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How I met a guy from Morocco
Since our anniversaries are drawing near I thought this might be an appropriate subject to write about.
Whenever I tell someone I married a guy from Morocco that first question they ask is normally, "How did you meet a guy from Morocco." So, in the interest of time I am going to describe it all here, including the info about our three weddings and then I shall give the email link to anyone who asks and I'll never have to repeat it again (yah right).
The Dumb Date
And by dumb I mean unable to speak - well it was dumb in the traditional sense too
It all began when Laura, Amanda's friend married a guy from Morocco, then Amanda (my best friend since second grade) married the guy from Morocco's cousin Adil. Then Amanda and Adil set me up on a date with another guy from Morocco named Adil. The main problem with the date would be that the guy didn't speak English. So we had to take an interpretor on our date by the name of Ihssan, who was Amanda's new brother-in-law (the first Adil's brother).
So we go off on our date to a pool hall in Southeast Wichita and we're not really talking and when we do it is really weird because it all has to go through our interpretor. Needless to say the date with the Moroccan guy wasn't going well. We went back to my Amanda's apartment and sat and watched television. I started chatting with Ihssan, the interpretor and at some point while I was totally engrossed in the conversation, Adil slipped out of the room and possibly out of the house. Okay now forget about that Adil because he won't enter the story anymore. So date was over and I headed back up to Lawrence, where I was going to college at KU.
Several weekends and one boyfriend later I was back in Wichita and I went out to dinner with my friend Amanda, her husband Adil and a bunch of other people including Adil's brother, my past interpretor, Ihssan. I'm not going into any details, but Ihssan and I started dating that weekend. Labor day weekend.
In November, two months after we started dating, there was a mutual marriage proposal via AOL chat (I was in Lawrence, he was in Wichita). I say mutual because we will never agree on who brought it up first. We both decided we could either break up or get married and we didn't really want to break up.
I came home to visit the next weekend. I decided I should tell my parents the great news. Ihssan was going to come over on Saturday to say "Nice to meet you" and "I'm marrying your daughter."
Oddly enough when I told my parents that I wanted them to meet him on Saturday my dad said "You better not marry that A**hole." He was kind of kidding, but not really.
So Saturday comes along and Ihssan comes over and we tell my parents that even though we've been dating only a couple of months, and I'm only 19, and I'm not even half-way through college, and we have barely any money and no jobs, we are getting married. (FYI if either of my daughter's ever do this to me I'll beat them within an inch of death)
My mom started discussing wedding plans, and my dad just kept saying how "F***ing Stupid" we were. Yes those where his exact words, over and over. Which didn't phase me a bit because I know how my dad is, but it had to have freaked Ihssan out a bit and was definitely the beginning of the love/hate relationship between my father and my husband.
Getting Married and Married and Married
Three weddings and a breakdown
Next on the agenda was the actual act of getting married. We had three choices: Get married at the Mosque, Get married at the courthouse, Get married in Vegas. Who wants to decide between those? We did all three!
The mosque wedding was set to take place on a day in December. It would be very informal between us and the Muslim guy who officiates such things and set up an appointment for the ceremony. My mom and I went and picked up a long brown velvet dress and a head scarf. So on the day of the ceremony I get dressed up and felt pretty cool and foreign. Ihssan puts on a t-shirt and jeans and doesn't shave. We get to the mosque, which is basically a converted house with additions, and Ihssan wants me to go in with him for the prayer and we would get married after that. I freak out. Just plain freak out. I don't want to go in because I don't know what the heck is going to go on and all I see are men entering the building, with the exception of a few women. So Ihssan says I can stay in the car during the prayer and that he'll come and get me after so we can go get married.
Thank god for head scarves! I was able to sit in the car, in the parking lot, crying my eyes out and no one could tell. This was the first and not the last time I thought those head scarves were pretty damn brilliant.
So Ihssan gets back to the car after the prayer and sees me crying and generally freaking out and we just go back to his apartment.
I calm down and we decide to try again the next day. This time I make him get dressed up in a Moroccany outfit and I get my mom and dad to go with us. No freak out this time. We go in, the guy reads the story of Adam and Eve to us in arabic and we say we want to get married and he says you're good to go. That was it in a nutshell. At this point we're not legally married, but we're married in the eyes of God so we can live together without sinning.
Ihssan moves to Lawrence and we get a two bedroom apartment. Next step is to make the marriage legal. So we head off to the Lawrence courthouse and fill out the appropriate paperwork. We find out that we need a judge and two witnesses during the ceremony to make it legal. We get a judge and walk down the street to where our friend, Jeff, worked at a music store and asked him if he could come be our witness. He said sure and we walked back to the courthouse. We weren't able to scrounge up another witness so we had to pay $25 for witness number two.
We giggled through the whole ceremony which started to piss off the judge quite a bit. I think the humor was caused by the reading of the vow. I didn't know they did that in a courthouse wedding and it may have been the first time Ihssan had even heard them. So now it's legal.
Next comes the wedding. We decide to go to Vegas. I don't know why. We just did. A whole bunch of my family including brothers, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. showed up to celebrate with us which was awesome. I wore a white wedding dress with a veil and my dad walked me down the aisle and there was a preacher like guy in a black suit to marry us. We get most of the way through the wedding without laughing until Ihssan, now familiar with the American wedding adds to my vows... "to love, honor, cherish and do the dishes, in sickness and in health...."
No matter which ceremony you go by (the Vegas one is the only one I actually recall the date of) Ihssan and I are now approaching our 11th year of marriage. It went by incredibly fast and unbearably slow. I'm pretty glad I married him and I'm pretty sure he is not terribly upset about marrying me as well.
PS - When we went in to the Immigration office to have out interview to get him a green card, the interviewer asked him what was the date of our marriage. He didn't know so she turned to me and said maybe I should remind him. I didn't know either. But there were so many of them I explained. Still it's not a good idea not to know the date of your wedding when you interview for a green card. Just an FYI
PSS- I was watching Oprah the other day and some doctor/author/something said that to affair-proof your marriage that you should sit and talk to your spouse 45 minutes straight, 4 times a week. I told Ihssan this and he said "You can go ahead and cheat." I of course was taken aback by that response until he explained, "That would have to be less painful than having to talk to each other for 45 minutes every day."
PSSS- I just can't stop.... I mentioned at the beginning that the first question people always ask is how we met. I've got a lens about another question people sometimes ask about our relationship. Read It Now
Other Lens' by Me: