I am a Muslim woman in a America. Depending on where you live you may commonly see us, or it may be a rare occurrence. Some of us are more readily identifiable than others—those of us who choose to wear the hijab/khimar/head scarf. I’ll spare yall the ‘I am not oppressed’ speech. Suffice it to say I love hijab. And so do oodles and oodles of other women. Don’t believe me? Check. It. Out.
That said, wearing a head scarf—every day, not just when its cold out or when you’re having a bad hair day—can illicit some reactions that can start to gratetap dance all of the above on your nerve. I mean some folks are down right rude; “Why you got that thang on yo’ head?” **lip curled into a Nicki Minaj-esque scowl like I just stole their bike**
But I think I almost prefer that to the species of on-lookers I like to call overly-fascinated-annoyingus.
“Oh my God!” **making a swirl around their head hand motion** “What is this? It is so gorgeous! I love how you have that wrapped up there!”
At this point I’m like Eddie Murphy in Coming to America. In the scene outside the bathroom. At the stadium. During intermission. “Yes, yes but you are going to spill your beverages”. In other words calm down. I mean you’d think I had this kind of affair going on on my head:
There really is nothing to it. It’s just an oblong length of fabric and you just kinda drape it over your head. If you can put a table-cloth on a table, you can do this. Griping aside, I know Muslim head covering is not that commonplace for everyone and most people’s reactions are genuine. For yall I’ll maintain my Southern girl perma-grin and answer warmly and kindly. “It’s called a khimar. I wear it because I’m Muslim” 😀
A letter to someone who hurt you/broke your heart recently:
I recently interviewed with you. I put on my career separates, toned down my earrings (My earring tastes tend toward the large variety. My earring philosophy: they should be like celebrations on either side of your head! I digress), and took out my nose ring. I updated my resume, and put in significant time and energy gathering and memorizing information about your company.
“Yes I did get a chance to review your benefits package! I’m so impressed with your diverse offerings. It really shows that you value the most important resource: people”. This was intended to illustrate thoughtfulness.
“The article in ____ was particularly exciting. I admired the direction you chose with regard to ____. I was recently faced with a similar situation and chose to diffuse it in much the same way, etc. etc.” This was to showcase analytical thinking and a vested interest in the company.
“Do I have any questions? Yes, are there any pending projects that the successful candidate would be expected to complete soon after hiring?” This, to demonstrate genuine eagerness and curiosity about the position.
I sent you a follow up missive thanking you for the opportunity and waited…and waited. But you never called. And you never wrote. Until you did.
You wrote to say that I wasn’t the one. I despise those letters. They try to sound so nice and humane; “while impressive…unfortunately …we encourage you to pursue future opportunities…”. I would honestly rather them say “Piss off. You don’t cut the mustard”.
So I’m going over my coulda, woulda, shouldas. Maybe I got there too early. Maybe I was pouring it on too thick. Maybe I shoulda wore the blue top instead of the burgundy. Maybe it was my khimar (Muslim head covering)….
What ever the reason, you didn’t hire me and it truly broke my heart. I’d just like to leave you with this. I woulda been the best you ever had. Believe that.