Scribbles not Outlines 6 – Olympic Special

Sadly, I did not get to watch that much of the Olympics this year, as it was very selfishly taking place in the wrong time zone for me to watch it live. Edited highlights are just not as good.

Thankfully, this great oversight will be rectified in 2012, as I will not just be able to watch it on the tv at a proper hour but may also be to watch some events in person.

To all you non-U.K readers, I will let you in on a little secret: The country as a whole is absolutely petrified about hosting the next Olympics.

Our bid was a load of hot air and blagging and we don’t really have that much money. Plus, the city of London is an infrastructural nightmare and we are very bad at building things 1) Within budget 2)To schedule. I think the fact that our main rivals for the bid were the French, led to it becoming a big “We can’t possibly lose to them”- fest and we just said anything to convince the judges.

Such fears are not helped by the fact that Beijing have just held the biggest and most expensive Olympics ever and we’re worried ours will look like a school sports day in comparison.

At least we have some decent athletes. It was a pleasant surprise to finish in the top 5 of the medal table, almost as pleasant as asking Mr Outlines if his country had won any medals yet (His country have actually only won three Olympic medals – ever).

Our football teams may be less successful, but one tournament would could have held not embarrassed ourselves at would be the World Cup. Considering we have arguably the best football stadia in the world (a fact which is admittedly is due to very tragic reasons.) and are well used to dealing with’exuberant’ football fans, hosting the World Cup would be a very low effort profile/tourism boost.

Anyway, time for my Olympic highlight. Very long time readers may know that I prefer spangles to sweat and so for me, the individual final of the Women’s Rhythmic gymnastics was a must see. I do not care if some people think it is not a proper sport, some people are just miserable kill joys.

For many spectators, the Olympics are a chance to relive their childhood sporting dreams. I must confess that, despite being a spectacularly ungainly child, I spent many hours prancing around the garden with a ribbon on a stick.

I love the fact that rhythmic gymnasts, unlike their artistic counterparts look like they’ve been allowed to reach puberty. Also there’s the costumes. Here,  the key concept is WWBMD? or What Would Bob Mackie Design? (For those who don’t know who Bob Mackie is, think Cher in lots of sequins)

To illustrate my point I give you just one of the shimmering outfits worn by Aliya Yussupova:

Shoddy wordpress won’t let me insert it, so here’s a link instead.

Oreo has decided to start doing some gymnastics of his/her own, which mainly seems to involve a lot of kicking!

N.B

I love Bob Mackie’s designs really I do. Whenever someone asks me “What do you wear under that?” or, “So what you wear at home when you don’t wear your headscarf?” I always want to reply; “Bob Mackie, darling”.

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Oreo biscuits and bizzare baby dreams

One of the upsides of pregnancy is really detailed and very odd dreams. I’ve been insulting people in very poor French, working as a secret agent, a vampire, and last night consumed a massive buffet of sweets, all from the comfort of my own bed.

One of the most vivid dreams I had involved the baby being born, which was great and then we took the baby to meet Mr Outlines’ relatives. So far, so good, I’m there on my very best behaviour pulling my most convincing demure-good-girl-not-like-those-bad-western-girls-you-hear-about-honest face when someone turns to me and says “I hear you’ve decided to call the baby Oreo, after the biscuits”.

“What?! NOOO!” I scream and to the horror of the assembled relatives, I have a massive temper tantrum, the kind where you bring your fists up and kneel on the floor with rage.

I woke up and my first words to my husband were, “Don’t call the baby Oreo”. Since then, that’s been the baby’s nickname.

I am aware that Oreo has another meaning see here (warning: links to Urban Dictionary, so some of the  definitions may be highly offensive.), related to racial perceptions, which brings me to the fact that baby Oreo will be mixed race, insha Allah. Racialicious is one of my favourite blogs and lately, they’ve been doing a lot of features on mixed race identity, which has really got me pondering.

Genetics are highly unpredictable. I am super-duper only slightly darker than an albino pale with blue eyes, my family are all pretty similar. Mr Outlines is olive skinned. He looks Arab, but for many western people, looking Arab means dressing like a Saudi and being in the vincity of a camel, so they often think he’s Spanish or Greek. He’s in the midpoint as far as skin colour goes in his family. It makes me sad that what colour Oreo comes out as, will affect his/her life.

I don’t write this to sound colour struck, I honestly don’t care, I just want a healthy baby, insha Allah. I’m the sort who’s into forward planning and I want to be ready, insha Allah. I grew up white, in a majority white country, likewise Mr Outlines grew up within the racial (and religious) majority in his country. For us, childhood racism happened to other people, we don’t have those experiences. Oreo may have very different experiences and I don’t want to be one of those white parents who go “Oh don’t be silly, people aren’t racist, you’re just being too sensitive”. I guess a key staring point is to ensure that Oreo feels comfortable with both sides of their heritage and sees how Islam is a unifying factor and how it relates to the other areas of your life.

I know several people reading this are in interracial marriages and have mixed race children, so I’d love to hear your opinions on this.