Monday, July 16, 2007

Would you like some "sugar" with that coffee?

It's 10:30 pm and I just got to work. I leave early to drop my son off so he can go to bed at a resonable time. This means that I arrive to work at least 45 minutes early. I make my walk over to Starbucks to get my caffeine fix so I can make it through the night.

I braved the light rain, the humidity, and the dozens of somali men just to get it. Now, I have nothing wrong with men getting coffee, but I do have a problem with men who sit at the coffee shop all night every night while their wives are at home with the kids. When do they have time to make all those babies anyway? I can't imagine very much when you're socializing to all hours of the night. I tried to make excuses. Maybe they are taxi drivers working at night? There was only one taxi in the parking lot. This starbucks is known in Somali communities around the world as the place to see and be seen, so it should be no surprise that it is filled with people from opening until way passed closing time.

I always feel molested when I walk in that place. I'm a modest sister mashaAllah. I'm completely covered and I don't pay much of any attention to the men. I walk to the counter, order my drink and then walk out of the door. I get the usual Assalamu Alaikum sister as I'm standing in line, as they open the door for me, or even from across the parking lot. It make me want to knock someone out. Do they act this way with their own women or do they feel like I'm free game because I'm caucasian and obviosly out way too late?(notice the sarcasm) My family has to eat and with my husband incognito I'm it.

So, tonight I grabbed my drink( chai latte with soy milk and sugar free vanilla....way YUMM) and head over to the counter to put in some splenda. Next thing I know there is a middle aged man standing right next to me. I make a point to act as if I have no clue he is standing there. He's fiddling with the sugars, playing around with napkins, inspecting the half and half. He's obviously looking for something to do before he bothers me. And then I hear it:

Interested man: Assalamu Alaikum sister...he said sister just so he didn't feel guilty I suppose.
Me: Wa alaikum salaam...said in a completely monotone voice without even looking his way
Him: So, sister do you work at the hospital? Are you a nurse?
Me: Yes, I work in the pathology lab....I know I should just say yes and move on but I wanna see where this perv is going
Him: OH......MASHAALLAH! are you a lab technician?
Me: NO, I'm a Histotechnologist. Salamu alaikum as I'm walking out the door.

And then he has the balls to follow me and this is where his pervish ways really come out.

Him: Sister I have a business and I'm looking for someone. Maybe you can work human resources?
Me: Well, I have a medical degree.
Him: Maybe you can be a medical secretary, can I have your number?
Me: Well, why would I want to be a secretary for you when I have an excellent job with great benefits just across the street? Again......SALAMU ALAIKUM!

Can you believe this? I have a right to go in that Starbucks any time I well please and grab my coffee without feeling like a piece of meat on display. Wearing my hijab/jilbab I get more respect from most non-muslim men than I get from some muslims. It's absolutely sickening.

If any of you dirty old/young/married/single/divorced men out there are reading this: SHAME ON YOU!


Blogger UmmAbdur-Rahmaan said...

"Maybe you can be a medical secretary" What????? That is insane....Insha'Allah you are doing alright. I miss talking to you....Have a wonderful day....

5:16 AM  
Blogger hema said...

ha ha ha (because you can either laugh or cry when you hear things like this, right?)
inshAllah don't let it bother you too much. we only have to be held accountable for our own actions, other peple will be held accountable for their own)
the things we do for cofee. sigh.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Organic-Muslimah said...

Now I regret I had to cut you off to get back in class. OMG. I can't believe the old disgusting guy was trying to pick you up? WHAT?

And I vote that was the worst pick-up line in the history of pickup lines?

6:16 AM  
Blogger Aeryn said...

Salaams Sister,


I am glad, subhanallah that you were ablet o get into your car and go. Yuck.

May Allah bless you and your family and keep you safe,


Also you and your hubby are in my dua, inshallah things are going somewhere with that...

2:10 PM  
Blogger Safa said...

"maybe you can be a medical secretary?"

D E S P E R A T E !!!!!

10:34 PM  
Blogger Salah said...

welcome to the land of falsehood and hypocrisies.
welcome to my old country.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

Haven't you got the "guess my nationality" pick-up line yet? That's where they try and guess "what" you are while listing a string of nationalities. I've also gotten weirdo sounding marriage proposals while wearing a nikaab and a wedding ring so your psuedo-muslim perv story rings a familiar bell:)

9:31 PM  
Blogger Am said...

Gawd, I hate that Starbuck's. I'm pretty sure I know exactly which one you mean! I stopped there sometimes when I was pregnant (for baby's caffeine fix, of course.) When you're 9 months pregnant and wearing an abaya and niqab and still feel like men are giving you the eye, you know you're not in a good place!

Secretary my butt!

2:58 PM  
Blogger UmmAbdur-Rahmaan said...

Salaam I just wanted to check to see if you were OK....can you drop me a line or post on your blog just to let me know? please?

9:00 AM  
Blogger cncz said...

Once I forgot my wedding ring and got picked up on fully covered and a guy accused me of lying when I said my husband was down the street and would beat his a** down if we had coffee together.
And he was Algerian, and normally I can pull the Algerian card and get left alone, because Algerians know that Kabyles will beat down some a**.
I agree, I get picked up more in a headscarf than I EVER did without.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Safiya said...

It's so true. The other day, I was in the halal shop, asking how much the lamb kofta was when the boy (yes boy)behind the counter started being all "Yes, sister this costs just 2.30 for you sister". So I just said, "Good, my husband will really enjoy these" and he behaved himself then.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that will teach you smug converts to think that a veil means anything in this world. wear it if you must to obey God, but don't think that men will behave any differently because of it.

um abdu, why are you the mother of an arab boy? because your husband is arab? what about you - you're nothing now?

just because you convert to islam doesn't mean you no longer have a spine, ladies.

5:35 AM  
Blogger UmmAbdurRahman said...

woah anonymous...i think i might have struck a nerve on this one. maybe you are taking this too personal.

the thing that you didn't get is that this isn't about the scarf. it's about something different. they act the way they do because I'm a white girl in a scarf. if i was walking in that starbucks without my scarf or i was a somaali woman with a scarf no one would say a's the combination that makes for trouble.

maybe you need to read my post entitled "be proud"

3:52 AM  

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