The Meetup

Meetups for arranged marriages in Alexandria usually take place in one of the following places:
The Engineers Syndicate Club, Al-Mahrousa and Trianon.
You’ll usually find a group sitting together,
Then, two of them would get up and sit at a separate table.
Then they’d either wear upset expressions, or seem to enjoy their time.

The time they spend together determines the future of the meeting.
If they sit together for an hour or more, that means they’re ready to talk about marriage.
If they sit for less than an hour, then their future is uncertain.

I was in the ninth grade the first time I ever had a suitor.
A woman followed me to the bathroom at a wedding and asked me,
“What’s your name? Where’s your mother?”

When we got home that night, my father jokingly grabbed me by my hair and said,
“You got yourself a suitor in the ninth grade!”
I found out later on that the suitor himself wasn’t even at the wedding.
It was his sister-in-law who saw me and decided, along with other women, that I was suitable for him.

I was in highschool when I went home one day with my hair tied up,
And found a lady at home who got up to greet me.
“Go wear something nice and let your hair down,” my mother told me.
I did as she said and sat down with the lady.
She asked me about a few things,
And then she started to frown.
I told her I wanted to do postgraduate studies, among other things.
She suddenly got up, said goodbye to my mother and me, and left.

These stories are all the same.
I don’t object.
“Okay. It’s fine. I’ll meet him,” I always say.

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