So I met this conservative Muslim family while up here in Seattle and a couple weeks ago I saw the dad in the cafeteria here at Microsoft.
Now my first instinct was to panic because the way I dress when I’m on my own is very different from how I dress around my more culturally conservative network of friends and family. So my fear was that he would mention something to his wife and the next thing I know I would be getting a call from my mother about the fact that I’m wearing short-sleeved shirts.
As it turns out, Mr. Dad was having a lunch meeting with a female coworker. Since their table was next to a large table of men, I totally didn’t notice that. (Not that I would have minded if I did). He, however, was worried that I would misunderstand the fact that he was having lunch alone with an Indian woman.
So the two of us were so worried that the other would notice our break from cultural norms that we didn’t even notice what the other person was doing!