I want to wear a Niqab or Burqa to my son’s wedding…the wedding notices specify no dress code.
Editor’s Note: This is a true story. It is humor and not meant to offend those of the Muslim faith or their attire.
By Claudia Casser
Why do I want to? I’m vain, I’m fairly frugal, and I like level playing fields.
The first trait means that I’m horrified at my wrinkled, fallen, 65-year-old face and refuse to display it in its natural state where people will be taking pictures. The second trait means there’s no way I’m spending tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention weeks of pain, on getting a good face lift. Nor am I considering spending fewer thousands on getting some shorter-term, shoddier repair.
The third trait, however, is the kicker. Not diagnosed with Asperger’s until age 63, not knowing I was relatively face blind all those years, not knowing I was missing out not only on non-verbal communication but on the very identity of the people non-verbally communicating, I think it’s time I get to engage in social combat on more equal terms.
Oh-why do I view a wedding as a combat setting? I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain this to other Aspies, who know that all large social events are battles with ourselves and others that can overwhelm us under the best of circumstances. But to amplify for neurotypical readers, let me just add the fact that my ex-husband and his family will be there.
The ex-husband showed his true colors only after I completed my part of the contract I naively believed we made when I became pregnant with the son now getting married. I agreed to keep supporting the family as a corporate attorney while I was pregnant and for the next fifteen years until I turned 50, so he, a graduate of Georgetown Law School, could be the in-home parent and write a novel. (Or, as it turned out, sculpt.) Then he was supposed to take over as breadwinner with corporate-grade medical benefits, and I would get my turn to be the in-home parent and write my own long-planned book. Aspie to a fault, I persevered through a second pregnancy and cancer until I reached age 50, and then, as I thought we had agreed, I quit. Disaster ensued.
So, niqab or burqa? If I wear a niqab over my pretty summer dress, only my eyes will show, so (a) people will remember how I looked when they last saw me, which in most cases was years ago when I was considered attractive; and (b) people will have only my words by which to judge me, as I have only theirs.
Okay, I do understand that showing even my eyes gives neurotypicals something to work with, as does my body posture, but the wedding is in July, and I think the whole-body cover-up burqa might be hot and annoying to maneuver. Plus I haven’t seen any light-weight, attractive burqas online for sale (Pinterest did show a lovely lilac burqa, but I couldn’t find where it was sold). Per contra, there are reasonably-priced niqabs on Ebay in a range of pretty colors.
In short, I find the idea of wearing the niqab to the wedding both empowering, and sufficient to my needs for minimizing energy expended on rejuvenating my face and combating humans who outgun me. I don’t intend to eat at the reception, though I did contribute funds specially earmarked for food upgrades, so that’s not a downside for me. Moreover, the wedding is not following any of the “Emily Post” traditions with which my parents indoctrinated me (nobody even asked me, mother of the groom, about the guest list), and the wedding notices specify no dress code whatsoever.
So what rational objection could there be to my wearing a niqab or burqa?
Claudia Casser (firstname.lastname@example.org), a graduate of Harvard Law School, worked as an antitrust litigator and a corporate in-house counsel before retiring to write and raise her children. Claudia’s 2016 semi-comic coming of age novel, “No Child Left Behind,” celebrates neurodiversity. Visit her website at www.ethicalantics.com, and buy her novel on Amazon.