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Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Pampering
I was getting off the parkway yesterday on my way to work when my car just up and died on me. No warning, no signal, no engine hiccup. It just stopped running. And then this immense amount of white smoke started coming out from the front of my car. What did I do? I immediately turned my blinkers on and called my father. He told me to hang on tight and drove to my rescue.

I'm no good with cars. I am so car illiterate that I can't name anything other than wheels, trunk, steering wheel. Oh, and glove compartment. I am able to fix every single thing in my house; I installed a shatafa (bidet), I put my IKEA bed and closets together BY MYSELF, and I am a whiz with electronics. I serve as customer support for all my friends who need help with one thing or another, but I have no idea how to even change my tires. Quite embarrassing really.

When I got to work, one of my co-workers asked me why I didn't just call AAA. I told him that my father is AAA and that if I had called anyone else but him I wouldn't have heard the end of it when I got home. "You're such a daughter," my co-worker quipped.

And I really am. I always want my father to come to my rescue, even when I try to be hard and independent. Two years ago when I was living in Barcelona I got really sick, sicker than I've ever been. I'll never, ever forget how I felt during those days. Nerves, bad food, and stress got the best of me. While I was able to take care of myself, that phone call from my parents appeased that little girl in me that's always hated the fact that I've pushed her so far away in order to grow up.

It was really hard for me when we first moved to this country. Besides not knowing a lick of English, we were so dirt poor that we couldn't afford groceries at times. My father had to take several tests before being licensed to work as a doctor, so he made due working odd jobs here and there. At nights and during the weekends I would type up his resume and cover letter. This was pre-computer which meant that each letter had to be painstakingly perfect. Life changed for the better when we finally got a computer and the only thing I had to type up was the address. My father had a 700 page book of hospitals around the country and we wrote to every single department head.

It was a tough job for a nine year old. I was a personal assistant and a babysitter to my brother. Never complained once. As a first-born, I think it satisfied that need in me to nurture and take care of others. Which is something I've been doing my entire life.

While anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I love taking care of people, I'm tired and it's time that I be pampered.

I want someone to dala3ni. Toots and I spent a week once trying to translate that word into English. We went through "spoil", "coddle", "indulge", and a multitude other other words and none of them satisfied us. One day, at three in the morning or so, he woke up with the word "pamper" and we've been using it ever since.

I want someone to take care of ME. I want someone to do sweet things for me. I want to finally be able to sit back and know that I am being nurtured and spoiled. Haven't had that feeling in such a long time.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 8:14 PM
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Who: Carmen

Mini-Bio:
xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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