* I have debated for days wether to post this or not and I finally decided… If I’m going to take writing seriously, I should be open to both positive and negative feed back.

(This is all based on what I have personally seen and experienced, no formal study has been conducted)

Where do I begin?

I was out last week with a High School friend  catching up  and having dinner, when out of the blue he started venting about how he doesn’t think he could ever marry a spoilt Egyptian girl. Once the flood gates were opened there was no stopping him. I was amused and relieved that someone else shared my opinion and I actually agree with everything he had to say.

*N.B* Please keep in mind that I am not generalizing, there are many who are not like the people we are referring to. As always there are many exceptions to the rules.

Let me try and paint you a picture of the kind of  people he was referring to;

First the Egyptian Woman,

The majority of Middle Class and rich Egyptian girls (with exceptions of course) who are pampered and spoilt. They have never had to wash a glass, make themselves something to eat, wash laundry, fill a dish washer, go grocery shopping, wipe a counter, make their bed or vacuum their bedroom floor. They have everything done for them and handed to them on a silver platter. They wake up when most of us have been up for a few hours and are already at work. They spend most of the day on the phone and worrying about their physical appearance and if their clothes are in fashion. Their sole purpose in life seems to be finding a husband and the richer the better.  Once that has been accomplished their next job is to produce a son and heir to the fortune. To make sure her husband isn’t going to be snatched away from her, she hires nannies and maids to look after the children and the house while she is hooked on to her husband’s arm all the time looking like a glamorous Barbie doll.

The  Egyptian Man;

The men of most of the wealthy families are just as bad. They work for Daddy’s company,  they are late arriving  to work and early to leave. They drive around in a full option expensive car bought for them after graduating from University, wear the latest Rolex, talk on the most expensive phone on the market and can only be seen in designer clothing. After a couple of hours of showing his face at the office he either goes home for lunch and  a nap or heads to the gym to work out and fraternize with people from his social circle and frame of thought, (That’s what he gets paid to do) .Then later goes out clubbing or to an ‘ehwa’ (cafe). They spoil their girlfriends with gifts and expensive dinners and outings and control them from whom they speak to, where they go and what they can wear.

Why do most of these people get married in Egypt? Well there are a few reasons why.

1- The women think that if they get married they will be free of their parents control and can run their households they way they want. Plus their mother’s have painted a fairytale image of what married life is like. They fail to mention that being married takes hard work and it’s a partnership. All they focus on is the wedding day party not what comes after it.  To shatter their dreams even more, they dont’ work, so their parents give them an allowance, so financially they are still under their control.

2- The Gents like most look for a Stepford looking wife, who will be nice to parade around on their arm. Another reason why they chose to get married is because as my friend so aptly put it, they are ‘horny’.

3- Most of the time, it’s a business arrangement between to families to increase their wealth and form a partnership. It’s very reminiscent of the royals and forming alliances through matrimony.

THE ENGAGEMENT & WEDDING

When a couple decides to get engaged this is no simple affair, both families become involved. The grooms family have to formally go to the brides house and ask for her hand in marriage. If the father of the bride agrees then the business talks begin. These discussions revolve around ; how simple or big of an engagement party there will be, the price range or how many carats the shabka they expect the daughter to have (3 rings, wedding band, diamond solitaire and diamond eternity ring), the size and location of the apartment or villa, Mahr is how much the grooms family is willing to pay to decorate the home along with all the electronics, how much the bride’s family need to pay to furnish the house, when and where the wedding will be and how big the wedding party will be and finally the wedding dress (the groom has to pay for that too). If everything is settled then they read the FATIHA a soura, (verse) from the Quraan (the holy book in Islam) that indictates they are promised to one another. From there is ‘TELBEES EL DIBEL’, the wearing of the rings or bands to indicate they are officially engaged. Then there is the KATB EL KITAB,  (literal translation is signing of the book) which is signing of the mariage certificate where the couple become legally husband and wife, but are not allowed to live with one another until after the wedding celebration.

A lot of these marriages from what my friend and I have seen don’t end blissfully. Many get divorced a couple of months after their honeymoon. Why ? because the men want a modern-day thinking wife but who will behave like the traditional woman, stay home, cook clean and look after their children. While the princesses don’t know how to do that and  he women expect to be waited on hand and foot and cajoled and adored all the time.

The marriages that don’t end in divorce; the wife either accompanies her husband on all his business trips and social outings to ensure that her man is steered clear from temptation  or she leads a life of high society socializing, while the children are left at home and raised by the Philippino Nannies and chauffeured around by their drivers. Their children are starved for their parents quality time, discipline and affection but instead of getting that  time they are compensated with ‘things’. Hence the Breeding of more spoilt brats!

These children grow very dependent on the help and have everything done for them! They don’t even get up to go to the kitchen to get their own glass of water, they holler for the hired help to come, take their order and then bring it to them. They aren’t taught how to tie their own shoe laces, pack their own school bags, tidy up their rooms and to put their dirty clothes in a hamper. To teach these children to be responsible falls on the shoulders of their teachers.

It’s a vicious cycle and it needs to be corrected before the damage is irreversible.

‘Do you know what I have a big problem with? Having to get the girl diamond rings with my father’s money, that is so wrong, it should be what I am able to afford’ my friend complained.

Another friend of mine was in the midst of getting engaged and told the brides family that he would be able to purchase 1.5 carat  pure diamond ring with a certificate. Her family didn’t approve they wanted a 3 carat ring so that she wouldn’t have a ring of less value than her sisters. When he said he couldn’t they said if it wasn’t a pure ring and if it had some faults in it that would be ok, just as long as it was a 3 karat ring. He said he wouldn’t be able to marry her.

(here are two guys who think the same way)

My friend that I had dinner with also expressed that he doesn’t want to be married or live with someone who can’t look herself. He would like to have someone to share the house hold responsibilities with and not have a live in maid who will do everything! ‘ I don’t mind someone coming to help 2-3 days a week, that is fine but not have someone at your beck and call 24 hours a day.’

Another thing that he can’t stand are the girls getting all dressed up and parading around in heels with a face full of make up just to go to the mall, cinema and the sporting club. ‘What’s wrong with flats and dressing casually?’

‘My kids will be disciplined and taught to tidy up their rooms, make their beds and put their clothes away. When they are old enough they will have weekend and summer jobs so that they know the value of hard-earned money. I don’t want lazy ass kids’

I text him to tell him he had inspired me to write this, in his response he laughed and said he has more venting to do.

I would like to be with or marry a man who can take care of himself and who can stand on his own two feet without hanging on to his parent’s coat tails. I would hate to be under the dictatorship of his or my family for being dependent on them financially. I admire and respect men who work hard, earns their own money and is ambitious ESPECIALLY if he is from a wealthy family. To see him work hard at his trade like he needs the money, when he actually doesn’t gives me a strange sense of peace. If a man can cook, do laundry and clean occasionally without running back home  to mummy, that would be an added bonus that I would be VERY grateful for. Alas, I have had no luck thus far and still remain an independent bachelorette. A 32-year-old female who is single in the Middle East means that she has past her expiry date.

Plus being an independent career driven, free thinking female doesn’t go down very well with most of the men here. Why you ask? Well, It’s because they know that I am not a puppet and if they try to pull my strings and force me to do their bidding, they know damn well that I will not put up with it.

I will remain a spinster until I find someone worthy of my time, companionship and my affections.