Date posted: August 1, 2008

The deadline was approaching and I had no clue what I was going to write about this issue; Rola wanted something light to go with the laid back summer spirit and fun vacations. I thought of summer flings but I was not very enthusiastic about the idea. I waited and waited until I was finally rewarded … I got dumped … now I have something to write about! I kid you not this is exactly what happened and instead of curling up in bed and crying my eyes out I decided to abuse my abused heart and make a fun feature out of my not-so-funny experience.

I have not been dumped in a while – not because I have been a good girl but rather because I have been avoiding exclusive relationships and commitment. People came and went but my emotional stability was intact. Until some vain streak took over and I thought that I was ready for giving my all to one person. Deluded me thought that I grew immune to being dumped – why would any man in his right mind dump a girl like me? Other than the looks and the brains, I do not nag, far from clingy, a good listener, supportive, understanding, and could be fun.

The dumping scenario triggered my long history of messed up relationships and I decided to list for you the top ten repetitive lines a man says when he is hesitating or when he is walking away – be it in the very beginning of the relationship or at any stage:

1. This is a bad time in my life – yeah right! As if there will ever be a "good" time
2. I am confused – sure! Where was that confusion when you said you were falling for me?
3. You are a great listener but I cannot sit there and complain like a little girl – what's wrong with little girls? Plus complaining is not gender specific!
4. I am depressed – so help me God!
5. I need to think – ahhhhh … bad sign!
6. I am not sure – ok … I am cursed!
7. I need space – what the heck!!
8. We are intellectually different – this one is original I have to admit!
9. It is not you it is me – oh please … this one is over used!
10. Let's be friends – how sweet? Kiss my camel!

In my book – The Poison Tree – planted & grown in Egypt – I listed the top ten mistakes women make that are directly related to the above statements – let me recap:

1. Delete "yes" from your vocabulary. Tarzans get motivated the more they hear you say "no". Let's meet after work, NO! Let's have breakfast, lunch or brunch, or supper or dinner, NO! Let's watch a movie – home or in the movie theatre – NO! Let's spend a few nights in Agami, Sharm, or anywhere on planet Earth, NO! Let's meet every day, NO! Let's hangout every night, NO! But remember too little is just as bad as too much.

2. For some reason, women tend to think that Tarzans are na?ve – FICTION! Men have a lie detector built in their software. Lie a white lie and he will question your breathing. Lie a colored lie and you lost his trust forever.

3. Never dump a current Tarzan for a new Tarzan thinking that the newcomer will be flattered. Men share a golden rule that says that if a woman dumps a man for him, she is most likely to dump him for another man. You are just giving him a valid reason to take you for a ride … a quick one!

4. Resist physical intimacy! Men do not understand any of your reasons; feeling close and cozy, attachment and self expression, love at first sight, genuine care, and any other reason you might have are not decodable by Tarzans. All your messages in this area will be translated into one word and its derogative synonyms … EASY! (This rule applies for the first ten hours, days, weeks, and months – if possible!)

5. Enthusiasm … big blunder girls! Curb your enthusiasm. Lock up the thrill in your voice, the spark in your eyes, the pounding of your heart, and the wide smile that brightens your face when you meet or talk to your Tarzan. Let him work for it … they truly like to work hard.

6. Generation after generation men became immune to our natural charms and became allergic to pretence. Ladies, you need to strike a balance between coming across as arrogant, fake, and conceited on the one hand, and being meek, genuine, and clumsy on the other.

7. Don't nag or plague, hunt or haunt, or stalk or chase your new Tarzan. Give him space to miss you, time to show it, and a chance to express it. Men hate leeches and any type of insect with hanging on characteristics. They also dislike whining.

8. Men are not very fond of shadows; shadows can give them a heart attack or an urge to run. Calling him first thing in the morning, on the way to work, when you reach work, and midday, mid noon, and midnight is bad. Showing up at his door step anytime and all the time is not good either. Avoid the classic mistake of being a "thing" in his car, a "thing" in his house, or a "thing" in his life.

9. "He is not my boyfriend yet" read it, write it, and use it every time you feel jealous, possessive, or inquisitive. He is still a free man, and so are you. He owes you nothing, and neither do you.

10. Madonna's Material Girl is out of fashion. Tarzans do not like Janes who love their car, villa, and bank accounts. They abhor being treated as packages of assorted goodies, so if you fail to like a man for who he is, not for what he stands for, then walk away while you still can. Tarzan will spare no effort to humiliate you as a punishment for such a grave offence against his mighty self.
Ironic isn't it? I wrote the book and I am guilty of five out of the above ten mistakes! I admit … I am just a girl who wanted to love and to be loved!

Ok … so now you are (or I am) feeling down; rejection hurts and the worst part is that you (or I) never saw it coming. We – you and I – have two options: first, to sit there and feel sorry for ourselves; drown in self-pity, self-loathing, and self-disgust. Or, second, we rise and shine like divas from the ashes – or a Phoenix so to speak. I allowed myself to sulk for a day – yes I spent 24 hours of my life in a bad mood. Then I decided to revisit the whole thing over and over in my head – all the little details that I was blind to when I was overwhelmed with hormones.

I reached out to three of my best male friends – KN, KM, and SM – I know their names sound funny but thank God they are real and thank God they were there. Because they are my friends and they know me inside out, I was very honest when I narrated the details of the "bumpy ride"; how we met, where we went, what we talked about, what we did, who we hung out with, and how it ended. I did not keep one shred of a detail that would obscure their judgment or hinder my quick recovery.

KM said that I was too hasty – guilty as charged – and that had I given it more time before I grew attached, I would have realized that he was more conservative and more religious than I was. The guy did say that I was too different and the he had never met anyone like me – why did I take it as a compliment? So lesson number one: take your time because time is always the best judge. Why did I go on daily six-hour dates? I sort of burnt out the relationship potential, expedited its end, and brought on myself uncalled for heartache. The first thing the guy asked me was if I had a curfew … this should have been a big enough sign to tell me how his head functioned but my alarm system was down – he was just so sweet, so cute, and so perfect!

KN said it all in one very eloquent statement that I am seriously considering adding it to my favorite quotes: "Marwa, you can take the boy out of the village but you cannot take the village out of the boy." KN was not insulting the guy he was just telling me that I jumped to conclusions about his character and how his mind worked based on the fact that this guy lived ten years of his life in the US. Naturally, I assumed that he would be open-minded, experimental, uninhibited, and baggage-free. So lesson number two: never ASSUME because when you assume you make an ASS out of U and ME (see how assume is a bad word?)

SM is really lovely; he has this cynical face that makes me laugh. He showed me how I marvelously smashed the guy's manhood and evoked his passive aggressive behavior and latent insecurities. Without getting into the embarrassing details, SM showed me how I made the guy feel tiny in my world. Like on a scale from one to ten where one means that you are still exploring your options in life and ten indicates that you are self-fulfilled, I would give my self a clear eight (God knows what the guy would have given me) and He seems to have give himself a five – not because he is bad or because he is a loser, but simply because he has had several setbacks and he is recovering. SM told me that a secure man would have gladly taken me to be his rock while in that particular case, I simply reminded him of the long way he has to go.

SM also pointed out that this relationship would have never worked because of how liberal I am and how "out there" I have become; between the book, the articles, the shows, and the other careers that I juggle; I can only be "a good friend" to someone who wants to play man-of-the-house. "He wants a good Egyptian girl and you know you are bad" said SM who adopted a wise tone and put his cynical face aside as he told me that I was too much of a woman for him, that rejecting me was the only thing he could do in that relationship to prove he had the upper hand, that there were no mistakes, and life just happens. He told me that I should be happy that this happened now rather than later because the ties would have been more painful to sever. SM said "this is how he is and you cannot help it, and this is how you are and you cannot help that either – just let it be." Lesson number three: this is nobody's fault, you are just too different.

Speaking of support groups, my female friends blamed me for being too outspoken, too open, too accessible, too opinionated, too independent, too strong, and too masculine. They told me that I should have put him on limited profile on facebook so he did not read my posted items and so he would not get irritated by people who comment on my pictures. "Men don't like that!" they all seemed to agree. I admit that I am intense and that I could be intimidating … but him … he had no reason to be intimidated by me … I saw greatness every time I looked at him … I am still finding it hard to believe that I imagined all the bonding, the chemistry, the closeness, and the happiness of this attempt-at-a-relationship. It just felt so right when it turned out to be all wrong … sigh … next please!

So back to you … if you have just been dumped and you are aching here are the steps – follow me:

1. Cry – it's ok
2. Sleep it out or eat it out – we all need some sort of comfort
3. Rewind and play – examine all the tiny details
4. Seek help – support group. Not just people … no … people who really understand and who have something of value to tell you
5. Vent – write it down, tell your other friends, or get a punching bag
6. Imagine payback – that works well for me
7. Learn from the experience – if you had the chance to do it allover again what would you change?
8. Let go – it is no use to hold on to someone who does not want to stay
9. Laugh about it – I am sure there is a fun side to being dumped (SMS? Phone? Email? Facebook wall? Vanishing trick?)
10. If you are strong and stubborn, and have moved on, then it's ok to be friends – how else would he know what he is missing?

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