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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!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Biggest Loser

Everyone has some scandalous skeleton lurking somewhere in their closet. Some remain hidden; others, unfortunately, find a way to creep out and slap you in the face forcing you to face the tough question of 'Who is the biggest loser?' Nobody wants the answer to be 'me,' but sometimes a story gets out there and you have to face up to the fact that yes indeed, it could perhaps be you. And such was my fate the other night ... 

It all started one quiet evening while watching MTV (as in Music Television) when suddenly, Ms. HotStuff gets really excited when the video of those twin dweebs who remade Under Pressure comes on. "Oh my God, I love this song," she says as she raises the volume. Then I see Vanilla Ice - yes, the one hit wonder from the early 90s - pop up for a cameo. The genius twin dweebs, you see, have combined the wannabe rapper's one and only hit with the original Queen/David Bowie collaboration. I think to myself what a total and complete loser this guy is since it's been like 20 years and the only other thing to his credit is the how-could-you-miss-it-Oscar-worthy film Cool As Ice (no, I didn't know the title off the top of my head, ok, I IMDbed it!). As the video progresses, I become convinced that the twin dweebs are sure to follow Vanilla Ice into the world of one-hit-wonderdom, when I look over and see Ms. HotStuff eagerly downloading the song onto her BlackBerry, all happy with herself. And, as if that weren't bad enough, she goes on to start the following conversation:

"Oh my God, he is so hot," she says. I look at the screen, completely confused.
"Who?" I ask.
"Vanilla Ice," she responds in all seriousness.
Just to make sure, I ask, "Are you serious??"
"Yeah, he is so hot," she says again for emphasis in case I missed it the first time.
"You are such a loser. He is like 80 years old."
"So what? He doesn't look that old and he is fine [as in F.I.N.E. fine]."
"I cannot believe you find Vanilla Ice hot! You have reached a new level of loserdom. I am so blogging about this conversation." Ms. HotStuff looks at me completely unfazed and asks: "Did you or did you not attend a Vanilla Ice concert?" I am stunned into silence. Touche, Ms. HotStuff, touche. 

She knows it's true, so there's no point in denying this deep, dark, hideous secret from my past. And even though the score is now 15-love in Ms. HotStuff's favor, I attempt to defend my honor. "Ahhmm, errrrr, uhmmm," I sputter. "In my defense," finally coherent words emerge from my mouth, "it was an MC Hammer concert [yeah, like that makes it better!] and he was just the opening act." Where was I going with that lame ass defense? MC Hammer is supposed to make me sound like less of a loser? And so I continue, trying desperately to save myself, "And, also in my defense, MC Hammer was a BIG thing back then - you know, with the sherwal pants and the you-can't-touch-this dance." Ms. HotStuff is still not convinced after hearing this and says, "Did you or did you not attend said concert with your mother?"

Oooh, that was brutal. I really felt the sting of that one. I am caught off guard but manage this pathetic rebuttal, "Well, again, in my defense [I watch a lot of law shows, but that's the only legal jargon I could come up with], back then I was too young to attend a concert unchaperoned!" But I realized that it was too late. The dark stain of loserdom was too deep set now to be removed no matter how hard I tried.

I thought my argument was all but lost, but I reviewed all the facts in my head to try and come up with one last stand. Yes, I had attended an MC Hammer concert. Yes, Vanilla Ice had been the opening act. Yes, my mother had come along. Oh the shame, the shame! But just as I was thinking that maybe Ms. HotStuff had won this round, she utters, with all sincerity, the words that will ultimately give her the title of 'The Biggest Loser': "I want to kiss every one of his tattoos."

I rest my case!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not So Secret Diary of a Beiruti Gal

I'm sure everyone is absolutely desperate to know what a fabulous, exciting, super popular, successful, single Beiruti gal (yes, me!) gets up to during the course of any given week. It's exhilarating stuff, let me tell you. So exhilarating in fact, that I decided to give you a sneak peek of my thrilling diary. So here it goes...

Well, K$sha may wake up in the morning feeling like P.Diddy, but when I get up there's only one word to describe what I feel and look like: crap. And I don't say that in a fishing-for-compliments way, because seriously people, I am not a morning person. I'm lucky enough to work from home and since my office consists of only moi, my work attire is a pair of pjs and a robe - tres professional, I know. I hate Mondays and usually spend most of the day downloading music and watching previews of just released movies, all the time telling anyone who'll listen that I'm sooo busy with deadlines. Good business strategy.

I started work and finished in time to make it to the gym for a pilates class. BIG MISTAKE. I usually never take workout classes because I'm so uncoordinated, I look like a flailing fish out of water rather than someone who is actually exercising. Anyway, I was doing my 30 mins on the bike when my trainer comes up to me and says, "Hmmm, I cannot tell ... are you fat? Yes, yes, you are fat. You have gained weight." I look at him, fury in my eyes, "I HAVE NOT GAINED WEIGHT. These sweat pants are just too BIG for me now that I have actually LOST weight and so they make me look fat." Yeah, nice one, Anissa - he's so going to believe that. He doesn't, of course. Anyway, I was so furious about the fat comment that to make a point that I was all slim and fit, I took the pilates class, because I thought, hey they're all on mats, how hard can it be?? Stupid Anissa. Let's just say they should call it killates.

After I finished work for the day, I was thinking that there was no way I was going to the gym after yesterday's excruciating workout. But for some weird reason, I always feel guilty when I don't go, so I like to have an excuse, no matter how lame. Just in the nick of time, MadGlam called and eased my guilty conscious with plans to go out for the evening. I glanced at the clock and, hallelujah, there was no way I could make it to the gym and be ready in time, so I got my excuse. YES! During the evening though, my aching limbs did not really benefit from me falling on my ass - yes, in front of the whole table - when, as I was sitting on the arm rest of a chair, it tilted over, taking me with it. I tried to get up all graceful and nonchalant so that no one would really notice, but I knew that didn't happen when almost everyone ran up to me and asked if I was ok and someone even helped pick me up from the floor! Embarrassing much?

Went to the mall with MBGF and did what I do best: GOSSIP. In the evening after meeting my deadline - yes, I do actually work! - I got ready to go the gym. I went into the TV room to eat an apple before heading out the door and looked over at the TV - Miss HotStuff was watching American Idol. "You are such a loser for watching this crap," I tell her. She ignores me, engrossed in the show. I take a seat while I finish my snack and continuously make fun of her to mask the fact that ... I'M ACTUALLY WATCHING AMERICAN IDOL. I think myself ingenious, but after sitting through the entire show and not going to the gym (again), I think the cat's pretty much out of the bag. Hello, my name's Anissa and I'm addicted to American Idol.

TGIF, wohooo! So, as with every Friday, I go to the pub for a drink with the boys. Before heading out the door, though, I get a phone call from MadGlam, asking - nay, commanding - me to go to this other place in Gemaizeh afterwards even though I tell her I'm not in the mood. MadGlam is very convincing (read: scary) and so I reluctantly agree. After the pub, we head out to Gemaizeh and notice cops and army personnel everywhere. There's even a check point, and as I roll down my window, I'm perfectly polite to the soldier - who waves me on immediately - but I'm thinking, 'Helloooo, the shootout at that club was last week, dumbasses.' I love how Lebanese security always get into action after something bad has happened. Way to take a bite out of crime! 

In the morning, I go to get my nails done in Verdun and arrive a little early so that I can walk down to Starbucks and get a coffee. A semi-conscious security guard searches my bag at the entrance. I am sooo annoyed because again I think about the shootout at the club the week before and wonder why my handbag is searched at a bloody Starbucks, like I'm going to go in there guns blazing for a caramel macchiato, when a**hole guys are never searched and are allowed to go into clubs and shoot people. Later that evening, totally not in the mood for a crowded outing with smokers and drunk people, MadGlam and I are invited over to Mr. B's for a quiet evening of drinks. MadGlam then pleads with me not to blog about what we do next, but I tell her there's nothing wrong with going to a 24-hr grocery store to buy snacks (yum, Twizzlers) and then buying DVDs, even if it is Saturday night. We're still totally cool! But then MadGlam committs a gross atrocity by tasting one of my Twizzlers, declaring them disgusting and throwing an unfinished stick into a dumpster!! I'm not sure we can still be friends.

This day should have been accompanied by an orchestra of heralding trumpets since it was the day that I finally saw AVATAR! I know, about time, right? Two words to describe this movie: AWE SOME. I mean, it's not every day that you get to end the week with blue people that can plug their hair into stuff!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Touching Me ... Touching You ...

The following is a true account of how Lebanese people watch rugby.

So, I really do not care for sports at all, something that was confirmed at my weekly pub night with Mr. B, MadGlam and co. The evening started out well enough and as per usual we caught up on a variety of interesting, mind stimulating topics ('remember the swipe?'). Eventually Mr. B and co. left and we were joined once again by the very exciting Mr. Borrring (yes, he is still bored) and his friend. As we continued our intellectual discourse, a mad group of over-excited sports fans stormed in and before we knew it, we were caught up in a raging rugby match that had just started on TV. Oh lucky us.

(By the way, just an off-hand observation, I don't think your average Lebanese guy is into sports either, unless he's lived abroad, has another nationality and thus follows the team of another country. Of course the exception is soccer, in which case every Lebanese man either supports Brazil or Germany because unlike Nelson Mandela who used rugby to unite his country, we Lebanese have no such national team. Yes, I watched Invictus.)

MadGlam, who is as into sports as Mr. Borrring is into yoga, was excited that her fellow Frenchmen were playing 'football' against some team in red (Wales). Someone points out that it's actually a rugby match and we all decide to support France because 1) Wales isn't even a country; 2) none of us gives a rat's ass about rugby; and 3) no one even remotely understands the game - yes, even though I watched Invictus - which is demonstrated by my discussion with Mr. Borrring on whether or not a score was called a touchdown or a goal. "No, no, it's a touchdown," says Mr. Borrring confidently while puffing on a cigar, which is how Lebanese men watch sports. "Are you sure? I think it's a goal," I interject, although I have no idea what I'm talking about - yes, even though I watched Invictus - and am more concerned about the effect of the cigar smoke on my freshly washed hair. "Yeah, yeah, I'm sure," settles Mr. Borrring.

Our loud (if mock) enthusiastic shouts of 'Vive La France' draw the attention of a rabid Welsh fan, who comes up to our table for no apparent reason and asks if we're into the game. We reply that sure, we are soooo into the game. He then asks if we're with France. Again, we (faux) passionately exclaim our devotion to the French team. Rabid Welsh Fan then asks if we understand the game, and we say, "Sure, sure we understand the game." And just to emphasize how much we all understand the fine nuances of all things rugby, I ask, "So, is a score called a touchdown or a goal?"

RWF (who by this time has revealed that he is in fact Irish) gives me a face of disgust. "Urgh, you Americans always take a fine, respectable sport and turn it into a vulgar game. You took rugby and made it into American football and took cricket and made it into baseball." I interrupted his stimulating diatribe with, "Uhm, can you just answer my question." "Oh, it's called a 'try'." Man, we were so off base. A try?? Stupid rugby, not even their scoring makes sense.

Not in the mood to get into the whole 'America ruins everything, even good sports' discussion, I turn to MadGlam, and say, "At least American sports players are hot! Rugby players look like toothless cavemen." "They look like hobbits," she says. "Yeah," I agree, "hobbits carved out of tree trunks." As you can tell, we don't care about the game, the talent, or even the team - to us, if we have to watch sports, for the love of Prada, at least let the players be hot!

Anyway, MadGlam, then bursts into fits of hysterical laughter and takes a napkin to wipe her eyes. By that time we are joined by another friend and we all look to the giant screen to see what has so captivated our companion. We see a bunch of stalky, squat men in short shorts in a huddle grabbing each other's asses (no lie) - it looks like a scene from a gay porno, but with clothes, except when one guy pulls down another guy's shorts and we are treated to his bare buttocks. Suddenly, Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline' pops into my head: Hands, touching hands; Reaching out; Touching me; Touching you ... Good times never seemed so good. Could be the rugby theme song.

I look over at RWF and wonder how he thinks American football is vulgar compared to this!! "At least Tom Brady never looks like he's auditioning for an x-rated version of Brokeback Mountain! I shout ... in my head  ... but still, I'm right, right?

And that's how Lebanese people watch rugby.