Tuesday, July 15, 2003

hey, i take breaks as a career, okay?

I was laughing at the messages on my tagboard yesterday. sHe posted, “um, Yasmine? It seems u have exams or tests every time. DO U EVER GET A BREAK????? U MAD, MAD, GEEKY WOMAN, give urself a breakkkk; sit back and relax!” [btw, I added in the commas, cuz I’m obsessive-compulsive like that. ;)] I’ve also been accused of “loving studyin’ so much, I’ve forgotten what breaks are” (thanks, Usman bro. lol). Not to mention the various digs by Sana, Sahar, and Mani. <--[heh, I guess this is the Yaz way of doing random plugs. Deal.]

Let me clear things up a bit for those of you who seriously believe that all I do is spend my days in the university library, madly studying away. Take yesterday for example: After four hours of sleep the night before, I went to my 8 a.m. class and b.s.’ed my way through an essay exam. After that, I wandered over the library to check my emails and surf the net for a couple hours. Then I took a nap on the comfy chairs, and woke up when my afternoon class would have been halfway over already. I looked at my watch, briefly debated between screaming and cursing, or going back to sleep, and opted for sleep instead. An hour later, I sat out in the sunny courtyard and ate my sandwich, then sauntered down to a computer lab and checked out blogs instead of writing a twelve-page paper that’s due Thursday. On his way to the Sacramento airport to catch his evening flight for a business trip, my dad called to ask if I was up for meeting him for ice cream or coffee. I groaned at coffee, but agreed to the ice cream, so he picked me up from campus and he, Somayya, and I spent a nice time having interesting conversations about life, death, and ice cream. [Somayya is my partner-in-crime, in case you’ve forgotten. We’re cousins by default, friends by choice. It works out very nicely, masha’Allah.] My dad never fails to amuse. He and Somayya always end up having the most hilarious conversations in the most deadpan way, something I, unfortunately, can’t pull off. I don’t know how to keep a straight face when I feel like laughing my head off instead. *sigh* Ah well though. ‘s all good, yo.

My stupid Hotmail account and I are having issues these days. Even though my junk mail filter is set on “exclusive,” it still delivers junk mail to my inbox and maliciously sends important, real emails to my junk mail folder, or straight out deletes them. That’s soo messed up, I say. The last time I let Hotmail get to me, though, it freaked out everyone around me, so I’m just gonna ignore my email woes for now, and stick to Yahoo. At least Yahoo has interesting stories. For example: Yesterday I found an email in my inbox with the subject line, “This is not junk mail…please read…” I rolled my eyes, Suuuure, and almost pressed “delete,” but then I noticed that the name of the person who sent it was of Arab origin, which made me curious. Turns out they’re looking for an old classmate, a girl named Yasmine, about my age, who studied at the New English School (NES) in Kuwait. Hey, it’s not me. But interesting, nonetheless. Spread the word if you know her. lol.

Okay, so while I’m rambling away, I might as well add a story. Actually, not really a story; more like a reflection. I was driving home late the other night, blasting my radio and alternating between mentally making fun of and shaking my head in chagrin at all the cars on the road that needed their headlights replaced. [Btw, I’m going to do a whole post sometime this week about all the things that annoy or baffle me about other drivers. It might be kinda mean, so be prepared. Meanwhile, if you own a car, check to make sure your headlights are working, will ya.] Halfway home, I went around a sharp curve and my headlights illuminated a man standing at the side of the freeway, middle-aged, wearing a white t-shirt, his thumb held out in the usual hitchhiker’s plea. If it hadn’t been for the white shirt, I would have missed him, it was so dark. My first impulse was to slow down, to stop and ask if he was okay, if he needed use of my cell phone or a ride to a gas station. A split second later, I decided not to. It was eleven o’clock at night, on a dark, fifteen-mile stretch of freeway between the 680/80 interchange and the Benicia Bridge, the mountains on one side, marshland on the other, a stretch of freeway with minimal lighting, few cars, and no homes or gas stations in the vicinity. And if his car had broken down, I didn’t see one nearby, neither before or after the spot where he was standing at the side of the road. Which means he was a hitchhiker, I guess, although I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would want to engage in such an endeavor at a time like that.

So, yeah, I kept driving. I still had thirty miles to go before I reached home, and the entire way I went back and forth over my decision. And I felt bad. All the reasons that kept me from stopping (late night; dark, empty roads…) were also reasons why I should have helped someone if he were stranded on a freeway at that hour. Maybe his car had broken down somewhere off the freeway, on one of those empty roads nearby, and so he had ventured out onto the freeway to hitch a ride. I dunno. If my car broke down on the freeway late at night, I would hope that someone would have enough kindness to stop and help me out. The thing is, I'm sure someone would, simply because I'm a girl, and I don't look threatening at all. And to be honest, the only thing that really kept me from stopping and helping him is the fact that I’m a girl. I hate the fact that, as a girl in a situation like that, I have to distrust a man who seemed to need help, that I have to second-guess his intentions and refuse to help him, against my better judgement. Dammit. It’s really bugging the hell out of me, even though it's been several days. I hope he was okay though, insha’Allah.

Soo…I gotta go make some progress on this twelve page paper. Which requires research. Which I don’t want to do. So maybe I should just take another break. ;) But I don’t think that would be a great idea. Fi aman’Allah, y’all, and send some du’as my way.