Last June, my buddy A left me a voicemessage late one night after having watched the film, Paris je t’aime, which actually consists of eighteen short films by 21 directors, each of the stories taking place in different arrondissements (municipal boroughs) of Paris. Walking home through downtown San Jose, he talked into the phone about the short film with the Muslim girl – she trips and falls, her headscarf flies off, and a nice young guy runs over to assist her. “He tries to help her put her hijab back on, but he wraps it around her head like a bandanna.” Retelling the story, A started laughing. “Yaz, if your hijab fell off, I don’t think I would ever be able to help you. Probably, no one would.”
Listening to A’s voicemessage later, I laughed, too. And replayed the message a few times. And retold the story to several friends. My coworker-in-crime, B, pointed out, “Yasmine, your hijab’s pinned so tightly, I don’t think that thing could EVER fall off.” I ending up watching Paris je t’aime three times – once with A, the second time with N and AyeshaZ and B, and finally just last week with my sister, who had heard me mention this film often over the past year. Every single time, I have laughed my way through the short film about the Muslim girl and her hijab.
B is right – my hijab is its own free-standing structure. It has stayed put through running and rain storms and lecture-hall naps while slumped in my seat and roller-coaster rides at amusement parks and hiking (and hitchhikes) and skipping down the street and crackstar nieces crawling all over me while bombarding me with their botanical carnage.
HijabMan has harassed me for a long time about collaborating on a headwrap-how-to video. We briefly talked about it over IM during the last year or two, and in Philadelphia and DC in July, and in Chicago in August. I just kind of nodded along vaguely. “Yeah, okay, sounds like a plan.” But when I was stranded in Philadelphia for the night last December, on the way to DC after Ottawa, HMan and I hung out with his friends, then pulled J into being my model for a headwrapping session.
I was drunk off boulani and gelato and the incredibly rich drinking-chocolate from Naked Chocolate Cafe, apparently the best dessert place in Philly, J off her bowlful of chocolate chip cookies & milk; HMan was his usual hyperactive self. It made perfect sense to create videos past midnight. I was groggy and tired from what had been a sh*tty day of travel involving many expletives, but when rockstars come along and pick you up from the airport and take you out to dinner and made you laugh and open up their homes to you, you too would do whatever they want you to.
So, the headwrapping video that came out of that night is sort of a thank-you to HMan and Philadelphia for their rockstar hospitality and open-hearted lowve. It’s also a thank-you to every single person who ever stopped me and asked with genuine curiosity, “How do you do your hijab like that?” I’m honored they took the time to ask. The question came up at an ice cream shop in Washington, DC, last summer; at a conference in Chicago last October and at December hanging-out sessions in Ottawa and Toronto; and at a friend’s wedding just last week. Not to mention the grocery store, the sidewalk outside my workplace, places I stop by for lunch, and all kinds of events and gatherings I attend, as well as questions on flickr and facebook. Since I’m pretty ridiculous about properly responding to compliments or any sort of warm comments regarding the way I dress, I usually just laugh a bit and shuffle my feet a little and toss off my twenty-second explanation of how the headwrap stays in place. Then, I smile brightly and run away, usually to find food.
This, in contrast, is a much better explanation. HMan has posted the video HERE. Check it out:
I’ve already watched it about three times because:
1. I’m surprised I managed a pretty smooth explanation while doing J’s headwrap. Multitasking is usually not my forte, and the fact that I spent six minutes explaining headwrapping techniques while actually implementing them on someone else is slightly mind-boggling.
2. All the references to “stabbing” amuse me. J was so patient with me. I would have been freaked out if someone kept wielding safety pins near my head and cackling gleefully about stabbing.
3. My laugh makes me laugh.
4. My favorite part is my verbal smackdown of HMan.
Highfive to HMan’s camerawork!
Let us know what you think.
PS: If my hijab ever fell off, I now hope you would know how to help me with it, if necessary.