Sunday, February 25, 2007

Convertable Husbands

Convertible Husbands: The latest matrimonial craze.

I'm sure most of y'all know someone with one. BUT, for those of you that don't know, a convertible husband is a non-Muslim that converted so y'all could get married. I know a few sisters that have done this and it seems to be getting even more popular. In a way I can understand where they're coming from, especially the foreign sisters. Non-Muslim guys don't seem to have the same "issues" as a lot of Muslim guys. It seems to me that a lot (not all) brothers seem to have this thing wear they want this hot, willing to be freaky, vestal virgin. She doesn't exist. They don't want her too religious because then she's no fun but they don’t want her too worldly because then maybe he isn't the first man in her life. The problem with this mentality is that unless a girl is pretty religious chances are she's had some sort of romantic entanglement and I'm not even talking about dating or sleeping around. What about talking to prospects, falling for friends, broken engagements, and all of the things that make up life outside of a bubble? Heck, even a religious girl could have had one of these. In this day and age, in this country, there's only so much innocence a girl over a certain age can have. Frankly, too much innocence is dangerous. Anyway, I'm straying from the topic.

Non-Muslims are far more blasé about this type of thing. For most of them, simply being a virgin (or not too experienced) is good enough. To most non-Muslims, that implies that you haven't been in a too serious relationship and likely have no real (relationship) baggage. They don't worry over every little nuance. They take what you tell them and work from that. They don't delve deep into everything little thing you've ever done. A lot of sisters are telling me that it's a welcome break; that it's nice not to have someone worrying about you being in a car alone with a guy for 15 minutes during sophomore year. They also seem more able to be the type of husbands that a lot of sisters want. I'll let y'all read what you will into that last statement. I'm not going into all of the things my girlfriends said they feel our brothers are lacking.

That being said, I think a lot of us are too harsh on our brothers. Yes, there are a lot of them with serious issues but there are a lot of really good ones too. And are we so faultless? I think not. Besides, as far as I can tell, converting your own husband is not without its problems. First, there's bringing him around. It takes a lot to get someone to renounce their religion and/or way of life. Second, there's the whole family issue. He may be willing and ready to convert but they probably won't like it or the bride to be. There's also the issue of the girl's family, they probably won't like him or the situation. It may always be a problem. I've seen it go both ways. A friend of my older sister's did this with a guy she met in med school and both of their families came around in record time. They've been married for over ten years, MashaAllah. I also knew of a girl whose marriage fell apart in less than a year because everyone was so against it and it tore them apart. Interestingly enough, he stayed with Islam and she left. Third (and, I think, final), there's the culture shock. If you've come from Christianity or no religion at all, it's a huge shocker. There are so many things that are different and so much that you have to give up, not to mention the Muslims themselves. It's a lot to deal with and everyone doesn't handle it well. Little everyday things that didn't used to matter suddenly become a big deal. And let's not even get into something like planning a wedding. It's crazy.

I don't think it's for me but I can't say for sure. As it stands now, I don't feel like I'm having such a difficult time with Muslim men that I need to start pursuing non-Muslims and I work hard at making sure I don't just fall for one. And while I'm willing to concede that I've met far more non-Muslim men I could see myself with long term, I think that's because I haven't had the chance really get to know most Muslim men. That's the real problem with Muslim gender relations. We just don't get to know each other. It's so much easier to get to know non-Muslims of the opposite sex. Most of us are segregated growing up and then when we start college or join the work force, we wind up keeping that distance from each other. For instance, Muslim girls are not even on my 17 y/o brother's radar. He hasn't spoken to a Muslim girl his age since he was six! He doesn't know any so he doesn't think about them. As far as he's concerned, outside of his family, they don't even exist. His friends are the same way. The Muslim girls at school don't talk to them and vice versa and they don't interact at youth functions. What's even sadder than that is that the brave few that do interact are always being accused of having some type of inappropriate relationship.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This could be a problem

Houston, we have a problem. I'm spending way too much time around non-Muslims and as a result, I hardly know any Muslims (men or women). As my mother told me, I'm not putting myself in the path of "eligible brothers." I'm willing to concede that this is partially.....::sigh::......fine, mostly my fault. I know exactly what the problem is. Now I just have to correct it. I need to start going to the masjid and attending other Islamic functions. Correction: I am going to start attending Islamic functions and going to the masjid. And nobody mention MSA because I am far too old to be at MSA functions. I rarely go to the masjid because it's out of the way and it seems like I always have something else to do. It's funny because growing up I was Little Miss Masjid. I was all thick up in the youth group, I was always volunteering for something, and I spent part of almost every weekend there. If I wasn't doing something masjid related I was volunteering with CAIR or something else Islamic. I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I haven't volunteered with any Muslim organizations in a long, long time. The main problem with this, in addition to the startling lack of Muslims in my life, is that I wind up hanging out with a bunch of non-Muslims. Now I'm not one of those people that feel they can't have non-Muslim friends, but, sometimes, it's nice to hang out with someone that gets it.

Of course, my mother continues to point out how unacceptable it would be to get "romantically involved" with a non-Muslim. Duh. That's so not going to happen. I've never given in to that particular temptation before so why would I start now? It's certainly far less acceptable at almost 25 than it was at 19. Besides, the whole mixing religions thing is far too complicated. Who needs the bother? Meanwhile, I'm thanking God she doesn’t know that one of the guys I volunteer with has asked me out twice. Naturally, I turned him down both times. It's too bad, really. He's beyond good-looking. Oh, well, he's not for me.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sugar Daddy

My younger sister feels that she needs an older husband to take care of her. And I'm talking seriously older, like 40-55. Before y'all start thinking she's a gold digger, she doesn't mean financially. She means he takes care of everything; pays the bills, fixes all problems or gets someone to fix them, handles household stuff, everything. She is kind of a mess. Despite being only 13 months younger than me, everyone has always treated her as if she's much younger. She's the baby girl. She doesn't cook, she doesn't clean, she can't handle stress, and she can't really take care of herself. I'm the most independent sibling and she's the least. Someone is always taking care of her and now she's convinced that she needs that for the rest of her life. She's got no shame about it; that's who she is. I mean, I know other women like her that have found nice older men to take care of them and it works out beautifully.

We're hoping that she'll get over it and lower the age requirement. In the meantime, she's into the online thing so my older sister and I were seeing what was out there in cyberspace. What should we come across but a sight called I'm talking serious sleaze here. Old men that appeared to be naked, "dominant dads" looking for "submissive daughters", ancient men looking for 22 year olds, all kinds of trash. It was terrible. However, we soldiered on and eventually came across a pretty decent site called Ageless Love or something like that. Who knows? Maybe she'll meet her distinguished Prince Charming online. Lord knows as picky as she is it'll be easier that way.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Moving On Up

I might be getting a promotion. Okay, do y'all remember when I told you that my (acting) manager thought I would make a good manager? Well, she was only acting manager at my store because our manager was on medical leave. Long story short, the actual manager came back (can't stand her) and the other girl went back. Now she's getting her own store and she's being promoted to Director of Events for the entire district. She wants me to come to her store, work as a manager and as Assistant Director of Events. I would love the job but she has to speak with our District Manager first. If everything works out, I will be moving on up. I don't want to get my hopes up too much but I'm pretty excited about it. InshaAllah, everything will work out but please, please make dua for me. I really want this job. The store opens in April and, if I get the job, I'll start in March.