“Her eye is the size of the seller of milk”


I never had a sister, but I can imagine how she would be raised.

She would constantly be reminded that she is beautiful, and would be instructed not to indulge in gossip, and be told not to apply make up on an early age, since that would be shameful. 

But she would pick up the habits from her surroundings.

At a certain point she would start focusing on lining her eyebrows, waxing, drawing her lips, and looking pretty.

She would be taught in the art of usool.

She would be implicitly told that her ultimate goal in life was to be bride. Everything she had to do in life had to pour in the matrimonial basin.

She would be told that she is best in the world, better than all other people, and that every man in the world would desire her; a hundred men would wish for you.

Ladies at the sobhiyes would adorn her in white in their eyes. At weddings they would scout her amongst the crowds, and ask “Whose daughter is this?”

Less embarrassing than olden ways when mothers would visit public baths and try to take a glimpse at the width of her hips and size of her mammary glands to confirm her fertility, or when mothers would visit in the early hours of the morning to see how she looked like when she woke up. 

She wouldn’t be able to sort herself out without a male showing her the way. If a day would pass that her beauty was not reinforced she would lose balance. Her physical appearance had to be top notch always, and if she would indulge in eating she would be told, “You’ll turn into a cow, who would marry you now?!” That’s besides the fact that the weight safety valve in most women lie in the finger between the pinky and middle finger of their left hand, usually set off by wearing a ring.

So she eventually would know very well how to sit cross legged, drink coffee, and gossip.

She would get an education to make her more appealing to the educated man, and her degree would hang very well in the wall of the kitchen.

She wouldn’t be advised to drive at night, ride a horse, or play the piano (piano players aren’t allowed to grow their nails).

Teta would always talk about the eye of the seller of milk. She would say that her eye is this big, by pointing at the middle of her forefinger with her thumb, and she would refer to her as barha, which translates into daring.

The description was conceived to the seller of milk because she would wake up before dawn to milk her cows, fill the tanks, distribute the milk in the early hours of the morning, and haggle with buyers on price and freshness. She wouldn’t care much about her eyebrows, or the town’s gossip.

We bought milk off supermarket shelves and paid casheirs for it. Their eyes seem pretty normal to me.


3 responses »

  1. I’d love the 21st century perception of that wide-eyed milk seller.
    Although It’s not about big eyes or more appealing hanging degrees anymore, it still kind of is.

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