Saturday, May 19, 2012

I may need a new post office

Having a business that I more or less run out of my home, means that I’m running to the post office frequently for stamps, or to ship orders out to people.  That means that the guy (ironically named “Guy”) that works behind the desk has become familiar with my face. Usually there is a big line behind me and I don’t ever get to have small small talk with him without feeling the razor gaze of the poor person behind me that wishes I would hurry the hell up. The extent of our conversation up to this point was my assurances that there was no liquids, fragile or hazardous materials in my packages, and that I would like the “love or celebration stamps, please.”   Yesterday, about an hour before they closed,  I ran over to ship 5 padded envelopes to ship from my last party. This time the post office was miraculously empty, and I said something to Guy about seeing me often to which he responded, “What do you sell anyways?”…

Enter awkward silence for a moment. Not that I’m not embarrassed in any way about what I sell, or what I do, Latino men in their mid-50's aren’t exactly my target audience, so I go for broke and say, “sex toys more or less. I’m a consultant with Slumber Parties so I sell sex toys, but also lotions and candles and such. Most of these are candles and lotions.”  I think he may have swallowed his tongue at this point, and eye contact is now in short supply.  He picks up a package, squeezes it and says “well…I know what’s in here!” I think for a second, actually trying to remember what had been put in that package, and respond, “Actually that’s just a packing bubble to even out the package. All that is in there is a candle, good try though.”  He makes a noise in his throat that I interpreted to mean, “yeah right, I know you’re shipping dildos, but whatever!”  Our conversation more or less stops at this point as someone else comes into the room. 

So, now my postman will be feeling up my packages and trying to guess what’s in them, and very obviously laughing his ass off at me after I leave. I think that I may actually have made his afternoon. I’ll give him my business card next time I’m in there, see how he reacts. That will be amusing. Either that…or find a new post office.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sunshine and Salaams

It was a beautiful day for a walk. I met a friend in the parking lot and set out around the lake.  Coming down a hill we saw a man walking and my friend pointed out that he looked like he was wearing PJ's. I commented that it was probably a thobe, and then saw that he had prayer beads.  I explained what they were, and as we walked by said "Salaam aleykum" to him.  The man, an African man, probably in his 30's was dressed in a thobe, matching pants, and a kufi, with a large string of prayer beads in his right hand (think of Catholic nuns and their super sized rosaries that we thought were cool as kids).   He smiled and responded "wa aleykum salaam" and I turned back to my conversation. 

Down the bend there was a bridge, and a mother goose with goslings. Canadian geese are a pain in the ass, but even annoying water fowl have beautiful fluffy babies, so we stopped to coo over them.  I had forgotten about the man I spoke to earlier until he caught up with me and asked me how I knew Arabic, and if I’d been to Africa before. I told him that, no I hadn’t been to Africa but was Muslim in college, but no longer considered myself Muslim. I also attempted to explain that, while I still search for my faith but don't necessarily feel the need to be constrained by labels.  He asked if he could say a du'ah (prayer) for me, and in a whisper prayed for me quickly in Arabic.  My friend, who is white, probably hasn't spent much time around Muslims and frankly, doesn't know me very well yet, didn't know if this guy was propositioning me, or doing something to make me uncomfortable, and quietly asked if we wanted to continue our walk. I held up a hand to ask her to hold on until she was done. When the man finished, I said thank you, and we continued on our walk. I explained to her that he was saying a prayer for me, and that talking about religion with strangers doesn't really bother me at all. 

Normally, I would never have said anything but I must have been intoxicated on sunshine, fresh air and the cool breeze.  I felt compelled to talk to him, not to show off my mad Arabic skills (cause I don't have them anymore), but perhaps like my niqabi friends that like to buck stereotypes and Rollerblade in niqabs, I want to be the person that isn’t afraid to talk to people just because they look different.  Everyone has something to offer, and I don’t want to miss an opportunity to see what they have to teach me.  Also, I lived in fear of judgement from others for so long. The fear that I was too Muslim for the culture I lived in and not Muslim enough for the culture and community that I was trying to enter. I put restrictions on myself, that others weren’t imposing, and today I realized this. I didn’t know this man, and will probably never see him again, I had nothing to prove to him, but two little words, “salaam aleykum” brightened up both of our days. 

It was truly a beautiful day for a walk. We couldn’t have asked for better weather and I’m four pounds away from some badly needed new clothing.  I'm happy for a new found friend that is going to make me walk off of the pounds around our area's beautiful lakes, and for the don't give a damn attitude that people thought I had, but I've really just developed.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

5 years of my life I will actually remember!

My mom had surgery yesterday, and thankfully it seems like she is on the road to recovery.  I was awaken this morning by a phone call from her, and was so happy to hear her sound like herself.  However, being woken up with a phone call lead to me forgetting to take my medicine and later finding myself sprawled on the couch wondering why I barely had the motivation to blind, let alone get any work done. Luckily I realized that I'd forgotten my medicine but I still feel like crap. Does anyone else get instantly and insanely addicted to caffeine? I do. I can drink 2 sodas one day and feel like I have a 8 shot tequila on an empty stomach hangover the next day. What...the...hell!  I hate it. Please pause for me to go make tea because I'm sick of my head spinning.

Okay moving on.  Last year I met this lovely flight attendant whom my husband decided was the coolest girl like EVER after she did the safety speech for him. Oh yes, she did.  Anyways, this fabulous lady had a journal. It's the Q& A a day 5 year journal and when I saw it I knew I needed it. I love writing, I love keeping records but I suck at maintaining routines, which means that I have tons of half filled notebooks.   This journal has guided questions and 4 lines to answer, with space for 5 years worth of answers. I knew I needed this thing, and she promised it to me for my birthday but when she went to the store they didn't have it (and apparently I was too lazy to look it up on amazon like I just did for you). Anyways, a couple of weeks ago, after watching the Newies (oh yeah, the only school Disney one!) and drooling over baby Christian Bale for awhile, she pulled my own awesome journal out of her bag annnnd of course I had to start writing! Note that she made me wait until after I'd watched the entire movie.