Written Tues., January 11, 2010
Justin brought up yesterday that I'd been nearly full-time niqaabi (wearing a face veil) for a while now - increasingly frequently since late September, I suppose - and asked how it was going for me. I was surprised to realize how often I wear it now. I'm returning to a mental place where I don't usually notice, or pay attention to, the looks and stares. Well, except for one instance last month where I stared down a ten year old boy in Wal-Mart who, in a display of poor manners, insisted on following me around and staring rather aggessively, even after I greeted him AND despite the presence of both his parents, who acted as if I wasn't there at all! I think I ended up scaring him, but sometimes enough is enough. It's kind of funny in retrospect.
In fact, today I ran into a classmate uptown whom I'd only met last week, and not only was I in niqab (which she's seen) but I also had the eyeveil down over my face because of the snow (keeps snow from smudging my glasses, though I can see out fine, though an observer can't see my eyes; it's like wearing sunglasses). She not only recognized me, but struck up a nice conversation right there on the sidewalk, and ended up promising to have me over for dinner.
Once again, I suggest that niqab is not a barrier to communication unless either party makes it one. In other words, I guess that the niqab is going well - and I'm finally adapting to being in a 'safe' environment, where I don't get the aggressive responses I dealt with in Indy.