Now that you’ve selected your optimal plan, let’s take a few moments and go oversome tangential, yet critical, finer points regarding the process.
We Do Business By Referral
Take it from me, in this game, it’s all who you know. Referrals are about the only way you’re gonna meet a potential husband. So, as an eligible female looking to get hitched, know that you won’t be watched my dear, you’ll be dissected. Everyone will be examining you under their own personal microscope. Your every move will be discussed and debated in excruciating detail. Mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, neighbors, the damn dog even, they’re all here to check you out. To see if the merchandise is, you know, worth the asking price.
Here’s how it will work.
The man will never confront you directly, that’s very disrespectful (and far too uncomplicated for us, anyway.) So during the initial prescreening phase, their “agent” will represent them. Acting like a personal liaison, their job is to obtain basic vital information, get a feel for what kind of girl you are, and basically see what you’re all about. When the “rep” comes over, they’ll be analyzing you to see how you stack up. If you help with the dishes, be pleasant, smile a lot and are basically an all around sweetheart, you’ll get high points. And conversely, unflattering behavior will cost you.
What’s happening here is that the old adage, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” is being played out. You are being put to the test and rightfully so. As you’ve already learned, Arab-American females are automatically placed in a certain category based entirely on her family’s reputation. If, for example, you come from a good family, then half the work is done. They just have to do a little investigating to make sure you’re not the one “bad apple.” And believe me, there’s always one bad apple somewhere in the bunch. Plus, they want to see how you perform before they bring in the “v.p. or general sales manager,” you know, to negotiate the final deal. It’s not exactly a test drive, but I think you get my point.
You see, if you’re behaving like the latest, brand new, fully-equipped BMW, they’ll rush to get their unmarried brothers, uncles, and nephews over to meet you. They want the absolute best for their boys—and you’re it! On the other hand, if you’re running around like a high-maintenance, expensive, gas-guzzling SUV, the word will get around as well. Your lovely trip down the altar might make a u-turn, and wind up as an unexpected trip onto Arabic eBay—and it ain’t no damn good being back on the auction block!
Another very important thing to know is that you really don’t get private time, at least not like Westerners do, unless you’re serious about at least entertaining the idea of perhaps getting married. For example, if you’re in the village and a man’s sister approaches you and tells you that her brother is interested in talking to you, unless you are interested in pursuing marriage, or at least getting to know him better for the purpose of possibly pursuing marriage—don’t do it! Don’t say, “Sure, why not? He’s hot, I’m bored. This could be fun! Let’s get a beer!” Ahh, it ain’t happening quite like that, you know what I mean? People just don’t date like that in the villages. Sometimes people don’t date like that in America. Just don’t try it over there. Because, one bad move, and the entire family’s reputation is shot straight to hell. And besides, right or wrong, family honor is usually a whole lot bigger than you are or than you’ll ever be. I know it’s unfair but it’s true—at least it is most of the time. You just always gotta be on your best behavior for everyone’s sake, you know? It’s kinda like that whole no “I” in “TEAM” thing.
I know … I know …
Ain’t no damn “WE” in “TEAM” either!
Get A Translator
If you find yourself sitting with a single guy who is talking to you in Arabic and you don’t understand what he is saying, get an interpreter. And keep your mouth shut until you do. Because if all of a sudden the room breaks out in a big zalghouta,(tribal call – see Chapter 12) you might have just accidentally agreed to get married.
Let me tell you a little story…