Welcome to my blog!

This blog is an honest look at what life is like for this particular American convert to Islam. We're taught in Islam to cover our sins, to not air them, for fear of lessening the severity of sinning. In this blog, I may relate past indiscretions from time to time. This isn't to make light of them, but in the interest of educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike as to the realities of life as an American convert, I present my mistakes honestly. I make no excuses for them, nor do I claim that they were okay to make. I am not perfect, and I make no pretenses as to that. If others can learn from my past, know that Islam, and religion in general, is open for people no matter what mistakes they've made, then I will gladly air my sins when needed.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hijabi Hands-Free!

I was hanging out at WinCo with my friend Nick last night (shut up, at 11pm there's not much else to do, and besides, I bought food, so it was a legitimate loitering) and I had my phone tucked under my underscarf, and my top scarf was tied tightly enough to keep my phone against my head. I call it hijabi hands-free. ^_^

Anyway, this young woman asked me how I kept my phone on my head, so I told her. She laughed and said that she'd thought I was wearing a headset or something that wrapped around my head. She said it was very smart of me. I told Nick that that proved that I was a celebrity.

I'd also been running on a two and a half hour nap, preceded by about 22 hours of being awake. Holding an overnight job and going to morning classes screeeeeeeeews with your sleep schedule.

This is completely unrelated to being a waitress, but it's got the hijabi part in it and it's my blog anyway, not yours, so nyah.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thursdays were exciting for a while.

So, on the 4th I stayed late to give my co-worker, G-Bean, a ride home. Around 5 I wandered into Walgreen's to kill time and buy a couple things. Two girls were there, looking grumpy, so I ignored them with a smile and headed to the back of the store to get my shtoof, when ...

All of a sudden I hear yelling and cursing and one of the girls yelling something about "You stole my phone, call the cops, would you hit a girl?" and so on, and then a crash of what I learned later was baskets being knocked over. I stayed in the back and looked over, and the manager was ushering out two guys and two girls. Oaky, fine, emergency dealt with ...

Until I hear, "Get the customer and get in the back" as the manager comes power-walking down the aisle. I'm ushered into the back room, where I learn that Girl A had lost her cell phone, and when her friend called it, the guy who picked up said he'd bought it just then off of Craig's List, and if they met at Walgreen's and she gave him $50, he'd give it back (legally, if you purchase stolen property, you can't charge the owners for returning it, btw). He and his friend showed up and he wouldn't give it back, and he and Girl A got into a fistfight over it. When the manager got them outside, the guy whipped out a shotgun.

Hence, I chilled with the Walgreen's employees for almost an hour as the cops were called and came over, and let their dogs sniff around the store. Thrilling.

A week later, the 11th (the day before I took Shahada!), two big groups came in. One of them was a young lady and her friends, and the young lady was exercising her right to wear as little as she pleased. In the second group, a young man exercised his right to comment on the young lady's lack of clothing, at which point she and her friends got pissy (and rightfully so - lack of clothing doesn't mean you can disrespect someone). It escalated, as these things do. I was divvying up a check for a table when I heard the shouting and looked over, and immediately rolled my eyes and stalked over, getting right in the middle of it and pushing people away from each other, yelling for them to calm down or leave, grabbing a raised chair from a guy twice, and generally being a pissed-off waitress. Don't you dare start a fight while I'm working! Note: Don't get into the middle of fights. It's dangerous. The cops arrived and exercised their right to pimp-slap people around and hauled off the young lady and her friends. I heard later that she might have been 17, as well. Out past curfew, in a fight, possibly drunk ... right.

The most memorable line from that fight:

Girl: "If my boyfriend was here, you'd be flat on the ground!"
Guy: "If your boyfriend were here, I'd punch him in the mouth!"

Threatening people with hypothetical situations just makes everyone else laugh at you. Just sayin'.

Anyway, I was bummed that the next two Thursdays were uneventful.

How to be Inquisitive Without Being Rude.

Before I begin, please note that I don't speak Arabic (soon, though, God willing), and so my pronunciation guides might be off. If they are, my Arabic-speakers brothers and sisters, please read through the comments to see if I've been corrected, first, and if I haven't, please politely let me know.

This post is directed to you, dear readers, who don't know a lot about Islam, and who are excited to ask your new Muslim acquaintance all sorts of things about Islam and being Muslim.

I know that you're thrilled. You've finally met a real, live Muslim! One who works near you, lives near you! Now you can finally tell your friends that you're *~multi-cultural~* and gain the respect of your peers!

... Maybe not. But hey, you've met a Muslim and you're a little curious, so you decide to ask a few questions. What's the harm?

Well, here are a few things to please keep in mind whilst bombarding your (God willing) patient Muslim buddy with questions:

Wearing Hijab Makes Me Foreign.

Trufax. I never knew that I wasn't born in America (Utah, to be precise) until I started wearing hijab. Oh, also, apparently all Muslims are brown and Arab, or at least Arab. Colour-coded religions ftw!

I'd like to take a brief moment to assure you, dear reader, that for the vast majority of the time, this assumption of my forgein-ness really amuses me. Also, my cat makes a great prop for my note book.

Anyway. Here's a conversation that I've had several times in the past:

Me: "Welcome to Restaurant Awesome, I'm your Waitress of Awesome!"
Customer: "Where are you from?"
Me: "Northern California."
Customer: "No, before that."
Me: *blink* How do they know I was born in a different state?! Doo-doo doo-doo (that's the Twilight Zone theme) ... "Uhm, Utah."
Customer: "No, I mean originally."

Now, at this point I have several options, depending on the politeness, level of ignorance, and willingness to learn exhibited by my darling customers:


It ain't easy being green.

... Wait.

Oh! Oaky, I've got it now. Let's try this again:

It ain't easy being a waitress. It ain't easy being Muslim in the United States. It ain't easy being a hijabi, especially when one works with the public. It also ain't easy being a white, female, American convert.

Wait, why's my life so easy, then? Oh, whatever. Welcome to my blog, The Adventures of a Hijabi Waitress. I'm your waitress with the ... I can't think of a word that rhymes with "waitress," but when I do, I'll let you know. I'm a white, female, American convert to Islam, currently working as a waitress at a well-known 24-hour diner, covered and proud of it. I'm going to chronicle my wacky adventures here, and I hope my words will make you laugh, make you think, and, God willing, increase your understanding of everything that I am.