(Just to warn the reader, i complain a lot in this post)
Sometimes people would ask for your help about something they assume you know. Or they see something in you, or something you do and would like to be the same or do the same. You go out of your way to help them. You get excited. You start pulling your strings and running here and there. You give them so much of your time. All you think about is how to make this perfect for them, how you can make them do better and how you can achieve it in no time.
And sometimes you expect people to be as considerate as you were in some situations. You expect them to respect their word and do what they have promised you. You expect them to finish what they have started. You expect them to be sensitive about your feelings. You expect all of that because you assume people are like you. But no
At the end, after all this tremendous effort and time. They throw what you have given them away. They forget that they were the ones who asked for your help and pretend that you are being such a burden on them making them do things they don’t want to do. At the end you are the “mad” person, the “psycho”, the “7annan” ….etc.
I had had enough of those people!
Here are some of what happened, only this month. Multiply this by my whole life, and you will understand why I am so freggin mad:
– A girl, who we will call “Layla” just for the sake of the story, recently graduated from France. She was very depressed for coming back. She felt sad for not being able to use the language so much here. After few months, she discovered that I speak fluent French. In one day she became my best friend. She would come to my desk at work every day and chat in French for an hour. I would give her the time even though I hate, absolutely hate chatting for more than 5 minutes at work! I thought she is depressed and that I should be there for her. Then she started inviting me out for coffee, taking me abaya shopping, and she also introduced me to all her four sisters. I told her that I have plenty of French friends if she wants to practice the language. She was thrilled. So I asked her if she wants to go to a Beethoven concert to meet all my French friends over there and she couldn’t be happier. She brought her other sister who speaks French and they both made friends with my French friends. Then my French friends started inviting them for any event that would come up. One time, a young French lady invited us for dinner. Layla declined the invitation. The day after she asked me at work:
How was the dinner party?
good, too bad you didn’t come
To be honest with you I didn’t want to
I don’t like French teenagers, they disgust me.
Teenagers? The lady is 23 years old. I thought you miss France and loved the French culture. Weren’t you dying to get to know those people, how come now you don’t like them and call them teenagers.
Yes but I know French youth, I lived there for six years. They scare me. They are so irresponsible and crazy. I don’t feel comfortable being around them. They behave like teenagers, that’s why I call them teenagers.
Layla, this lady is my friend
Yes I know, I just didn’t feel comfortable going. Did something happen yesterday?
Something like what?
You know how they get drunk and go crazy and do sexual things!
Do you think that if they have one drink they will have an orgy on the table or something? Are you crazy? Did you forget that I was there yesterday!
No but you didn’t see what they used to do in France. That’s why I prefer to sit with older ladies, someone in their forties. They are calm and more mature. Remember when one of the older ladies invited us to her house. I told her I wont come if there were any young ladies. She immediately told me that she wont invite them, see she understand what I am talking about.
I said nothing more. I was confused. Few weeks later I asked her if she wanted to be interviewed for a magazine that I work for. I know that she has no problem for her photo to be published because she told me that she was considering a job as an anchor on TV in French. The girl was over the top when I told her about the interview. She even wanted me to interview her sister. She gave me a photo and told me all about herself to write it down. I wrote the feature in English and had to translate it to her in Arabic because she doesn’t speak it. She told me that it was perfect and I can publish it. Two days before publication she called me and said that her dad was mad at her because of the interview and she wants to cancel her feature. I told her it wasn’t possible because it is already printed. When the magazine was out I showed it to few girls at work. One of them, lets call her Lamya, said “Mimi, how dare you write such thing about Layla“. I said “what are you talking about?” she said “Read, here. You wrote that she said that our organization is male dominated and work is not challenging? Did she say that?”. I said “yes, what is the big deal“. The girl seemed to be so scared, she lowered her voice and gave me the impression that she was talking about a conspiracy! “You could get in trouble, You could get her fired“. I ignored her. Silly Lamya went and told Layla what she thought. And ungrateful Layla was so scared, she thought she was going to be put in jail, she told the grils “no I didn’t say that. She wrote it herself. She knows I don’t speak English and she didn’t explain that to me. She tricked me its her fault”. Since that day, Layla treated me like her enemy. Even when I say salam, she looks like someone is strangling her throat and forcing her to reply to my salam. The girl stopped pretending to be my best friend. She didn’t come over like she did every day, she stopped nagging about going out, she stopped sending me forwards. At the end, everyone thought I was the mean girl, taking advantage of the poor girl who doesn’t speak English and introducing her to perverted crazy people!
– A girl, who we will call, Lamees, keeps asking me “How come you never drink fizzy drinks? How come you never eat junk food? Wow you look in great shape? Which gym you go to? What is your program?”. And I tell her everything I do, everything I know with complete honesty. I explain to her the many books I have read about the issue. Every time she asks me for advice I give it to her. One day she decided to do my diet and exercise program. So I spent a whole day with her. I woke up very early on a weekend. Went to her house, showed her how to do the exercise, made her a program. Then we went to the supermarket and bought all the things we needed for the diet. I was explaining why she needed this and that. Trying to educate her about health. Then we went home and I cooked her a meal. Showed her how to cook a healthy delicious meal. And gave her different recipes. At the end of that exhausting day. She didn’t eat the meal I prepared. When I asked her if she like it she said “oh no I didn’t eat it, I went out and forgot about it, I threw it away at night!”. A week later I asked her how was the program going. She said that she didn’t use any of the food we bought. Most of the stuff was expired and she told the maid to throw it away. And she didn’t even start going to the gym! I felt very disappointed. I gave her so much time that I wouldn’t usually give to anyone, my throat was dried from talking so much and explaining everything. And at the end she forget about it! So simply! She didn’t even consider my feelings when she said that she threw the meal away!
After spending a fantastic week at the English workshop with Bloomsbury. I told one of my friends who we will call, Lama, who reads a lot in Arabic about it. She said, “why not make something in Arabic“. I told her, “yes we thought of that, we are looking for people who are willing to do it. Are you interested?”. She said “this sounds great, yes I am very interested. I feel strongly for our language and I really think this workshop should happen“. We had several meetings with people in Bloomsbury. We told them how we wanted to do an Arabic workshop and that we will look for professional people. We called a lady who has masters in critique. For some reason she said “I am not qualified and you need a professor to do that“. I thought, how come an educated lady like her doesn’t have something to offer for an hour! What is this masters for then? Anyways. We decided to do the workshop after we come back from summer vacation. When I told Lama that the workshop is going to happen next week and we should prepare she was shocked.
We are not prepared, we didn’t get any training.
I am trained and I will train you. Its very easy don’t worry
– How many people will come
She opened her eyes wide in surprise and shouted, TWENTY !
She went back to her desk, and came again and asked “Shouldn’t we look for someone professional” . “They all declined our request what can we do now? Its not that hard I promise“. She locked her eyebrows and looked down. “But I didn’t prepare“. I said “You have a week start preparing. Its only for two hours”. She breathed loudly and said “Ok“. She looked like she had the weight of the world on her chest! Wasn’t she excited about it? A day later, the girl still seemed sad and worried. She then asked me the ultimate question “Are there going to be Qatari guys?“. I thought, damn, so is this what’s all about! Qatari guys! I told her “yes“. She looked down and said “ya5ty asti7y .. I feel shy“. I told her “Lama, get over yourself! You are 25 years old. You have a BA in politics from the UK. You are an independent woman who works! And you are asking if there will be some guys! So what! Are they going to eat you! You think the quality of people who will attend is the same as those who go to hajj around Landmark! Its nice to be shy but don’t let this control your life. You are the only one between us who didn’t improve her work because you are too shy to talk to the manager. Get hold of yourself girl!” She looked down and said “OK“. But I saw that she was looking worse. So at the end I told her ” you know you are not forced to do this, if you don’t want to its ok“. Her face brightened, the weight is lifted, she said “no its just that I thought we will be trained by a professional, I don’t know how to do this. You know but I don’t”. I told her” I told you I will train you. Believe me I wont let you present anything unless I was sure that you were 100% ready”. She said “ok I will prepare my part and give it to you to present. I will do the Article section ok. I will attend the workshop and maybe bring my sister”. Few days later she gave me a piece of paper with six lines written in it. She asked if this was ok and if I need anything else. I thought, ok for what? It’s a two hours lecture and you have written six lines! That’s all the research you have done. I told her to pull out two different articles for two different authors since she knows Arabic authors and reads articles more than I do. She said ok and didn’t do anything. I see her everyday chatting and drinking tea. I knew she wasn’t going to do anything. So I did the whole thing myself. On the day of the workshop she didn’t show up. She didn’t even send a text to apologize! I completely pretended that nothing happened and didn’t open the subject with her. Few days later she asked me about the workshop and told me she didn’t come because she was not in the mood and tired and decided to stay home. It took me a minute to remember. I old her that it was great. But then I decided to tell her what’s on my mind, I said, in a funny was, as if I was joking “now I know that I cannot depend on you and cannot take your words seriously… 6ila3ty e5ri6y”. She gave me her word. Made me believe that she really wanted to do this. Came with me to all the meetings. And at the end she withdraws without informing me or even apologizing.
My little sister asked me to throw a dinner party before she leaves for her studies. I decided to do a Ramadan Dinner; we had to wear Jallabia, eat traditional food, have some garan ga’oh and play games. I got some candles and “fawanees” to give an old Arabian effect to the place. I invited around 20 people. Most of them confirmed. I went out of my way to get the best food. I made a research of the best ladies who do Qatari food and sent the driver to their houses to get it. Each plate from a different house just to ensure the good quality. I ordered special garan ga’oh wrap in small baskets to give away at the end. I prepared some games. Everything was made for the 20 people who confirmed. When the evening started I received few texts from people saying they wont be able to make it. Some didn’t even bother to inform me that they are not coming. I had to call them and they said “oh, we forgot to tell you that we wont come“. Ten people didn’t show. Who will eat all that food then? Couldn’t they tell me a day before so that I wont order so much food?
The theme was Ramadan, so I told everyone to wear Jallabia. Some people had it and didn’t bother wear it, some people didn’t want to wear it, some people were forced to wear, some people complained about wearing it. But the nice thing is that one of my foreigner friends went and bought one especially for the occasion.
I tried to forget about it, I still have some guests and I shouldn’t be in a bad mood. Later I explained to people how to play the game; you should have seen their faces. It was like I told them lets go weight lifting! What a burden to play a game. Some people were complaining before we even started. They had to write different words on 20 small pieces of paper. “What! All of this, we have to finish all these papers? Baaaaal“. It was like I gave them a homework to do. I said “cant you stop complaining“. Then they looked at each other and said “oh watch out, Mimi is mad“. !! at the end they realized that the game was fantastic and they enjoyed it.
At night I was exhausted. I kept remembering similar situation that happened before. Its always my blame at the end. I have this urge to help people, to want them to shine and show their best. I want them to achieve and know the great feeling of success. But they suck my energy and go.
I will stop pushing people to do their best, to do things better or to find a better way. I wont tell a fat person how to loose weight
I wont tell a lazy student how to study
I wont tell a depressed person how to be positive
I will stop giving advice
I will stop showing people the world from my eyes
I will stop expecting others to be polite, considerate or punctual.
I think being selfish is good sometimes. If I was selfish, non of that would have happened. But I cant help but be myself.