Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Another level

Last night was another first for me. I became my oldest daughter Nora's chaperone. She came home the other day from school and said she had been invited to her friend's sister's wedding. She was all excited and of course just had to go. I said 'Fine, but I work that day and you will have to wait for me to get home from work and see if I feel up to it.'

The dreaded day arrived. Of course Nora had been getting ready for days in advance. Planning what to wear, and how she would do her hair, and all the fun things girls do. She kept the phone going non-stop with her friends, discussing the issue at length too.

I got home from work and found Nora ready. Pacing back and forth. I really didn't feel like going anywhere but the thought of letting Nora down and having to hear about it from her for days, if not weeks, got me motivated. In the bedroom, open the closet - presto-chango! - in no time at all I was ready to go. The whole time Nora was whining and complaining about being late.

Arriving at the wedding hall to find the bride still had not arrived (it was nearly 10 pm), we had a hard time finding a seat as the wedding hall was packed. Finally we got a seat at a table way, way, way in the back.

Nora's friends came running over and got me seated next to another chaperoning mother, who was the mother of one of Nora's friends and who turned out to live in my neighbourhood. I hadn't met her before, but we knew most of the same neighbours. She seemed to be a nice woman and spent the evening checking out Nora and grilling me for information about any other daughters I might have ( though I'm sure she knew all about my life already). Of course, she voluntarily filled me in on all the details of her wonderful son and the pleasant life they live. I just let her go on and on. It was kind of amusing. Finally after what seemed like forever she asked me a direct question. 'Do you agree to long engagements?' I said, 'No, we don't do that in our family.' That was the end of hearing about her son!

The wedding itself was a huge mess. Horribly planned. It seemed that more guests arrived than had been invited and the result was that they ran out of everything; chairs, tables, drinks, sweets and even food. Dinner, if you were lucky to get a plate, finally arrived after midnight. The music was loud and the girls, most were NOT being chaperoned, were behaving in ways that I found disgusting.

Thank God, it was time to leave! In the car, Nora who was pleased with the evening, gushed on and on about all that had happened. I had a throbbing headache! I've moved up to a new level. I am now the chaperone to assorted parties. I'm not sure I like this new job description.


  1. Hello there Khadija,

    I really enjoy reading your posts, I sent the URL of your blog to all my friends, I like what you write, the way you write, about things that are not usually found in the newspapers or any other formal websites, the every day life details...I'm enjoying it to the full....I can't actually wait to read your first book, Seriously Khadija you should consider it...I'm sure it'll be so unique and inspiring....

    Keep up the good work,

  2. Thanks Youcef! Glad you are enjoying my blog. I'm not so sure about a book - I don't think I'm much of an inspiration - just like to get off a bit of steam sometimes, so the blog works well for that. Thanks again for your kind words :)

  3. Oh, my! What more to come! Long engagement, huh? Can they think of anything else a girl is good for? I guess you should give her credit, she came straight to the point. You know you can only blame it on your genes with your fair skin, hair and eyes color... highly desired in Libya, you probably know that. How old are your daughters? Don't worry, I don't have a son to match ;)

    I agree Teri, your blog is the only place where one reads about the reality in Libya. Not even the western reporters who go there capture what you do. You should be their point of contact and guide when they visit Libya, lol.

  4. I got to go to a Kuwaiti wedding once. It was very much like you describe. What I was most surprised was the way the women and girls were dressed... like they were all going to the academy awards! Compared to how I usually saw them dressed (ie. in public) it was quite a transformation.


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