(Disclaimer: I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU AND I THINK MOTHERHOOD IS A WORTHY NOBLE PURSUIT xoxo Nicole)
I’ve always been interested in reading convert blogs and expat blogs. American Muslim expat convert blogs? Where do I sign up?! With one caveat. I’ve always had a natural aversion to two types of blogger- 1. the expat who thinks that somehow his or her experience in a given country is unique; and 2. those who define themselves specifically in terms of being what I call a “Married-To-Mama” and whose posts revolve around that. The second is really a subtype of the first in that golly gee wow, making babies and moving to your husband’s homeland is something NOBODY HAS EVER DONE BEFORE EVER ESPECIALLY NOT AMERICANS. There has to be something more to these people’s existence. Living abroad or marrying a brown dude isn’t enough for me because hey, I’ve done that too. NEXT!
And no, this isn’t the bitter childless (by choice, *ahem*) divorcee talking (ok only a little bit) but even though my old blog had a lot of “Married-To” elements and I talk about Algeria and Algerians A LOT, it was never from the point of view that I had exclusive information on what it was like to be “married to an Algerian.” I mean, some could argue that the ex was French *knee slap.* My aunt said on this vacation (see I am a good Muslim girl, I go on vacay with my AUNT for crying out loud) that I somehow have had a unique experience. To which I replied, “I’m special, just like everyone else.” And there are some “mommy” and “married-to” blogs I like. The common thread of those I like is that I also see the person behind the definitions- one mommy I know is into tech issues, another “married-to” I know is into participatory development, yet another “married-to” and I have a lot in common. And in the blogs I “hate”, it isn’t really the content that bothers me, it is the authors working from the point of view that they are the keymasters of expat living and multiculturalism. Have I “figured Switzerland out?” Oh hellz to the no. Am I, like Bourdieu, an expert *snort* on Kabyle houses? Most definitely not.
Probably what has me bristling is two blast from the past. For those of who who remember this post, the Baby Mama of the writer in question (who is surely thrilled that he continues to write and talk about me constantly as the focus of his “art”) defines herself solely as a mother which, as an aside, is the ONLY thing she has on me. This is in contrast to the tons of mommy bloggers I know who post and write about anything and everything under the sun. Secondly, some of these American expat blogs smack of what I saw as a student in the 90s in France- it always seemed like the Americans were on a race to have the most “French” friends, go to the most “authentic” local restaurant, make the transition to wearing black socks with sneakers (JOKING)…I don’t get why one person’s experience has to be more “real” than someone else’s, and I resent those who try to make it so.