Anyway, this woman recently decided to host foreign students in her home. She claims she does this because she wants her kids to be exposed to people from other cultures and it's her "calling" to take care of kids. So far, she has hosted two students. The first one was a young man from Saudi Arabia. That didn't work out too well because he was a young adult and a little too independent for her household. Plus, she has dogs and he hated them. After a month, he moved out.
She now has a teenaged Turkish student living with her. The Turkish student has been with her for about a week or so and she has already proclaimed him "adorable". The other day, she posted a thread on a messageboard we both frequent for stepmoms and second wives. Her thread was entitled, "Because I care..." She went on to list all the selfless things she had done for this Turkish student, including sitting in 100 degree heat for a half hour so he could pray and preparing special food for the boy that complies with his religion's strict requirement. The initial post was obviously a plea for praise from the rest of us because she was being so respectful of his religion, even though it seems painfully obvious that she thinks his beliefs are ridiculous.
Next, she said she was glad Ramadan was coming up and he was fasting because that makes her job feeding him easier. Apparently, he will only eat things that have a symbol on the packaging that indicates it's approved for Muslim consumption. She wrote about how she was careful to make some food for him that complies with his dietary restrictions, but he didn't like what she prepared. She said she talked to Muslims at the local university who were laughing about this kid's strict adherence to his diet. These comments make me think she wants more props for being so patient with her Turkish houseguest... and yet, I couldn't help but detect some annoyance with all the fuss she was going to for this kid that she is no doubt being paid to house.
Here's what I'd like to tell this person in my online life, but won't because I don't have the energy right now for the shitstorm that would inevitably follow. "If you really care about this student, you shouldn't come on an Internet messageboard and proclaim how awesome you are for doing what you (should have) agreed to be doing when you took on housing a foreign exchange student. Instead of starting a thread entitled "Because I care," and boasting about all your "good works" and "respect" for another's religion and culture, why not just ask the ladies on the board if they know where you can find food fit for Muslims?"
This woman's own religion forbids her to drink alcohol, tea, or coffee or smoke. Given that, it seems to me she should be understanding about religions that have dietary laws. On the surface, she seems to be trying to convince us that she is, in fact, being very respectful. But then her post comes off as if she's putting forth a lot of effort for this kid... sitting in 100 degree heat (what, there are no public libraries or fast food restaurants nearby?), cooking special food (and being glad it's almost time for him to fast for religious reasons), and (I hope) not trying to convert him to her own religion, which she has often proclaimed is the only true church. And clearly this kid isn't giving her the gratitude she thinks she deserves, so she seeks validation from people on the Internet.
Her attitude about this kid's beliefs seems pretty evident-- right down to the fact that she vented to other Muslims about her new student and they told her he was a lot stricter than they were (so obviously the issues they're having come from him, not her). For someone who claims to be so interested in learning about new cultures, she sure does seem to be pretty disappointed with the experience. And for someone whose religion forbids masturbation, she sure does seem awfully eager for some stroking. Just like real masturbation, that kind of ego stroking ought to be a lot more private. I understand wanting a little praise and deference for doing a good deed or two, but begging for it is not very becoming.