Rambulations and Dreams

1. Can’t get to Facebook, the Sims 3 forum, or my own email today.  It’s very sad.

2.  A Muslim man, an immigrant here from Iran, who’s acquaintance I’d made and who was disappointed in my being married for some reason, once told me very forlornly that he couldn’t get a date in the U.S. on account of his Persian looks.

I told him very matter-of-factly that it wasn’t on account of his looks.  It was on account of men from his part of the world and religion having a well-earned reputation of treating women badly and being generally disrespectful of them.  It was a behaviour that free-born women tended not to appreciate.

It was probably more honesty than he wanted yet, after a long, stunned silence, he finally came back with, “Yes, that’s true and I am disrespectful of women.  But I can’t help that.  It’s how I was raised…”  These aren’t his exact words.  I can’t recall them exactly.  This is just the gist.

It was far more honesty than I’d been expecting of him and I had no idea how to respond.  He waited.  I waited.  Finally, he said something along the lines, “But there must be some way for them to see past that, right?”

I was thinking, ‘Well sure there is: She has to be young, idealistic, inexperienced, romantically inclined, and extremely naive.  It would help if she was raised in an abusive environment as well so she’ might be accepting of the abuse that will follow.’  Aloud, I suggested he stick to Muslimah immigrants that had come from his part of the world and give up on American women.  He’d save him and her a lot of grief that way.

I don’t think it was what he wanted to hear.  We haven’t talked much since then.

3.  I thought of the above again today when I was reading through the Daniel Pipe’s forum, Advice Against Non-Muslim Women Dating or Marrying Muslims.  I am one of thousands who have told their bad experiences with such there.

A few posts I read today were by Muslim men complaining that we were damaging the potential of tourism in their countries and giving Muslim men a bad name.  They weren’t all bad.

Well, of course they’re not.  But we are not the ones giving them a bad name.  Their own brethren in religion are doing that.  We’re just banding together against the damage they’ve been well known to cause us.  Even so, even if I were free to do so, I would never ever date or marry another Muslim EVER again.  They’d have to stay in the friend zone only because I don’t think they can help being the way they are.  As my Iranian acquaintance said, they’re raised that way.

They can and often do play the part of being very westernized, secular, and open minded but up close and person, the fiction is far too strenuous for them to maintain, especially once they have children and the whole weight of their natal culture comes to bear down on them.

4.  All of which makes me think of religion as a very dishonest state of mind by nature.

I realize this sounds totally unfair and out of context but I remember what I saw in it and how it felt.  How certain thoughts were forbidden and others strongly encouraged using such tactics as peer pressure, glittering visions of heavenly award, shaming if you don’t believe “right,” fear of Hell if they can convince you to really believe that, displays of camaraderie, promises of divine forgiveness no matter what you do, even anger at you or others if they think it will help.

I’d rather think what I think and feel what I feel honestly, with neither the stick nor the carrot.

5.  Considering all of the above, I wouldn’t date or marry a “born-again” Christian either or anyone, for that matter, on a religious band wagon I don’t see myself getting on board with.  It would be inhibiting and too much of an annoyance really.  We’d drive each other crazy and not in a good way.  Been there.  Done that.  The friend zone is a nice safe place to be in this regard.  It just is.

6.  Dreamt this morning of attending a school with Jeb, both of us wrapped in blankets, chaduri-like, over our coats to stay warm between classes.  Everything was covered in ice and snow.

7.  Dreamt a few nights ago of sheep invading the 4th floor of a tropical hotel we were staying at somewhere very nicely warm.  In the dream, I told Jeb about it and he didn’t believe me.

He was laughing in my face when a sheep suddenly came in through the revolving door in the lobby and then trotted over to an elevator, chewing her cud as she waited, and then walking into it the moment the doors opened.  When they closed behind her, both Jeb and I were staring at the elevator and saw the “4” light up.

Yes, Jeb did get the I-told-you-so look.

When I woke up, the whole thing somehow felt like a memory to such an extent that I was actually surprised not to see anything about sheep in hotels in the morning news.

8. I made a tuna casserole a new way the other night and it turned out rather better than the same ole same ole:

1/2 chopped medium sweet onion caramelized with 2 TBSP minced garlic in olive oil

1/2 bag cooked curly pasty

1 jar alfredo sauce

1/4 cup feta cheese

1 canned drained peas and carrots

1 large can drained tuna

Provence seasoning

1 handful of shredded Kraft Mexican Mix cheeses

Stir together, top with Italian bread crumbs, and a drizzle of butter.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.  Simple and tasty.

9.  Last night I tried a new way of making enchiladas that turned out pretty good as well.  I used…

A small can of Stagg beanless steak chile

A chopped onion carmelized with a little olive oil

a 4oz can of mild green chilies

1 cup of leftover cooked rice

2 or 3 handfuls of Kraft Mexican mix cheeses

4 flour tortillas

1 small can of mild green enchilada sauce.

I stirred the first 5 ingredients together then poured half the enchilada sauce into a glass casserole dish I’d coated with cooking spray.  I laid down two tortillas in the bottom, overlapping a little, and then covered them with the half the mixture.  The two more tortillas, the other half of the mixture, and the rest of the enchilada sauce.  I baked until bubbly and then chopped with more cheese.

I know, I know… you’re supposed to roll the filling up in lots of individual tortillas that have each been smeared with sauce first but I was tired from work and NOT in the mood so I used the lasagna method instead.  Bite me.  No.  Bite it.  It’s good and it’s easy and easy is GOOD when you’re tired.

10.  I have no idea what to make for supper tonight.  Can anyone loan me a good idea?

11.  I start belly dancing again at the end of this month.  YAY!  Cheer me on.  I’ve been too pooped to pop for it these last two months and I’m feeling a bit guilty for it.

About Ampbreia

I'm an ex-Pentacostal, ex-Muslim, ecclectic Agnostic with slightly Wiccan leanings. I am not affiliated with any organized religion or political platform, but I do believe in magic and all things wise and wonderful. I work as an admin in a calibration lab. I've published 2 books so far this year: Lost in Foreign Passions: Love and betrayal, passion and loss in the heart of an alien land (a memoir of my time as a Muslimah and living in Iran for a year), written under my previous married name, Debra Kamza, and Dream Lover (a paranormal romance, the tale of witch that summons her favorite character out of a Bewitched spin-off and the actor who plays him as well). I'm constantly writing stories and poems, thoughts and dreams, and quite a few opinions - many of which are not popular but oh well. Bite me. I'm interested in art, animals, the paranormal, and people. I love to dance, all sorts, but have been studying belly dance since 2006 and LOVE it! I love anime too and love dressing up and going to conventions. My writing runs the gummut of historical, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and erotica. Beware: I may not be safe reading for work. Just saying....
This entry was posted in Dancing, Marriage, Middle East, Recipes/Food, religion, Romance, Sims, social pychology, Thoughts and Dreams, Uncategorized, Women's Issues and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Rambulations and Dreams

  1. I’m cheering you on with the dancing! And have fun fun FUN! 🙂

    What did you end up making for supper?! I like chili or stew or veggie soup in the Winter. 🙂

    Your recipe sounds good! I love tuna fixed any which way! 🙂

    Great convo with the man. I think you gave him wise advice.

    I agree with your #4. You said it well! I’ve struggled with all of that for years.

    HUGS!!! 🙂


  2. whyzat says:

    Blaming the way he was raised was lame. It’s an excuse I hear again and again. It’s as though they don’t know that they have free will.


    • Ampbreia says:

      I agree it’s lame, but it’s often true. Having a free will is one thing, but knowing it and having the confidence to employ is very difficult for people that have been indoctrinated against it as hardline religion or tradition often do. Catholics, for instance, tend to be more panic-striken and neck-deep in guilt than most when it comes to divorce or birth control. They still do it. The strong ones do. But many very literally can’t face bucking the Church system even if they have their private doubts about its wisdom.

      Islam, the predominant religion of the Middle East is MUCH more pervasivie in its people’s psyche than that. It literally translates as “Submission” and that submission in culcated to be extremely literal. I lived in Iran for a year and was surrounded by people who wouldn’t do anything without consulting a religious teacher or the Koran.

      There were religious rules for everything; even how to go to the bathroom properly. I kid you not. And there are TONS of rules about how to treat women and the oft’ quoted “fact” (from the Koran) that a woman is legally worth only half a man and that she should always have a male guardian telling her what to do, circumscribing everything she does, beating her for even the possibility of disobedience, determining whose even allowed to see her, and killing her if she’s disobedient or embarrassing in any way.

      Yes, a man raised in that culture CAN by free will decide to be better toward women than his religion dictates, but he’ll be going against the grain of his entire society to do so and be very self-conscious about it even if he’s moved far away and he’ll have to be very confident and indendent to do that. He’ll have been told all his life that suborning women is the “right” thing to do. Religious indoctrination like that totally mutilates any natural sense of right and a wrong or compassion a person might have.

      So much for free will in those circumstances.


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