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Condition of the Month- October

October 12, 2013

Hey, so we’re a little bit late this month with the condition of the month.  The Little Merksank will take all the blame for that as she has been neglecting her duties.  However, that special time of the month has finally come.  Indeed, it is an extra special month because it is our blog-aversary.  It’s been one whole year since the naughty princesses started blogging together.  Can you believe it?  We hardly can…

In honor of that occasion, we decided to all revisit an old blog post that we wrote a year ago and comment on how that year has changed us.

snowwhore tileWhere was I one year ago? Well, pretty much exactly where I am now. In some ways nothing has changed, in other ways a lot has changed.

A year ago, I was really really a newlywed. I had just come back from my honeymoon. I was posting about what it was like to live with a boy, and the awkward transition of combining two lives into one.  Now I no longer feel awkward at all—in fact I’m pretty sure I would be miserable if I had to live alone again.  However, that doesn’t mean our struggles are over.  I do think my marriage has gotton stronger over the last year. There is a lot that we have overcome. However, there is still a lot more to struggle through together.  I feel more connected to my husband than I did a year ago, because we have been learning a lot about each other this year. But there is still a lot to learn, and if I know anything about us, I know this—we always seem to learn the hard way.  We’re too stubborn for our own good.

cinderslut tile (2)For this Condition of the Month I revisited a post from almost a year ago, in which I discussed my conflicted feelings about the crazy conservative politics of my current host country, namely their cultural mandate that women should cover themselves from head to toe in black shapeless gowns whenever they leave their homes. I’ve now been wearing my abaya for going on a year and a half now (at least whenever I leave the safe confines of our compound), so I have conformed to this culture as much as I am willing to. In my previous post I talked about how women who went so far as to cover their entire faces with a veil or cover their hands with black gloves weirded me out. Well, that is still true. Recently I’ve been doing some classroom observations in the local high school, and I’ve met several girls who wear a full abaya, headscarf, and veil to school every single day. This shocked me, because at the school I taught at last year things were decidedly more Western, and almost none of the girls even wore their abayas on school grounds.

So what’s my point? Well, comparing how I feel about some of these cultural norms now to what I wrote about last October, I’d say I’m getting less tolerant, not more. Often when I’m out and about I find myself feeling a burning twinge of annoyance at the way all females in this country have to conform, regardless of their own personal beliefs. I’ve heard stories of 11-year-old girls being berated in the mall for not being covered, and I’ve seen first-hand that covering doesn’t even always protect a woman from the unwanted stares and lewd attention of men. Most of all, I wish it didn’t have to be black! There’s undeniable symbolism there, if you ask me. It’s not okay for women to be modestly dressed in hot pink abayas, or tie dye, or lace, or beautifully patterned abayas. No, they have to be black, colorless, devoid of identity. This is a place that fears female empowerment, and that is something I just know I won’t be able to abide forever.

little merskank tileWell, in a lot of ways my life is still much the same as it was this time last year.  I am still a graduate student, lacking a ‘real’ job, and living off of black beans.  But I still love what I study and am excited about getting to do what I do everyday.  Looking back over the past year, one of the biggest changes, at least so far as my blog posts are concerned is that I am no longer writing about a certain guy.  Do you all remember Herman?  He was the one who was sort of a jerk to Mareena in my fictionalized romance-novel style account of my love life.  But for some reason I really had a hard time getting over him.  I remember writing a post about being Stuck on Rewind, and how our relationship felt like this circular presence in my life:  I wanted to escape from it but I didn’t know how to move on.  And really, things were like that for about a year.  It felt like a really long time, but now it’s about nine months after I wrote that post and I am glad to say, I hardly ever think of Herman.  I haven’t seen him all summer (and Oxford summers are really long) but I am pleased to say that I am neither excited nor worried about seeing him again.  Basically: I am no longer stuck on rewind, and it feels really good.  Besides, he was a jerk anyway

sleeping booty tileWhat?!  No post from the Booty?  Well, I guess we can forgive this once because she is off having amazing adventures in the Grand Canyon.  She better post all about it when she gets back though… otherwise we might kick her off the blog.  Just kidding of course!  We love you Booty and can’t wait to have your presence back among us!

UPDATE: Booty’s BACK! And if you think I’d miss out on answering this question you’re otta yo mind. This time last year I was unemployed, dealing with a loss of a grandparent and moving back in with my parents after years of living out of state. Now my life is the complete opposite since I’m gainfully employed at a company almost four times as long as I ever have been, watching my 99 year old grandpa’s health steadily improve and making plans to move out of my parent’s house in a few months. Instead of making the drive from Seattle to Utah like i did last year I’m hopping on a plan to get back to that emerald city for the first time since. It’s absurd how much can change in a year and while I really don’t feel all that different I also know I’ve learned so much about who I am and how I want to live my life. This time last year I had no plan, no idea what the next week or next moment of my life would bring and I HATED IT. Now I know some about what the next months of my life will be, but instead of dreading those unknowns, I’m excited for them. Anything can happen.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2013 8:04 am

    i like us. and I’m bummed I missed this question. i think i may just have to write one anyway…

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  1. Condition of the Month – November: Quarter-life Crisis | Twenty Something Condition

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