Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
Sat Nam Readers!
|Me in my turban|
So here’s the thing. I work in a small office in a very small town, in Canada’s relatively isolated North. My co-workers are generally awesome people. Since becoming visibly a Sikh, most of them have reacted in just the way I had hoped – by treating me no different than ever before.
My most senior colleague, let’s call him Don, is a well respected lawyer. He’s salt of the earth and a typical Alberta farm boy. He says the wrong thing about women a lot but he’s got a heart of gold when you get to know him. Also, when you get to know him you realize he doesn’t mean most of what he says, he’s just sometimes… awkward. Don has a lovely wife, we’ll call her Kate. Kate grew up in a family of boys in Alberta farm country as well. She loves shoes and Las Vegas, she’s funny when she wants to be and she’s a dedicated runner.
Several times a month I get the pleasure of joining Don and Kate for a coffee, whenever our schedules match up. Since I began wearing the turban though, it’s become awkward with Kate. She refers to my turban at least once every time we meet and the references are becoming more and more of an issue for me. A few examples:
“Oh well, that just looks like a hat.”
“Oh well (she uses this phrase as a segue a lot), you could put a big broach on it. Then you would just look like Princess Grace.”
“I’m going to buy you a big broach for that, then you can go around saying “Oh darling”, like Princess Grace.”
“You could wear a broach on that and no-one would ever know you were whatever, they would think you were just being Princess Grace.”
For those of you who are too young to remember Princess Grace, let me fill you in. Grace Kelly was an American actress. She married Prince Rainier III of Monaco and became Princess Grace. She was a beautiful woman. She passed away in 1982 of a stroke.
She sometimes wore very elaborate hats, which was not unusual for her time among the fabulously wealthy and fashionable set. You can see one of her hats in the picture below. It looks lovely on her though I can’t say I would choose it for myself even in the days before I wore a turban.
|Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III|
|Princess Grace on the cover of People magazine|
She also sometimes wore hats that have some similarities to turbans. In fact she had a People magazine cover where she’s wearing a white, turban-like hat. You can also see that picture below.
I’ve never seen a picture of Princess Grace in a turban with a large broach on it. I’ve never known Princess Grace to walk around saying “Oh Darling” to people in a slow drawl. I think Kate is confusing Princess Grace with Marlene Dietrich, seen below in a turban-like head scarf with a broach on it. Marlene, also a beautiful woman at the height of fashion for her day, was famous for her drawl and also famous for her bling and head covers.
The point is this. My turban is not a fashion statement. It is a part of who I am and it’s not a joke. The statements that Kate has made are… well go back and notice how often she uses the minimizing word “just”. The statements show that she has no appreciation for the significance of my turban. She sees it as a thing that can and maybe should be disguised… I have no idea why.