We Met at the Met—Well, Almost

Exasperated, she decided to spell it out it to my dad in Arabic. Loudly.

A few years back, my parents came to New York from California for a visit. I had recently moved here from San Francisco. My parents, being your traditional-minded kind of Arabs, weren't thrilled by the idea of their daughter moving to New York City alone. Especially my dad. His last trip to New York had been in the winter of 1973 on a kind of business trip. He sold tapestries then. Door-to-door.

Resolute, I did my best to plan an amazing weekend for them, determined to win them over and put their minds at ease. On the second day of their visit, we spent an entire afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After a few hours spent roaming the grand halls, we made our way up to the rooftop for refreshments and the view.

We scored seats on one of the few benches, from which I proceeded to point out highlights of the Manhattan skyline: "There, off to the left, is the Chrysler Building. Straight ahead, Empire State. And to your right, Mike Myers."

Wait. Mike Meyers? Yup. There he was. Mr. _Wayne's World._ Seated right next to us. He carried with him a map of the Met and a few brochures. His baseball cap was pulled low over his brow, and he gazed intently out at the view. His posture was somewhat defensive. It almost screamed, "Please, let me enjoy this moment in peace!"

My mother quickly recognized him and tried her best to contain her excitement. She discreetly nudged my father in the direction of the celeb. He didn't get it. She tried gently nodding in Mike's direction. Nope. She rolled her eyes. Leaned in. Nothing.

Exasperated, she decided to spell it out it to my dad in Arabic. Loudly.

I didn't have the heart to point out to her that Austin Powers is pronounced the same in Arabic as it is in English. Mike didn't stay seated next to us for much longer.


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