Between Us Only!
The ‘Desperate Housewives’
The Oman Daily Observer – Wednesday – December 26th 2012
With due respects and apologies for those that know of the above American Television series – no pun intended! It is all authentic – and dead serious – and not even ‘tongue in cheek’ speaking either!
I was reading this weekly magazine in English where they have a column for people to send in their personal problems and issues – and at the other end is a ‘Counsellor Advisor’ offering his or her advices to the Reader. There is a similar one in Arabic from a neighbouring country – where the problems and issues seem to be more serious!
Image – The Desperate Housewives
In many of the cases are the expatriate housewives – and many of them are professionals – but unfortunately cannot work – or allowed to work by either the rules and regulations – or as in many cases by their own spouses – even if they could get a job and work!
During the time when I had my Consultancy still working – we employed many of the expatriate ladies on temporary job assignments that we got at the time. In one of the cases – the lady was even a Doctorate professional lady – but married to a middle strata echelon spouse – who controlled, bullied and dominated her – to the extent she considered me her savior because I had dared question her husband why he did not allow her to work – when actually the family needed the money as their child was going on to College back home in India! Our consultancy had even offered a job to a friend of mine’s spouse!
There was one case where the lady was so grateful to get a job from us – that it changed and turned around her life completely – to get a full time permanent job after our recommendations and referrals! She was a very pretty tall lady – and I always used to tease her why she did not go to Bollywood for an audition – though she was not sure of herself – and lacked confidence – because no one had told her before – certainly from a man – that she was pretty and beautiful! She used to say – maybe you are looking at me with Arab eyes?
In my columns I have said it many times – and on the same theme and focus. What is the point of earning money to bring home – when the house – especially the poor lady who is alone in the house – is sad and unhappy? That the man comes back well after 9 p.m. – and has no time for the family except watch a few Television – or read the newspaper briefly that late at night – after quick alone gulping of supper – and then go to sleep? Or as soon as he enters the house – he does not ask about the poor wife – and how her day had been? But just starts lamenting and complaining on minor trifles – because he had a bad day at the office and or with his boss – usually another expatriate – and wants to take it out on the poor woman?
Or if not take it on her – he starts complaining and lamenting so much why ‘things are wrong’ at the office – ‘today we had this stupid man who came to my office’ – blah! – Blah! To the extent that the poor woman feels squeamish and frightened to want to say anything – or her own worries and concerns – because the poor woman is afraid to make ‘things more worse for poor hubby’ – the way they are already!
So unhappy and unsatisfied she could say or get her bit – and no one to talk to! In one of the flats that my daughter and her husband had rented – and being as we are with neighbours – one of the ladies cried her heart out – when she had chatted with her – and how sad and unhappy she was! She told my daughter – I wish we can remain friends? My daughter said to her – But you both look smiling and cheerful whenever we see you – and the poor lady retorted – My dear! It is all an act – a charade! The reality is far from different!
To the extent that these ladies now write to problems columns in newspapers and magazines under assumed names, pseudonyms, Nome-de-plumes – because they are afraid the husband – or someone that knows her – may read the column – and recognise her!
Then there was this friend of mine who one day went home and found his wife had packed her bags wanting to return home – because she had enough. My friend was telling me that he even felt the wife was scared and afraid of her all this time before! He too was preoccupied with the office – and lost the home instead!
In another case this woman was lamenting to me – what we have as the kitchen here – is the same size of our house back home. But I am unhappy and desperate – and wish to return home! She too complained on hubby being more preoccupied with the office – rather than the home and the family!
Mind you we have equally – if not more and serious – issues and problems at the home fronts too – but the idea of writing to newspapers has still not caught one – though I do occasionally get some directly to me. The sad and unfortunate and tragic part is that I know some of the husbands – and only confirms on the adage that ‘all that glitters is not gold’!
Time people changed – and put their family first. Take care of your family! Work can never be first – to me at least!
Merry Xmas – and a Happy New Prosperous Safe Peaceful Year 2013!
By Majid Al Suleimany