Monday, May 05, 2008

Heads or Tails - Mother

Skittles has a meme called Heads or Tails this week the theme is 'Mother'

Every two years my Father would return from Iraq on leave. He had gone out to the Middle East to work on the pipeline and while there my mother had died. This particular leave he met a man, through business, who invited him home for dinner. While there he met this man's sister, a single lady of forty who struck his fancy. He was only home for three months but in that time he wooed her and married her and then whisked her back to Iraq with him.

Her name was Katie and she was a kind step-mother to me although I did not really get to know her that well, as I would only see her on vacations from boarding school and when they came home on leave. By the time they were back in England permanently I had left school and was living and working in London.

This is one of the incidents that Katie had to deal with on her arrival in Iraq that is amusing. I have written this in a previous post in November 2006 and have copied it here.

My father remarried in 1957 and took his bride to live with him in Kirkuk, Iraq, where he worked on the oil pipeline. I would visit them on my school vacations and I remember one incident which amused us.

My stepmother was lining the kitchen drawers with newspaper, largely because you couldn’t get anything else, and while she was busily occupied our houseboy Abdul, came over to see what she was doing.

“What is that in the paper, MemSahib” he said, pointing to the pictures of Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones’s wedding.

My step-mother explained “The sister of our Queen Elizabeth is getting married”.

Abdul looked awed and said “How much did this man pay for her”.

“Nothing”, she replied “men don’t pay for their wives in England”. I think she realized her mistake at this point.

Abdul looked shocked and stepping back and looking down his nose at her, said “Didn’t Sahib pay for you?” Mum shook her head regretfully.

“I do not work for a cheap woman” declared Abdul, and putting down his dishcloth he marched out of our home never to be seen again.


Penny Lane said...

That is pretty funny, yet shocking but sad that he never came back.

Thanks for stopping by Penny Lane!

Sue said...

That is too funny! Differences in culture especially back then could be great fodder for amusing incidents. Love the vintage pic of Princess Margaret's wedding. :)

Happy HOT day and thanks so much for stopping by!

forgetfulone said...

funny and sad at the same time. great take on the HoT prompt!

Inspiration Alley said...

The vintage pictures are lovely. Differences in culture just remind me how important our upbringing is to our views and what we consider important in life.

Skittles said...

What a wonderful post! I bet your stepmom did quite well after Abdul. :)

bundle-o-contradictions said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mom.
That's an incredibly funny story! :) If Poor Hubby'd had to pay for me, I think he'd have asked for a refund years ago!

Misty Dawn said...

OH my gosh - that is an awesome story! I mean, I'm sad he left like that, but WOW this story is great.

Raven said...

Strange world we live in. Great story, well told.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

That's kind of funny. Poor woman though, guess she had a lot to learn living there.