Things that matrimonial websites forget to tell you

I have recently been hearing some cringe worthy stories about somewhat disastrous first meetings between individuals who met online for the purposes of halal matrimony.

Personally meeting a guy via these websites to me feels slightly artificial but it works for many people so don’t knock it until you’ve tried it I guess.

After meeting and connecting (mind the pun) online, people normally schedule a first meeting to test the waters.

Disclaimer: none of the details on this post mean that I am issuing fatwas re. physically meeting people from the online community or halalifying them, if you’re gonna haram police me; go away. Thanks.

Ok so. Despite my blog being female heavy I am actually going to be adressing the mandem today.

Please don’t take this as fool proof advice I do not speak for all women. Just look at this as food for thought. Or you know, swipe away and we’ll call it even.

1. Unless you are going to meet her at her house; don’t take her flowers. She will most likely suspect you stole them from a cemetery anyway. I joke! Relax. But seriously, no girl’s bag is big enough for that ish and she will hate you for making her carry them around all day. It attracts unnecessary attention; the world does not need to know you are meeting for the 1st time. Also, I know its what the movies told you to do but its tacky bro. Abort.

Instead take her; a personality, a sense of humour, chocolate works, mithai’s never a bad idea… I digress. Just take your best self.

2. Plan ahead. If you’re going for coffee, think about what kind of place you wanna go to; quiet, lively? There’s nothing wrong with saying; “hey I know a good place but its popular so it could be a bit of a wait for a table or would you prefer somewhere more lowkey?” Choice is okay when its between two options. “So erm what do you wanna do coz I can do whatever” is irritating. We have curfews bro. Time is money.

3. Speaking of… this one has divided the masses. But here goes. If I am going out to meet anyone man or otherwise, you best believe I will be financially prepared. That’s just how I was raised. However that being said, I expect you to insist to pay. There I said it. Sue me. I am not saying I will then make you pay because ultimately you ain’t my man yet you get me? My counter offer would be to go dutch; I pay for my shit, you pay for yours. If you don’t insist to pay, I’m not impressed with you already. If you expect me to pay for you, I’ll do it but bruh check yourself…

Lets get sidetracked. I was at the cinema with some friends not long ago and the movie had not started so everyone was talking. There was a couple sitting infront of us and he grabbed her mobile phone which she was trying to get back. We overheard them arguing and realised that he was trying to get onto her bank details so that he could reimburse her for the movie tickets which she paid for because she arrived before him and she did not want him to do so. It wasn’t even about the money man, its the principle. He got a silent round of applause from the row behind him js.

4. Don’t take us to the cinema. The point of a first meeting is that I get to grill you how am I gonna do that in a movie theatre or a library?

5. We love food. But we don’t know you so most of us are not prepared to eat infront of you yet. Don’t get mr wrong, some of us will eat infront of an army of people but the general verdict on this one is no food on the first “date”.

6. Don’t call it a date. It ain’t. Not in the conventional sense anyway. And the haram connotations of the word date are the last thing you want hanging in the air as you try and feel less awkward.

7. Don’t go on your phone in the middle of the conversation. Don’t reply to texts. Don’t read them. Just no. Unless you know its an emergency, and you will because the phone will keep ringing, just leave it.

8. Listen and engage. Listening is nodding and absorbing the words the other person is saying. This is probably the only time saying “hmm” is okay. I do not know of a more annoying sound. Engaging is; “Can I just refer back to what you were saying about staying at home after marriage? Is that a personal choice or something you are compromising on? Talk me through it.” Repeating what the other person is saying is often the easiest way to show you listened real good.

9. Diffuse awkward situations. If disagreement occur that’s life it happens but avoid conflicts at all costs. One of main things I look out for in a guy is how he reacts when he is angry. If you kick off over a minor disagreement its a major alarm bell.

10. Try and avoid awkward silences…again time is money and we are on a curfew.

So…

-I am sort of bummed out. I think I have been obsessing over this recent crime documentary I watched and the potential injustice of it is distressing me. More detials below…

-I am also extremely lethargic though tbf. My eyes are basically yellow. I need to start taking my iron tablets. Sigh.

-I made a big change at work recently. It is kind of scary. I dropped one day. The financial implications are immense. I could not have chosen a worst time to do it because I am broke. But something had to change…

-I want to make back the money I will be losing on this day by doing some freelance stuff hopefully. Maybe my bool will get published? I just hope that I don’t regret this decision.

-Man. I am emotional and just needy and I should not have obsessed over this case cos now my heart is sad. I dont even know Adnan but I get so emotionally invested in everyone’s life.

-I’ve recently been seeing a documentary floating about everywhere called The Case Against Adnan Syed and I made several mental notes to watch the 4 episode programme but one thing or another got in the way. Eventually I watched it it has gutted me in ways I was not prepared for…

-Long story short, Adnan Syed was a 17 year old Pakistani male who allegedly killed his Korean ex girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999. He got life despite there not being any physical evidence from him on the victim. He has been in jail for 20 years.

-Adnan maintained he was innocent all this time but on the advice of some incompetent attorneys decided not to testify in court. He has since spoken about the case on Serial; a podcast that essentially brought the case to everyone’s attention…

-The aim for all of this was to grant Adnan a retrial because his case was so poorly mishandled and essentially what landed him in prison is failing to account for where he was for 21 minutes when the killing was taking place on the 13th January 1999… however the court did not grant a retrial and thanks to a forever changing witness account from a “friend” of Adnan’s where he says Adnan killed Haye, Adnan will essentially never see the light of day.

-Having watched the documentary, listened to the podcast and even read the book written by Rabia Chaudry (family friend) on Adnan, my gut instinct tells me he didn’t do it. But my God am I confused.

-To think that if his case happened today there would be so much that cluld exxonerate him; mobile phone signals, CCTV, attendance sheets for after school clubs. But it was 1999 and although he had a mobile phone, the technology back then is just not what it is today.

-Only God knows if he is innocent. If he is may Allah swt exonnerate him because he is 35 ish now. And 20 years in jail is a long time.

In my feelings

I was doing some cleaning today when I stumbled across my diary from when I was 23. Yeah I kept a diary then, I was going through some dum ass crap and writing has always been a form of therapy for me. I laughed, mostly because twenty three for me was a month of Sundays ago (isn’t that how young old some of you are now?) but also at little things like how much my handwriting has improved since working in the education sector.

I wrote some seriously cringe worthy stuff of on there. Do you know that song; Gangster’s Paradise? There’s a line in it that goes, “I’m 23 but will I live to see 24?” And I chose to use it to describe my state of mind at the time. If you’re still wondering, I made it, by God’s grace to 31 lol.

I look at my sister in law sometimes, she’s 23, and ponder at how different I was at that age. I am not implying she is trouble free but mashallah she has a spring in her step as one should at that age. I, on the other hand, was carrying the world on my shoulders and allowing it to crush me. I had no capacity for self love let alone being able to extend that love to another.

There’s a quote in The Perks of Being a Wallflower that goes something like; we accept the love we think we deserve and I have, over the years, accepted some poor quality love from a bunch of people; friends. family potential love interests thinking that that was all ai deserved. Which is not okay.

I know this now.

But, I wish I knew it when some family kept putting me down about trivial things like skin colour and weight and I allowed it to happen like it was justified. Or when friends walked over me believing that I would let it pass because of how good natured and non confrontational I was. Or from men that wanted to marry me, but didn’t, but half asked me as a final resort and eventually when they did it was cold and clinical, devoid of feeling or sentiment like a coversation with the vet. And all that did was make me feel like that was all I deserved.

But I deserved more.

And what’s more is I deserve more than someone telling me “you deserve better than this.”

If I deserve better why ain’t you giving it to me?

Long story short the diary reminded me of blog which is like an online journal for me lets face it.

This verbal diarrhea sesh was sponsored by 1am and the fact that I have work in 7 hours.

I may delete this in the morning.

For now my eyes are drifring…