Monday, January 6, 2014

SIRGA'S QUIPS, WORDS OF WISDOM, & INFLUENCE

Mekkar had almost the exact character and disposition as his mama and other females in his direct family lineage. The traits passed on down to him is what has formed him into the person he is today.

Below are just a few of the many quotes and quips by, as well as a background of, Sirga that helped shape Mekkar. He has heard some of the following statements multiple times. They are in no particular order of importance but show the effect that Sirga had on her oldest child. Her quotes are translated from the main languages that she primarily used.

 “If he survives this, he is going to be a fighter and feisty as hell.” Sirga referred to her three months premature son, Mekkar, just after his birth at the hospital facility. She turned out to be very prophetic in her prediction regarding his feisty personality. Soon afterward, Henrik’s young wife was asked to do some modeling when seen working part-time at the airport after losing the post-birth weight.

Sirga's best friend Janna said that she could have gone much further and done much more in the modeling industry if she would have kissed more butt. Not having such an abrasive, sharp-tongued personality on her part would have entailed many more opportunities in the field for her. Janna also stated that Sirga didn't care and refused to compromise herself and what she stood for. It wasn't her focus nor her full-time career anyway as she many avenues to choose from. She only paraded himself in that manner as an option to keep from getting bored. Plus, Sirga could travel around the world by working in the airline industry anyway. Thus, she didn't modeling for that. Sirga stated as a matter of fact, that modeling was just another distraction for her. She could take it or leave it, no big deal. Remember, the time period was still the pre-supermodel era that arrived later on.

Janna, who was also a sometime model herself, said that Sirga didn’t understand what the fuss was all about regarding her looks. Even though, Mekkar’s mama felt that she was attractive, it was not extremely so. Sirga said that she could see all of her own physical flaws. Still, modeling wasn’t a priority to her. Mekkar’s mama didn’t really care all that much and hated spending a lot of time in front of the mirror to put makeup on. She also thought that most women used too much makeup anyway.

“The thicker and bigger the eyelashes, the more the tramp (or bigger the slut). The only exception is if it is required for work such as during a photo shoot," says Sirga. Another time she commented, "True outward beauty is when you are still beautiful with no makeup on! ... Because makeup works wonders if done correctly." 

The native woman stated distinctly, "Sophia Loren was the only woman I have seen without any makeup on and still so beautiful." Sirga was a part of some movie promo shoot in Milan, Italy starring Loren.  They needed two taller models than Sophia for the background and only had one over six-foot tall on the set. She was mentioned by someone else in the industry and they knew someone who was aware of her work. Since, Sirga was already in Milan for another show, they inserted her into the ad campaign. Mekkar’s mama ultimately was chosen because she could speak & understand Italian fluently. Her height was probably the biggest factor though.

"I hated many in that industry because of the two-facedness, double talk, false promises, speaking about you behind your back, and back-stabbing that was rampant. That is some reasons why I didn't work in modeling or runway shows on a full time basis. There is a dark side to that industry (of modeling) with unlimited access to many items that could be detrimental to your health," voiced Sirga.

The first real women to be called Supermodels were referred as to by that terminology in the mid to late nineteen seventies. That is when Sirga's part-time career bookings were in the process of winding down. Sirga considered many models in the industry to be not the brightest, especially some of the younger ones. Sometimes she wanted to smack some sense into some of them. Though Sirga was considered to be extremely brilliant and altogether had a good business-sense, she had trouble dealing with extremely dumb individuals.

She had heard of and encountered a few of the more famous models of her day, but Sirga tried as much as she could to avoid people like that. Sirga described them as snooty, extremely self-centered, spoiled, rich-girl, pampered children. She did not consider herself to be like that in her own opinion. She also didn’t want to be affected by those influences, if she could help it.

The tall native woman was well aware of the potential environment she could be swallowed up by. She just wanted to make some extra cash, travel a bit, and most of all break the monotony. Sirga decided that she wouldn’t influenced by the negative background aspects, if she did not participate in modeling on a full time basis. She understood the superficiality, substance abuse, and disease part of the dark-side behind the scenes and the shallow, cut-throat business of fashion modeling. There was a realization of that it is a jungle out there and you are truly a piece of meat until no one wants you anymore. [Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia by Stephen Fried, 1993] Sirga had a family and there are other people who depend on her and thus refused to be engulfed by that scene’s negative impacts. The native woman knew that all fields can have unfavorable aspects if one searches hard enough for them.

Sirga quipped, “You (Mekkar) do not know how to dress yourself to look good, so I or someone I trust will help you buy decent clothes, since your fashion sense sucks. Also, this is a reflection on me.” The keen sense of fashion in Sirga also resulted in her labeling and arranging all the clothes in Henrik’s closet. Her husband Henrik was completely color-blind. She could have messed with him or played pranks on him in this area. But, she never did because of her respect for him and the impact regarding financial support of the family.

Sirga would sometimes bring Mekkar, especially when he was younger, on modeling trips with her. Some of the models would give him goodies. A few of those women became famous later on, but the little Mekkar didn’t realize it at the time. All he cared about was the free treats. A number of the ladies would tell him what a good boy he was during the interaction time. Several of the other models hated that Sirga would bring her son to the studio and proceeded to tell her so. This response almost resulted in some confrontations; a few almost became physical clashes. Tensions rise and egos clash when a lot of time is spent setting up the sets, foremost the lighting arrangements, for different sessions and shoots.

As Mekkar got older, he began to get bored by the on-set environment. The response by Sirga was finding other arrangements for him to be occupied. She had a hand in to getting her son a fake identification card. During a schedule shoot in London, she got counterfeit credentials for him that indentified him as a certain age. Since, there were minimum limits to get into certain clubs like the counter-culture hangouts on King’s Road and other places around the British capital. It helped that Mekkar looked older than his true age. He had not grown in height since he was eleven years old. Mekkar just wanted to have fun and enjoy his type of music unhindered. Then, after the show he and his mama would meet up together to either go back to the local locale they were staying at or fly back home. Otherwise, if she finished early she would arrive, quickly find, and retrieve her son. She didn’t want to hang around for the performance to finish, since she didn’t like that punk music. Sirga thought it was no talent garbage.

His mama’s favorite musicians were Elvis Presley and The Beatles. However, she did listen to others frequently like the Kinks, The Who, Led Zeppelin, etc. Today the genre is referred to as classic sixties and seventies rock ‘n’ roll. A high number of the bands were from the United Kingdom and North America. She played the albums frequently enough that Mekkar learned many of the lyrics to individual songs from those bands. Maybe this was strategy was used by his mama to further her son’s grasp of the English language.

On one trip she even dragged little Mekkar to a few landmarks in Memphis, Tennessee. Sirga was such a huge Elvis fan. However, since Graceland at the time was not open to the public yet, she was very disappointed. Not surprisingly, the young boy was very bored there on that trip.

Another time Sirga also had to haul her adolescent son to Beatles and Elvis concerts in the nineteen sixties back home, when she preferred to take her best friend instead. She never let Mekkar forget it too! All he remembers now of the experience are plugging his ears with his fingers because of the numerous screaming girls’ right after the introductions.

Sirga also chose little Mekkar for a few jaunts to Amsterdam and made him smoke blond oil-based Lebanese hashish with her. It was her number one choice. She only did this once in a while, not on a frequent basis. The issue was that Sirga did not want to smoke it by herself. So, guess who was required to participate with her? He didn’t really have a choice but to go with her to the red-light district there. It was under the threat of having his pants pulled down and enduring a whipping on his butt right there in front of everyone. When you have not reached the age of seven what can you do about it? Frankly nothing and just go along. It was better than suffering ultimate embarrassment in front of strangers. Being forced against his will is the reason why Mekkar chooses to avoid this environment to this day and smoking in particular.

Mekkar’s mama had an issue of chronic low blood pressure. Sirga was diagnosed mistakenly when she was younger to have been hypoglycemic. She normally only needed about 4 hours of sleep per night and functioned just fine. Maybe because of this, she always had this need to stay busy and didn't desire to have a lot of peaceful alone time for herself. No one else understood why. Sirga never revealed the reasons behind this to anyone. Everyone felt they might incur a sharp rebuke if they inquired about the matter, so it was shunned.
 
“There is a time and a place for everything, but it is not always the right time or the right place,” Sirga repeated this mantra many times to Mekkar. He eventually got the picture after learning the hard way.

The eventual six-foot two-inch tall Sirga was born during a foreign military occupation of the area long ago. She was snuck out to another region through snow-tunnels and other means. She had to prevent from being killed as a baby, as the occupiers were shooting all of the newborns. The barbaric enemy soldiers later on adopted a scorched-earth policy in the area, which burned mostly everything. Thus, she barely survived her own traumatic start in life. Subsequently, her oldest son had to endure a similar path at the outset of his life.

A slightly, darker skinned Sirga had a very light but distinctive tint to her skin. That feature made her appear as a person who be considered to have a nice tan today. She could easily pass as the stereotypical Latin American in appearance. She never spent time out in the sun lounging around or tanning in a booth. Mekkar’s mama considered those pursuits as a waste of time. Sirga always tried to maximize her time, just like she did at the University. Mekkar suspected that she knew something that he didn’t. She hated wastefulness of any kind.

She would tell her children repeatedly, “Children in other parts of the world have limited resources available to them.” Mekkar would hear these remarks from his mama as a reason to motivate him and have her son finish all of the food on his plate, for example.

The native woman met her husband Henrik while working the early morning shift at a pastry shop during her college years. Both of them achieved an advanced degree from the University. The equivalent, in some other places, would be equal to a Master of Business Administration. So, they were both highly educated.

Sirga was not afraid to say anything to anyone, at any time, and right to their face if necessary. She knew she could fight really well and even taught a young Mekkar how to throw a powerful right-cross punch. She also believed that she could drink most people under the table. Even policemen, bosses, and government officials were not outside the realm of her sharp wit and retorts.

Henrik, a former hockey player, and Sirga raised three male athletes. Despite that, Sirga was not a big sports fan at all and only went to one of her son’s hockey matches. It was Mekkar’s squad versus Alf’s team. The boys would directly compete against and confront one another during the match. Mekkar was physically unrelenting facing his younger sibling. Boy, his mama’s fiery temper got the best of her that evening and it was firmly directed at the older Mekkar. From the stands, Sirga let him have it good after time had expired. As a result, she never again went to any of her sons games due to what she saw during that matchup.

For the longest time Mekkar thought his nicknames were phrases that his mama called him directly. Many were swear words and short phrases. The barrage was constant, comments such as “you are driving me crazy ...” and worse. Mekkar thought that maybe he and his mama were too much alike with a hard-nosed edge. This would often create personality clashes between them.  

As a parent, Sirga had a plan to develop her oldest son’s character. She wanted to teach him how to best adapt to the world at large around him. She wanted to avoid some of the mistakes, so far, that she had made in her life. Like a typical parent she wanted the best for her children. Still, it is a delicate balance of helping and guiding without resorting to over protecting and insulating one’s offspring.

“As the oldest, I will impart some (higher) culture into you, whether you like it or not!” bellowed Mekkar’s mama. Sirga spoke to Mekkar in this way because one of her goals was for him to have his own way of thinking, make up his own mind, and develop his own tastes. The idea was to have him not automatically align himself with the crowd because it is most convenient. Her thinking was why do what everyone else does just to be in that main crowd. Too many people are followers afraid to step out on their own course. Don’t choose a certain path only because it has the least resistance. Be yourself, no matter what!

Sirga also took Mekkar with her to see plays, opera, museums, and other comparable activities. Mekkar still likes repertory theatre to this day, but hates opera because he could barely understand it much. Plus, he really doesn’t like that type of singing or music; it begins to annoy him quickly. Everyone around Mekkar also says he can’t sing very well either.

This is where Mekkar developed his philosophy of pick two things to like or that are positive where you are. He expressed the adopted strategy to especially encourage those individuals around him. It was really applicable when he was caught in temporary undesirable situations that he might be stuck in. Environments that Mekkar did not choose to be in such as surprise activities and blind dates, etc. For example, he might choose to focus on an attractive person nearby.

In one instance, there was a woman that Mekkar was interested in and wanted to get together with her. He was surprised and unaware of the event that they were about to attend. It was a music concert. Unfortunately, it was a particular type of music that Mekkar hates with a passion. So, he chose a minimum of two things he might enjoy during the event. He chose that something he could relate to in his mind. Mekkar next applied a slogan related to one of the band member’s outward appearance. Every time that member would be featured and out front Mekkar would bellow out. Since, they have similar musicians’ play these groups of instruments during festivals at home; this role was not unfamiliar to him. The second thing he did was set his own clap-along rhythm and tempo to the music. This action made his hands hurt afterward, but distracted him at the same time. Mekkar ended up having a better time than the female he went with did and she was a fan of the performing music group. This surprised her. As a result with the added benefit of having a good attitude, the later reward was better.   

On one of her trips abroad Sirga brought Mekkar along with her to see a film in the city. It was exciting to the boy as this was a period before widespread use of home video cassette recorders. The main selection playing at the movie house was the first James Bond film Dr. No. The film originally came to the big screen in nineteen sixty two and starred Sean Connery. The movie had been out for a few years and Sirga was already a fan of Sean Connery before the Bond films. She chose this movie for Mekkar to see because she overheard the boys in town talk about Secret Agent 007. They thought that James Bond was so cool. Bond always seemed to get hot babes, cars, always had cash, had an exciting life, carried a gun, kicked butt, etc. Mekkar still wants to be James Bond even now.

During the main festival in the middle of the year, Sirga would make a reference about everyone should be getting together with someone for the evening. Hey, she was going to be Henrik. Sirga would affirm to her sons to remember that she raised good boys. There was an expectation involved on that particular day that reflected on her. Her sons grasped the concept too and the females were more cooperative for this event. Like most of the mothers in the village, her attitude was very different on this night. The difference was that this is an annual event, not an everyday phenomenon. The rest of the year Sirga might utter the phrase, “When you always think with your genitals, you will screw up sometime or someplace."

Once in awhile Sirga pronounced sternly, “If you want to smart off to me, I will hit you back or whip your butt in front of your friends for your maximum embarrassment.” Sometimes when the boys were with their mama in the shopping store or other public places, they might begin to get whiney, unruly, and temporarily out of control. All she had to do at those times was raise her hand or give a certain look. It snapped them back to their senses and they behaved themselves. The children reacted right then, right there with no more nonsense. We knew that she would kick our butts in front of everyone in the store. Anyone else who was dumb enough to say anything to her about it would get a piece of her mind. She would tell them flat out, “Do you want yours kicked right after I am done here!” Mekkar is unable to comprehend the behavior of unruly children that he notices today in stores, restaurants, and other places. He always thinks that his mama did a much better job than parents currently. It was certainly a different era then and seems to Mekkar as being light years away from today. So much for the modern world being better.

“Don’t take any abuse from anybody, ever!” was Sirga’s last statement and advice to her oldest son Mekkar. She stated this while dying in the front passenger seat of a vehicle from a head-on collision accident on the German Autobahn. The cause of the accident was not any fault of their own. Henrik was in the driver’s seat and already dead. Mekkar, who was lying across the backseat asleep, now awake but trapped by the tangled metal and injuries. The teenager would be the only person in either vehicle to survive the accident but this incident still haunts him to this day.

Sirga was almost thirty eight years old when she was killed in that auto accident. Janna and others claimed that Sirga didn’t look like she aged past twenty two years old, even as Sirga grew older and far surpassed that age. Mekkar thought about this for a moment. If his mama was still alive today she would turn seventy in the year twenty twelve. He just could not imagine his mama with gray hair and looking so much older.

Mekkar got his attitude and disposition from Sirga. She got hers from her mother, Helga, and others related to her. Mekkar’s grandmamma was considered as the head of their family. In his culture, it does not matter whether the person is male or female. The head of the family is the oldest living individual who is not senile. Mekkar puts it this way, “As long as you have all of your marbles and still have your mind, you can become the foremost person in your clan that others taken direction from.”

After securing her child Sirga’s safety, Helga was put into service as a registered nurse in World War II. Mekkar’s grandmamma was involved quite a number of Allied convoys across the Atlantic Ocean. She was chosen because of her adaptability and multiple language skills.

Helga said frequently that history books neglect to tell the whole story of what really occurred on the high seas. As a result of the success of the damage inflicted by enemy submarines, she was aboard quite a few boats on the surface that were sunk. Helga also affirmed that there times where she went without sleep for more than a week at a time. That is, due to all of the constant danger encountered by the battle fleets as a result of combatant activity.

After the war, most who previously knew Helga declared that she was never the same afterward. Later on, Mekkar spent some time with his grandmamma. Even a boy at his young age realized something was not right with her, but she was not senile. He would sometimes lay down with his grandmamma attempting to comfort her until she fell asleep. However, Helga could never be consoled because of the permanent damage to her psyche. For many years, the bottle seemed to be Helga’s best friend. She eventually drank herself to liver disease as well as kidney failure and eventual death. Toward the last few years of Helga’s life, an older Mekkar would have to transport her for dialysis treatments multiple times per week. It seemed to him to be a slow, torturous march to the underground. He hopes to never go through that horrible experience. Witnessing his grandmama’s ordeals has affected his viewpoint. If he found in a similar situation, Mekkar has decided to automatically refuse to endure any of those unsuccessful treatment options. Prolonging a death march is not living to him.