You don't have to signal a social conscience by looking like a frump. Lace knickers won't hasten the holocaust, you can ban the bomb in a feather boa just as well as without, and a mild interest in the length of hemlines doesn't necessarily disqualify you from reading Das Kapital and agreeing with every word. --Elizabeth Bibesco

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Navigating Public Transportation in the City

I have lots of things I could post about and I probably should, but for the moment, here is a thought for you. Just FYI, I'm on Chicago public transportation at least twice a day and usually more than that, so I speak from experience.

If you are just a little tired of spooning with strangers on your morning commute, wear a hijab-looking headscarf. No Seriously. All other things being equal, when I'm wearing something that looks like a hijab, I am the last person anyone sits next to on the train. Except maybe the other girl in a hijab.

If, however, you are feeling chatty and want perfect strangers to strike up a conversation with you about intimate details of their life (which, by the way, never happens in the city-- people look at you funny if you say a cheerful 'hello'), then wear a bonnet. (Mine is a lovely kapp by Sowers of Hope, like the one in the picture.) Seriously, I could be wearing the same clothes otherwise, and this would happen. What does it say about the world that what I use to cover my head changes people's opinions of me so drastically?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Modest Wedding, Part 2

I've been engaged for a little over a month now and it's getting harder and harder to manage a modest wedding. I'm not just talking the clothes, either. The average wedding in the US cost more than $26,000 this year! Now, my Woman isn't necessarily modest in dress (that's not to say she doesn't wear modest clothing sometimes, but that she is not intentionally modest on a daily basis). However, I think it's safe to say we try to be modest about our life in general-- you know, it's not about us being flashy; it's about God. Well, we try, anyway.

But the whole wedding scene is decidedly not modest, particularly in that respect. Every time I open a bridal magazine (and, I'll admit, I open a lot of them), they're telling me, "This is your big day" or, "This is all about you."

I've got news for the wedding industry. This isn't "all about me." It's about me, my Woman and God (not in that order). It's also about our families (as my mother so often reminds me), our friends and our communities. And whether we want it to be or not, it's also about politics. Because, for whatever reason, two women walking down the aisle and saying "I do" is a political statement.

Anyway, it's about all of those things, but mostly it's about love. And I think the hardest part about planning a wedding is taking a step back and thinking: "Okay, this isn't my day to look like a princess. This is the day I declare to God and everyone else that I'm spending my life with this woman."