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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How far would you go ...?

Sunny Sunshine and I were having coffee a few days ago and discussing how far we'd go if we were interested in someone who was not exactly responding in the way we had hoped. We are both very much Old School - which basically means we're better suited to living out a Jane Austen novel than mingling amidst the modern tigresses of today's dating world. Our idea of being 'daring' is sending an unsolicited text message, which neither of us has had the guts to do, mind you. Yeah, we are so not Gossip Girl material! We decide after decaf non-fat lattes and herbal tea that we are hopeless cases. But I did spill about a story of my most pathetic daring move over a guy I was very much interested in.

At the time, I went to Miss HotStuff for some much needed advice on how to go about pursuing my crush (FYI: while SS and I are kindred spirits in our wimpiness traditionalism, Miss HotStuff thinks I am just plain lame). I was throwing a small dinner for friends and really wanted this one guy to come. We were acquaintances so it would've been totally natural for me to call him up and say, 'Hey, I'm having a dinner, why don't you come?' But nooooo, I had to over-analyze the whole situation and think for ages about whether or not I should invite him, how I should invite him, and to make sure that it doesn't seem like I'm into him (even though I totally was) if I were actually brave enough to invite him. With all the backwards and forwards and going through all the scenarios, Miss HotStuff was literally ready to throw me off the balcony. 'Uhhh, how old are you again?' she reminded me ever so kindly.

It may sound easy enough, but making the first move is incredibly difficult and needs to be done with finesse and so subtly that the guy doesn't even know that you're doing it. It's really quite a feat to send a message that basically says, 'Hey, I'd like you to be at my dinner, but don't let it go to your head that I'm interested in you, but at the same time, here is a big hint that I like you, just in case you weren't sure and haven't made a move yet because you were afraid I was going to reject you.'

Taking all that into consideration, it should come as no great surprise that it took me two hours to come up with a one sentence email invite (because I was too chicken s*** to call or even send an SMS). After writing the email and staring at it forever, I read it out loud to Miss Hotstuff and Mr. US, who happened to be over. I called up Mr. B and asked his opinion; he thought I'd been used in some science experiment that regressed me back to the age of 12. The delivery guy from Roadster came with our food and Miss HotStuff suggested I ask what he thought (I laughed sarcastically, but was secretly seriously considering it).

Finally, Mr. US, completely annoyed with my juvenile behavior, told me to send the damned email already in a way that made it perfectly clear that everyone thought I was a complete loser. 'But what if he says no??' I whined. 'SO WHAT??' he replied. And that was it, really. I thought, yeah, so what if he says no. So what if some stupid dumbass guy out there doesn't want to come to my dinner because he - obviously - has incredibly bad taste in women? Is my ego really so fragile? My pride really that frail? NO! I thought resolutely, I can handle this.

So ... I hit send .. dah dah dahhhhhhhh....

Okay, so nothing earth shattering happened. He replied shortly after saying he'd love to come to my dinner. And no I did not check my email every five minutes to see if he'd responded (okay, maybe I did).

And then it was over and I had survived. (By the way, the guy eventually asked me to dinner and after all that build up in my head, he turned out to be quite a nasty piece of work. All my efforts wasted!!)

You know what? I still don't get why the old formula had to change: boy likes girl, girl likes boy, boy asks girl out - END OF STORY! It was so easy and simple and uncomplicated. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know - I need to get my head out of that Jane Austen novel already!

Now you know the extent of my so-called daring, but how far would you go, or have you gone ... ??? After reading the above, you know it ain't gonna be hard to shame out-do me!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Blind Date-a-logues

The other night I was super busy when I got a phone call from MadGlam, who suggested we go get a bite to eat. So, I put down my brush and turned off my iPod (no, I was not singing along to Taylor Swift's 'You Belong With Me' in the mirror!) and got ready. We arrived to our favorite haunt and ran into Mr. Borrring (because he is in a constant state of boredom) and started exchanging dating horror stories. As the queen of the worst blind dates ever, MadGlam suggested I blog about the worst ones. So here it goes, the worst three in no particular order.

The Spitter
I guess the title speaks for itself, but this is how the story goes: my mom gets a phone call from a friend who knows a guy - a doctor no less! - from a good family blah blah blah, and she thinks he'd be perfect for me. I beg mom to say that I'm seeing someone, or leaving the country or even that I'm gay, but just get me out of it. Long story short, she guilts me into meeting the dude, because 'you never know' (except that I DO KNOW and I'm always right). So, the guy calls and we set a 'date' at a cafe in Beirut. I remember arriving and seeing a few guys at the cafe - all completely unattractive - and notice one is particularly not good looking and pray, just pray over and over again that it is any guy, even the 50 year old balding one, but not that guy. Of course, it's that guy. Anyway, I order a sparkling water because that was the quickest thing I could down. The guy was nice enough but just not for me because ... well, he just spat all over the place. When some landed in my water I thought I was going to puke and knew I had to get out of there right away. So, for the first time on a blind date I lied to make a fast escape. I told him I was madly in love with someone else and that I'm sorry I wasted his time. So of course he asked me why I bothered to meet him, and I said because my parents didn't approve of the guy. And the next logical question was why they didn't approve. And because I'm the WORST liar on the planet and a big fat idiot, I said the first thing that popped into my head, which for any logical person would've been because we're different religions. But nooooo, Anissa the moron did not say that. I said it was because... we were cousins! I still don't know what the hell I was thinking. All the excess saliva threw me off my game and somehow affected my brainwaves. I'm not normally so stupid, but that's what a lot of spit flying at you will do to a person.

The One that Never Was
Okay, so technically this was not a blind date because the guy was so awful over the phone, that I didn't even meet him. It began with the same spiel - a relative calls saying she knows a guy who is this and that and we should definitely meet. Me being the eternal idiot agrees yet again. So that same day I get a phone call from this guy. First, he calls me Alyssa, so I correct him and say, 'Actually my name is Anissa.' To which he replies, 'What kind of name is that?' Nice! Who calls up a girl and doesn't even get her name right?? And then, when he does hear her actual name makes fun of it?? A total moron, that's who. Anyway, he was insistent on meeting that very night, more proof that he was loser, and I told him I was only free at the end of the week. Then he proceeded to go through EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK to see if I was free, and again I repeated I was only free at the END OF THE WEEK. Finally, he got the message, and we agreed on a Friday. I have to add that he giggled every time he said the word 'date' like he was five or something. For the next few days all I could think of was how to get out of this date without offending my aunt who set the whole thing up. I decided I would bite the bullet and just do it. One hour, how bad could it be, right? On Friday morning he calls, and asks how I am. I say I'm fine. Then he says, "I'm just calling to confirm our date, hee hee hee hee." He had the most annoying giggle you can imagine and at that point I knew I just could not go through with it, so I said, “Well you know actually I'm not fine at all. I'm afraid we're going to have to postpone." I prayed he got the message. Well, a week passed and he never called back so I thought my prayers were answered, until one Saturday I got a phone call from a strange number. I pick up and ... it's the guy's sister calling to yell at me for not going out with her brother! I was in total shock. I don't like to call guys that I didn't get along with losers, but please, this guy totally was. I mean, his sister?? Come on. And she was yelling at me, "Are you going to go out with my brother, YES OR NO, ANSWER ME, YES OR NO!" Oh yeah, that made her brother more appealing! I told her to mind her own business and if her brother wanted to ask me something, let him pick up the phone and ask me himself. Thank the heavens above he never did!

Moped Guy
Mr. Borrring got a kick out of this story the most. It all started with yet another relative telling me that I should meet this great guy she knows. And because I never learn, I agreed ... again. We decide to meet up at this car show that was going on at the time, because I was covering it for the magazine I was working for (why the editor chose me to cover a car expo I have no idea). Anyway, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone, do the story and meet the guy in the same hour. So, the guy was nice enough, but not for me. We go through the expo and he's explaining car stuff to me, but my mind is totally switched off because to me car = engine + four wheels. At the end of the expo, we exchange pleasant goodbyes and walk out together. I asked him if he parked his car or gave it to the valet and he said he had his own ride. So, as I was waiting for my car from the valet, I see him walk over to a tiny moped driven by another guy, hop on the back put his arms around the other guy and go off ... on a moped ... on the back of a moped ... with another guy driving. Enough said.

And there you have it. The worst blind dates ever. I don't know what it is about me that makes people want to set me up with the worst possible matches, but that's what ALWAYS happens, so now I am forever sworn off blind dates. For real!

But all my experience has allowed me to decipher the deceiving blind date code that people use to coax you into going on blind dates:

1. He's good looking translates into he's a troll but I'm lying so you'll meet him anyway.
2. He's a doctor - He's a troll with a fancy degree
3. He's from a good family - His dad is not an ex-con and his mom is not a reformed prostitute but guess what? HE'S STILL A TROLL!

So, you've been warned. The next time someone wants to set you up, take it from me and ... just ... say!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Porn and the Blowfish

This week has been an absolute disaster on so many fronts that I think they've named a new condition just for me, Crazy Bitch Syndrome. Well, I don't know how well any of you would do after contracting chronic sinusitis and being quarantined at home for over a week with no contact to the outside world, which I guess wasn't such a bad idea considering that the medication I have to take has made my face puff up to Fat Albert proportions. Actually, when I got my diagnosis and treatment plan, I really did handle it with grace. I thought, I'll take this time to just read and watch TV, I mean I'm kind of a homebody anyway, so how bad could bed rest for a while really be?

Things started out ok until ... the cable went out and I absolutely FREAKED! Apparently these two cable companies that I happen to subscribe to decided to merge just when I was not allowed to leave the house and all my favorite channels were like gone! They had to reconfigure the signals or whatever and until then it was like I was lost at sea with no raft. So, I called my dad and made him get the freaking cable guy come over right away and talk to him because I just can't yell effectively in Arabic. The cable guy came over pretty promptly and I gave my dad strict instructions on what channels he better bring back or I would kick some serious ass (even in my weakened state, TV withdrawal brings out the Hulk in me). I did not personally meet with the cable guy because vanity is a beast and hello, did I not mention the hideous swollen guppy face that made me look like I could be an extra in a horror movie without the need of special effects?

After a while, dad comes to my room and asks me to check my channels and make sure they're all back. So I flick through and I notice that three of my favorite movie channels are missing and I go ballistic. So my poor dad goes back to talk to the cable guy and tells him to bring back those particular channels. Then dad comes back to my room and explains that they've changed things around now and those channels are now part of a different package and cost more money. Okay, you have to imagine my situation: I'm off caffeine because of my meds, my face is literally space alien scary, my hair is crazy and I'm wearing granny sweats as I storm into the TV room and start ripping into this cable guy, who is like a 16 year old kid. Vanity be damned! I wanted my TV damn it!

I tell him in my ranting Arabic that I've been his client for a hundred years and if he thinks he's going to charge me more for the same channels I was getting before then ... yeah well, I couldn't think of anything threatening enough to say at that moment, but I think my hideous appearance frightened him enough. So he said I had to call his boss, and I was all like, fine, I'll call your damn boss and turned to dad and told him to call the boss, which he did (my poor dad!). He told the guy, "My daughter wants these channels and you better give her these channels and we're not paying you a dime more." So the boss guy didn't want to upset my dad, who is a very loyal customer and tells the kid to give me my channels. The kid gives me this really strange look, like he's embarrassed for me or something, and I figure it's just because I look so stunning in my chronic sinusitis attire. Then he very weirdly asks my dad and I to leave the room. At that point, I was just like 'WHATEVER! Just get it done,' and stomped out all huffy and puffy.

A few minutes later, dad comes in and says that the kid left and that I should check if I got my channels. So, I flick through my TV and I see my three movie channels and I'm happy for about three seconds and then my jaw literally drops. I was totally stunned, shocked when I saw ... SIX HARD CORE PORN CHANNELS. Oh ... my ... God. I don't think I've ever been so mortified. I mean, I was screaming at this poor kid demanding these channels, and the whole time he was obviously convinced that I wanted FREE PORN! Oh ... my ... God! And that's why he asked us to leave the room, because he was too embarrassed to download them in front of us!

So, this kid is thinking two things: 1) I'm a pervert addicted to porn with a dad who is okay with that; or 2) my swollen face is as good as it gets for me and that's the closet thing to a social life I'll ever get! Oh ... my ... God! What followed next was a very embarrassed phone call from dad to the cable boss guy, explaining that I only wanted the non-porn movie channels (honestly!) and to please send the - probably now disgusted and horrified - kid back to remove the porn. Yeah, recouping from chronic sinusitis was fun.

Anyway, my quarantine comes to an end this week, and although the porn is gone (honestly!), I've still got that sexy blowfish look going, but if you happen to see me, tell me I look pretty anyway and I'll buy you a beer :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Good Ones are Always Married or Gay!

The other day I was off to a meeting with someone for the first time and during such occasions, I usually like to make a good first impression and do my best to dress nicely and fix myself up. Anyway, that day I wasn't feeling too great and not really in the mood, so I decided to leave out the mascara, put on some comfortable jeans and although I did wear a nice sweater, without the good bra, I might as well have been wearing a maternity outfit. Of course, on the day I chose to dress down, the guy I was meeting with had to be damn cute! I cursed myself for not attending to my lashes and could hear Victoria's Secret in my head saying, 'I told you so!'

Well, I was disappointed for all of two minutes because then I noticed the wedding ring and even though the guy was cute, and smart and charming and kind, he was now Handsome Unavailable Man (I was first going for cute unavailable man, but I hope I don't have to spell out the problems with that acronym!). So as it turned out, alls well that ends well.

All that got me thinking about where nice girls are supposed to meet nice guys. I wrote a chapter about this in my book, because we really don't have the same options as other Western countries, mainly because 99.9% of the guys have left the country. Well, we have bars, but let's be honest, when's the last time you were hit on by a nice guy at a bar? I'm not talking about guys you were introduced to by friends and you happened to be at a bar, I mean total stranger sleaze bags who come up to you with their smarmy come ons. It's always like, "Hello, I like your clotheyz, I hope I can see you for many montheyz, maybe on your birssday. Thanks for you." (Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Lebanese accents, but it gets on my nerves when they transform one syllable words into two syllables. Okay, I just heard the collective groan of everyone who ever had to hear me speak Arabic and mispronounce 98.7% of all the words, so I'll just shut up now. Thanks for you.)

So, other than meeting guys at meetings and through friends, you can also meet them at places that you regularly frequent. That's how I met Bumped Into Guy (oooh, a completely unintentional Sex and the City reference; really, not trying to be a Carrie, always thought of myself as more of a Charlotte). I kept running into BIG at the same place and at first did not like him at all because he was talking politics and let's just say we disagreed. Anyhow, later that night, I dreamt that I saw him wearing a Hawaiian shirt, which convinced me that not only was he a jerk, but also a dork.

(I have to break from that story for a minute to explain that it used to take me a while to be friendly to people I just met and my shyness was often perceived as being snobby. So, one of my dearest friends, MadGlam, for years was trying to work with me on my apparent Ice Queen persona. She ever so gently broached the subject, completely sensitive to my feelings and such, saying, "Anissa, people don't like you when they first meet you. They think you're cold and a snot bag." "Whaaaaaat?? What do you mean? I'm delightful and charming!" I replied indignantly. "Yeah, I guess, if by delightful you mean aloof and charming you mean that you act like you have a giant stick up your ass." Okay, I guess I was one of those, 'to know me is to love me kind of people.' But I decided to change toute suite!)

Taking those kind words into consideration, I decided to be nice to BIG since having his own political views was his right and he didn't even wear the Hawaiian shirt in real life, so I could hardly hold a dream against him. Over the course of the next few weeks, I was very friendly and charming and he asked for my number. In typical male fashion, though, he did not call. But, I still run into BIG all the time and he is still all flirty and complimentary, etc, etc, hinting that we should meet up, but never actually growing a pair and asking. Anyway, I suddenly thought about it and now realize why BIG has never called. It is so obvious, so clear, so blatantly in front of my eyes. The Hawaiian shirt dream was an omen, a sign, meaning of course that … BIG is gay (not that there's anything wrong with that)!

Well, despite all the HUMs and gay BIGs (hey, that's my story, and I'm sticking with it), I'm still sure that Cute Available Guy is out there somewhere, and hopefully when I meet him, my lashes will look their best and other parts of me will be bolstered up appropriately!