Time to Pull Out that Big Black Dress?

The night after I came back from Japan I was offered a job in Saudi Arabia. English: Astronaut Photo of Riyadh, Saudi Arab... How to explain how this came about? It’s not entirely clear. Internet job boards are very dangerous things for me in combination with a glass of white wine, a little free time, and anxiety about poverty.  I will just say that when I hung up with the recruiter who had told me I’d need to wear a long black skirt or dress in public (‘cuz of the Sharia law thing? we never spoke of it) I did google black dress. It was 2:00 a.m. west coast U.S. time, 1:00 p.m. Saudi time, and who the hell knows what time it was in Japan; I wanted to see what my options were. As for the selection of black dresses that came up, what was called a cover-up did not look like it would cover up enough, the little back dresses were too clingy and short–some with key holes of missing fabric, and the maxi dresses tended to be made out of materials like spanish lace and black leopard print jersey. They looked slutty and cheap, but at the same time not cheap enough. Certainly,  nothing seemed quite right for teaching in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so I closed out of everything and went to bed.

The next day was Fourth of July, and I told my brother while my nieces and nephew paraded around a round about  in a Fourth of July parade on their decorated bicycles.  I was leaning toward yes on teaching in the Kingdom, as I found out it was referred to from some youtube videos I watched in the morning. He listened to me while I described the offer, and the living conditions as I understood them (from the youtube videos I had watched). He then said, “Wanna know what I think?” Up to that point he seemed to be judiciously weighing the pros and cons of me living under Sharia Law and making a livable wage to teach at a Women’s college in Riyadh.  I said, “No,” I just wanted to talk about the offer while he listened–I had preempted the conversation with that request–so then he said, “If you went, I think you’d be making a horrific mistake.”

He said he had just been pretending when it looked like he was judiciously weighing the pros and cons.

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