Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I still exist!

I don't know if you know, but on Facebook, there's this goldmine of weirdness tucked away in your messaging folder when you click on other. It's fun to occasionally browse through there and reply, you end up with conversations like the following:

I'm still waiting for a reply.

It's still 2014 right? It's 2014 and I've posted something!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What Muslim Men Want

Reading between the lines...

1. "I'm looking for a good Muslim girl"
Translation: I'm looking for a girl my mum will like and who looks good in hijab, but who will agree to have countless flirty late-night conversations and coffee dates while I decide if we're 'compatible'.

2. "I'm looking for someone I'm compatible with."
Translation: I'm looking for someone attractive.

3. "I'm looking for someone attractive."
Translation: I'm looking for someone so ridiculously gorgeous, 10,000 ships fly out of her face (a la Helen of Troy)

4. "I'm looking for someone who takes care of her appearance."
Translation: I'm looking for someone gorgeous, who looks stunning when she puts a bit of effort in.
[This one annoys me, because, hey, us unattactive people take care of ourselves too! Sometimes, I even polish my gnarled talons, or scrape the warts off my face. On special occasions I even brush my fangs, shave my moustache, and acquaint my armpits with some soap.]

5. "I'm looking for someone homely."
Translation: I need a maid, my mother's arthritis prevents her from ironing properly.

6. "I'm looking for someone family-oriented"
Translation: I want someone oriented to my family.

7. "I like to travel."
Translation: I go to Pakistan twice a year, and I went to Bradford once, but I heard girls like holidays.

8. "I want someone with a good sense of humour."
Translation: I want someone to laugh at all my jokes.

9. "I want someone independent."
Translation: She works, can drive, will date me before meeting my family, but will agree to live with my mummy and daddy after marriage.

10. "I don't want a girl who's independent."
Translation: I am a giant misogynist but want to marry a hot babe who never leaves the kitchen.

11. "I don't know what I'm looking for yet; I'll know when I find her!"
Translation: ...I think I want all of the above?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hunting Season...

I really am rubbish. My defence for being so rubbish is that there was absolutely interesting for me to say since about, ohhh.. June 21st, 2011. But now, having deeply pontificated on life for the last 15 months, I come with glad tidings that I have something to rant about. How privileged you are, that one future-dwelling person who accidentally ended up here after you googled something about a rishta aunty. I'm almost jealous of you.

Anyway, 15 months on and no, there's no Mr Pagal as yet. And although it's quite nice to aspire to be a crazy old spinster, hoarding newspapers from the 80s and angrily throwing cats at young couples who dare to walk past my shack hand-in-hand...

...I thought I should maybe try to find him, instead of waiting for him to phone the house to see what time is suitable to pop round on his white horse, you know, just so he can plan ahead and shine his armour beforehand.

[Side note: why do single men get the cool word, bachelor, while single women get called spinsters? You wouldn't exactly talk about a cool 'spinster pad' or find a list in a newspaper of the 'most eligible spinsters'. Amelia Earhart didn't throw herself in front of that horse just so misogynists could imply older single women sit around spinning.]

So I did what any single Muslim does in this situation... I joined Unspecified Muslim Matrimonial Site. (Affectionately known as UMMS from here on in.)

At the time of writing, I've been a member for a grand total of about two weeks, and would you believe it, my hatred for humanity has increased, oh, about 2500%. Thems are results right there, ladies and gentlemen!

It's not only the downright ridiculous people that are on there... it's also the seemingly normal people, who do downright ridiculous things. A few examples:

1. Request a photo without sending any message. I see it this way - you wouldn't walk up to a perfect stranger in the street, stare at their face for a minute or so, and walk away without saying anything. Or maybe you would. That's why I reject the requests, these guys probably have a few restraining orders against them anyway.

2. Exchange a few messages, then request a photo, and within a few minutes of me approving the request, block me. That's right, BLOCK ME. I imagine it goes something like this:

SingleDude logs in to UMMS.
Thinks "Oh, a new  photo notification! Hmm, it's that Scottish girl who I asked a bunch of strange questions yesterday. Awesome, I can look at her photo now, this is even more exciting than this morning when I wandered up and down the high street getting in people's personal space and silently stroking their faces. Hmm, loading... loading..."
McPagal's face pops up on screen.
"OH MY GOD IS THAT EVEN A PERSON?! DO PEOPLE REALLY GO AROUND LOOKING LIKE THAT?! Merciful Allah, surely there must be some kind of corrective surgery she could have had? I'd feel sorry for her if I didn't.. feel... so..." *bleeeeuuuurgh! bleeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurgh!*
SingleDude has fallen off his chair and vomited copiously. He now appears to be lapsing in and out of consciousness.
"...What did I ever do to deserve this?"
SingleDude's mother walks in.
Mother: "Beta! What happened? Did I not feed you enough?! Ohhh, I knew you were looking kamzore! I even had to take in the waistband of your XXXXL trousers last week! Hai Rabb this is all my fault!"
SingleDude: "Mummy... don't look at the computer... it's for your own good..."
SingleDude's Mother can't obey. It's her maternal instinct to seek out the perpetrator of any hurt to her beloved boy-child and destroy it. She tentatively approaches the computer, looking only from the corner of her eye, as her instinctive wisdom tells her that the beast on the monitor will defeat her if she looks straight on. (Wo)manfully, she grips the mouse, and with a gasp manages to click the button marked 'block user'. Salvation. The ogre disappears, leaving only a soothing pink background. The monitor shows cracks where it has not been able to cope with the ugliness, and there's smoke starting to snake out of the computer - but the ordeal is over.
Mother "Well beta, I hope you realise this is why I said I'd find you a wife. I was only trying to protect you. Now, let's go downstairs and find out if Aunty Shameema has a nice, tall, fair, homely, professional girl who looks like me when I was young."

Yep, that's what must have happened. Because personally, I can't think of any reason a mature adult would block someone just because their appearance isn't up to scratch, other than that their appearance makes them want to scratch their eyeballs out.

The most offensive thing is that the first guy who did this, looked like a bit of a weirdo from his photo, and I didn't want to reply to his message, but my parents did the whole sensible thing and I realised I was being a bit shallow - oh the irony...

3. 'I don't think we're compatible'. This in itself sounds like a perfectly innocuous, even reasonable statement, doesn't it? But it usually comes after a couple of bland messages and then photos have been exchanged. One time, I snapped. I sent the guy a reply along the lines of 'that's fine, all the best, but if you're going to be so shallow as to judge compatibility based on looks, you should probably tell people that in the first instance'. So then he called me judgemental. So then I made sure I got the last word in and then blocked him. Ha.

Anyway, the above has taught me that I should probably have a photo up in the first place to avoid these kinds of exchanges.. but I can't bring myself to do it. So first I settled for a disclaimer a the end of my profile that I'm not drop-dead gorgeous, which didn't have any effect. So I added an addendum to my disclaimer that I have dark skin, and now nobody sends me messages. Oh well... time to go cat-shopping, I guess.

[I was going to have a rant about irritating things guys say on their profiles, but I'll save that for next time. Which hopefully will be sometime this year...]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How To Offend a Rishta in Ten Ways

Sometimes when I'm bored I like to come up with hypothetical scenarios and things I could do in them. One of my favourites is the rishta scenario, mostly because you hear about so many daft aunties behaving in socially unacceptable ways to girls and their families when it comes to looking at marriage potentials. Like asking for a girl's height/waist size/weight before meeting her (I like to think that they're cheapskates and are looking for someone who'll fit into the walima dress they have mouldering away in the attic); or making a disgusted just-smelled-some-unexpected-faecal-matter-right-under-my-nose-oh-God-I-think-it's-in-my-mucha-hairs face when the girl walks in (perhaps to aid in negotiations further down the line - her face was an affront to my retinas, I felt physically nauseous when I saw her - I won't pay more that twenty quid mahr, final offer! Desis are born hagglers after all); or making her walk up and down the room so they can properly assess her physique (and possibly her ability to remain ambulatory without limping, dragging her knuckles across the floor, and/or drooling. Not that there's anything wrong with any of that, people are just so superficial these days).

I understand, though, that single British Muslimah sistahz seem to be suffering somewhat from a drought of decent marriage fodder, and offending the ones that do turn up would be irresponsible, immature and probably quite unIslamic. However, fantasizing elaborate scenarios that will never happen is a known analgesic and aids respiratory function (no it's not and it doesn't, I just like making stuff up) and besides, my daydream about winning 3 gold medals at the Olympics is getting quite old and I needed a new story. So here are a few ways you could be as offensive as possible during a rishta meeting:

1. Mid-conversation, give a polite excuse me, then get up and leave. Ideally through a window.

2. If the aunty (or, in fact, the boy) looks disgusted, play along. Make retching noises and really go for it - make them believe that you're struggling to hold your bile down. [Wo]manfully get yourself under control and say something like 'sorry, I just didn't realise faces could look like that'

3. Alternative to above: 'My eyes! The goggles, they do nothing!'

4. If the aunty asks your measurements, reciprocate. Bring a measuring tape to verify your findings.

5. If the aunty has come to assess you without even bringing the potential along, then lament to her about how hard you have been looking for a decent mother-in-law with a good education, good height and the complexion you desire. Ask her questions about herself. If she mentions her son, turn the conversation back to herself, because it's really the mother-in-law you're looking for, the husband's just a means to an end, right?

6. Talk yourself down - spectacularly. If they ask what you like to do in your spare time, tell them drink and drugs. If they ask what you like to cook, laugh and say that all the beatings you've given your mum have taught her to have food on the table. If they ask about your job, tell them you never actually got a degree and that you just drive your dad's car round all day with the windows down and the music loud. Make sure you deliver all this as sweetly and demurely as possible.

7. If the guy himself is an annoying show off, one-up all his stories. He likes to travel? Well, you've been to all the countries in the world, ever, even the ones that don't have names. Twice. He earns 6 figures? You earn 26. He likes his cars? You own Ferrari. Not a Ferrari, the actual company. He prays 5 times a day? You pray a bazillion and five.

8. If they place a lot of emphasis on looks, place a lot of emphasis on something else, like money. Ask if you can audit their accounts.

9. If (okay, when) the conversation gets boring, tell them you're very sorry but you have to leave urgently for a work thing. Then go outside and play in the back garden. Make sure the room they're in has a good view.

1o. Short and sweet: when the boy walks in, give him a dramatic thumbs down like a roman emperor condemning a gladiator to death.

Hijab Pants

You know bonnet caps right?

creepy mannequin faces not included

As a hijabi, there's two vital facts I have learned about them:

1) When left lying around, say on the sofa or on your bedside table or in the corner of the living room for no reason at all - anywhere! - they look like a pair of pants.

Yes, the underwear kind of pants. It's a recognised phenomenon. Here's an illustration for the visual learners:

please don't take this literally, it's potentially unhygienic

2) Much like safety pins, hijab hats fall into the category of irritating items that ALWAYS seem to be lying around when unnecessary but disappear off the face of the earth when you're actually looking for them.

Now, combine this with the law of the universe that I like to call McPagal's First Law of Baisteefication, things will always be at their most embarrassing in front of the people that will make you feel most embarrassed about it.

This may take some explanation, so let me provide examples:
-When you have uncontrollable giggles which develop into full-on uncontrollable raucous hyena laughter in a public place, there will be an angry looking bearded brother round the corner who will storm past you disapprovingly;
-When you have spewed on the bus and are trying to disappear off the face of the earth but need to find a toilet to clean yourself up in first, you will be approached by a Street Doctor crew asking if you want to be filmed
-When you've gone crazy in the sales and bought an armload of discounted bras and knickers from Primark, including the silly novelty one that made you laugh so you bought it in a ridiculously huge size because it was only 50p and you thought it'd be funny to give it to your sister as a joke; the only available cashier will be a young Asian male. Possibly one you recognise. And the barcode on the novelty bra won't scan properly so he'll have to awkwardly ask for a price check while you both stare at the floor and pretend like this isn't at all awful and making you want to sink into the ground and disappear.
And so on.

What results is at least 2 potentially horrible scenarios:

-People come to visit when you've not tidied up properly. People you don't know too well but need to make a good impression on for some reason. They see the hijabpants lying dustily in the corner where they have been hiding for the last 2 months, unmoved because you thought you'd lost them, and are disgusted that you'd leave horrible dusty pants around when people come to visit. You fail to make a good impression, and what's more, when you go to pick up the hijabpants when they leave they are nowhere to be seen.

-You are with people you know a little better, friends maybe, and go to put on your hijabpants. Only this time you misjudged and really did pick up a pair of pants. You are now wearing pants on your head.

These scenarios and countless others burn away at the back of the neurotic section of your brain for all time, eventually turning you into a jibbering wreck at the thought of all the untapped baisteefication potential there is in the world, ready to ensnare you when you least expect it, drowning you in a pool of awkwardness. This is what I live with. Who knew hijab hats could be so dangerous?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Things That Make Me Hate You On Facebook - Part 2

PART 2 - Content! [Also, the part where I pretend there wasn't a 5 month (wait, really?!) gap since Part 1, thereby avoiding having to make up any tediously reasonable excuse for said gap]

Before I list these, I should clarify something you may not have noticed about me: I am a horrible, horrible cynic who likes to privately (like, in my own head privately) mock people's foibles. However I also recognise that I have my own, often extremely irritating foibles myself. I'm perfectly happy for people to point these out, because I have a ready-made excuse (which is, incidentally, the same excuse I have for all my spelling and grammar errors) - I was doing it on purpose. You know, ironically. Ha.


1. The life story
08.02:'Just woke up, eyelids are having trouble coming unstuck'
08.07:'Getting out of bed was a struggle, finally managed it LOL'
08.14:'Decided to use small circular motions to brush my teeth rather than the old side-to-side, now my gums are bleeding'
08.16:'Dropped my phone down the toilet trying to eiuuhgeneangh ehfoiuhn...s''@##'
You get the picture.

2. The Drama Queen
'Some people need to focus on their OWN selves instead of HATING like HATERZ.'
'Had a great night out with my girls, we don't CARE what people say about us cause they're all HATERSZZ'
Somehow, I find myself not wanting to hate these people because it would be giving them what they want. It's nigh impossible though.

3. The Deep Dark Soul of Mystery
'Some days you just have to be strong'
'I can't expect anyone to understand'
If anyone makes an attempt to understand, however, e.g. by asking what's up, the Deep Dark Soul of Mystery likes to respond cryptically, maybe with a '...' or a picture of a bucket of their own tears. They're deep like that.

4. The Broken Compass

Friday morning: 'Jumah mubarak my Muslim brethren. Protect yourself from the hellfire. Can't wait for the khutba by Sheikh al-Famous today, it'll be awesome for sure inshallah'
Friday night: 'Whooo had an awesome time gettin high on sheesha and freemixing, and the gambling was awesome too LAWL'
Sadly, the latter update is usually accompanied by photographic evidence, the type that makes you cover your eyes and cringe.

Also included in this category: the people who don't seem to give a toss about Islamic stuff normally, but when it comes to the ins and outs of moon-sighting, or halal food for example, they're tossing out fatwas and hadith like they're smarties. But not the red smarties, because they have cochineal which is from dead beetles and are therefore haraam, for further evidence please refer to yadda yadda yadda...

5. Captain Obvious

[Someone makes a witty remark involving Barack Obama and his similarity to a writing desk]

[It's snowing outside, and has been for the last week]

[It's hot outside due to a widely discussed heatwave]
Status Update: IT'TH HOT WHYYY?

[It's Tuesday]

Thanks for being so informative, Cap'n.

6. Anyone who dares express themselves in anything but the most cursory written form.

X's Notes: My Poetry

X's Albums: My Artwork
This one is no one's fault but my own. Anyone who likes to post their emo-poems or artwork will face my scorn, albeit never expressed to anybody at all in case they should realise how very mean I can be and block me from their facebook, and my source of future amusement. Their poetry/artwork might not even be altogether vomit-inducing, but in my head the very fact they posted it on facebook makes it ridiculous. Although it usually is vomit-inducing, to be fair.

Tune in next week, to see McPagal step on a kitten and then laugh!*
*Not really.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Things That Make Me Hate You On Facebook - Part I

I love Facebook. I love that I can keep in touch with family and friends as far away as Switzerland, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, America and even England. I love that you can start a conversation with one person and have it end up as a discussion between people on your friends list that would never have otherwise interacted. I love that you can see what a small world we live in, when your friends overlap in a veritable Venn diagram of unexpected ways.

There is, however, plenty of hate for Facebook out there on the web (should that be in the web? I dunno). Bleeding Mafia Wars and Farmville in particular. I figured I'd join in - all in the spirit of 'love the sinner, hate the sin' of course! If anyone who knows me on Facebook would like to point out irritating things that I'm guilty of myself, please do. So that I can promptly defriend you.

Profile Pictures
The thing with Facebook is that the title is pretty self explanatory when it come to profile pictures. Unless you're using a pseudonym and using Facebook for stalkery purposes, it's good to have your face as your picture. Look, the placeholder is even a silhouette of a head-and-shoulders portrait, how helpful! I suppose there are those who have so many random people as friends that they feel shy about showing their faces, but then the question arises - why add so many randoms? Ok, you want to network, blah blah whatever. Stop fighting my argument with REASON.

Apart from a lack of faceness, here are the worst crimes in my subjectively objective eyes - most of them perpetrated by the female facebook population because, hey, I'm not going to ogle GUY pictures, that'd be wrong (even for research purposes) plus I have no witty observations to make on guy-pictures anyway...:

This neanderthal uses someone else's face as their profile picture. Usually someone famouser/prettier, for example Aishwarya Rai instead of their 75 year old, nicotine stained, toothless, morbidly obese self. This is especially irritating when perpetrated by a hijabi/niqabi - it's not ok to show yourself with your hair/face uncovered, but it's ok to show someone else's? That's like wearing a wig over your hijab! And that would just be ridiculous!

This is when you take a close-up picture of your eye (or to make it a double whammy, take a close-up picture of someone else's, more photogenic and artfully made-up eye that you found on Google images - in a bold, ALL-SEEING EYE THIEF move) and use it as your profile picture. Yes, eyes are pretty, and said to be the window to the soul etc etc. But this makes me think that you:
a) are very vain and want everyone to notice/comment on you having pretty eyes, in common with 99% of the world's population
b) somehow think that showing off your beguiling eyes is somehow more 'halal' than showing your face, despite making sure that your eye is well adorned with heavy eyeliner, mascara and bold eyeshadow - like one of those Caged Oppressed Muslim Woman In Desert Country novel covers; or
c) are a one-eyed mutant freak.

This is when you combine a desi girl with a good, strong camera flash to give her that goree-chitti, face-dipped-in-atta appearance. Typically this picture will have a long trail of comments on it saying how gorgeous the person looks (for once, you know...) despite the fact that the flash frequently comes with the side-effect of making the subject's nose disappear into whiteness. THE WHITEOUT may be combined with:

Do. Not. Show. Your. Teeth.
Also, tilt your head to the side, look up through your eyelashes, and lift your camera high, and MySpace-pose it. The only difference from the dictionary definition is that as a desi girl who is not emo, you may smile, but should remember not to show any teeth (that would be soooo laaaame) and should use as much poutage as possible. You may also comine this with:

DAFFY DUCK incidentally, way cooler that Donald
Pout!! Pout like you're trying to touch the ceiling!! Why not add a touch of:

Here's a tip: whenever you go out anywhere, like a nice restaurant or hotel or other wedding venue - don't bother taking pictures anywhere, you know, scenic. Instead, make your way to the toilets with a couple of your best pals and hold an hour-long photoshoot. That way, people can see your picture reflected in the mirror, with a beautiful panorama of washbasins and toilet cubicles behind you. You should make this your profile picture because then everyone can see that you're the adventurous sort who stays inside posing in public toilets.
Just remember to wash your hands when you're done.

So, you're a hijabi/niqabi and you feel like you're missing out on some fun? Just use all the tips above, and don't bother with the hijab. It doesn't matter, it's just a picture you're putting out there for the world to see, and you're still wearing it in person so that's ok, right? Right?

to be continued...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I think the Good takes it

Bad news: I can't believe how long I have neglected you for, little bloggy.

Good news: Well, I remembered you now, didn't I??

Bad news: I have nothing of substance to post right now.

Good news: I have ideas! Those count, right?

Bad news: I've never been too good at the actual execution of said ideas. (For reference, see my to do lists at the beginning of, oh, every single year).

Bad news: I have to find a job and study for exams right now.

Good news: I'm always at my most blogsome when I'm meant to be doing something else, like searching for a job or studying for exams!

Bad news: this has never helped me achieve said goals.

Good news: I don't care too much about goals, life's for living, right? Not achieving! Only losers ever achieve in life. Losers who spend their time studying and, pffft, junk like that. And then go on to get successful jobs and make lots and lots of money.

Good news: I don't care too much about money, either. I'll be fine as long as I have a roof over my head and a belly full of chocolate!

Bad news: You need money to buy chocolate.

Good news: This stupid stream-of-consciousness post has inspired me to begin my jobsearching efforts anew and with a neverbeforeseen vigour! Right after lunch, anyhow.

Good news: It's lunchtime! And I have roast chicken and chocolate cake calling my name!

Good news: No seriously, calling with little squeaky chickeny voices.


Monday, November 16, 2009

McPagal for President of the Universe

Despite completely neglecting my poor blog recently - my pencils sure are dusty - I somehow got nominated for a brass crescent award! Paraphrased quote from my sister: "Wow, Golden Crescent! Wait, brass? Eh whit man!". This was the same sister that originally nicknamed me McPagal, so she's pretty much a genius in my book.

Anyway, being the honest soul that I am, I didn't vote for myself - but I won't object if, y'know, anyone else does...

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Blonde Moments

McPagal is writing an [incredibly overdue] essay
McPagal: How do you spell infestismal?
Sister: "What?!"
McPagal: You know... infestismal. Like really really small. The spell checker has no suggestions.
Sister: ...do you mean infinitesimal?
McPagal: ...yeah. That.
Cue endless mocking by sister.

This is what comes of skim reading long words. And I thought I was good at spelling as well!

McPagal is making pancakes.
Mama: Oooh, are you making one for me?
McPagal: No! All for me!
Mama: You know, there's no 'I' in 'pancake'.
McPagal: ...well there's no 'I' in 'beautiful' either!
Cue endless mocking by mama and sister.