Today, I got see a few of my Saudi students without their veils. The women had a private party–no men allowed. Windows were covered, doors blocked off, signs of no admittance posted. They wore pretty dresses, make-up, jewelry, and they prepared special food and they danced. I missed the dancing, but I got to see their hair.

They were stunning. It is quite an effect–to see someone covered and veiled for months, and then to see their figures, bits of leg, and hair. A few of them I did not recognize. And I did not try to be cool. My hand went to my heart. “Wow. You are beautiful.”

They smiled–real smiles–and said thank you. They were gracious and polite, though what did they think of my American reaction and my very taken-for-granted hair.

While I would not want to live covered as they do, how must it feel to be able to stun someone with your hair. How do their husbands feel to see this hair tumble from its hiding place. It is quite an electric effect.

Think of when the wall-flower mousey girl gets a makeover and turns shocked heads when she walks into the room. It is like that, but more than that.

One day a few years back, I went to a wedding with a coworker. We got lost and arrived too late to see the ceremony. We stood in the church lobby, and we peered through the crack between the doors. Then we got lost on the way to the reception, and we I missed the exit we needed, I banged my hands in the steering a cussed something of a blue streak–me in my lovely dress, hair done, lipstick and everything, in a fury. My coworker was stunned. He had no idea I was capable of such language–and he was impressed.

But I think it is good to act out of character once in a while–to reveal a side we show only a very few.

Afterwards I admit I’m a mixture of embarrassed and pleased.And you thought you had me figured out…ha! but Oh, I probably shouldn’t’ve done that.

What have you done that is out of character?

3 thoughts on “undercover

  1. [So good to see you here. Even with the danged annual snowfall. :)]

    Back in NJ, my family and friends have (or just had?) a nickname for me: “One-Step.” They used this only rarely. It’s short for “one step beyond…,” a phrase which someone always muttered, shaking his/her head, after I’d pursued a joke to some surreal and often sick and/or shocking level. Some conversations establish such a crazy-stimulating rhythm, y’know, and sometimes I’d get all wound up, lost in that pace, and fail to put the brakes on.

    It was actually pretty funny, but I got used to not catching it just in time — that instinct to push the envelope. It was the sort of thing which would wear out fast.

    Down here, I don’t think I’ve ever shown that “one-step” side, not even once. With just The Missus, maybe. Probably keeping it under wraps to a fault. The first time my guard drops in the right situation, with the right people, it’ll quite possibly bring the conversation to a screeching halt. And I’ll never be invited to another cotillion (or whatever it 21st-century counterpart), ha.

  2. I think if a person does something, then it’s not “out of character.” It may be a rare or even 1-time event, but if it’s not in the character, then a person doesn’t think to do it. Know what I mean? 🙂

  3. Yes! If a person does something, it’s not “out of character”. It can only be different from the way other people expect that person to behave. So people are surprised when I dance or shout. They think it’s out of character, but it isn’t. It’s just that they don’t know what my character is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s