Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Honeymoon Period

It was my opinion that the ticket not having a return date proved a point. I was livid. M quickly left the travel agency to retrieve me. He argued that this was the way 'everyone' buys tickets to Pakistan. He argued that his father was sick and "what if something happened?" He argued that it was cheaper this way. I knew all of this explaining was complete bullshit and that he had only given a date in the first place to placate me. He had a habit of doing things like this in order to avoid conflict. . . .telling me what I wanted to hear.

I had never demanded a time limit, how could I? But I HAD asked when he was coming back. Apparently, he felt that two weeks was reasonable and just faked it. His main argument was that if his father needed him to stay longer, it would be expensive to change the ticket, whereas if he bought an open ticket, he could come back "any time."

M was certain his parents were going to approve of us after he talked to them in person. We were so serious, that I brought all of the paperwork with me to file a fiancee visa for him. We had decided it could start its processing while he was gone and be closer to done by the time he returned. We actually signed all of the papers in the parking garage of the airport. (So began my in-depth immigration education. . . oh how I have learned since then. . . .)

We arrived extra early to get him checked in and so that we could eat together before he got on his flight. As soon as he boarded the plane I was to start my 12 hour trek back home. We sat depressed, eating and he instructed me on how to make an international call and where to get phone cards and how to talk to his parents when I called. No one in his home speaks any English, so I had to ask in Urdu. He taught me the phrase and gave me the dialing instructions on a 'Burger King' napkin. I could tell that he was tense, but he was excited at the prospect of surprising his mom. She knew he was coming in the next few weeks, but he had not told her when. It was going to be a complete surprise.

We scheduled a time for our calls based on the time difference and made the first call within a few hours of his arrival time. I left the airport sobbing to make my way back home.

He called me from a pay phone in the airport waiting room before I even made it out of the airport parking lot. It was things like this that reminded me why I was going to miss him so much. He was worried about my crying and how I was going to make the trip.


  1. My husband also introduced himself to me with a weird name. It's actually the last half of him real first name, but it's also a very average American name. I introduced him to all my friends and family that way. Two months later, when he realized I could properly pronounce his name, he said he prefers his REAL name, and that no one, except me and my family, has every called him by the other nickname. What am I supposed to do? He's in my head as the nickname! To this day all my friends and family still call him by the nickname. I did too until we got married, and now I call him Mian - for "husband." It still feels weird when I have to say his real name.

  2. My dad is so funny, he didn't meet M until after the "real" name had been revealed and since my dad prides himself on speaking Hindi (that's how dad learned it in Devanagari script) so he refuses to call M anything but his real first name. M really likes this.

    I also call M "husband" most of the time, but in English instead of Urdu. My Urdu phrases are very limited and M doesn't seem to be inclined to teach it. . .doesn't know where to start and neither do I. :(