Friday, September 7, 2012

Tidal Wave

You might recall I was accepted into a master's degree program in late spring.  For the last few weeks it's been on the back of my mind that the semester should be starting soon.  Well, yesterday late afternoon (just after publishing my last post) the school sent me an email saying classes start next week and I should register for classes post haste.  Two classes, one Friday night and the other is on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm.  When will I see my husband?  Heck, when will I have lunch?

So, I went into a slight panic, called me husband to explain the situation, argue a bit about "losing" the $75 application fee (I swear, sometimes...), head to the church for 5:00pm confession, I'm apparently not in-the-know because not all three priests show up for that time and I missed out but did a private, silent prayerful confession in the church (good enough for me), talk to my husband again (he couldn't find a priest to confess to, either), against my better judgment head to a happy hour that my friend who organized it didn't show up to (he emailed me before so at least I had advanced warning), talked to a few people I don't really care for, drank two margaritas and ate a shrimp cocktail but the waiters kept calling it a prawn cocktail (semantics), drove to a property we own to pick up a vacuum cleaner and make sure, with ever disappearing sunlight that none of the sprinklers blew out (my husband's suggestion to check) and then went home and slept poorly.

This master's program is in town but there are online options.  In a perfect world (and I lived in that world for about three months), my husband and I would both be working here and I could take two years out of my life and finish this stupid degree I don't really want in the first place.  But, we live and work apart and my husband will very, very soon be moving into a period of working six days a week.  But that will last only about three months.  So, he was thinking that going to school might "keep me occupied."  "And we'll never see each other for three months?"  "We can meet up on Saturday nights in"  "You suggest we stay in a hotel every Saturday night???"  He could tell by my tone that this was a rhetorical question that could be answered in the negative.  No, honey, I couldn't bear to not see you.  Take the online course.  That's what I imagined he said to me.

I guess that's what being married for four years does to you.  Your husband says the wrong thing like he always has since the day you met him.  Before you'd get angry and argue about what he should have said and how he promises to think more before he speaks next time.  But now, I don't even want to fight so I just imagine he said something loving, supportive, tender, caring, yada yada. 

I'm sure the online program semester has already started and I'll have to pay another $75, maybe more to apply for that program even though it's part of the same state school system and start in Winter.  C'est la vie.  I guess what this experience is really telling me is to get off my ass and start looking for a job.  But, I did that for the last twelve months for my husband.  I need a frickin' break.  So, I can talk myself down and be upset and threaten to start smoking (even though I really can't) or hit the bottle every night.  But I know myself too well.  I'd rather be dead that be an addict or even have persistent hangovers.  I'm being dramatic, I know.  But I have lots of time to think. 

Now I should mention (I can't believe I forgot until now) that my husband is good friends (he's good friends with everybody and their brother) with the regional manager of the restaurant I visited last night.  He said, "Where's [your husband]?"  "He got a job in [that city] and living there now."  "Are you guys still together?"  OUCH  "Yes, we're still together."  Flashing my wedding and engagement ring in some sort of dorky "look at this" way.  "Oh, so you're doing the see-each-other-on-the-weekend-thing."  Is that what it's called?

I read the NY Times way too much I know but one article today threw me into another depressive state.  It's about Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and their, let's say, social attitudes about women.
Women are erratic and emotional, and they make good wives and mothers — but never leaders or rulers. That, at least, is what Osama Abou Salama, a professor of botany at Cairo University and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, told young men and women during a recent premarital counseling class.

What was striking, though, was the absence of any reaction. None of the 30 people in the class so much as winced.

“A woman,” Mr. Abou Salama said, “takes pleasure in being a follower and finds ease in obeying a husband who loves her.”
Since the Brotherhood rose to power and one of its former leaders was elected president, much of the uncertainty over its social agenda has centered on its plans for women. Will the Brotherhood try to impose a conservative dress code? Will it try to bar women from certain fields of work? Will its leaders promote segregation at schools?
But in a country where a vast majority of women already cover their hair and voluntarily separate from men in coed environments, for most people — women included — those questions are largely academic.
Mr. Abou Salama’s class makes that case. “Can you, as a woman, take a decision and handle the consequences of your decision?” he asked.
A number of women shook their heads even before Mr. Abou Salama provided his answer: “No. But men can. And God created us this way because a ship cannot have more than one captain.” 
And then,
At the group’s headquarters, in the densely populated Cairo neighborhood of Nasr City, Mr. Abou Salama walked into a spacious room where the front seats were for men and the back seats were for women. He lectured on qualities to seek in a partner, getting acquainted under parental supervision, dealing with in-laws and consummating marriage. In his social paradigm, understanding that the woman was created to be an obedient wife and mother and that the man was created to fend for his family holds the secret to a happy marriage.
“I want you to be the flower that attracts a bee to make honey, not the trash that attracts flies and dirt,” Mr. Abou Salama said as the women listened intently.
Was that just liberal, NY Times propaganda?  Should I have quit my job just as soon as my husband started his new one?  Was my job just a way to keep up solvent that whole year?  Am I harming my marriage irreparably by not living with my husband during the week?  Why don't I just give myself a break???

1 comment:

  1. Yep...give yourself a break. It does sound like he's being insensitive but maybe he's just trying to help in his own way. He knows you miss him and if you were studying...maybe you wouldn't miss him as much. I don't know if men realize...nothing can really take our minds off of the men we love and when we miss them...we can't think about anything else.