dating, Essay, Life, People, Personal, reflections, relationships, sexuality, Society, Uncategorized

Fighting In Heterosexual Relationships

“If we marry your name will be Mrs. Blah Blah @*$&@#$. How does that sound?” He says proudly trying to win me over.

“No. My name will remain what it has always been.”  I reply sourly, annoyed we are having this same argument AGAIN.

“I won’t marry you unless you change your name.”

“Are you serious?”

“Of course. What woman doesn’t take her husband’s name?”

“Moroccan women don’t take their husbands name. Why do I have to erase my history to be with you? It’s my name.”

“Because that is what women do when they marry.”

“I don’t want to erase my name.”

“Well we have a problem then.”

“Would you take my name?”

“Never.”

“So why are you asking me to change my name when you wouldn’t even consider it?”

“Because I am a man.”

“And? Is there anything more you want to add to that?”

“That’s just how it is.”

–  –  –

We laugh to not cry because this is just another typical day in the life of a woman having an all too common argument about fairness, normative heterosexual performances and subtle misogyny.

It’s amazing how adorably unfair many men can be to their loved ones still even after so many years of “enlightenment”. They expect women they are sleeping with to get paid at work much less then them but still help pay their bills 50/50 (because they believe in equality like that), clean and cook and rear their children 100 percent, not make trouble and have excellent sex with them because this is all like a waaaay sexy turn on.

Arguing is normal in relationships and cover the ridiculous to the more emotionally exasperating that lead to either breakthroughs or breakups.

–  –  –

“I would love to have sex with you and another woman since you like women and all.”

“It sounds great but I don’t think I would want you anywhere near me if I was to have sex with a woman.”

“Why not?”

“I would want to be with a woman all by myself.”

“That would be cheating.”

“You think that’s cheating? Okay. Well how would you feel about having another man with us in bed?”

“That will never happen.”

“Why not?”

“It’s okay to have another woman but not another man.”

“Why?”

“Because. I’m a man.”

–  –  –

After 2 or 3 of these types or arguments a week they pile up especially because men think it’s your womanly duty to smile, agree, open our legs and give birth to their babies despite the double standards.

If reincarnation is possible, I am sure I was a man and not like a George Washington or a Pharaoh type but like a prison break criminal with no patience for a man to overlord me.

I once had a full out fight with a boyfriend over a shirt that personally insulted my family members and to women I love who were forced into conditions that were inhuman. He had bought it as a souviner  from a place that celebrated female human trafficking and it deeply offended me. I tried to first explain to him as a man who loved me that it hurt my feelings. His response was:

“You see you have to understand that it’s just a shirt.”

He tried to put it all into perspective for me because according to him, I needed to stop overreacting because I was letting my family and my strong negative feelings about human dignity get in the way of his t-shirt and his idea of fun.

I gave him the benefit that he didn’t understand so I tried again to explain that this t-shirt celebrates something traumatic for me. As someone who loves me, could he protect and respect my feelings?

“No, I like this shirt. I like wearing it to bed.”

“You want to wear that shirt to bed with me?” I asked dumbfounded.

“Yes. You just have to understand that it’s just a shirt. I have the right to have my shirt.”

I too felt I also had the right to then take some scissors and cut a corner out.

“Now you can wear the shirt.”

“YOU CUT MY SHIRT!!! YOU CUT MY SHIRT!! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DID THAT!”

“Yes I cut a small part out because you said you really liked the shirt. See now you can still wear it, it looks hipster and hey you can wear to bed with me now minus the offensive words. It’s a win-win.”

“YOU SAY YOU’RE SORRY! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU!”

Sure, maybe I shouldn’t have cut a hole in his shirt. I damaged his private property but that wasn’t as wrong as continuing to stay in his home after he chose an inanimate object over my family, my history or my feelings. It was wrong to stay after seeing nothing would alter his mindset or his closet to include a little of my world and culture into his.

If I had the confederate flag or a KKK Nazi type t-shirt on and was dating anyone other than a white supremacist I think anyone would be outraged especially if I tried to explain that I didn’t see what the big deal was. Even if I had been living under a rock I would be expected to say, “Hey sorry I didn’t know.”

If it were an ethnic group people might get it better but when it’s women, it’s a given that since the beginning of time, in every country and every religion and to each heterosexual man, women should and must put up with the small insults or large scale violence and even sort of see it as their duty to forgive and accept. Since we are forced to interact with each other one way or another these types of fights will flourish but we will try to hopefully find the humor and maybe good men will try to sensitize themselves to see women as the human deities that they are.

–  –  –

Favorite Feminist Posts of the Week:

http://jezebel.com/in-defense-of-being-a-lover-and-a-fighter-1462383089?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

http://www.rolereboot.org/sex-and-relationships/details/2013-09-fornicating-while-latina-why-i-was-deeply-ashamed-of

http://jezebel.com/men-who-insist-you-change-your-name-make-terrible-husba-1446543344

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Anxiety, dating, death, Essay, family, Fear, Loss, love, marriage, Memoir, Personal, Random, reflections, relationships, Shame, Stories, Thoughts, Vulnerability

As all break ups are painful this was not an exception, but pain is subjective, I thought to myself. Every break up seems to be the worst there ever was, but they all become part of a storyline and lesson plan that eventually don’t invoke pain the way they did or could before.

I notice with a smug sense of pride that I am unaffected by past resentment even if it took many years because time does in fact heal some wounds. It’s the same smugness I have when meeting up with my ex and his girlfriend. I gloat and I feel a sense of pride that I have “moved on”. I can even imagine their happy lives fulfilled without me, and it makes me feel a superiority that I am no longer attached. My facade of being untouchable crumbles as I realize that I may have gotten over him but not everyone entirely.

I feel a creeping truth in the form of a pain in my chest. I assume it’s my pride pinching me and it’s quietly taking up residence in me secretly beneath the surface.

I shut down the computer and lay in bed turning all the lights off but I don’t fall asleep. I ask myself why there remains that pinching feeling on my chest and where it usually goes to hide itself? It is a resident that I did not know occupied any space and I want to know where it normally lives so that I can evict it. It etches more into my senses as I ask more questions.

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This feeling surfaces once every few years or so when I am finally lying alone at night and it comes to fill the space in bed next to me which has kept me filling that space in bed with someone to avoid this moment.

It feels like a small wave building up as the feeling that is sitting on my chest reaches down to whisper in my ear what I now hear loudly in my head:

You don’t want me but I am here. You are afraid because you can’t control or change me but I am The End and one day after everyone and everything else around you is gone I will be here because I am the only thing that is certain. You will end one day and you can’t keep your daughter or your family or any beloved.

My jaw tightens as I lie on the flat of my back now listening to the clock tick loudly down the hallway in the silence of my sleeping city. I swallow the lump in my throat and squeeze my eyes letting gravity push my tears into the curves of my ear drums.

I never knew I was afraid of death but this now explains why so many exes have taken to call me irresponsible as I give planning the future or tomorrow the finger.

I had no idea I linked dying to the idea of love even as I have clung to love to spare me from death as if it were it’s only remedy and cure.

It’s a jumbled mess in my head but I realized last night that I seem to also see the state of marriage as death, I see loving another as the death of the ego, and the end of love as just one smelly rotting corpse where you disappear.

Love is scary because even after finding the one you want to live and die with,  “What will happen after we die?” I once asked my ex. “What will happen to you? How will I find you again?” He had no answers. You can’t keep it forever no matter if he or she is the love of your life.

I am sure fear of death is why people buy and collect more than they can ever use and why my mother hoards junk into her small room and why I have avoided sitting Shiva this week with the family I love.

Fear of the all mighty End is also probably why many people stay longer in dying relationships and seek narratives of resurrection and return.

We avoid that phrase “The End”…that marks the last shot of every good movie and everyone who has ever entered us and made us believe in eternity.

I don’t want to admit that death is a part of life and that we all will evaporate in a flash. I will disappear from my daughter as my father did from me. We will all break up from each other and this break up will be bruising even though we had all our lives together to prepare for it.

How liberating it must be to have no notion of ones morality and ones limits and death.

If I had no fear of the End, I probably would not try to control everything. There would be no anxiety because there would be no consciousness of the limitations.

My daughter is roughly the same age I was when I had to acknowledge death so I tell my girl that there is nothing sad in death (although I lie) and I tell her there is nothing to be afraid of (which is true) because life and energy can never be created or destroyed, only transformed. That is the only fact that has always comforted me because I know that for her sake she must not fear dying because if we fear death, we can’t ever really live.

One Girls Fear of Death and Love

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dating, Life, Lifestyle, living abroad, Loss, love, marriage, Morocco, Musings, relationships

A Few Signs Your Neighbors Are Separated

My neighbors include a young man, his son, their nanny and the woman of the house.

In the four years I have lived in this Casablanca apartment I have seen the wife less then 5 times. She never appeared at first so I thought for almost a year that the nanny was in fact the woman of the house because I saw her each and every day (and much more than I would have liked). My daughter even thought the nanny was the mother and wife of the house and I decided not to correct her because then I would have to explain why we never saw the son’s mother with her kid, not even on off days or the weekends. My daughter would have asked me some questions I would feel uncomfortable answering while remaining neutral or free of judgement.

In the last few months there were signs that life had started to change next door. Loud parties and music echoed out of the house at all hours of the day and night. I didn’t think much of it but my daughter of course did. True to her Moroccan roots my daughter asked why there were parties taking place which I of course considered to be their private business. That didn’t stop her from asking the father (in his late 20s) when he once exited his apartment at the same as us, “Why is there so much loud music all the time?” He smiled and was gracious in his usual fashion but I was mortified and answered for him to my daughter that dads were also allowed to have fun too. I excused us and didn’t think much about it again.

I didn’t even notice that I had all together stopped seeing the nanny. Months after I still just chalked it up to extremely good luck at timing my anti-social behavior and thought perhaps they took the nanny on an extended vacation minus the father.

I credit myself at both respecting my neighbors private life and being a complete failure at paying attention to small details. It took months before I realized that I had all together stopped seeing the neighbors son until one day on a weekend I spotted him outside with his dad. He had grown up so much I was startled and realized that it had been many months since I last saw him or his nanny or his mother.

I finally added up all the signs. No nanny. No son at home except once on the weekend. A new man living in the house with the father. Parties until late and during the day. I realized my neighbors had separated and I had been completely unaware for nearly 6 months.

Now it made sense why my neighbor was coming to my defense whenever possible and even fighting on my behalf with the housing staff which was unexpected and unusual. His door was open late into the night when he would try to strike up conversations and there were those few extra seconds at the end of every ‘good morning’ or ‘good evening’ as if a longer exchange was welcome and waiting. I kept our exchanges short because conversations with married men can be read as infidelity here. I had missed all the clues that he was now single and was trying to say “Whatzzz UP!!! Party time! Want to join us next door?”

I wondered how I could have missed something so obvious happening next door to me. Partly I realized it is due to the classy nature of the family. Their separation didn’t include yelling or fighting or loud stressful violent encounters with the furniture or their partners. I had gotten used to this style of separation after living here all these years and it made me happy to know that there can be civilized separations.

Now I glance over at his apartment and pose the question to myself: if he offers would I accept an invitation to join him at home one night…I remembered my wild days post separation when I ran through people like kleenex and although it was fun it was also a necessary messy stage I am not willing to repeat. So it’s probably a no but never say never until you walk through those doors.

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Porn: A young woman’s perspective on love in the age of the internet and its abundance and imbalance of bad taste

I like watching people having sex but I don’t like porn

If you have no problem with mainstream porn and neither does your partner, enjoy your hearts out with it.

But for many women, they have a problem with their boyfriends or husbands watching porn which most men watch at some point in their lives to differing degrees usually less when in a relationship. The usual sex advice that you hear from experts is that all men do it so it’s natural and we have to accept it and deal with our own self esteem problems.

I don’t think this response quite covers the issue well enough and simplifies what is a bit more complicated as porn is not organic, it’s created and because its new to our world it’s become a point of confusion to a lot of the relationships.

Porn’s place differs from one couple to the other and relates to each of us differently depending on our sexual histories and psyches. Since I have yet to hear anyone give a helpful answer that takes into account my side or experience I decided to write this.

I like sex. Maybe a bit more than most and I like watching people have sex but I don’t like mainstream porn…meaning 99.99 percent of what we call porn.

On the rare occasion, when I see videos of people who obviously respect the other, who do all sorts of kinky shit, love their bodies and aren’t just acting (because they are in the .01 percent), I get turned on. But this is rare and not what I am calling “porn” in this post.

I once proposed to my boyfriend to visit a famous sex club in France that is run by a woman who designed it to be friendly and safe for women. I don’t want to see actors or manipulated minors or financially marginalized women being used in porn.

My boyfriend rightly has a problem with the idea of a sex club even though it fits the same principle as his porn: watching people have sex. But the interesting difference for me is that these men and women have no need to be there except that they want to be there. My boyfriend is a bit freaked out and naturally so but then again its much better to me than the porn industry whose many participants get there for much less fantastic reasons.

Mainstream porn for me is like junk food. We consume knowing that it does nothing really great for us but we enjoy it. Everyone has their own relationship to consumption and what they put into their system. Some don’t eat sugar or don’t smoke to try to live cleaner lives. Others try to quit junk food and quit smoking but don’t ever quit and others don’t really mind and can happily chain-smoke and live on McDonalds everyday of their lives.

Porn as an industry I don’t find to be very healthy for me. When I watch mainstream porn I go there not because it excites me like my boyfriend thinks, as much as to revisit reminders of my own sexual trauma, in a failing attempt to make peace with it under the wrong assumption that if I can face it and reclaim it, get something out of it even as pitiful as a weak orgasm, that I can somehow “win” and move on. Even though probably a much better idea and a much harder one for my self-destructive nature is to quit it all together.

Our lives are confused and complicated. I am very sexually open to others and sexually fluent to lovers. To myself I am honest, curious, and seeking a positive sexuality and looking for enlightenment under sometimes the enormity of heaviness related to my history.

My sexuality is a place where I need healing even though to look from the outside, I seem to speak its language perfectly as I am very expressive in it so much so that my boyfriend worries about my sexuality and its large appetite and my pleasure that doesn’t really have a limit.

One example of his discomfort with my sexuality displayed itself when I took him to a sex shop run by a very nice young man in Tel Aviv who knew all about each product and answered all my questions. I picked out a vibrator and some handcuffs and a little leather whip but my boyfriend put his uncomfortable and panicked foot down to say no to at least one of the items and probably wished he could veto all of them. He was upset most of the drive home and said some unkind things about my sexuality. So throughout the 30 minute drive I thought about the positive side of things, which was that I would be bringing my new toys back to my bed in Casablanca.

My boyfriend is a man who has been to sex shops before but not with a woman. He’s been to a sex show in Amsterdam. He’s seen strippers and he’s done many of the “male” rituals that I don’t really find all that sex positive when you dig into the statistics and realities of the “sex workers” like women in my family and friends that I know personally. But strangely, he had a problem with me trying to share myself with him in a sex positive moment.

Perhaps he is not prepared for sexual honesty from a woman as men take sex as their world and their right.

For women we need a passport and a special visa to get here apparently.

Luckily I know how to navigate this world without shame, but unfortunately I don’t always know how to find the soul of my sexuality. I may be adventurous and a risk taker in sex, I can do all the moves and tricks, but my soul is always seeking on every level Marvin Gaye’s sexual healing.

Porn and My Boyfriend

My boyfriend is a great guy and he knows I am not looking for a man who consumes porn or smokes cigarettes but my boyfriend smokes and watches porn.

It’s his life and he can do with it what he wants. But I don’t like that he is out of breath at 31 when climbing a small hill. I don’t want him to die young especially if this life is all we have together. I am also selfishly worried that he won’t be able to keep up with me in bed as I enter my sexual peak years of my nearing 30s.

And as for the porn, when he finally showed me his favorite sites the first thing I noticed were the ads that featured very young girls along the borders of the page some of which were underage and this is what you see regardless of whatever you were planning on watching and it bothered me deeply. The strong pressure to sexualize female children normalizes what should not be acceptable and endangers children. It seeps into people as it did with my boyfriend who “joked” to his friends that 14 year olds were looking so good these days he might actually end up in bed with one of them. If you can recognize a minor and still socially acceptably joke about sleeping with children we have been brainwashed so thoroughly away from ourselves.

I was sexualized constantly as a child and as an adolescent I was harassed and sexually threatened daily and it hurt me, kept me on the defensive when I should have been blossoming. And it stunts all of us, me and my 14-year-old self, the girls that I feel I want to protect, my daughter and men.

I wonder sometimes how I would feel about my boyfriend looking at sex if it wasn’t situated in the porn industry with its pressure on sexualizing children and abusing women?

If porn was drastically different and there were more depictions of love and more diverse depictions of what women want, it would be very different and better for me to enjoy.

Especially also if men made it another form of our positive sexuality.

But as it stands today, I don’t like it for it’s abundance and imbalance of bad taste.

 

My Ex and Porn

In the first week of starting to have sex with my ex-boyfriend, we once finished having sex and as I laid down waiting for him to come back to me he went to the couch, opened his computer and started watching porn. I was…well, more then somewhat confused because I was willing and ready to fuck his brains out all day everyday but he had to have porn.

When I was pregnant I was still up for everything but if there was a fight, he would haul off to the living room not touch me and jack off in front of the television. One time I brought him tissues and placed it on his lap hoping he would stop and say to himself, « Hey, what am I doing?» But he didn’t.

I don’t think he knew fully why he acted like this either even though I wrongly thought he had all the answers about himself. What he did tell me that could explain the compulsion was that since he was a little boy, perhaps 8 or younger, he had been raised on it, fed on it, didn’t know how to live without it.

I knew he loved me and was crazy about me sexually but he was addicted to porn to perhaps medicate a part of his soul unsuccessfully.

When it was clear he couldn’t stop, I tried to watch porn with him and get into it with him as a way of accepting him and finding the fun in it. It wasn’t something though that felt good so I chalked it down to unhealthy things with unhealthy people that can’t really make you feel good beyond the fix.

This man was complex and I wonder how our lives would have been 50 years ago in a world minus porn as he was truly romantic. He would do gentle things like bend over to my short frame to put his mouth on some place of my body to gently pull away a small out-of-place-hair with his teeth. He would wash my hair in the bath like I was a child and run a comb through it. He tried to make me laugh as I was in labor and he sat with me on the floor of the bathroom putting boiled cabbage leaves on my bruised and cut up breasts in the first month of nursing. He was a fighter like me. We had both survived bad childhoods, we had both survived homelessness, sexual violence, violence and we live in post-traumatic stress to lesser or greater degrees. Our relationship thankfully ended with both of us still intact despite the unkind things we learned from life and we re-enacted on each other.

Since then I have been with men who are not as addicted to porn or not interested in it at all at this stage in their lives. I try to avoid consumers of porn for a few reasons.

Firstly because I found the more a man watches the worse I find he is in bed. Secondly, it’s not something I want to make in the bubble around me in the future. I would like to live with spirituality in love and a bit of that simplicity from an older time. I want a leader and a friend and spiritual mate who doesn’t feel the need to consume “porn” as I define it here. Even though if this is what you like then who am I judge that as you have your reasons and tastes.

If you are like myself and you don’t fancy main-stream porn, you have good reasons not to be okay with porn especially when you don’t like it for the principles it stands for or the system it perpetuates much like some people don’t use cosmetics from companies that test on animals or buy products that produce in sweatshops.

If you like to see people having sex and your partner too but you don’t like mainstream porn, there are places where you can find sex positive films. As long as it’s open and shared, then why not?

This is a polluted world. I look around me and see the trash on the street and I smell the air. It’s a complicated world but in the world I want to make for myself I want it to be by our rules and spirit and wishes and dreams. We are all polluted but I am allowed to choose to create love and life the way I want to create it.

Love and peace be with you tonight Casablanca!

-Journal Photos by the Radiantmedina and the Author of Sheep

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Blog, Casablanca, Life, Lifestyle, living abroad, love, Miscellaneous, Morocco, Musings, People, Personal, Random, reflections, relationships, Stories, Thoughts, Travel

A pretty girl and cake

Even when you walk down the street as a woman here or in most any place, you are reminded that you are a woman constantly whether through the innocent and not so innocent catcalls, the nice looks and the bad ones, and more often times than not, the fear or the perceived fear that you are vulnerable.

Being a woman is defined many times by threat and fear and it’s a not too nice a place to live in and men don’t have to know about this if they don’t choose to dig and discover. Many times they look at you like you are blowing it out of proportion or imagining things.

You are constantly reminded since a young age to be careful and you are reminded that you can’t do everything you want because you should be afraid of this or that or the other so much so that you can’t do small things like just walk outside at night to review your thoughts.

“You’re a woman, you’re a woman; you’re a woman.” So be very afraid, of others and yourself.

The mantra plays and you stop doing what you want to  do even if that is walking late at night in the darkness with yourself. But we are used to this as women. We learn to stop ourselves from doing many things we want even getting our pleasure.

Look how women are always stopping their pleasure. They see a delicious dessert, take a bite, feel pleasure, taste the taste, and stop themselves and say “that’s it”.

Do you know how nice it feels to eat something with a pretty girl who’s doing what she wants to do with you, tasting cake and life and really eating it…

 

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New Years Resolutions Start With Questions: What is the opposite of love? Answer:…

“The opposite of love is not hate but indifference.”     – Elie Wiesel …Nobel Prize Jewish American Writer…

I have learned a lot this year.

I discovered myself in my films.

I grew up more with my daughter.

I have fallen this year gently over my shoe strings sometimes, broke up with my long term boyfriend, met a man that I am falling in love with, reconnected to people that remind me of times in my life when I was at my best, and I have found my voice with a man I loved deeply and who has treated me with indifference for a very long time.

At the close of 2011, I am saying to myself: I need Shalom because he loves me.  Peace gives me love and it’s changing me. It’s changing what I accept and what I want and what I will take or reject. Like a blanket that keeps me warm and armed for my life…I am in the world without him by my immediate side but his love protects me. Like a mother who loves her children in to safety,  already, his love has protected me and pushes me to do the right things, to give certain things up and let others go.

Peace is in there in front of me…

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Casablanca, culture, Islam, Life, Lifestyle, living abroad, love, Miscellaneous, Morocco, Musings, People, Personal, Random, reflections, relationships, Stories, Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized

Hypocrisy in the Post Office: Random Thoughts

So today I went to the post office. A friend stepped behind me and kissed my head. It was affectionate.

The man in the post office yelled at him and told him not to do that. The friend said Okay and moved away from me. I glanced up from writing an address carefully on a piece of paper to see him motion to his friend that it was disrespectful by pushing his arm out and smacking something along the lines of, “I can’t believe such disrespect goes on here”.

I continued unfazed although I smiled inside. Firstly because it reminded me of where I was and the hypocrisy of it all.

It took another 30 minutes for me to get through all the paperwork and I was the only customer almost.

The post office man helping us looked like he hated his job and perhaps the rest of his life, exhaling at every turn to listen and respond and close the boxes and take long amounts of time to stare at his screen. Surprising that the post office has one when the police don’t even have them. They click on typewriters in Arabic…and file the paper into books onto shelves. Years worth of documents no one will ever be able to find again or maybe that is the whole point. I was told its that they have to buy their own from their pay if they want one and on their 200 dollar a month salary that just wouldn’t fly with a family of 5 and an alcohol problem to feed. No, the police don’t have computers but here at the post office they have at least two.

After 30 minutes of him assuming I didn’t speak Arabic and huffing in disdain I answered his Arabic with English and said, “Yes, that is exactly what I am doing. See!”

He paused as if trying to figure out if he was speaking in my language or if I had just understood him perfectly in his. He knew a little English I could see. He froze and stared at me a moment. He stopped with his brooding. Curious.

He asked for my passport. I didn’t have a passport on me. I am not a tourist. I speak English and choose to speak to my friend in it. So I told my friend to give him his National ID card. He worried they wouldn’t accept. “This isn’t the airport. If it’s a problem we’ll fill out the forms again and throw these out and they will start another 30 minutes with us. I don’t mind. I am not going anywhere, I am sending this off now.”

He gave him his ID, the young man asked his boss, the one who told my friend to stop kissing my head. He had walked on the other side of the counter with us looking at our documents and told him yes, it’s okay take his ID.

My friend handed his ID to him. “Ah you’re Moroccan! So you should know better instead of acting like that here.” The friend tried to respond but the man looked at me and directed the next comment to me. “What he did was wrong. We don’t that here.” I couldn’t bite my tongue anymore. “You don’t do that here!” I scoffed. I then said slowly with raised eyebrows and a little smile on my face, speaking calmly so he could hear, “I have seen things here I have never seen a-n-y-w-he-r-e in the world.”He blinked, trying to understand what a tourist could possibly mean by that remark.

My friend started to speak angrily and quickly in English. My cheeks started to burn with a tinge of anger and I smiled at the man. He said in his best calm English,”We can’t do that here.”

I started, “So there is prostitution here but…” My friend interrupted again. I told him to please let me speak, he kindly obliged with a quick, “Sorry.”

“So there is prostitution all over Morocco but a man can’t kiss a woman’s head in the post office?”

He paused and thought about it as my friend excitedly started again. I asked him to please be calm and again he politely accepted. The man said, “This is a building of respect. You can’t do that here.”

“So all of that can go on and I can do whatever I want just not here in this building? Not in this post office?”

He said, “Correct.”

“Okay you’re right then, our bad, he’s right.” My friend started but I continued, “No he’s right. We’re sorry.”

The man took the first occasion to flee the scene. And before we could say goodbye he was gone.

There was a silence suddenly. A welcome one. I said, “He’s right. This is the post office. The world of prostitution and child molestation and rape and corruption can go on but as long as a man does not kiss a woman’s head in our post offices in front of a photo of the King then all is right with the world especially our country. It’s just those other countries with problems…like Israel and America. Not France the colonizer and certainly not us.”

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