free stats Carmen's Web: "Your father forbade me from swimming"
Saturday, July 29, 2006
"Your father forbade me from swimming"
Please bear with me as I recount yet one more story involving my dimwitted aunt. This shouldn't go on for too long; she should be leaving this week to the apartment my father is renting for her and my cousin.

New York City has been going through an unbearable heat wave. And torrential rainstorms. The weather for the past two weeks has been absolutely bizarre. Today, however, we were spared the rainstorms and, being a Saturday, my father decided to go swimming in the pool we share with the neighbors in our backyard. He hasn't taken his shirt off since his heart surgery; the scars are minimal, but I think they still bother him. So it was nice to see him out and getting some sun today.

I was running errands all day and when I got home I went to the backyard to hang out with my father a little bit. He tried to convince me to get in the pool, but I just wasn't feeling it. When I went back into the house, I ran into my aunt. She asked me if I was going to go in the pool and I said no.

"Your father forbade you too??"

"Eh? My father didn't forbid me from doing anything. What are you talking about?"

"He forbade me from swimming in the pool. I wanted to, but then he said no."

"Well, aren't you veiled?"


"Then how did you expect that you were going to go into a pool that is shared between three houses? Wouldn't the presence of strange men have forbidden you from doing that?"

"Your father said..."

"I don't care what my father said. What the hell kind of logic are you using?"

What the hell kind of logic was she using???? The woman is veiled, chose the veil for herself, and wants to go swimming in a pool with unrelated men? I don't get it.

I went to the backyard and she followed.

Me: "Babaya, did you forbid your sister from swimming in the pool?"

Her: "Mish enta olteli la'a?" (didn't you tell me no?)

My poor father looked like he wanted to beat someone.

Dad: "Ya Mona, mish enti mohagaba?" (Aren't you veiled?)

Aunt: "Aiwa, bas..." (Yes, but...)

Dad: "Tab enti 3ayza eh? 3ayza te'la3ee? E'la3ee. Tefrik ma3aya eh?" (So what do you want? You want to take your clothes off? Take 'em off. What difference does it make for me?)

I feel bad for her, I really do. She really a doltish person, but I blame her environment. Of all the nine brothers and sisters in my father's family, only three (my father, his oldest sister and brother) are the only semi-sane ones. The rest are obnoxious, arrogant pricks, present aunt included. Add to the mix that she married the worst man on the planet who has been beating and verbally abusing her for over 30 years and it's no wonder she's the way she is. And I've always given her the benefit of the doubt as a result. But since she's been staying with us I've been exposed to a level of stupidity that I never really thought was possible.

You know why this woman decided to veil? When her oldest son (not the criminal loser; just a dweeb loser) was 19, he forced her to veil. He "forbade" her from leaving the house without covering her hair. And you know what? She was proud of him. Proud that he took his religion so seriously.

Just a couple more days. Couple more days and she's gone...
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 11:43 PM
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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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