Category Archives: Why I’m Still Single (W.I.S.S.)

10 Reasons Why I’m Still Single

In the last few years, I’ve decided to date more seriously, keeping an open mind as I’m in a good place in my life now to be in a serious long-term relationship. I haven’t seen much difference in the dating scene be it back home in California or Qatar to be honest. Maybe I’m doing it wrong?

Call me picky. Call me stubborn. I don’t care! I may be ready for a relationship but I’m not settling to just be in a relationship. There has to be a set of realistic standards and if those aren’t met, then it’s simply not meant to be. #SorryNotSorry

In my community at least, relationships need to be taken a little more seriously than just the idea of a relationship. It’s not about one’s status, changing your social media profile picture or having that big fat Arabic wedding. At the end of the day, it’s about two people sharing commonalities, compatibility and love. It’s about two people supporting and carrying each other through life’s good and bad. It’s about two people sharing the rest of their lives together. And I want that or nothing at all. I’m content with staying happily single despite what many in my community have to say.

كلام النّاس لا بيقدّم ولا يأخّر” – جورج وسوف”
“People’s talk makes no difference” -George Wassouf

Still need a reason why I’m still single? I’ll give you ten reasons why I’m still single.

usapassport10. The Blue Passport: Can’t we be seen for more than where our families gave birth to us? This is quite the conundrum for many of us multicultural and multi-lingual children of immigrants. Even as an expat in Qatar, I’ve been asked out by some that flat out told me they were interested in my blue passport, but not a mention of my brown eyes. I have really beautiful brown eyes. #JustSaying

9. Two Birds, One Stone: Speaking of holding the “right passport”, when you want to be with me because they’ll get both the passport and -fill in the blank with a sexist term-, it never has and never will be flattering, period. The worst I’ve heard from many Muslim men? After our first interaction, he can hit two birds with one stone being with me, and I quote, “passport and halal sex.” OMG, I’ll marry you and help you achieve your bird stoning goals. #Sigh

8. No Style, No Class: I prefer my men with some sense of style. Fitted suit, crisp thob or a clean pair of jeans and a shirt. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. Fake tans, globs of hair gel and skinny jeggings that are not cute on a dude, period. And for the love of God, why do dudes wear capri/flooded pants? Those are MY pants dude! #StopIt

7. Too Pretty For Me: Speaking of style, call me shallow but I’m not interested in a guy who is way prettier than me. He can’t have better hair, better shaped eyebrows or a firmer butt than me. I don’t mind if you get a mani/pedi and your hair did but it can’t be better than mine. I want to be the pretty girl in the relationship here. And let’s be real, I can’t be in a relationship where I’ll constantly be jealous of my pretty man, with his amazing hair flicks and that toned ass.

6. Cash Money! Bling Bling!: For whatever reason, people have the impression that I’m oh so rich. Alhamdulillah, I’m financially stable but I’m so far from deemed rich. We haven’t gone on two coffee dates and you’re already asking me to borrow money? Dude, you need to go and reevaluate your life! And men that are rich think that’s how to seduce me? You trippin’ booboo because if that’s all it took, I would’ve been hitched to any of the rich monkeys that have crossed my path a long ass time ago!

5. Not Muslim Enough: I’ll never forget the first time this happened to me. Long story short, weird dude proposed marriage and I refused. He then stated that he was proposing out of the goodness of his heart because I will not go to heaven unless I marry him because I wasn’t Muslim enough. What the hell does that even mean? Ever since I’ve had this statement said to me over the years. Not 100% Muslim when in jeans and hijab. Not 100% Muslim when in mixed groups. Not 100% Muslim when you’re friends with non-Muslim. These dudes think that by faith guilting me, I will succumb to their odd advances? I’d rather be a bad Muslim than with you! #JustGoAway

4. To Be Pro-Choices:  I’m not interested in having children. If it happens, it happens but I have the right as a Muslim, as a woman, as a human being to my own personal preferences. People simply need to learn that they have the right to respectfully dis/agree. Yet men and some of their very involved mamas have had the audacity to tell me, “Oh, you’ll change your mind as you get older.” “How selfish can you be?” “Why would you deprive him of his right to be a father?” Really? Really?

3. Cultural Misunderstanding: “Is that your Egyptian or American talking?” “You’re only saying that because you’re American.” “See it’s because you’re Muslim but in my American culture…” Huh? Why do people think I switch between either of my multi-cultural globetrotting mentality as deemed convenient? Especially in this part of the world, both American and Arabs, expats and locals, have a hard time grasping the idea of being multicultural individual. You must pick one, you can only be one or the other. I’m the best of all worlds, it’s part of being human. I’m not either or. No one is.

2. Closed Palate, Closed Mind, Closed Heart: Speaking of cultural understanding, the world is so grand, how can you not take it in and appreciate it all? How can you not care to see the world? How can you hate on someone simply because they are different than you? How can you eat the same thing every single day and yet hate on other people’s foods? Stop this closed-mindedness, it’s the 21st fucking century! I just can’t deal with those who have tunnel vision and don’t go beyond their bubble.

SoGorgeousSoSillySoOMG1. Because This Is Me: As my bio states, I am simply amazing! Why would I change that? I will not change me. You will not change me. I come as is. So gorgeous, so silly, so OMG! Plain and simple. So either accept it or stop talking and keep walking, booboo! #ByeFelicia

Can you relate peeps? Share your stories in the comments below.

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W.I.S.S. – The Word “Spinster”

spinster [spin-ster] Disparaging and Offensive. a woman still unmarried beyond the usual age of marrying.  Arabic: عانِس، عوانس

Being a 34 year old lady, I’m again reminded of the word “spinster”. I’m convinced that the word must’ve been phrased by a very bitter person back in medieval times (be it in any language). The fact that the word is almost only applied to ladies makes me hate the word even more. It’s sexist, hurtful, divisive and discriminatory on so many levels.

The first time I heard the word “spinster”, I was 19 years old. It was said to me by an older lady with limited education whom wanted me for her son so he can move to America. I didn’t pay much mind to her at the time. Maybe because I knew what her intentions were. Or because I was too young to understand that word at the time.

That word really didn’t hit me hard until a couple of years later when it was said to me by someone I once liked and respected. From then on, I heard that word more often than necessary. When I decided to go to graduate school, I was told I would never find a husband. When I decided to travel, I was told that I wasn’t making an effort to find a husband. Every time the subject of marriage came up, I was reminded by random people to stop being picky because I was becoming a spinster.

This all happened before I turned 30.

As much as I try not to let it bother me, it bothers me. It’s derogatory and very offensive, more so to those whom actually are looking for someone to share their lives with but haven’t. I’m not alone on this as per my conversations with people between the U.S., Egypt, Qatar and beyond. Whom decided what age a lady (or a man) should be married? Whom decided that if you don’t have children before a certain age, your prime has come to an end? Whom decided that men only want to marry a lady within a specific age group?

I have relatives in Egypt that have passed this unbeknowth marital age for one of many reasons. One cousin has dedicated his life to his work and found it difficult to find someone from the humble country town whom would share and support his passion. Another cousin in the same town and of the same age sided with her demanding parents of unrealistic expectations which has caused a hault in suitors coming through the door.

Even though the culture in Egypt asks that both parties’ families share in the financial costs, there’s this pattern of making it more difficult than necessary to get married. Anything outside of marriage is haram but the halal way has been made to be so difficult, it’s almost near impossible. And those whom wait too long to be able to go about it the halal way? They’re now spinsters.

In Qatar, I’ve met people whom remained single simply for financial reasons while others were divorced but still paying back some hefty marital related loans. Unlike in Egypt, men here are burdened with all the finances to get married and start a family. As the culture here is very tribal, there’s this “keeping up with the Jones” mentality. If one family did something, you had to do the same if not better. Even if you couldn’t afford it, you borrowed for it. I know at least two of my friends whom have been divorced in under 5 years of their marriage just over financial troubles. They got married like the Jones, but they couldn’t LIVE like them. And those that choose to wait, refusing to be a statisic? They’re now spinsters.

In the U.S., it’s a real mixed bag between the cultures but the mindset of spinsterhood is still there. People are in awe when a 40 year old celebrity gets married. Did you see the rukous over George Clooney “finally getting married”?

However, from my personal experiences within the Muslim and Arab community back home, some of this ideology exists. If a man marries a lady beyond the age of 30, it’s as if he performed a charitable act. If a lady marries a man beyond that age, it’s because he’s rich or she couldn’t get someone her age. It can’t ever be because two people loved each other, God forbid.

Sigh.

And let’s back track for a second here, is it just me or do those that barrage us with “get married already” comments the ones whom are completely unhappy in their marriage? Seriously, I have yet to be approached by a happily married person, aside from my mother and aunties, about my marital status. Maybe it’s because those happy in their marriages know what it takes to be in a happy relationship. It doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t just marry the first person that crosses your path.

Maybe it’s because those happy in their marriages are happy because they actually lived their lives, learned to care for themselves before they were ready to share it with someone else. Maybe the happier you are, the happier your relationship. If you happiness depends on someone else, you will in fact be miserable in that relationship. Sometimes, one is not destined to be married with 3 kids living in a house with a white picket fence by the age of 25.

I can’t image being married at 25. Hell, I can’t image being married at 34!

At 25, while many of my friends were ready to join the marriage club, I was taking care of my family while starting graduate school. I was no where near ready to be married let alone even date at the time. People go through different phases in their lives at different ages. There really is no structure or time frame for one of the most important commitments in one’s life.

Let’s be honest, when the time comes, it’ll come. People nagging us into something you aren’t ready for doesn’t help. Using the word “spinster” only makes it worse.

So ladies, when a miserable hater comes at you with, “when are you getting married already?”

Just tell them, “I’d rather be a happy spinster than a miserable wife.”

Tarrington Spinster
image c/o  grave-mistakes.blogspot.com

Hilarious Article on Dating by Ali Ashbaker

I just came across this hilarious article, Pickup Lines I Wish Guys Used On Me by Ali Ashbaker. This is seriously a must read for any young lady whom has hated dating for as long as I have or looking to date again after so long.

My favorite pickup line in this article has to be:

“Oh, hey.  You wanna have a Kill Bill marathon and eat our weight in popcorn while wearing sweats on my Love Sac? By the way, cool bangs.”

All of them are good and unless guys are a little bit more real and none of that surface stuff as Ali has put it so well in her article, dating would be so much easier. I prefer dating people I’ve been friends with first, even for a short but comfortable while, where all this surface stuff is simply unnecessary. With that, I will confess that as someone whom has steering far and clear from dating for the last 3 or 4 years, I’ve accepted dating again (more on that in an upcoming rant I promise). The reasons I accepted dating this dude is because he’s real, brutally honest and after the following conversation/exchange/pickup linish that took place at a New Year’s Eve potluck party we attended, how could I say no afterwards?

Dude: Where’s your share of the chocolate cake? Here, take mine, I hope you like it, it’s 3 layers and very rich.
Me: It does look good, you did good getting it man. I came to see all got a piece but yea, I’ll share yours.
Dude: I can’t eat that because of my stomach, but I’ll take one bite.
Me. Ummm… why would you bring something you can’t eat to a party?
Dude: Because you like chocolate, I got it for you really.
Me: =D

Click here to read Ali’s hilarious article and share your thoughts!

Single and Proud – My Comment

My friend posted on my Facebook this weekend the article titled “Single and Proud” by Rasha Dwedar on the marital status Muslim ladies are choosing, specifically in Egypt. My friend asked for my thoughts and here’s what I had to say…

Skimmed through the article which is exactly what I saw in Egypt… girls dying to get married only to feel stuck. Some get out, some stay put because they don’t know what else to do. I saw a girl put up with a really stupid, idiotic fiance because people envied how cute he/they were. Now she’s married, with a kid, and dare not continue dreaming of going for her masters or her high school diploma hubby will dump her. Those same girls then always ask me why I don’t want to get married and my simple response, “what for?” I know what I want in my life, I’m extremely independent and don’t need someone to “order me around or take care of me”. Until someone out there can share my vision in life, has great ambitions to go further in life and not give two shits what other people might think, then I’ll consider getting married. Until then, single and proud!

Do read the article, “Single and Proud” by Rasha Dwedar, and share your thoughts below.

Living the Confused Expatriate Life – Part 2 of a Few

Living the Confused Expatriate Life
Part 2 of a Few… Marital Status
By: Ms. Hala

I am not married. I am not engaged. I am not in a relationship. I am single. It has followed me around to no end, even when I’ve moved thousands of miles away, to a conservative Arab country.

When it comes to my status here in Qatar, I’ve come across two reactions in people.

The first being the cheerleaders. They are the ones with nothing but kind and positive reinforcements. It’s even more astounding when it comes from those I least expect it from. For example, the older Egyptian gentlemen whom I work with that are always encouraging me.  In the last four months that I’ve worked with one of the managers, not a day goes by without him always complementing my strength and determination, especially during some of the challenges we’ve faced at the office, for doing what I do. With limited internet access in the past few months, when I do log on, I find a good number of emails and messages via social media from young people whom have noted how they follow-up on my latest Qatar adventures with inspiration. Some of them, already here in Qatar, have blessed me with their friendship.

The second being the haters. They are the ones with nothing but stupid, stereotypical and just plain envious words because I can’t find any other reason for their bad energy. These are the people that feel the need to say one of three things:

“You’re here, alone? No family? No husband? But why? You poor thing.”

“I could do what you’re doing now but so-and-so said men don’t like girls like that and I really want to get married.”

“I wish I was you! You’re doing everything I’m too dipshit*  to do on my own! People talk you know.”

Sigh.

After my third month living in Qatar, I just stopped trying to answer to these people. Yes, I’m here alone with the blessings of my family. However, that’s when I came to realize that there are very few people like me in Qatar and most young ladies are living here either with family or a spouse, not alone. I miss my mommy.

Please, don’t tell me of how you could do things for yourself if your life revolves around someone else. You people are more irritable to me than those whom keep trying to set me up with this “great guy”. Please realize that not all of us are living up to some odd standard of husband hunting. Some of us actually live for ourselves, have more meaning to life than just finding someone to accept us. I mean you want to get married, great, but life doesn’t need to revolve around the idea.

And for crying out loud, if you want to do something, just shut the fuck up and go for it. Trust me, when you don’t do nothing, people will have something to say about it. When you do anything, guess what? People will have something to say about it. Funny thing though, most people don’t give two shits about what you are (or aren’t) doing so I’m still trying to figure out why you even care about the opinion of those people.

Sigh.

As of last month though, I’ve come across the third reaction that has started to get under my skin.

The third being some of Qatar’s policies. Before I go on a rant here, I want to state that I understand why some of these policies are in play, to prevent human trafficking and prostitution. However, there’s got to be some kind of line of reasoning, understanding, common sensing (Is that even a word? Well it should be.) around here. And here’s where my rant begins.

Exhibit A: In order to obtain my Qatar Residency Permit (RP), I had to go through a medical screening. Mainly an X-ray of the chest for TB screening and two different blood tests. For those sponsored by an employer, the company pays in advance for the fees or refunds you for it while all others usually pay upfront during their appointment. If you are born in Qatar, you don’t go through this lovely experience.

The Medical Commission that I was blessed to attend through my place of work was the most disgusting place in Qatar. It starts out nice, divided into a section for the ladies and a section for the men. Or so I thought, until I drove towards the ladies section to find swarms of men waiting outside the ladies’ only entrance. I entered alone, passing the many odd stares and glares. Once inside, there were two lines, those pre-paid and those needing to pay. The pre-paid line was empty. Showed the lady at the counter my blue passport, got the up and down look before the lovely question, “You’re here through work? You’re here alone?”

“Yes,” I answered back smiling sarcastically and annoyed. She kept rolling her eyes as she processed my papers and directed me to the x-ray room. After the lovely experience of being herded like animals and watched by others as I took the x-ray, twice, I picked up what was left of my dignity and went to get my first blood test. Upon looking me up on the computer, the lovely lady at the counter made stupid remarks about me being work sponsored before handing me a few documents plus a little booklet.

Not paying attention, I walked towards the exam room where a kind nurse was assisting me in getting my blood test. Having small talk and looking at the booklet because I hate needles (don’t ask me how I got my lip pierced!), I realized what the booklet was, “Prayers for the Dead”. Really? Bitch gave me a prayer book for the dead? Kind nurse laughed at a comment I made as she instructed me to go to a private clinic for my second blood test. I gave the bitch the booklet back stating, “I’m not dead”.

Throughout the short drive to the clinic I kept thinking what the hell was her intention giving me that booklet? Am I as good as dead? Or did she just run out of “Prayers for the Living” booklets?

Deeply annoyed sigh.

Exhibit B: I finally found a nice little apartment, comfortable for myself and my little devil child, Ms. Doha, in a brand new gated community. Upon registering and signing, it was brought to the attention of the gentleman handling my application that the contract would be under my happy name.

Ms. Doha had a hard time adapting to the new place. She did her best to get comfy on her first rough night... #FirstWorldKittyProblems
Ms. Doha is having a hard time adapting to the new place. She did her best to get comfy on her first night… #FirstWorldKittyProblems

“Ma’am, are you registering under your name?”

“Yeeeeeees. I’m the one whom will live here.”

“Do you have an ID?”

“Yes! Here’s my Qatar ID and my passport as well.”

“Do you have a letter of employment verification?”

“No, I wasn’t told I needed one when I inquired over the phone.”

“You need a letter of employment verification to complete your application.”

“Why? My Qatar ID specifically states my place of employment as my sponsor.”

“Yes but you’re special.” He joked politely seeing my disapproved reaction. I’ve been told that reaction scares a lot of people. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing so I tried to make a curious face. It didn’t work. Poor guy continued with his charming self, “Company policy requires that you bring a letter of employment verification because you’re a single lady. We’ll extend your booking time and follow-up with you, don’t worry.”

I just stared blankly, watching other people register without a hitch. The gentleman assured that the apartment was mine and that he would follow-up with me but to please bring that letter from my employers. I left a little disappointment and fearful I was going to lose this nice place. I had to move out of my place and my lifestyle choice was the reason for the delay? Akh!

I have to say that the lovely people of our HR department were understanding and produced the necessary documentations for me within the hour. The apartment company did continuously follow-up with me until I showed up with the letter later that evening. They were generous enough to expedite my move-in date upon knowing my circumstances. People here are helpful towards a single lady, especially if she’s willing to follow company policy.

Sigh.

* Disclaimer: none of those whom made that statement actually called themselves “dipshit”, but I think they should have.

Read: Living the Confused Expatriate Life – Part 1 of a Few

Valentine’s Day… Who Cares?!

After reading Dean Obeidallah‘s hilarious piece with regards to Valentine’s Day, I figured I’d include my perspective in the mix.

I LOVE chocolates… who doesn’t right? I enjoy flowers, we have them in our house all the time. I was raised to always express my love and appreciation to my family and friends. However, I don’t in anyway believe that I or anyone should bring or do any of this exclusively on February the 14th.

valentine.jpg

Valentine’s Day is one of those Hallmark holidays. I call it that because it was invented to sell greeting cards. There is no holiday in February except for President’s Day… who is going to buy a greeting card for that? It has since evolved into an unnecessary holiday that forces people to spend money. What goes with greeting cards? Flowers. What’s sweet that goes with both? Candy. How to make candy last? Turn it into jewelry, preferably a gem of sorts. What is expected after buying all this stuff? Hopefully three minutes of physical pleasure.

Seriously? Yes!

I swear the same goes for May when Hallmark someone invented Mother’s Day and June for Father’s Day. My parents don’t get all upset when no one buys them a present or breakfast in bed. Why? Because we appreciate our parents EVERYDAY. I don’t need a day in the year to go all out for either of them. Their five kids do it every day (or at least attempt to do, I’m not gonna lie!).

So I ask you all, single or not, to celebrate love in all it’s forms EVERYDAY! Not just on February 14th. Don’t feel obligated to go all out just because of the day. Don’t get caught up in this materialistic hype, I’m sure many of you are still paying off the debt you incurred from Christmas not even two months ago!

I’d also like to take the opportunity to tell my family and friends: I LOVE YOU. I appreciate you in all your goodness and flaws. I’m not the person that I am today without you and for that I love you more every day.

To all my readers peeps, I love you too! =)

Ms. Hala

W.I.S.S. – 10 Ways to Avoid Marrying the Wrong Person

When many ask me why I’m still single, it’s sometimes difficult to explain that it’s because I haven’t meet someone with a certain compatibility. There are some attributes in my book that one must have or not have for me to feel there’s a compatibility. It’s my personal belief that if a desired attribute is missing or and undesirable attribute is present, then there is no point in settling at all.

10 Ways to Avoid Marrying the Wrong Person, puts it in that sense of perspective.

As I read Dr. Nafisa Sekandari and Hosai Mojaddidi’s article on Muslim Village, I must say it’s very well put! It’s a few simple points and questions that so many people, including many of us Muslims, fail to consider.

This excerpt near the end of the article asks a powerful question:

Morality and spirituality are the qualities that truly define someone in addition to beauty, money, and health.  The morally upright and spiritual person will stand by your side during adversity and hardship.  If someone isn’t God-conscience and doesn’t take themselves into account with God then why should you expect them to fulfill their rights owed to you?

After you read this article, I hope that in some ways it makes sense and gets you thinking about putting things in perspective. To my non Muslim readers, I’m sure you’ll feel the same as I did that this article isn’t written just for Muslims.

Click to read 10 Ways to Avoid Marrying the Wrong Person.