I met A* 5 years ago at an embassy function. We had very little in common except that we were both born in a small tropical island and now stranded in the middle of the desert.
A* is married to a middle eastern gentleman. They met in S/ngap0re when he was working there, their romance blossomed and they got married and she followed him since.
What I find most difficult is that she does not have a mobile phone herself or a home landline number. Her only connection to the outside world is through her husband's mobile phone which he carried with him everywhere he went including work.
"So if you want to call me, you can call him after 9 or 10 pm when he gets home from work and he can pass the phone to me."
"Why don't you get your own? Its easy enough to get a SIM card now and phones are cheap?"
"Well my husband said its not easy. He is busy at work all day long and he comes home tired and stressed out."
"So what is something happens to you in the day should you fall sick or faint or fall?"
"Well I can go to my neighbours and ask for help. Most of my neighbours are his countrymen so they know him well."
At first I thought well if she wants my old mobile, perhaps I can give it to her. But then I realize that perhaps it was not a question of economics or logistics but rather a control and/or emotional issue.
I always prided myself as someone who can empathize other people, their situation, culture or even economic circumstance. However this goes beyond my personal tolerance.
It makes me so mad that she accepts her situation. I have little respect for a man whom I consider controlling.
Last night I met her again and she looked very thrilled to see me. I however had to restrain myself very hard from shaking her into her senses, "Whats this woman! You still have no phone?"
Granted I don't know them well and has not made any effort to bridge the gap.
And what did I learn from this lesson? That I can be very judgmental and prejudiced much to my own chagrin.
If she is happy, why burst her happy bubble. Sometimes the feminist in me cloud my judgement of other people.
My child, if you meet a suitor who cuts you off from your friends or family and controls how you get access to them, run! Run as fast as you can! I am raising you to be a person who can have her own opinion and her own choices. Liberty is your birthright! Work hard to maintain it and don't give it away to anyone. Liberty does come with responsibility like everything else, but once you let it go, it may never come back. You may be a chained changed person forever.