Monday, January 29, 2007

Public Walkway Peeps

I actually prefer to jog outdoors rather than running on a smooth black rug that goes round and round under my big feet. I generally do not pay attention to whoever is walking before, beside or behind me but some people stick out like a sore thumb that it's hard not to cast another glance at their antics:

1- Flexing Fools:

Now, I fully recommend that people stretch their muscles before starting their workout. However one evening, an older man walking in front of me decided to perform his lunges right then and there. The man was holding up pedestrian traffic with his sudden and quite awkward leg bending. Meanwhile I was thinking, "Dude, I know what you're flexing. Go to the sandy area!"

Sometimes I am grateful for having to go through my little run solo because I know that if I had a family member or friend along with me, they would probably be the last straw in terms of me breaking out into a giggle if we come across a strange looking passerby doing even more stranger stretching techniques. That almost happened to me last week and I swear I have never bitten my lower lip as hard as I did to keep from smiling. The walkway was a bit crowded but traffic was fortunately orderly. I squinted my eyes and looked ahead at someone wearing white, standing right off the even gravel, facing me and other people who will soon pass him by. I could not see what he was doing from my position, but I noticed people staring at the man and quickly looking away. As I came closer, I saw the walkway's nightly spectacle with feet spread apart, hands on his hips, gyrating away. I know I had previously said that I support stretching prior to a workout, but what this man was doing was ridiculous and rated R. I remember my jaw dropping a little and my eyes widening instinctively. An older woman walking toward me caught my eye, looked at the man's hips that revolved at a now slower pace, and raised her eyebrows at me. I just kept on walking with my head down. Thank goodness I was wearing a cap.

2- Belly dancing Fashionistas:

First of all, dousing yourself with perfume is a workout no-no. It's inappropriate and will smell funny if sweat is added into the mix, and it was the reason why I gagged after inhaling a mouthful of a little Misses' perfume last week.
Another thing I do not understand is that many girls my age wrap a little jacket around their butts so as to not have their rears exposed. Yet in my opinion, that little jacket makes them much more seductive; I wouldn't be surprised if someone got down on one knee and started clapping before sticking a couple of dinars in the girl's jacket folds. I saw a young woman the other night wearing a tight black shirt and pants and a shrunken white jacket wrapped around her butt. The first thing that came to mind when I saw her highlighted butt swaying before me in the darkening evening was, "I wish I can belly dance like that." Seriously, this woman was above and beyond. It wasn't a waddle, but a really slow sashay where every cheeks' move was apparent to the men who looked back at her firmly strapped, wobbling rear in response to their natural, animal instinct and to be honest, I really don't blame them for doing that. I don't know about you, but that lingering, hip-shaking sway is more of an entrancing dance than exercise. The only thing that comes out of it is more male genitals quivering on my lovely district's public walkway. Oh the horror…

Big Star - Thirteen I love this song...

at 1:33 PM 7 comments

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Untouchable Kuwaiti

Nobody can deny the fabulous double standard we have here in Kuwait between males and females. However, I have noticed that divorced women are scrutinized and judged by society in a more extreme manner than other unmarried females who live socially normal lives.

Even when the word divorce is mentioned it is always directed toward the woman in a grave and pitiful tone i.e. "She got divorced" or "Oh the poor thing, she's divorced now." It is as if a divorced Kuwaiti woman is a living and tragic dead end. Where is the man in this scenario? Well, regardless of who was the nuisance, philanderer, or crazed nut in the marriage and why it was annulled, the man usually has a higher probability of getting married to another woman – probably another virgin waiting excitedly - while the now divorced wife sits around with a passport that identifies her as so-and-so's ex-wife. Now, there are many divorced women who do remarry, but the chances are slim, mostly because the female population in Kuwait outnumbers the males'. Marriage is a risk, a gamble, or as my sister quotes on a daily basis, "Qisma oo ni9eeb." But if a divorced woman carries a modest family name or is not very pretty, she has less of a chance to remarry someone worth her genuine goodness.

What kills me even more is when newlyweds rush into the baby scene before they have really known each other. Having children jumbled in the equation is the saddest thing since the effects of divorce are almost always more devastating on the child/children than they are on the actual couple.

Another infuriating element is that divorced women's outings are eyed down by society who is aware of their marital past. For instance, if people see a divorced woman accompanied by any man/men, one is sure to think of her possible bed hopping and not consider the fact that the men might be colleagues from work or school. The same is true when a divorced woman travels alone or with friends. "Oh did you hear that Ms. X went to Europe alone? I wonder!"

What I find utterly disgusting is that countless people discuss the intricate details of the marriage, especially abrupt ones. I am specifically referring to how many ask if a woman is a virgin or not. When they find out that she is, they put their hands on their heart and let out a relieved sigh, "Thank God, she still has hope!" Yet when they know she is not one anymore, their faces sink, "Ah, she is not pure anymore."

I asked a friend of mine from Kuwait once if he would marry a divorced woman. His initial reaction was, "No. I want my wife to share all her firsts with me like the first honeymoon, house and so on." But then I said, "What if she actually is an amazing woman who was married to an abusive guy? It was her fate but how is that her problem? Why should she not have as much of a chance as the next girl to marry someone good and decent and find happiness in her life?"

There are many things I abhor about Kuwaiti society and how issues are twisted to leave more tongues wagging and mouths chattering. This kind of primitive thinking and take on divorced women is one of them. Unfortunately, divorced women in other countries share the same absurd value: they usually get the shitty end of the stick when they are propelled into the tabooed land of the D-word.

Ornette Coleman - Lonely Woman
Bob Dylan - Just Like a Woman
Wolfmother - Woman
Ben Folds - Get Your Hands Off of My Woman (Ft. Corn Mo)
Artful Dodger - Woman Trouble
Phish - Boogie On Reggae Woman
Eric Bachmann - Carrboro Woman

at 12:09 PM 27 comments

Saturday, January 06, 2007

بايبي, آيم هوم

at 3:39 AM 12 comments