Thursday, September 19, 2013

Life Advice

Last night I met a few girlfriends out for a kind of welcome back to Dubai drink.  A lot of people here leave for long summer holidays, and many people travel for work frequently, so unfortunately, this can result in not seeing our favorite people as often as we would like.  It doesn't make us any less close, it is just the nature of Dubai.  It is transient.

As I was chatting with three friends off to the side of the larger group, a guy approached us.  Like a pack of zebras, if there is one straying from the pack, the lion sees opportunity.

No one was there to meet anyone.  Well, except for him, so a look of disgust immediately appeared on my friends' faces.  I actually found myself feeling sorry for him because he seemed pretty intimidated and was not sure what to say.  I was not one to frequent bars when I was young, but "So ya" is not really a winning introduction anywhere.

While my friends quickly dismissed him, I felt the need to explain the situation to him.  "Look, we are four women, married with three or four kids each so we are not really your target market." Ok, I embellish a bit on the number of children we all have, but I wanted to add some fear factor to my story.

He proceeds to tell me he is 24.  Twenty-four?!!  I inform him I am old enough to be his mother.  Ok, I embellish a bit more.  Technically I could be old enough to be his mother but my son is five and I don't want to think about the gap between me and a slightly inebriated guy that is almost half my age.  Cringe.

He got my point, but before he left he asked us for some life advice.  You know, since we are so much older than him.  Maybe a desperate plea to keep the conversation going, but life advice... that's a tough one.  I am sure that at work and as a mom I do that a lot.  And I used to be a consultant - the profession of getting paid to give advice!

One friend advised that he to move to the other side of the room.  But again, I find myself feeling sorry for him.  I've been on this earth twice as long as he has, so by default I must have more experience and should have something useful to tell him.  Rejection and no life advice?  Double whammy.

The first thing I thought of was stay in school and stay away from drugs, but he was a bit too old for that.  Don't hit on groups of married women?  That seemed like a no-brainer by now.

After a quick assessment of my life in a loud, smokey bar I finally found something useful to suggest to him.  Humor.

No matter what happens in life, never loose your sense of humor.  I'm not talking about laughing in the midst of tragedy.  But really, if I can't find some humor or irony, or laugh at myself on most normal days, then that is not good.

So there you go, not that you asked, but the best advice I have so far is humor.  As for the guy, he went back to his friends, and hopefully had a good laugh.

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