394: Mom-isms

I was one of those who SWORE that when I became a parent, I was NOT going to be like my mom and dad. And then, somewhere after child number one, or was it child number 2? I opened my mouth and my mom fell out of it. I have been guilty of a lot of the traditional, time-honored, respected (and disrespected) mom-isms. Reference: http://www.happyworker.com/magazine/fun/mom-wisdom#.U4yk4vldXT8[/

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EXCEPT for that one. Frankly, there are bigger issues in parenting than clean underwear – or underwear at all, for that matter. You learn as a parent to choose your battles. Once chosen, you need to win, but you need to choose which ones are worth fighting for and which ones just don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

In the difficult struggle to socialize and raise a decent human being, clothing is necessary, unfortunately. MODEST clothing is preferable. So is clean clothing – usually, but not always. I am perfectly willing to settle for clothing that does not make you look like a two-dollar hooker (or gigolo). That’s about it. As long as the essentials are decently covered, and stuff is not see-through to the point that it might as well not be there, OK.  AND, if others on the street make advances based on dress – it is obviously time to reevaluate either the dress or the person doing the come-ons. Let’s face it, even Catholic nuns are not immune to SOME people.

 

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302: La, Shokran (No, Thanks in Arabic)

No, thanks. I don’t want any, but it was nice of you to ask. I don’t want to, but I am honored that you asked. I remember in Girl Scouts (back in the day) when we girls were actually taught how to politely refuse a man’s proposal. We were all about the age of eight, but you never know – it might have happened………. Anyway, we were taught to let the gentleman know how very honored we were at receiving the proposal, but that manners dictated that we had to consult with our family before we could reply. Safe exit. I don’t think girls this day and age are taught how to respond to a proposal that they don’t immediately want to say ‘yes’ to. And nowadays, the proposals are often not proposals of marriage, but offers for other things most of us would rather just pass up, too.

My brother  (it shames me about my family to admit this, but *I* didn’t do it) reported that in his heyday (30 years ago) he would walk up to attractive girls in our college town, of which there were innumerable, and just baldly ask them, “Wanna ____?”  I am also equally ashamed of my sex to admit that occasionally he got an affirmative reply, which encouraged him to keep asking that very, very rude question to perfect strangers of the opposite sex. I have NEVER responded positively to come-ons of the rude and crude sort. I have often not responded positively to come-ons of the polite sort, either, but that’s neither here nor there.

I remember being in my little ’66 Ford Mustang and having guys on the street shout unmentionables at me as I was driving by. Here in Morocco, it is fairly common for men to whisper/mutter suggestive things to a lone woman who is passing them on the sidewalk, and to shout juvenile things at women who are walking as they pass by in their cars. WHAT are these guys thinking? That women are actually flattered?? Seriously?

My second husband was just coming off of a disastrous relationship and decided that he didn’t want to ask women anymore, judging by his previous luck, and he decided that he’d just wait to be asked. It apparently worked out fairly well for him. American women did ask, I asked, and so have a number of other women here in Morocco (to be his second wife, not to dance).  I think that should work well for the rest of the world, too – let the woman ask. She is very unlikely to be turned down, knowing the average man. When a guy asks, his chances of a refusal are actually statistically pretty high – even if there are a few alcoholic drinks involved.

My advice? Let her ask – and then you can be the one with the polite refusal: La, Shokran.