Sunday, July 16, 2006

OUR NERD'S MOTHER PIMPS HER OUT (AGAIN)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you’re a Pakistani male who works at the mall and helps the Nerd and her mom, you will be rewarded with the Nerd’s business card, whether or not she wants you to have said business card. Sure our Nerd’s mother pimps her out with only the best of intentions in mind; the pimping out is always unintentional, a byproduct of our Nerd’s mother’s genuine interest in people, an interest that has been passed down to the Nerd herself.

Let’s take the example of what happened earlier today.

While at Macy’s, our Nerd is purchasing a lovely blush and two lip glosses—who knew lemon and papaya would look so good on her?!—when her mother rushes over, insisting that she MUST take a look at a pair of shoes that she’s found in her size. The Nerd, who loves shoes just as much as the next girl, purchases her makeup, bracing for the beauty clerk to ask her for her number (to be explained in a future post), sighing with relief when she doesn’t, and follows her mother to the shoe department. The shoe salesman, it turns out is a fellow from the motherland. The Nerd’s mother has the gift of charm. With her eyes aglow and a dazzling smile that belies her years, she reels the boy into conversation, discovering that he hails from the Pakistani city of Lahore, has an older brother, has been in the states for just over 4 months and will be starting college in September. His father has some sort of construction business, a home in the same Islamabad sector as my uncle—they MUST be from a decent family if they live so close to your uncle, amma declares, when he heads to the back to look for a pair of shoes our Nerd’s spotted—and he misses home terribly.

The Nerd engages in funniness with the boy, who’s clearly 19.5 years old, because she engages in funniness with everyone; however, she’s much too preoccupied with shoes to take much of an interest in this very decent boy about whom her mom is already concerned. “He’s so young and on his own! Give him a year and he’ll be corrupted!” she tells our Nerd sadly. “What a nice, decent Pakistani boy, tsk tsk tsk. He’ll fall into the clutches of a very fast girl. You mark my words.”

Meanwhile, the Nerd debates whether she wants these terribly cute wedges she’s found in black or tan. “Black or tan? Black or tan? Black or tan?” she struggles.

She goes with the tan. With a boxed pair of shoes under each arm, she marches to the cash register where the nice, decent, Pakistani boy will ring her up. And then her mother goes and pimps her out:

“Sabila, why don’t you give this nice boy your card.” It’s clear that she’s telling more than she’s asking.

The Nerd smiles and pretends to search through her busy wallet.

“Strange,” she says, throwing up a hand in mock confusion, “but I can’t seem to find my business cards. Oh well—“

“Oh, I see them right over here!” amma announces, reaching over to pull out a vertical Penguin card. “Here beyta,” she hands him a card. “If you need anything at all, give us a call. I know how difficult it is to move to a new country.”

The boy thanks them and then rings up the shoes. He puts the boxes in a bag, staples the receipt to the bag, carries the bag around the register to hand them to the Nerd and her mother (as is Macy’s policy); clearly the nice, decent Pakistani boy is also a 19.5-year-old gentleman.

The Nerd doesn't bother giving her mother the silent treatment. There are some battles that one can never win. As they walk out of Macy's, our Nerd's mother is suddenly struck with a thought:“Oh no Sabila! Do you think he’s going to start calling you at night and asking you out like that other boy did?!”

You see, dear reader, this has happened to our Nerd once before. It was two years ago; the store was CVS, located in—you guessed it—the mall. A young, Pakistani employee (he was seriously 18 years old) started talking with the Nerd and her mother. When he rung them up, he insisted that they use his employee discount card, which he had to run to the back of the store to get, and chatted with the mother and daughter in Urdu even as his manager looked on, clearly displeased. The boy was from Islamabad, had moved to the states a year ago; he lived with his brother, was paying his way through college by working two jobs. All of this gave the Nerd’s mother reason for great concern. She thought that the boy needed a surrogate family and that the Nerd’s family could be just that. So, once again, she insisted our Nerd give him her card and plucked it right out of her wallet as the Nerd made a great show of looking for it. And then she made the Nerd write her cell phone number on the back of the card, “Just in case you ever need anything.”

The boy called the Nerd a week later, insisting that they date. She explained that she was six years older than him and that, contrary to what he might believe, she had not given him her card because she was interested in him. She was, in fact, old enough to be CVS clerk’s much older sister. He called three more times before he decided to mack no more. Our Nerd boycotted CVS until her mother reassured her that she hadn’t seen the boy in quite some time. The two of them believe that the young gigolo has moved onto bigger and better shores of part-time mall employment.

“He won’t call you,” the Nerd’s mother continues as the Nerd considers her mom's question. “He comes from a decent family like ours. Decent boys never take advantage of situations like this.” And then, "What a shame. What a nice, decent Pakistani boy. Give him a year on his own and he'll be corrupted."

The Nerd has decided to leave her business cards at home when she goes shopping with her mother.

Finis.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too funny! But really, you can't help but like your mother. Her heart is clearly in the right place.

shirley said...

LOL - I bet if you leave your cards at home, she'll magically find one in her purse!

Anonymous said...

I don't work in a mall but can I still have your card??? You still have to get me that Bonds book.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be so funny if he had a blog as well and was writing about the same experience. I wonder what his perspective would be?

Abstracting Silliness said...

also remember to forget any paper, pencil and ur phone number incase your mom gets createive :)

Anonymous said...

Sabila, I say you should have smiled demurely, flicked you hair back, lowered you lashes, and said....'now that you have my nummmbah, can i get 50% off my purchase?' *wink*

Kinza

Anonymous said...

oh- that would mean- I would have to stand in the window and wave my arms like a madwoman in order to distract you mom while you get ur discount! :)

Kinza

Anonymous said...

..and i DO hope you realize I'm kidding! :P Never listen to Kinzas. Kinzas are weird.

Kinza

zee said...

print a separate set of cards with the wrong number...and insist on handing the card yourself....if caught blame it on the printers!

SabilaK said...

Anonymous #1: my mom is a sweetheart, indeed. I can never stay angry at her for very long (or help cracking up even when I may be angry): she's way too adorable, funny, charming and genuine to invoke anything but love.
She's the the most personable and easy to talk to person I know; truly, one of a kind.

SabilaK said...

Shirley: I'm sure she'll steal a stash and carry it around in her purse. Love the pic, btw!

SabilaK said...

Anonymous #2: If you are who I think you are, give a buddy a call once in a while! Where the hell did you disappear to, yo?

SabilaK said...

Anonymous #3: "Score."

SabilaK said...

Abstracting Silliness (John, yes?): Good looking out. Can one forget how to write when one has selective amnesia? I should look into that...

SabilaK said...

Kinza: the crazier, the better. My mom's not easily distracted.

SabilaK said...

Zee: brilliant!

mist1 said...

But were the shoes on sale?

Abstracting Silliness said...

me no jan nor john... try again pleeze.

mAn[S]o0r said...

LoL! the dangers of having a business card carrying your cellphone number :D


i wonder if you'd be open to giving out your number if the guy *was* your age?? just wondering ;)

very funny post!