Sunday, January 11, 2009

DIY until I die

As an American I take DIY projects for granted. I don't know if DH's background is typical Egyptian, or typical for Cairo... But my MIL and FIL had people (servants DH would call them, but I say workers). I don't think DH had held a hammer until he moved here. They called someone to hang a picture. My MIL had a sewing machine, but a lady came once a week and did the mending for her. The thing she did do was knitting... Hats, sweaters, socks, everything. But it was like a "look how useful I can be while waiting for my kids at the club" thing.

So imagine my DH's surprise when the first thing I ever asked him for was a sewing machine... And how shocking it was when he found out I could actually use it. I won't talk about his reaction to sewing Layla's diapers!!!

Well, I LOVE that kinda stuff. The first time I ever got a flat tire my dad made me change it. I used to change my own oil in college. I made my prom dress. I traveled to fashion conscious Tokyo wearing dresses I made myself carrying a quilt as a gift for my hostess. I made my first hijabs and jilbabs. Yes, I was DIY gal when DIY wasn't cool. Which doesn't always make sense to DH.

For me there is a rush to coloring my own hair, putting in a garbage disposal, making a dress, putting diapers I made myself on a baby, giving a gift I made, serving homemade bread... Even though I don't have as much time as I would like, I do like to do things myself. And this is a pleasure lost on my DH.

The famous example DH gives (and if you ever want to hear it just bring me an apple pie someday) is that I once spent $10 on the stuff to make an apple pie and DH saw one in the store the next day for $5. And that is how his mind works. DIY only makes sense if it saves you money... Is this a DH thing? An Egyptian thing? An Engineer thing? I may never know. All I know is that I think he's missing out on some real fun!LOL


Mona said...

I love DIY too but I don't get around to it as much as I'd like. If you do end up moving here a big trip to the craft store before coming will be in order.

Naseem said...

i wish i was like that! i'd love to be able to make my own things. i'm so unmotivated. lol

Molly said...

I'm kind of with DH on the cost of DIY. I usually DIM for these reasons:

1- its cheaper
2- I can't find what I want exactly how I want it
3- it tastes better when I do it (this applies usually to food lol)

Like Egypt, its hard if not impossible to find a white sauce for pasta (like alfredo) and I prefer white sauce with pasta. I could buy a small jar that tastes bland for 40LE or I can make it myself and it tastes great.

Most food here is DIY and I DIM unless its too complicated.

I would absolutely love to sew my own clothes, but its actually pretty hard when I dont have a good mind for mathematical things and how three pieces of fabric fit together to make a skirt. I can't visualize it so its hard for me.


I'm also artistic so I like to DIM on stuff like that.

Ilka said...


my hubby likes that i make baby food myself and things that i like that cost a lot here, in egypt, like apple sauce because it saves money. i make some things myself cause its healthier or because i cant find it here.

i dont know how to make garments so i wait til hubby travels to dubai and get abayas because they are nicer and cheaper than in cairo.

i found that diy here doesnt really exist and is often hard esepecially concerning house projects....we so need a home depot.

i remember a gardener asked me if i wanted him to come and water and maintain my house plants. i looked at him like, "are you serious?" if i cant water and pluck the dead leaves off of my own house plants then i shouldn't have any.

Anonymous said...

As Salamualaykum, i pop onto your blog from time to time, mashAllaah its nice to read something that either makes me think, laugh or talk to myself about! an then i pass it on.

reading this post, i was thinking wow! my friend is also an american muslima married to an egyptian engineer who also had 'workers' (i like to call them employees!) who also doesn't do diy! i did ask her once if this was her blog! this was too funny.


Umm_Ibraheem said...

As Salaamu aalaykum,
YAY! I love to sew too. ALthough the hubby is also only interested in DIY if it saves money. ME, i love to do it because it keeps me nimble :). I can't believe I just found another sista who CD! YAY!

wa salaam,