Monday, June 8, 2009

Birthdays and Technical Hijab Difficulties

I turned 27 on Friday. Go team me!

My family has never made a huge deal out of birthdays. When we were kids, we'd have small parties, presents, cake, etc. It was fun, but as we've gotten older, it's been more, 'what do you want'. And I don't do parties. So...very quiet. I got swag, which is always nice. Penguin stuff, mostly cutesy, though my friend Eve brought me back a porcelain penguin from Russia. And my new camera was a bday present from my parents, though I am not 'ept enough to use it properly.

We went out to dinner with my Grandmother (mother's mother).

What did I decide to do for the first time on my birthday?

Wear khimar properly outside my house. I was...semi-hijab, let's say, because I'm certain that an actual Muslim would point out several 'deficiencies' in my outfit. But I covered the basic bases. Loose slacks, a dress over that that hits below my knees, a long sleeve shirt under the dress, etc. And then the khimar. Underscarf, and then just wrap and pin. Very simple, covering the chest, etc. I sort of decided to do this on the fly, so I didn't have any pins, or even safety pins. When I wear them at home, in the yard, I just clip it closed with a barrette.

I decided to use an earring. I mean, it's basically just a short little pin, right? And with the back, it should work. But, just to be safe, I brought along two barrettes in case something went wrong, or I decided to switch it back to the way I usually wear it.

Walk out the door:

Mom - I don't like it that way, it makes your face look fat.

*ponder in the car, since I'm not driving*

Me - Okay, but since I *am* fat, so what? So, Mom, I'm just going to ignore you. (Which is what I actually said to her)

*pick up grandmother*

Grammy - You know I don't like you covering your hair.

Me - It's my head. (Seriously, I've tried explaining, but it doesn't sink in. You have to know the woman)

*driving some more* *earring pops out, back is lost to the netherrealms of the truck seats*

Me - Bugger.

So, I fixed it in the car, putting it back the way I usually do, which leaves the front of my neck and whatever chest isn't covered by my top exposed. Which, given the clothes I wear, isn't a lot or anything.

We ate dinner, dropped Grammy back at her place, and then my parents decided to stop at Sams. So, I decided to try again, and redid it, 'pinning' it with one of the barrettes. Not the most fashionable of things, but it didn't clash, and it held.

Secondary technical difficulty - I tend to walk at a purposeful, brisk pace. This causes the two ends of the scarf to sort of fly up and back. Clearly, it needs to be pinned down there as well.

I'm pretty sure people stared, but to be honest I just ignored them. It didn't make me nervous, I didn't feel weird, just sort of unhappy that my experiment was marred by the 'technical difficulties'. I'll do it again, but better prepared next time.


  1. You should learn the no-pin style. Tucked in under the chin. Very practical! Or just be prepared with better pins, as you said! :)

  2. Candice,

    I can do no-pin with the shayla style scarf, but I don't see how it could be done with the khimar. If you know of a way, I'd love to hear about it.

  3. Duct tape. :-)

    ...what, no photo???

    You'd love the khimars at !!

  4. My mom refuses to go outside with me wearing my headscarf... so in order to keep the peace I usually stick a straw hat with wide brim on top of my headscarf....

    I saw this the other day and I thought of you... enjoy :0D

  5. Michelle,

    *lol* I think that might do some damage...:)

    Yeah, no photo.

    Oooh....I looked around at that site. Nice. *resists* I'm trying to be good here!

  6. Ahavah,

    I give my mother so many other reasons not to be seen with me, the scarf is the least of it. ;-)

    Thanks for the link, I'll have to check it out.

  7. Happy birthday, Amber. Sorry about the "technical difficulties," but thanks for sharing about your dinner out wearing the khimar (I'm not sure what that is. :-/).

  8. Susanne,

    Thank you. :)

    I'm using khimar to refer to the square shaped hijab scarves.


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