Chef LuLu (Part 9 + Goodbye Mera)

December 2

I decided to introduce my newest friend (Mera) to my oldest friend (my bestie) so I invited them to BBQ by the Pool.

The invite was for 7pm but Mera was all dressed and wanted to come over at 5pm (so annoying).

I was the host and needed to get everything ready and prepped for my guests, but instead of taking that into consideration, Mera was just rushing me and stressing me out. I explained to her – for the millionth time – that if we had plans for 7pm, it meant 7pm and not a moment earlier. Heck, I still had to hop in the shower.

Once I got out of the shower, I found a very long and angry voice note on WhatsApp from Mera “IT’S ALMOST 6pm! WHY BOTHER INVITING US AT ALL IF WE’RE JUST GOING TO SHOW UP AND HAVE TO LEAVE STRAIGHT AWAY! THERE’S NO TIME!” *complain* *complain* *complain*

Meanwhile, my bestie was going to be bringing a different sister (older one, this time) with her.

My bestie insisted that she was also going to bring over the Burgers.

She’d ordered The Classic Burger Box (comes with Beef Patties, Buns, Shredded Lettuce, Sliced Tomato, Sliced Onions, Pickles, Cheddar Cheese, a full sized bottle of Ketchup, a bottle of Mustard and a jar of Mayo, basically all you would need to BBQ) from The Butchery

Since they didn’t live in the same house, my bestie’s older sister didn’t wanna’ show up empty-handed and brought Grape Leaves with her. My dad was a massive fan of the stuff and had the leftovers for lunch (the day after).

Mera insisted on bringing over a huge tray of Grape Leaves as well (even though I told her not to because my bestie’s sister was bringing some) and had the Potatoes cut in letters that spelled my name (which is why I can’t show the pic).

I’d asked Mera to bring over her Coffee Machine and all that it entailed for my guests (since I quit Coffee almost a year ago, which she knew). She didn’t bring the Coffee Beans or the Coffee Capsules or whatever goes into it. She didn’t even bring the little Coffee Cups that I’d asked her to bring. She only brought the actual Coffee Machine. Serves me right for depending on her lol At this point, I should’ve learned.

Mera spent the next 30 minutes literally complaining about me (she’s always late) to my best friend lol Up until I asked her if that’s how she was going to be spending the rest of her time here, which is when she realized what she’d been doing and knocked it off.

My bestie had a lot to say about that.

On a happier note, an honest-to-goodness Thunderstorm was happening overhead, which was such a mood! ♥

The heavy Rain was just oh-so-beautiful and with every crack of Thunder, we’d all yelp and squeak in delight!

Which was the perfect time to serve them some Lentil Soup (I wanna’ say it’s an Arab thing, but it could just be a cold weather thing lol), with Croutons on the side.

I’d already set them out to defrost but it was at this point that I asked our housekeeper to fry up some McCain Potato Wedges for us (to go with the Burgers).

The girls chattered away while I grilled the Burgers (which didn’t take long).

I plopped slices of cheese over the patties when they were almost done.

The girls each came up to me with their plate in hand, to pick up their patties.

We all had 1 except Mera who was the only one to have 2.

Taking their plate to the DIY Table (the one with all the veggies and condiments) they’d fix their own Burger as they see fit (for example, I can’t stand onions and also I want all the pickles).

To go with the Tea and Coffee (no thanks to Mera), I’d ordered Mini Croissants that came with Pistachio Sauce (green) and Saffron Sauce (yellow) and Chocolate Sauce (brown), also from somewhere on which was a bit dry and turned out to be a miss.

Mera managed to mess up as many Mini Croissants as she could by dripping sauce all over everything, again, which made them even more of a pass.

I’d also ordered Golden Brown Chocolate Thyme Cookies via which I personally loved, but unfortunately the girls didn’t (aside from Mera who gorged herself on the stuff).

She had such a good time that she stayed well past her curfew and only left when my bestie’s older sister left. My bestie stayed behind for an extra hour or so. Afterwards, instead of thanking me for a pleasant evening, Mera called me up at 1 in the morning to complain.

First, she complained about a comment that my bestie had made when they’d first met. I shut it down before she could go any further (nobody talks about my bestie behind her back).

However, I also explained to Mera that my bestie had meant the comment as a joke, to break the ice. In fact, my bestie had even invited Mera along with me, to her house, the following week! Why would she invite her if she didn’t like her or hadn’t warmed up to her?

Then Mera proceeded to complain about the food. “Actually, I didn’t like the burgers from The Butchery“, said the only one of us who had 2 burgers, while the rest just had 1.

Next, she started complaining about men. I chimed in saying how men seemed to have this unlimited reserve of ego, meanwhile you’d find the smartest or funniest or prettiest or whatever-est girl in the world easily doubting herself. Somehow, that triggered Mera.

“Are you calling me insecure?”

“lolwut?” When did this become about Mera?

“I’ve never been insecure about anything in my entire life”, she continued.

I should’ve let it go, but I just couldn’t because who hasn’t felt insecure at one point or another? I told her that we all feel insecure from time to time and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Somehow, that set her off! She got so upset and kept repeating “I’M NOT INSECURE! I’M NOT INSECURE! I’M NOT INSECURE” which just cemented the fact that she was clearly deeply insecure.

So, I decided to drop it. I didn’t know what had triggered her, but I apologized and told her that it was not my intent to hurt her (could’ve said much worse if I had wanted to hurt her).

Too little, too late, Mera did not want to drop it. She vented… for the next 4 hours before we both decided to hang up.

We had plans to go to Al Mubarakia the next day. She called me up in afternoon, as if nothing had happened. We had a normal conversation up until I had to cut it short because my cousin was calling me. I told Mera I’d call her back straight away, which I did, but she didn’t answer.

She sent me a voice not on WhatsApp a few hours later, telling me that her father was fasting and that she was going to be having lunch with him and that she would speak to me soon after. This was around 5pm.

She sent another voice note at 10pm telling me that she had fallen asleep (even though I could see her updating her Snapchat) and that she was going to go back to sleep and she’d speak to me the next day.

We had plans, that she didn’t cancel or even apologize for flaking out on. She just acted as if we never had plans in the first place. She didn’t text the next day with an explanation or apology (because Friday was her Family Day).

Deciding to take the high road, on the day of the vote, I texted her something about Elevation Burger (if you showed them proof that you’d voted, you got a free Burger).

She replied back with a thumbs up sign. We were now communicating with emojis? Cool.

I decided to ignore her after that.

December 7

My bestie had invited both me and Mera to her home (to hang out in their tent) but since Mera was giving me the cold shoulder (only responding a day later to my texts with an emoji), I ordered some Chocolateness and went without her.

I took plenty of pics with my bestie and all her many, many sisters (they’re a big family, mashallah) and sisters-in-law and cousins and other passerbys (insofar that the tent was over-crowded lol).

I also took plenty of pics of their Christmas Tree which looked absolutely beautiful!

My bestie served us some Salad and Lentil Soup (toldja’ it was an Arab thing).

There was also Grape Leaves (round dish at the bottom) and a variety of pastries including those little Pizzas from Ceasars  (which I did not touch lol).

More and more girls kept showing up and I had such a lovely conversation with almost all of them that when it was time for me to leave, they refused to let me go lol We were all having such an amazing time!

Mera had been watching my Snapchat Story intently and was always the first name to pop up as soon as I added something new to my story.

Sure enough, I got a text from Mera at exactly 11pm (an hour after her curfew) with something along the lines of “Heeey babe! How are you? Miss you xoxo” as if she wasn’t the one that was giving me the cold shoulder.

I waited a day to respond and be all “Hey girl hey!” as if nothing had happened. She went back to calling me and talking my ear off (once she started talking about her bowel movements, I figured we were on our way back to being okay again).

At 30 minutes past midnight, my bestie walked me to my car and made me promise to make my infamous Banana Bread the next time I came over.

She thanked me for coming and apologized for the rambunctious bunch, but truthfully I’d had an awesome time!

December 9

I went with a different group of girls (highschool friends) to Open Flame at 360 Mall.

Not only did we take plenty of selfies, but I purposely took plenty of pics of the food just to spite Mera.

We ordered everything.

We even made room for Dessert. It was sooo nice catching up with old friends!

It was freeing not having to worry about inadvertently hurting their feelings or having to watch what I say. Better still, it was amazing not having to listen to someone constantly complain and just be negative all the time!

Between hanging out with my highschool friends that day and hanging out with my bestie’s family the day before, I was reminded of what hanging out with normal people felt like. It was so much fun!

I had a great time, as did my girls!

December 13

Mera had just lightened her hair and was super excited to go walking in Shaheed Park with her newly dyed hair.

She invited me to come along saying she was in Salmiya running errands for her mom and was going to Qurtoba (her home) to change into her workout gear (skintight leggings, corset to cinch her waist, tight top) and pick up her 2-year-old niece Deema and finally pick me up to go walking at Shaheed Park. I told her I could drive there on my own or get our driver to drop me but she insisted (which should’ve tipped me off).

I had planned on bringing up our argument from the day before and telling her that it didn’t sit right with me and that she should apologize. If she did apologize, I was going to invite her to my BBQ the next day (which she knew nothing about).

She kept texting me, and kept sending voice notes, giving me blow-by-blow of every single thing she was doing (which irritates me to no end). She was more than an hour late than the agreed upon time but I didn’t care because I’m not uptight about that stuff.

She called me up at 7:23pm to tell me that she was outside. I left the house through the Side Entrance (which is where she usually parks when she comes over or picks me up) but she was all the way down by the sidewalk.

As I was walking, she could clearly see me in the rearview mirror, she just sped off and left. When I called her, laughing, “Yo, I’m right behind you. I was walking up to you”, she was all apologetic “I’m sorry but you were late” and left.

When I called her, the normal reaction would be to drive back and pick me up. I mean, I could understand if I was 5 minutes late at least, but not even. I sent her the Call Register showing that she’d called me saying she was outside at 7:23pm and and had sped off at 7:26pm (which is when I’d called her) exactly 3 minutes after.

Once she got to Shaheed Park, she sent me a very long voice note saying that she was sick of always waiting for me.

I sent her a voice note saying that she hadn’t waited at all, and that was it was only 3 minutes, and that she was clearly still hurt about our argument from a weeks ago, and that she clearly had left her house with every intention of driving off and leaving me behind. I haven’t spoken to her since.

To spite Mera (she was still on my Snapchat) I went to Prestige (her favorite place) at The Avenues and bought a gift for a friend from Gucci (I didn’t show what it was, but I did take a pic of the huge shopping bag).

I even stopped by Joe’s (her favorite restaurant) to pick up dinner.

December 15

The next day, I invited a few friends to BBQ at night in the Garden.

Before they arrived, I strung up some Fairy Lights to make the place look livelier. I also dragged some Pool Floats (blue arrows) from the Pool and some End Tables from the Family Living Room and other larger tables (yellow arrows) and placed them strategically around the Garden.

I’d ordered an RGB Floor Lamp earlier from (for my new apartment) and decided to unbox it and use it for my gathering that night (pink arrow) and also borrowed 2 Tree Lamps (pink arrows) from my brother and sister-in-law and placed the LED Tree on either side of my Seashell Island Float.

A video would do it more justice, rather than a still picture, but I don’t wanna risk someone finding out where I live (and then planting a pipe bomb in our mailbox because… I have an imagination).

Anyways, I ordered The Classic Burger Box from The Butchery which arrived on time.

My bestie and her sis brought over this decadent mouthwatering Red Velvet Cake in a Fondue type of setup from Floating Torta (it’s the thing in the unassuming upright sack with a blue tag on it).

You had to light the gel, which would melt the Chocolate Sauce underneath the Cake hence Floating Torta.

I also ordered a thing of Grape Leaves on one side and Musakhan Rolls on the other, from one of the restaurants on to serve as an Appetizer. It was just okay (nothing special).

I also ordered the Special Crunchy Salad (large) from Salad Yo on Deliveroo. It consisted of Organic Lettuce and Edamame and came with pots of Shredded Potatoes, Shredded Carrots and Crumbled Toast, which you add yourself (as much or as little as you want). Lastly, it came with jars of some sorta’ Yogurt Sauce.

All in all, this stuff is my latest obsession! So good!

The main course were the Burgers from The Butchery of course, which I popped in the fridge, up until the guests arrived.

Before they arrived, I’d asked our Driver to kindly light some charcoal.

After the girls arrived, I filled the Kettle with water and dropped about 5 Teabags in there and popped it over the fire for some traditional “Tea on Coal“, which my bestie oversaw (she kept fanning the coal and poking the fire and pouring tea for everyone, well, excluding myself because I quite caffeine).

I thought they might enjoy it (Tea on Coal because… Arabs) and I was correct. Unfortunately, they enjoyed it a bit too much and left the beautifully-lit, open-air seating area that I’d prepared for them and instead preferred to huddle tightly together by the fire in the dimly lit enclosed space (not shown in pics).

It was so dark because of the trees that we could barely see… and that’s where these girls chose to stay for the rest of the night lol We even ate in the dark!

After I grilled the Burgers, we tried to eat in the dark (we deal with this issue with the the fam and kids every Family Night lol), up until my bestie used her phone to provide some much needed light.

For dessert, a friend of mine had baked a Traditional Date Cake (from the Al-Hasa region) which she poured some Maple Syrup over for some extra sweetness. It was lovely!

I was saving some space for the Floating Torta though, which was so good!

Side Note – my bestie’s sister was wearing Golden Goose Sneakers (in the photo) and tried to convince me to get some, but I find them… not my style. Plus, I’d already ordered Nike Jordan 1s (as a b-day gift for myself) back in November from Hamra Tower and they had yet to arrive.

All in all, it was a lot of work but I realized that I actually enjoy hosting and all the prepping involved. They began arriving at around 7:00pm and left at around 11:30pm (mind of you, some of them including my bestie were mommies and had their kids to get back home to).

I’d walked each of them to there car where they graciously thanked me for inviting them and even texted as soon as they got home (per my instructions) where they thanked me again and told me that they had enjoyed themselves!

I’d had a great time as well and was already planning the next BBQ lol

December 16

I’d made plans to go to Murouj with Abrar and Bibi but after driving to 360 Mall the other day, I didn’t want to deal with the horrible road that led there. Thankfully, Abrar offered to pick me up.

It’s funny because the last time I was at Murouj was almost a year ago (January 2020) when Abrar picked me up and we had dinner at Trapani (my second fave restaurant) and even though she had her GPS on, we ended up getting lost on the way back lol

This time though we had Dinner at Solia. I took plent of pics of myself and the girls and purposely of the food for my Snapchat.

Bibi was already waiting for us when we got there (that’s her tiny thigh in her adorable mini skirt in the photo, which she credits to soul cycling) but hadn’t yet ordered.

I’d never been there before so I let the girls order for me. We decided on ordering a little bit of everything which was pretty good. Since it had been my idea to get together, I footed the bill (but Abby and Bibi put up a good fight).

On our way back home, we ended up getting lost again (exactly like what happened a year ago lol) and didn’t even realize we were lost, up until we noticed we were how far we’d gotten from the city (where we both lived)! Once we realized what had happened (Abrar had taken the exact same wrong turn she’d taken a year ago lol), we couldn’t stop laughing!

Once I got back home, I made some Hot Cocoa to warm up. It had been an awesome day and I’d had such a great time!

December 17

I’d made plans to hang out with May and was genuinely looking forward to seeing her and catching up with her because the last time I’d seen her was back in January 2020 when we went for a walk at Shaheed Park and had Dinner at Table Otto.

I’d wanted her to try Trapani but I hadn’t made reservations beforehand and there was a long waiting list at almost all the restaurants. We’d decided we’d just leave our number at a handful and see which one called us back first, which turned out to be Mana.

We had a little bit of everything. Although it’s one of my younger brother’s favorite places to have a meal with his wife, I found the food a bit too rich for my stomach. I might possibly be the only person in Kuwait who can’t stand garlic aioli or truffle anything. It just turns my stomach.

That said, the food was quite good! As was the conversation. May regaled me with stories of her recent travels and funny work-related anecdotes (she deals with a lot of Japanese businessmen) and time just flew by!

After spending few days without her incessant repetitive chatter, I couldn’t help but compare Mera to the rest of my friends. Mera literally brought nothing to the table.

My other friends all had… a full circle. Meaning they all had a life!

They all had a main job while also working on something on the side. For example, Bibi had a newly opened Bakery (which had incidentally gotten hacked on Instagram and was being held for ransom and she went through a whole thing to get it back). H and S were both working on their Masters. My bestie, despite having a newborn, purchased and customized one of those huge carts (popcorn/cotton candy/slushies) which she now rents out for little children’s birthday parties. The list goes on and on.

My friends also had plenty of other friends (meaning they didn’t look to me to be their… everything). I mean, Abrar knew everyone in Kuwait. Every event she threw was literally a who’s who of Kuwait. Heck, wherever we went, she’d keep having to stop to greet this or that person. She even had a weekly Diwaniya at her place for ladies. My bestie had a rather large family and consequentially an even larger extended family, not to mention her own circle of friends separate from family. My other bestie (who happens to be Korean) aside from his immediate family and his wife and kids, had his own circle of Kuwaiti friends which was basically the male version of who’s who of Kuwait, as well as his own circle of Korean friends (they play football or “soccer” as he calls it, once a week).

More importantly (to me), all my friends had several other hobbies and interests. May was very much a fitness freak. She was into Crossfit (ugh) and had the callouses on her palms to prove it. She also had a standing appointment with a Life Coach once a week and was all Karma this and spirituality that. She’d recently adopted a puppy (or rather taken him off her baby nephew’s hands) and was obsessed with the little thing. R was passionate about Classic Arabic Poetry and Kickboxing. R had such a beautiful soul that being around her was just so humbling. She was all about taking the high road (not me lol). S-1 knitted murals. S-2 was into Squash. Bibi as I said was into Soul Cycling. Abrar loved all animals (she owns 3 cats and just got a fourth) but had recently taken up horse riding lessons.

All of them were well-traveled and were constantly regaling me with funny anecdotes of their trips. For example, May was sleeping alone in her tent on a Safari Trip in Africa when a cheetah strolled right up to her tent and all she had was a whistle (for emergencies lol) to alert the rest of the group in neighboring tents. H hit up India right before the pandemic. Abrar although an avid fan of London, hit up Italy with her friends right before the pandemic. Bibi alternates between Mykonos (Greece) and Marbella (Spain).

Aside from all that, they were all tv show and movie buffs! Abrar binged Netflix shows as soon as they’d drop. May loved Documentaries as much as she loved Friends (which she’d force us to re-watch constantly). S was a huge Marvel fan, despite being a teacher and a mom to 3 kids. My fave cousin was newly converted to Korean Dramas. My bestie and I have loved going to the movies together, ever since we were little kids.

All of my friends indulged in designer and luxury brands (namely fashion and jewelry) but unlike Mera, they weren’t psychotic about it. Their lives did not revolve around showing off brands. It would just be a comment made in passing. “Gorgeous necklace!” “Thanks, it’s a Van Cleef” the end. They wore luxury brands in a very tasteful way (unlike Mera who was very nouveau riche about it).

Each and every one of my friends had a full circle (work, friends, hobbies, etc…). Sadly, Mera did not have a full circle. Yes, she held down a job, but that was pretty much it. She had no other interests aside from eating out and keeping up with the latest plastic surgery trends. Oh and above all else, was her unhealthy obsession with marriage. She rarely read, even though she’s a teacher and could barely follow the story of any given movie or tv show. Not surprisingly, she only had two other friends (one of which was a work friend) whom she was constantly gossiping about, behind their backs.

Consequentially, Mera had a lot of free time on her hands, which apparently she believed was my responsibility to fill. It was just too much pressure on me. I had a life of my own.

More than that, each and every one of my friends had positive energy! Our time would always end with me feeling good (and I hope they could say the same about me). They inspired me to be… better (in every aspect). Meanwhile, Mera was always just so negative. I could overlook all her other flaws (who among us isn’t flawed?), if at the very least she was entertaining, but she wasn’t even “fun” to be around. Every conversation with her, left me feeling… drained.

I’d had enough. So, I blocked her on social media. Mera was finally out of my life for good!

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