Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oppression of Women

I was in my new house/apartment in the kitchen. It was a old-craftsman style kitchen, with a nice window over the deep white sink. The room was fairly dark and full of olive greens, maroons and dark blues. Over the sink, however, enough sunlight came in to give good lighting. First I watched a woman in a headscarf wash dishes. She wasn't supposed to know how to read, but she had figured it out over the past year, and now was able to read the writing-design on the dishes as she washed them off. The dishes were modern glass-art pieces, blown glass orange bowls with white arabic writing in a line down the middle, and such. As she cleaned them off she was able to read what they said, and realized that they were funny sexual jokes for the men to enjoy at the dinner table while the women (who weren't supposed to be able to read) wouldn't notice.

Then I was washing dishes of a regular sort. We had a dishwasher off to the right of the sink, and drying racks on the counters on both sides. The dishwasher was supposed to only be for special uses, and had strange settings, so I was hand scrubbing most of the items. At the bottom of the sink there was a white plastic cutting board that had been used for cutting up raw meat. I considered that maybe it should go through the dishwasher, and I considered how my friend Roz would use some bleach on it. But by then I had already scrubbed it with my dishcloth so I rinsed it well and set it to dry in the drying rack on the left of the sink.

Then my distant cousins and aunts and uncles arrived. It was December, and while I had thought that this was about when I should be mailing off wedding invitations, they had come to have the rehearsal dinner already. I didn't know who a lot of them were, but there was a banquet hall set up with lots of tables and one large round one in the center for the closest relatives, so I figured I would find out by who sat where. My uncle looked at my feet and I was wearing my new-ish interviewing shoes. At some point I tried on some casual and crazy dress and joked that it could be my wedding dress. I didn't understand how all these people knew to come and show up when I hadn't sent any invitations.

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