Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mommy; where do babies come from?! (CONVO March'09)

First off, you have to know that I've been trying too hard to keep my distance from conventional introductions to such topic but it seems that when one fears something the most, it scurries relentlessly back to him! And so it hit me that I have to put it out there in the universe, as to may be, just may be, they can let me be. Hence, for the sake of exorcising the tedious demons here goes the most boring intro, which by the way you're more than welcome to skip:
Curiosity comes as a natural human trait characterizing healthy observant individuals thus it's very common for children to develop particular interest in the world around them especially their own origin. "Mommy; where do babies come from?!" is thee question we've all asked our parents one day and looking forward to more alike ones from our future children…

That being finally said, I can now breathe lightly and start up the mockery! Smart huh?
Moving on, while deliberately refraining from my previous slip, I want to share with you how I got the idea. Ever since I was introduced to the term Sexology back in 2004, I had this urge to learn how parents, in Egypt, handle such sticky question. Back then facebook ceased to exist thus all I could do was a simple raw questionnaire asking people if they knew what the term sexology meant? Of course I don't need to mention Egyptian's extraordinary abilities to make up stories, so you can probably imagine the type of answers I got. We fast forward to 2009 where facebook remains as human's greatest invention, I was finally able to ask different people of different ages from different backgrounds what did their mothers tell them when asked, Mommy; where do babies come from?!

To list the answers just like that won't convey the awesomeness of the stories; accordingly I shall arrange them according to frequencies. One, being the most and six, being the least used! Enjoy…
1. When two get married, they pray God so hard to bless them with a baby and as soon as God sees that they are good people who got married, He blesses them with a child! (The typical Egyptian story)
2. There's this baby market where only legitimately married couples can enter and buy as much babies as they please. (If only it was this easy)
3. You go to a supermarket, buy a seed, plant it in a pot and when it's all ripened up, it blossoms to a beautiful little baby (Wasn't that how the creepy tiny Thumbelina came to the world?!)
4. When a boy kisses a girl, she becomes pregnant and a baby is born, so don't ever let a boy kiss you. (And people wonder why we have sexophobia!)
5. We went to a pharmacy where the pharmacist pulled out a pill and handed it to me, I took it, you grew in my tummy and nine months later you were born. (Oh My God, the Janice way)
6. Watch "Look, who's talking" (That's really smart!)

Of course that's only as far as kids who have enough guts to discuss such prohibited topic with their parents go as well as the parents who prefer fictional stories over the truth. For there are many who were too shy to ask the question and consequently to this day their parents still brag about their super parenting skills as they never had to deal with that embarrassing moment, if only they know!
Similarly there are many parents who overlooked that question and took their children's shutting up about it as a sign that they let the subject go. Again, if only they knew! Simply because people talk, at school the so called bad kids mix with the good kids and voila the genie is out of the box…
Well, I hate repeating clichés but it's inevitable for me to say that people will eventually get to the info they desperately seek. Whether it's wrong or right, affecting or effecting that's what I personally find important. As many of the people I asked who couldn't bring their natural curiosities to their parents, ended up looking for books, watching movies of which you know the nature of or searched the web for decently portrayed truth. The results of which appear in the form of undeniable scars for life, sexophobia, uncontrollable urges, ruined marriages or unnecessary experiences!

The serious talk
Once again I find myself calling for sexual education which I believe should start from Kindergarten! Yes, that early giving the numerous sexual harassments a child is exposed to from the least threatening people; the maids, the swimming coaches and even the doctors. It shouldn't include much info as not to cause real damage but just emphasis on the fact that no one is allowed to enter a bathroom with you, see or touch the genital area. Send the message out of love, care and religious preaching not out of freaking them out! And so as they grow up they'll start wondering why boys wear pants while girls wear dresses, you can simple mention the different qualities separating boys from girls. Saying that boys are more muncho than girls, they prefer running around, play football and so God designed them for more labor work. While girls are sweet, they walk nicely, love their dolls and so God designed them for being mothers. And so by following this trend, their appetite for more info will be directed to a clearer path making the next best question where do babies come from? But before I tell you what I think should be the answer, many of my friends who kindly replied to my question swore off to tell their kids nothing but the truth and I agree! Yet in an age appropriate manner. How? The three year old child, although asking the exact same question as the 6 year old, isn't looking for the same answer though! So, by asking children questions about what exactly do they want to know, an answer can be given. For example, if from where did you get my sister question was asked, answer with the truth, because I love your father deeply and we did the right thing by getting married and living together forever, God blessed us with you then with her. Fair enough! You see, it all comes down to expressions and level of clarity, use the right words and the amount of info they should know, may be even get them children pregnancy books but never lie so as not to one day be faced with the fact that your drama is repeating itself again in the form of your child!

Monday, March 23, 2009

How to make peace with your in-laws? (HE SAID SHE SAID March '09)

The ordeal of surviving the constant naggers!
There are two inevitable disasters in life people can't change, control or even enhance; parents and the in-laws to follow! There's no escape and unfortunately there can't be any turn backs. Thus, one finds himself over night forced to not dine, not talk, not visit but live with people he's grown to despise. Yet, as life always manages to surprise us with one of its silly ridiculous jokes, we are left with no other option but to laugh. And so my dear readers, we are going to laugh our way out of this snag to a summery place where in-laws are rarely seen or to be more realistic, where it's okay to see them. Accordingly, I hereby promise to provide you with nothing but 100% tested tips on how to silence the constant naggers, all of which have been tried on humans before!

The corrected version of the 6 mistakes couples do when facing the in-laws war!

1. Emancipation!To start dwelling on such sore subject, first you need to read the coming two sentences thoroughly and absorb them all in, as to exorcise the "I can easily ride my in-laws out of my spouse's heart" idea!
1. The other woman in every man's life is his mother
2. The other man in every woman's life is her father
Do I really need to say more or is it quite clear that you can't compete with your in-laws even if their own child loathes them?!

2. Waiting around for some unexpected miracle to come and fix this crappy relationship!Though it might seem like the easiest option, but from where I stand it looks more like a negative attitude. So, you need to speak up for yourself, in a decent respectful way as not to hurt your spouse. If that doesn't or didn't work and you're in confidence that your approach wasn't the problem, don't you dare commit the next mistake!

3. BackstabbingAs some people fail to express their anger in a relieving way, they tend to seek revenge, even the score or show them who the boss is in an indirect manner which usually involves kids! Yes, many people use their children to get back at their cruel in-laws by trash talking them in front of the children, weeping heavily while declaring that their misery is of the grandparents' making or even worse, narrating fake stories their grandparents super smacking abilities! Ruining your kids' childhood and punishing your in-laws certainly doesn't match up, so you have to find another way to communicate your enragement other than through your babies!

4. Calling an outsider for help!If you're looking for a real war then please use that option! Otherwise, keep the wretchedness to yourself! Still, you can vent about the cold looks and harsh comments as much as you please but never get anyone involved especially your parents! Because, even if you finally succeed to get on good terms with your in-laws, your parents won't forget! So the bottom line is, fight your own battles!

5. Expecting an apology from the in-laws!One would hope! But, alas, this will never happen. To start with, they are much older, thus they expect complete forgiveness and utter respect without saying a word. They'll just treat you in a nicer way and that should be enough of an apology for you, plus expectations ruin any kind of relationship let along in-laws relationship!

6. I'm only marrying you & I'll have nothing to do with your family!What a twaddle because when marrying someone, you're kind of agreeing to the whole package. And it doesn't matter if you're living near or mountains away for they'll always send you their best regards in marital problems form! So, this point can really help you cope with your in-laws. How?!
- Always involve your partner in your concerns and worries. If from day one you sensed that his parents aren't that easy to deal with, break it to him in a sly way by saying "I hate to see us suffer because we can't get along with each other's parents, hence I want you to know how my parents are like and the best way to deal with them and I want to know yours" And start with yours first!
- Take crucial decisions on the level of any of the in-laws involvement whether in your lives or your kids
- Finally, if things get completely out of hand, resort to your partner as it's their responsibility to amend your relationship with his/her parents.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The 6 traits marking Egyptian Mothers (Identity March '09)

Whilst welcoming motherhood with open arms, each mom prepares the to-do and not-to-do list as a helpless attempt to escape the horrendous mistakes their very own Egyptian mothers had made. They try too hard to break away from the accustomed parenting techniques that all else fails but the dreadful ones they once loathed. That is when the mothers start to wonder whether the problem lies in their kids, their inability to manage their discipline or is it just pure Karma?!
But the truth of the matter is, none of our mothers had the privilege of receiving parenting courses before delivering us to life and so the tragedy continues with each dabbling her way to proper upbringing while unconsciously maintaining the 6 traits marking Egyptian mothers…

Gossip-based parenting!Generally speaking, people find themselves at loss for words all the time, there’s nothing shameful or boorish about that. Just like those jiffies when the very same people get bored of hearing scandalous stories that they cleverly cover the boiling veins with an excuse to answer the door as to not miss the chance for a recite! However, Egyptian mothers drastically differ from the bespoken human nature because of two reasons:
1. The Socio-code which states that even though work has been once again restored as the final independence attempt on the middle-eastern women’s side, mothers are still, to this day, ripped off blindly from this right under the name of motherhood. Once blessed with a child, every working mother receives the look denoting consuming blames for this heartless selfish creature who chose career above her child! And so, after only a few brainwashing sessions, the mother voluntarily quits her life- sought career and settle for the higher status of a stay at home mommy. I’m not saying that all women quit their jobs voluntarily, nor that stay at home moms are less of achievers. It is the socio-code that specifies stay at home moms as the only accepted Egyptian mothers!
2. The Socio-code after mass forcing the now accepted Egyptian mothers to fill their plentiful spare times with requesting the chitchats they cheated and an extra bonus of believing whatever they’re told.
Accordingly, one may come to a credible finale on why almost all Egyptian mothers manage to see nothing but the dark side of their children. It only takes two stories of a daughter slipping into a secret illegitimate relationship and a son replacing his future with drugs to get the inspection process started! Suspecting every move, sniffing around for clues and re-evaluating the company along their children to manage the fears and put all doubts to rest. Of course by that time, the mother and child relationship would have gone irreversibly south and one would wonder why kids of today don't talk to their parents anymore!

When over protection prevails!Following up on the Socio-Code and the fact that Egyptian females are born to sacrifice their all for their families' welfare, overprotection comes as the next expected step. It's only inevitable, since moms all over the world are being judged based on their care-giving abilities. Egyptian mothers, on the other hand, surpass the maximum capabilities to jump straight into the-breathing-down-the-neck zone as to rest their consciousness assure from the worry of not watching over their kids enough. And because children come as the apple of their mothers' eyes, they are the ones who truly suffer from the excessive love, undue attention and endless disciplinary talks. Since as a society, we believe that the more attention you squander the more conservative your offspring will be! Hence, as far as I've witnessed, overprotected children come in three editions;
a. Too spoiled to handle individuality
b. Too anxious to explore the restricted pleasures
Or c. too clogged with rules to allow indiscretion
And so, I hereby come to the conclusions that overprotection yields no psychologically healthy individuals

All deserves punishment but my child!One might falsely assume that the overprotection issue ends with a child growing up. Complete nonsense! Pull up a chair and pop up the corn for misery is about to start, specifically around the same time as developing identities! Simply because this is the dangerous age, as named by some mothers, where scrutiny is a must and privacy is prohibited. Consequently, a child is never allowed to have a life on his/her own, there's no such thing as private phone calls, no such thing as diaries and locking doors is just out of question! So, as a result of the 24/7 watch, any mother would be reluctant to believe that her carefully brought up child could screw things up! That's why a defense campaign never fails to start when her perfect angel is met with accusations. A mother would typically use two weakening weapons on such occasions; her tears and her screams! How many mothers have we seen on TV crying their eyes out and calling for heaven's justice for their children who most of the times end up convicted? Their sound attempts and tireless voices have always confused me, even when all hands point to no one but their children, they're still standing still. Only one of the disappointed mothers brought this whole matter to my attention when she pleaded for another trial reasoning the fact that she's utterly sure of her child's manners, that the holiest of holy people might do wrong but her son won't, that others might deserve punishment but her son don't for she spent her sweat and blood for his wellbeing and there're not enough words to convince her otherwise!

Food is For how much I love you!It's the Egyptian trademark, food conveys love! That's right, if an Egyptian woman want to own her Egyptian husband she should cook for him, if an Egyptian wife want to impress her in-laws, she should surprise them with a complicated self-made meal and if an Egyptian family wishes to welcome a guest, they do so by stuffing him/her with food. Accordingly, it comes as no surprise when a mother chooses to express her endless, unconditional love for her own child with food?!
And along comes childhood obesity, lack of self-control, harsh requirements for the woman he'll one day hurt by marriage, eternal fattening food for the husband and so food becomes the only way of communication. Because despite of what I can call a rising time for awareness, when a child is not seen as a ball rolling on the floor, a mother is not considered dedicated enough, careless or even poor! It doesn't matter if that mother dreams of raising her kids healthily and is determined to save them the long tiring road of weight loss by controlling their cravings. No! She has to feed him/her till they vomit, after all that's the only acceptable way of showing ones love, talking gives a headache, showering with gifts turn the child spoiled, planning for his/her future is a lack of faith but food gives healthy bloody cheeks!
- The guilt-driving parenting technique
Almost every mother raised her kids by means of fear, fear from God, fear from the parents, fear from the people, fear from the bogyman and fear from rotten food. That way, the error expectancy can crushed down to almost zero, of course that's just what they think, and if the child ever decides to go wild on them they can bring some sense in him/her by the means of the guilt-driving technique!
Certainly, the technique varies between Egyptian mothers; however, there are certain approaches that lie in common. The likes of the look that's enough to melt the skin off my face, the how could you after all what I've done for you, too dramatic for forgetting to set off the silent application and of course the speech! The speech is what you can call a full house, first it starts with an alluring drag to a private quite room, afterwards as the child innocently sits down the look come off to pound his/her heart and then a storm of words comes as a paved road for the punishment that lies ahead. This is the traditional, direct and most used guilt technique. The indirect one is actually pretty smart where the mother would drop in uninvited criticizing comments regarding anything and everything. Ranging from the never appealing wardrobe selection to parenting skills, all under the umbrella of because I fear for you!

The anti-talking factorWhoever planted the belief that parenting only involves preaching should be shot! As, to this day, the talking factor in most families ceases to exist. Looking at this parental silence from the parents' zone, you'll find that all the talking circulates around orders, preaching, studying, curfews, allowance and of course criticizing. And from the kids' zone, you'll also notice that all that is considered worthy of discussing with parents are curfews, allowance and groundings. Therefore, communication only happens when financial or social needs have to be met, but what about the psychological humanitarian side?! Doesn't happen as both parties are trying to avoid awkward conversations, awkward silence and awkward looks! May be it's the kids' fault for not opening up to their parents about their worries, however, I choose to burden this huge problem over the parents' shoulders, especially the moms for not approaching their children, scarring them away with punishments and judgments! Can you believe it? A mother judging her own child for developing natural curiosity that she once developed! It happens, happened and will continue happening as long as parenting is limited to financial terms.
Not only that, but it spreads to the gender of the child, if he's a boy then the world dances with joy to the baby boy who's growing up to be a man! Yet, if she's a girl, fear and silence stretch to the earth's poles over the girl who'll grow to be… a not so good girl!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why would a loving mother turn into an impious mother in-law? How to deal with a harsh mother in-law?!

If what people say about motherhood being capable of curing the tautly tendons of a cruel heart, then something must have gone wrong! As every in-law started out as a mother who according to that doubtful saying supposedly holds a kind heart! Puzzler! Because as far as I know, seen, witnessed or whatever, mother in- laws are mean! Of course there's the occasional lucky bride who lands a sporadic peaceful second mom, however, not every girl out there is as fluky. In fact almost everyone I bump into is surrounded by craws! So, how, when and why did that transition take place? I was literally on a mission to find out…

Since I'm a huge potential believer, digging into a woman's personality, past and belief system to scrutinize her motherly side should reveal plenty regarding her tendency to turn into an impious mother in-law. That being said, I managed to categorize potentially cruel mothers in-law into 4 groups:

1. The "because they told me so" potential group:Those mothers are much affected by the tradition and what should and should not be. They tend to blindly follow the script, a mother in-law should be wicked, sly, hard to please and manipulative and so they shall be!

2. The "can't trick me twice" potential group:While growing up, it's only natural for women who witnessed their kind-hearted mothers standing helplessly as they were roughened up by their spouses to subconsciously turn into the fiercer version of the in-laws who primarily protect their kids and secondly themselves so as not to be taken for granted!

3. The "I'm bossy and I like it" potential group:When bossiness shines brighter than the sun in a mother's eyes, goodness scurry to the nearest exit! For she's a natural impious mother in-law waiting for someone other than her family and friends to show who the real boss is!

4. The "me, myself and I" potential group:As it is the case with most selfish people, ego issues overflow when someone dares to steal the light, the people or even their place in their children's hearts. Consequently, I won't be magnifying their reaction when I say that they'll be competing over their children's time, love and affection, after all they are their properties!

Giving in to the fact that not every mother has the natural hidden potential to go crazy, yet manage to surprise the world with their unforeseen dark side. I had to look somewhere else for that drive and fortunately enough with less effort; the factors contributing to their transition hit me in the face!
So, without further ado, I present to you the 3 compelling factors which can instantly turn a gentle mother to a daunting in-law:

1. Security issues:
Security for Egyptian women comes from exactly 3 different sources; men, jobs aka money and children. Since in our culture women struggle to create a career and filthy rich women are usually intimidated or used by men, it's only fair to say that jobs aren't guaranteed to provide a lifetime of security. And since men come as the number one stressor in any woman's life, they counteract their actual role as security providers to constant nags, which kind of leaves women with only one last life-connecting-thread, their children! But when their children are about to be abducted by wild aliens who threaten the mother with an endless loneliness, it's only logical that clinginess and overprotection comes as the only defense mechanism left to achieve the sought after security.

2. Payback time:Word is out that part of the motherly job is to protect the kids, regardless of the fact that I personally wouldn't know about the level of dedication when compared to nationality or various cultures, but I know this, instinct-wise mothers everywhere are ready to suck the life out of any predator aiming their children. Accordingly, witnessing a daughter or a son being mistreated by a spouse is fairly sufficient to turn any soft mother into a man-eating monster enclosed in the form of an in-law screaming "REVENGE!"

3. Their rants:
People talk, there's nothing new about that! Yet, as talkative as women can be gossips and stories pass around faster than fire especially when it contains bits and pieces concerning familial quarrels! Hearing this, any mother, fearing for herself and her kids would chose to put on the scary mask and act like the toughest mother in-law that ever lived! Even though the spouse might have done nothing wrong nor harmed her child in any way, but it's as they say safety first and experiences never lie!

Now that we have covered some pretty serious grounds on mothers' potentials in turning into a typical mother in-law and the factors that might have lead to this wonderful abruption, let's play a probability game to detect the category to which your possible/current mother in-law belongs to…
Considering only 2 personal trademarks, kind and harsh, we get 4 possibilities for any mother in-law, she's either:

1. Kind on the inside but harsh on the outsideThis is nothing but a wily cover-up to hide her scare from your unseen dark side, send you an indirect message that she's capable of taking you down anytime you decide to attack or that she's harmlessly bossy and selfish as mentioned earlier. How to detect her deliberately hidden kindness is easy, as between the yells and the angry looks, her true self pops out once in a while in the form of kind gestures, generous offerings or even a sincere thank you. And don't worry because she won't be harsh to you for long, as if she's truly kind, then she'll drop the act when she trusts you to be the nice person she hoped for her children and grandsons.

2. Kind on the outside but harsh on the insideShe is by far the worst of all types of mothers' in-law, as she simply allures you in with her welcoming arms, charitable gestures and the delusion of her caring about you more than her own child. I'm telling you now wake up and smell the coffee; no one is capable of loving anyone more than their own offspring! She might say it, emphasis it and even persist on it but she'll drag you in to trust her, spill out your guts about what's bothering you in your relationship and memorize you inside out. I can't say that she's that evil to use the information you once shared in confidence against you, but let's just say she'll keep it, if not share it with your future spouse to know how to deal with you and put you right where you belong!

3. Harsh inside out
As much as there's no hope going around this awful mother in-law at least there is no baffling involved, she's just harsh. Though good-intentioned spouses would try to look for the bright side but alas! As cruel as her truth is, she'll spare no effort to tick you off and drive you out of your temper. Probably to gain the sympathy of her children and reclaim her property or out of tradition, a mother in-law should never be nice, kind nor negotiable!

4. Kind inside out
If other people's experiences are of any indication, it's that being around your mother in-law should never be fun, but what if it actually is?! Well, there are a number of possibilities here; may be she's playing you till the worst happens, may be you're delusional for skipping on her harsh comments or than she's actually kind. Just like the harsh inside out mother in-law, time is your only detector. When you see no harm, feel no threat from her side while keeping her child's best interest at heart, then this is a real blessing because she'll be working to make you both happy and together. Sure she'll have her flaws like caring too much or being too much involved but at least she's not thriving to get you out of the picture!

Monday, March 9, 2009

What your MAN does when YOU're not around?! (Campus March'09)

Sometimes, out of clinginess, the girl will manage to scrutinize every step of her guy’s life. But at one point or another, he’ll thrive to enjoy a moment of solitude without her breathing down his neck! And that’s when birds go back to singing and life once again restores the meaning of freedom. In other words, regardless of your own belief that you know your guy inside out and that you unconditionally trust his utter honesty, there’s always some secrets left untold! Just like you! Imagine what you do on your own time that you won’t be telling him and double that to get …

What your man does when
You’re not around?!

1. When there’s no “us” at work!Your guy, like any other human can’t fight the temptation when an opportunity of being the popular kid presents itself. Thus he’s ready to be everyone’s friend and I mean everyone, including the ever so sexy coworker, the desperate for a guy girl and the attention grabber. Now, I won’t be a total nightmare and tell you that there’s a chance he’ll ignore your very existence but there comes times when you’re deliberately pushed out of the frame. That happens when he compliments his teammate on her excellent choice of seductive fragrance, when he’s suddenly the gentleman who open doors and stand up greeting her arrival and when he’s got all the time in the world just to listen to her heart-wretched stories. Can he do all of those things when you’re around?! NO! And so all you shall be hearing is how brainy, numbingly boring and ugly his coworkers are, till you’re shot in the face by the unbearable truth! And just so you know 85% of guys fantasize about their female coworkers…

2. When alone at home
I believe there are two faces of everybody; there’s the face we put on for the world to see and there’s the one that we sacredly keep to ourselves, reluctant to reveal it even to our soul mates. That being said; imagine everything that annoys you about your guy and trillion it! Starting with the repulsive eating manner only displayed in front of you when massive hunger strike all the way up to spitting, farting, burping or whatever it is that guys’ call the everyman habit. Add to that the feminine side every guy denies possessing which resurface when no one’s around to watch. Remember each time he made fun of you for checking your pores in the car’s mirrors or the way you always complain about your form no matter how long you’ve been starving yourself? He does that too but in the comfort of his mirror, again alone!

3. When All Around your stuffPlease note that not because guys act all indifferent about gossip means that he won’t snoop around your stuff every chance he gets. It happens the moment he borrows your laptop; your pictures will come flying about and so do your diaries. Thus take it from me, if you want your private properties preserved, place them in a non-appealing titled folder. Avoid personal or mine only for they are powerful magnets, instead go for career, lectures or research all of which are guaranteed to make him look the other way. Things can go deeper than this actually when he’s in your room, not thinking dirty thoughts, he’ll go searching for your pillows and clothes! But please don’t suspect perversions until proven, first picture the things you’ll be doing if ever left around his stuff, it’s all about closeness and the joy being around your favorite person’s belongings brings. It’s all inevitable, he loves you then your world is like Treasure Island for him. Period

4. When Alone with friends
A. girls included
Here goes a question that every girl wants the answer for; does or doesn’t he mention me when out with his friends?! For it is needless to say that girls are very open when it comes to their hearts, whoever brings joy to their hearts and whoever rip them off as well! But when your guy is out with his friends, including girlfriends, he doesn’t speak of you unless asked about you. Why? Let’s call it a guy’s thing or better yet this is the time when you’re not here which means he can’t afford to waste such opportunity to brag about his previous love conquests and multiply the numbers as much as he pleases, after all you’re not here!

B. Guys night outUp until the point where it’s a guys only soiree, I believe you have no reason to wonder or worry for boys will be boys with their smokes, games and football matches. But what do you think he’ll do when a girl hits on him, your man, when flying solo?!
He will:
a. give in
b. turn her down immediately
c. flirt a little then turn her down
Well, he can do any of those things and may be even more, but it all comes down to three things, your trust in him, your trust in yourself and the fact that you know his limits.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

How to act around smooching couples?! (He Said She Said magazine Feb'09)

The ordeal of saving face!

As long as you’re taking socializing seriously, this is the one situation you’re bound to face and put up with! It doesn’t matter if you’re single or committed, for there comes a time when you’re left alone to face two people madly in love and are all over the place! You feel more like a third wheel, an uninvited intruder who is so unwanted that they’d have kicked you out of their zone if it wasn’t for manners and that fact that they specifically insisted that you should come along! Ring a bell?! That’s what I thought…
But if you think that it’s only single woman’s curse, think again or better yet remember the times you had to be dragged around with your best friend so he can meet up with the woman of his dreams. And if you’re saying that such obscene situation can never happen to you since you’re committed and all, well, allow me to disagree! As you double date with your bestest friends, you might be going out for the sake of a fun couply evening, filled with goofy stories about your relationships while they might be looking for a company who won’t judge their sweet smooching style! Got the point?!
So, we have to, absolutely have to; do something about that entrapment and as always I hereby promise to provide you with nothing but 100% tested tips on how to save your face, all of which have been tried on humans before!

Here go two approaches to act about those smooching couple:
1. Get involved! (My favorite!)A. Ambush them with “Oh, you guys are too cute together”
It’s simple, guaranteed and gives you the power to turn the evening upside down.
How?! Follow my lead…
You have to set your goal, if you want an all romantic evening filled with stories about fairies and cupid then ask this:
“What was your first impression when you saw each other?” and let them bore you out with features assured to turn your stomach. But if you’re looking for a fun, wicked night to remember, throw in the ultimate silence breaker: “What’s the one thing you hate about each other?” done and done!
B. Share your memories
It isn’t possible for you to spend the night listening, no one is that generous. So, you need to grab their attention, give them something to think about and compare their relationship to your own! It’s your chance to diversify the talking issues from break-ups to hook ups from the worst date to the one you regret loosing, the sky is your limits as long as you’re having fun.
C. The hot plate factor
Everyone loves to brag about their expertise especially those of human nature, spill some of your controversial views about dating and you’ll pull a remarkable debate interesting enough to put Oprah to shame!

2. Express the Grudge!I truly can’t blame you if all you want is to scream at their lusting faces, it is the easiest most direct ways to tell them you’ve had it with them ignoring you and you can, but in less pathetic way!
Here are your options:
A. You can silently thank God for internet phones that allow you to chat with YOUR people wherever you want and keep you busy.
B. You can indulge in the mouthwatering fudge you’ve always wanted to try that will sweep your mind off people.
C. Challenge yourself with extra difficult Sudoku
D. Take a walk with your thoughts around the place, to the bathroom or wherever you may want to explore
E. Or you can make an obvious statement with rude comments

Warning: Even with all the –look how mad I am- attempts, it’s still not guaranteed to work, for you know how people in love are with the “lost in the moment” attitude.