Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Independence can be fun...

Happy Independence to those of you out there who are US citizens.

I had fun yesterday all by myself: ate some good food, went to the movies. (For those interested, I saw 'Crash' again, and I think it's a shame that more people haven't seen it yet. I'm not recommending it for Muslims though; there was some nudity in there that didn't faze my american self [I forgot about it the first time I commented on the movie, in fact] but...)

Today, ma'shAllah, I FINALLY came down to Guayama; I'm here now in la casa de la juventud, an awesome community center run by the gov't for people aged 13-29. I have a license again! WoooHOOOO!

Yeah, so about the 'husband search'. I've been meaning to get to that for some time.

Aiight, so as an American, it can sound quite ridiculous to be like, "Ok, I'm old, unmarried, and finally got my degree. It's time to start the husband search." In fact, most unmarried american guys upon hearing this out of a woman's mouth start to head for the hills. They want to DATE. Everyone expects someone my age who is "looking" to also be "dating".

But I've never really been down with the whole dating thing. I've been on exactly one date (meaning alone went out with a man; that means prom doesn't count. And anyway, I went to prom in a group.): the man involved knows who he is, and we ended up just friends because I wasn't down with the whole dating thing. I don't even know where he is anymore. Last I heard he was teaching in the UK somewhere, happily esconced (sp?) with his Iranian girlfriend.

On a personal level, both before and after shahada, I've not liked the idea of dating because I've never seen it withOUT the connotation of sex and/or intimacy implied with it. It's like, if you say "I'm dating this guy", there's nothing to say that you haven't slept with him or that you're not going to. Also, since I tend to judge people quickly as far as friendship/social relationships go, I'm pretty sure I'd attach myself to whatever men I would date rather quickly and then be devastated by any breakup. The one and only time I've had to reject a best friend of mine was traumatic. I still cry sometimes when I think about it.

SO: lucky for me, Islam provides the great husband search as a way out.

I should point out that I'm not being entirely orthodox about this, but still better than some, who go ahead and date with no problems. I digress.

As a convert, I find a 'wali', or a male older stand-in for my paternal or maternal uncles, who then go around looking for a man who has a suitable appearance, job, family, education, etc. He then talks to the boy's family and to me. If I like him, we talk about my dowry (another topic altogether), when we'd get married, what each family'd provide for the nikkah, etc.
My potential husband's mothers and sisters would come meet me, and if we're both progressive, we might go out in groups with chaperones to get to know each other. Some really lucky people I know met in MSA groups at GW and G-town, and got married, without all the family in it... trust me, they were better chaperoned than if their families had been there.

Anyway, after all that we'd have a nikkah ceremony and get married.

I told you all a while back that Tio, Abeer's uncle, had started all that process for me, but then he was murdered (may God keep him, forgive him, and show him peace in Paradise). So I've started my own search by putting my profile online at various sites. Abeer is helping me with the search, and Mahmoud would be my official wali.

ok, gotta go. We're hungry. More later.

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