Over the years, each one of us has definitely been in a number of truly embarrassing situations, thus we have all proudly contributed to expressions like:
Similar expressions are present in Arabic, and I am sure in every language ever spoken.
Surprisingly, remembering some of those once painful situations, especially the ones we committed as children, doesn't seem to be that hurtful anymore. In fact, some of them have even magically transformed into pleasant memories and funny stories that we can now laugh at, and willingly share with others.
I hope my son Mo agrees with this reasoning, cause I am about to tell you about one of those moments in his childhood. Mo, if you don't agree then I'm truly sorry!! May be one day when you are 80 years old, you can look at this post and find something funny about it. If not, at least you should feel good because most probably, I won't be around to embarrass you with any similar posts.
We were visiting our dear friends the Hassans (for some reason, it feels weird calling them that). Apparently, the five older children were content doing different things, or playing together. Poor Mo, or may be he deserved it for nagging, was excluded from whatever fun activities they were enjoying. So he came to the living room where the adults were sitting talking, drinking tea, and eating N's infamous (but walahi very tasty) chocolate cake.
Mo, putting on his sympathy seeking face, stood in front of me and said: "They don't want me to play with them, so I wanna play Nintendo alone." Seeing no problem with this peaceful separation of the troops, I told him: "I don't mind, but you need to get Uncle P's permission first." So he turned around, and went to P, adding the fail-safe special effects of tears in the eyes, and said in an angelic voice: "Uncle P, Uncle P, can I pleeeeeease play Nintendo?"
P, who knew Mo since his birth, is a smart guy and would not fall for the beggars' tools utilized by Mo. But he is also great with kids, and he genuinely did not want to see Mo upset, so he said: "Sure pet, will have it ready for you in a sec."
Wanting to send for Rania, who was apparently the Nintendo expert in the family, to come set up the Nintendo for Mo, he turned to him and said: "Call me Rania."
I did not fully understand the look Mo gave P at that particular moment. The expression on his face was that of ........., I guess the best way to describe it is SHOCK. Was he that offended that P wanted to send him to fetch Rania? I didn't think so. Then what was it??
A full minute later, when P, who had gone back to the conversation (or argument) he was having with hubby, turned around and saw Mo still standing there and staring at him in a strange way, thought that Mo did not hear what he had said earlier, so he repeated" "Come on pet, call me Rania!!" At that, Mo just shrugged his shoulders and went, patting P's shoulder: "Rania, Rania, can I please play Nintendo."
A second or two passed before P & I realized what had happened. Using the phrase "Call me Rania" instead of the more common and less confusing "Call Rania for me" must have confused the hell out of the four years old Mo. His young mind must have wondered why has Uncle P decided to start asking people to call him by his daughter's name? As strange at it may have seemed to him, he was pragmatic enough to decide, if this is what it takes to play Nintendo, then Rania it is!!!
Looking back, I don't think Mo was embarrassed at that day at all. Even when we have all realized what has happened, and told the older kids about it, he could have not understood what the fuss was all about. But years later, whenever the Hassans (it still feels weird) remind Mo of this story, he used to blush knowing how stupid he must have sounded.
The Hassans returned to Egypt over ten years ago, so we don't see them often, but we just met them last week and it was one of the few times this incident did not come up in the conversation, unless I somehow missed it.
I wonder how Mo feels about it now?
More importantly, I wonder how will he feel about this post?