Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Perfect Seven: Arab Men Your Mom Wants You to Marry

The Perfect Seven: Arab Men Your Mom Wants You to Marry

  1. The Gulfie (but only if he will put some property in your name and agrees never to bring you a second wife). Arabs from the gulf have long had the stereotype of being the human versions of cash, with a few cultural eccentricities built-in. We all know this is mostly, but not all true. Your mom doesn’t know any better. So if a Saudi guy starts to take interest in you, be warned, she may start to see him as her retirement fund and ticket to the posh life.

  2. The Palestinian. As long as he is not from Gaza, your mom sees “Palestinian” as code for engineer or doctor. Plus, he’s as a charity case even if he’s an upper-cruster from Ramallah who thinks there is no Israeli occupation. On average, he has a can-do-attitude, is respectful of his elders and makes a mean maklooba. He is the village son from a “good family” who is an engineer looking for a green card and English lessons. Downside: he is not the one to apologize and the eternal victim act gets tired.

  3. The lawyer. He is smart, carries on good conversations, has a decent job and knows how to get you off the no-fly list if necessary. Moms may not get what lawyers do, but they know it’s prestigious here, as opposed to being a shit job no one wanted back home. Of course he is a good dresser who has more suits than your mother has (real) teeth. But 90% of what comes out of his mouth is hot air. Usually, he’s so good with words that you and your mom are fooled. But your grandmother sees right through him. Too bad no one listens to her anymore because she’s right on this one.

  4. The doctor. This bastard should be in the number one position. He is the god of marriage for Arab moms. She will show him more love and attention in one visit than she showed your father in 30 years of marriage. He is the gold standard of potential hubbies. You may not want to marry him because his breath smells like ass and he’s an overworked, inattentive, self-aggrandizing pharmaceutical company whore. But your mom looks at him like she’s in full-on cougar mode.

  5. The business owner. He is one Mercedes away from being your mom’s leading contender. He is hard-working, entrepreneurial (by definition) and always stressed out about the bottom-line. Somehow, if he found the way to meet your family, he’d be able to sell himself perfectly. He’d pitch himself like he was pushing 50 units of widgets. But at every family gathering he’d be hustling the room for quick money schemes. His initial charm wears out but everyone somewhat respects his hustle, especially when he adroitly takes care of whatever your mom ever needs in just a few phone calls.

  6. The government worker. He is not the smartest in the bunch, but has two benefits: 1. when she goes back to the old country and says her son-in-law works for the American government, it sounds important. Forget the fact that he shuffles paper from one part of his desk to another all day and cannot help your mom get any of her friends or family visas. 2. He has semen and can raise kids in a stable setting. Plus, he has a lot of time to raise them. He is never the top choice, but is just plain acceptable even if he’s BOR-ing.

  7. The cousin or family friend. Your mom knows everything about him because she probably changed his diapers. Forget that you grew up like brother and sister. Even if things grew creepy post-puberty, you still were cool, but never marriage cool. And if he ended up being a weirdo who you avoided, you still cannot deny you used to run around together. But marriage? WTF! When you heard it as kids, you probably thought it was typical Adult bullshit. Oh no, my friend.

Remember, though, the single most important criterion for your mother when it comes to who you spend the rest of your life with is: what other people think/say about it.




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