Conversation Fail

Scene 1: “Guy seeks a Stepford Wife”

Man: Sister, I want to get to know you.

Me: Sure, what’s up

Man: Tell me, I want to know if you believe in traditional gender roles..

Me: (WT…)? I’d decide with my husband what would work for us…

Man: (pensive look) tell me, you cook?

Me: Well, yes. I have to eat

Man: (sensing hope?). Good! Tell me, what do you cook?

Me: (realizing this will go awry, I turned on my sarcastic mode on). Food…All kinds of food.

Man: (strangely excited). Good! Now, tell me sister, do you wear hee-JAB?

Me:…uh, yea, but…

Man: (grinning). Good! Perfect! Tell me, how do you feel about children?

Me: (I don’t even know you!). I like kids.

Man: How many you want?

Me: Oh, I don’t know yet. It all depends on…

Man: I only want ONE! I prefer boy. If it’s a girl, it’s OK too. I accept. I just do not want her to go to school. If she want school, it’s inside the house. The technology these days lead to zina.

Me: Zina?

Man: Yes. Ara-beek worrrd.

Me: Hey, I’m sorry. I think we have a very different way of thinking. Gotta go.

Scene 2: “Guy wants to save the ‘Latins'”

Man: Hey, you Muslim!?

Me: Yes…

Man: Oh. Whoa! Where are you from…?!?!

Me: I’m from Miami…I’m Latina…

Man: You Latina? Oh! Wow! (Excitement seeps through his pores).

Me: Yea…

Man: Hey, haha! You know. Latin people are very relaxed. You know, it’s hard for them with religion.

Me: (WT…!)…

Man: It’s great you are Muslim! But just make sure to go and tell them what’s up with our religion. They need to know God…

Me: Most Latinos are Chris…

Man: OH!! And the purpose of life! Teach them that too!

Me: (OMG!)…

First time I stayed quiet throughout an entire conversation out of sheer dismay. I’m going to pretend it had something to do with a language barrier…or else, I may loose hope in humanity’s ability to be rational–


12 thoughts on “Conversation Fail

  1. LOL! These conversations belong in the panels of a syndicated comic strip.

    “I may loose hope in humanity’s ability to be rational.” Yeah, you may just wanna hop on the cynicism bandwagon sis. There’s ample room and reason to climb aboard, as evidence by the Ara-beek speaker. (I’m gonna use Ara-beek from now on, by the way, just so you know).

    • Anthony,
      I deliberate over whether or not to make these posts sometimes. But they are REAL conversations! How can I NOT? I guess my hope is that someone would take them as cautionary tales…You know what I mean?
      Don’t get me wrong, I am probably the most patient person in person, and I just vent out here…But when will people think before they speak? I am SURE I have my share of stupidities…but some things I’ve heard are just simply absurd…to the point that my face makes all sorts of contortions trying not to respond angrily…eh.

    • Tell me about it. And yesterday I heard someone tell a story (in the most serious of tones) on how his friend had committed zina and how it was the fault of co-ed schools! I was like “Sure! Segregate the schools and toss your laptops everybody! The cure to temptation!”

  2. I think that the parents should make sure their children learn the morals and develop an understanding of the principles of the religion, specially during their adolescent years. Most likely then, they will make informed choices on their own and know where to draw the line, no matter what situation they maybe in. Its not only about falling into zina, but also about developing emotional attachment and taking time away from the purpose of going to school which is to get an education.

    Sometimes, I wonder what about those kids who may lack self discpline or may not have grasped the idea of self discipline. What would be your thoughts?

    • Abdullah,

      My perspective is that everything can be a temptation. A broomstick can be a temptation. I can use it to whack an innocent person in the head or I can use it to clean my house. Silly, example, I know. But my point is that anything around us can be “tools” for wrongdoings. On the same token, these same tools can be sources of good, too. We can use internet to browse porno, or we can use internet to download mp3s and learn Quran. It is not the tool that is the problem, but the way people use these tools. The same goes for co-ed schools. Co-ed schools can be a rich learning experience, or it can be the source of many distractions. I don’t think parents are to blame necessarily. I believe that our sense or morality begin at home, but there is only so much our parents can do.

      You also bring up a good point regarding discipline. I think it may sometimes have to do with extreme mentalities. If parents are overly strict, irrational and unreasonable, then the kids may want to rebel from an early age. Also, many individuals who have never been exposed to “real world” situations (for example, their society does not let them interact with the opposite sex in schools), the majority of them go buck wild when they study abroad. I think it is all about moderation. Moderation is key for balance living and Islam is supposed to be the “middle path”. When people lose their balance, then they act like crazies [and end up on my blog :D]. It’s like they do not know how to live in the world…

      I don’t know. I am a believer that everything around us is a kind of test. They aren’t intrinsically bad or good, but rather tools for good or evil. My critique on the first conversation is basically that people need to own up to their wrongdoings. Accept fault, ask for forgiveness and correct it if you can rather than blaming everything else. You know what I mean?

  3. Maha,
    I actually like the broomstick example 🙂 and it is applicable to any “tool” that we may benefit from or cause harm to us or to anyone else. I absolutely understand your point of moderation and how Islam places emphasis on it. I also understand that parents can only do upto a certain extent, the choice then falls onto their son/daughter.

    True, that many societies place strict restrictions on gender interactions where even an exchange of a word would be a no-no and people in such societies will likely have more of a rebellious attitude towards Islam and go “buck wild” when they have opportunities abroad.

    From the various ahadith, even during the Prophet’s(saw) time, I didn’t find the kind of strictness we find today in some societies. Infact, women used to come to the Prophet(saw) and ask him questions of sometimes personal nature.

    We can apply the broomstick example to a vehicle. I may use it in a reasonable way for my regular commute or drive recklessly and be doing 90 on a 70 mph highway. In that case, I will most likely be pulled over by a cop. By disciplining people, I don’t mean having a religious police who will abuse their authority and power and be rude to people and harrass them for no reason.

    My question would be will it be justified for, lets say, the school authorities/administration to police behaviors of students where they may be trying to cross a line?

    • “My question would be will it be justified for, lets say, the school authorities/administration to police behaviors of students where they may be trying to cross a line?”

      In my opinion, No. Who decides where the line is, anyway? And do you mean according to Islamic standards of right/wrong? It isn’t our duty to impose our ideas of right/wrong on the rest of society anyway. I just think religion is a personal matter. Besides, every society that has set up some sort of religious/moral police is kinda screwed up–and for some reason, they represent the most twisted interpretation of scripture and religious teachings. I’d rather keep religion and its practices a private matter and one that is confined to community of believers–in other words, something along the lines of secularism? Besides, I don’t think it’s anyone’s business to tell you how to live your life (except our parents and loved ones).

  4. I agree with the point of drawing the line because who knows where the line is. What maybe acceptable to one may not be acceptable to the other.

  5. To be more specific, I wasn’t thinking along the lines of a public school. I was thinking more in terms of an islamic school or a mosque where there is a code of conduct because, ofcourse the code of conduct which Muslims abide by can never be imposed on someone else for that would be a violation of “no compulsion in religion”.

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