him was just *yearning* to escape all those years.
Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Oh wait, maybe THIS is the thing that's most difficult for us as a couple! I love to eat out and M doesn't get it. Growing up, his family almost NEVER ate out. He just can't fathom why we'd spend so much more when we could eat the same thing at home for a fraction of the cost. Over the years we've learned to split the frequency/cost debate down the middle and eat at VERY cheap places so that I can get my eating out fix at a reasonable rate. (I mean VERY cheap places. Taco Bell. The Costco food court. Anita's & 5Guys for all you locals!) Once, In Karachi, we were all going to go out as a family to Pizza Hut. M was getting changed into something nice (because his brother said he had to dress nicer because we were going to a nice place - Pizza Hut!) and in the few minutes we were waiting for him, I told M's younger brother that I loved Pizza Hut because when I was growing up, my family always had a family game night where we'd play board games, eat Pizza Hut and later have ice cream. His brother was like "Pizza Hut every WEEK!" and I was so embarrassed I was like, "Oh, no, I mean, uh...uh...not EVERY week" (It totally was every week.)
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Well, I always say traveling to Pakistan doesn't count. (It's not the "travel" kind of travel, it's my life) and the only other foreign travel we've done together was Italy. So Italy.
Who has the craziest exes?
Well, I have very few "real" exes, and I don't have any contact with them. Perhaps one turned out crazy, I don't know. But M has *no* exes (at all. seriously.) so I guess me.
Who has the worst temper?
What's your poison? Are dirty looks, grudges and sarcastic digs worse than the silent treatment?
Who does the cooking?
Me. M is more of a Shan Masala guy, and can't follow a recipe to save his life. I like predictability. Plus I know most of his mom's recipes by heart now.
Who is the neat-freak?
M (in comparison, I guess. He's not really a neat "freak," he's just likes normal cleanliness, but I am terrible. I don't ever clean. Anything. I try, I swear I do, but somehow I always fail.)
Who is more stubborn?
Me. Oh yeah, me. Don't tell M I admitted this.
Who hogs the bed?
In the morning, somehow all the covers have migrated towards my side of the bed. I don't know how this happens.
Who wakes up earlier?
M. Always M. I could sleep all day. M often lets me sleep in on the weekends, too, and my boys have boy-ish Saturday mornings together.
Where was your first date?
Movie theater, seeing The Road To Perdition. We were supposed to see Signs, but he ended up being 30 minutes late. We both brought friends, and M and I talked throughout the movie, eliciting many hisses and dirty looks. I still have no idea what The Road To Perdition is about.
Who is more jealous?
Me. I'm not really very jealous, but sometimes I think M has absolutely no jealousy in him at all. He's never asked about any prior relationships I may have had. Never. I sometimes get a little jealous of his time just because he's so in demand. Seriously, it's like everyone in the world wants a piece of him and sometimes I'm last in line.
How long did it take to get serious?
Hmm. What does serious mean? We were probably "Eyes Only For Him/Her" from the first minute, 7 days later he called me his girlfriend. But marriage was never on the table until the last minute.
Who eats more?
Our son. He's a big eater. Luckily he's got his father's metabolism so he's still rail thin.
Who does the laundry?
IF the laundry gets done, we both do it. Sometimes I put a load in, sometimes the boys spend all night folding. It inevitably never gets put away and we just dress from piles of folded clothes neatly stacked on the floor for the next few weeks.
Who’s better with the computer?
M. It's what he does. But he's taught me so much that in my non-techy field I'm regarded as a computer genius. Only M and people like him know that I'm still a novice.
Who drives when you are together?
M, even though I am a MUCH better driver than he is. And we both grew up in families where our mothers drove all the time. In fact, his father has never driven a car and to this day doesn't know how to - his mother was always the driver of their VW bug. Sometimes I drive on short trips, though.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009