The Age of No Energy

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A week ago, I turned 28. “Oh, you’re so young,” my foreign manager comments as he saw the bouquet on my desk and got to know the reason behind the festive mood. I giggle as a compliment for the nice boss who knows little about Egyptian misogynist culture and what it means to be a 28 year-old Egyptian single girl.

The other day, I meet some of my girlfriends to try out a new restaurant in Alexandria. As crowded as most of the “It” places are in the gradually stifling city, I notice that most of the customers out there are adolescent and I, along with my fellow friends, have become those late twenties ladies whom I used to judge when I was much younger. Of course, I cannot still refer to myself as “lady”, but at the same time it feels weird to call myself a 28 year-old “girl”.

Slowly, my friends and I get dragged to the whole relationships dilemma. Since I’m the only single girl in the crowd, I spill the beans of why I have no energy anymore for the whole infatuation stage. “Don’t lose hope,” a friend murmurs as she tries to make me feel good about myself. Truth is I already feel good about myself. It is all about energy. So, I start explaining that I spend 9 hours a day sending emails, replying to phone calls, grinning to silly jokes and trying as much as possible to control my facial expressions when I hear some stupid requests. I, then, go home and either vent out to my friends about how shitty my day was, or try to save what’s left from my social life by squandering a few bucks on some mediocre places that are sweeping social media off its feet. So, when a guy texts me a simple “Hi!” thinking that that should be a signal for me to play along the game of an exhilarating dating code that changes itself so fast to the extent that I seem so démodé every single time I get closer to a guy. Well, at least some guys need to “Up their game a little bit. They are the MEN after all!”


“What do you expect, then?” I direct my question pointlessly to my friends who look blankly at me but their silence makes me feel uncomfortably sad. “They’d never get it,” I think to myself while sipping my orange carrot juice. “It tastes so bitter,” I nag as to change this awkward subject.

I excuse myself and walk back home. Hearing some flirty mo3akasat– catcalling in Arabic- has become so monotonously mundane. Then, I realize that they don’t bother me as much as they did when I was younger. They don’t make me feel good, as well. “Maybe, this is what Egyptian men are all about. Paroles, paroles…” I smile foolishly as I get what seems to be a brilliant idea on a very dark night. A middle-aged woman walking the other side stares at me as I smile while walking alone, I soon get my s*** together. “Thanks Miss Blues for raining on my parade,” I almost scream in her face. But, then I realize that I, too, have no energy for lecturing some other frustrated female about letting people be.

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Noha Rahhal

Noha is the Founder & Editor in Chief of Sans Retouches. Apart from her obsession with glossy stuff, Noha is a hardcore bookworm and a music addict. If you happen to spot her in any of Alexandria’s hot spots, you’d find her either pouring her thoughts on a chic notebook, picking a political argument with some fellas or even enjoying an exotic meal to keep her full for days.

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