1) I no longer care about purchasing name brand sneakers. My sister who’s 21 was commenting on my payless bought sneakers. She was saying that “everyone” knows that Champion is now a Payless brand. I still do not care AT ALL. Aside from the fact the I seldom wear sneakers (I’m a wedge, platform, stiletto boots kinda gyal), my conscience will not allow me to spend $100 or more on sneakers that only cost $20 or less to make. And what about the factories where the workers are being paid like $5 a day? No thanks.
2) I am starting to use phrases like “these kids today” or saying “these young people today have a sense of entitlement.”(YIKES)! This is especially true when I speak about pop culture and it’s influence on youth. The other day I was lecturing someone about the reggae and dancehall music I grew up with it. I was saying how slack (slack=nasty) the music has become. Gone are the days of innuendo and double entendre. It’s in-your-face, blunt, no-holds-barred language. I say the same thing about television, movies, and even the way young people behave.
3) I can remember when microwaves first came out (remember how big they were?), when computers were not accesible to everyone (remember how simple the programs were?), when there was no such thing as email or instant messaging and when cell phones looked like this:
Naturally, young people today (hear I go, saying it again!) cannot fathom a life without any of those items. I remember using the now obsolete typewriters! Gosh I’m old!
4) I’m getting into interior design.When I was in my early 20’s interior design consisted of a futon, some milk crates, plastic drawers from Target and a nice bed spread or comforter. Now I’m thinking about thread counts, swatches, and decorative pillows. Yes, I have embraced my inner Martha Stewart! (P.S. my mom bought me a comforter set with an exquisite thread count for my birthday).
5) I actually cook. Gone are the days of ordering pizza or living on Ramen Noodles. Nowadays I’m cooking everything from Jamaican to Soul Food to East Indian cuisine. I still haven’t learned how to make one of my favorite dishes in the world:
It’s called “Doro Wot” and hails from Ethiopia. It’s basically chicken stewed in Berbere (a combination of Ethiopian spices). It is eaten with Injera and served with a hard-boiled egg. Now I know it may not look (or sound) appetizing but I can assure you it’s delicious! Oneday, insha’allah, I’ll learn how to cook it. Until then to Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant I go. (For the record, I do own some Berbere paste which I add to my cornmeal coating and fry with fish. I made it for my husband- who has never tasted Ethiopian food in his life- and he loved it)! Man, I’m getting hungry…
6) Some of the slang being used in songs and by youth today has to be explained to me. And it’s probably for the best but still…when did that start happening? If it weren’t for my sister I’d be completely clueless. I suppose this is what happens when you don’t have children or interact with them on a regular basis. I was thoroughly embarrassed when my friend kept saying “jawn” and I had no idea what she was talking about. Worse yet, if you know anything about Caribbean dialects you know that they change and evolve as much as slang. I won’t say I’m completely behind on my patwa but there are some new phrases people are using that I do not. Sometimes I hear myself and realize I talk patwa like my older aunties or my grandmother. *hangs head in shame*
7) My friends who had kids when we were in our late teens or early 20’s are the proud parents of teenagers. I am now that older person I used to dread who said things like “I haven’t seen you since you were a baby! Look at you, you’re all grown up!” or “You’re taller than me now!” I know how embarrassing it can be for a teenager when an adult approaches them and says things like that yet I keep doing it. At least I’m not pinching their cheeks…(Sadly, some of my friends are grandmothers! Can you imagine? My half sister is a grandmother at 34, which means I’m a great aunt at 33!)
8 ) I’ve been Muslim longer than some of the aforementioned kids have been alive. Yes, it’s true, I qualify as a “Muslim veteran.”Yet I still feel like a baby when it comes to Islam. Alhamdulillah, I have learned a lot and grown in many ways but I’m still trying to find my way; still trying to strike the perfect balance between deen and dunya. 16 years.. mashallah!
Old School pic of me when I was a new Muslim: