I was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps when Muna and I met. I was working at the US Embassy in New Delhi, India. She was attending college there.
We met at a party. She was hanging out with her friends; they were all drop-dead gorgeous … I mean BEAUTIFUL! These were not your typical pretty Black women; something was different about them. I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but I knew I hadn’t seen beauty like this back in my hometown of Denver.
I was young, dumb, and full (well, you know the rest,) so I wasn’t scared to strike up a conversation. Talking with the ladies, I learned that they were all from the African continent. There was Messai, from Ethiopia; Phyllis from Nigeria, and Hiba and Muna, both from Somalia. SOMALIA …
Muna and I started dating, and as she introduced me to her culture, I noticed something: All Somali women are beautiful.
I know this is a generalizing statement, and I shouldn’t stereotype people, but it’s true … whether they are 5 or 105, I have never seen an ugly Somali woman. And, I have never seen a Somali woman as beautiful as my Muna.
She never seems to age. With every passing year, I lose a little more hair on my head, and I gain a few more wrinkles on my face … meanwhile, she’s still looking like she did when we first met, over 16 years ago. I think it’s kind of cool, because people look at me like I’m the old-man-stud with the young hot mama. (They don’t know she’s actually a year OLDER than me!)
Today, Muna celebrates her birthday. I would tell you her age, but it doesn’t really matter, because she doesn’t look like she’s anywhere near it.
If I were home with her now, I imagine Taj and I would plan a nice evening for her. Maybe we would take her to dinner and present her with a nice gift. Then, I would say, “Happy Birthday, Nunu.” (Nunu means “baby” in Somali.) Later, I would do all of the things we normally fight about me not doing … I would do the dishes, I would stay up late and watch TV shows I hate (like American Idol,) and I would generally cater to her as best I could for the day. (Of course, when nightfall came, I’d offer a lil’ BOM-CHICKA-WAH-WAOW!)
But now, while I’m in the ‘stan, all I can really do is send her some flowers, along with this little megabyte of love on the world wide web.
To a great mother, my best friend, and the love of my life … Happy Birthday, Muna!