free stats Carmen's Web: They're all the same. They're just all the same.
Monday, May 15, 2006
They're all the same. They're just all the same.
Last Friday, one of my closest friends had a pre-opening for his new bar/lounge. I was very excited for him. He bought the place out and spent the past three weeks renovating it from top to bottom with the help of his cousins. I invited the boyfriend to come with me, but he didn't want to go. He'd had a bad day at work and was feeling very lousy. I told him that I'd forego going as well and suggested that we hang out. He sounded, however, like he wanted to be alone, so I gave him his space. He apologized for being grouchy and suggested we go out for a drive in the morning.

After we hung up with each other I looked at the time. It was early. It was Friday night. My friend was opening a bar. I decided to get dressed and go.

His bar looked fabulous. And I was very proud of the work he did on it. When I arrived, I hung out with him a little bit then with the rest of my friends as he was running around trying to manage the place. At one point the boyfriend's brother and best friend walk into the place. I say hello to them and they start to complain about the boyfriend being boring; that I should've dragged him out. We laugh a little about it and they go to the bar to start drinking.

And then the merengue came on. The one thing you need to know about me, more than ANYTHING else, is that I only feel alive when I'm dancing merengue or bachata. In another post I'll try to explain to you the passion I have for Dominican music, but for now let's just say that when my ears hear merengue, my body is at ease. I grab my friend and we start dancing. And we're dancing for the entire set. (I once danced, non-stop, for four hours one evening. I had to change partners five times because they couldn't keep up with me).

It was intoxicating. I hadn't danced in months. When the set ended, I went to the bar to hang out with the boyfriend's peoples. We chatted a bit, and then the music came back on. And I went back to the dance floor. Tried to dance with the brother and the best friend, but each was on his own little planet, so I danced with another friend.

So how many people have I danced with so far??? Anyone who can do math will add up two, right? Yes.

At 1:30am I decided to go home. I say goodbye to everyone and leave.

The next morning I call the boyfriend, we talk a bit, and I tell him I went out to the bar and that I saw his brother. He tells me he's still really tired and asks if we can push our drive till later in the afternoon.

Later in the afternoon he picks me up and we drive down to Jersey to eat at Fuddruckers. Drive is great. Food is great. Conversation is great. And then he looks at me, smiling, and says:

"I thought you told me you weren't going to go out last night?"

"Well, I wasn't planning on it. But I was bored and I went out. I called you in the morning and told you that I went, so it's not as if I was keeping it from you. Is there a problem?"

"No. But my brother said you were dancing with guys all night".

Uff. Uff, uff, uff. How many guys was I dancing with? We counted two, right? Would dancing with two people constitute as dancing with guys all night???

"I wasn't dancing with guys all night. I was dancing with two guys, for two sets, and you know exactly who they are. You know all my friends, you know everything."

"Yeah, but he said you were dancing closely with them".

I was really pissed off at that point. Pissed off at his brother for talking out of his ass and pissed off at what seemed to be an interrogation.

"And you know I hate it when you dance with R".

R is my friend who just opened the bar. We've been friends forever. The boyfriend doesn't like R. He says he doesn't trust him. He's got no reason, and admits that he's got no reason but he "just doesn't trust him. There's no logic, S, I just don't like him".

I sat staring at him for a little bit, not sure how to react. He was being very nice, wasn't accusatory at all, and was just telling me how he was feeling. I couldn't react as aggressively as I wanted as a result.

I looked at him and just shook my head. I explained to him, for the umpteenth time, that R was a great friend who has never once disrespected me or tried to make a move on me. That there have been plenty of opportunities, but never once has anything happened. I tried to explain to him how close I was to R and his entire family, how they accepted me into their lives, how they've become family to me. And I told him that this was all bullshit and that I was sorely dissapointed in him AND his brother. I understand that his brother may have no idea how close I am to these people, but seriously...if I were to disrespect my boyfriend, would I do it in front of his own brother?

When my mother was pregnant with me she spent a couple of weeks during the summer in Alexandria with her family. One day she was walking on the beach. The next day she was almost divorced. My uncle had seen her walking on the beach. Wearing a short skirt. He reprimanded my father; how could you let your woman frolick on the beach half naked? My father was angry and for weeks my parents were separated (I guess till her realized how absolutely moronic he was being).

I swore to myself that I would never in my life put myself in such a situation. That I would never be with someone who can so easily be manipulated, whose "honor" depended on what his woman did. And it is for that specific reason that I've avoided dating Egyptians. I had a great fiance, mind you. But after we broke up I refused to become involved with any Arab because I wanted to avoid the bullshit.

And now here I was. I know, I know...Arab, Dominican, American...they're all the same. I was ANGRY at MYSELF for having reduced all Arab men to jealous assholes without even considering that the machismo exists everywhere.

I have to admit, though...the boyfriend took all this in much better than any of my exes would've. His main problem was not so much the dancing (with this guy that he hates), but how he felt when his brother was making those comments. I suggested that the next time his brother makes comments like that he tell him that he knows who I am and what I do and doesn't need any stool pigeons.

We ended the conversation well, even though I'm still fuming. I had to promise him not to dance with R anymore, but that I would never end my friendship with him. I acceded to that because, as humans, we just have feelings/jealousies that we can't explain, and if he's THAT uncomfortable with R it shouldn't be such a huge sacrifice to give up the dancing. The boyfriend is not an overly jealous man, so if there's something that's pushing his buttons THAT much I should at least try to take his feelings into consideration. Right?
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 11:12 AM
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Who: Carmen

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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