Monday, November 29, 2010

Forced out of Silence

When I first decided that I wanted to marry a Pakistani, a lot of things went through my mind.

What if his parents don't like me?

What if I cannot understand the religion?

What if I can never learn the language?

How can I learn the language?

What if we don't have the same ideas about kids?

What if, what if, what if?

So, to figure out the answer to my questions, true to form, I Googled it. In my Google search I used lots of search terms, but "learn Urdu" or "Study Urdu" became frequent. As you can imagine, there are not a lot of places online that you can learn about Urdu for free. . . . .you can't even get Rosetta Stone for that language! I felt dejected, so I started typing in goofy stuff like, finally, "Urdu for Gories." "Gori" is the word that I found out my husband's family used to describe me. It means, basically the equivalent of "white girl," so I was typing, "Urdu for whities."

Anyway, up popped the Sometimes Sobia forums. Most of you are probably very familiar with Mrs. Sobia, but someone many years from now who stumbles on this blog looking for support with their own Pakistani may know nothing about her. Why? The forums are now closing.

It's a really sad day for me because I kind of credit the support I got there for keeping me from going completely nuts. By the time I found the forum my husband and I were neck deep in the most horrible parts of our long, sad story. By reading about Sobia and her husband, and their successful, Pakistani/American marriage. . .and even by reading about the not-so-successful Pakistani/American ventures . . .I was not alone. I knew that there were other people just as crazy and weird as my husband and I (or at least close to it.)

I was kept from total insanity by a pink floral print website. I was able to share pictures, and see pictures of families I will likely never meet in person. In real life, I've only met one family with a Desi husband and a white wife, and when that woman saw me across the crowded Verizon Wireless store, she shouted aloud. We never spoke, so I guess it doesn't count. Without "Sometimes Sobia" I would not know anyone, much less 10 people, who are the same as me. Now, that is not to say that everyone there is there for the reason I was there. In fact, I met people of all different nationalities married to people of the same background or completely different background, another aspect of that forum I will forever miss.

I will miss knowing and talking to people literally all over the world, every single day.