Saturday, January 15, 2011

The first date

Hi Violet, my name is Reem and your posts labelled 'love is hard' have affected me especially the one about the married lover. I wanted to share with you and your audience if you will allow me the following story.

Reem is referring to this post and I was flattered that she wanted to contribute to my blog. Without further ado please read her email:

The First Date

The conversation had just began and I don’t know how it turned to exchanging tips about children and reliable paediatrician in Tripoli. Then he said “ I would recommend Dr Mansour at the x – Clinic” Without hesitation I retorted “ is that where you take your children Wael?” and almost automatically he replied “yes”, “ so you are married” I said trying to hide my disappointment at these news. “Reem” he intoned purposefully looking across to me from his seat in one of the new hot, flashy restaurants on the Tripoli seafront. “I wanted to tell you about this face-to-face and be transparent, it was not possible over the phone!”

In one second my world crashed and my hopes were dashed even before being allowed to fly. It took me 6 months from the time we bumped into each other at an exhibition to actually pluck up the courage to call him. When I phoned him the first time and he did not answer I was quite relieved, I could throw away his business card but something urged me to hang on to it and try again. I actually vaguely remembered his features, we simply were introduced to each other and spoke briefly and he expressed the wish to learn more about me. That’s the sort of chit-chat you do at business events and you forget about it, but I think the impression he left me with was one of simplicity, almost ascetic cleanliness and at the same time sophisticated. Plus he was so tall and I have a feeble for tall men. So I called again a couple of weeks later and this time he answered. The voice was polite, manly, very mature and self assured, and my heart fluttered... I was breathless and awkward… what was I going to tell him he probably had forgotten our 5 minute encounter. “Reem, this is me Reem, we met at the exhibition last year, I am terribly sorry for calling you like this and hesitated for a long time because I’m not at all sure how you will take this as a Libyan man, but you had asked me to call and I decided I will call you just to find out what type of person you are perhaps some good can come out of this? Please excuse me and I will delete this number from my phone” I was so embarrassed. To my ears I sounded like some infatuated teenager and barely heard him utter: “Reem OMG you finally deigned to call, I have been waiting for so long and you never gave me your number, when can we meet, where are you, where have you been, I have been thinking for half a year that no woman can be this arrogant!”

“ I’m really sorry to have put you through such anguish Wael, and as I said I won’t call, I just wanted to know that you really are a decent person and was curious about you”. Wael wanted to know when we could meet for lunch or dinner or even breakfast, and I was reluctant to commit to anything. I told him to take it slow and give me time to think. I went home and was thinking very hard that night. Why was I attracted to that man and why did I not want to meet him? Why did I catch myself hoping for his call? Is it because I was afraid for my reputation? I browsed my favourite blogs and Ibeebarbie’s words “I still felt the whimperings and longings of a cohesive partnership” seemed to be directed right at me. I was busy and successful, attractive by some standards, lead a very active life but at the end of the day was very much single, I wanted someone to have a family with, a child, companionship, friendship…and everything in Wael seemed to exude that. He would be a good husband material. That short conversation with him on the phone thought me a lot about him, his values and warmth, he was very respectful and very tactful. Actually I have rarely seen such behaviour in contemporary Libyan men and was curious about his academic background. I was relieved to find out he did have a university degree that actually needed someone to study to pass it. His family sounded stable also and that was important and obviously he has worked hard, no daddy’s boy or born with a silver spoon person. Those were all values I shared and respected. He called me two days later, and still I was not ready to meet him. Then I sat down and thought hard about it, why did I not want to meet a man who actually could be a success story and make me happy, why was I only interested in those impossible to get men? This questioning of my soul led me to one truth I have been hiding from myself for years now. It was a revelation, I feared rejection so much that I sought in advance relationships which were doomed to failure, so I would not have to be hurt and rejected by someone I actually, liked and valued and really wanted very badly. This guy seemed ideal, and I was afraid to loose him by meeting him, is that not a bit strange? A long weekend of self analysis finally led me to agree to meet for a coffee and that is how we ended up in the restaurant. Preparing to meet him took a lot of trouble from me, as I on purpose tried my best to undermine this first date. I want him to see exactly who I was and the way I was, no trying to attract him, in fact I tried not to look attractive. So it was I ended up wearing a pair of jeans, black shirt, sports shoes and leather jacket, with my hair in a plait, some sun block and barely there lip-gloss. That is a no-no outfit if you are trying to impress a man. He was even more handsome than I remembered even up to the gap between his top two front teeth which I found so cute. I feasted on the bronze colour of his skin which reminded me of another one and the beautiful full shape of his lips and the warmth and humour in his eyes. He was not classically handsome but he had so much appeal you could almost ‘smell’ the testosterone! And he had the most beautiful hands I had ever seen on any man. Their shape was perfect!

So when I heard his voice telling me he was married, it was a palpable physical pain that I felt in my heart and head. Before my eyes was the epitome of the man I always dreamt about and “yet again he was not going to be mine” a little voice told me. Married men are just heartache!

I was going to leave there and then, because why was I dating him in the first place, let’s not kid ourselves this was a date; we did not meet to discuss business. Instead I feigned an excuse to go refresh myself at the ladies. When I returned I had regained some of my composure and thanked him for being upfront. “ Thanks Wael for letting me know, this avoids having any daydreams or ideas now I know where are the limits of this relation ! i.e. no relation at all.”

“why do you say this Reem, my princess, why is it impossible to have a relationship based on trust between us, someone one can count on, some one to be your best friend, someone you can share with” … that’s where I interrupted him ( why is he calling me princess I thought ?) but I said “Wael, you should be best friends with your wife and share thoughts with her and your children why are you seeking that in me? It’s a pity we did not meet before but I refuse to have a relationship with a man that is not defined by a legal entity. We are not business associates so we can’t have the excuse to be meeting for business, obviously you like something in me and I found something attractive in you to be very frank and I’m not willing to commit or hurt myself to something that has no future unless you are considering right now a second marriage, and from what I understand about you, your wife is a good person”

“I’m really sorry Wael, this is not going to work and is definitely not fair on me. I appreciate that you did not lead me on, but I’m really not sure what you were expecting. I’m a very simple girl Wael, I’m not in a hurry, I’m still waiting for Prince Charming and won’t compromise on that even if the white hairs have started to creep in on me”

“ Reem he said, what I like about you is not your hotness, it’s the goodness of your heart which shines through, that’s what attracts people to you, but combined with the type of body you have I admit that is just a killer combination which you are probably unaware off, and that makes you more endearing. I want to be part of your life… that is something I am 100% sure of and have wanted to since the moment I set my eyes on you and heard your gentle voice explaining to the children at the exhibition about the items on display. The way you speak, the reservation, the passion you show for the subject and proud way you carry yourself and how the children were in awe lapping your comment and that flower print dress have haunted me for a very long time, if I can help it I will never let you go!”

After this confession, I really had nothing to loose Violet, total honesty was all I could go for. “Wael, the only way you could have me in your life forever is by marrying me, and yes I’m sorry we did not meet 10 years ago. Thank you again for your honesty, and I want to wish you all the best now I really should make a start to go home”

It’s heartbreaking Violet, we share so many common things, hard work, studious life, family bonds, care for parents and children, same hobbies, a man who likes to read, and play sports and takes his family out and travel with a penchant for more adventurous side of life…and unfortunately very much taken. Someone could say, that I could start a relationship and then take him from his wife, but I just don’t think that is right and therefore I believe that the 6 month period I was hesitating to call him may have been some sort of cosmic message to tell me that he was not available. Now it hurts so much to know that this type of Libyan man is available without the need for him to speak English well and I have missed him. One could say that he was a creep for being married and actually thinking of cheating on his wife and I thought about that but right now Violet, I’m trying very hard not to dial his number, because of this magnet I have for impossible love stories. One date and two ten minute phone calls was all it took to fall very hard. May God keep me strong as it will be a struggle.


ibeebarbie said...

Salam Reem,

I can completely relate to your feelings and thoughts concerning Wael.

Perhaps Wael was merely placed in your life for a moment to let you know what may be possibly awaiting you. Of course not knowing you, but gathering from your writing, you would not settle for being second to anyone with regards to your life partner. Moreover, nor would you settle for causing pain to another woman for the sake of her husband's disrespect.

It is so hard sometimes to recognize signs and determine what they really mean. I think, and I'm guilty of such, sometimes we get a piece of the puzzle and assume we have the whole puzzle figured out, when in fact it's just Allah giving us a little nibblet as that's all we are able to handle at the moment as to what is to come.

Of course none of this virbage helps a heart that longs for something so beautiful, loving and warm, but perhaps knowing others feels your same feelings serves as some sort of comfort.

khadijateri said...

You described him perfectly in one word at the end of your missive... creep. Don't give him a second thought, I'm sure he was just stringing you along - and probably not just you either.

Reem said...

This is Reem and I don't have a blogger account:

Salam Ibeebarbie,I might settle for being a second wife if he was worth it but that is not the impression that I had that he wanted a second his intentions were not that straightforward

Salam Khadijateri, he has indeed proven to be a creep, do you know why? because he never phoned back to ask about me after the first date so all his talk about 'friendship' intentions was just a smokescreen !

Jewaira said...

Hi Violet

I hope you're alright with all that is going on in Libya at the moment

ChrisinMB said...

yeah Violet, hope you're ok over there