March 31, 2008
I know I might have said this like 100 times before but I won’t stop saying it. I don’t know how I was going to pull through if I didn’t have Sameh in my life. Up to this moment he is the living proof that I can still attract decent and respectable men. I can still have friendship that’s not biased at any level with malicious thoughts.
My sweet friend Sameh called me last night. He was checking on me. Earlier I sent him an SMS saying that I am extremely depressed which has been the case ever since he has known me. I have always been depressed and moaning. Or at least this is as far as I can remember. Anyway, he asked the typical question “how are things going with you?” I gave him my typical answer that I have been giving to people for little around 8 years now, “Nothing new”. I laughed telling him that my life is all about two circles. These two circles get repeated in the same routine over and over and over. Nothing could ever be new. I go through the very same problems and I give the very same reactions and I always end up where I started.
I have the “HH” circle and the “family” circle. As I am writing this I discovered that these two circles are extremely similar. Both are abusive, both never take no as an answer and both are a die hard.
On the “HH” side nothing is really new, it is the very same scenario but with different lines. I had laid a plan to kick the “HH” addiction out of my life. I thought that my plan worked till I found out that this plan has a little draw back which was HH’s reaction. The plan was simple and naïve counting on his arrogance and the fact that he will never think I will ever have the courage to try to get him off my life. I wanted him to take the step; I used the things he used to say that he hates about me. I nagged, then I nagged and when he thought I was done nagging I nagged again. I put him in the famous corner “marry me or I will be off to another relation” and that was when he gave up. I couldn’t even believe that he had given up for such a silly old trick so I topped my cake of lies with the cherry of declaring my engagement. He bought it and when I was done celebrating the rise of the sun after a long era of darkness I discovered that my persisting shadow wasn’t gone in the first place. He was just taking a break of my nagging. He was back with a smile and an offer. He wanted to be the other man. But I couldn’t live with the fact that he believes I am no better than him and that I am just a naturally born cheater so I came clean with him and I confessed that the whole engagement thing was a lie to blow up his lies.
And so, here I am trying to catch up with the tunes of what I hope to be my last waltz with HH. I am back to exactly where I started.
On the family side, nothing is really new. I just want to declare that I have a wonderful loving family. I still have to admit that there are things that I hate about my family but who doesn’t. And the family circle isn’t about family affairs. It is about work. As my ex-boss was my uncle.
This circle started little before the HH circle. I got graduated and I had high hopes and we all know how hopes are the only way to disappointments. So, I couldn’t find a decent job. I couldn’t find any kind of job. I was either over qualified or under qualified. And my dad wasn’t that patient to leave me hunting my Red October. He decided that I should start working for him. My dad has a little business in the field of contracting and construction along with my uncle. I didn’t like things there. My dad wasn’t my type of boss. He gave me assignments not jobs. He has always had someone else do the job and I felt like that everyone there was baby sitting me. I packed my bag of hopes and I was off to a career switching program. Later, again I fell under the catch 22 spell. I wasn’t experienced in the time they needed experience. And that was my second time to get back to my dad and uncle’s little place. I didn’t stay for long as I was off to other jobs, it all ended dramatically; even one of the companies went bankrupt. And again I was back to the little place but this time my uncle decided to use my qualifications. He found a way to use my English proficiency, my computer proficiency, my accounting knowledge and my financial courses. It was fun. I made things out of nothing. I laid systems and people had to follow. It was a perfect environment for a spider like me. Everything had my print. But as everything in life, it isn’t always that good. My sweet uncle started abusing me. I started to work extra long hours. I had to be the 1st to go and the last to leave. I couldn’t take a vacation for two years because if I did who will do the work. I was completely underpaid. And when I asked for help he didn’t bring me an assistant he promoted someone who used to work under me to be my boss. And that was the straw the broke the camel’s back. I simply left. I said no and I meant it.
The tricky thing for working for your family is that everyone thinks that I get a special treatment because we share the same blood. But the truth is, when you work for your family you put your personal relation at stake. Little work problems always turned to be huge family problems. Family gatherings were business meetings. They abused me with the name of the family’s best interest. The problem with working with family is that you will always be wrong because they are older and they know what’s best for you and for the family.
I was off and it was the worst break-up I ever had in my life. I was off and he didn’t even consider apologizing. He asked every possible person on this world to ask me to come back (he wanted me back because who else was going to do the work) but he never did the call. Now after 14 months. After getting 6 employees and a manager to do the job I used to do. He wants me back. He said he is having major expansions and he wants a family member to watch his back. Can anyone spot a pattern here?
I just don’t know what’s so tempting about me for people to try to abuse me. Why if not sex it will be business?
Honestly, I have lost my faith in people. I have real problems trusting. I have turned to be a paranoid creature who expects a stab whenever someone smiles to me. These two circles have really left me with nothing to hold on.
I remember the last time I met Brad when I poured my worries into his ears. I told him that I need a change. He wondered if I need someone new. I replied I just need something new. Now I guess I know what I need. I need a new circle. I need to break these two circles for good. I spent all my sweet twenties in an on/off relation with HH and with my family business. I don’t want to waste my thirties fighting the same old battles and losing for the same old reasons.
That was Shimaa Gamal reporting about the two rings
Over and Out.
March 23, 2008
The Egyptian marriage rituals always amaze me and the thing that amaze me the most is the wedding party ritual. Regardless the class, always the wedding party will be as huge as possible, with as much food as possible, with as much attendees as possible. Celebrities will entertain the audiences whenever applicable. Weddings in Egypt are a way to show class. And regardless the class people always try to appear as elite as possible.
I have just attended another wedding, a typical Egyptian wedding, a nice ball-room, nice entertainment that included a belly-dancer and sure a mouth-watering menu. I hate weddings but I can’t deny that the only thing that would make me go through the whole rituals of partying till the early hours of the morning is my all time favorite pure Egyptian dessert “Om Ali”.
Though socialization isn’t one of my hobbies but people say that I have a welcoming smile. And that smile is my only weapon in such social occasion. And using that very smile I found my way to my beloved Om Ali.
At the dinner table I was chatting with a relative about my passion towards Om Ali. He wasn’t a fan. And I wondered how an Egyptian cannot be a fan of one of the few pure Egyptian desserts.
He had no clue about how a bowl of pastry, milk, and sugar be a pure Egyptian invention. And that is another thing that amazes about Egyptians. Regardless how well educated they are they give little or almost no attention to history.
I believe it is so important to know the history of things, even if this thing is a small bowl of dessert. I believe it is so important to know the history of this little bowl if it is connected to the Egyptian history in a way. How can anyone miss that this dessert was the way Om Ali, Aybak’s first wife, celebrated the death of her enemy, Shajar Al-Durr the queen of Egypt and Aybak’s second wife. How could anyone miss relating that pure Egyptian invention to that critical period of Egyptian history? I have always thought that this story is a fun way to know what happened at that time.
And regardless that some historians might argue that this wasn’t the way Shajar Al-Durr died but yet, why not telling our kids these kinds of stories. Why don’t we Egyptian value history? Why don’t we read?
So please next time before attacking your delicious dessert have a moment an think that this food made history.
March 20, 2008
On Addictions: He said I am his creation. He assured me that this is the only proof that he will never let me go. He wondered if God can leave us. He said when God do, I will leave you.
On Loneliness: I get lonely; I lean on a selection of friends. They get busy, they run and I end up doing the most foolish things in this world. I get lonely too often and that’s why I am always stupid.
On Identity: I really wish I could start over in a new place. I want a new name. I want new friends. I want new lovers. I want new personality. I want new history. I want a new me.
Picture: Soul's Journey
March 15, 2008
I really would like to know what a kiss means to a man. I know what it means for me. I know that it is the most intimate action between any two persons. I know that a kiss is a seal to the deal of giving away my soul to someone. But does it have the same meaning to a man? When a man kisses a woman, does this mean he loves her? Or it is just a try to pave his way to a bigger target (sex)? What does it mean when a man goes for the hand? What does it mean when a man hits toward the lips?
I want an answer. Would you men mind taking me in a tour in your minds?
March 13, 2008
What Rachel’s date suggested that evening, keeping the over and under results of the phone call aside, is exactly what I believe in. I am a believer that relationships need a closure. It is normal to feel hurt after a break-up even if it was us who put an end to it. It is normal to feel angry. And it is normal to hate the person we once loved. There are people who even keep the love and hope after the break-up.
All these are painful. It is painful to remember, it is painful to hate and it is sure painful to keep a hope of love for an illusion. And this is when closures become a necessity.
A closure is point where you get to the indifference target. To hate isn’t the opposite of love as hate is still a feeling. The opposite of love is indifference. Closure is the point where there are no feelings left, neither bad nor good. It is the point when you discover why it wasn’t meant to be after all. It is when you see why it was never going to work eventually. It is when you know that the time to move on is now. It is when you know that the door was open and that there was no need to seek a new window after all.
Closures are not blames. You don’t get to a closure when you blame an ex for everything he/ she has done. Closures are not regrets. You don’t get to a closure with the long list of I shouldn’t have done so. Closures are in the little things just like love. Love is formed of the few little things. And those few little things are the seeds for indifference. Closures lie within.
When HH called me the other morning, I wasn’t that excited to answer. His words were still buzzing in my head from the last time he called. He wanted me to find love and get married. As he believed that he has ruined my life too much and it is about time for him to let me go find a decent man to accompany me in my journey. Yet he asked to be a part of that new life. The only thing he wanted me to do is to find a way to make him my second priority not my first (yes, I made him believe that he is my 1st priority!!). That morning, when he last called, as I was listening to his lame excuses for letting me go I remembered his hierarchy of priorities and I remembered a comment Brad made once on someone he calls “Spiderman.”
Spiderman was someone who tried hooking up with me. He was fun, flirty but that cup of tea was too strong for my taste. I wondered why Brad wasn’t worried about my little tangos with Mr. Spiderman. So Brad simply said, because that guy is clear. He just wants to jump into your pants. And I know you know how to keep him off.
I don’t really remember what did I say to HH that morning and sure I can never remember what he said. All what I can remember, that it felt so easy to keep him off me that morning because finally I have found my closure.
My closure was in my pants. Didn’t I tell you? It lies in those little things (wicked wink)
March 07, 2008
My sweet friend Omar left me a comment on the different angle post. He said that he felt pure love in this post. He believes that I am in love with Brad. He said that I may be denying it but it shows in my words. Actually I couldn’t find anything to reply on his comments. As I felt it is tricky to deny and it will misunderstood if confirmed. The truth is I don’t only love Brad, I adore him. But in a way that’s different than the way Omar meant.
My dear Brad commented on Omar’s comment. He said it all I couldn’t have said more.
That was his comment
I reckon you're the one seeing the inside of Shimaa from a very different perspective (or angle in this case).The clarity and sensitivity the Miss Gamal has shown in her posts are but the sheer reflection of how she regards friendship in sacred shrouds. It is how she cherishes people in general and friends as human being worth to be loved and considered. Her 'love' for Brad is like her love to any other person she sees as a source of comfort and enjoys his/her company. So unfortunately it is not the kind of love you think it is, but it is the rarest of all types of love; a love of a friend. This love is not necessarily woman to man, or romantic love. It's more like human to human love.Her sensitivity and sentiments pour out of her to flood valleys of dry valleys and barren lands, her love and huge heart fill up the gaps amidst dessert cracks and warm raindrops heal thirsty terrains.Everything she writes, and everything she does or even says, shows what miracles a big heart can produce.I must admit that I myself have an ocean-load of love for her, for everything in her; the girl, the woman, the mother, the daughter, the sister, the writer, the cook, her voice, her attractive looks, her skin, her smile, her and last but not least: her "Couer D'or".Because I believe that the Almighty works in mysterious ways; I think that this is his way of proving that Shimaa Gamal (his masterpiece) is unmatched, because he hasn't created the man worth having her as of yet.
Honey, Please don’t stop making my days.
Thanks for being my friend.
I love you more.
A couple of days ago, I was watching my favorite 24/7 cooking TV, Fatafeat, a program called “Pure Italian” hosted by the celebrity chief Giorgio Locatelli was on. I wasn’t paying attention, as I was chatting with a friend of mine and suddenly something caught my eyes and I found myself telling my friend that I guess I have finally found the man of my dreams.
He laughed and I guess he is still laughing till now. But he asked the next logical question. Who is that lucky man?
I simply replied that chief on the TV and that was when he started laughing and didn’t stop till now.
Mr. Locatelli, was cooking duck breasts for a friend of his. It was simple and seemed delicious. This friend of his brought him an Italian pie for dessert. She cut him a piece. Mr. Locatelli didn’t swallow that piece of pie the way any man is expected to do. He first smelled it, then took a bite and commented on how good the pie is. He noticed the ingredients and complemented the effort.
I know that act of smelling food in a try to know the ingredients must be related to the fact he was a chief. The way he tasted it, might be directly related to his food passion. And the complement was probably for the cameras. But he still did it. He didn’t swallow his food, he tasted it, enjoyed it and he gave feedback.
He qualifies to be the man of my dreams, not only because he respected his piece of pie but also because he is Italian, who said looks doesn’t count?, he has got the look of a perfect Italian look (don’t you watch Italian football), he is a celebrity, he is successful and even Wikipedia has a page dedicated to him. The only thing that woke me up from that sweet dream was the fact that he is married.
The series of pointless posts is to break the sound of my silence. I have discovered that I have been refraining from talking to my friends, I have been ignoring their phone calls, and I have been avoiding a serious talk for a while. I need to talk but seems that I have forgotten the way. So these posts will be my way of reminding myself how people communicate.
I wonder, who else thinks I love Brad?? Omar described my reaching hand as pure love. I got similar answers from different people. I wonder who else thinks that I love Brad?
March 01, 2008
There was time when everyone believed the world is flat. And those who could walk to the end of the world they will fall in the outer space. There has been time when everyone believed that a big bull holds earth on his thorn. That bull was held responsible every time the earth got shaken. It was believed that this shake is because the bull was moving the land from on thorn to the other.
Then the earth was discovered to be a big ball that rotates around a bigger ball called the sun which in turn rotates around the center of a bigger formation of balls rotating around other balls called the galaxy. And these big balls which move in circles around other big balls were found to be rotating around themselves.
The whole universe is formed of circles that move around circles in a circular motion in an endless perfect rhythm.
A circle is an absolutely relative shape. It could start at any point and could end at any point. Moving around a circle grants difference as you change the location as it grants repetition because there is no where to escape.
Nothing in this universe miss that circular motion. Even we, humans, might not look like a circle but our lives follow the circular pattern. We start in the darkness and humidity of a womb and we end in the darkness and humidity of a grave. We move in circles of hopes and disappointments. That’s why opportunity keeps knocking our doors in different shapes. That’s why we do repeat our mistakes, may be with different persons but it is always the same mistake. That’s why we will always end up hurt. And that’s why there is always light at the end of darkness. Life is just a circle that starts nowhere, goes to everywhere and ends up at nowhere again.
This thought is inspired by a post by my good friend Askandarani, he felt down and this thought was my idea of cheering him up. I know I suck at cheering people up. Sorry dear, I failed you again.
The first thing that came to my mind was that he came back on time. I guess that the first thing I told him was you came right in time. I felt relieved he was back. I was drowning in the fierce storm of my mood swing. His voice was my safe shore.
Things started as withdrawal symptoms of the HH addiction. I missed him. I simply missed him and I couldn’t say it out loud. I couldn’t admit that I wished that plan would never work. I couldn’t locate the source of that feeling. I stood still feeling defeated in front of that unexplained feeling. I feared talking about it with anyone. I knew the reactions so I spared myself the blames. So I denied the feeling, I fought it then I surrendered. And as things change and so do I, instead of getting back to my addiction I decided to get myself busy. I am still jobless so I decided to put more effort in the job hunting process. And that was when things got worse.
I had an interview in a bank, I never liked banks. It is just not my type of work. But I fought the urge to cancel the interview appointment. I put on whatever fits, as I have lost 13 kilograms of my weight, and I just did it. And there in an empty room I sat to fill in an application. Lots of silly little routine questions, then it popped up. “How do you see your career in 5 years”?
I don’t know why I remembered my friend “Amany”. She was the first one to come to my mind as she always suffered from flashbacks. I don’t get flashbacks often. But this question made the last 8 years of my life re-play as a silly movie. I remembered how it felt filling such applications 8 years ago. And I remembered how I answered that question 8 years ago. I remembered my old job. I remembered how I wanted things to be and how things ended up being. I found myself puzzled and blank. I couldn’t write anything. I couldn’t write the truth that the word career sounds as out of my world. I couldn’t shout “Get Real, what’s a career in an Administration Assistant position”. I swallowed my memories and simply wrote that for some of us 5 years might be a number for others it might be nothing. As for me, I prefer taking one step at a time.
I finished the interview and got back home with a mood swing about to peak. It peaked later that day as I was the person a family gathering decided to reform. For them I was jobless and single. They added the little cherry on the top of my loser whipped cream and my mood was now a perfectly bad mood.
That was the mood I wore to our meeting. I was cornered in the loser trap. Darkness was the color of my life. I needed a way out. I needed someone to listen not to blame. I needed someone to sympathize not complain. I couldn’t take another “I have told you so”.
It was a typical morning. And we were the same two persons who sat to that very same table twice before. But things change. It wasn’t a date. I didn’t have the same buzzes I had the first time I met him. For me he was the same person, the only thing that differed was that I highlighted the friend not the date. It still felt safe. I still felt happy. But this time it was easier. It was easier because the woman knew that she’s not being judged. I was the friend, and friends are being accepted the way they are. I didn’t have to think of a way to impress him. I didn’t have to try to win him. All what I have to do is to enjoy his company. All what I had to do was pouring my insecurities into his ears. He listened and didn’t blame me. He pulled me out of the storm. Though talkative is my first name I didn’t find much to be said. I just reached for his hand. I wanted to tell him a hundred different things. I wanted to cry. I wanted to ask him to stay longer. I wanted to ask him about a song, I wanted to tell him a dream. I wanted to gossip. I wanted a thousand different things. But instead I just reached for his hand. I wanted to feel it was ok to be weak. I wanted to feel it was ok to ask for support. I wanted to know that regardless how bad things can go there will always be someone to say No Woman, No Cry.
He brought me books that I would have chosen myself, he kissed my forehead and he drew a perfect smile on my sad face. It was perfect. He was shining as a sun in a winter day. And one more time he awakened something in me. I wish those couple of hours could last for a couple of weeks but this is how things go, only the good times pass so fast.
I think I wasn’t wrong when I kept the friend when I lost the man.