Friday, May 7, 2010

Dreading Fridays


Bismillah al Rahman al Raheem

Since I arrived  from the US to UAE, I have  started  not only to dislike Fridays but also dread  it. Every Thursday , I begin to  panic and negative feelings start to overcome me.  My whole body refuses to participate in the family gathering starting on Thursday night when I just feel tired, moody,  focused on Friday  and all that surrounds it. The phone calls and messages from the relatives aggravate me and any hint for the lunch makes me sick from the inside.  As the days and weeks are passing, my negativity growths  and it seems I cannot reconcile and manage my inappropriate behavior. I have had such elements of behavior before  and never was found of the  big gatherings . Now , I m desperate to find the cause and possibly come up with the solution because there is a big risk of alienating myself from the community. Although one side of me cares for the community, the other can  care less but then why do I dread Fridays. I thought maybe I am anti-social but I do well in the group discussions and  willing to communicate with people  in solving or discussing something. I have no fear of outside or any of that Freudian categories . What happened between me and Friday?
                The epiphany came when I was taking a shower this morning.  I would not say that something completely radical and new explained my resistance;  instead, the compilation of all the emotions finally found its answer.  I observed that I do very well on a small crowd basis i.e. one to two persons. I require complete attention and a real  conversation on both sides and not for  more than a couple of hours. I have little interest in a small talk. I don’t like to be listened or listen because there is nothing else to do . I do have a feeling that I could have done something more useful instead of  being there and suffer speaking about how someone said that and that.
 Perhaps, the years of academic environment and hungry for knowledge people made me accustomed to the constant exchange of ideas, arguments, considerations, and reflections.  Here , I don’t have that feed back   and  I wish for someone to question my thoughts and ideas.  To be fair, my husband is great in filling that desire but only for a limited time and some female issues he would probably refuse to discuss in depth while I would be reluctant to  bring up such topics.  Our educations are in different fields, he is more business and practicality oriented, and I am trained in social sciences – theories. My entertainment is to question something established and explain its mechanics in the society.  We do have wonderful conversations especially traveling somewhere  and I miss  this time  quiet often. 
Going back to me vs. Friday crowd  topic, I am  not ready to challenge myself, instead I will go with myself and forget the social participation. I feel I m cornered and forced to surrender to the daily topics  of non-sense making statements , exaggerations, and myths.  It is funny that dealing with such dissonance within me I give full attention to animals and ignore a human contact. I battle with myself  but nothing goods comes out of it.
I realize that the solution  for me remains the same as before - to stay away from everyone.  I withdraw  into my shell because I don’t find the surroundings  satisfying enough . I don’t like to demonstate  my intentions  and I don’t kick and bite J. No,  I politely escape the social arena be it in the house or a Friday gathering. I would probably be misunderstood by the family but if they love me   the comprehension would  follow. I love them all but I want to stay away from their  non-challenging  conversations about  “complex for no reason”  lives.  
 I don’t want to dread Fridays, I used to love it and I want to start loving it again.

8 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Asalaamu `alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    Subhan Allah -- FINALLY i found your Blog -- I kept trying to click on the link but I kept getting this "no Blog has been found" message!!

    Anyways 7abibiti I totally understand where u r coming from -- I can also identify with both yours and Alice's feelings concerning this matter. I too used to get very anxious about the Friday lunch until I took a break and went back when I felt comfortable. My husband, God bless him, understood my feelings and didn't pressure me. Alhamdulillah, now I feel more like I know my place and even though I feel embarrassed in front of a few of my inlaws, I don't care.

    Khayr inshaa'Allah <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. thank you ladies for your supporting comments. i wish i could change things but unfortunately the culture sometime is just too much. everyone wants to talk and noone wants to listen :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. When I was expected to attend the big family get-togethers on Fridays it was hard for me too. The hours of just sitting there, my kiddos tired and bored, smiling politely because I didn't understand any Arabic...but now we don't have the big family get togethers anymore I miss them. SubhanAllah

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Ladies, i think i should clarify the point of my article. i agree that the get togethers are important and vital to my society , what i am concerned about is the purpose and quality. Before, the old people would share some stories and old sayings but now the old people are pushed aside in the quiet corner while the younger crowd indulges in Western materialistic conversations about make up, clothing etc. I see my mother tossed aside sitting quietly on the sofa only occasionally talking but again no one is listening. the quality of the old days has gone... for those who doesn't speak Arabic, i say, you have to learn since you decided to join the society. I was in the US and i learned English to be comfortable and aware of life there. By no means i attack anyone who married into a UAE family however i still think for the threat of alienation it is better to learn the language.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I used to be the same until recently.
    Actually until now, I'm not the kind of a person who would enroll in group conversation. So, on Fridays, I take my place next to my grandma rather than the young crowd I'm supposed to be with, and start any sort of conversation, the lovely thing is that she'll always get along sharing beautiful stories of the past. If not my grandma, then I'll isolate myself in a corner and sleep! I am an introvert.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aawww.. It's ok, Aliya. It's ok to be bored. Remember I used to run away to your place in order to avoid spending time with my in laws? LOL Now there is no place to run :( At some point of life we are all isolated in a sense. But you will get used to it after a while.

    ReplyDelete