I know, I know - it has been a long time, right? I'm still on vacation until the day-after-tomorrow when I get on the plane and get back to Kuwait. It feels so weird. It feels like it has been a very short vacation and a very long one at the same time. I don't want to leave here. The minute I get here, I start worrying about leaving. I should be enjoying myself. One day, I am going to have to make the move back here. How much more sheeet needs to happen to me before I do it?
However, should I remain here, I would be just another blonde in a sea of blondes - nothing out of the ordinary. In the sandbox which has become my bubble, I am - as one gay Kuwaiti friend once said - "a novelty". I'm "different" (not just in the short-bus sense of the word): I know the culture. I am part of the society now. I understand (if not sometimes speak) Arabic. We are a family in Kuwait too. I also have much better odds of short meaningful/less relationships somehow due to my surreal Arab-dar. The homeys are just not attracted to me (and vice-versa).
Friends who are reading this: Be prepared and forewarned. I am a total emotional wreck for at least a week - probably more - when I return to Kuwait after being in the States. (Flowers help a lot.)
So... let's get past the psycho-babble.
What's new here? Everybody is still talking about New Orleans. You can't go anywhere or read anything without hearing about it - still. I haven't written since hurricane Katrina hit, but I spent several weeks crying every time I turned on the TV. Like 9/11, everyone here was sitting in front of a TV - unable to pull themselves away. I found myself screaming, "Help them! Where the F is our government????" So many stories. Talk about a polarization of a nation; once again the lines were drawn. My sister's republican neighbors said that they thought the media was "sensationalizing what's happening down there." How could it be sensationalized? Hel-loooooo! Some of them didn't want to send charity. How disgusting. I still can't believe what went on. Where the hell is this nation's compassion? Okay, maybe average citizens are compassionate, but the goverment is complacent. And yes, people, it was all about color and class. Horrible and shameful. It makes me physically sick.
Ray Nagin - keep on with your bad self! More diplomatic, my ass. He told it like it was.
Kudos to the Kuwaiti government for sending aid. Kudos to MTC and NBK for sending me the SMS I received here in the States, asking their customers to send help to the victims. Kudos to my father's friend, Courtney, for taking the time to fill an entire van full of supplies for animals and driving it to New Orleans to donate to shelters. Kudos to my sister who collected and shipped boxes to shelters to aid victims. Kudos to that unnamed lady who drove by the DC Armory (shelter for some of the evacuees) who saw that a woman didn't have shoes; she got out of her car in traffic, removed her shoes, gave them to the woman, and got back into her car barefoot and drove away.
Then, there was the September 11th anniversary. I watched a movie on Flight 93 and sobbed for 2 hours. Used an entire box of kleenex having my own personal boo-hoo party of one. I don't care if it is 50 years down the road and (if, God willing, I'm still around) I'm still seeing the footage on TV, I will still loose it the very same way.
I found it interesting that around September 14th, the Saudi government had an enormous color insert (about 8 pages) most likely trying to promote better relations between Saudi Arabia and the US. (Probably in poor taste), there was a 2-page ad for Binladen Construction included.
I bitch. (Noun or verb - you choose.)
I am teaching my 11 year old nefew to read tarot cards. He's totally into it and I love it. I think he's got a gift for it and he is already really good at it. Makes me so proud. He asked me if his mother and I used to "practice the dark arts." Wrong, wrong, wrong. There is nothing dark about it. It all depends on your perspective and how you work it.
I can't believe how much money I spent while I was here and what nonsensical crap I am schlepping back to Kuwait with me in 3 enormous suitcases. I am a shopping hog. What I see, I must posess. It is so bad. I know it is pshychological and correlates directly with feelings of insecurity. My brother in law gets a big kick from my shopping. I feel like I'm married to him - only in the sense that I get really guilty when he is in the house and I come back with bags full of loot. I usually try to dodge him or wait till his car isn't in the garage before taking things up to my room and disposing of the shopping bags. This, girls, is why I am single; and yet the guilt persists.
My dad said something to me the other day vaguely along the lines of "Why I'm Still a Spinster." I'm like, 'Dad, it's like this: I like to put my shit down and know that no one is going to move it. If I eat over the sink, so be it. If I come home late, no one complains. I don't hear complaining.' He responded with, "Oh yeah. I forgot all the things I hated about being with Elly (The Stepmother)." LOL. At least he doesn't believe that I'm a lesbian anymore.
Some random thoughts on things I will miss here: My family, bien sur. Getting advise from my sister from everything from what pants make my butt look big to what work choice I should make. Palling around with my mom and going to restaurants no one else wants to go to with me (like Ethiopian). Being here for Halloween and Autumn. Watching my nefew kick ass at hockey this season. Driving to Target with the top down (the car top, that is). Getting to the house by 5:00 to feed corn to the deer. French martinis. Eating dinner on the porch or next to the pool. My sister's cooking. Aflac, the white duck, who lives on the lake in front of my mother's house. Big dogs in the house who (at 120 lbs each) want to sit on my lap when they know they're not allowed on the sofa. Butterflies. Green everything. Gorgeous sunsets. New episodes of CSI and some of the new TV series. The way the clothes smell after they have been washed. Availability of good leather shoes and cosmetics.
What I won't miss here: Filling up the car for $85. (Gas just went down to around $2.80 a gallon from $3.17.)
Some years when I come here, I see all my friends. Some years, like this one, I don't get to it. I felt like I was in a daze this entire trip. I only wanted to be around my family - even if it meant just being in the same room with them and staring at them. As I told my sister, "It is kindof like when you first start dating someone you really, really like. The hours you spend with them are profoundly important. You count them. You covet them. You can't help yourself - even if you know that it might be suffocating the other person and you don't know why you are doing it." Okay - that's how I feel about being around my family for the past month. I haven't really wanted to do anything different. When I'm out doing stupid things like shopping, I feel like I need to be back at the house.
I really owe my friends here, big time. I have been so bad at maintaining my friendships with them, but... here is something that irks me: When I come back to the States, I am the one who has to run around and go to see my friends; they never come to my house to see me. So, I end up driving all over the place to get to them. I don't want to leave the bubble area. We stay in the bubble. We dine inside the bubble. I don't like to stray too far now from the bubble. :) Alas, my friendships have suffered.
There was a gorgeous moon out tonight. We drove by our old family house in DC. My father sold it years ago, but it is where I grew up and got into my best mischief in. It is where Shamlan came to sneak me out of the house in the middle of the night with his car parked down the street when I was a teenager. It was where my aunt would stay up watching Johnny Carson and smoking until late at night; until finally, she and her dachshound would trudge up the creaky staircase to bed. The house always smelled of southern fried foods and cigarettes. I miss those days. I have a lot of memories in that house. It looked so much smaller tonight.
I have approximately 2 more days here. I probably won't get any sleep. This is a weird, funky mood I'm in and I don't like it one bit.