In The Blues Brothers, Jake Blues recieves a mission from God: get his old band (The Blues Brothers) back together. This is made more difficult because the band parted company on bad terms. In one scene, Jake and Elwood must convince Alan "Mr. Fabulous" Rubin to join the band. This is going to be hard, since Mr. Fabulous is now the maitré d' of a posh restaurant. In order to convince their former bandmate to rejoin the band they talk their way into the restaraunt, then begin acting like idiots -- ordering wine and food they couldn't hope to pay for, eating like slobs, and bothering the customers. They tell Mr. Fabulous that they will come back every day, doing the same act, until he rejoins. When he refuses, Jake leans back in his chair, stares at the next table -- a family obviously disturbed by the presence of the Blues -- and, mouth full of bread, asks the father:

Your women, how much for your women?

One time, when I was in Egypt with my family, my brother and I were walking around a market. A big, dirty, and rather scary man pointed at me and started a conversation with my brother. It took me a few minutes to realize that they were discussing how much I cost. The man was trying to trade camels for me. My brother thought the whole thing was terribly amusing. He kept bargaining with the man, while I started shouting for them to stop. But, being a girl in Egypt, no one paid me the least attention. This went on for quite a while. I still am not sure whether or not my brother fully understood that that man was about to take me if he closed the deal. Eventually, my parents came over and figured out what was happening. My dad laughed, while my mother began shouting - Derek! Stop trying to sell your sister!! The man glared at her, and tried to resume the negotiations, at which point my brother grabbed me by the wrist and bolted.

I was never going to settle for anything less than True Love tm. The fireworks, swooning, stars in my eyes, forever and ever and death do us part. The Real Thing.

And I’d know it was real, because he’d listen to me, someone who listens is so important to me, and he’d bear with me when I got all confused, I am so confused sometimes, he’d hold me when I woke up scared at night, I am afraid, sometimes, at night. He’d be everything I needed, nothing I had, a stalwart salvation.

And then I told myself that salvation has to come from within, and you can never rely on someone else for your happiness, happy yourself would lead to happy with others, always needing to lean on someone would cause them to stumble, crumple under the weight of me, a trust needs to be built, and I dug foundations, frantically sandbagging and fortifying my crumbling edges.

And I knew you were real, because you listened to me, and you held me. You thought I was funny (only too funny sometimes, sometime later you would laugh at the wrong cues), and you held me, you protected me, (all I wanted was to be safe) but then it was stifling and you were holding too tight and you couldn’t understand what was wrong.

You played all the parts, you paid all the prices I demanded, you won the girl, only the girl is me and the price may have changed. Know me, I’m thinking that now I’ll settle for something simple, something more or less like this or that. You want to know the underlying thread and balance that defines the tastes a subtle flavor of me hiding, the way to make me fall for you?
I don't know what it is.

MindVague's tale reminds me of one my Aunt tells a story about a trip she, my uncle, and my cousins took to North Africa many years ago.

My oldest cousin is blond and in her late teens at the time. She and my aunt were in a rug shop. Another customer in the store walked up to my aunt and said, "Your daughter, very beautiful."

aunt: "Thank you."
stranger: "How many rugs?"
aunt: "What?"
stranger: "Your daughter. How many rugs?"
aunt: "Ha ha! How many? All of these here." (gestures to a tall stack...)
stranger: "These here?" (with little hesitation...)

At this point the proprietor of the rug shop figured out what was going on and came rushing over, "No, no, he is serious. He will buy your daughter." I imagine he was familiar enough with Western Culture to think that that he may get in trouble...

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