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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 ...