When we first met some 30 years ago as university students in Arizona, my husband and I were in our mid-20s and quickly fell head over heels in love. Of course our lives revolved around our many friends and socializing, staying up late and having lots of fun. We entertained quite a bit, hosting frequent get togethers in our home ranging from smaller groups of friends to huge blow out parties. Our social calendar was constantly filled with other events as well, like the Taste of Tucson, the 4th Avenue Street Fair, rock concerts, camping, and traveling around the countryside. We also used to go to the neighborhood clubs to play pool, or dance, even though later on he confided to me that he just pretended to enjoy dancing in an effort to “hook” me! He was so much fun to be with and could definitely be the life of the party.
As we grew older and our student days were over, the reality of "working for a living" set in. We still hosted parties in our home and led active social lives, but not to the extent of when we were college students. My husband has always required a good night’s sleep, while I can get by on a few short hours. It’s not unusual for him to get 9-10 hours of sleep or more each night, with me surviving on only 4-5 hours just fine. If he doesn’t get at least 8 hours of sleep, watch out! – what a grump!
Once he hit 40, my hubby became less socially inclined, somewhat of an old “Fuddy Duddy.” I used to have to prod him to agree to go to an event with me or to get together with friends. He would have just as soon stayed at home to sleep than to go out. When we had dinner guests, I can remember a couple of occasions where he just excused himself and went to bed when he felt our guests had been there long enough! He has never enjoyed movies - there are no movie theaters here in Arabia, so people are not exposed to the joys of the whole movie theater experience from an early age, like in America. Lucky for me, my son developed a love for movies like me, so he and I would frequently go to the movies while my husband stayed home to nap. Going to the movies is one of the things we miss the most about the States.
I would often go out with my girlfriends for Girls Nite Out of dinners, or the movies, and even on some out of town excursions. I would constantly encourage my hubby to go out with his small circle of friends, but it was a very rare occasion if he ever did. He seemed to lose interest in having fun and enjoying himself. His priorities had changed and he felt saddled with responsibilities at home and at work and he was pooped.
Since we moved back to his homeland, the man has become a PARTY ANIMAL!!! Now, I use the term “Party Animal” here, but partying here is a totally different concept than in the States. For one thing, there is no alcohol involved, plus there is no co-mingling of the opposite sex. There are always family get togethers here, many times lasting until the wee hours of the morning and now, miraculously, my husband has no problem attending or staying up late. He also now goes out at least 2 or 3 nights every week to spend time with his brother (who recently retired) and his friends at a café, where they play cards, eat, smoke hookahs, tell jokes and have fun. There have been many weddings that he has managed to attend as well – it was like pulling teeth to get him to accompany me to weddings back in the states! Some nights he doesn’t get home until after 3am. Now, he calls all of this activity "networking" or "conducting business."
Since only men are in attendance, I am not bothered by any of this at all. I am happy that he seems to have been “reborn” and rejuvenated by being back in his element, renewing old friendships, and spending time with his brother. Just the other day we were driving along, and somehow I asked about brothels in Arabia. My husband insisted that there are none, since it is "haram" (forbidden) and it would be too risky to operate one in the Kingdom. He then went on to say that if there were any, he didnt' know about them. So I joked with him that it was a relief since he has been keeping such late hours ! It is just surprising that this is the same man who in the previous years would have none of staying up late or having fun.
My old Fuddy Duddy has become a Party Animal once again!