I don’t know exactly when I traded my young-adult status to mature status. I don’t think it has anything to do with turning 30. Indeed I know 40-something women who are in the best shape they have ever been—physically and emotionally. My husband was just teasing me for my sudden interest in politics and global warming, when I realized that it had been a while since I watched a movie, Fashion TV or read an entertainment magazine. CNN, CNBC, and ejunior are the three channels that we watch in our ‘free’ time. The rest of the time, I am running errands that have to do with my children.
Last time we had some time off, there wasn’t any time and energy for late night dinner, love making on the beach or any adventurous leisure. Going to amusement parks, museums, and children-focused activities were the only activities that were feasible. Furthermore, last time I went shopping, 90% of the stuff that I bought was for my children.
Yesterday, I was in a taxi and the driver asked me the usual “where you from?”
Here in Abu Dhabi I always answer Africa when asked that question—most people have never heard of Haiti, and I don’t have time to give geography lesson to everybody. Many people believe that Africa is just one country; so when I say ‘Africa’, the person often leaves me alone. But if he/she is a bit more aware of the world, he/she will ask: “where in Africa?”
Then I’ll say any country that comes to my mind. So far I’ve said Soudan, Senegal, South Africa, and Ivory Coast.
But yesterday the driver was in a chatty mood. After I answered ‘Senegal’, his questions kept on pouring” “How long have you been here?” “Why did you come here?”
The truth is I did not choose to come here. Coming here has chosen me, as have most of the things that have happened to me. I guess I did not choose to become a ‘mature’ woman, a ‘mature’ status has chosen me without my noticing it.