Saturday, February 24, 2007

OK, let it be me who opens this can of worms...

I am seriously considering just selling everything. Now the only real problem with this is that Mr. Packrat might go into some sort of seizures when I actually do this. But, I have to say that I can't bear the thought of more storage spaces. We have three sheds already...And only one ever even gets touched (it has our camping things in it). I am tired of hauling things from one place to another. I am ready to just let it go.

I am negotiating with DH the purchase of a few new things to replace stuff I don't think is even worth moving... One being our 9 year old, dropped out of the moving truck 2 times, puked on, cat had her kittens on, sagging in the middle mattress... But DH keeps saying "M (the only other Egyptian in town who happens to be a millionaire) kept his mattress for 15 years! He didn't get a new one until he came with me to get ours at Sams and saw the king size for the queen size price!" UGH. M is a frequent example of these things... M also waited about 20 years to buy his wife an engagement ring even though was able to find it in the budget to buy boats and cars and motor homes for himself... So I don't think he is really an example to follow... Anyway, I want a new mattress and the only debate right now is queen or king???? We have always had a king and I know we think we cold move to a queen and give ourselves more room in the bedroom, but I wonder. I have a feeling it might end up with me sleeping on the couch because I keep falling off the limited space left on the bed!LOL

The other thing I want to replace is our glass shelved entertainment center that I had when I was a single woman in college with no kids to shift the glass and make me all worried... We have broken like 8 shelves over time, and we just keep replacing them. I know we will break more in this move... And I hate the thing anyway. So, I think I will replace it (I ended up not buying the one I had my eye on when we decided to redecorate because we got a couch and recliner instead. And I would really like to get a bedroom set... But I doubt that will happen. DH just doesn't think it is worth it. He would rather keep fixing drawers in the junk we have and keep going. Until when I say?

Well now for my can of worms...

I just want to say this. Man on the moon, no safe birth control for women? Have you all been following the whole thing with the ortho-evra patch? Now see this is why I think barrier methods are the only safe option. I have done other things out of desperation and been sorry every time. When will they come up with something that actually works and doesn't mess with your body? Well, I'm waiting... But until then, spontaneity is the enemy:P


umm yehiya said...

Salaam, sis.
Replacing the old stuff with new? Definitely a good idea, insha'allah. Time to move on, man.
Especially the glass shelf thingy - you can get a nice-looking, simple entertainment center for not too much moola at all, insha'allah.

Okay, another thing - the problem with The Patch - a friend brought this up to me (and no I've never tried it...and I also don't know what you're referring to in this post, sorry) is that you can't properly do ghusl when using it - it covers up part of your skin, all of which needs to get water on it when doing ghusl (unless of course there's a true medical necessity preventing that). Correct me if I'm wrong...maybe you can take The Patch on & off? I don't know.

Anyway. People have already previously posted I believe about the mental-physical connection as per your particular situation...I'll just reiterate that I agree...let go of some of the physical baggage you've got going on, and an enormous emotional weight may be lifted off your shoulders, insha'allah.

I know, the tricky part is convincing a packrat. ;)

UmmLayla said...

There is a class action law suit being filed against the makers of the patch because it was causing strokes and blood clots in users... But I have managed to hear precious little about it in the media thanks to Anna Nicole Smith and all.

And I agree. I have a feeling that if we just cleaned up our space we would feel lighter for sure.

Tasmiya said...

Wow. Thanks for that update on the patch - had no idea. I know I should look this up but am way too lazy - is this patch the same as the pill? I only ask because there are same risks of clots/strokes with the pill. Surely people would have figured out if they're getting the same thing but in patch form, the same risks would apply?

OK..I'm a huge fan of barrier methods but just ONCE I'd like to see them try chemicals on the MAN. I mean can it really be that difficult to halt sperm production? Really?

umm yehiya said...

LOL - get this. Recently here, on the radio, they were talking about a "man pill." (For contraceptive purposes.) They trick is that they are/were going to mix it with Viagra.

I haven't heard anything more about this for awhile now...anyone know if they actually came out with this thing?

Also: barrier methods. What's so great about them? Just curious. :)

Imaan On Ice said...

as salamu aleykum,
good to be back here. I've been kind of busy myself with moving, but is now back on track and even back blogging.
Anyhow, I read the egypt?-post and would like to say just a few things (I could speak forever and ever about his subject but...). I've been married for more than 8 years to a palestinian man and the WHOLE TIME he's been saying "One day we're gonna go live in an arabic country". Until finally we did. For many reasons we did in the end choose his country (to be specific; Gaza) so of course we ended up living in the midst of occupation and F16's, which of course made our stay that much harder. But that wasn't the hardest thing.
I had a very bad experience and of course not every one will feel like I felt, but however optimistic and easygoing character you are, that might be able to adjust a lot easier than me, there is a few things to know. I am very well familiar with egypt as well as I've been there many times, have relatives there and a few swedish convert friends who lived there for many years.
To learn the language and adjust to the culture is the easy stuff. To adjust to the unfair cultural traditions, such as woman having less value (totally un-islamic) is more hard.
Children have less value than grownups. I myself am married to an arab and I love many parts of the arabic culture, but there are e few things I cannot take. You're children will experience that their will won't matter that much, there opinions won't be listened to. And there is no way to put your child in school without them being beaten. NO WAY. Find the fanciest most expensive private school, that doesn't help. That might reduce from being beaten 20 times a day to 4 times a day. In egypt especially they are very strict with homeworks. Minimum 3 hours every day, 6 days a week from the age of 6. Exams in every subject every month plus mid-term and end-term exams in every subject. Basically childhood ends at 6.
People in general cheat a lot and lie a lot, even in our face. They beat children and animals openly in the streets, even abuse. This is what I have seen with my own eyes on a regular basis, and have spoken to many many many many arabs about it and most of them don't see the problem with for example beating children since it's for the greater good. Ha. Oh, and let me not forget, they throw garbage all over the place.
I'm saying this so you can be prepared. All this SHIT (excuse my language) almost killed my iman. I moved to a muslim country so my children could be closer to islam. That idea was so naive and unrealistic.
To succed you have to stay longer stays in the country, like 2-3 months to have an idea of what you're getting into. Adjusting to a more "simple life" (meaning water won't come out of the tap every time you open it, electricity will go on and off and such things) is easy God willing, but adjusting to simple minds is more hard.
No one cares for fastening their belts in cars (there usually are none), when my kids for example came home from kindergarten they had EVERY DAY a lollipop in their mounth, which is not easy to accept when you've been going to the dentist regulary since you were born.
It might seem as I'm all complaints, but thats not it. I was just extremly disapointed and I know that before I left I sounded just like you. All exited and happy and thinking the best of everyone.
If you want to live there, try it out first a few months, then check out the schools (sit in the classsroom for a few days, what the principal says is bull), go see different apartments, remember that your children NEVER can go out to play on their own (there is no such things as playgrounds), and let your husband go before you to start everything. Don't do anything before he has a permanent position with a reasonable sallary. Last but not least, remember that there YOU will be the immigrant... You will not have people around you who reflects you, you are the one that will feel alone until of course you adjust. If you ever do? Just look to your own husband or any immigrant for that matter, most of them never fully adjust. They live with pain for ever and ever and always dream of going back. One day. Who say you will be any different?
Sorry for all the spelling mistakes...

umm yehiya said...

Imaan! It's great to hear from you!
You have no idea who I am. :)

But wow! - I discovered your old Palestinian blog one day totally randomly by accident (it was after you had already ended the thing), and I was entranced. I read for hours! It was FASCINATING. Painful, heartfelt.

I was so sad for you when you had to close that line due to such terrible, ignorant words from people. It was especially hard to hear about since you were such a thoughtful, compassionate, articulate writer, masha'allah. But insha'allah that acidic experience is old news & bygones...

Anyway. What you said on your old blog & here in this comment is exactly what terrifies me.

Umm Layla - I sent you an email (did you get it?) about the good stuff that keeps my hopes up...all the reasons this is a possible, fathomable thing to do (insha'allah) then there's always my husband rooting for the move to Egypt, and having basically only good things to say about it (I've been there 3 times, for visits approx. a month at a time, which I know, amounts to almost nothing when you're comparing that to setting up your LIFE in another country).

But what Imaan has pinpointed here ARE the bad things that are possible to experience...more contrast might be reflected in poorer socioecomonic areas, relative to your own in the States.

Of course, I've also met Egyptians my age, with similar thoughts & feelings as mine - but they also did tend to be ones who've traveled a lot, I think.

There's so much to think about, and I am another reader who appreciates all input on this subject. One thing to keep in mind is: no place in this world is perfect. There's going to be something wrong with every place that you go.

But let's keep the discussion going, insha'allah!

UmmLayla said...

OK, I am trying again to post this... Wrote it and lost it yesterday and gave up.

The risks appear to be greater and you can add heart attack to the list. There have been teenage girls who have died as a result. Probably that has to do with the fact that they would never think of looking for those things in a healthy young woman.

I guess I am still bitter about the whole dalcon shield (a nasty little IUD that shredded women's uteruses) thing. Ever since I learned about that I have wondered whose interests these companies are serving. You should read about how we test these things on women in impoverished areas of the world, that alone will make you think twice about investing in the products these companies are producing.

And about the men thing... Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have (you were actually a little egg in your mother's body while she was still in your grandmother's body if you can wrap your mind around that) and men reproduce sperm constantly... So why not mess with the system that can actually rebound from whatever damage may happen? But if you study the history of western medicine women have always been the primary market, so of course most services and medications are geared towards us. Think of all the ads you see for medications, usually women right? I read once that 80% f all antidepressants are prescribed to women.

I lost your mail after I read it and need your address again! I am SO sorry.

Barrier methods... Well they just don't mess with your body for the most part. And although I'm sure there are men who think they will die from heart failure if they have to wear a condom or wait while the wife inserts a diaphragm... No fatalities have been reported yet.LOL

I hear what you are saying. I think that I am lucky because my DH is from Cairo... And the problems there are less evident. However, there is this thing about the lesser of two evils. You can even go so far as to get into the whole debate over whether it is easier to have them around non-Muslims doing bad things (and you just say they aren't Muslim habibi) or Muslims doing bad things in which case you are left with very little to say that a small child would understand.

For me, I heart my SIL in Cairo... And I think that makes a big difference in the end. I think that she and her husband are the kind of people I would love to have my children grow up around. Here we are alone. And the SIL who is a state away is just not right in the head... I don't even want to go therewith it, but she is a bad example for sure.

Maybe I'm just feeling the Muslim as the acceptable hated minority here in the US right now thing... But it seems to me that Egypt would be a good thing at the present even if I have to bribe 10 workers to get my phone installed and 15 customs officials to get my belongings;)

Imaan On Ice said...

as salamu aleykum,

oh I'm glad you didn't get upset with me for being too honest. And thank you ever so much, Umm yehiya for the so kind words about my blog. I really really appriciate it a lot. It's for people like you I do write. And for crazy mean people: there's a great button called REJECT. Hehe! Hope to see you in my re-opened blog then.

Well, this wasn't meant to be about me but about moving to an, in this case, arabic country.

All I'm saying is that you need to know the bad stuff. You need to know it, feel it, see it, before you can decide. You don't know how you're gonna react to it, how your children gonna react or even how your husband gonna react. They also spent many many years in a non-arab country and that has affected them too. Many times it is the arabic husband who cannot take the unfair and cruel way of life over .

So if you want to succed you need to be aware. I wasn't. I was completely CHOCKED and almost suffocated by all the un-islamic behaviour and finally came to the conclusion that I prefer a million times more to live between non-muslims who behave good than between muslims who behave like... well, I cannot even write the word here...

But we are all different and everyone have to decide for them selves. And also, as you pointed out, it will make a huge difference if you have some family there that you already know and like.

Anyone who say only good things is a liar or an fool. Sorry. I love my country and I do believe it is one of the best places to live in, but I would be a liar and a fool if I didn't point out the many difficulties with living here as a muslim. But they don't come even close to the difficuties we faced as foreigners in Gaza (and I'm not talking about political problems due to occupation, that's another story - don't get me started). And that's another side to it. I believe I can be the best mother to my children here in my own country were I know how everything works and where the dangers are. There I was lost.

Well, well, as I said, I could go on forever.


suhaa said...

asalaam alaikum warahmat Allah wabarakatu:
make duaa, istikhara, and put your trust in Allah to do what is best for your family's eman. if then u come to the decision to move to egypt inshaAllah then it will be easier than expected, but if you go for worldly gain it will be difficult inshaAllah. egypt has many opportunities to learn about Islam and can be a positive experience for all of you inshaAllah, but with anything else there are also things there that you may not like such as the other sister mentioned. but a hijrah for the sake of Allah is rec'd if one is able and if one is in fear of putting risk on one's eman and that of family's.
may Allah do what is best for you and your family dear sister..because only HE knows that.

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Salaam alleikum,
Oh, don't get me started on the bc thang!
I'm considering getting the "new" IUD. They say all of the problems with the old one have been worked out. A little more reading on it and then I'm scheduling myself. We have three little angels, but min fudluk Allah, let that be it:)

Anonymous said...

I used to think people were just people you know, but I realize that who someone is can be very significantly changed by where they are brought up. Language can be a huge barrier not to mention the conceptual differences towards just about anything and everything. I know many immigrants though who came here technically as grown ups at ages 17, 18, 19 and I've seen them morph over time to become quite attuned to the larger culture though I have to admit sometimes these changes seem very cosmetic. It leaves me wondering why some of you married men who were from other countries inspite of the many obstacles inherent to that choice?