Posts Tagged ‘undercover’

Dear Church People:

24 May 2010

Okay. So. I’m back! I think.

I recently moved and I decided to take this time to do whatever I wanted when it comes to church. There are a LOT of churches around here. And ever since I got back from Morocco I’ve had this extreme interested in them. Mostly a vague, “I wonder what they do behind those doors” kind of thing. And I’m finding out. I think this will end up being general observations rather than the more detailed rundown I write about in real life. But I would like to stop, and make a series of ‘helpful’ posts for churches out there who have random girls dressed like hippies that show up occasionally. OKAY, it’s probably more helpful to me as a rant than for them.

I posted a facebook status the other day, and this post is my response to that.

dear church people: you make me uncomfortable. i’m not sure if it’s your fault or mine, but imma try working on my end. wanna help out on yours? ♥ dana.

Let’s start with questions. I’m new. I get that. There are probably things you want to know about me. Heck, I probably want to know some things about you too. This is not the way to start that conversation with me, because I will KILL IT. (and how)

Do I know you?
-> This one bugs me because the town I’m in is not small. I don’t know if you know me. Maybe we ran into each other somewhere. I think the question you really want to know is “Have you been here before?” or maybe even “Do you come regularly?” Which is a PERFECTLY REASONABLE question for most of the churches I’ve been to.  Because often these are not small churches. When you increase your services to more than one on a Sunday morning, it gets confusing. I totally understand. All I’m saying is, ask the question you want answered.  Otherwise this hippie girl is gonna be all awkward and “uh… i dunno?” When I could be all awkward and “No, I’ve never been here before” or “I’ve been here a couple of times” or “I come for random weekday services but not a Sunday service before.”

Can I just take this time to say: Dear Church People: intro-fucking-duce yourselves. Even if I’ve been to your church before RE-intro-fucking-duce yourself, it’s very very likely I’ve forgotten your name. I’m not good with names. Besides, do you have any fucking clue how many churches I’ve been to in the past two months? Yeah, me either. But it’s double digits.

Which leads me to question #2

“What’s your name?” or “Who are you?” NO PEOPLE. Okay, take that back, it’s not entirely inappropriate, but the BETTER way to do this: *stick hand out/offer handshake* “Hi. My name is (N)! *PAUSE*” Check that shit out. It allows me to get your name, AND Offer mine. Which I will do. Okay, sometimes it takes the prompt of asking for my name. But that’s because you stick more conversation where that PAUSE should be. Put that info before the name intro or after the pause. NEVER EVER Ask for a name without FIRST OFFERING YOURS. Dear TEC: THIS MEANS YOU.

Where do you live?
-> This one bothers me because I see it less of a “and where is your abode?” and more of a “so can we expect you to come back here?” well, I won’t be coming back with that attitude! Also, I’ve taken to just saying Springfield. Because a) that’s all you really need to know at this point and b) if I give a street name, people go “Oh, that’s so far away!” and I’m all “What the fuck are you talking about, it’s 15 minutes away. I’m used to driving much more than that.” I can be very loyal and pretty damn involved, if you give me the chance.

What’s your last name?/Who is your family?
->WTF? No. I really don’t get this one. Okay, a little back story, I sat next to a lady. She went into a story about how she worked downtown but lived in Marionville, and I was all “I grew up there” and then she proceeded with this question. Dude, church people: boundaries.

How did you hear about us?
-> Okay, all I hear in this one is ‘advertising’ and that doesn’t translate well with “I drove by the building then googled you or I googled you and then drove by the building.

Do you have cancer? *
-> again, srsly wtf? (this one might be isolated to me) I might need a better headcovering.

*ACTUAL QUESTION posed to me at a church.

I’m going to stop for now, though I’m sure I’ll update it later. I have other things to say about churches as well, esp. regarding welcoming teams and touching. But for now, I think some things for church people to keep in mind when talking to new people are ask the question you actually want an answer to and remember that we have boundaries and might not be willing to spill our entire life story to you the first time we show up. BOUNDARIES.

around KC

22 November 2009

Stats for the day:

2 covered women at the serbian orthodox festival (not counting me)
14 hijabis at the mall
1 suspected pentecostal at the mall.

indecision

19 November 2009

I haven’t said much lately, which is because there hasn’t been much to say. Now, though…

I have an interview tomorrow afternoon for a nursing school. I have a nice outfit that meets my own (possibly random) standards of modesty. (to the knee, covering the shoulder) and am now debating on the head cover.

As in: yes or no. Right now both options seem perfectly reasonable and both options seem absolutely ridiculous. Why would I go so far as possibly jeopardizing my acceptance into this school for a head covering that I don’t think is absolutely necessary?

At the same time, a friend told me, “I don’t think you should yet.” I’m left wondering, if not yet, if not now, then when? and the only answer I can come up with is “never.”

And then I think, maybe “never” is acceptable for work. I can still cover for church and personal prayers. I could still cover outside of those times when not at work. Maybe I really shouldn’t cover for work. Yet, I know me. I know that if I stop at covering at work, I will probably stop covering outside of work. I might still cover for church, at first. But I know that it would be so easy for me to just stop altogether.

And then I think, well, that wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. I mean, I felt drawn to this head covering thing, but it’s not impossible that it could be a seasonal thing for me, and not a forever thing. I don’t feel drawn to head covering as I did before, when I started. I also don’t feel “drawn away” from it either. It is a devotion for me. A dedication. A reminder that I am somehow set apart.

Not covering would be easier in the sight of normal people, but… but.. damn it. I’m not normal.  In other words, I still haven’t decided. I might not decide until I get there and am getting dressed for the interview. Stay tuned…

outing + sighting

26 April 2009

I slept in this morning and debated back and forth about going to Springfield to the mall. I know I don’t need anything, but man, I want to see what’s out. I want a new skirt!

So, I wait around, call a friend. Finally I decide that, hey, since I’m already dressed, I might as well go. I get there, I’m driving in the parking lot and I see a family. Father, pushing a stroller, a couple children walking near him and his wife. Who happens to be wearing a brown abaya/jilbab, lacy brown scarf and a half niqaab tied under the hijab.

It is good that I came today. I’m calling the day a Full House. I ended up seeing three niqaabis and two women in bonnets! They made me feel ridiculously ‘undercover’ in my white-with purple-pink-orange flowered kerchief. Which, by the way, was complimented by the sales lady at New York & Company. She was a very good sales lady. Creepily so.

Plus, I got three sweaters on sale and three tshirts to replace some I bought to take with me to Yemen. Yeah, they were getting holes in them. Unfortunately, I have to go back tomorrow because one of the sweaters I bought didn’t get that security tag removed. What will tomorrow bring?

ponderings

30 March 2009

how is it possible to be uplifted and disheartened  simultaneously? or at least swung back and forth between the two in just the one day?

saved by the call bell…

28 March 2009

Today I was at work, and I was chillin’ at the nurses station, waiting for call lights when one of our hospice nurses looks up at me and asks me if I always wear a scarf.  “Yes,” I reply. Right as he’s asking why I do so, one of my residents gets on her call light, to which I bust up laughing because she had already been on her light three times in the past five minutes. I grab the other aide for moral support and went to answer it.  Dogded another bullet, of sorts.

another coworker experience

18 February 2009

The other day, when it was SO COLD, I was in the break room at work, getting ready to go home. I put my hat on over my kerchief and realized that the combo would drive me bananas if I had to wear it for any amount of time at all. There was one female coworker in the room with me and I decided that i would just quickly pull the kerchief off and wear just the knit hat out.

As I was contemplating this, my coworker remarked, “I’ve never seen your hair before!” which really shocked me. I even tried to argue with her! “I mean, I’ve seen the little at the front and the mass at the back, but not really.” Even though I’ve been covering for nearly six months, I tend to assume that every one I know knew me when I was “uncovered” becuase that’s how I still see myself, I guess.

omg, hijabi?

28 December 2008

So, I have decided to keep on covering, since ‘it just feels right.’ And I did something today that might have been awesome. or it might have been ridiculously stupid. Either way, what’s done is done.

I wore hijab to work. I’ve been thinking about it. I hate hate hate the little triangle kerchiefy things I’ve been wearing. Man, are they ugly. I was thinking about getting a white square hijab online and wearing it tied behind my head, instead of pulled around front, hijab style, but today I decided to just do it. I basically wear hijab everywhere else outside of work. I have been surprised at the complete LACK of comments I get in hijab in public, so I decided that it would just be much simpler if I wore hijab to work.

I walk in and immediately am asked “Are you Islamic?” Okay, granted, that was expected. “Nope. I’m Christian.” One man told me a couple of times I looked like a nun and that his wife wore scarves after she washed her hair and then curled it. I got another “nun” comment from a lady as well. There were several people that questioned me about it.

“What does ‘this’ symbolize?” While pointing around her face.

“Are you dana? Why are you wearing that?”

“Who are you, with that scarf on your head?” Said by a favorite old lady with a smile on her face. My favorite response “The same person I was yesterday, just with a bigger scarf!”

I got a few questions from family members,  nurses and oriented residents who probably wanted to ask earlier with the smaller scarves, but didn’t and this pushed them over the edge.

I don’t think I was the most eloquent, and I think the part about “I think this is what God is asking me to do.” made a few people uncomfortable. (one resident in particular would ask a question, I would respond, rather awkwardly — give me a break, i’m socially awkward to beging with and I’m not used to these questions– and she would apologize.)

I’m not ashamed of  this. A little uncertain of how to talk about it, but given my history with religion, my being able to say “I think this is what God is asking me to do” to a mere acquaintance is UH-MAZIN’!

church beret

9 November 2008

Earlier, Isaac asked in the comments “Who wears a beret to church?” Let me answer: I do, apparently.

Let me tell you something. I HATE the way WordPress deals with pic tures. It is THE MOST ridiculous setup EVER. If I had any brains or willpower, I would not post any more pictures here. But I don’t. Well, I don’t have the willpower for sure. See my future post : “I Took Top 40 Back” It’s been ‘on the way’ for several weeks now.

coworker story!

30 October 2008

I cover full time. At work, I wear this adorable/hideous triangle kerchief that I made myself. Much like one at Garlands of Grace, but it flares instead of being pleated/gathered. (I like the flares. They remind me of the vested chalice at mass.) It hasn’t really brought much attention or comments from my coworkers, minus a few questions when I first started, but the other day one of my coworkers started talking to me.

She came up to me and asked me if I believed in the “seventh day” I had a feeling she was talking about it as in Seventh Day Adventist, but I wasn’t sure and anyway, what do you say to that? So, I asked for clarification. “Huh?” She repeated “Do you believe in the Seventh Day?” I really don’t remember my oh-so-composed response, but it was most likely along the lines of “Uh, I go to Mass.” At this point, she was getting a little frustrated and went on to tell me that the seventh day is Saturday, God never changed it. Saturday is the Seventh Day.

She then proceeds to ask me if I believed in Revelations. Let me tell you, I believe a lot of things about Revelations. None of them seemed to be what this woman was getting at. “Do you believe in ‘The Beast’?” I’m pretty sure at this point my jaw hit the floor. Do I believe in “The Beast”? “Do you believe in the end times and what’s going on in the world today?”

My response? “Oh, Jesus!”
“I know you believe in Jesus, do you believe in ‘The Beast’?”
After a while of uncomfortable silence, she let me retreat back in to my Med Room.

It was there I realized I wanted to yell, “NO! I DON’T believe in ‘THE BEAST’!”

It has been a LONG time since I’ve thought about Revelations, especially in that manner and I DON’T MISS IT at all. Rapture, rapture and end time prophecies. All I can think of is something a lady at church said. When Christ came the first time around, he did not come in any way expected by those who studied the scriptures. It was a complete surprise. How much more so will his second coming be! How can we attempt to foretell or even understand how Jesus will come back to us?

I thank God for that.

Sometime after our conversation, I realized what our main disconnect is. Belief, not as in doctrine or dogma, but the ability to have it unconditionally.  Faith and belief are hard for me. I must work at it. I asked her at some point what her religion is. She replied, “I grew up Seventh Day Adventist. I mean, I smoke and all that now, but I still believe in the Seventh Day.” I will be the first to admit, I don’t know what I believe. But no matter what I believe, I try to live the creeds. I try to live our liturgy. I try to live as if I have this inherent, monolithic Faith. I fail often. For me, for now, trying to live these things is the best that I can do. I pray that right doctrine will follow as I attempt to live rightly.