Firstly, I’d like to announce that the fourth episode of Hyphenation: a Diaspora Life is now available for your listening pleasure! In this episode, follow “Senait” and “Kifle” on their journey from a small town in Ethiopia to America. They may not speak perfect English but they have a beautiful story to tell – one of love, sacrifice, pride in hard work, gratitude for the little things, and having to start anew, from almost nothing, but dreaming big. Music by HookSounds.
And after you’ve had a listen, and taken a moment to absorb its awesomeness, remember to subscribe!
Now, on to more Notes from the Canadian honey jar…
May 22, 2017
The day he bought her groceries, stuffed her fridge full, she wanted wanted him for the first time. All along she had noticed that he had a nice physique, of course. And a nice face (excusing the missing teeth; she’s always ‘excusing’ one thing or another). Not typically habesha at all. More…? Noticed that when he lay down to rest during moving day, that his body took up her entire couch, and his feet even hung over the armrest. And that when he pissed, it sounded really loud, like he had a proper big hose.
Two months and change, technically, since once one thing began to lead to another and they were in a “relationship”. Of all that time, that grocery day sticks out in her mind, after they put away all the groceries (her fridge had never been so full of good stuff…huge slab of fresh salmon; he always said that one thing he refused to skimp on was food, it was an essential item that was necessary to living and had to be the best), she wanted him in a way she never had before or did since. Being taken care of, being provided for turned her on like nothing else, like no amount of sweet talk, or foreplay, or romantic music. When a guy pays for everything, when she knows that that is always handled, she feels secure, and security is the real turn on. This equality bullshit is the biggest buzzkill. Give her a man who brings home the bacon and expects nothing from her other than loyalty and being well-groomed, good company, and treats her well. On that last point, yes equality all the way. Being treated well is a must. Or else she would have stayed with him longer just because he bought groceries. Well as it turned out that was not something she could get used to, nor the fact that as soon as he’d moved in his stuff he forewarned her that there might be times when he won’t be able to pay his share of the monthly ‘rent’ (in more or less the same tone, matter-of-fact/only slightly apologetic, that he’d informed her a bit later that if he got angry enough he couldn’t promise he wouldn’t slap her).
Maybe she knew she couldn’t count on him being that kind of provider all the time, and that was why her arousal was fleeting. Yeah, that was it. He had flashes of potential, and in those flashes she was really turned on.
Because it’s not hard to admit that the average habesha guy is handsome, skinny limbs and beer guts notwithstanding. I think those unfortunate characteristics apply mostly to the older generation and/or the ones born/bred back home. The diaspora guys get cuter and cuter. It’s in the personality department where many get a big fat zero, if not a negative integer altogether!
And yet, how uncomfortable it made her to ask him for money, and him handing her a stack of cash, as if he were her dad. That gesture of dependence made her so uneasy.
It’s a contradiction. On the one hand, she wants him to provide for her, take care of her, let her depend on him. On the other hand, that position makes her uncomfortable, almost mad.
As if she didn’t have an education too. As if she wasn’t working full time too.
Had she always planned on eventually being a stay-at-home wife/mom, letting him replace her dad totally? Was the whole working full time thing just for a limited period, until they reached a point where they could live off his salary only? Was she always someone who needed to work outside the home, earn her own money, in order to feel fulfilled, or did she become that by circumstance, when she saw that the cost of really letting him be the lead of everything was much more than she was willing to pay. The cost was her own dignity, because it would mean forgiving his disrespect, disloyalty, neglect of responsibility, over and over and over again?
I suspect so. I suspect, if he’d remained as loving, as loyal as he’d been in the beginning, then it wouldn’t have bothered her to become/continue being totally dependent on him. She’d have loved it, I bet. Happy to only work a few days a week. But when he expected her dependence in addition to enduring his assholery, that was the line that could not be crossed. If he had treated her right, she’d have been happy to be dependent, but she simply could not stand for the assholery.
Dependent doesn’t equal we’re not capable of handling ourselves. We can. Our dependency is a choice, because they’ve proven themselves (so far, at least) worthy of that level of trust.
And that’s the real reason for the turn-on? I’m trusting you so much with my sustenance, my livelihood.