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Friday, December 17, 2010

Bronzed Poop and the Courtesy Flush

Never I have felt more that men really are from Mars than a few nights ago when having drinks with Mr B and Beardy McSnow. Seated in between the two, I was caught in the crossfire of the most bizarre conversation. I was just sitting there, enjoying my drink, thinking I was part of the conversation when Mr B looks over to Beardy and they start sputtering about something incomprehensive and burst into fits of laughter. All I caught were the words 'Suri's dispatch.' Confused yet? Well, join the club!

I felt like I was at a tennis match, bobbing my head from left to right trying to figure out what the two guys were talking about and why it was so bloody hilarious. So, logically, I asked, "What on earth are you guys talking about?"
"What we're going to name our yachts," replied Mr B.

Yachts?? Yes, this is what men discuss when they are alone together. It was a conversation that they had started earlier in the day and decided to finish at the pub later that night with a few beers in the mix. Lucky me.

"Oh ok. Well, what would call your boat?" I asked Beardy, trying to participate, although not really all that interested.
"Suri's Dispatch," he said, Mr B laughing even more. I stared at him blankly, totally not getting the joke. Then came the enlightening explanation.
"You know Suri ... Tom Cruise's kid," explained Beardy.
"Yeah, okay," I said, "but why dispatch?"

All right, hold on to your seats, because here is the story: Apparently, a few months after Suri Cruise was born like four or five years ago, according to Beardy, the Cruises bronzed her first poop and auctioned it off on eBay. So enraged by this, Beardy can't let go of it to this day. "Uh, I don't think that's true Beardy," I said. "No, no it's true, Google it," he assured me.

Okay then, moving on ... I turned to Mr B. "And what, pray tell, would you call your yacht."
"Courtesy flush," he responded without hesitation, further eliciting laughter from Beardy. Now this did not need explanation. Mr B, you see, is kind of obsessed with the toilet behavior of your average Joe. He thinks the world would be a better place if more people flushed immediately after delivery and contact. Apparently, this is a huge problem in guy world.

Not that anyone asked me, but if I were to name my yacht I would call it Men are from Mars and Women are NORMAL!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Morning Glory … Not!

This blog entry is actually from my latest column in Sayidaty Magazine (English version, on sale now!) and my editor suggested I post it on my blog as well. So here it goes ...

There are some annoying people on this planet who love the mornings and for some mysterious reason it’s their favorite time of day. They look forward to the peaceful quiet, which is only made more enjoyable by a simple cup of coffee. Bah … humbug! I am obviously not one of those people and am so not a morning person. In fact, it’s safe to say that I pretty much hate the early morning. I hate the quiet on the streets (because all the smart people are still in bed); I hate the barely there sunshine (even the sun is still asleep); I hate the fact that I have to wait at least five hours until lunch. It’s all so depressing that not even a delicious cup of java can brighten up the prospect of having to rise before 9am.

My opinions on the morning, however, prompted my illustrious editor, Tarek Hijazi, to send me this terrifying message: “Here’s a challenge your readers are going to love, Anissa. Starting tomorrow, set your alarm clock for 6.30am. Pretend a snooze button is something that only exists in fairy tales with flying unicorns. Wake up. Have coffee (otherwise it would automatically render your attempt useless). The effect is almost effective immediately. You’ll be channeling your inner morning person in no time. Guaranteed.”

At the sight of ‘6.30am,’ my face blanched in horror. What am I, a rooster? I only wake up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight. Period. Thinking it must certainly be a joke, I ignored the challenge. Then I got the phone call, and the conversation went a little something like this:

Tarek: Hey, what do you think about taking on my challenge?
Me, laughing: I honestly didn’t think you were serious.
Tarek: No, no, I’m serious. Try it for a week.
Me: Are you mad? No way!
Tarek: Okay, five days.
Me: No!
Tarek: Okay two days.
Me: No!
Tarek: Okay, one day. Just get up at 6.30am one day.
Me, panicking: But that’s the middle of the night!

Tarek was convinced that a yummy caffeine jolt would transform me into a morning person; I was sure it would not. Anyway, despite my qualms, I agreed to give it a shot. True to my word, that night I set my alarm to precisely 6.30am and made a mental note to not hit the snooze button. I even went to bed early at 11pm. Later, feeling as if I had shut my eyes for only a minute, I heard the loud blare of my alarm. Still practically asleep, I automatically hit snooze without even thinking (sorry, Tarek, but whose brain is switched on at 6.30am?). I told myself, okay, I’ll get up once the snooze alarm goes off, giving me a precious extra 10 minutes of sleep (what Tarek doesn’t know, won’t hurt him). The next thing I know, the construction site across the street comes alive and I wake up from the noise. I looked at the clock and it was 7.10am, 40 minutes off schedule!

Still half asleep, I decided to get out of bed anyway and go through with the challenge. I made my coffee, and since it was way too early for my brain to function, I decided to sit in bed and watch some morning talk shows. I finished my coffee and the next thing you know, I’m dozing off … again. Yes, I re-fell asleep and this time I didn’t get up until 10.30am. What a disaster!

I think it’s safe to say that I failed the challenge and not even coffee could turn me. Hello, my name is Anissa and I am, and forever will be, a non-morning person. So if any of you happen to catch me out and about so early in the day, be sure that I will be a) on my way to the airport; b) sleepwalking; or c) possessed by an alien.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lebanese Don't Love Rock N' Roll

What is with Lebanese and their non-existent taste in music? I would say god awful, but that would be just a tad arrogant, no? Allow me to explain …. As this week has consisted of one holiday after the other, I have been stepping out on the town quite a bit with the usual suspects, give or take a new addition or two. As is usually the case, I get really bored with the going out scene mainly because the music at most places (with the exception of my favorite haunt in Monot) is so bloody terrible. It’s like people in this country can only like one song at a time, and they obsess over it for an entire season, so that it’s played over and over and over – you get the picture? – again until the mere opening bars start to make your ears bleed. But no matter how over-played the tune is, when it comes on at whatever club you happen to be at, Bimbo Barbie jumps on the table, ‘whooing’ until her shrieks break glass while Macho Man waves his hands up and down in his best ‘gangsta’ impersonation, with cigarette in one hand and whiskey in the other. Yes, tres cool. Ask them what this song is called or the name of the singer, though, and you will be met with blank stares.

Now, I’m not saying I have superior taste in music or anything - actually most people here hate my music, which is fine - but at least I have my own individual taste. I know the names of the songs I like and who sings them. I even have favorite bands – shocker! Okay, so I know this country has major problems that go way beyond no real music knowledge, but it would be nice to mention a singer and have the other person know who you’re talking about. There are a few exceptions, like Mr. B, for example. We don't have the same taste, but at least we can have discussions about different bands and genres. We argue a lot - he thinks British Pop is a genre on its own, I insist it's part of the Alternative group; he thinks The Clash rock, I think they suck; I think Moonlight Mile is the best track off the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, he thinks it's the worst, etc. But at least I can have a conversation about the Rolling Stones with him ....

Which is totally not the case with MadGlam, who was at a club in London where a Rolling Stone - identity still unknown - was partying and she didn't even know who it was!! An actual Rolling Stone!! Can you believe it?
"Oh, I was at a club with someone from that band you like," she brought up nonchalantly.
"What band?" I asked.
"I don't know, the one on that t-shirt you wear."
"The Rolling Stones?? Was it Mick Jagger?" I asked, excitedly.
"Yeah, the Rolling Stones. No, no, not Mick Jagger," she answered, "it was the other one." Hmmm, very helpful.
"Was it Keith Richards?" She had no clue who that was, of course, and trying to get any further information out of her was about as effective as getting water from a stone - no pun intended - not surprising considering that she wandered onto the set of the latest Pirates of the Carribbean movie and thought it was a Halloween party ... where everyone was wearing the same costume, but that’s another story entirely.

I guess, then, that I'm only to blame when, on discovering that one of my all-time favorite bands Guns N' Roses will be playing in nearby Abu Dhabi, I asked her to go with me. (In my defense, I did ask Mr. US first, but he replied, "I only like two of their songs." Hmph!) MadGlam's reply? "Isn't that a clothing brand?"

I guess Huey Lewis was wrong - the heart of rock and roll is not still beating ... not in Beirut anyway!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beirut Knows How to Party

This past weekend, a group of us decided to go to a hot new club that opened up not too long ago to ring in the upcoming holidays a little bit early. We were a big group that included MadGlam (of course), Mr. Borrring + 1 (his cigar), Mr. HJNTIY (minus his 'sister') and Mr. US (nothing scandalous on him yet, except that he NEVER reads my blog). A bunch of other people were also there, but I can't be bothered to make up nicknames for everyone (whatever, it's Monday!).

The place itself is really nice - you know, tasteful decor, good service and food, and the entertainment is really cool. But the people - OH MY GOD. I seriously felt like I was at prostitute central. No, it's not like the women merely dressed like ladies of the night, they actually were ladies of the night. It's the kind of place where hookers are given out like party favors and you don't want to get caught rubbing your nose because people will automtically think you're a cokehead. The bathrooms even have ledges for easy snorting and I have allergies and a weak bladder so I can only imagine what kind of impression I made!

So scantily clad were nearly all the women there that I felt like I was Maria from The Sound of Music - sersiously, the ladies on our table were probably the only ones wearing bras and clothing that covered all our 'kibbles and bits.' There was one chick wearing gold sequined shorts with a black bustier and bustle over her rear. It was probably one of the most hideous outfits I've ever seen in real life. Mr. US still can't get over it. The funny thing is, she probably paid a fortune for it and I would be too embarrassed to give it away to Goodwill.

On the table just in front of ours, 60 year old men were fawning over 20 year old girls, who were sitting in their laps and acting about as inappropriate as you can imagine ... in a public venue ... that is supposedly not a brothel. On the table to our right, about 20 women were all over balding old farts, dancing in leapard skin outfits so trashy Courtney Love wouldn't be caught dead wearing them (okay, maybe Courtney Love). Funnily enough, they all looked remarkably similar. 'They must be sisters,' said Mr. US. 'Uh no,' I replied, 'they just have the same plastic surgeon.'

All the men, not surprisingly, were overweight, balding or bald, smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, thinking they were totally important and cool because they were with barely legal, semi-dressed, trashy women. Yes, very tasteful indeed! Well, here's a news flash: paying women to be in your company is about as impressive as being able to pee upright.

Of course, Mr. US and Mr. Borrring had a field day -'What, we're only people watching!' Uh huh, well, there certainly was a lot to see. My eyes are still burning!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Free Peep Show and Other Unfortunate Events

I know that everyone has had that excruciating embarrassing moment - the one that they can't seem to forget no matter how much time goes by. You know, like the time you were walking down the street, head turned in the opposite direction as you were talking to someone and then walked straight into a lamp post, hitting your head. Or the time you fell out of your chair at the computer lab in college one evening when it was PACKED with students so that about 10 of them jumped up to 'see if you were ok' when you were desperately trying to pretend that nothing happened so no one would notice. What?? None of those things ever happened to me - no, of course not! But my karma must've been really wonky one day not too long ago as I did have a moment and it was pretty embarrassing to say the least.

So, my good friend Mr. B just wrote a book and I was invited to his book signing. I decided to wear a light, airy dress, even though it's been getting kind of breezy lately. BIG mistake. I think you can all tell where this story is going. Anyway, I arrived to the place, and as I was getting out of the car, my dress flared up just as this guy on a moped passed by. He obviously got a great look because he said something smarmy and I was just so incredibly mortified, you can't imagine. For the first time, I was totally grateful that my Arabic sucks because I did not understand what he said. I knew it was a nasty comment, though, because he had a chick on the moped sitting behind him, so he wasn't exactly going to compliment another girl in front of her.

It was like I timed my exit from the car perfectly to give the sleazy dude a free peep show. I was soooooo embarrassed that I wished I had the opportunity to explain myself to him. You know, like scream after him I DO NOT FLASH PEOPLE ON THE STREET like trashy starlets have a tendency of doing. IT WAS THE WIND!! I'm usually so careful when getting out of the car when I'm wearing a dress or skirt. I even watched this episode of Oprah once years ago and she had this etiquette expert on, who described how to perfectly get in and out of a car without making a spectacle of yourself. And I paid attention! Stupid wind.

This was even more embarrassing than the time I was bending down to get something from my purse one night when I was out in seriously low cut jeans and I realized a little too late that buying those jeans was a really bad idea. Or the time I was walking down Bliss Street, again in a dress, and again it flared up because of the wind, and it was broad daylight, and the street was packed with pedestrians and cars. But the difference between those times and this time is that no one made any rude remarks so I could soothe my mortification with a whole lot of denial and convince myself that no one saw anything. It's not like anyone came up to me, pointed, and said, 'Ha, ha, saw your underpants,' which is basically what that idiot a**hole on the moped must've said, give or take a lewd word here or there.

Yes, embarrassing things happen to me a lot and now I know why they say ignorance is bliss! It really is, trust me!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What I Have in Common with Justin Bieber and Jennifer Aniston

No, it's not the physique of a 12 year old boy or Brad Pitt (I wish!), but something else entirely: a much-talked about hairdo. Okay, I'm giving myself way too much credit here. Honestly, no one is talking about my hair but me. As you probably already surmised by now, I had my hair cut a couple of weeks ago and I'm still on the fence about whether it's a good look for me or not. I thought about starting a mini-survey on Facebook, posting it on my status - a like it or don't like it type of thing - but couldn't think of a way of doing it that didn't make me seem like a vain idiot with way too much time on my hands. So, guess what? I decided to blog about it instead. Much less loserish, no?

It all started a few weeks ago when I went to get a routine trim. I've had long locks for a very long time and have been reluctant to chop my hair for ages, even though my hairdresser has been telling me I need to for nearly two years. But trying to convince a girl to cut her hair short is like trying to wrestle away the remote control from a guy - basically it's a struggle. So, back to the trim: Lebanese hairdressers are really gung-ho about cutting. You have to be very adamant about the length you want (helpful hint: always say you want to trim about 4 inches less of what you really want; I learned this lesson the hard way!), or else you might as well say bye bye to your tresses.

On the day in question, I was, as always, very clear about wanting to cut only one inch so that I would get the desired four inch trim. My hairdresser again said that I should cut my hair as I looked old and drawn (his words). I immediately said, 'NO!' He then said, 'Before you say no, let me show you a picture.' So he showed me a picture, and it was nice and all, but I said, 'It's too short.' He then huffs and goes to show the pic to Miss HotStuff, who proclaims she loves the 'do. So the hairdresser comes back to me all smug, as if Miss HotStuff's opinion should be reason enough for me to chop my hair.

Hairdresser, insistent: See, see, she loves it.
Me, beginning to waver in my resolve: I don't know, it seems awful short.
Hairdresser, noticing a slight weakening in my stance: Trust me, you will look younger.
Me, thinking Hmmm, clever, he used the magic word: 'younger.' Very clever indeed: Uhhhhhhh
HD: Khalas [he grabs a chunk of hair from the back of my head and just cuts ... it ... all ... off], so you can't argue with me anymore.
I say nothing as my jaw drops in horror after he presents my severed ponytail in victory.

In the aftermath of the hair slaughter, I have gotten used to my new, shorter 'do. And luckily, Lebanese are very eager to give their honest opinion about how you look at all times, from weight gain to hairstyles (no sugarcoating in this country). So, it's safe to say that my short hair seems to be going over well with some people - 'Hey, your eyes don't look so deeply set in your skull,' said Mr HJNTIY - and not so well with others - 'Uh, not your best look, is it?' coming from Mr B.

And then there are some, who ... well, I just don't know what they think - 'Oh, you cut your hair, well, at least you got rid of that nasty red color.' Thanks eyebrow lady!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Naked Dudes and Shopping with Suitcases in Spain

So, it's been a LONG time since my last blog entry - but because I'm awesome, you'll all forgive me ;)

Dear readers (yes, I have more than one now!), I have just come back from a lovely sojourn in splendid Spain, where I spent a great week or so with none other than the still fabulous MadGlam. I won't bore you with the whole sightseeing spiel on the wonders of Barcelona and Madrid, but let's just say a lot of it was indeed cultural and a lot was ... hmmm ... let's just say interesting. (Did we see a grown man remove his pants, squat and then use the sidewalk as a toilet? Yes! Did I see two random men walking down a major street buck naked - oh, excuse me, one was wearing flip flops - for no apparent reason, except maybe they wanted even tans while getting some exercise? Yes!)

I will, however, tell you a little bit about our trip. First, traveling with a friend is definitely a lot better than going it alone. Although MadGlam and I are complete opposites for sure - she is the energizer bunny that, literally, never stops, and I am the relaxed person who is well ... normal. For example, I wear sneakers and a small shoulder strap bag; she wears heeled boots with a pink Balenciaga bag. She is madly glamorous after all!! We also differ in how we like to sightsee. I like to soak in the sights and take my time, take a rest when I'm tired, take a cab if I don't feel like walking anymore. She likes to see a whole city in three seconds without taking a breath, and cover the whole town ... in heels. By the end of the afternoon, she still looks MadGlam, and I look like I'm about to keel over. Many an afternoon she would still have the energy to walk around more when I would walk back to the hotel alone for some rest (thus my encounter with the buck naked dudes).

MadGlam is also, for some reason, in love with trains, which is how we got from Barcelona to Madrid. Oh my God! I can't think of anything less vacationy than lugging around your own luggage across a stinky train station, carrying them onto to a packed train and then lifting them into luggage slots. HOW IS THIS A VACATION? I felt like I was in a manual labor camp in Siberia. But MadGlam is like this mysterious contradiction: she dresses like she's going to a nightclub even when going on the Orient Stinkville, yet she is also able to haul a five ton suitcase without breaking a sweat ... or a nail. I was a disheveled mess. But unlike the other people on that train, I actually use deodorant.

Yes, MadGlam has no problems with suitcases at all, not even when going shopping. In fact, on the day we went to the outlet mall, she stopped by the luggage shop and said she wanted to buy a suitcase. 'But, we're at the mall,' I said, 'why would you buy a suitcase to lug around while you shop?' In the MadGlam world, that's how you shop, you see - you buy a suitcase so you can put all your purchases in it and then you just roll it around ... in a mall.

In case you didn't believe me, that's MadGlam, suitcase in hand, at the mall!!

'Everyone does this!' she tells me.
'Uhhh, no they don't,' I say. And believe me, I shop. I know shopping. And I have never seen a person buy a suitcase at a mall and then putting all their stuff in it and then rolling it around all the other shops. Ever.
'Well, what do you do with the bags?' she asks.
'Uhhh, carry them,' I say.
'No, no, this is much more practical,' she says. Yes, MadGlam practical. Did you not know this? No? Neither did I!

Anyway, as the shopping progresses, guess who gets stuck lugging around the suitcase? You guessed it. It started like this:
MadGlam: Anissa, do you mind taking the suitcase, I want to try this on.
Me: Sure [Ten minutes later, me window shopping, embarrassed as hell going around with a suitcase ... at a mall.]
MG: Thanks, do you mind taking it again, I want to go into this store.
Me: Alright [Another ten minutes, getting weird stares from people who are obviously not in on the MadGlam philosophy of how practical it is to carry around a suitcase ... at a mall. Oh, and did I mention it was an open air mall and that it was raining?]

I'd like to say that's the Lebanese way of traveling and shopping abroad, but it's probably more accurate to say it's the MadGlam way. But because she's MadGlam, she knows how to make it work!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vampires are Lucky!

Since starting my summer vacation, I admit, my blogging has become about as abominable as the weather. But seriously, who could blame me? It's soooooo bloody hot, I find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning because the sheer energy of sitting upright is draining. In the mountains of Lebanon, it usually never gets really hot, that's why hardly anyone has air conditioning. BIG mistake - BIG! On a daily basis, I steal the line of the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz as Dorothy drenches her in a pail of water, screaming, "I'm melting! Melting! Oh what a world!" (FYI: any deniers of Global Warming should head over to this neck of the woods and get a dose of reality.) Anyway I digress...

The other afternoon, lying on the couch near comatose from heat fatigue and needing a spatula to scrape me off the chair, Miss HotStuff and I decided to head down to Beirut just so we can sit in the AC for a while. Since our apartment is being renovated, we thought about where we could go to cool off and decided on a movie. She suggested the latest Twilight movie, Eclipse, and I of course being the cool, mature, one protested such a loserish choice (uhhh, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!). It was no longer playing though and Miss HotStuff (and Miss HotStuff alone) was incredibly disappointed. We then chose to watch the latest Predators movie and headed down to the city, joined by Mr US and Good Ship Lollipop.

The ride down in the car to Beirut was divine - like heaven. AC blowing in my face, surrounded by frigid air - it was pure bliss! When we arrived at the mall, we discovered that Miss HotStuff got the venue wrong, but so desperate were we for AC that we bought tickets to a movie that we weren't so keen on seeing. Even taking a nap in the theater seemed like a party at that point!

The line for popcorn was super long so we decided to go get our seats instead. When we sat down, Miss HotStuff offered to go back down and get the refreshments since she was the least excited to watch the movie ... that was not Predators... because she got the theaters wrong... which was totally her fault (hey, I'm just saying!). We all wondered how she was going to carry everything back herself, but finally sitting in the cool AC, none of us volunteered to go help her. She'll dabir halha, we thought. And sure enough, she comes back 10 minutes later with the concession stand manager carrying the popcorn, nachos and candy we ordered, which he offered to do without her even having to ask. Yes, she is that hot.

Don't even ask me about the movie. All I could think of was AC. Sweet, lovely, cool, cold, refreshing AC. I wrote a little song about it in my head (AC, AC, I really love you AC; you keep me cold, you keep me cool; those that don't have you are really fools. Yeah, yeah, I'm no John Lennon!). My mind even wondered to daydreaming about the idyllic life of vampires. Sure, they had to drink blood to survive, but they never got hot! Okay, okay, so they complain a lot about not being able to be in the sun without literally catching on fire, but what whiners! At least they can sleep without waking up in a pool of sweat.

Well, hopefully this bloody heatwave will end soon and my delirium of wanting to be turned into one of the undead just so that I can cool off will fade along with the hot weather. Until then, I'm sleeping with all the windows open (not just because of the heat), and since vampires need to be invited in, there's also a sign: Don't bother knocking, just come right on in. You know... just in case!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Botox and William Shakespeare

In Lebanon, the old cliche is that the women are obsessed with plastic surgery and will do absolutely anything to tap into the fountain of youth. I have not jumped on the Botox bandwagon yet, but let me tell you, I have been tempted. Just the other day, I was going through boxes of my old stuff, trying to organize crap that I've piled up over the years. It was a trip down memory lane and it reminded me of the years gone by. From pictures to the white, puffy dress I wore to a dance when I was 15 (currently crumpled up in a pile on a shelf on top of my old school uniform) everything reminded me that you simply cannot stop time, no matter how much Botox you get!

I started going through the childhood boxes first. There's a lot of stuff I kept for reasons I can't figure out (the creepy stuffed Chihuahua with no eyes), and stuff I kept for sentimental value (stuffed orange puppy from my favorite uncle, also with no eyes) and stuff I kept to remind myself that I was a smart kid (report cards, only the good ones - like I said, I was smart kid!), and they all made me feel damn OLD! So, I threw out the scary Chihuahua, kept the orange puppy and read through the report cards for a laugh to cheer me up. I reflected on the irony that in 7th grade, I got a C in English - "Anissa should spend more time on homework and aim for a higher standard." In my defense, though, the teacher did not like Americans and constantly ridiculed my accent. Also in my defense ... whatever, I'm a published writer now! Funnily enough, I got an A in Home Economics Needlework (yes, that actually was a class) - "Anissa has been a keen and enthusiastic worker completing her projects more quickly and to a high standard." Wahhh?? Don't ask me how the heck that happened. I have absolutely no recollection of Anissa + Needlework = Keen or Enthusiastic.

I also had a lot of boxes of pictures, and let me tell you, 99.9% of the photographs I kept hidden away for good reason. Okay, yes, they do remind me of aging, but more importantly THEY ARE HIDEOUS! Let's just say I could've passed for an overweight vampire (not the hot Twilight kind) with braces and frizzy - like really, really frizzy - hair. I ain't gonna be posting those pics like ever, but some (like MadGlam) were lucky enough to visit the family home in the mountains and see the ones my mom kept, literally, hanging all over the place.
Me [preempting inevitable comment on hideousness of photos as MadGlam enters house]: Yeah, I know the pictures are awful.
MadGlam [standing in front of particularly hideous photo of me wearing white - yes, white - shoes]: Oh my God, Anissa is that you??
Me: Uhhh, yeah.
MadGlam: Emmmmmmmmmmmm.
Me: It's okay. No need to say anything!

I thought to myself, hmmmm, sometimes getting older isn't so bad. After all, the older, the wiser - as in wise enough to use a pair of tweezers and never, ever, ever, wear white shoes!

Feeling a little better, I then moved on to unpack boxes of my old books. At first I thought, cool, this won't be bad because books are ageless and will never make me feel old. Then my niece walked in as I was going through an old anthology of Shakespeare's work. My niece is seven and an avid reader (she takes after me), so she is naturally curious about books, and our conversation went a little something like this:
Niece: What book is that?
Me: It's the work of the greatest writer in the world, William Shakespeare.
Niece: Is he still alive?
Me: No, he died a long, long time ago. Before there was electricity, before there were cars and before there were computers.
Niece: Was that before you were born?
Me: Botox, anyone??

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bitchy Village Bumpkins

Dear readers, I have to relay to you this unbelievable story of rudeness. Yes, I'm still stuck in the mountains, yes the roosters are still demented and yes, everything is still not working. But that's not what this blog entry is about. Oh no! It's about village bumpkin bitches! Yes, Cruella de Vil lives and, unfortunately, it's nearby!!

Just the other day, we were invited (or perhaps not, you never can tell in the mountains) to a village function. Apparently, my sisters and I are known as the village snobs because no one sees us anywhere (HELLO, THERE IS NO WHERE TO GO). Anyway, we decided to go and since it was a cocktail affair, I knew there was no risk of me being seated with five-year olds just because I'm single.

When we arrived, we said hello to everybody and all were polite ... except for one hideous being who is so far removed from civility, it's a wonder anyone would invite her peasant ass to mingle with genteel society. When introduced to my sisters and I, she looked straight at me and said that I look like this woman in the village who is famous for being hideously ugly! I mean, I don't expect to be compared to a supermodel or anything, but to a complete dog biscuit? WHO DOES THAT?? I thought being told I had gained weight or had fat thighs was bad enough, but this?? This was just about the worst insult ever.

I was stunned into silence, a million things to say back running through my head, but not one I could form into a coherent sentence. Don't you hate it when someone says something completely awful to you and you're so shocked, you can't think of a thing to say in return? I knew she said the comment out of pure spite because she is rather revolting looking (being generous with that description) and her husband (who is a known philanderer with a mistress that actually lives in the same village) was more than eager to leave her side and come introduce himself to us, but that is no excuse for such rude behavior.

Although I was struck mute by her venom, my sister rushed to my defense, taking me back in time to our days on the playground when she would always strike any bully that dared upset me in any way. She told the bitch that she was wrong and that I look nothing like that notoriously unattractive woman. But still, it didn't seem enough. I wanted to hurl equally hurtful insults at her, but just then, a friend of ours who we hadn't seen in years came over and the conversation with the peasant bitch was cut short.

I was not appeased. I just don't understand people. Why go out of your way to offend someone you don't even know; someone you literally just met? And why, oh why would she think it okay, under any circumstances, to show up to a formal event in cycling shorts? I mean okay, we're in the village, but does that mean that manners and any semblance of fashion sense should be completely discarded?

Next time she is lucky enough to be invited anywhere, she should go through a checklist: 1) Get some manners (no, 'class' is not just a cell phone shop, but is actually a human quality); 2) Don't look like clothes were bought from Homeless Bums R US. Seriously, I don't know what was more offensive - her distasteful remark or her hideous outfit!

And exciting life in the mountains continues ...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shame on You, Lebanese!

This past Sunday evening I was sitting at home, relaxing and watching TV. It was a tranquil night and I was unwinding just before the start of a hectic work week. I had a DVD of one of my favorite shows playing, and I was sipping some de-stressing tea concoction ... when, all of a sudden, I hear POW POW POW. Gunshots? I nearly jumped out of my seat, hand on heart. Are we under attack again? Is another war erupting?

NO! It was none of those things. The reason for the uproar? Brazil scored a goal against the Ivory Coast. Imagine the stupidity of some people!

Okay, so we all understand that the World Cup is a huge big deal (to losers who act as if football is their life) but that is no excuse for such antics. I mean really, are gunshots really necessary when your favorite team scores a goal? Are you that pathetic that the highlight of the past four years is a football game? I know this blog entry is off track from my usual ones, but I am sooooo disgusted with my fellow countrymen right now that I had to let out my frustration. (And unlike the morons going around shooting in the air, I know that the pen is mightier than the sword.) That night, I didn't get to sleep until after 1.30am because of all the retarded people that were driving around in their cars or on mopeds, honking their horns and blowing those annoying as hell vuzuwhateverthehelltheircalled horns. How brain dead are these people? Even genuine Brazilians living in Brazil don't act so stupidly!


The next morning, a talk show radio host was discussing all the raucous the night before, and this poor woman phoned in saying that the animals shooting in the air shattered all the glass panes in her windows. She called the police and all dumb and dumber could say was, 'Well you know, boys will be boys and it is the World Cup,' because of course football is as good excuse as any to shoot loaded weapons in a residential area. So what if an innocent person could get shot? IT'S FOOTBALL ... totally worth it. Deputy Dawg and co. then advised the woman not to press charges, because God forbid they get off their lazy asses and actually do their jobs and put away a**holes disturbing the peace.

Then this other jerk phones in and says, 'Yeah, so what? We want to have fun, we want to enjoy ourselves. We have the right to have a good time.' Uhh, not if said 'good time' requires guns and bullets, ya ahbalHaram, poor guy, we really shouldn't judge him since I'm sure that listening to all that vuzuwhatever crap has given him permanent brain damage.

Now, I'm not saying that the World Cup isn't fun - it is - or that I don't enjoy watching the matches - I do - but that doesn't mean that I throw all civility out the door just because my favorite team is playing. It also doesn't mean that I should strap on a pair of revolvers and go all Annie Oakley on everybody when they score a goal. Helllooooo, it's just a game people. Shame on you for thinking otherwise. Shame on you for all the noise. Shame on you for all the bullets. Shame on you for being such uncivilized beasts and bothering so many people...


Have I made my point? Now, with all that said ... GO USA :) !!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beiruti Beach Bunnies

This past Saturday, I woke up to sunny skies and decided it was a good beach day (of which I have not had many, as readers of my last entry well know). I wanted to go to a casual place, but Mr. US insisted on going to one of the swankier beaches in Beirut because he was meeting a friend there who had already reserved 'prime sun beds by the pool.' Reluctantly, I agreed although I really wasn't in the mood to be surrounded by emaciated socialites.

We got there just in time to see two tourists arriving in a service just in front of us. We stood behind them, but they were pulled aside while we were ushered straight through. I looked over at Mr. US questioningly and he said, "They came in a service." REALLY?? They weren't allowed in because they arrived in a cab? They're tourists, of course they'll show up in a taxi. Mr. US shrugs, "They're also two guys; if they had a girl with them, maybe they would've gotten in." REALLY?? What is this place, some sort of flashback to Studio 54? You need hot wheels and hot chicks to get in? I think to myself, if this is what it's like at the valet depot, what's it going to be like inside the place?

I didn't have to wait long to find out. Every chick there looked like she could be carrying a sign that says, Hi, my bikini cost $5,000 and so did my boobs. I look down at my $5 Gap flip flops, Old Navy beach dress and tell Mr. US, "I hope I don't embarrass you with my lowly Victoria's Secret bikini." I don't add, even though it's your fault that I'm at this ridiculous beach to begin with (which I have avoided up until this point because of its reputation of catering to that kind of crowd).

While swimming in the pool, I see a woman, probably in her early 40s, strutting up and down the pool in an itsy bitsy two-piece, fully made up (complete with bright pink lipstick), perfectly coiffed hair, jewelry galore and ... high heeled pumps, just begging to be noticed. When the strutting doesn't work, she then starts to dance, yes dance, poolside in front of everyone all by herself. It is strange, sad and hilarious all at the same time. The things people do to get attention! Next thing you know, they'll have stripper poles installed.

As I sit and sun myself, nose in book, iPod blaring, I look up to see a Paris Hilton wannabe waltz in with bad blond extensions and a flower headband across her forehead. She's also clutching a Louis Vuitton bag ... at the beach. I guess she didn't get the memo that a) Paris Hilton is so 2005 and b) beaches are not fashion runways. By this time, my non-coiffed hair is a mess that I tuck into a hat, my tan is uneven with a bright red strip going down my left leg where I missed the sunblock and I have unintentionally flashed half the beach after my strap comes undone. Luckily, I'm so disheveled that no one takes the time to look at me much less notice my bikini malfunction.

When Mr. US is ready to leave, we head back out to get our car from the valet. Two women are already standing out there and have been apparently waiting ages for their car. I hear the parking attendant yell something about a Honda into his walkie-talkie. Mr. US hears this too and gives me a knowing look, like you see, that's why they're waiting so long for their car. Yes, how absolutely horrendous that they should own a non-luxury vehicle! I look back at him with my Really?? expression. He just shrugs and says, "Welcome to Lebanon." As we get in our car and take off, the poor ladies are still waiting.

And that's how you get a tan Beiruti beach bunny style!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chronicles of the Last Tanless Chick in Beirut

Sunshine ... the Final Frontier. These are the chronicles of a really white chick in Beirut. Her summer-long mission: to get her ass to the beach; to get some sort of tan so that she no longer looks like a freaking albino; to boldly go where every person in Lebanon has gone over and over again, except for her!

Captain's log, stardate beginning of Lebanon's summer season: So, the sun has been shining all of five minutes and 90% of the population is already tanned and lovely! What gives? How do these people get to the beach so fast? Do they not have jobs? What?? I'm not jealous or anything. I mean, I'm just saying, some people have lives, you know, they can't just drop everything once the temperature is just above freezing so that they can look good in white (or any other color) again. Seriously, I feel like I'm on board the USS Last Tanless Chick Standing.

Captain's log , stardate a week week into the summer season: I'm still tanless. Everywhere I look, I'm surrounded by bronzed babes. I made plans to go to the beach with Miss HotStuff, but (because she's mad at me for a BB debacle) she went without me. I'm going out tonight but it's taking me forever to get dressed because everytime I pick something to wear I think, Nope, this will look better on me when I get a tan. I finally find some black t-shirt that will just have to do.

Captain's log, stardate a few weeks into the summer season: I have a meeting today and was looking particularly pale, so I decided to try some fake tanning stuff the night before. I wake up and nearly have a heart attack when I see an orangey line across my forehead where I failed to properly blend in the tanning lotion. I LOOK RIDICULOUS, I scream at my reflection! I scrub my forehead for about an hour with alcohol and lemon juice in a desperate attempt to get rid of the hideous line, but I end up making it angry and raging red. To make matters worse, my face no longer matches the color of the rest of my body. Let's just say, thank God for makeup. I look heavily made up for the daytime, but hey, at least I don't look like a clown.

Captain's log, stardate four weeks into the summer season: Yes! I have finally made plans to go the beach. I'm so excited. The night before, I do all the necessary grooming stuff; I've picked out my bikini and bought the sunblock. I'm ready. I get up in the morning, put on my bathing suit and pouff, the sun goes away! 'Ha ha,' says the sun, as if it's imitating Nelson from The Simpsons. I decide to go for a walk and buy some stuff that won't look good on me without a tan. Along the way, I blind people with my glaring whiteness.

Captain's log, stardate the second month into the summer season: I'm having dinner with Mr US, Miss HotStuff and MadGlam. They're all tanned. Bitches! It takes me an hour to find an outfit that doesn't make me look like a whiter shade of pale. In the end, I pick a green color that I think looks all right, but after we order, Miss HotStuff says with a grimace, "Man, you really need a tan." You think? Helloooo, I have a mirror. "You shouldn't wear that color until you get some sun." Thanks! Just what I needed to hear. She picks up a sushi roll, points to the rice and asks, "Hey, what does this remind you of? Anissa's skin. Ha ha ha." Yeah, very fraking funny!

Captain's log, stardate the second month and then some into the summer season: Today's the day. I can feel it. I look out the window and declare, today's a good day to tan. The sun seems to finally be on my side. I head out to the beach, find a good spot, spread out my towel and begin to soak in the rays. I'm happy, I even take a picture and BBM it to Miss HotStuff, who's stuck at work, to make her jealous. My eyes are closed, I'm loving the day eventhough the crappiest French music is blaring from the loud speakers and is grating against my eardrums. Then, I feel a sudden cool breeze and a shadow crosses my lids. I open my eyes...

NOOOOOO, I scream in my head! This can't be happening! Not now, not today! Please stay! But the sun doesn't care. 'Ha ha,' it says again as it disappears behind a cloud.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm One Of Yous Now!

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It has been over two weeks since my last blog entry - a grave offense in the blogosphere! What can I say? I had a really packed and busy two weeks. I was drained - all creativity sapped from my psyche. But now my batteries have been recharged and I'm back! Okay, so without further ado, let's get to this week's entry ...

Last week, in the midst of one of my most stressful deadlines of all time, my phone decided to die on me. A little over a year old, I was surprised that the thing didn't last longer. And the timing, the timing!! Anyway, I could not be without a phone so I decided to go the next day and get a new one. I have for the longest time been refusing to join the CrackBerry world, but in my weakened, vulnerable state, I succumbed to peer pressure. Miss HotStuff and Mr. US have one, not to my mention MFFF and Mr. B, all of whom have been telling me, 'You gotta get a BlackBerry.' And so I did - I know, bakeer, right?

Since everyone and their mother has one, it's not like the BlackBerry world is exclusive or anything, but it sure is fun! My favorite thing so far? As a self-proclaimed MSN addict it should come as no surprise that it's BlackBerry Messenger! And the icing on the cake? IT'S FREE from one BB to another! And since MMS doesn't work in Lebanon (among a trillion other things) the fact that we can also send pics to each other is also very cool.

But as with all delightful inventions, BB also has a dark side. I'm still trying to get the knack of the whole BB etiquette thing, and I've made one major blunder so far (and it's only been a week!). I was out with Mr US, MadGlam, Mr B and co. when Mr. Borrring showed up. I was so excited about my new toy that when he asked about Miss HotStuff, I decided to whip out a ... well, let's just say not very flattering photo she BBMed me when she was under the weather and bored. It was supposed to remain between us (get your minds out of the gutter, nothing naughty!) but I, being completely clueless, showed it to Mr. Borrring. BIG MISTAKE! I thought it was funny, but to Miss HotStuff, showing it to Mr. Borrring was a huge breach of BB etiquette.

Mr. Borrring did not make things any better by immediately BBMing Miss HotStuff and telling her that he saw her photo and it was nasty! THANKS MR. BORRRRING! Her rage was swift and merciless. I had already left Mr. Borrring and was on my way to another venue when I heard the delightful 'ping' that let's me know I have a BBM. 'Yes,' I said, 'somebody loves me!' HAH! Let me tell you, I got anythng but love. What ensued was a rant about how  thoughtless and terrible I was to have shown that picture! Miss HotStuff was livid with anger, which she surprisingly expressed pretty well considering the limited capacity of BBM.

Needless to say, I felt like crap. My new shiny toy had turned into an instrument of guilt and shame. Why oh why had I done that?? I was feeling down, my excitement over my new BB subdued by my bad BB behavior. But just as I began regretting my purchase, I heard it ... 'ping'. My eyes lit up, my excitement began to stir again. I picked up my phone, clicked and my joy returned. 'Yes! Somebody does loves me!'

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tales from the Ladies, Part III: Unibrow Ape Man

And now we come to the third and final installment of Tales from the Ladies, with this letter from the delightful Pixie Minxie, who was traumatized after a particularly horrific evening with Unibrow Ape Man. This one's a doozy, readers. Poor Pixie - who knew guys could be this bad?!?

Dear Anissa,

It all started when this guy, Unibrow Ape Man, asked me out for a coffee. I agreed so he then asked if I wanted to meet up with him or have him pick me up. I told him I’d meet him, but he insisted on getting me (why did he offer if he had already made up his mind?). Anyway, my house is on the left side of the street and when he picked me up, he pulled over on the right. As I was walking down the stairs to the street, I saw his ugly ass still sitting in the car. I had to wait for cars to pass before I was able to cross the street. When I did, he was still sitting in the car.

I have to mention that I don’t really know this guy and had only met him once before, so I couldn’t believe that he didn’t get out of the car to greet me. Anyway, I opened the car door and sat down and he didn’t even shake my hand! He had his right hand on the wheel and the left hand outside the window and asked, “Hi, how are you?” I answered fine, but I was so pissed that he didn’t get out of the car to greet me properly. WALAW?

We drove to a restaurant in Gemayze, which was my idea because he didn’t bother to make any plans for our first date. I ordered a tea and he ordered coffee and dessert. The WHOLE time he was telling me how great he was because he was almost done with his residency to be a doctor. Then he went on and on about how all the girls who ‘know’ of him only want to meet him to get married because he’s a doctor. As he was shoving his dessert in his mouth, he kept telling me how delicious it was. Did he offer me a taste? Of course not! He just kept telling me how amazing it was and how amazing HE was.

To add to my misery, he went on to tell me that he doesn’t want to marry me. I was pretty sure I never asked him to, so I kind of laughed thinking he was kidding. He told me he was serious and that just because I was the same religion as him, and he was a DOCTOR, he wasn’t ready to settle down. I told him that was completely fine with me and I had no intentions of getting married to him either. At this point, I was completely over the whole date and wanted to leave just to go home and make fun of him. After he paid the bill, I thanked him, and as I was putting my cell in my purse, he was already out the door! The waiter felt bad for me I guess and stuck around to say bye and walk me out the door.

When we got in the car he started telling me that he really liked me and I was really pretty and then told me he had a girlfriend. Of course, upon hearing that, I couldn’t be polite and quiet anymore. I looked at him like the pathetic loser he was and asked him why he bothered to take me out. He told me that he wanted to get to know me better and not pass up a good opportunity but he didn’t wanna get married. At this point, I'd had enough. I bluntly told him that being a doctor isn’t so wow considering I have a family FULL of them. I then went on to tell him that he shouldn’t flatter himself when girls ‘of his religion’ give him the time of day because it doesn’t mean they want to get married. Not every Lebanese girl above the age of 25 is desperate to get married for God’s sake!

I then told him that I sure as hell didn’t see him and think I was going to marry him because A) he’s ugly with a unibrow that’s makes a complete circle around his big head; B) he has NO manners and C) he’s a complete APE! As if!!

When we were approaching my house (yeah I’m not done yet), I started to rummage through my purse to get my keys out because I wanted to get the hell out of the car. He passed my building and kept driving, so I asked him what he was doing. He said he wanted to cruise a bit because he was ‘enjoying’ my company. Ugh! He asked me if I minded and I said yes! What was the point of talking to him? The date was over and we had nothing in common.

Now here’s the funniest part. As we are cruising around Beirut, he tells me that after he drops me off, we will never talk again because we will never be friends! I started laughing, truly laughing. Without me even asking why, he told me that he can’t be friends because I was the same religion as him. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I said that was fine with me and not being friends sounded great! He then tried to explain himself with reasons that I didn’t even pay attention to. I was literally looking outside the window at the people smoking argilli on the manara wishing I was with them rather than in the car with this jerk.

After over an hour of driving around and wanting to kill myself, I asked to go home. Of course, he parked on the right side of the road and didn’t bother to move his nasty ass from the car. Handshake? Nope! I got out of the car and traffic was a bit heavy, so I had to stand out there till the traffic lessened. What was about 20 seconds waiting to cross felt like a fraking hour! I crossed the road finally and started walking up the stairs of my building and as I looked behind to see if Unibrow Ape Man was still there, I saw that he had already driven off!!

I was so disgusted I came home and made fun of him to allllll the people I know. That was BY FAR the worst, most torturous date EVER!

Ahhh dear, Minxie, don't fret! Who knows, maybe someone will call animal control and get this ape back in the zoo where he most definitely belongs!!

And now that our tales are over, I'll see you next time, when the Blog that No One reads returns to its old, delicious ways. Until then, you know you love me, XOXO, Blogger Girl!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tales from the Ladies, Part II: El Cheapo Grande

Welcome dear readers to part II of our eye-opening series on the world of dating with this tale of shocking cheapness. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was recently horrified to find herself on a date with El Cheapo Grande, who was so stingy, he made Scrooge seem generous. Wonder how she managed to navigate herself through the treacherous waters of this scandalous adventure? Do read on ...

Dear Anissa,

I was asked out on a second date by this guy last week, who we’ll just call El Cheapo Grande. The fact that ECG said, “I wanna go somewhere cheap and casual,” should be an indication of why the name is perfect for this creep! Plus, it should have alerted me to his soon-to-be discovered lack of manners, but being the open-minded lady I am, I decided to go just the same. Upon arriving at the agreed upon venue, not only did he not stand to greet me, but he also seemed generally unexcited to see me. I was looking pretty hot, if I do say so myself, so a simple “you look nice” would have made up for the fact that he didn’t stand to say hello. Whatever! I’m pretty laid back so I continued to be polite. The conversation was okay, and I was telling myself that maybe ECG is not so horrible after all.

HOWEVER, at the end of the date, we were in a debate about the subject of living together before marriage – he is in favor and I am not. Anyway, during this back and forth the bill came, and instead of snatching it up like a gentleman, it just sat there in front of us both. VERY AWKWARD. I, by no means, need a man to pay for my meal, however, if I’m asked out on a date and it’s his invitation, etiquette says that it is his responsibility to pay. Either way, I wasn’t going to assume that he was going to pick up the bill, so when he finally reached for it, I of course offered to pay. (By the way, I got a salad that was $12 and had tap water as a beverage, so my bill probably equaled a total of $15, including tip.) Anyway, once I offered, he studied the bill, and then said, “Uhm, you could throw in a $20 if you like.” And then conversation went a little something like this:

ME [out loud, big smile on my face]: “No problem.”
ECG: “No wait, why don’t you just grab the next one.”
ME: “No that’s quite alright, I will pay for myself,”
ECG: “No really, I got it, not a big deal.”
ME: “No really, I insist on paying my share.”
ECG: “Why? Are we not going out again?”
ME [in my head]: YOU THINK?!? HELL NO, YOU CHEAP BASTARD! If you don’t think I’m worthy of a freaking $15 salad then you aren’t worth an iota of my time!
ME [out loud, exaggerated politeness]: No, it’s not that at all [yeah right!], I just don’t like to owe anyone anything.

ECG still refused my money, but at that point, it was way too late. Whatever interest I had was out the door. What a HUGE turn off that he had zero manners and was about as charming as an ape. Too bad, because he was actually good looking. But, hey, that’s what we call a Monet: good from far, but far from good! Nexxxttttttt!!

Sounds delightful ... NOT!! Let's hope our poor Lucy has better luck next time with a guy who at leasts thinks her company worth more than a salad and water! In our next Tales from the Ladies installment, Pixie Minxie dishes about her tantalizing travails with the opposite sex. Ooooh, sounds delicious!
Until then, you know you love me, XOXO, Blogger Girl!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tales from the Ladies, Part I: Mr He's Just So Into Himself

The other night I was having drinks with MadGlam and Blonde Bombshell and we were discussing - what else - the male species. BB said that she really enjoyed my blog entry about Mr. He's Just Not That Into You, and asked if she could write in about her disasterous dates with his could-be cousin, Mr. He's Just So Into Himself. I thought it was a great idea and started thinking about the experiences of other Lebanese babes with similar stories to tell, which is why I decided to run this series, Tales from the Ladies! So, without further ado, here is Part I, straight from the horse's mouth:

Dear Anissa,

I really liked your blog entry about Mr He’s Just Not That Into You and I was wondering if we could exchange notes, because I went out with Mr He's Just So Into Himself and thought I’d share with you what it was like to date him!

I’m sure we’ve all heard about Narcissus, the guy who was so into himself that he actually fell in love with his own reflection. Well guess what? He’s not just a story, but lives among us, and I actually dated him! Let me start with my first outing with Mr HJSIH, which I would qualify as ‘educational,’ to say the least. I got to learn all about his measurements: jean size, tee-shirt size, etc. It was actually hard not to memorize such important information, since he kept reminding me how in shape he was and what weights he lifts at the gym everyday – with a private trainer, of course.

Although he is well over 40, Mr HJSIH is like the teenage boy I never had. He has the same preoccupations, maybe the same raging hormones and, just like a regular teen nowadays, he also has ADD (or like Carrie Bradshaw puts it, Another Disastrous Date). It made it impossible to have a conversation with him and difficult to make eye contact, because he was always checking out the crowd around him. I was, however, able to hear the details of how he got to select his ‘premium’ phone number, and how he has already started working on his tan. Phew, thank God for that.

On the second date - yes I did go on a second date with him, maybe because I wanted to discover if there was anything behind this fa├žade, or maybe because I kind of liked the measurements (don't judge me!) - he told me about his deepest darkest worries: the opening dates of La Plage and Sky Bar have been pushed back!! How could they do this to him? Especially considering that he already bought the sunglasses he will wear at the beach while sipping his margaritas and the swimming trunks he’ll parade around in to show off his biceps and abs.

All this opened my eyes to the shortcomings of my own existence: how the hell could I forget about classic Lebanese summer rituals? Why am I not thinking about tanning and getting in shape! And, most disastrously, how could I possibly still be wearing last year’s sunglasses!! SHAME ON ME! Ahhhhhhhhhhh, my life is obviously sooo not worth living, Anissa. At least Mr He's Just Not That Into You complimented you – he actually liked someone other than himself and his date. Mr He's Just So Into Himself only compliments, well, himself!

When my friends joined us, he barely took his eyes off his BlackBerry, so they told me that maybe they didn’t interest him because they didn’t show up with smelly cigars and a million dollar Rolex. How shocking that I have non-Rolex wearing friends! Note to self: make friends with plastics who make Paris Hilton seem down-to-earth.

Anyways, Lebanese society is all about the looks, the muscles and the tans. Summer is the ultimate season for partying, working out and meeting a lot of shallow people. It made me realize that if Lebanese women are superficial it is because men WANT them to be like this ... and also because they are not much deeper themselves.

Hmmm, well it sounds like other people out there have been on dates almost as bad my blind-date-alogues! Any more of you out there?? Oooh, do tell!! In the mean time, get ready for Part II, when Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds dishes all about her uber fun time with El Cheapo Grande. Yikes! Sounds like another match NOT made heaven!

Until then, you know you love me, XOXO, Blogger Girl!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Can't Get No Satisfaction

The other day I was shocked to find myself talking to a Lebanese male who actually reads ... as in books. Anyway, he asked me what I like to read and as I began to list my faves, he arrogantly interrupted me, saying, "Please don't tell me you're into that whole vampire crap." Okay, well, I wasn't going to mention those books because I've already read them ... all ... but after his whole condescending tone I found myself a little bit peeved and so I replied, indignant and proud, "Actually, I do love those books. I know you guys don't get why we women are so into the whole Twilight and True Blood stuff, so allow me to explain: sometimes fake vampires are just so much better than real life men." I then began to list the ways...

1. Grooming
Vamps: In the Twilight and True Blood books the vamp heroes (Edward and Eric, respectively) are beyond hot, especially Eric (MadGlam can totally back me up on this one). In short, they are perfect looking, with Edward not only having great hair but also irresistible breath and Eric having a towering Viking bod that would make lesbians drool.

Real dudes: Well, I know I'm no Gisele and so when I'm at the gym or beach, I don't really expect to see a real life guy that has a killer bod, but hello, at minimum if your back makes you look more like a werewolf than a human, then WAX IT. No, taking a shower and wearing deodorant is not enough! It really irks me that most guys in this country take no time to groom themselves when we women are expected to look flawless at all times. From unibrows to hairy backs, we've got it all, which is why we'd rather get our hunk fix from out of a book than in real life.

                        I 'll take this           ...          Over that!

2. Manners
Vamps: They're suave, sophisticated, attentive and charming. What more could a girl ask for? When Edward and Eric love, they love hard and make us sigh dreamily with every romantic gesture. Who could blame a gal for swooning at Edward's undying love for his beloved? And Eric - well he is just so damn hot! 

Real dudes: Some friends wanted to introduce me to a guy that they described as every bit as fantastic as a hunky vamp, so I agreed to yet another setup (because I never follow my own advice). Anyway, as you probably already guessed if you read my blind date blog, he was, unsurprisingly, a total troll. But that wasn't the main problem with this guy, he was so completely rude, so completely the opposite of a gentleman that right in front of me he asked his pal about this busty blonde at the table behind us! Did I mention that he looked like a troll? Yeah, you see, Edward would never do that!

3. Attitude
Vamps: Edward is a total gem - he is moral, honorable and respectful, and treats his lady love like a jewel. In fact, his attitude could not be more admirable. Now when it comes Eric ... okay, admittedly he does have a little bit of an attitude problem, but who cares? He is just so damn hot! So unless your over 6 ft., blond and completely ripped with Viking roots, don't think you can get away with the same antics. 

Real dudes: In Lebanon, because there are hardly any single men left, most guys think they can get away with completely abominable behavior, like not calling when the say they will, standing you up for a soccer match on TV, or trying to convince you that getting a massage with a happy ending is totally ok.

Now do you see why we find vampires so much more appealing than what real life has to offer? It's just like the Rolling Stones said, I just can't get no satisfaction!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Karma is a Bitch!

I once read that the Dalai Lama said inner peace is about choosing how you react to a situation: you can choose to be mad/angry or you can choose to let it go and be happy. Hmmm, well he must never have come to Lebanon. I really want to be one of those people that can do that, though, I really, really, really, do. They say, after all, that it's all about Karma - i.e., you get what you give out. So, I always try to be polite and considerate, expecting the same treatment in kind, but that just doesn't always happen. The reason? Karma really is a bitch, and guess what? I've met her ... more than once!

Before I begin my tale, however, I must insert this short preamble. In Lebanon, it's in the people's DNA to immediately remark on another person's weight, whether colleagues, acquaintances/relatives or even complete strangers. They will just come up to you, say hello, immediately followed by, "Yiiii, shoo nashanee," which translates into, "Oh my, you've gotten so fat." They will then follow the statement with either, "But it looks good on you," or, "What have you done with yourself," depending on if your reaction is a 'what the *#$*%*?' facial expression, or an amiable admission to said weight gain, respectively. For the record, I have never been so rude as to tell anyone that they've gained weight, yet Karma has still found a way for me to be on the receiving end of such bitchy remarks.

Take for example one fine day in Beirut, when I was on my way up the elevator to get to my office (I was working at this unfortunate company at the time) and these two receptionists were having this conversation at the front desk in the lobby right in front me as I stepped in:
Bitchy Receptionist #1: "You know what's weird about Anissa? Some days she looks really thin and other days, she looks really fat."
Bitchy Receptionist #2: "Yeah, you're absolutely right."
[Both look straight at me as elevator door closes and my jaw drops in shock]

And then there was the time I was in the locker room at my gym and I was making sure everything was tucked in the right places in the mirror before heading out to the treadmill when this random chick comes up to me and starts this lovely conversation:
Random Locker Room Chick: "Hey, have you ever considered liposuction for your thighs?"
Me: [Face in total horror at extremely inappropriate remark from complete stranger] "No! And I can't believe you just told me that."
RLRC: [Noticing my horrified facial expression] "Oh, I was just kidding, ha ha ha."
Yeah, nice save Random Locker Room Chick, who I don't even know and even if I did WHO SAYS THAT?  

And so-called friends can also jump on the rude bandwagon, like the time I was having lunch with Miss Bitches A Lot and we had this short but illuminating conversation:
MBAL: So, do you want dessert?
Me: No thanks.
MBAL: Oh why? Is it because of your thighs?
Me: NO!
Now, how can any normally functioning female emit positive energy after hearing that? Actually, maybe those people do exist - they're called ROBOTS! Oh wait ... positive energy, positive energy, positive energy.

Okay, so obviously I still need to work on the whole 'learning to let things go for inner peace' thing. But sometimes I wonder, is Karma trying to send me a message about my thighs? If so, then seriously, what a bitch!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Hunt is ON!

The other week, I was flicking through TV channels and caught an interview with a professional matchmaker in the US, Rachel Greenwald, and I wrote about it in my latest column for Sayidaty magazine (April 2010 issue). I was a combination of outraged and amused by what she had to say and so I thought I'd write about it on my blog as well.

So, Greenwald wrote the self-help book, Find a Husband After 35 Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School, (yes, that is the real title) and although I am no fan of self-help books, I decided to check it out - for research purposes of course! In the book, she writes about ‘The Program,’ a 15-step guide on how to find a ‘wonderful mate.’ Readers, however, are warned that the road to finding Mr. Wonderful is arduous and pricey so she recommends having a special find-a-husband checking account. Hmmm ... Prada bag or husband finding fund? Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Okay, so I should admit at this point that I have not actually read the book. I did head out to the bookstore to find it, but here in Beirut, such desperate measures are apparently not in-demand, despite the supposed ratio of one man to every five women. Anyway, a little more research led me to an online article by The Observer, in which the 15 steps of Greenwald’s husband-hunting tips post-35 are listed (results guaranteed in one year to 18 months).

So bring out your checklist and get ready for the hunt!

1. Marketing focus: make sure you really want to find a husband

2. Marketing support: seek the help of a best friend

3. Packaging: improve your appearance and always look your best
Look good to attract guys?? No way! SHOCKER! I had absolutely no idea. Thank goodness for these totally not obvious tips!

4. Market expansion: hunt for a man in as many places as possible
Do I need a spear? Or will a club suffice?

5. Branding: show what makes you stand out from the crowd
Although I’m completely anti-smoking, maybe I could borrow the slogan from Camel cigarettes: ‘Anissa – Where a man belongs.’

6. Advertising: Ask anyone if they know of a possible date
Readers, I’m depending you – email me!

7. Online marketing: use an online dating service
Maybe it’ll be more effective if I just get ‘Marry Me’ tattooed on my forehead.

8. Guerrilla marketing: get out of the daily grind
I guess I could take up pole dancing.

9. Niche marketing: ask your married friends if they know any suitable men
Well, I suppose I could live with the nickname Ms Desperado.

10. Telemarketing: call everyone you know and ask about possible dates
See above. 

11. Mass marketing: think of everywhere you might meet men and try them all each week
Yes! My night vision goggles will finally come in handy!

12. Event marketing: throw a party and invite single men and friends who can bring some
If I knew that many single men, I wouldn’t need this program.

13. Product life cycle: if it’s not working, take a break to recharge your batteries
If only I were the Energizer Bunny, then I could keep going and going and going and going and going ...

14. Quarterly performance review: take a hard look at why you’re still single
Uhm, because this ‘program’ sucks.

15. Exit strategy: how to decide if you are going to dump him or marry him
What helpful advice! A conclusion I could never have come up with on my own. Let's see, I think I'll dump him ... no marry him ... no dump him ... no marry him then dump him then marry him again ... or... I DON'T KNOW. TOO MANY CHOICES. SO COMPLICATED. HEAD GOING TO EXPLODE!

Obviously, the above program is not for me. Perhaps I’m too cynical, or maybe I’m missing the point, but you never know, dear readers, you could have better luck. Happy hunting!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

He's Just Not That Into You

We've all been there - the guy you're interested in never calls or, even worse, doesn't even ask for your number. You sit there analyzing every move he made, because every word, blink, smile, or hand gesture has a hidden meaning that you and your girlfriends dissect in minute detail to figure out why he never asked you out. But then Berger came along and ended all of that in an unforgettable episode of Sex and the City, when he opened our eyes to this simple yet life changing phrase: he's just not that into you.

Just last week, I actually got the chance to objectively observe a bona fide Mr. He's Just Not That Into You, and because I'm such a generous person, I'm going to share with you some pointers on what to look out for if you happen to find yourself on a date with someone like him. And here's how the story goes...

Some  new bar has opened up in Beirut and so a group of us decided to go check it out last week. We were supposed to meet at a certain time but I said I would get there later (what?? I wasn't watching  American Idol). By the time I got ready and finally arrived at the latest 'it' venue du jour, I was actually later than I said I would be (what?? I wasn't watching American Idol), but we were a big group so it's not like someone was waiting for me alone. Anyway, after about half an hour, MadGlam and I decided to haul over to the restroom where we ran into Mr. He's Just Not That Into You. He soon joined our table with his 'date,' and so I began to take notes on the telltale signs that he's just not that into you:

1. The Sister Act
Mr. HJNTIY stood talking to me and MadGlam when I noticed another chick sitting by herself at the other end of the table. I asked him, 'Is that your date?' and he replied all innocently, 'My date? No! She's like my sister.' Uhuh, right. Well, she certainly was young enough to be his little sister (we'll talk about guys pushing 40 who prefer to date 12-year-olds in another blog entry!), but somehow I didn't believe the relationship was at all familial. So, if the guy you're out with describes you as any kind of family member, then take note, he's just not that into you.

2. Sweet Talker
Mr. HJNTIY was all flattery that evening, first commenting on how much he enjoyed my blog and then moving on to my 'deep eyes.' I have to admit, at first I wasn't exactly sure that he was complimenting me, because when I asked if by deep he meant soulful, he said, no, he meant literally deep, as in deeply set in my skull. I was like 'Huh? Is that meant to be a good thing?' but in the end, I gathered that he indeed did find that a good thing. Now, I'm not flattering myself or anything - I don't think Mr. HJNTIY is interested in me at all (I'm not 12 after all!), but the bottom line is if the guy you're with is complimenting another girl's eyes or any other parts of her body and you're right there, then you know he's probably just not that into you.

3. Lap Dance
After a few minutes, I look over and see Mr. HJNTIY's 'sisterly' companion do the I-feel-awkward-no one's-talking-to-me-play-with-cell phone routine and tell him that he shouldn't be ignoring her like that. He calls over to the poor girl, who hastily stops faux texting people and immediately gets up and plops herself on Mr. HJNTIY's lap. Mr. HJNTIY responds by turning his head in the opposite direction and starts talking to someone else. So, if the guy you're with looks like he could be getting a root canal while you're practically giving him a lap dance, it's probably safe to say that he's just not that into you.

4. Hand and Hair Games
The lack of attention getting to her, Mr. HJNTIY's date then appears to get a wee bit desperate as she grabs his hand and starts caressing it (yeah, so sisterly). Absently, Mr. HJNTIY allows the hand holding but still does not tear himself away from his riveting conversation. His date then begins to run her fingers through his hair (an even more sisterly gesture), and Mr. HJNTIY is just as indifferent, puffing way on his cigar and looking completely bored. So, if your guy appears one yawn away from slipping into a coma while you are silently screaming 'let's get physical,' then please be advised that he's probably just not that into you!

After about an hour, Mr. HJNTIY left to tuck in his date for the night and I thought what an interesting case study he made while sipping my strawberry daiquiri. So, the next time you're out with someone who calls you his sister, pretty much ignores you half the night and seems completely bored with you the rest of the time, don't waste your energy analyzing his every move. Just put yourself out of your misery by simply admitting that he's just not that into you!