23rd November 2011 - 4 mins read
My dearest readers, I welcome you with open arms.
I want to start off today’s post by sharing an excerpt from the opening of the Sex and the City novel by Candace Bushnell. As you know by now, this blog is very heavily inspired by the idea of the show, but I actually have never read the book and decided to do exactly that. Simultaneously, I have started watching the show all over again to see how much of it matches with what I’m doing. And I’m glad to say that I’m definitely on the right track.
In getting an offer to run her own column in the New York Observer,Candace opens her novel by saying: “I had no idea how I was going to pull off this column, but I was convinced that it should somehow be about me and my friends - a group of single women all of whom seemed to have had never-ending series of freaking and horrifying experiences with men (and sometimes with the same men). We spent hours discussing our crazy relationships, and came to the conclusion that if we couldn’t laugh about them, we’d probably go insane. I suppose that’s why Sex and the City is such an unsentimental examination of relationships and mating habits. Although some people find its lack of sentiment and cruel humor disturbing, it’s probably only because the book contains some kind of universal truth. Although the column was originally meant to pertain specifically to New York City, I’ve found that there are variants of these Sex and the City characters in most large cities around the world. I still haven’t decided whether or not that’s scary.”
I saw myself in every single word of that excerpt. In fact, I can’t believe how identical it is to my own life and my own words. It was comforting to see that I had the right idea with the blog and basing it off the show. And while the events do not transpire in the same way, the intention of both is exactly the same: Trying to understand why my friends and I, who are great girls, seem to find ourselves single and entangled in the most bizarre of all scenarios you can imagine.
Now, why am I sharing this with you? Many of you have told me that you see so much of yourselves in my blog and further, in my tweets. Everything I write about whether on the blog or on Twitter is through a personal experience of mine, which is why it feels so real. But what you don’t realize is that in that reality is a universal truth. While my friends and I may face somewhat different experiences than what you go through, our reality as human beings is the same. I have always believed that human beings across different cultures in different age groups of diverse backgrounds have more in common than they do differences. Yes, age, social and cultural factors contribute to your day-to-day experiences and thoughts, but at the end of the day, as human beings, we share the same core. From the most basic to the most sophisticated, advanced needs, we share more of a correlation than a distinction. And the biggest proof of that is that whether you or a girl or a guy, whether you are married or single, Arab or not, 55 or 15, you often see yourself in my words.
Then there’s the mystery. While you may not be able to picture where I am, what I look like or how I act in reality, the fact that I am anonymous is the biggest reason you relate to me. At a glance, that makes no sense. But think about it. Since you know very little about what defines me in terms of external appearance, you know so much about me in terms of what goes on inside my head. You are capable of stripping down the stereotypes, the prejudice, the assumptions and seeing me for my true essence as a human being just like you. The minute you know past that about me, your brain will automatically create associations that you will no longer be able to relate to. In addition, as an anonymous person you have no face for, you are able to connect with me on a raw, emotional level that gives you the excitement that drives you to come back for more, even if you have no real interest in the topics themselves. That kind of connection to someone is rare. There’s a reason why mystery sells and this I believe is exactly why.
I have emphasized over and over again that my stories have nothing to do with the Arab society and maybe through reading this post you will understand better why. Sure, some of the stories are based off of circumstantial social norms (like parental pressure for marriage) but every society has its own norms and mannerisms that define its daily behaviors. If you have noticed, my experiences are not like the girls from Sex and the City at all, mainly missing the core content of sex. Ultimately though, my stories are human and they connect to any culture, any society, any age and any time. What happens to you in the Arab society happens to people in the American, Asian, European, African and Russian societies alike, just maybe in a different format. And I hope everyone reading that understands this very well.
I’m not denying that I would love to one day publish the blog as a novel in my own name and get to meet all my great readers (I really do love you guys, you have no idea). And sure, maybe one day when I have nothing more to say, I will reveal myself. But until then, enjoy the experience!
Kisses and hugs,