>So, while I was doing my shopping just the other day, I decided to grab my groceries and haul them up the stairs myself because a) I didn’t have any change for a tip and haram the poor fellow who would help me and b) I hate driving around to pick my groceries up. As I was grabbing all my groceries, a woman and her friend were having the bag boys load their car and I heard them talking about me. Now, my Arabic is limited, but of course I can understand tone. The tone of this conversation was distinctly condescending and dismissive. One of the bag boys said something to the woman. She responded in her tone, Khalas, hiyyi Americaniyyi. I suspect the comment was about the fact that I wasn’t letting this guy help and was doing it myself. I was rather tempted to say something to her. She was, after all, rude enough to talk about me with me RIGHT THERE. But then, I think it would have been rude of me to so highlight her rudeness. Perhaps I should ask Anne Landers about that one… But it did get me thinking today. Was the issue that I was carrying my own groceries? Am I supposed to act like a wilting flower who is totally dependent on a big strong man to help me? What really is the bottom line deal? Culturally, what did I do that would occasion such rudeness? A big part of me wonders if this woman was threatened by Arab males seeing a woman who doesn’t just sit around and wait on them to take the lead. Or maybe it is just because I’m American and, therefore, no common courtesy is due me. It highlights an Arab tendency that I’ve noticed. I’m polite and very welcoming to people I know and their friends, but as rude as I want to be to everyone else. The problem with that is, when you meet them again with someone you know, they will remember. A little courtesy goes a long way. So, to that very rude woman I say, Ana Americaniyyi and I’m proud to be so. As a result, I won’t be rude back, I’ll just smile and tell all of my friends how rude you are. And if you are telling all of your friends about your experience, maybe you’ll run into someone who heard the other side of the story… That’ll make my point most effectively.