First off I want to apologize if this comes out somewhat jarbled, I’m still kind of in shock that this happened (ok not really, even in a super liberal city like Seattle as a Muslim Indian with an Ostomy bag who also has serious anxiety and depression issues; I’ve encountered plenty of discrimination). Still it always hurts when it does and after I write this blog post I’ll be off to the gym (even though it’s almost midnight) for at least three hours getting my mind off of it. Anyway! Onwards with the story!
So I’d been talking to this 24 year old girl (we’ll call her PLU Peer Counselor, I think the name is pretty self-explanatory for why I chose it) for a few weeks, probably started about a week before I left for Toronto. She seemed pretty great, we texted quite a bit and I really felt like this could be a good girl for me. There were a couple major red flags (won’t go into detail but I almost decided to stop talking to her), but I figured I should at least give her a chance because she seemed like a pretty cool girl and I was really attracted to her. She flaked on me once but had a good reason (school financial stuff, totally understand) and we setup a date for this evening. She lives all the way in Tacoma so I set the date up at this crappy (no offense to them) little bar called the Hitchin Post Saloon in Federal Way (meeting her halfway). I was actually about 30 minutes late (told her beforehand) because I had a few new modeling contracts to sign for next week’s shoot, when I let her know she said “No problem ;)”.
Now… I’d never been to the Saloon before and I have to be honest it was not that great of a bar. However it didn’t seem utterly horrible (and the staff was pretty cool) and we got there about the same time, so I said fuck it; too late to change venues now! Immediately she started acting a bit strange, I told her she looked “bomb” and she just made it really awkward from there. We get to the counter and she orders a beer (I tell her that I don’t drink, she asks if I mind if she does; obviously it doesn’t matter to me, bars are just relaxed atmospheres so I prefer them for first dates). We start chatting but something seems a little bit off, she makes a reference to the bomb thing again and I say “Jeez you’re really not gonna give me a break on that the whole night are ya”, she says “Well as long as you don’t HAVE ANY BOMBS on you haha” (excuse me WTF DID YOU JUST SAY?). I point out in a calm tone that the comment was a bit racist but I play it off like it doesn’t bug me, she asks me “Oh I’m sorry are you Middle Eastern?” “I thought you were Italian!!!” (with a name like Salim? Lolwut?), the whole Middle Eastern remark made it even more racist to be honest but I kept chatting with her, I told her I wasn’t Arab and she guessed literally every race other than African American and White (and Indian of course, which is what I am); I told her I was East Indian and Muslim and my parents were from Africa and her face literally fell and she was just like “Oh………………………..”.
From here things got even more weird and awkward, she basically stopped talking except to answer questions and the vibe was really strange; I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I paid for her beer and said we should move to a booth, thinking maybe she was just nervous/anxious sitting at the bar or something. All the booths were taken, so we moved to another table, we chatted a little more and she starts saying things like “Maybe I shouldn’t be dating right now”, “it’s just not a good time for me” (which is weird because this girl seemed DEAD SET on finding a relationship, she told me she’d been stood up by one guy and then had commitment issues from another guy that just wanted to keep having sex with her, while she wanted a relationship from him). ß This was one of my red flags, it sounded like she still had feelings for one guy, plus who the fuck wants to hear about some guy trying to get you to give him a blowjob? What the fuck honestly? Both guys sounded White from the names she gave me but hey, I dunno for sure.
She suggested a change in venue, like the Commons (which is a mall with a theater), I say “Ok” and go to use the restroom to empty my bag real quick. I come back and put my arm on her back GENTLY to say let’s go and she literally JUMPED LIKE A FOOT IN THE AIR! (Ok not a foot but she did jump a fair bit), we go outside and she asks where I want to meet, I say “Why… don’t we just take one car?” It’s weird that she feels the need to take two cars when we’ve already met and clearly I’m normal and not a crazy person (I understand being cautious, it wasn’t so much the taking of two cars as how she was SAYING she wanted to take two cars). I tell her to step over to the side with me and say in a very calm and rational tone that if she’s not “feeling it” and there’s no chemistry then she can just be honest so we don’t waste anymore time; she starts beating around the bush and what not and I literally say in the calmest tone ever “Relax :D, it’s totally fine I’m not one of those guys who gets butthurt about rejection, just let me know and then we can both be on our way”, I have my hands in my pockets as I’m saying this, and I’m sorry to use this language but this FUCKING BITCH has the nerve to ask me to TAKE MY HANDS OUT OF MY POCKETS! I don’t immediately put the race thing together and I ask her what the issue is, she tells me I might “have a weapon on me”, what the fuck? Right because I’m colored? Or maybe it’s because I “blow shit up” because I’m Muslim right?
At this point I leave because I’m just done with her shit, she tries saying good night and walks into me for a hug and I rebuff her advance and say nothing (there’s no reason to even waste anymore breath on a person like that). The entire drive home I was clenching my fist and I hate to say it… I almost felt like crying (if you think I sound like a wuss, fuck you; you have no idea what I go through on a daily basis). As I’m driving I keep wondering how many times this has been the issue through my dating life, how many times it’s been the fact that my skin is Brown and not White? How many times has it been the fact that my religion is Islam and my name is Salim? How many times has it been that I have to wear a bag on my stomach and I’m not fully healthy? It really starts to hurt me because I look back at a lot of dates and potential relationships and I start to see the same patterns (just in a different context).
So now I’m feeling all down and stuff and I remember something my Dad told me, “Son, no matter what this world takes from you, NEVER lose your pride and your dignity!” I realize it doesn’t matter that people aren’t into me because of the color of my skin or my religion, I don’t want those sort of people in my life anyway! Easier said than done of course but until that right person comes along I’m just gonna keep doing my thing, working out and working hard, pushing hard for my ambitions and doing whatever I can to help people with my experiences and knowledge!
Stay courageous my friends, much love to all of you!