April 04, 2010

When Hashem met Salwa

A Dutch friend of mine here in Beirut has a son. Hashem is his name. He’s a nice guy. A dentist. But he’s nearing 35, and he still isn’t married. What’s more, he’s showing no inclination towards getting married either. It’s not that he’s gay; he’s just very busy with his work, and it doesn’t help much that he is a bit of a shy type. And not exactly George Clooney either. So his mom has voiced her concern to me. Didn’t I know anyone for Hashem?

Well, I didn’t.
That was until a trice-removed relative from Tripoli drops by for a visit to Beirut for the day. And in her wake comes the daughter of her sister; Salwa. She’s single, in her early thirties, and she works as a nurse in Tripoli. When she smiles, a row of stunning pearls laughs at you. She’s got fantastic teeth, I am thinking. As a matter of fact, all of Salwa is good looking. Except for the hair. Or actually, I cannot see the hair, because she’s veiled. But not the raincoat type; she’s dressed very nicely.

In the evening, I ask the old aunt who lives with us, how come Salwa isn’t married yet? After all, she’s very good looking, and a working woman as well. She should have been off the market a long time ago.
Salwa doesn’t want to marry a peasant,” answers the aunt. And in Salwa’s neighborhood, it’s all peasants and otherwise ignorant men. Salwa has higher ambitions.

Suddenly I remember the son of my friend. She’d make a good match for him. They are of the same religion. He’s a dentist, she’s a nurse. So I call my friend. I explain the situation. We discuss the parameters of the matter. Salwa’s age is not an issue, assures the mom. The fact that she has no money is not an issue either. The veil is, though. “Rather without a veil,” says the mom. But that is a problem Hashem can deal with later.

So how do we set these two up for a date? We decide we don’t want it feel like a meat market, like they’re checking each other out. That is quite embarrassing, at least in our Dutch frame of mind.

Let her drop by his clinic for a check-up,” she suggests. “We’ll tell her he doesn’t know. And we’ll tell him the same. This way they can check each other out without knowing.”
I think that is a great idea.

Until the evening, when I tell my husband.

Why don’t you just invite the two over for coffee, like civilized adults,” he suggests.
No, it would feel like such a meat market, like it is a set-up,” I reply, “This way is much more subtle.”
“Subtle,” he says.
It is quite for a while, as he ponders over this.

So he’s going to check out her teeth?” he asks.
I nod.
Sounds a bit like when you buy a horse. You check its teeth. So he’ll know exactly what he’s getting into.”
I nod, less vigorously now.
Actually, in the old days, when you bought a slave on the market, you’d also check its teeth. Maybe he can pinch her arm too, see if the flesh is good . And then afterwards, you send him for a check-up with her. She’s a nurse, she can give him a shot in the ass, and then she’ll see right away what merchandise she’s getting into as well.”

It is obvious; hubbie is not taking my match-making efforts very seriously.

We’re back at square one. How do I get Salwa to meet Hashem? Any ideas?

(The names of the participants have been changed to ensure their privacy)

13 comments:

m. said...

hahahahaha @ your husband.

I think he's right.

They're both adults. Invite them over for coffee. Especially if he's shy

Beirut Drive-by Shooting said...

so when you went to pick up your parents and said "i'm half lebanese now"...well with this, i think you are now full lebanese....playing matchmaker, good luck with the meeting. I think you're husband makes a good point. maybe invite enough people to make it a small gathering so they don't feel so conspicuous.

Anonymous said...

I don't think either plan will work. Please send picture and contact details of Salwa. Y.

Anonymous said...

i am in for the coffee thing..
dont invite so may ppl cz they will feel left out since they know no one.. talk with salwa and see if she is in.. and play the all girl type with her.. depends on her.. what she wants.. hkuwait

Liliane said...

your husband rocks! haha

Well i suggest what he suggested, just make a small get together, and neither has to know that they're supposed to check the other.

joseph said...

Invite a couple of people out (including the dentist and nurse) to one of those tiny Gemmayze bars.

That way they are forced to sit next to each other... She can show off her teeth. And he will have a way to overcome his shyness

Olga said...

Hi Sietske,
Lol i love to read your blog. Your posts are amazing.

Well about this story, maybe simply need give him her number, can also add that she is expecting his call (but before need tell to both of them about each other) and they can agree about meeting somewhere and solve it privately?:)

Coffee meeting idea i also liked:)
Olga (Russia)

Baron said...

invite them over for coffee, just the two of them with you and your husband. Let them both know the purpose for the evening. After the small talk and coffee, Hashem & Salwa should leave your house and go do something together (pub/cafe) and see what happens.

When you're done with Hashem, I'm next in line. Will not say no to a Dutch-ass :D

M. said...

Your husband is right.
Just invite them for coffee or dinner.
It's much more civilized than your arrangement.

Did the girl in question accept to play along despite the fact that the reason she remained unmarried was that she was picky?

@migheille said...

sorry to say, but loved ur husband reply :P

u can arrange quite normal stuff,movies,friends dinner, home party at your place where many ppl are invited

the dentist approach is not any sexy and doesn't give them opportunity to even talk, considering she will have her mouth being checked :)

the good thing, is that on their first date, the woman will learn to respect the word of her maybe man-to-be, he will tell her to open her mouth and she will, then will tell her to shut her mouth and she will ( ok that was a joke :P , couldn't help it )

Anonymous said...

Now one knows where little H gets her mannerism...It is a combination from the two of you. I totally enjoyed his reply.
H

Francine said...

lol, I guess then dentists used to get the best slaves :)

& any excuse for coffee should be fine...

angie nader said...

i dont believe i missed this post. now im off to read why they didnt work out :(