A few years ago, I was standing with a friend at a wedding when an aunty approached us.
Beti! she addressed my friend, you’ve gained so much weight! What happened?
My friend and I froze before I did the first thing that came to my mind: I pretended like I hadn’t heard the question to save my friend the embarrassment of having to address it with an audience. I picked up my phone (even though it hadn’t rung) and yelled HELLO? as I walked off, deeply engaged in a one-way conversation with the dial tone. But I wasn’t fast enough and heard the rest of the exchange.
I had a baby, my friend answered.
Yes, beti, 2 years ago.
Keep in mind this woman had her last child 25 years ago – what was her excuse? She looked like she’d never seen the inside of a gym. The only running she’d probably ever done was to the buffet line earlier that evening.
This got me thinking about inappropriate questions – why some people think it’s appropriate to ask them and how best to respond. There may be some cultural and age issues at play, but the worst offenders are not always old aunties. These inappropriate questions run the gamut, from personal (how much do you weigh?) to professional (how much do you make?), and neither the old (are you going through menopause?) nor the young (what’s your SAT score?) are spared.
I think we can all agree that there are certain questions that should never be asked (the ones posed above definitely make the list). But there are two questions asked with regular frequency – almost exclusively to women – that should join Olestra, MSG, and transfat on the list of things that should never pass one’s lips:
SUPPLEMENTAL CALL FOR STORIES: Muslim Men on Love, Sex & Intimacy
You heard from the ladies in Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women, now it’s time to hear from the men! Announcing a call for non-fiction, personal stories by American Muslim men on love & loss, sex & intimacy for publication by Beacon Press, February 2014.
This is our 2nd call for stories – in response to requests, we’ve extended the deadline for American Muslim men of all ethnic/racial backgrounds and perspectives.
NEW SUBMISSION DEADLINE: MAY 6, 2013
Calling all American Muslim men:
Can you feel the excitement building? The deadline for your stories on love, sex & intimacy is in TWELVE days! Make your voices and perspectives heard.
Read more about the anthology, to be published by Beacon Press in February 2014, here.
Submissions are due by March 31st. Thank you for spreading the word!
It started with a wink.
My husband David and I met on Match.com when he showed up in my weekly report of new guys on the site matching my preferences. He had an awful profile picture (think: taken with a cell phone camera in a moving car), but I loved everything else about his profile, from the description of himself to what he was looking for in a partner. So, I virtually winked at him. He sent me a message the next day
Fast forward 16 months and I was moving to Chicago as his bride.
It sounds easy enough but my road to the altar was a long and arduous one.