5/19/2005

The Inquisition Confession – Week 24 (I think)

Am I a tease or what?

I totally planned on answering your questions last night, but I got a wee bit tied up, and SO not in a fun way!

Anyway, on to my answers.

Cheryl b asked me something really different and unique:

Close your eyes and picture the perfect meal. Tell me about it. Who's there? What are you eating, drinking? What do you smell? If you're talking, what about? What is the table set with?

Food: Roast beef. A huge roasted turkey. both will all the trimmings. A leg of lamb (although I don't eat It personally, my guests may!) Soup, salad, appetizers, lots of freshly made bread. (I'm such a meat eater) A lovely fine wine with the meal. A dazzling array of desserts. After dinner liqueur.

What do I smell? I smell the faint perfume of a 100 beeswax candles in candelabras and set around the room and the fragrance of the fresh flowers in the centerpiece. The slight smell of the polish used to wax the cherrywood table to a high sheen. The smell of the perfumes of the women present mingling together, myself included. and of course, I can smell the delicious food.

The table is set with the most beautiful fine china and Bacarrat Crystal. Beautifully polished sterling silver flatware. Fine Irish lace on the table and edging the cloth napkins.

The people I'm sitting with? A strange combination, I'm sure. My Nana. (Oh to have her back, if only for one night) My sister. (ditto). Just to let them both know how much I love them, how much they mean to me, and how very much they are missed. I would want them to see Arianna. That they live on through her in so many ways, even though they are gone. On that note, I would like to have my Grandmother Mildred and Grandfather Randall there too, (Mama's Parents) since they died before I was born.

Queen Elizabeth I of England. The Virgin Queen. Oh. I would ask her everything! She is the most fascinating woman to me! Then, naturally, being the shy person I am, I'd ask if she was really a virgin, or was she a 'technical' one. (She had a few too many 'favorites' if you ask me!) Ha ha! I'd like her to see what her decisions and sacrifices did for the country. She made England what it is today. A superpower.

Bill Clinton (all you Republicans, HUSH!). I just like listening to his mind work and the stuff that comes out of his mouth. He is a brilliant speaker, I think. (Would have to keep him far away from Sister Shelly and Queen Bess. He's an awfully friendly fellow!)

My Dad. I'd love to watch He and Fmr President Clinton chat. Dad is pretty brilliant and charming too!

Mama. Because, well, DUH! Nana was her MIL, and they adored each other. Mama always says what a great MIL Nana was. There are a few others, but they escape me at present.

Perhaps because I think I'm running a fever.


Pirate Wench asked me this one:

What will your funeral be like?

Well, hopefully it won't be what Monster-In-Law hoped for me-and frequently. ie: the sooner the better and she said (well, prayed for actually) right in my face, spitting: "When you die, soon Inshallah (means: God Willing), I will laugh, dance at your gravesite and sing, then I will shit and pee on you before they cover you with the dirt! " I've actually heard this more times than I can count. (Hey Isabel!! This is merely when I cross the room or the hallway saying nothing, nor even looking at her.)

I know one thing for sure, I do NOT, repeat DO NOT want to be buried here in Bahrain, even if, God forbid, I die here in the near future, I want my body shipped out. (There! I put it on the internet. Now the whole planet will know my wishes!)

If I could have it done anyway I like, I would like to be buried in one of two places, even if it were alone. Either on the coast of Ireland or Scotland - two places I love in the whole world- under a tree, overlooking the sea. I hope that the people that truly loved me and respected me will come to my funeral, not people that come out of propriety, I don't want them there.

What will probably happen? I'll get dumped in a hole somewhere, no one will remember to even give me a gravestone and forget I even existed within 6 months. Well, except for my daughter. She'll remember me.

It's kind of funny you asked me this question Wenchie. I just received my life insurance certificate from work this week. I looked at it and thought "Damn! I'm more valuable dead than alive! Heh!"


Mare Imbrium ! Where have you been girlfriend and what have you been up to? I missed ya!

Mare asked me:

But what's your favorite part of life in Bahrain?

A very good question. There is good and bad everywhere. Probably quality of life, such as it is. It's a tax-haven. (Which is why it is the banking center of the whole Middle East!) No tax on food, cars, clothes, anything.

Aside from my crazy working hours sometimes. But that is just really because I have so very much responsibility at work and care a great deal about the quality of my work.

I also like the fact that the country is really developing and growing and I'm witnessing it, day by day, month by month, and now, since 1998, year-by-year. I like that Bahrain is a combination of the old, the traditional, and the new. It isn't one or the other. The Bahraini people are, for the most part, very kind and hospitable and friendly. Bahrain is called the Island of Smiles for good reason. The best way I can think of to explain it is that the people here are much like the Southerner's in the US. Renown for their kindness, graciousness and hospitality.

I like that most Arab and Middle Eastern men that I have run into here are still gentlemen. They hold a door for a lady, or the elevator for that matter and 9 times out of 10 will insist on a lady being first. If you go to the bank, Dept of Motor Vehicles, or other such places and there is a huge ass line with tons of men?? The security will come and take you to the front of the line so the woman doesn't have to wait if the staff that work there haven't already done so! I LOVE that about Bahrain, actually.


Isabel, a new commenter on my blog asked me this, which I choose to take as a question for me this week,

You tell us about Monster and how absolutely crazy she is. Why is that? What makes her do these crazy things and act this crazy way? What does she have against you?

Honestly Isabel, I have been trying to figure out for over 15 years what the real problem is. I've tried to understand her. I've tried like HELL to make her love me, I'd settle for LIKE me, even. I've bought her cigs for her and her booze too, and helped her hide it from her sons. I've kept her screwing our neighbor in America a secret too. (ok. Until now) I can say with a completely clear conscious that I have done everything possible to get along with her. She has called me bitch, whore, cu*t, sh*thole, cussed me out , spit in my face, hit me, slapped me, pulled my hair, and even this, I didn't yell at her. I just begged her to leave me alone and stop. I would lock myself in my bedroom and turn on the TV or radio or both to try to drown out her shouting and screaming curses at me from DOWNSTAIRS that even through the noise, I know Catrina heard at least once while on the phone and asked me what that was, and my mom heard it several times while on the phone too. (In case any of you are wondering, No. She did this when her sons were NOT around. When it was just she and I in the house.) I tried telling z when I would take all I could, she would lie and deny it, and he would always, ALWAYS believe her. (In fact, still does most of the time) I was too ashamed to tell my Mom. I definitely couldn't tell my dad or the rest of my family. They were all pretty much set against the marriage in the first place. And I was determined to make it work. My Mom had no idea of the extent of how bad things were until she came to visit me here in Bahrain in 1999 after my almost dying 3 times within 2 -3 months. Mama came to take care of me, because she knew without my saying that I was basically on my own here. Within 3 days, mama took me aside and told me she was pissed at me, pissed for not telling her what and how I've been living for years and years. At that point 9 years. Pissed at me suffering in virtual silence and not telling her. After 2 weeks, after the 3 days traveling it took her to get her, she wanted to turn around and go back home, but stayed because I had to have another surgery. Monster would love to throw the vacuum at my mom and tell her to go clean. Or go pick my dirty clothes out of the dirty laundry and toss them at my mom and tell her "go wash". Then, while mama was here, is when I caught her, finally, stealing money from my wallet with my own eyes.

The only time I have ever gone after verbally her was when she said anything against my mom. (She is jealous of my mom because my mama is everything, HONESTLY, that Monster is not and wishes to be. My mama is platinum blond, NATURALLY, big blue eyes, gorgeous high cheekbones, peaches and cream skin, really cute figure - 5'7-, great natural nose, 1000 watt smile and she lights up a room when she walks in. Men are drawn to her like bees to honey, and she does nothing to anyone. She is so good hearted and generous. Oh yeah, and Mama is about 17 years younger than her too.) Anyway, saying anything about my mom, like calling her a w*ore, THAT would send me over the edge and make my hand itch to smack her, which I never did but I will admit it was a close one once or twice..

It really began within days of our return from our honeymoon.

She didn't allow any photo of me in the house. Not even a wedding photo. I wasn't allowed to cook. The groceries that my husband's money (and mine too!) bought? I wasn't allowed to touch them. Here is a list of my grievous complaints: I drank too much milk. My solution, I'll buy extra. Except that she didn’t like me using HER fridge. Or HER plates. OR HER glasses. OR HER pots and pans. I used too much shampoo and conditioner. (Hello? My hair is THICK AND LONG?!!) I bought my own. And the toilet paper. And the Coke or Pepsi. And bread. AND fruit. AND cheese. And…cleaning solutions (I am a clean freak, and cannot stand dust. She is the OPPOSITE. The stove had thick hard sticky grease on it that took ME 4 days to scrape off) My solution was to buy my own stock of pretty much everything with my own salary so I wasn't wasting her son's money, as she said. I have repeatedly heard that nothing is mine, but all her son's. sofa. Chair fridge. Tv. Curtains. Dishes. Cups. Etc… its just ffing ridiculous.

I wasn't allowed to make him a cup of coffee or tea. Or give him a glass of water. (Catrina. Back me up. You've seen this first hand.) If I wanted to cook something for my husband and the rest of the family (ie: her and my brother in law), I had to give her at least ONE week's notice, then go buy my own ingredients and not use the ones already in the house. If I tried to watch something on TV, the second I looked mildly interested, she would change the channel. Catrina has seen this too and more.

We went visiting some of their friends and I had juuuust enough of the language to understand that she was entertaining the gathering at large with her stories of being on the other side of the door when we were making love. In detail. I. Wanted. To. Die. Right. There. It's bad enough she was listening at the door, but to TELL A ROOMFULL OF PEOPLE????? It was her opinion that her son was not noisy enough, so I must not be any good. Hmmmmm. Where is a sinkhole when you need one, I ask?

The tons of wedding gifts we received? Were stored in the garage. I didn't get to use ONE SINGLE thing, was not allowed (other than the odd picture frame or vase in my own room) until I had been married six years.

She would go through my room, take everything out of the closet and drawers, throw it in mountains in the floor of my bedroom, throw tons of my stuff away without asking, and tell me to clean it all up. This would be waiting for me when I crawled in from work. Often. Did I mention that I am a OCD neat freak? My closet is organized by color. Long sleeve with like, then short sleeve. Work, and casual. Etc… even my underwear drawer is like this. So it is NOT as if my room and closet and things were a mess or anything.

Z and I worked separate shifts. He worked nights. When he got home, ( we lived in a 4-story condo counting the garage). I would be waiting for him all dolled up in pretty lingerie in our room, and she? Would be waiting to start the second the garage door leading into the house was opened. It would be a goddamn report with LOTS of drama and stuff. By the time he got up the 3 flights of stairs to me, with her trailing behind him, more often than not, he would walk in upset with me. And I would be looking at him pretty much dazed and confused.

He would also receive, nightly, a detailed report of my activities, whether he wanted it or not. "C came home from work. She had two bags from xyz grocery store, and she bought (rattles off list) and I think she bought some other things she took upstairs to the room. Then she got a phone call. I don't know WHO it was. That lasted 15 minutes. Then she came down. Drank _____. Ate_____. Watched TV for 30 minutes, then the phone rang, she talked for HALF AN HOUR, maybe it was her mom? Then after that, another phone call, but for 5 minutes only. Then she went back upstairs. Took a shower FOR 20 MINUTES! SO LONG! (again, I have a ton of hair, y'all). I think she washed her hair, because I heard the blow-dryer, then she came down and left the house. I don't know where she went. An hour later, she came back with 3 bags from Target, and I think one from a book store, cause the bag had a book on the outside). Then she drank tea. Got another phone call, I think it was that pregnant one (Catrina) Sometimes Catrina would get URGENT cravings for hot fudge mint choc chip sundae cravings and there was this old Mom & Pop coffeeshop in Pasadena that had the best one you ever had in your LIFE with homemade hot fudge and homemade mint choc chip ice cream. It seems that She would tell EVERYONE that I was going to meet a lover probably. Finally, when I found out, I said "I doubt it unless my lover is a 7 month's pregnant woman, which..... ew, I don't swing that way!"

I think that I should say that in the early years of my marriage, hell, for most of my marriage until maybe 4-5 years ago, I rarely went anywhere on my own unless I was with Z. Unless it was with my Mom or his. One major exception to this was Catrina when she was pregnant. I was her sidekick through this pregnancy. I was so damn excited about her baby you can't imagine. My going, or not going out, was a personal choice, not one that was imposed on me by anyone. I was just so wrapped up in my husband that I preferred to be with him; it wasn't very fun for me otherwise.

There is one other thing. For years, I rarely went ANYWHERE, and I mean ANYWHERE with my husband without Monster. I'm serious. The 7-11 on the corner. The grocery store. To the gas station. To the MOVIES. To DINNER. Out to pick up a pizza. To COSTCO. To the Bank. Mailbox. Pharmacy. Doctor. Just to go out for a drive. And the very few times we DID leave her ass at home? There would be hell to pay for DAYS. Literally. And then? I noticed that our excursions out would coincide with long distance calls on the phone bill to Bahrain.

Apparently she was SO pissed she would call HERE, on the OTHER SIDE OF THE PLANET, to complain about it, when she got through calling her daughter down the street. An innocent outing for us to, say, Target then the gas station, and to pick up a pizza on the way home? Would end up costing us a $80.00 phone call at least. Sometimes upwards of $200. For ONE PHONE CALL. When I moved here I heard about it and how everyone was shocked that she would call because "you guys didn't take her to the movies with you". This is NOT including the SHREIKING, Screaming, howling, hitting herself, throwing things GORILLA FIT she would have when we got home.


I (now) truly believe that it is not just me. That whomever he married, she would have a problem with, regardless of nationality. I do not think that it is a culture thing, which I will get into in a minute. Frankly, if he had married a Persian girl, and I know many Persian girls – and the ones I've met, and it has been MANY- that wouldn't put up with her crap.


As is, I think it is more telling that she really has NO friends, and her own children and grandchildren have very little, if anything, to do with her. People have to drive by our house to get to her granddaughter's house. Do any of them stop? Her own daughter? No. Her granddaughters? No. Do they call? Rarely, if ever. No one can stand to be around her. She makes everyone miserable when she is around, which is why no one comes around.

I've done so much for her. More for her than her kids were doing for her. I would get off work (Z and I worked different shifts) and come home and tell her to go change, I was going to take her out. At least 5 nights a week, to do whatever she wanted.

I learned Persian mainly so that I could communicate with her, since we were living together and she refused to learn mine. THAT was both a curse and a blessing, speaking her language.

I thought maybe it was the fact that I was a foreigner, and that if I turned myself into the closest thing to a Persian girl I could, she would love me. I thought THAT was it. SO I learned the language. I can dance their different regional dances (better than many Iranians too!). I TAUGHT MYSELF to cook the food since she refused to teach me. There are very few dishes I don’t cook, and that is a HUGE repertoire- good enough that Persian natives have told me I should open my own Persian Restaurant. That didn't work either.

Then I thought if I gave her a grandchild, then she might love me just a little. Or at least be nice to me. Didn't work. She saw my child as a tool to use against me.

I've spent my whole day off driving her all over Southern California taking her to doctor's appointments when her own kids flat out refused to do so, and her grandkids too, then making a pleasant day of it by taking her to her own community for lunch and shopping. Then a nice 2 and a half hour drive in traffic home, then she would hop on the phone to her daughter that lived DOWN THE STREET and I would hear her say "ME? I didn't do anything today." WTF?? I did this for her even when I was 9 months pregnant in 110 degree temps that summer. Vomiting and getting car sick, having to pull over to the side of the road to puke every 15 minutes or so till we got there, because that's about the maximum time I could handle the nausea.

I used to believe my husband for many, MANY years when he made different excuses for her odd behavior. His favorite was "She's old, she's illiterate", and I believed it. He was lying to me. I can honestly say that if I had any inkling she would be like this, that my life would be like this, or, if I understood their language at that point, I don't think I would have married him, even as head over heels delusional and so full of hopes and dreams as I was then.

Anyway, I believed him and his excuses, making myself accept this strange ass stuff until I came HERE! Until I met her family in Iran. Until I met people that knew her when she was YOUNG.

Turns out she's always been like this, and her blood family is not a whole hell of a lot better!

I have met people that knew my husband from the time he was very young and they said "they were such sweet boys, we often wondered how they ever came out of a woman like that!". I don't instigate any of these conversations at all, they usually start with "We've known her for years, you poor thing! She still lives with you?"

Looking back on our early relationship, when we were engaged, there was one incident that I kind of blew off at the time, with the help of Z purposely not telling me what was being said. It was our first Valentine's Day together, and he knew that I had always wanted a Persian cat. A cream one in particular. So, one night, after I got off work, when I got to his house, I heard this noise. I see something doing laps on the dining room chairs and he told me it was my Valentine's present. It was a cream colored Persian cat.

Monster threw the BIGGEST hissy fit that he spent that much money on me (I understand now, but didn't know what the hell her problem was at the time). I mean, we were engaged, and he was making pretty good money. What is the big deal? If he bought me anything, for anniversary, Christmas, birthday, any occasion, she would have a fit. And start throwing stuff. If he bought me jewelry, he bought for her also, then she threw it across the living room because the stone in mine was nicer she thought. No matter what I said to her, the most benign, innocent thing you could think of, like "Oh how blue the sky is today!" she would go and start gossip saying, "Can you BELIEVE she said the sky is black and is gonna rain."

This could go on for tons more. But it boils down to this: She has told me she wants him to divorce me. This she has said it often and right up in my face. And she went on to say she won't rest until he does. It doesn't matter that I have stood by her son and loved him with everything I have in me. Given all I have to give, financially, mentally, physically. Supported him and helped him through complete and total bankruptcy when he lost his job weeks after Ari was born, where he lost everything. (since nothing was in my name) And I mean everything. I swallowed my pride when I was breastfeeding Ari and went to WIC, for government help and coupons for milk, beans, cheese, cereal, etc.. so that my milk, at least, would be rich for Ari. Meanwhile trying to do everything I could; running from court to court trying to delay the inevitable. She cares about nothing, except herself. Problem is. I'm stubborn and determined, and that is probably why, along with, admittedly, a big old dose of stupidity, that I am still here. I looked at it as her winning, if I leave. Her getting her way.

I've done my best. And I truthfully can say, I have done NOTHING to deserve this.



Well, if you've made it to the bottom of this post, thanks for continuing to read.

I'm certain the next one will be more… cheerful.

3 comments:

Isabel said...

I take my hat off to you, living in a "foreign" country with a mil that is demented and a husband who is not supportive. What makes you stay though?

My very best wishes!

Pirate Wench said...

This has probably occurred to you, and I'm sure you have a good reason not to, BUT...

(Don't you hate that BUT? You just know something obnoxious is coming.)

Why not fight fire with fire? I'm a total bitch, so whatever she dished out to me, I'd give right back to her. Insult for insult. And I can be VERY mean. And petty. And the high road only appeals to me sometimes. In this case, not so much.

You know how most bullies will leave you alone once you beat the shit outta them? I'm just wondering if, verbally, that would work.

Mare_Imbrium said...

ooooh Cyn. Oooh. I've been reading your blog for a while, and I've heard you talk about your mil before, but that? Is the worst thing I've ever heard. It may not help that it's hot in this room, but reading that story makes me want to throw up. I am not the sort of person that hates other people, or wishes violence on anyone, EVER, but if I were the type of person who prayed, I would pray every day for you that that woman would die.

I would encourage you to hide a camera and a microphone so you can have proof for your husband, but honestly, I don't think it would work. It seems like he doesn't want to believe what kind of person his mother is.

Oh, and where was I? Heh. This semester has KICKED MY BUTT. I've been so stressed I even started seeing a counselor on campus. I haven't had time to do much of anything. It's over next week. THANK GOODNESS. My son will be happy too. He's taken to saying "mama nooooo" as I leave for school. Breaks my heart. *sigh*