Archive | February, 2013

Smile to Fadeness

27 Feb

This month had been a mix of stress and surprises and love and hope. To start with, it seemed like the several IRS forms I had to file had sucked out all peace of mind. Then, I had visa issues going back to Saudi and due to that, my flight had to be pushed back four more days. Where it has been putting my parents through mountains of stress, it has kept me calm, excited about the few more days I get to have with my boyfriend. For the past couple of weeks, we overdosed on each other’s company. The only time we spent apart was when he had work. We accompanied each other everywhere else. I didn’t mind. Poor decision making right there – we have made it extremely hard for each other to go back to our lives without each other, even though his mother warned us we should start trying to adjust already.

Us kids. Want to absorb the moment, need to grab it and make it so we can remember it. Irresponsible, but had to respond to feelings which made rationality negligible. Happens, eh? That’s what Valentine’s Day was. We were happy, exchanging gifts like there is no end to us, like just few days ago we hadn’t broken down to pieces heartbroken as to what is to come.

Now, I move back in with the aunt I had run away from last year. While she cannot wait for me to live with her for the few days, she is already reminding me why I do not want to be around her. But my only consolation is that I’ll be just 5 minutes away from J’s work so I can easily go see him, spend a few hours out with him and his family. And my mind is already racing with all the excuses I have to come up with. But shopping, friend’s birthday, bank stuff, and even collecting mail should work. None of which I want to do with her. She already has blackmailed/guilt-trip me into money I owe her for a parking ticket she got in my absence. All I know is that woman should just not get behind the wheel. I cannot drive, and I am okay with it. Public transport jobs exist for a reason, darn it.

But anyways, the school is not going to give me a decision until around April, which has been another source of stress. One, should I dump away all the winter clothes because I will not need them, or should I put them in storage because I will need them when back? Should me and J go to just friends or should we make it through a few months apart from each other? Should I go to Emirates and get that job, or stay and work temporarily in Saudi Arabia until I fly back here?

So many sources of frustration. So, technically the admission decision is also going to decide the fate of my relationship with J. Heartbreaks suck. So much. Getting over, moving on, diverting emotions. Always a hassle. I had forgotten. From cheesy-annoying to bury-me-now-awkward has got to be the worst. Going from “babyyyy!!!” to “what’s up?” and “love you” to “later” never seem fair either. It is going to hurt. If it doesn’t hurt one, the one hurting feels horrible. So, there is no escape. A must-go-through phase, where my mind keeps praying and hoping we do not have to, and this goodbye is actually just me going on vacation.

Only time will tell. In the mean time, I brace myself for 6 days of murder-suicide thoughts living with my aunt again.


You Need A Man Who Is…

8 Feb

I skyped with my parents back home yesterday. I wanted to discuss school a little more with them, when my mother did her thing again: “you’re going to just grow old studying; people are already asking me when I’m going to get my daughters married.”

Yes. My best friend from childhood is getting married next month, and that seems to be all that is on my mother’s mind. I flipped. I hate this conversation because it is so irrational and it leaves me yelling back at her and her in tears, eventually. So, I hate it.

To which, my sister commented if mother wants us to settle for something less than we deserve, stopping ourselves from becoming less than our potential. I discussed this drama with another friend, and putting my current relationship in context, too. He does know me far too well, and when he says what kind of man I need, he could not be more right.

I am stubborn. I am bossy. If things do not go my way, which I normally believe to be the right way, I get restless and I start to feel dangerous urges in my fists and my teeth. I have a perception of how a man should be, and if he is like that, I will respect him, and accept his decisions to be right.

So to say, my friend pointed out I’d be at most ease with a powerful man. Someone among the expert in his field. Someone intelligent, someone decisive. Someone who I would not think little of, someone with high moral and virtue. Someone there would be no need to control when it comes to what he is doing with his life. For that, he has to be at least 26. I guess that is the age you can predict what path a man is down, what his plans are for his life. And of course, for me to find him decently attractive as well. I would need that to think marriage, and I would need that to worry less about him, and focus on nurturing my own goals, our relationship, and our family.

But for a man like that, I have to go on to become my full potential. I have to grow up in number, too. I cannot be 23 and think I will meet someone like that. It’s not fair I dated J and subtly brushed off whenever he said he wants to marry me, and he can’t wait for me to be his wife? Not really. He is 21, and I think he is fine where he is for his age. He expresses what he wants to do, and I am happy cuz he shows potential to be more in a few years. Yeah, if I wait till he is 26, I’ll be 28. But that is where age becomes just a number. Also, that is so far away, and with the unsure near future I have no idea if we will ever be back together again.

So basically, to stop my mother from continuing her failed attempts to finding a husband for me, I need to tell her the kind of man I someday want will not come from the milestones I have already reached. Three more great milestones before I become the kind of woman I’d want to marry, if I were a man.

Numzie’s Kitchen: Pasta Numzato

6 Feb

So I had quite a productive day. I mailed out my passport, I did a lot of grocery shopping and it cost me only $10. I can’t thank Aldi enough for existing. I cleaned some of my apartment and did two loads of laundry. And then I wanted to cook, and I just made the best pasta I have tasted in recent times.


This is the final product. I wanted to do something a little different than just boiling pasta and adding frozen vegetables and hot sauce. I went on to make a tomato sauce – I am not quite sure where the recipe came to mind but I did it.

I chopped up a quarter of sweet red pepper, baby carrots, and grape tomatoes. I took another handful of tomatoes I had, put them in some vegetable oil, added salt and pepper and put them on the stove to cook. Stirring occassionally, I added spoonful of water every time it felt like it’s getting dry, and kept stirring.

Then in another pot, I made the pasta like I was supposed to. When the water was allmost all gone and the pasta looked good to go, I added hot sauce, and then the tomato sauce I made, and stirred till the nice orange-red colour was prominent. And when I tasted it, I was the happiest girl in the world. It was delicious. It tasted like Italian food made under Middle East cuisine.

My boyfriend wants to try it tomorrow, but I am pretty sure he’s going to complain about the vegetables and only half appreciating it – and having potato chips right after. Nevertheless, adding corn to the sauce is going to be my only modification, in addition to figuring out how to makebm two servings instead of one. So far, I don’t think this can be cooled and heated, so I recommend [look at me with my free expert chef advice] just cooking it fresh. It won’t take more than 20 minutes.

Tax Drama, Dad Drama.

5 Feb

Taxes = Frustration.

For one, I had to read several different articles and publications to correctly determine my residency status, and then to figure out exactly which form to file. Once that was figured out, I realized I was exempt from social security and medicare taxes. And, my ex-employer refused to issue the refund, so I had to fill out several more forms to get the refund from the IRS. So hence, I still have not been able to mail out my passport for the exit-entry form, and then also managed to get into a so-if-i-do-get-into-school argument with my dad. Most of it was generated from his disapproval of me finding legit ways to stay here, and actually discouraging me when he had always encouraged me to pursue anything I wanted to.

I get the whole thing is still an IFbut there is no harm in actually planning that road while I am planning out how to travel on the option he has laid out for me. I remember the one interview I had with an employer in Dubai, and he asked if I am pursuing Dubai because of my parents’ wishes? And, if not, why am I not looking into countries outside of the Middle East? That question was such a slap in the face. I mean, I have friends I would love to see on a regular basis if I do get employed and move there, but I know I was dissolving myself to wanting what they wanted for me.

Where I have been provided with several opportunities to break the code and travel alone for educational purposes, I have still been restricted in what I can and cannot want. I still sense my dad’s disapproval, which he isn’t even hesitating to conceal. For the first time, he actually said, “you said it yourself admission is tough, so why count on it?”

It’s like they are choosing Dubai for me because my brother will be right there, and I will have someone to watch over me. Why? Because my childhood best friend served her one year of work outside of school and is now getting married? And now they want me on the same path so other than my father and brother, there is a male figure in the form of a husband there to watch over me?

I don’t know how many breaths of relief my parents will breathe when my admission application does get denied – probably several and do a little dance while my dream comes crashing down and only the options they presented to me will be valid. It’s not like what they are presenting are easier – it’s just something I am not completely sure of. It is just something I will fall into.

It’s true I guess, that I shouldn’t be arguing right now about this anyway with him because it will all just be a waste of effort. But, a lot of things I was supposed to do will change. Like, I will not have to close my bank account, I will not have to take everything back or donate away some of my stuff, I will not have to worry I will never see my friends again, I won’t have to undergo the “You don’t know the market yet. You are too young for the job. Are you doing this to please your parents or it’s something you are passionate about?” comments of Middle Eastern employers.

I will tell you what I am passionate about. If I do not get in this year, I will try again next year. In the mean time, my dad probably will have to support me – because I can play the cultural norm back, too. Where, I cannot be forced to work or be means of any financial support because I am not required to. My only obligation in my religion when it comes to career and education is to pursue education, to pursue it as furthest as I could. I will give the world just that.

My boyfriend asked me last night, if I do get into school, will I come back to him? I think – well, okay, I KNOW – just how blunt I can be. I told him things will have to be different if we are to take our relationship any further. Not just things, just changes he has to be determined to make. And I came off wrong. I had tried encouraging in the past and got a flat no, so I laid clear that a next step would require a lot of commitment, which well, time and fate will decide. For now, I am partially emotionally shut and coming off cold and calculating when I should be just the opposite.


Checklist To What, Exactly?

4 Feb

1. Resigned from my job.

2. Farewell tour to Michigan done.

I am relieved yet disappointed. Everything moved too fast in the past few days. On the other hand, I am also impatient to complete my tax return but my university is delaying so much in providing me with the access code to their software, it’s becoming a nail biter if I’ll actually get the money in time before I leave.

Seeing my girls was fun this weekend. Saying goodbye sucked. The consolation with how they will jet-ski all the way to Dubai and somehow get me back here or hide me in their apartments made the goodbye a little less painful than it had started. Took enough pictures, too.

I also need to send my passport to get stamped for approval to enter Saudi Arabia again, and I have to keep fingers crossed that I actually get it back in time. Knowing how lazy Saudis are, I am nervous about that.

Then, again, I am still waiting on UIC for their admission decision. Which is taking forever. But, I am taking that as a good thing at the same time. If they wanted to reject me, I would have heard the decision sooner. Maybe, I have made it past several short-listings and survived. And if there is anything that will save me, it is my personal essay and my college grades. My GMAT score was so bad I wanted to dig up a grave for myself. I blame the excess amount of overtime I dedicated to work. I am not complaining – the few extra bucks made little luxuries possible.

Getting in to UIC will change things so dramatically. There will be added paperwork and I will probably end up staying in Saudi with my parents till I move back here. The Dubai lifestyle would be out of the question – at least for the next few years. But if there anything I want, it’s getting into UIC now.

So well, there came a Greek woman into work my last few days there. She was apparently a psychic reader and my other friend was helping her and she started doing mini readings for  her and my manager. I was just on the other end of the store colouring away lyrics I was writing down – retail can get boring when it gets slow. So well, she was pretty much right about them in who they are – which even I could assume through first glances at anyone. So I was back there pretty much rolling my eyes and them saying OMG you are so right!!”, until my co-worker brought her to my end of the store, saw me, and asked the gypsy to say something about me because I am leaving them all. In my head, I was like, tell me everything I want to hear to be true about me.

So she asked, and I told her well, I have to go back because my work permit is expiring and I am waiting on the decision if I am getting into school again. And she said, I am not going anywhere, and the school will get back to me in a week or two and I’m in. That was nice to hear. It’s something I wished for so much, for so long. But she did not stop there. She said I will find a guy, be with him, and I will stay here – and she “sees” that guy having a lot of money. That was a little something I did not want to hear. I mean, she knew. I had told her I am going back to Saudi Arabia – so relating Arabs and money is pretty damn easy. They always have a lot of money. So she was pretty obvious in that knowing we are programmed to probably only date broke men, but marry a man with decent money to support a family. So, that is a fail comment.

So, I practically refuse to believe her. I have walked into enough self-proclaimed psychic readers, and heard enough people say she was really good. However, one of my other friends was greatly impressed by everyone’s stories about her and went to see her. And came back more than happy. Apparently, I had popped up in her reading as someone who cares a lot about her and is always advising her to get out of her emotionally abusive relationship. And told her stuff about her hearing about a promotion soon, and eventually meeting an older guy and having a daughter like she always wanted, too.

All too sweet. All too good to be true? Well, I mention because just today my friend tells me the bosses are talking to her about a promotion and moving her to a different location. She is all so excited. That was quick. With the several people who got fired in the past couple of weeks, it was like everybody was hanging by a thread.

What does that leave me as? It reminds me of all my friends who would tell me I will get in, I have nothing to worry about, I second-guess myself too much, I underestimate myself too much. So, in that sense, something inside me is starting to hope the gypsy was right. I have had enough of soothsayers, but I take it as a consolation from strangers – such as my customers too telling me little things to boost my self-esteem. So, I will continue to refuse to believe her as someone who really can see the future.

And then, on a totally different note, something unexpected happened. Out of the blue. And it has sort of put me on another level, mostly confused asking myself “huh? what? why?” And the whole trip to Michigan sort of disrupted things with me and my boyfriend, where a lot of disapproval and judgement was passed back and forth. And arguments are arising out of nowhere between us. Trying to hold on, barely, now. We two had a little talk, where he asked if I am all out of my past, and if my feelings are for him only. I said yes, and then he asked me to look at him and say yes. And all I told him looking into his eyes was that I love him. I know I love him. But I realize I never directly answered his question either. And that scares me. I know I don’t like to lie, I know I avoid it as much as I can. I am blunt sometimes with the truth, or I answer without addressing the real question – like I did with him. I have known for quite some time this is all we will ever be and there will never be anything more – unless he changes everything about him except the good person he is. Have I crossed the preparation stage to completion when it came to moving on? It scares me that I really don’t know. He always joked pretending to be a controlling and demanding boyfriend, which well, sometimes really got me mad because well, I felt helpless in trying to fight back. I hate the helpless feeling where I am not the one setting the rules. So, overall those jokes seemed to have accumulated in my head somehow. And it acts as an obstacle when I try to trust he is being funny. I am losing my ability to see it as funny, and that’s scary. So, here I am, trying to dedicate all my waking energy to convince myself I am being true to him. Or, at least, if anything, to put everything that makes me question us away in a box.

Afterall, it will be only 26 days before I can start being completely honest with myself. Honest in a manner I would hate myself for.