Wednesday, September 8

If I Were A Girl

People often talk about wanting to find someone they share values with. I'm no different, and one of the thoughts I always walk away with when talking to someone is how different we must have each been brought up.

The trouble is that, as with many things, values are difficult to qualify. Everyone will claim to have A++ values and even if it turns out that they're not lying to themselves and they actually do, since values are so subjective theirs could still be vastly different to yours. So then, how does one determine someone else has had a similar upbringing to them?

I guess you could do what we're classically told to do - you know, look at respective families and all that. And sure that could work to some extent, but I don't really have any sisters to use as a point of reference, so I have no idea how a girl would have been raised in this family of mine. But if we take the thought experiment to the next logical step, I could go on by asking what I would be like if I was a girl. I mean hey, if Beyonce can do the equivalent for a song then it shouldn't be that difficult for me to do it in a blog post.

As an aside, this may not be that theoretical anyway. Due to some cross-wired international telephone call some in Pakistan did think I was a girl at some point, and I'm sure I've been told before how it was wished for me to have been born with two X chromosomes. Heck, that might even explain a whole bunch of things. But anyway. Oh and bear in mind that like I said above I'm not making a list of what I think are absolutely and universally good qualities for a girl to have, I'm just extrapolating from my own particular upbringing. So yeh, let's go on and meet Shakila shall we?

First the easy bits: I would still be practising in the traditional praying-fine-times-a-day sense. I'd also still be living at home, and most probably wouldn't have left for university or work or anything like that.

Vocationally I think I would have studied something creative and fun like Art, English or even Media instead of something practical or professional. I wouldn't have been looking to make a career out of it, and neither would I have been particularly interested in academic success. Oh and of course, I'd have known how to cook (but not very well if my overbearing mother had anything to do with it) and take care of a home.

Regarding boys, I know for a fact that I wouldn't have dated before marriage. I'd probably also keep my distance from them in general and most certainly not meet or talk with fellas in private. Regarding friends in general, I don't think I'd have a set of best friends as an aside to my family, but since I think I'd be somewhat friendly I'll admit that that's a tough call to make.

I'd avoid going to the gym and I doubt I'd be sporty; although perhaps I'd run instead to keep my slim figure. I'd probably be anal about what I eat to help with that. Oh and unlike most girls who like to think they can dance, I actually would, perhaps having had taken a class or something. I would have never been clubbing, drunk or smoked - no, not even shisha.

I don't think I'd be wearing a hijab, and that despite seeing my mum wear one from the age of 10 or so. On the other hand, I wouldn't have plucked my eyebrows either; no, not even subtly. I'd have steered clear of make-up too, choosing instead to accessorise to compensate. I'd have shopped at Primark rather than Gucci and worn flats over heels. Oh but I'd have definitely owned at least one LBD.

Personality wise: I'd be a bit of a girl really. Quiet rather than mouthy, and looking to be led rather than be opinionated. I don't think I'd have sworn or used bad language or been brash. I'd have choosen to be silent and let things go rather than let my ego get the better of me.

Perhaps really strikingly (and quite possibly the most useful bit of information here) I would have wanted to marry by 22 or so, and would have mainly stuck to the introduction (via parents or very trusted friends) route to do so.

Oh and I'd have totally been hot (and known that too).

It would be incorrect to describe this as a requirements list - I wouldn't care if my eventual partner could actually dance, was really brainy or wore a hijab for instance, and I gave up on the eyebrow thing a long time ago. I will admit that I would probably see these things as attractive in other people, but then that just goes back to the whole theory about the wanting someone with values that match.

So there you have it. Probably the most strangest post I've ever written here. And yes, I'm sure there's a specific name for thought experiments like these (and no, I don't mean virtual cross-dressing).