An hour or so into the cleaning found me attacking the dust in my room. My son Yusef came in to tell me there was a neighbour lady at the door wanting to see me. Here I was in a grimy looking housedress, my hair flying about in every direction, with smudges on my face. No time to freshen up, I headed for the door to find the neighbour lady standing there patiently.
After exchanging greetings at the door I told her 'Come on in. I'm afraid you've caught us in the middle of our Saturday morning housecleaning. Just ignore the mess.' I pushed over the pile of clean laundry that was on the sofa waiting to be folded so she could have a seat.
'What can I do for you?' I asked. She took a deep breath and said 'I've come to ask if you would give your daughter for marriage.' Here I was with my dirty housedress and messy hair sticking out every which way. 'No. Sorry. She's much too young.' The woman actually sighed and looked relieved! I imagine she was so happy that I said no considering how I looked. I had a hard time to try to keep from laughing. After she left the girls and I started laughing hysterically. I looked at myself in the mirror in the entry and just howled with laughter.
I need to get some kind of warning system set up. Maybe a sign, or possibly that yellow caution tape.
This Libyan custom is so totally ridiculous. At least this woman was polite and went about asking about my daughter in a nice way. Some of the approaches women use are just so weird. One woman came once and said 'My son wants a bride who's mother has blue eyes.' What is this? Selective breeding? Is my daughter a farm animal? Livestock? Later on I thought that I should have replied 'Let's let my daughter have a look at the boy's father's body parts to see if she likes any of them first.' Ugghh.. do they realize how they sound? And they all want white girls; fair and white. And they all state this up front.
One of my friends told me that some women came to her house when she wasn't at home and one of her daughter's answered the door and told them their mother was not home. They said to her 'Can you and your sisters line up in the window so we can decide if we should come back?' Did they really think that someone would marry their daughter off to a family that used that approach? Needless to say the girls had the sense NOT to line up in front of the window.
Arranged marriages.... deranged marriages... hehehe....