605: No, thank YOU


I am so dreadfully sorry that I was in conversation with my husband, and neglected to notice that you held the door for us to enter the establishment. I am sure my error was compounded in triplicate because you are black and I am white. I can assure you it wasn’t intentional, nor do I expect such service from strangers, or black people in particular. Neither my husband or I am visibly handicapped, so you offered (of your own volition) to hold the door which you could clearly see we were capable of opening ourselves. That was both courteous, and kind of you.

What wasn’t, was your announcement in overly loud voice of that sarcastic “You’re WELCOME” when we neglected to immediately and profusely thank you ourselves for your kind (and unnecessary) gesture. Believe me, your deliberate rudeness put our unintentional forgetfulness squarely even and then some.

Why bother to offer a kindness (necessary or not) if all you are after is the public notice of your nobleness? And your conduct when you didn’t get your thanks (for whatever reason) certainly left us both with a clear impression of your “nobleness,” didn’t it?

Yes, it is our usual habit to acknowledge such a gesture with spoken thanks. Yes, we were engaged in our conversation, and we forgot to thank you. I don’t believe I have lowered myself to that level when my polite gestures have gone unrewarded and unnoticed, and if I ever have, I am thoroughly and utterly ashamed of myself.


129: NOT getting it

Sometimes I just don’t get it. I am pretty sure that happens to everyone else, too – there are just some things that happen, and some things that other people say and do, that I just don’t understand. I don’t “get” it.

Conversation sometimes helps out in this situation. Sometimes when you can discuss something and discover what other people’s hidden, invisible motivations are, you can then understand why they do or did the things that they do or did. This does not, however work in all situations. There are times when you can talk it out until you are blue in the face, and still, things just don’t make sense: I don’t get it.

Living in Morocco, it is fairly expected that as a foreigner earning a very good wage, at least in Moroccan terms, if not in United States terms, that you will “share the wealth” and hire a maid – a domestic helper. So, we did. Then, we discovered that this person, whom I personally liked a great deal as a human being, was basically unwilling to perform the chores that we originally hired her for. When I moved one of the rugs and discovered a smushed coal from the fireplace beneath it right after she left, indicating that she did not bother to clean the floor, much less arrive for her half-day early enough to get the laundry hung out to dry, my husband fired her.

He is the spouse who is at home, and maintaining the household over here in Morocco. This is not a problem for ME, since I have been a stay-at-home spouse before, and I actually know how hard a job that is. Many times I cleaned all day, and you could not tell I had done a thing by dinnertime. At any rate, appreciation beside the point, he is the one at home, so he is the one who decides about a maid or not, and which maid. Hiring and firing are his responsibility, since I am at work, anyway – I hardly even see them! So, he wanted another one. He found a lady in town, and they agreed to rate and days, and when she showed up for work, the university security guard would not let her into the apartment complex, because “she was not on the approved list of maids.” HE sent another one to my husband, who WAS on the “approved list.” Only one problem. She STOLE from us. And, she did not really steal from US, she stole from ME. She did not want my husband’s things, she lusted after MY things, even after I GAVE her an expensive jacket I got in a package from home that was too tight for me, but which fit her. After I found the third piece of costume jewelry missing (she left the  matching earrings when she took the necklace sort of thing), I told him to fire her. I told him I was satisfied with his “man” cleaning, and that we did not need a maid.

Then we moved to a neighboring town, over other nuisances from the University, not just sending us an “approved” maid who stole. Things were fine for a while, and then my husband met another woman, down on her luck, who needed a job, so he hired her as a maid, in spite of our conversation to the contrary, and, I did not pitch a fit over it – I should have. This one stole my wedding band, which I had left on the counter when I was making bread, and two other rings that I know of – one a final bequest to me from an aunt I admired. Over a thousand dollars worth of, again, MY stuff, not his stuff. I did not have to ask him to fire this one – he did it all by himself.

We again had a long conversation about Moroccan women, and their apparent willingness to steal my stuff, and I told him that if he met another woman, he could meet her somewhere outside our home and be friends with her – but that we WOULD NOT have another maid. He heard the no more maids part, but not the no more people in our home part. He met yet another girl, who was “teaching him Arabic.” THIS one shopped our shelves in the kitchen and bathroom, and just took whatever she liked: my makeup, shampoo and toothpaste, mouthwash, cans and boxes of food. *I* had to tell her to GO HOME when she came over one day when I was there – he could not be so rude. We had the woman discussion YET AGAIN.

When he met the last one, and brought HER home, I pitched the fit I should have pitched at the beginning. I offered to purchase him a one-way ticket back to the United States – or any other place that was NOT with me any longer. He told me that he finally “got it,” and since I cannot physically throw him out (he is bigger than me), and his residency card is good in Morocco for two more years such that I cannot actually revoke it, I caved. But I caved with the complete understanding that there would be NO MORE people in our house.

Yesterday, he mentioned casually that he had brought her over to our house “just for a few minutes” because “she had a headache, and I got her some Tylenol.” Excuse me. What part of NO MORE PEOPLE IN OUR HOUSE can you just not “get?”

How much does a divorce cost here in Morocco? And, does anybody know of a good locksmith in Azrou, so that I can get all the locks changed?

121: Silliness

OK. This is ridiculous. WHY, WHY, WHY cannot a man and a woman be “just friends?” WHY does sex always have to be thought to be the reason? It does not matter whether the man and woman actually are “just friends,” or actually are doing the nasty: everybody THINKS they HAVE to be sexually involved. It’s like there is this huge, universal understanding that a man and a woman could not possibly have anything to say to each other that does not center around sex, or eventually lead to sex. This is ridiculous.  Since when did sex become the only possible topic of conversation?

I just don’t get it. This is BEYOND ridiculous. Everytime I meet a person of the opposite sex, having sex with them is NOT, NOT, NOT the first thing that comes to mind – FAR from it. Are there actually people so stupid that all they can think with is their gonads? Come on. Not all humans are THAT stupid.

OK, not all humans are that intelligent, either, but seriously? WHO has sex on the brain all the time past the age of eighteen? You HAVE to be kidding me. There is more to life than bodily urges, and there is certainly more to friendship than that. Give people some credit – a little, at least!