Salaam, Randy Nasson!Posted: January 30, 2014
Our new book, Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex & Intimacy, will be released on February 4th. In the lead up to the release, meet our 22 contributors.
Today, meet Randy Nasson!
An excerpt from Randy’s story, “Becoming Family”:
For years I kept my own family at arm’s length in pursuit of a fierce independence from intrusion, concern, guilt, or anything that would complicate my pursuit of self-indulgence. I was always looking for a good opportunity or a good time, and if you didn’t want to come along with me that was fine as long as you didn’t stand in my way.
That’s not to say that I never forged any meaningful relationships. But looking back, I recognize that when the people closest to me were in need, I wasn’t able to fully listen or be present because I was self-consumed, worried about how I was being impacted or busily formulating a response instead of focusing on the other person.
Over the next few weeks, Ayesha recovered, though we never received a firm diagnosis. A victory, but still shallow and incomplete, like my resolution to be a better husband.
To read more, order Salaam, Love today!
Q&A with Randy
Tell us about yourself
I define myself as a Husband, Father, and Product Manager (in that order). I lead a fairly quiet family life in San Francisco these days; my reckless full-tilt Boston era more than a decade behind me. My favorite thing to do is to greet my wife and son in the evenings and my least favorite thing is leaving them early in the morning; particularly when starting a business trip. With such a busy and demanding career, I find that I seek peace and quiet more often than social activities or adventurous outings. It may sound boring, but I find it rather fulfilling.
As for non-family personal interests, they include: Sci-fi & fantasy books & movies, NFL football, snowboarding, hi-fi audio, card games, strategy games, building/fixing things with my hands, and contemplating existence and our collective role in it. I dislike television with a passion, but really enjoy a good movie and the occasional television series provided that I don’t have to watch commercials.
I’d love to tell you about all the books that I’ve written, except that they’re all technical manuals and are not terribly interesting. I would love to sit down and write a fiction novel one day. I’ve got an outline, but it’s been just an outline for more than a year now. Alas…
Why were you drawn to this project?
I was forced into it. Ayesha threatened to divorce me and Nura threatened to represent her in court if I didn’t write. 😉 In all seriousness, I thought it was an admirable project because I’ve never seen or heard of anything like it. Men rarely talk openly about such things, and Muslim men are no exception.
What was the most challenging part of sharing your story?
Identifying a linear narrative. I started out with a particular idea, but the process proved to be so cathartic that I wound up exploring several aspects of my emotional history and soon was overwhelmed with too many choices. The editors did a marvelous job helping me hone in on a single aspect that ultimately became my story.
If there’s one thing you hope that readers will take away from your story, what is it?
That marriage is more than just formalizing a relationship; it’s a commitment to fight like hell for your partner and for the relationship.
Anything else you want to share?
I strongly encourage everyone to write about the good times and particularly the difficult times in their life. Don’t write it for anyone else; just write it for you. It’s amazing what you just might learn about yourself in the process.