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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Lebanese Princess

Sometimes, I really miss Lebanon. I know people reading this might get the wrong idea about me, but living here is definitely different from life in Beirut. Yes, Lebanon is behind in so many ways, but we live a pampered lifestyle, which I'm not saying is a good thing (so please, no hate mail). It's just that it is a big adjustment when you move. Even if you live alone there, you're never alone, alone. Car issues? Call dad or your brother to take care of it. Plumbing issues? Call dad or your brother, who then calls Abu Handyman to fix the problem.

I know, I know, but I am not a terrible example of a feminist. I am a staunch believer in equal rights, equal pay, equality in the eyes of the law. But does that mean that I have to shovel my own driveway from the snow? Does being an advocate for women's rights mean that I have to do manual labor?

This has been tough to get used to. I have always been independent, paying my own bills, etc, but when it comes to yucky stuff (see above), I always deferred to someone else to take care of it. Not because I'm incapable, but because I can't be bothered. I mean being alone, alone, sucks. In Richmond, you can't call dad to please call Abu What's-His-Name to come fix things. I have to do it myself, which - did I mention? - sucks.

For example, last week we had like eight inches of snow (we're getting more tonight). I could not get into my garage and I nearly broke my neck walking down the steps of my house to my car. I did not even have the foresight to salt my steps. I didn't even know there was special salt for the outside.

NSS called and asked where I was. I told her I was going to the grocery store to buy salt. She asked why, so I told her about my snow/ice problem and she started laughing. She was like, "Um, you can't just buy table salt." Oh. "Unless it's kosher," she quipped. "Really?" I responded, relieved. "NO," she said like I was world's biggest idiot. "Go to Home Depot."

So I head over to a hardware store and see giant burlap bags outside, praying this wasn't the salt I needed. How was I going to carry that to my car? It's not like Abu Somebody will do it for me. Luckily, they have small bottle sizes that even a wimp like me can carry. The guy there told me I would need two for my driveway. I gave him my Lebanese I-know-you're-trying-to-sell-me-something-I-don't-need side glance, convinced I only needed one. He shrugged, handed me the one and wished me luck.

So, of course, I needed two. But it did soften the snow a bit so I could ram my car into the garage. I drew the line at shoveling. I am not a prisoner in a Siberian detention camp! I was just so proud of myself that I got in with just the salt, until my car skidded and I hit a door in my garage. I still considered it a success.

I did manage to change a light bulb in my garage using a ladder all on my own. I was going to wait for the always reliable Dr JH to come and do it when he next visited, but then thought, nah, I got this. The glee I felt when the light came on was really undeserved. I felt like I was Thomas Edison. I proudly proclaimed to NSS, "I changed that light bulb all by myself," as if I had actually invented the light bulb. She wasn't impressed. "Now you need to change the filters of your air ducts."

Wait... what? Doesn't Abu Help-Please do that?

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