I’m not Complain’ I’m just Sayin’…

Forgive me. Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning but I’ve got some grievances to air. So here goes:

-So, I’m back in the Twin Cities. Why? Because there are no jobs in Ohio and I’m tired of sitting around doing nothing. I become a miserable, crabby individual. The easy thing to do was to come back. I didn’t really want to be in a long distance relationship but Allah is the best of planners so I have to make the best of it for now.

-Speaking of Twin Cities, I absolutely HATE it here. I started thinking about why I hate it so much and the bottom line is that I’ve outgrown it. Since I’ve outgrown it I become irritated by little things that make the Twin Cities, the Twin Cities. Coupled with that I’m AT MY WITS END with people thinking I’m Somali. Newsflash for Somalis and non-Muslims in the Twin Cities: NOT EVERY BROWN WOMAN IN A HEADSCARF IS SOMALI!!!! There are millions of Muslims in the United States and Somalis only comprise a small fraction of them. Stop speaking to me in Somali and getting upset when you realize I don’t understand you. Stop speaking to me in slow, fragmented sentences because you think I don’t understand English. Stop expressing surprise that I’m not Somali or asking if the reason I’m Muslim is because I married a Somali. Stop asking how my sister is American but I’m Somali. Stop asking why I’m “wearing that” if I’m not Somali. JUST STOP! *Taking a deep breath*

-I’ve been on a whirlwind of job interviews and I’m starting to confuse the different jobs I’ve applied for. But you know what? I’m not complainin’. I had one job interview in Ohio and that’s it. Here at least I have prospects right?

I need a Taser. Seriously, I don’t plan to use it unless I absolutely I have to. I just need some protection in case smaddy wha tes’ mi. I don’t want to carry a gun, I don’t want to carry a knife and I certainly don’t want to panic and pepper spray myself in the eyes. A Taser seems like the best solution…

-I’m not bitter, I promise. But do people know who frustrating it is to recount my entire journey to Islam (complete with all the metaphorical bumps and bruises) EACH and EVERY time I meet someone new? I feel like typing up my story and printing a thousand copies. Every time someone asks me, “How did you come to Islam?” or “Why did you become Muslim?” I can simply hand them a copy. I know people mean well. Most people are really interested in or fascinated by converts’ journey to Islam. Sometimes it feels invasive though. Sometimes the line of questioning seems voyeuristic. Consider this: You’re asking a virtual stranger to tell you something that may be very personal and even a little emotional. (More often than not you’re asking a convert to recount their story in front of several people). Then once you listen to their story you say “mashallah” and go about your business leaving said person with all the feelings or emotions you conjured up when you asked them to tell their story. Granted, some converts may not mind. Heck, even I don’t mind given the right situation. But just consider that almost every person we meet us asks the same question.

-Is anyone else tired of the election coverage? Yes, I know we’re at a critical time in the country’s history. And yes, I know how important this election is. I’m just sayin’ I’m tired of it. HillaryBarackJohn. HilaryBarack. BarackandHillaryReverendWright.  *sigh*

-I’m not trying to be mean but seriously, do people who have children realize how utterly boring it is for those of us who don’t have children to listen to story after story about the cute thing their child did or said the other day? Ditto for the parents who put their 2 year old on the phone and expect you to have a conversation with them. It usually goes like this:

Child: Goo-goo gah gah

Me: Hi Kiya, what are you doing?

Child: [Slurp followed by heaving breathing]

Me: Kiya, how are you? What are you doing?

Child: Fine. Fine Mommy. Hi Mommy!

Me: [sigh] This is aunty Sha-Sha.

Child: Sha-Sha? Sha-Sha!!!! [Bangs phone loudly in my ear, followed by another round of heavy breathing]

Me: Yes, aunty Sha-Sha. Can I speak to your mommy?

Child: Mommy?

Me: Yes, mommy. Can I speak to your mommy?

Child: Okay, bye-bye. [Hangs up phone]


10 responses to “I’m not Complain’ I’m just Sayin’…

  1. I’m cracking up right now! A Taser, sis?! All that keeps running through my head is that college kid yelling “Don’t tase me bruh!”

    Yes, the kid’s stories are boring. All you can do is shake your head and smile because it’s just not as funny or cute as they parent think it is. But, I’m sure I’ll being doing the same thing one day, Insha’Allah.

  2. Salams sister,

    LOL…I can feel you about the wonder of babies. I cringe when moms are trying to talk and they are chatterboxes in the background, but as soon as you put them on the phone, they are silent. It’s hilarious if you aren’t on the other line.

    Tasers can be dangerous to their owners too…let me know where you get one! LOL.

    About the racial confusion, I am a fair-complected Bangladeshi-American, so people automatically start talking to me in Farsi, Turkish, or Arabic. And when I tell them where I’m really from, they have the nerve to say: “Oh (with a perplexed look on their faces), but I thought that you were (fill in the blank). And I thought that Bangladeshis were not that devout enough to wear the head scarf.” What??? I just smile ironically with a raised eyebrow (thinking, what does speaking Arabic make you better than me, even if you don’t wear the head scarf???)

  3. Auntie Sha-Sha!? Do you really hate my kids too man? Wicked ol’ lady!

    My wife has been complaining about the ‘Somali’ tag here in Columbus too. We might abandon ship before long trust me.

  4. Samira, Yep a taser. In this day and age you never know. If I am accosted by some person I can whip out the taser and let it do the talking. (Giving me enough time to make my escape, insha’allah). As for the kid thing, my friend keeps assuring me when I have kids I’m going to do the same thing. I just can’t imagine it…

    Farhana, So you feel my pain then. Does the case of mistaken identity happen to you on a regular basis? It happens to me almost EVERYDAY. Hence the reason I’m at my wits end. I hear you on the danger of tasers but I’d rather have something than nothing at all. You know, trusting in Allah but tying my camel. 😉

    Charles, my big bro. I DO NOT hate your kids or any others. If I was in your city I’d be a designated babysitter for you and your wife. See, no problem!I just don’t like: (1) Having to absorb endure hours of conversation about the cute things your kids have done or said. Or where the latest Gymboree sale is etc. (The same goes for sisters yakking constantly about recipes, their husbands and their houses). And (2) trying to speak on the phone with children under the age of 7. That’s fair isn’t it?

    Oh and I can’t wait to abandon ship. My hometown of Chicago is calling me. The presence of the NOI and The Warith Deen community is strong there. People usually assumed I was part of one or the other. In fact, the last time I was there by aunt (who is a hardcore Christian) was telling my uncle that I’m not in the NOI but part of “that other group” (meaning the WDM movement.) Imagine my surprise…

  5. LOL…Gymboree…I went to a sisters’ party where everyone had a kid under the age of 1, with the exception of yours truly. It’s all the sisters could talk about! That, and more personal issues about the wonders of breast-feeding, and the probing questions of when I will have kids that had me squirming uncomfortably. 😛

    Yes, I will probably do the same thing to find out where to get cute clothes and stuff for the little ones, but I don’t know about revealing anatomical details!

    Yes, even before I wore hijab, I had random people start talking to me in Spanish…and now it’s no different, except the language. What gets me is that even though the population of Bangladesh is 85%-90% Muslim, other muslims (trying not to generalize here, but you get the picture– Arabs, even Pakistanis) think that most of us are Hindus and even if we are Muslim, we are not the practicing kind. The assumptions I get from fellow Muslims are my pet peeve. Can you tell?

    Somalis AREN’T the only black muslims…most people here in Texas think every black muslim is from Nigeria (like Hakeem Olajuwon (sp?)) LOL. And if you are actually orginally from America, some ignoramuses automatically equate black people with the Black Panthers. But that’s another topic. People just have to learn that just like being Christian is not defined by color (yes, there are christian desis too), Islam does not discriminate, although people might. It’s a religion, people, NOT a culture! Sorry for my mini rant.

  6. asa.
    are you trying to get on the “no-fly” list with all of that taser talk. (LOL)
    i am guilty, without remorse, of boring my family, friends and anyone who listen really about hmc. see how i found a way to mention my child in a comment on your blog.

  7. Heh, I got acosted by a member of my parents’ (aka my former) church when I was visiting this last weekend. She was like, umm, so, you’re muslim now? Tell me about it.

    Yeah, that was an uncomfortable conversation.

    Want to get together for lunch when you’re downtown?

  8. Michigan muslim

    Assalamu alaikom,
    I sympathize completely but I’m smiling, too. I can relate! I go through the song and dance, with the conversion story, the genealogy explanation, and also the language thing. The language thing is the worst. I’m always embarrassed. I can’t blame people for being curious but sometimes it’s just taxing… and other times –more rarely– the person is deliberately being a jerk. What’s funny is the Arab strangers who approach me to ask about my ethnicity, etc.When they find out I am not Arab, they automatically lose interest in talking to me.

    I wish you well with the job search. I’ve been applying to places for about a year. Like your Ohio experience, I’ve had one interview.

  9. Salaam Alaikum,

    I totally feel you on the conversion story bit. People forget that not only do you get asked it all the time, but that it’s really personal. I’m going to start saying no.

    P.S One time, I got asked it by a gynaecologist while I was in stirrups! So inappropriate.

  10. Pingback: You are not the first person to ask… « persistently practising

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