Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Social Dilemmas of the Invisible Muslimah

As salaam alaikum,

Okay, dilemma! One of my medical school friend's birthdays is this upcoming weekend...or something, it's sometime this week. Anyway, he's supposed to be having a birthday dinner this Saturday, which I was all set to go to...

...then, I got this email about how MAS Boston (Muslim American Society) is having a Converts Dinner that same Saturday at the ISBCC [Islamic Society of Boston Community Center...basically this huge, gorgeous mosque that was built on Malcolm X Boulevard in Roxbury that's been opened since I've been here in Boston], and yeah, I kind of want to go to that...

Because while I continuously assert that I am not a convert [which, can you call someone a convert who has been Muslim their entire adult life, practiced Islam with a parent and family as a child and has a Muslim parent? It seems weird, right, unless at one point I was not Muslim...], by virtue of being the child of two generations of converts with a non-Muslim father, I have convert-like issues. Plus, I'm always up for the cause of supporting new Muslims.

And...I feel like I need to increase my social contacts within the Boston Muslim community. Harvard Longwood Muslims is awesome, but sometimes it's cool to step outside of the world of medicine.

And...[ulterior motive alert] there's always the hope that you'd meet eligible Muslim brothers and somehow begin some sort of dysfunctional courtship type...thing with one of them.

I'm not going to lie! I'm a 25 year old single Muslimah! As they say, "Hecha y derecha" [lit. made and right...yeah]. I mean, at this point in life, I realize that anything that happens at any point in time between now and graduation (so like, two years) will be potentially constraining because of the whole residency match thing, my thoughts about moving back to the Midwest or out West...I guess there's wisdom in waiting on all of that until I graduate and get to wherever I do residency...

But! then it's like, what about if I do residency in a place where I don't want to continue to live but I've met someone there?

I'm not going to wait until I'm a practicing physician! And why not, you may ask? That's me being single for...at least 5 more years! What's five years, you may ask? A long a** time, that's what it is!

A bunch of my friends who have just gotten married will be having their second children at that time, and I'll still have never been in a relationship...

Oh snap, right? Because when I mean single, I mean single in the halal sense...like, no relationships, no dysfunctional attempted halal courtships, nothing for five more years...nope, man, nope.

Yes, I've been bitten by the marriage bug because so many folks are getting married these days and it's like, sigh, one day it'll be my turn, but also gasp, one day it'll be my turn...

I guess I must realize...for the next 5 years, it's not going to be a convenient thing to be engaged/married as a medical student and then resident, but oh well, man.

...but anyway. I guess I'll cut out of my friend's dinner early and make it over to the converts' dinner. May I meet someone there?

Pssh, I don't count on it. I'll probably end up sitting at a sister's table anyway.

I also need to practice the fine art of not talking about myself too much. But it's so hard! You say a little something about yourself and then people are like, oh my gosh, that's so interesting, and then you find yourself going overboard...

[Check this out...apparently, MAS Boston wants to start up something like this - http://www.taleefcollective.org/ So cool! This is what I needed when I started college!]


  1. You made me smile. I know this dilemma all too well, being on the 25 boat, i'm still trying to cross that bridge from single student to not so single professional. Ha! Harder than it sounds. and you know what, I really don't know how it's done. Cause when I go to these events i'm at th sister's table too. lol

    Let us know how it goes. Oh and don't worry about talking about yourself, it's your blog isn't it? hahaha


  2. Sis! Glad to see you here! :)

    Yes, you uncovered the real social dilemma of this entry...we as young Muslims need to find a better way to go about the whole meeting Muslims of the opposite sex in a halal way for the purpose of companionship thing. I'm not talking simulating the club, I'm not talking Muslim speed dating or anything questionable like that, but...this paucity of interaction between us creates a terribly unproductive environment and brothers and sisters who end up liking each other from afar and for unrealistic reasons...we really need to get to know one another. HLM does a good job at the whole mixed gender interactions, and I haven't been to MAS events yet, so hopefully they do the same, as appropriate...

    And yeah, talking about myself on the blog is fine, but I'm talking about in public. For some reason, recently I found myself telling my life story in Islam to a group of Africans and I was like, ehh, how did I get to this juncture? ...I don't like doing that, haha.

    Thanks for stopping by! :) I still lurk at Xanga, I just needed a fresh space...

  3. Inquiring minds want to know, which even did you attend?

    I don't think they ever had a converts dinner when I was in Beantown, would have made the world of difference as you will have a greater chance of meeting people (ahem, brothers and sisters) outside the usual MSA (and betrothed on DL) crowd.

    Was there no way for you to perhaps do both?
    either way, I hope you had fun.

  4. So! I was going to try to go to both, but (1) they were at the exact same time and (2) they were semi-far apart from each other. Not super far, just JP and Roxbury, but still...I'd be very late to one or the other.

    So I ended up going to my friends' birthday party, because I hadn't seen him and other classmates in a while. I think other HMSers represented at the converts dinner.

    I wish I could have split in two and gone to both at the same time! ...but that's just part of my problem, I think.

    iA they'll have other events that I can attend.

    I don't regret that I went to my friend's birthday, but...man, I really wish I could have gone to both.