Saturday, June 2, 2012

Some boys never grow into men

One of the differences between boys and men is that men can take responsibility for their actions and words dealing with the consequences, while boys cannot. Looking around at the Palestinian society, I do not see many men. The male population is dominated by boys from ages 24 to 30. Do not ask me about older men; haven’t been there and not planning on going. Why don't they normally grow into adults as they should? Is it because in Arab society they do not have to be responsible for their actions? Their mothers always got them out of trouble when they were young, making excuses for their misbehaviour. Why do males think it is OK for them to lie, but when they are lied to they play the role of the poor victim? They say females are hard to understand as we don’t say what we mean. Males are worse; they don’t mean what they say! All I am speaking about is on a basis of friendship, and if they cannot be straightforward in a friendship how are they going to be in a relationship or marriage? I don’t even want to know. Here are a few brief stories about K, B, and T. I am using the first letters of their names because if they ever read this they won't think I'm some kind of undercover person who makes friends with people just to write about them later. Anyways let's begin with the shortest story: B.

      B is a nice boy studying medicine. We live in the same country but neither of us can enter the place the other lives for political reasons. There was a time when random people added you on MSN and you never knew how they got your e-mail, and if you asked them they always say that you're the one who added them, twisted much? Well, B was that type of person but I didn’t bother to ask him where he got my screen name from. We were good friends and talked about everything from politics to our exes. One time I was in a difficult emotional situation (due to political reasons, damn politics!) so I sent him my number and asked him to call me. He didn’t see the message at the time and apologized the next time we spoke online. He said well at least now he has my number, I asked him to erase it, he said that what happens cannot be undone. As if we are living in the Stone Age and he carved my number onto his cave wall and cannot be bothered to remove it. Seriously in the world of technology only one to three clicks can delete almost anything not saved on a database. Well to get to the turning point, once when we were speaking online his electricity cut off and he send me a text message apologizing. I called him back and asked him politely to erase my number because I am not in such a good emotional state. He got offended and decided never to speak to me again on the phone; he never bluntly stated it until after he ignored all my calls after I was over my emotional phase. After that we were OK, as in the OK that our friendship is taking its last breaths. After months I called, and we had a pleasant conversation about travelling and politics, at the end of the conversation he told me to let him hear my voice again, that was poorly literally translated but I felt it needed to be used to get the exact message across. Semantically, it means to stay in touch. I did what was told of me; the rest of my calls were ignored. After many more months I called again just to say hi, he asked about my drawing lessons and was nice, he again ended the conversation asking me to keep in touch. I choose to text him once and he replied. The rest of my calls were ignored. The weird thing is that that the calls weren’t frequent or many; a call every week or two. One time I tried to call it gave me a busy signal, I tried again after an hour or so; still busy. We have a service where we can block any numbers we don’t want to contact us and it will give the caller a busy signal. I tried calling him using a different number, it rang normally and he answered he asked how I was and I told him that he didn’t have to lie and flatter me. If my calling bothered him he could have just said it. Why did he tell me to stay in touch if he didn’t mean it? Not saying anything and being neutral was another option if he saw that asking me not to call is rude. Not answering is much ruder. Why didn’t he tell me? Why do I have to attach the pieces of the puzzle together? Just don’t say what you don’t mean; make the world a better place for the both of us. I just sent B a text message asking him to remove the block. I am not a child; I don’t need to be treated like one. Now that I know the truth I will not again call. A block service is offending to my intelligence and to my self-esteem or what is left of it.
T. Well T is a more complicated character. Maybe because we got to know each other more and sadly when people get closer, things become uglier; story of my life, except for once. Anyways, T is bluntly honest, he doesn’t care whether one gets mad or not from his comments. He says what's on his mind, especially if it is something rude he has more motivation to say it than saying something nice.  He thinks not twice, but thrice before saying something kind. I was taken aback by his behaviour. He told me that when he was younger he was very shy and did not speak much therefore he now doesn’t shut up. More than once I thought of cutting off the friendship because of the uncalled for outbursts of anger.  Even though I'm 22 years old in age, I have the naivety of a 5 year old.  I thought to myself: better honest and rude than dishonest and polite. Are there not any honest and polite people out there? Is that too much to ask for in the twenty first century?  The first outburst of anger was ugly, and there was no specific reason for it; he was having a bad day. I am not a mood detector, and the things he said made me doubt he was honest about our friendship. He later told me that he said the things he did because he was angry. In Arab society you get to know a person when they are angry; their true colours come out. People forgive, especially naïve ones like myself and so we let bygones be bygones. The next situation was a "joke" as he called it, and accused me of not being able to take a joke. Just so you won't accuse me of being hypersensitive (even though I usually am) here is the joke: He told me that when I die he wants to plant an almond tree next to my grave so that people will eat the almonds then spit what is left on my grave. What a nice thing to say. Seriously Arab guys are flattering, how come we overlook their charms? If he said that to one of his sisters she would have probably smacked him in the face, and he says that he treats me like a sister; a typical Arab guy thing to say. Seriously there should be a dictionary of all the things Arab guys say; because they don't have the same meaning as the literal meanings of the words. They speak using their own opaque idioms. Again we let bygones be bygones, yes because I'm an idiot I am well aware of that. Now T is going through another one of his phases where he doesn’t want to speak to anyone and is just being rude because he isn’t feeling good. I called him today from another number and asked him why he hasn’t been answering for a week; he told me he doesn’t want to answer, that was the end of our lovely conversation. Every time we would get into a conflict I would tell my friend, please if I ever talk to him again just slap me; she never did. This time if I ever talk to him again I will slap myself. Seriously enough is enough. Let bygones be bygones, T is a bygone.
Now it is K's turn to undergo criticism. He would probably throw a fit if he knew I was criticizing him; he is too good to be criticized. Note to future generations: do not trust people you meet in chat rooms. Most of them are wacky and are not emotionally stable. I already know that but obviously I haven’t learned. K is also a Palestinian, living in the UAE. For a week K lied to me about his name, and was not planning on telling me his real name. His Facebook page seemed fake and he did not have any friends or wall posts on it. He added me on Skype and his profile said he only has one friend on it, which was me. I asked him about the reason behind this, he then admitted that it wasn’t his real name and that these weren’t the accounts he normally used. He at first refused to tell me his real name and I wanted to go he told me to stay and told him his real name. He said that he wanted to tell me but he didn’t know how. Yeah right, if I never noticed he would have probably never spoken about it. He told me he would add me on his real accounts when the time came; the time never came. The reason behind this is because as I found out about two months later is that he was in an online relationship with a Syrian girl living in Italy, and they had separated but he was waiting for them to get back together again. He has no other female friends, and when I messaged his ex she was outraged that he spoke to a girl other than herself. Good morning sunshine we are living in the 21st century, and other than that you are living in Italy; but Arabs will be Arabs wherever they go. They are probably back together again and he no longer needs the spare wheel he used while the other wheel was taking a break. I also called him today from another number, seriously I am such a repellant and my number seems to scare people away, oh well. I had a question that I wanted to know the answer of; why couldn’t he answer my texts or calls? He said that he had got into a lot of problems, and that he even got into problems with his ex, R, as if to make me feel better. They are probably back together, congratulations for them; hopefully he is at least honest with her. He asked me how I was doing, I told him that he didn’t have to be polite and that if he really cared how I was doing he would have asked or answered my calls. And that dishonesty and flattery is what caused most of the problems between us; that is how our wonderful conversation ended.
Our world is full of psychopaths who we consider to be normal people. Their way of thinking is twisted. One should be like Pygmalion and sculpt their own statue and then pray to the gods to turn it into a living person. But how can we sculpt honesty and politeness together? It seems the minds of men do not fit the two together. Do not make the same mistakes I did, learn from my idiocy.