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Friday, May 29, 2009

Men who wear white socks and other pet peeves

So, I was having lunch with a friend last week at a trendy new cafe that just opened and as we started talking, we noticed our table was rickety. At first, none of us said anything, but then all the shaking back and forth was sooooo annoying, my friend called over the waiter and asked him to put something underneath the table leg to steady it. The guys on the next table thought it was hilarious we were making - in their approximation - a big deal of the shaky table. One guy said, "This is Lebanon, nothing works right." Hmmm, he may have a point, but I'm pretty sure he was talking about politics. Well, there may be no solution to the election drama we're all facing, but a rickety table? Damn straight we can get that fixed! And we did.

But that brought on a whole new conversation: pet peeves. My friend, Mr. Pet Peeve, gets annoyed by just about everything. During a telephone conversation, he interrupted himself and went on and on for nearly 15 minutes about how smudge marks on his new external hard drive were driving him crazy and how every time he picked it up, he had to wipe it clean. Well, we may not all be as anal as Mr. PP, but there is a whole list of pet peeves that we can certainly relate to. Mine is long and varying, but I've narrowed it down to the below.

1. Guys who wear white socks with dark shoes (except for with sneakers) - why, oh why? Is being color coordinated really that difficult??
2. Which leads me to ... guys who don't wear socks with shoes, especially in summer - one word: GROSS!
3. People who call you and after you've said hello, say hello back a million times before finally saying what they've called for.
4. Cars that cut in front of me, even though there are no other cars behind me, and then proceed to go at a snail's pace.
5. People that say 'you're welcome' before you've even said thanks.
6. That retarded commercial for skin bleach that insinuates being dark is like having dirt on your face (coming in a close second is that annoying as hell 'pasta from Pizza Hut' commercial).
7. Mexican/ Turkish soap operas dubbed in Arabic.
8. People who take the elevator to the first floor - how lazy can you be??
9. Lebanese traffic cops, who seriously have the mental capacity and manners of a cockroach!
10. Smudge marks on external hard drives - NOT!

Go ahead and add your own pet peeves in the comments section below! I'm sure that will be a very interesting list!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Strapped for cash

In order to relate to you the latest in a long series of embarrassing situations, I have to give you some background information - so bare with me! The other day, I went to withdraw cash and the ATM machine ate my card after three failed attempts at punching in my PIN. This was on a weekend, which meant that I had to wait until Monday before going back to the bank and getting my card and some much needed cash. I'm not usually such a bimbo, by the way. I have the original number written down, but it's not working so I guess I must've changed the PIN some time ago because now, for the life of me, I can't remember what it is. I'm usually pretty good at remembering crap like this, but you know, it happens - sometimes your forget the PIN for your ATM card and you're left with no cash over the weekend and forced to revert back to your high school days and borrow money from your parents (thanks mom and dad, will pay you back soon, promise!). Anyway, I digress...

Later that day, I stopped by the grocery store - pre-loan from the parents - thinking, no problem, don't need cash, will put groceries on my credit card. I forgot about the guy who carries the bags to your car and when he took my groceries and started walking with me to my car, I panicked. I was so flustered as to what I should do. I could've taken the groceries and said I can carry them myself, but I totally forgot I was cashless until he was already walking with me. I then asked myself, should I snatch the groceries from the guy and insist on carrying them myself at the risk of him thinking that I'm too cheap to tip him? Should I let him carry my groceries to the car and just tell him the honest truth, that I didn't have any cash? As I was wondering what I should do, I realized I was wasting time and getting closer and closer to my car, making option one now impossible. I took out my wallet and frantically started digging for one stray thousand lira bill that I hoped was tucked somewhere in between pictures of my niece and nephew and old credit card receipts. By this time, we were at my car and with each bag he placed in the trunk, my panic grew.

As he slammed the trunk shut, I opened the coin holder praying for some change ... and my prayers were answered. Hallelujah! I found nearly LL2,000 in coins, not ideal but better than nothing. I explained that I had no cash and apologized for tipping in coins (looked down upon in this neck of the woods). The guy was very pleasant and told me not to worry, no tip was necessary, but I insisted he take the coins, which he did. So, I traded in a huge embarrassing moment for an only slightly embarrassing moment. Not bad.

(PS Still haven't figured out my PIN and am still the cashless wonder of Beirut!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bluetooth and picking up boys

So apparently, I have been missing out on the greatest invention of the 21st (or 20th?) century: Bluetooth - aka the awesomely subtle yet effective tool of seduction. I was chatting with a male acquaintance of mine (a self-described jagal) and it seems Bluetooth + Flirting = True Love! Who knew? Certainly not me. Here I thought this new fangled, nifty technology was only good for transferring data from one Bluetooth enabled gizmo to another. What a loser I felt when I admitted that I only used it to send songs to my phone for ultra cool ringers. Let me tell you, Mr. Jagal thought I was anything but cool.

'No, no, no. You must to use it when you are out in a cafe. Someone maybe will like you and send you a message. Like, "hi, how are you." You reply, "yes, I am fine, how are you?" You look around and if he is okay, maybe you will have coffee together,' he instructed. Hmmm, sounds easy enough I suppose. Just switch my Bluetooth on the next time I go out and let the magic happen! No problem.

The other night, I was having dinner with a friend and I told her all about the advice I received from Mr. Jagal. She started to laugh and didn't even know what Bluetooth was really, but decided that we should try it anyway. So we did.... And we waited.... The results of the experiment were as follows: Flirting Action: 0; Cool Song Transfer: 1.

The next day, I relayed the results of my failed attempt to Bluetooth flirt to Mr. Jagal. 'No, no, no. You must to use it in a place where you see other people using their phones. Not just anywhere. Did you see people using their phones?' he asked. 'No, they were eating, I guess,' I replied. He just shook his head like I was the most incompetent pick-up artist alive (which I probably am), a Bluetooth Bimbo if you will.

Oh well ... Bluetooth may not have been be able to find me a match made in heaven, but at least it didn't prove completely useless!