Who wears short shorts?

FullSizeRender_2Last Monday, I nearly had to drag Wafiq to the airport. Let’s just say Austin knows how to party really hard and Katie + Wafiq haven’t been on that level in a long time.  Because I was sick throughout the weekend I had the blessing in disguise of being able to avoid most “welcome back” shots and sugar filled free drinks.

Wafiq, however, wasn’t so lucky.

By Monday, we did manage to make it to the airport on time. I was wearing these fluffy black shorts and a stripped, sleeveless, sort of crop top shirt, with my big hoodie hanging around my shoulders.FullSizeRender_3

I’m not telling you this because I was overly impressed with my outfit choice, quite the opposite. I had to put on whatever clean clothes I had left, which left some unimpressive options.  I’m telling you what I wore because there’s a little story associated with my clothing choice that I wanted to get written down.

The family we happened to be sitting by at the airport terminal was an Arabic family. This excites me because it reminds me of the last year I spent abroad. I feel like we have a bond. They have no idea. And probably think I’m just some drunk American smiling oddly at them and their family. Maybe even a little scared.

Anyways, the family consisted of an older woman wearing her headscarf and a younger man around our age with a toddler running across the chairs.

Remember, Wafiq was feeling like death and thought he was seeing the light to guide him into afterlife so I took initiative and went to find food. As much food as possible. Because food is the answer to everything.

When I came back he moaned and groaned for a little while and later told me: “I have to tell you something”.  Real serious. It’s been on his mind since we sat down so he had to get it off his chest.

While I was walking around to the 3 different restaurants in front of our terminal the little boy asked his mom [in arabic] if I was “haram”. I think his exact question was: “Is that girl more haram because she is wearing shorts or more haram because her tummy is showing?”

For people who don’t know, haram is the word Arabs or Muslim’s use for naughty.

{More technically – I found the definition on the all so trusted website Wikipedia: In Islamic jurisprudence, haram is used to refer to any act that is forbidden by Allah, and is one of five Islamic commandments (الأحكام الخمسة‎ (al-ahkam al-khamsah)) that define the morality of human action.}

Basically, it’s like Christian’s shouldn’t have sex before marriage or swear or be mean to thy neighbor.. You get the gist: Naughty.

When Wafiq told me this I laughed out loud. Literally. He was surprised at my reaction but then he kind of chuckled too.

I looked at this cute little boy trying to learn his ropes and be a good, nice, respectful young man. At 5 years old. He wanted to know. He wanted to follow the rules. For all we know, it could be one of the first times he’s seen legs in public.

If this family recently came from the Middle East, I’m sure seeing my legs (along with the rest of the girls at the airport) was a bit of a shock. So I understood. And it made me giggle. Also, if I’m being honest, it made me SO happy I can wear shorts again! I mean 100+ degrees, black pants?! Come on!

Wafiq said if he didn’t feel like he was slowly passing into his death he would have politely told the woman that I am not haram because I am not muslim. I can wear shorts. I thought this was a very mature and responsible response to the comment.

I knew it kind of bothered him, more than me. I’m used to it, I lived there a year and a half. But even while we were in Dubai he was very protective of the locals comments and actions. So I understood his reaction.

But for me, I thought it was cute.  When I was little I remember asking my mom if she says swear words in front of her mom. Because they’re “old”. Can she say swear words now?  Of course my mom said, no. Never. Swear words are always bad. You won’t ever want to say them, only naughty people do.

In reality, swear words are necessary forms of communication. But you aren’t going to tell your 4 year old child that. Or maybe you will, that’s up to you.

I will say, if the roles were reversed, and another person came up to me.. A child or an adult, and made a comment about this woman wearing an abaya I would explain to them that the woman chooses to wear it. This is how she is comfortable and confident. And that’s all the matters.  Even if it’s not the same as us. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But, what I love about America (because there’s SO much and I thank God everyday) is that you can be whoever you want. This is what I missed!! The arab woman wearing her abaya, me wearing shorts, and the couple making out before saying goodbye are all A-Ok in the States. I LOVE it. I love that you can be any way you want and it’s ok. Maybe not for that specific lady, but she’s in America. That’s what we represent. Freedom baby. That’s why she can wear an abaya at the airport and I’ll still smile to her, because I’m so happy she can wear what she feels comfortable in. And I can walk next to her wearing what I feel comfortable in. Short shorts.

I think as American’s, because we have so many choices and there are many varieties of us, we need to love all the different forms we come in. All the different ways we dress, look, and act. Because it’s all ok. As long as no one is hurting anyone, we’re on the right track <3

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