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Monday, October 28, 2013

UnBreaking Bad

So, I've been binge watching Breaking Bad lately. I wanted to know what all the hype was about and be in on all the references and jokes, but mostly I just wanted people to think I was cool. I was really drawn into all the Walter White drama, but thought that what Lebanon needs is the complete opposite - basically to unbreak bad. We've become so jaded over the years that no one is nice anymore. I know it sounds trivial, but for some time now, I've noticed that many Lebanese have lost their goodwill and manners are a thing of the past. I know, I know, you're thinking, Anissa, you really expect fighters in say Tripoli to take time in between trying to blow each others' heads off and say, 'Yo, thank you for missing a major artery', or 'please don't aim at the heart'? But you know what? Perhaps if we were kinder to one another, such conflicts would be less the norm nowadays.

For example, I have been going to the same gym for about eight months now. No one, and I mean absolutely no one, says 'hello'. But the thing that irritates me the most is the parking attendants at the cashier window. Every time I pull up, I greet whoever is on duty and all I have gotten in return are Walter White death stares. So, I made it my goal to get them to say hello back. I can't explain why, but it just became so important, like if I could get them to be polite, then maybe it was a sign that there is hope for Lebanon. I had like this Rocky moment, but instead of 'Eye of the Tiger', Katy Perry's 'Roar' was playing in my imaginary mission montage. I was gonna do it, whatever it took, Parking Attendant the Elder and Parking Attendant the Younger (they don't wear name tags) were going to acknowledge my 'hellos' and 'thank yous' dammit.

I explained my admirable goal to MadGlam and she said, 'Maybe they don't respond because you talk in English. Say it in Arabic.' Aha! That must be the reason, I thought. So the next day, I said, 'marhaba' and 'shukran'. Walter you-stole-my-meth White eyeballing was the response. 'Okay, maybe they think you're a peasant or something. Say it in French,' MadGlam advised again. (She has the answer for everything, as long as you don't ask her to name a song title.) So I tried the 'bonjour/ merci' route and got Walter I-am-the-danger White in return. (Anyone else getting that I am really into Breaking Bad?)

Then one fine day, after six months at the gym, I pulled up to the window and Parking Attendant the Younger was on duty. I said, 'hello' and miracle of all miracles, HE SAID HELLO BACK. I was so stunned that when he handed me back the ticket, his arm dangled out his window for a good 30 seconds before I noticed and took it from his hand. I felt victorious, but my mission was not yet complete. Parking Attendant the Elder was still holding out. He became my Everest.

Until last week. Oh my god! Eight months of unrelenting politeness in return for eight months of Walter shut-up-Skylar White evil eyes, and Parking Attendant the Elder finally, finally, caved in and said 'hello'. 'That's right, b**ch!' I shouted back triumphantly in my best Jesse Pinkman. Okay, not really.

But long story short: Mission accomplished; Everest climbed. Please acknowledge my awesomeness. Thank you.