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she’s nothing like me

September 18, 2013

Have I mentioned how much I disliked school? This is mostly because I was super skinny and had frizzy hair and kids were mean to me.

You’re probably thinking, “Cry me a river Ameena. It was like decades ago. Time to move on.”

Yes I should move on. And yet, my scarred psyche must analyze for a second, if for no other reason than to help me get to my point (which I assure you is below).

At Fig & Olive (one of my favorites!): Gazpacho, Crabcakes + Poached Eggs, Crostini, Pot de Creme, and Granola

At Fig & Olive (one of my favorites!): Gazpacho (me), Crabcakes + Poached Eggs (Ali), Crostini (Maya), Pot de Creme (Ali), and Granola (Ali)

  • Elementary School : We moved to a new neighborhood where I knew nobody. My teacher went by Dr. B and was scary. A little kid started calling me Amino Acid. I hid out in the library as much as possible.
  • Jr. High School : I stupidly decided to have principles and refused to let some kid copy my homework. He made my life miserable by shoving me into the lockers every chance he got. I hid out in the library as much as possible.
  • High School : My hair got frizzier. I got even taller and skinnier. I had braces and my sister’s hand-me-downs. Every day I had heart palpitations about who to sit with at lunch. The one plus? The library was huge! I spent as much time there as possible.
  • College : I moved into an apartment at school. A neighbor took pity on me, introduced me to a blow dryer, and showed me how to use a brush. Aside from a roommate who kept stealing my food things were good! And then after spending one particularly fun evening studying at the library I was mugged at gunpoint.  (How’s that for irony?)
Maya in her new pink jacket, at Fig and Olive, fearless Maya walking to her first day of school, Maya and Ali at PJ Clarke's.

Maya in her new pink jacket, at Fig and Olive, fearless Maya walking to her first day of school, Maya and Ali at PJ Clarke’s.

The good news: The working world is 100 X better than school. Love it. Wouldn’t go back to school if someone paid me.

The other good news? I’m finally ready to make my point, and it is this:

That Maya, despite being brought up by a clearly maladjusted mother, loves her new school, already has lots of friends, loves her teacher and her after school program, and thankfully has good hair without the need for hot tools.

And all I can say is thank God that she’s nothing like me as a kid. Nothing.

83 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2013 12:14 am

    Oh I totally relate about hating school AND frizzy hair. Unfortunately I cant relate to the skinny issue though LOL. Good for Maya, lots of luck to her in her new school
    *kisses* Heavenly

    • September 18, 2013 7:47 pm

      You have great hair HH…I’ve seen it in person so I know. 🙂

  2. glamorous glutton permalink
    September 18, 2013 12:28 am

    Gun point! My life at. School seems very dull by comparison. Good luck to Maya in her new school. GG

    • September 18, 2013 7:47 pm

      Thanks GG…she’s doing great in her new school. 🙂

  3. September 18, 2013 12:32 am

    School! I hated it too! I was always the one who didn’t belong to any group. Nobody knew what to do with me.

    Difference is celebrated in adulthood – but kids? Ask them NOT to conform and see what happens.

    Maya – bless! On the verge of being miss popular already. And why not? Popularity is half the battle…..

    • September 18, 2013 1:22 am

      I’m so sorry Ameena for all those horrible times:( for once nothing is remotely funny about your post.
      Maya is beautiful because her mother is beautiful. You are one super super cool mum. Love the way you dress and Maya gets her good taste from her Mum as Well:)

      Cool pair. I am happy that Maya us happy and that makes you happy:)
      Stay blessed beautiful mum. I am sure those meanies are unhappy and will continue to be unhappy

    • September 18, 2013 1:23 am

      Well said:)

    • September 18, 2013 7:50 pm

      Such great comments…thank you Maha and Razwana…

      Razwana – Very well said. Nobody knew what to do with me either. The Indian kids didn’t really want to hang out with me. The non-Indian kids didn’t either. Popularity is certainly half the battle. Sad but true.

      Maha – You always say the nicest things. I appreciate your comments! Thank you.

  4. September 18, 2013 1:46 am

    She’s happy, confident, well adjusted. Congratulations on a parenting job well done! Give yourself a pat on the back. (My eldest just started school and she’s coping better than me – all that socialising at the school gate is not my forte!)

    • September 18, 2013 7:52 pm

      Thank you WM…I appreciate your confidence in my parenting abilities.

      I actually don’t mind the socializing at the school gate. Thankfully the parents here are unbelievably nice and welcoming so far!

      Wishing you lots of luck coping…

  5. Lydia permalink
    September 18, 2013 6:32 am

    I hated middle school but I loved high school and college, those were the days! 🙂 Good for Maya, you go girl! Your hair looks great & longer in that picture. Love it.

    • September 18, 2013 7:52 pm

      So glad that you liked high school and college! That gives me hope that Maya will continue to love school as well…

  6. September 18, 2013 7:20 am

    I love this! School was hard for me as well at times, but I also loved it…you know, a few days out of the year. I’m glad Maya is enjoying school in NYC and has made friends, though I’m not surprised given her awesome personality and fabulous upbringing (just saying). Also, thanks for giving props to your old library. Libraries need all the compliments right now, as do bookstores.

    • September 18, 2013 7:53 pm

      I enjoyed a few days a year too…mostly around the holiday season, when I didn’t have to go to school. 🙂

      Thank you such a nice comment. Sorry school was hard for you too my friend. 😦

  7. September 18, 2013 7:25 am

    Even if school was a while ago, I think we’re still shaped by what we experience. I don’t remember much of elementary school, but my middle school years were the worst of my life and they’ve definitely affected me! I’m so glad Maya’s enjoying school (no small part due to you, even if you don’t think so! 🙂 ).

    • September 18, 2013 7:54 pm

      Sorry middle school was so rough for you Jessie! We are definitely shaped by what we experience, as you can see from my post dwelling on something that happened SO long ago!!

  8. September 18, 2013 7:39 am

    So glad Maya is settling in so quickly. Kids are resilient. So are adults. I think you’re settling in well, too! 😉

    • September 18, 2013 7:54 pm

      I’m settling in great Fran! Especially because I don’t have to go school. 🙂

  9. September 18, 2013 8:16 am

    Wow. Sounds like you had it rough. Why are kids so mean? And being mugged? Oh my goodness. I’m glad Maya hasn’t had to experience any bullying in school. I was not one of those popular kids in high school and I was teased by a few mean girls in middle school but never really bullied. I shudder at the thought of what it’s like to go to school these days.

    • September 18, 2013 7:55 pm

      I’m glad you weren’t bullied…I guess it’s far more common these days. I just hope that Maya doesn’t have to go through it (although I know it’s likely she will at some point).

  10. September 18, 2013 8:28 am

    I don’t think you would have turned out as lovely as you did if you didn’t have to struggle a bit. And? We would have been friends – it turns out that I was a bit of a geek myself. And my daughter is nothing like me. 🙂

    • September 18, 2013 7:56 pm

      So nice of you to say that I turned out lovely!

      We would have definitely been friends back then, especially since we are friends now!

  11. September 18, 2013 8:40 am

    Kids these days are nothing like those of us who grew up “back in the day.” I’m torn about that to be honest. In a way, it’s great that they are less likely to be tormented but I think those experiences build character.

    • September 18, 2013 7:57 pm

      I think experiences build character as well..but there is a fine line between character building and character destroying (if that makes any sense?).

      • September 19, 2013 1:23 pm

        True! I guess I was referring to my childhood escapades. Not always easy but helped make me who I am today. 🙂

        And honestly, it’s hard to imagine you as being awkward! You seem so classy. Ha!

  12. Taking On Magazines permalink
    September 18, 2013 9:03 am

    Since I went to five different grammar schools, I don’t remember much in the way of how kids treated me. I wasn’t at any long enough for it to matter. I do know that I hated, detested and couldn’t stand high school. I was the kid eating moussaka all by herself in the corner. Dudette, like Maya, seems to be dodging my bullets. She’s been at her school for three years straight now (woo hoo), and loves it. Even more better, she doesn’t care what other kids think of her. She just lives life. I wish I could have done that.

    • September 18, 2013 7:58 pm

      I have a visual of you eating moussaka by yourself and I’m feeling very sad for you! I was eating my daal and rice in the corner by myself so I can relate.

      Glad your daughter loves school and is adjusted with no problem. I wish I could have done that too.

  13. seana permalink
    September 18, 2013 9:31 am

    You brought back my bad school memories. My maiden name was Walker. This kid used to tell me to go Walk my dog. That made me cry. Another kid made me do his homework or he’d beat me up and push me into a snowbank.. I cried. Luckily I was smart and ended up doing his homework. The first time I rode a bus to school, they dismissed all walkers. My last name was Walker, so I left. There were no buses in the parking lot. I cried. This is only K-3rd grade. School didn’t get any better after this.

    • September 18, 2013 7:59 pm

      They made fun of the name Walker? What on earth?

      I cried my way through school too Seana…no joke. Just ask my mom. She still talks about it and I’m 37.

      I feel your pain my friend. 😦

  14. September 18, 2013 10:48 am

    sometimes, its a good thing! 🙂 I was an awkward skinny tall friendless school goer too.. definitely not my favorite days! Maya is so adorable and so glad she is going through school with such ease!

    • September 18, 2013 8:00 pm

      Thanks for the nice words about Maya Archana! So sorry you were as awkward as I was…definitely not a good time for either of us.

  15. September 18, 2013 11:09 am

    Well it looks like Ameena today is more than compensating for the past :)! I’m glad Maya has settled in so well…she seems to have grown up so much in recent pictures! She is looking as lovely as her mamma!

    • September 18, 2013 8:00 pm

      Thank you Khushboo…so nice of you to say so! 🙂

  16. Med permalink
    September 18, 2013 11:39 am

    Why are kids so mean!? Moving schools was not easy. 😞 Heart palpitations about who to sit with at lunch 😞 I wish schools would try to help with issue. When I started at penninsula they had some programs to help new students, cross-country also helped. Maya is a lot like you! She loves reading and cleanliness!

    • September 18, 2013 8:01 pm

      I wish I knew why kids were so mean! I too wish schools focused a bit more on the issue but I understand that they have their hands full just teaching.

      Good point about Maya loving to read and clean! I don’t mind that she has those qualities from me. 🙂

  17. September 18, 2013 12:14 pm

    I am sorry you had a rough time in school. We always wish better things for our children and I am so glad it worked out that way for maya. Btw, your hair looks beautiful.

    • September 18, 2013 8:02 pm

      Thank you ELB…so nice of you to say. And yes, I am so glad it worked out that way for Maya!

  18. September 18, 2013 1:49 pm

    That’s fantastic that Maya is loving school! Haha I used to hide out in the library too. So glad those days are over!

    • September 18, 2013 8:03 pm

      I still hide out in the library, but more because I love it and love to read. 🙂 And the NYPL isn’t a bad place to spend an afternoon. 🙂

  19. September 18, 2013 4:49 pm

    I had those school days too. Was too skinny, too tall and had bad skin, at least I didn’t have to hide out anywhere, it was an all girls school 🙂 On the plus side (like you) I am still skinny and yaay we win!
    Maya is pretty kid and so glad to hear she is doing great at school, it’s certainly a big deal-new school, new friends.

    • September 18, 2013 8:03 pm

      Yes…I am glad to have the skinny part (although it’s a bit more work now) but I wouldn’t mind being an inch or two shorter…must say. It would open up a whole new world of shoes for me! LOL

      • September 19, 2013 4:59 pm

        I know just what you mean about the shoes, it feels really weird to wear heels cause I just seem too tall and too umm.. ungraceful!

  20. September 18, 2013 7:44 pm

    Better watch out…she just might grow up to be intelligently snarky….and then she might be more like you then you think, of course, this is coming from someone who thinks snarkiness is a highly underrated virtue.

    • September 18, 2013 8:04 pm

      I kind of agree…I do hope that Maya has a bit of a sarcastic streak. And the fact that she puts things in air quotes? Has me hoping she’s headed in the right direction. 🙂

  21. September 18, 2013 11:18 pm

    Oof, I identify. Elementary school conjures up recess spent alone with books or imaginary horses. My high school was a cool artsy place I got on well in, but then college was an awkward time while being surrounded by preppy people who liked to “party”-a concept I still don’t quite get…

    • September 22, 2013 4:18 am

      I am having trouble with that concept as well…preppy people who like to party? Very interesting.

      • September 22, 2013 10:14 pm

        By “party” I mean drinking lots of beer. Bad beer. At frat houses and such. Although that type of party transcends the preppy population, I guess.

  22. Shauna permalink
    September 19, 2013 12:42 am

    I can echo your words completely, couldnt pay me to go back to school. School before college that is. I hated it so much. The distractions, the nonsense, the crap. College was great. I’m so happy to hear Maya is doing so well and has confidence. It sounds like she is confident because she’s happy and that’s the best kind to have. Love to see you all looking so radiant. Just love you Ameena. Take care,

    Shauna xoxoxo

    • September 22, 2013 4:19 am

      I’m glad you liked college! It was definitely the best of all evils but the working world is SO much better. Love it.

      And thanks for the compliment, as always Shauna!

  23. September 19, 2013 2:07 am

    I was an awkward, geeky and apparently a ‘miss know it all’ at school. I did not want to be any these things! 1st-7th Grade were hell for me – I was bullied and like you I hid in the library! Turned into a right old book worm. Would I want to re-live those years? Heck yes! Just so because I would have the confidence to fight back and give just as good as I got!

    • September 22, 2013 4:20 am

      The good news is that we turned into bookworms and that’s not a bad thing, right?

      But I’m amazed you want to relive those years! I couldn’t do it again. Ever!

  24. September 19, 2013 10:19 am

    Aww, this post made me all weepy. So glad Maya has adjusted to a new school and is basically rocking it. And god I hope Little Man follows in Maya’s footsteps and not mine (I too loved the library) 🙂

    • September 22, 2013 4:20 am

      I bet you loved the library just because…not because you had to hide out there.

      You are far too well-adjusted to be like me. 🙂

  25. September 19, 2013 11:10 am

    I hated my frizzy hair in middle and high school, ick! Even when I had my hair in a ponytail!
    Amino acid? I’m surprised that an elementary school kid would even know that word!!

    • September 22, 2013 4:21 am

      Yes…that kid was a clever one. I think he went on to Harvard. Or so I heard!

  26. September 19, 2013 1:23 pm

    Oh Ameena, I had it rough too in middle school and all, and if I ever have a kid, I hope she’s nothing like me either. I’m glad you shared this.. Maya seems like a tough kid, she has no fear of meeting new people and she’ll go on to do great things in life People like her always do.

    I love Fig and Olive… wish it were closer to the west side. Oh well.. 🙂

    • September 22, 2013 4:21 am

      Maybe F & O can be our next meeting point? We can do it after JG’s restaurant.

      Looking forward to Friday!

  27. September 19, 2013 5:38 pm

    Hi Ameena, I’ve been WAY outta touch blogging and reading blogs and am just trying to restart. So busy! I have to say, even though it’s not funny, Amino Acid made me laugh out loud (I’m a scientist nerd, after all). And I figured you wouldn’t mind if I laughed now that you are so far over it. Glad Maya is adjusting well. Let me know if you ever want to meet up in the city. I’m 35 minutes to Penn. It would be fun to have lunch (once my puppy doesn’t need to eat midday, grrrr)

    • September 22, 2013 4:22 am

      I don’t mind at all. I actually admire the kid now – he was obviously so smart to know such a term in elementary school.

      I’d love to have lunch! Please let me know when Puppy is adjusted and we’ll meet up. Can’t wait.

  28. September 20, 2013 8:09 am

    AWWWW! i had a decent elementary experience but middle school was hard on me, then i loved high school but adored college even more. i am pretty lucky but i definitely had a couple rough yrs of torment from other b*tches…i mean girls haha 😉

    • September 22, 2013 4:23 am

      So sad that so many girls are so mean! But I’m sure there are good ones too…I just didn’t run into too many of those!

  29. September 20, 2013 10:38 am

    awww 😦 😦 I am so glad Maya is strong and ready to take on this world.

  30. September 21, 2013 12:12 am

    So glad Maya is happy and has made friends at school. It would be heartbreaking for you if any other way. As for school, I would not go back either! Although I didn’t have a really difficult time, I was more a sports nerd at school…I just enjoy life more now then before. By the way, your hair always looks great now, do you still do the Japanese straightening?

    • September 22, 2013 4:24 am

      Having a tough time at school was hard enough but my fingers are crossed I never have to watch Maya do it as well!

      I don’t do Japanese straightening anymore but I’m looking into the Brazilian straightening. My hair got really damaged last time due to the color factor so I’m no longer a candidate. I did it for a decade though and loved it!

  31. September 21, 2013 10:31 am

    Oh my goodness, I can see why you’re not a school fan! I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that! I wasn’t bullied a lot in school, but the few instances were enough. I’m happy to hear that Maya is adjusting well!

    • September 22, 2013 4:25 am

      I’m glad your experience was better than mine Liz! And I’m hoping Maya will be following in your footsteps!

  32. September 21, 2013 9:30 pm

    It’s funny, I had an amazing time at school and my kids just don’t for some reason. My youngest doesn’t enjoy school but he has has friends and enjoys them, my teens would rather sleep their life away.
    Sorry, for your terrible time at school at all levels! But am so glad Maya is doing really well. Young kids are amazing.


    • September 22, 2013 4:26 am

      I’m so sorry your kids aren’t thrilled with school! Must be so rough. I feel their pain.

      Sleep is one way to get through it. LOL

  33. September 22, 2013 5:36 am

    I hear you on the frizzy hair probs… It was a beautiful day when my friend introduced me to a hair dryer and straightener. But mugged at gunpoint, oh my gosh! Its funny how you never know what someone else has been through. Looking at you now (and your gorgeous hair!) I would never have guessed those things. Good to hear Maya adjusting well though 🙂

    • September 25, 2013 5:43 pm

      The hair dryer is my best friend. Right up there with Japanese Straightening! Which I can no longer do…scary.

      Thanks for the kind words Habiba!

  34. September 22, 2013 10:53 pm

    aah well ok ur school life in some ways does resonate with mine but hey the upside is that people who look tall skinny and braces owners etc grow up to be gorgeous human beings 😀 lol which you clearly have and have an amazing family 😀 and amazing sense of humor which is clearly evident on this blog. (Y)

    • September 25, 2013 5:43 pm

      Such a nice comment Eddie. Thank you for making me feel better!

      And yes, at 37 I obviously still haven’t gotten over it. 🙂

  35. September 23, 2013 1:18 pm

    Ameena! Im glad that the post ended on such a great note! Fizzy/oily hair is my middle name almost till high school – except unlike you i’d have oily hair 5 days of the week and super fizzy hair on the 6th day. Well now its more like 6 day fizzy and 1 day oily except when i try to tame it with the hair cosmetics/instruments ofcourse 🙂
    Someday ill share one of my school pics with you and you’ll end up holding your stomach for a while :D:D
    luckily – i was in a girls school and got to be school captain so noone aint messing with me – oh and i wasn’t anything close to skinny rofl…
    Your hair looks gorgeously tames in these pics 😀

    • September 23, 2013 1:19 pm

      oh and apologies for the typos. I was in too great of a hurry!

    • September 25, 2013 5:45 pm

      We should exchange school pics…I bet we’d be shocked at what each of us looked like!

      I’m glad that nobody messed with you! I wish I’d been school captain (which I assume is similar to school president?).

  36. September 23, 2013 4:25 pm

    You’re so beautiful and well-adjusted I don’t know if I believe this, I think Maya is like you (although bravo for no hair tools) and can imagine the relief you feel that she’s happy.

    • September 25, 2013 5:46 pm

      How sweet are you Lauren! But I trust you, I’m not making this up. Kids were mean. I’m still recovering.

  37. September 23, 2013 7:15 pm

    So happy to hear Maya is adjusting well to her new school. She will have that NY attitude in no time. 🙂 I am currently in school and can’t wait to break out in the working world. I want my days to end at 5 and be able to enjoy watching TV at home without feeling like I should be studying.

    We need to grab dinner the next time I’m in NYC! Take care.

    • September 25, 2013 5:47 pm

      I wish I could say my work day ends at 5 but that rarely happens…still, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love working!

      Please let me know when you are here! I’d love to meet up.

  38. anecdotesandapples permalink
    September 24, 2013 5:33 pm

    You know I had frizzy hair too! School was rough…and I must agree that being out in the real world is so much better. But I am so happy that Maya is loving it! I hope the same for Miss Lucille!

    • September 25, 2013 5:47 pm

      Lucille is a super cute name…congrats Monet! Here’s hoping neither of our daughters ever get frizzy hair. 🙂

  39. November 6, 2013 11:19 am

    Maya is beautiful – she looks so much older! Mashallah ❤

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