Alhamduillah, we had a very nice weekend. Our weekend starts Wednesday night and ends Friday night (Wednesday here is like Friday in the West and Thursday and Friday here is like Saturday and Sunday everywhere else). My dh came home yesterday and took us for our monthly outing in the big city over an hour away. It was raining so it took like two hours to get there. I had a coupon for a free dessert at APPLEBEES and asked my dh if we could go. He complained about the price of the food and I insured him that I was only going for my free dessert and it was next door to the bookstore we were going to anyway. They called the athan (prayer call) while we were driving and I was fasting and didn’t have anything to break my fast with. So when we got to APPLEBEES, I told my dh, “Hey look this appetizer sampler is enough for all of us to share and it’s cheaper than buying everyone a happy meal.” So he said, “OK order it.” Then the waiter brought the kids balloons, coloring books, crayons, and a kiddie menu. I said, “Wow! Look at this the kiddie meals here are only 5 riyals more than McDonald’s!” So he said, “OK order it.” While waiting on the waiter I browsed the menu. I said, “Wow! I wish I had a job, I would treat you to places like this all the time. The prices really aren’t all that bad and the restaurant is nothing fancy. I went to fine dining restaurants as a child and this is not one, but that steak and shrimp combo looks so good. They have three different choices, which one looks good to you? Oh well, I’m allergic to seafood anyway and I could only eat half of the steak anyway, but you could have all the shrimp and the other half of the steak and we could split the potatoes and garlic bread.” He said, “OK order it.” So we had a really nice dinner and there was no music being played, alhamduillah and the only thing close to ruining it was when my dh said, “I wonder what the Mashaykh (Muslim Scholars) would say about imitating a bar.” So then I told the waiter I wanted to redeem my free dessert. He cleared the table (and my dh cleaned up the mess my son made, I still had his pasta smeared all over my abaya) and brought us the dessert menus. I told my dh, I am going to get the most expensive dessert on the menu since it’s free, but boy they have a lot of good looking ones. How does this apple sizzler look to you? Which one should I get?” He said, “just order both.” I ordered both and everyone shared. So as you can see my FREE trip to APPLEBEES cost us over 200sr (which isn’t bad but my dh wants us all to eat 3sr sharwamas). I told him that since he spent more than planned and didn’t complain, then I would not call the maid service to come the next day to clean up (it was his idea to have someone come help me once a week).

Then we went to Jarir Bookstore. He asked me how much did I need. I told him just 100sr to get the kids some more Bernstein Bear Books. I ran into an American family there and he was in a good mood because he talked to two American brothers while I looked around. I picked out all of the rest of the Berenstain Books that we did not have…all 11 of them (except the One on B-day parties, Mamas day, and The Big Question about God). 100sr would only get me 4 of them. Plus my daughter threw in 5 books by Mercer Mayer’s. So I gave my dh the cart and I said, “here pick out the ones you want, I’m gonna run ahead to the Super Market and get a head start on my grocery shopping while you figure this out and pay for it…Oh yeah you keep the kids because the bill is a lot higher if they come in with me because they will add stuff to the cart.”

So he gets to the store and tells me that the books were 4x as much as I said it would be. Masha’Allah. We promised to take the kids to Sparkies (an amusement park in another mall), but he had spent all the cash at the Super Market because I underestimated (rofl) the bill. When we got there he ran into a Saudi friend of his who wanted him to sit with him and have coffee (where all the bored men sit and wait…their punishment for not allowing women to drive here is that we must be chauffeured everywhere). I had a few riyals in my wallet and told him to take the cash so that he wasn’t forced to have them buy all the drinks and that I would take the ATM card (rofl…my dh always says that I remind him of the cartoon The Jetson’s when the hubby pulls out some cash and his wallet and the wife takes the wallet). So I went off, kids in tow, looking for an ATM machine. Wouldn’t you know it they were not working and my kids were whining because they had already waited all night for me to do my thing. So I went back to my dh, told him the dilemma, and he just stood there. However, I am quick on my feet (my dh and my mother think I should have been a lawyer or a con artist) and I spotted this huge Mega store called GEANTS. I told my dh that I needed to go in there and get a few things anyway (earlier he told me to take the kids to the amusement park and give him a list and he would get what I needed because I have a way of adding things to the cart that we don’t need. So I told him to just get me 6 cans of black beans and some Smart Milk, but he ran into his friend) and that I would just buy one expensive item that I would immediately return for cash (the look on his face was priceless…he must be thinking “who did I marry?” I told him I did not learn that in the hood but in college…white ppl do it all the time don’t act like you don’t know!). So I went to Geants, I gave my dh the stroller and got a cart (clue number one that I was not sticking to my list because he was like why do you need a cart for a few items?). They didn’t have the beans. I forgot about the milk. The kids bought a little table with 4 chairs (rofl) and I got the item that I intended to return. Returned the item, got the cash, dropped off the merchandise with my dh, and took the kids to the amusement park. We all met back up, it was time to leave, I needed my milk, went to get it, got the kids some snacks for the long ride home and bought two picnic tables with 8 chairs(rofl).

By the time we got home it was 3am. I was up until fajr reading bedtime stories (we bought 16 books)! So today, my dh was still in a good mood, alhamduillah. No complaints about my mismanagement of finances, yesterday. After salatul Jumuah he asked if we wanted to go into town (not the big city we were in yesterday, but the lil town 20 minutes away). He said, the kids could play at McDonald’s. I was still in my good mood too and couldn’t believe that he actually offered to take us somewhere without us begging. I told him, give me a couple of hours to get the house clean (since I canceled the Maid and we have 4 bathrooms and 5 bedrooms and sand all over the house after 3 days of rain and kids tracking it everywhere). I was excited because even though he bought a new belt for the hoover a few weeks ago, it was the wrong size and he got the right one yesterday. I asked him if he was sure that the belt was the problem and nothing else. He assured me that the belt was the problem. You can not imagine how excited I was about something like this, because for weeks I have been sweeping non stop and sweeping can not get little grains of sand out of carpet (I had all the carpet pulled up before my son was born and had the place tiled wall to wall accept the bedrooms, but when my maid went back to Indonesia, I could not maintain the floors and had carpet put over the tiles…I should have got rugs!). I was also all giddy because when he came in from the masjid he gave me some flowers that he handpicked. It was actually funny, because when he came in he said, “these are for you” and handed me the flowers. They were the exact ones that my children pick for me everyday and I tell them EVERYDAY please do not bring them in the house because they make me sneeze. However, I thought it was sweet coming from him and took them and put them in water.

So everyone’s in a good mood. He’s happy, the kids are happy, I’m happy, masha’Allah. The vacuum still doesn’t work! I tried to be calm. I tried not to show my disappointment, but then he did it!!!! He went there again!!!! My dh loves all things old and he will go on and on about how old is better. So he got mad at the hoover. He said,  “I will never buy a new hoover again (after bragging about how hoovers are the best), they don’t make them the way they use to. They’re junk. Look at these plastic parts. They aren’t made to endure….” I snapped, “they are not made to be abused by kids that you will not allow me to discipline! You don’t allow me to tell your kids ‘no!’, you think they should be allowed to do any and everything they want. You think it is cute when ‘Bam Bam’ it tearing up the hoover and now you want to blame the company… I’m not going to McDonald’s! I need to stay here and sweep up every room in the house!” He said, “I knew it, this always happens, every time  I take you out you act like this… The girls are now talking like you…you need to be careful before they get married and talk like that to their husbands, it’s called ‘a nagging wife'”

So after they left, I turned on the Quran and cleaned up and the house was quiet and clean and I was alone and got a much needed break and felt awful about freaking out over nothing. I really hate being a nagging wife. That’s why I didn’t say anything when he came back home with girl shoes on my son. My son threw his shoes away so my dh had to buy some while they were out. He assumed that since they were blue high tops than they were for boys. He didn’t notice the Daisey’s…

Masha’Allah.

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