Friday, June 25, 2010

I've leanred my lesson, I will listen

In Syria they say, "Walk along a funeral and don't get involved in an arranged marriage." The mentality behind that is simple: when someone brings two strangers together to get married, if it does not work out, they take the blame. Sometimes when it does work out, they still take the blame for every obstacle down the road. However, in a funeral, you give your condolences and walk away. No strings attached.

Once upon a time in a harsh cold winter of 1999-2000 in NYC, I met a wonderful woman in her early 40s. I was new to Manhattan, new to the American culture and she was from the same background as myself, so she offered to show me around. We met 2 or 3 times and we had fun walking around, dining and talking about the people we're both related to. Nothing personal was discussed so I didn't know much about her. But it was really good hanging out with her and asking for her guidance.

Shortly after, my journey’s destination was switched to California to achieve the American Dream; becoming a stock boy at a liquor store that is. I was only 26, so the title fit me so well. An opening in a very prestigious liquor store owned by a Lebanese legend opened up, I had my people talk to his people. After a couple of interviews later,
I got the job that people were lining up and competing over. It was a blessing. 

On Fridays, we received the shipments of liquor to place on shelves, racks, a walk-in cooler and in the back. Doing that was never a piece of cake. I still remember that one Friday evening after I was done stocking all boxes, I was physically exhausted. I went to the cash register to help customers with their purchases (can you see how quickly I moved up, I got a promotion without a raise) traffic slowed down a lot by then. The last customer in my line introduced himself and started asking me questions about my background, turned out he was also Syrian. As we were chatting, he asked me if I knew any decent woman who was single and looking to get married, he said he finally got over a nasty divorce and now he’s ready to fall in love all over again. I immediately said I didn’t know anyone, I mean come on, I hardly knew the guy, my history was only six months in the US, and now I'm arranging marriages!!!. But after I warmed up a little to the man, I told him that I actually knew a single gal who was wonderful, just not sure if she were looking. I told him first that she lived in a different state then I told him I thought she looked good and I noticed that the more I told him the more he got interested. The man seemed nice and friendly, I thought if I could help… why not!!!. When I told him where she worked, his eyes opened up with disbelief, I mean the woman held a very important title in a prestigious company. I was hoping that he was not getting intimidated or anything like that. I told him her age, so I interpreted the drop of his lower jaw as, he’s getting more and more interested, then I mentioned the state she worked at, yes yes, we all love NY and NYC, but I never imagined that he would actually jump all over me holding my hand and saying, go on go on, what's her name.

Oh boy, it felt good, I felt so important arranging for two people to fall in love, I mean don't get me wrong, I was already feeling so important with the extremely high-tech and complicated job I held back in the day, but this even felt better. I opened my mouth to utter her name, and before I got to her last name I heard him screaming at me saying "I can't believe it, you're hooking me up with my ex-wife!!!!!!!"

I will leave it to your imagination, what I felt and what I wanted to do with myself after I heard those words. But now I know, those old sayings, they're there for a reason, they didn't come out of the blue.... I should have listened

3 comments:

Yvonne said...

OMG, that was hysterical! I can't believe I never heard that before. Very funny!

Anonymous said...

Hehehehe that was Hilarious, I did the same and now they are getting divorced and still laughing at it.

more of that please, xxx

Adam said...

That's just fantastic