Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rules of Hesitation

Last week, my Jordanian friend here in town called to invite me to iftaar.

I was glad to be invited, but I was wondering how many times should I refuse before finally accepting to come.

"Hey Faris come to iftaar Friday"

"Thanks for the invitation but no thanks"

"No you have to come......"

"But then your wife has to cook.... ma beddi aghallebha"

"No please come we're cooking anyway"

"No thanks I'll be OK"

"No please come "

"No thanks"

"please come"

"No thanks"

"please come"

"No thanks"

"Please please please"

"Ok I will, what time?"


"OK thanks man, you know there's no need for that"

"No you have to come"

"No I'm OK ma fee da3i"

"No you have to come"

"No balash balash"

"No please please"

"No thanks"

"no please please please"

After a serious thought that he might think I don't want to come, I finally accepted and had a great mansaf.

Americans on the other hand take yes as a yes, and no as a no.

On my first Christmas eve alone in the US, I was on-call at night in the hospital with my senior resident.

My senior resident then asked me, "What are you doing tomorrow (Christmas)?"


"Ok my sister is making a dinner for the family. You can join us if you want"

I thought it would be nice for me to go, but of course, subconsciously, I answered, "No thanks"

He seemed a little bit dissatisfied with my answer, but didn't say anything.

Next moring he told me again, "you know I won't feel offended if you don't come".

Now I was between a rock and a hard place. I don't want to make him upset but at the same time he's not insisting, he's not pulling his hair and didn't point finger on my nose, didn't threaten to never speak to me again or never talk to anyone in my family for the rest of his life. Where's the swearing? Where's the fighting and grabbing? Where are all these oaths to divorce his wife if I didn't show up?

I said accepted. I sometimes find it hard to tell this story because I didn't want to be looked at as that dirsty cheap man without honor who accepted an invitation only from the second time.

God please forgive me.


secratea said...

loooooooooooooooooooooooool.. wallahi ya Hareeega I love to read your blog.. you crack me up, hehehehe... the Karakish humor is something i misssss big times :))

NaNilo said...

hahahahahahahaha. ya it happened to me once at work when my friend invited me to a party i wanted to go bs i was like hmmmmm no then i waited for him to ask again or do something, i dont know what i was thinking at that time. lol

Miss sea lover said...

lol, this is the difference between us and them, actuallyi like thier way better, it is more practical...

Jad said...

you are amazing

Isam Abu Salhieh said...

sooo funny man ... May God forgive you :)

Anonymous said...

I know what you're saying..
you want some? no thanks. ok :D
I just deal with Americans in an American way and then leave il khajal la ahlo.

Asoom said...

ok you're making me feel bad!

Hani Obaid said...

I'm one of those yes means yes and no means no people. So I end up with aukward situations on both ends.

I say No, and someone thinks I want them to ask me more. My aunt God bless her once asked me 20 times.

The other end of course being, someone says No to me expecting me to ask them again, and I don't. Then they think that I didn't really want them to come to begin with.

The less social pretenses the better.

Anonymous said...

No wonder Arabic people never take my no's for no's...

7aki Fadi said...

I'm like u hani, that's why most arab people hate me ... lol they say no and I say OK!

The Observer said...

This is true! I wonder why we behave like this. When I was a kid, whenever anyone tried to give me something, I usually used to say no, no matter how bad I desire that thing! It was just a pride thing that has nothing to do with pride! I just developed this habit of waiting for peopel to insist. If they didnt, then I wont accept it, and thus I end up loosing!

lulu said...

LOOL! Ta7sheesh ya zalameh- this is so true. I have the same struggle and have to switch between personalities when I deal with my American vs. Arab friends out here. :)

Hareega said...

then good luck !