This post may or may not be my way of avoiding the already slack once a week house cleaning that I should be doing. You’ll never know. But I haven’t posted in a while and I can feel you all wondering what’s up. So I’m doing this for you, really.
Yesterday I agreed to help a friend sell her wares at a bazaar here in Riyadh. I love bazaars! It’s a great way to meet new people and since this one was ladies only, it was a good excuse to brush my hair and not wear yoga pants for an entire day. This particular bazaar was catering to a particularly conservative crowd, so I wore a jalabiya (long, loose fitting traditional dress) which turned out to be a little see through, so I thought I’d wear my thigh length shapewear to make sure no one could see my girly parts. More on that later.
I showed up at B’s house, very proud of my dress and my hair which I’d worn down, and sat down with a glass of water to cool off from the still hot enough to melt your skin off sun. And then I stopped feeling so proud when she asked me if I remembered to bring the ONE thing she asked me to bring: her table. Because HOW can you sell things without a table to display them on? My fabulous hair went up into a pony tail and with the help of her future drag racing driver, headed back to my house to get everything I forgot, then back to her’s to pack up and go, and which point I realized it was 2 o’clock and I had neglected to eat anything. Win.
She made the kids use the bathroom and asked me if I thought I should go before we left, but I was all “Nooo I don’t have to go” and so of course as soon as our table had been set up I had to go. And it was hot and I was pouring with sweat and my clothes were sticking to me. Do you know how hard it is to shimmy out of shapewear when you’re sweaty?! I considered throwing it away and letting everyone see my underwear, but I NEED that thing and it was expensive. So 15 minutes later, after an intense aerobic routine, I completed my potty break and headed back to the table.
The table was popular and we were having fun chatting and explaining products, despite the fact that the room we were in was an oven and everyone in it was pouring with sweat. I’m pretty sure whatever perfume I had on was overcome by the smells that my body was producing thanks to my genius idea to wear layers. I told B I was feeling crappy and she insisted I go in search of food. The food I found was mostly sweets, except for some oranges, so I bought an orange and a red velvet cupcake, reasoning that the orange would cancel out the cupcake.
I had brought my daughter along to play with B’s oldest daughter, figuring I could give her a little money and she could have a little independent fun while we worked. The girls were well behaved, but my daughter kept coming to me saying she was too hot, and I kept giving her more money to spend, telling her to drink water, and shooing her back outside to play. “You’re an Arab living in an Arab country, you should be ok with the heat” I told her.
Finally things came to an end and we packed up and climbed into the marvelously air conditioned SUV and headed home.
My daughter started complaining of a headache immediately, then a tummy ache, and then eventually fell asleep on the way home. At first I thought it was from forgetting her glasses at home, then thought maybe she ate too much junk food, or maybe the heat was a little too much for her, but that after a little rest she would be fine. I tucked her in on the couch and told her to close her eyes for a bit and she would feel better soon. So, so wrong.
For the next hour or so, I followed my daughter back and forth to the bathroom and held her hair as she hugged the toilet and threw up everything she ate in the afternoon. Between heaves she told me she was worried that maybe it was too hard for me as her mother to watch her be sick. It was hard, of course, but I assured her that’s what mommies are here for. I told her my mommy used to do the same thing for me when I was sick as a little girl. She stayed with me last night, only the second time in the past couple of months, and woke up full of energy as usual. I still can’t figure out if it was the lack of glasses, the excess of junk food, or the heat…or maybe a combination of all of those things that made her so sick.
Yesterday made it clear to me that with the forgetting to eat, poor choice in clothing, and inability to tolerate the heat, my daughter and I are two people who are definitely not designed for life in the desert. How did people ever live here before air conditioning?! It’s nearly October for crying out loud, and our bodies are supposed to be wearing jackets and raking piles leaves and stuff. Maybe we’ll get there someday, or maybe I’ll keep having stories to tell.