Monday, August 31, 2015

Don't fly off the handle when you're full of . . . .

Once there was a very hungry crow who found a pile of cow manure.  He was so pleased as filled himself with the  pieces of corn he picked from the pile.  But he was so hungry that he forgot to stop eating when he had had his fill and was unable to fly away.  Eyeing the shovel that was anchored in the pile, he climbed to the top of the shovel and flew off the handle, immediately dropping to the ground, dead.

The moral of the story?  Don't fly off the handle when you're full of sh...t!

A favorite tale for both Grandpa Peter as well as Arppie, the moral made sense back in the thirties and forties and even earlier in a more rural society; as far back as 1843, the expression "fly off the handle" was first seen in print.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Once In a Blue Moon . . .

Falling asleep as a child in Wilbraham, Karoun and Deron would communicate with each other from their bunks by calling out their favorite Smurfs.  Each had the poster next to their bed  . . . and when Karoun found this poster recently on the internet, she commented, "All the feeling is in the poster!
Can you find Roller Skate Smurfette? Can you find Astronaut Smurf? Papa Smurf with the tennis racket? A baby smurf on the blue moon at the bottom right next to our bunks!"

By the way, have you all seen the blue moon  this month?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Get it right!

Reminiscing, Marash Girl pondered aloud, "What was it they used to say at Day Jr. High?  "Wake up and die right!"

"Oh, no," replied Marash Boy. " It was 'Wake up and fly right!'"

"Not at Day Jr. High!"

The kids at Buckingham Jr. High in Springfield, Massachusetts, must have been a lot nicer than the kids at Day Jr. High in Newton, Massachusetts, way back then!

In any case, there was no kindness intended when the kids in the 1940's and 1950's corrected each other!

Friday, August 28, 2015

April 24, 1915: Photo of Zeituntsis

24 Nisan 1915 Zeytun ahalisi
24 April 1915 Zeitun folk
Photo from Özcan Gülkesen's post in Birzamanlar Maraş (Marash)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

An Armenian Manuscript from the 17th Century

A 17th-century Armenian manuscript by Hakob Yerekts of Tiflis  on display in the manuscript library of the San Lazzaro monastery, the artwork/drawing/colors atypical.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

See a Sea Gull at Sesuit Harbor

Okay, so you'd expect to see a seagull (sea a seegull?) on Sesuit Harbor in Dennis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but  buoy, oh, buoy, to see a buoy (hanging upside down) painted in the colors of the Armenian flag?

Helene made Marash Girl promise that she (Marash Girl) would visit the Sesuit Harbor Cafe for lunch, a lunch of the biggest lobster rolls she had ever had on the Cape.  Humoring Helene, Marash Girl, with Marash Boy driving,  followed Helene's directions to the Sesuit Harbor Cafe (off of route 6A on Sesuit Neck Road in Dennis, all the way down to the bay...)  After a few wrong turns, they found the cafe  located behind the shacks on their right, the cafe literally a clam shack on the ocean, overlooking the Northside Marina and Cape Cod Bay.  The couple ordered the most generous lobster rolls they had ever seen ($20 each, no credit cards accepted, cash or check only -- ) accompanied by freshly made cole slaw and perfectly crisp (minimally greasy) french fries.  Joining lobster enthusiasts from all over the Cape (and the world), they ate outside, overlooking the harbor, under umbrellas at wooden tables while the sparrows and the seagulls gazed longingly at their meal.

Next time you’re on the Cape, do visit
Sesuit Harbor Cafe
357 Sesuit Neck Rd, Dennis, MA 02638
(508) 385-6134

(Sesuit Harbor Cafe describes itself as “a classic Cape Cod clam shack offering outdoor dining overlooking Northside Marina and Cape Cod Bay. Open for breakfast, lunch or dinner . . .”)

Photos by Marash Girl

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Gathering of the Sharks: Chatham, Massachusetts

Add caption

 The Sharks of Cape Cod gather on the front lawn of the Eldredge Public Library, Chatham, Massachusetts

         Even the youngsters join in the fun, controlling their fear of sharks with chalk drawings!

Sunday, August 23, 2015


"Come on, Ama.  Let's go home.  The fish aren't biting today, and I'm tired."

"Why not cast out a few more times?" encouraged Marash Girl.

"Okay, I will.  I wish I had a chair to sit on.  I think I'll walk a bit into the water, and cast out."

Ama stood on the shore of the kettle pond, looking for the red and white float, now probably thirty feet out into the kettle pond.  "Oh, no," she thought.  "Where's that red and white float? We've lost a float.  I thought I had secured it well onto the fishing line.  Luckily we have another one though.   Iffar, where's the float?"  

"Ama, something's pulling on the line!"  

"Oh, no," thought Marash Girl, apparently a girl of little faith.  "Iffar's probably caught the snapping turtle that's been eating all the fish in this pond!  However will we get the turtle off the line?"

"Give the line one slight tug and slowly reel it in."

"Look, Ama, it's a fish!  A big one."

Sure enough --  a fish was on the end of the line . .  a fish about a foot long glided up to the edge of the pond . . . was it a lake trout?.  

"Wow, Iffar, you've caught your first fish!  Good for you!  Now let's see if we can get a photo of it and  release it . . . "  Marash Girl feared that the fish had swallowed the lure -- feared both for the fish AND the lucky lure!  But no . . . Iffar slowly reeled the fish into the shallows near the shore and Marash Girl's prayers were answered -- she was able to remove the hook from the fish's lip without any problem at all, and the fish swam away.

And this, ladies and gentleman, is no fish story!

Iffar's first fish -- it survived to tell the tale. . . 

They say a little boy remembers, for the rest of his life, the very first fish he ever caught. . . 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fishing in a Kettle Pond on Cape Cod

    Fisherman's faith: fishing in a kettle pond after the snapping turtles have had their fill.
Yes, the glaciers actually did pass through Cape Cod well before the Mayflower arrived!
Photo by Marash Gir

Friday, August 21, 2015

The sun sets on Barnstable Harbor

                               Sunset on Barnstable Harbor                        Photo by King Dude

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lucky in Love

When suitors came calling at 474 Lowell Ave . . . usually young Marashtsi Armenian men . . . Marash Girl, who typically had no interest in these young men, would offer to play tavlu with them.  (If you don't know what tavlu is, check the blog post below.)  Typically, though, Marash Girl would lose the game, and one particular suitor tried to comfort Marash Girl's disappointment with the words, "Lucky in love, unlucky in games."  Marash Girl is not sure whether that was a direct translation of an old Marashtsi saying, or simply an expression known world-wide, but she couldn't help smiling to herself.  If the young man was trying to comfort Marash Girl, he had just rung the death knell for his own potential relationship with her.  He had won the game, but not the girl!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tavlu at 474 Lowell Avenue!

King Dude found the backgammon in the basement of the summer house. . . Can we play backgammon, Ama?

Okay, his grandmother replied.  She taught him the game, the moves, and proudly reported to her daughter that evening that she and Iffar had not only played backgammon, but that Iffar had won the game!

What?  asked her daughter.  You didn't teach him Tavla?  You didn't teach him the numbers the way Grandpa Peter and Uncle Paul shouted them out?  Shesh Besh?  Du Shesh?  How could you?

So Marash Girl had some undoing to do . . . a major linguistic teaching job lay ahead of her.  That language that belongs only to tavlu for Armenians from Marash.  Are you ready for the lesson?

1-1... Hep yek 
2-1... İki bir 
2-2... Du Bara 
3-1... Se Yek 
3-2... Sebar i Du 
3-3... Du Se 
4-1... Cehar ı Yek (Jehar i yek)
4-2... Cehar i Du  (Jehar i du)
4-3... Cehar u Se (Jehar u se)
4-4... Dort Cehar  (Dort Jehar)
5-1... Penc u Yek (Penj u Yek)
5-2... Penc i Du  (Penj u Du)
5-3... Penc u Se (Penj u Se)
5-4... Beş Dört   (Besh Dort)
5-5... Dü Beş   (Du Besh)
6-1... Şeş Yek  (Shesh Yek)
6-2... Şeş i Du  (Shesh i Du)
6-3... Şeş ü Se (Shesh u se)
6-4... Şeş Cehar (Shesh Jehar)
6-5... Şeş Beş  (Shesh Besh)   The favorite of all for the kids!
6-6... Dü Şeş  (Du Shesh)

Marash Girl remembers the day she and her sister and brother and cousins took out a pencil and paper and recorded those numbers on a piece of paper, and stuck the paper inside of one of the tavla sets so they would never forget.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

English with a Swedish Accent?

Grandpa Moses spoke English with a Swedish accent, so related his son Peter.  The reason?
When he first came to this country, he lived with a Swedish family, and taught himself English -- first from speaking with them, then he taught himself to read and write in English.  So strange to think of a recent immigrant from Armenian Marash speaking English with a Swedish accent!

Monday, August 17, 2015


Grandpa Moses was brilliant by all accounts.  Although he was the son of a minister, and grew up in an evangelical house where playing cards was forbidden, he played cards, and not only did he play cards, but he was a card counter.  He knew by the cards that folks discarded in any given game exactly what cards they held in their hand . . . Amazing.

AND he knew how to play backgammon and win, knew how to throw the dice so that he could get whatever combination of numbers he needed!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Grandpa Moses and The Granite Quarries of Vermont

"Windmill Open Today", read the sign which pointed the way to the Chatham Windmill (built in 1797 by Benjamin Godfrey), a still functioning windmill in Chatham, Massachusetts.  The two huge granite millstones that are presently housed in the windmill were brought there in 1885.  Marash Girl wondered aloud:  Could those two millstones be created from  the very granite that Grandpa Moses had hauled out of the granite quarries of Vermont all those many years ago?

No, said the guide; in 19th Century New England, it was too expensive to haul granite over the rough roads all the way from Vermont to Chatham, Cape Cod; before these millstones were placed in this mill, this granite was used as ballast in a ship which came over the ocean from Germany in 1885!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Marashtsi or Kumbetsi? That is the question!

"I would go to my father crying, fearing that they were soon going to beat each other up," remembered Marash Boy as he told of the "arguments" that took place summers on the top of Wilbraham Mountain.  "They were almost ready to come to fisticuffs, shouting, 'The folks from Kumbet are not Marashtsis,' as the folks from Kumbet shouted back, in defense of their allegiance to Marash, 'We are Marashtsis!'"  

"My father only laughed and said, 'Don't worry, my son!'  The folks from Kumbet are Marashtsis, although (thankfully) our family is not from Kumbet!  We are true Marashtsis!"  

Marash Girl is not sure that Marash Boy knew, at the time that he married her, that Marash Girl's family is from Kumbet!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Making soap? Guard the lye!

The black iron stove -- there it stood, an imposing structure ensconced on the right of the cellar floor, visible as we descended to the bottom of the wooden stairs -- often with Grandpa Moses standing in front of it.  Whatever was he doing?  Either feeding the stove with wood, or stirring a huge aluminum pot with a long wooden spoon, or pouring steaming liquid into a giant aluminum tray.  We were to stay away.

Days later, he would be cutting lines into a tray, a pretty white surface, cutting that giant surface into small squares which we would later be using when we took our jum-jum (our baths).

But Grandpa Moses' grandchildren were very small then (not one of them over 3 feet tall), and on that day, their leader, now a famous doctor at Columbian-Presbyterian, decided to drag boxes over to the outside wall of the cellar so that he could climb up to the top wooden shelf and investigate the contents of that can that Grandpa had carefully placed out of the reach of the curious. What was it?  They opened it --  the lid was not tightly encased -- it was lovely white powdery stuff.  What fun! On their hands, on their faces, and a taste or two . . . 

Screams followed.  Up the cellar stairs they ran to the kitchen where Mummy (later known as Grandma Jennie) was peacefully preparing  lunch.  Aghast, she ran to the front door and shouted up the stairs to call Auntie Zabelle who came running down those stairs.  The memory fades now . . . all that remains is the tears, the words -- the doctor says to drink orange juice, wash their faces in orange juice, and all will be will.

What Marash Girl does not remember is how there was so much orange juice in the house in a time when her mom had only fresh oranges which she squeezed every morning for the family's breakfast.  But squeeze she must have, for the doctor never came, the screams and pain slowly disappeared, and the children learned that the need to stay away from lye was no lie (not to put too fine a point on it)!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

TIger Guards New York City

The Newton High Tiger and the Lions of Marash -- Lions and tigers have always loomed large in Marash Girl's life. (Two lions of Marash in her immediate life -- her father, Peter, and her husband, Levon)  Do you, dear reader have any tiger tails, whoops, meant tiger tales, in your life?

Tiger guards New York City                                                                                                                 Photo by Marash Girl

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Parrot on Lowell Avenue

Much to Grandma Jennie's dismay, the Luchardi Brothers, good friends of Grandpa Peter,  gifted the family a very rude, very loud parrot, a parrot which quickly took command of the living room on Lowell Avenue.  The parrot would squawk loudly -- HELLO -- whenever it pleased.  The kids tried to teach it other words, but only "Hello" would come out of its beak . . . Hello, that is, until one day, in the middle of a fun family gathering, it screeched out, "Hurry Up! I Need To Go To The Bathroom!"  Wonder where he ever learned that phrase!

Soon after that incident, Grandma Jennie DID get rid of that very rude, very loud parrot.  She returned the parrot, with kind regards, to the Luchardi Brothers. I wonder what they thought about the parrot's newly acquired sentence!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

It's coming straight down!

Shish gibi geliyor! So Marash Boy's mother (Azniv Sanjian, born in Marash) would exclaim when she looked out the window on a summer's day and saw the rain come down the way it's coming down today.  Straight down and fast.  Just like falling shishes.  Do you know what a shish is?  It's what folks put meat on when they're preparing shish kebab.  [In English, a shish is a skewer. . . Got it?]  (Wonder why it never rained cats and dogs in Marash!)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Grandpa Moses and His Canary

Yes, tough as he was, Grandpa Moses had a canary, a canary in a cage in the living room on the second floor.  It sang so sweetly and was so pretty, but one day, while the family was trying to clean the cage, the canary escaped from its cage and enjoyed its freedom for many an hour as the family (including the cat) gave it chase.  Grandpa Moses sat quietly in his armchair and waited until all calmed down, and then quietly returned the canary to its cage.  Unfortunately, Marash Girl does not remember how he accomplished the miracle; all she knows is that he did accomplish, with calm and great finesse, the return of the canary to its cage.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Grandpa Moses and His Cat, or The Cat Who Knew Where to Go

Grandpa Moses was many faceted in his interaction with the world.  He loved people, he was fearless, and he loved animals.  He had a pet canary (more on that later) and a pet black cat.  He trained his cat well.  Whenever the cat had to pee or poop, it trotted over to the bathroom, hopped onto the toilet, did whatever it had to do, ran over to Grandpa Moses, miaowed and made Grandpa Moses follow to the bathroom and flush the toilet. What a cat!  What a Grandpa!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Back Yard Farm Share

Preparing those fresh green beans yesterday (see below) reminded Marash Girl of how spoiled she had been growing up . . . feasting (in the summers) on only the freshest of vegetables.  Grandpa Moses started the tradition by setting up a garden directly behind the kitchen, but it was more than a kitchen garden -- it was a garden of tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley,green  peppers, zucchini and, yes, beans.  Marash Girl's father Peter later took over the tradition and continued with the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint (avouch), zucchini (which they grew under the apple trees in order to save space in the garden) and green string beans.  Marash Girl misses those days, the fresh veggies, being able to pick apples, peaches and plums from her very own back yard trees, cucumbers, green beans . . .  She attempted to continue the tradition in Wilbraham, and she did, until the tornado took it all away. . .

Friday, August 7, 2015

Le Creuset, Tava, and Arm and Hammer

As you know, Marash Girl swears by her Le Creuset pots . . . ever since Marash Martha called her attention to them (Marash Martha has since moved on, but Marash Girl is still swearing by her Le Creuset pots!)

So there she is, down at her daughter's house, making one of her daughter's favorite meals with all the fresh vegetables that have just arrived from her CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm share. . . .  Let's see -- what to make with fresh onions, eggplant, peppers, zucchini (green and yellow), green beans, juicy ripe red tomatoes, onions, garlic (yes, freshly dug-up garlic) . . . Can any of you guess?  Well, if you've been reading Marash Girl for years, or if you know Marash Girl, you may know the answer!  Tava!

And so Marash Girl fried up some peeled and chopped onions in olive oil while she (with the help of Enila and Iffar) washed and chopped the other vegetables.  
After rinsing the string beans in cool water,  Enila removes the tips, while Iffar breaks the beans in half.

With the fried onion and garlic mixture in the bottom of the largest le creuset pot available, Marash Girl added all of the vegetables, (including those beautiful beans) and very slowly brought the mixture to a simmer, allowing the lava to simmer for one hour.  At the end of the hour, Marash Girl gently stirred the vegetables while adding ground  Marash Red Pepper, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  The tava (a favorite meal often prepared by Marash Boy's mother who was born in Marash and Marash Girl's mother whose family was from Aintab) is always better the next day, but Marash Girl had prepared it in the morning and would serve it that evening.  She had made enough so that her daughter would have plenty stashed away in the freezer to take to work for lunch.

That evening, however, after serving the tava and emptying the pot, there in the center at the bottom of the leCreuset was a big black circle of burned vegetables.  Had Marash Girl destroyed her daughter's biggest and most expensive le Creuset pot?  Yikes.

But her daughter was clever.  Took one look at the burned heap at the bottom of the pot, added a dollop of baking soda and a good amount of water, and simmered the mixture for an hour, leaving it to sit over night.  Next morning, the pot was like new.  Thank you, Arm and Hammer, thank you, Le Creuset, Thank you,  daughter, for remembering what Marash Girl taught you all those many years ago!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Grandpa Moses: On Children

Marash Girl grew up in a two family house where she and her family lived on the first floor, her father's brother (Uncle Paul) and sister-in-law (Auntie Zabelle) lived on the second floor, and her grandparents (Moses and Yepros) lived on the third floor.  

The children would move among the floors interchangeably, one big family, living and playing in one big house.  As one might imagine, things could get pretty noisy with six kids dashing up and down the stairs, in and out of the rooms  (kids ranging in age from one to six years old, two to seven years old, three to eight years old, four to nine years old, depending on the year we're talking about -- you get the picture!)

Back to Grandpa Moses.  When the noise and activity   started to reach inordinately high levels, Marash Girl's father Peter would put his foot down and stop all of the activity with one one word and one steely look.

But his father, Grandpa Moses, gruff as he was (and he was at times gruff) would simply admonish his son (not his grandchildren) with the words in the language of the Marash Armenians, "çocuklarīn keflerī tokhunma."  (Chojuklarun kefleru tokhunma.)  Marash Girl is not quite sure of the spelling, but she is sure of the concept.

                                      Don't disturb the children's fun!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Grandpa Moses' Ahır dağı

When Marash Girl showed her daughter the  photo below, and pointed out the flat roofs, her daughter queried, "Why flat roofs?"
Marash looking to the north at Ahır dağı, probably taken about the time of Grandpa Moses' early life. (see post below).                                                                     Photo courtesy of Kahraman Marash Facebook Page

Why flat roofs?  Let's see if Marash Girl can remember some of the reasons her father told her. . .

The Armenians used to make tomato paste by spreading out the processed fresh tomatoes on trays and leaving the trays up there to dry.  They used to dry fruit up there. . When it was hot in the house, we used to sleep on the roofs.  It was cooler up there.  In fact, Paul and I always knew which of his four wives the man next door was going to sleep with . . . . that would be the woman who arranged the bedding on the roof that evening.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Grandpa Moses: "He didn't know the gun was loaded." Or, from Ahir Dağı to Newtonville, Massachusetts

Grandpa Moses was a young man riding in the mountains of Marash (Ahir Dağı).  His friends rode with him. As the story goes, Grandpa Moses (then single) was sitting around a campfire in the mountains with his best friend and his best friend's wife (who they were, we do not know; some say his best friend was a Kurd.)  Grandpa Moses was inspecting a recently purchased gun (whether it was his or his friend's is unclear) when the gun went off by accident and instantly killed his best friend.  He went into hiding in the mountains, protected by his Kurdish friends.  The authorities knew that they would never be able to find him as long as his friends were hiding him in the mountains.  In his place, the authorities placed father, the minister,  in prison for the crime; his father would stay in prison until his son Moses gave himself up.  That was the only way that Moses would ever be caught.  Yes, in a Turkish prison in the late 1800's, early 1900's.  You can imagine.

So Grandpa Moses, son of the first Protestant minister in Marash, gave himself up to the Turkish authorities, was placed in prison (and who knows what else), and the case actually went up for trial.  (Death was the penalty for the crime.)  At the trial, his best friend's wife testified that the murder was an accident, that her husband and "Mose" were best of friends, and in no way would Moses ever wish harm to his best friend.  Grandpa Moses was released from prison and exonerated for the crime.

However, his father, Rev. Sarkis Bilezikjian, reminded his son that "The Turks never forget. . . Leave the country,  and leave the country fast." 

 And leave the country Moses did . . . heading for the good old U S of A. and Newtonville, Massachusetts.

That was the way Marash Girl heard the story.  She knows no more.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Grandpa Moses and the Spring on Lowell Avenue

Yes, there was a spring on Lowell Avenue at the corner of Hull Street in Newtonville . . . a spring of fresh water flowing from the cliffs that were once a bird sanctuary, the cliffs bequeathed to the City of Newton by the Claflin family, the cliffs that were forever to be held sacred for birds, upon which a large brick building was built (once a public school, now a privately owned apartment building).

Marash Girl remembers Grandpa Moses walking down to that spring from her home opposite the cliffs, walking down with two jugs, one in each hand, returning home with the jugs filled with fresh, clear, cold spring water.  Later, as Marash Girl got big enough to carry a jug of water, she would walk north on Lowell Avenue, past the woods, to the corner where the short rusted metal pipe jutted from a cleft in a rock out of which poured the delicious God-given brew!

But soon, the land was sold, and developers cut down the trees and built houses  . .  .  and yes, they built a house right over the spring.  Marash Girl remembers how the cellar hole was left empty for months -- empty that is except for the water at the bottom of the cellar hole -- water from the spring that could not be stopped.  And well after the house was built over that cellar hole, that house on the corner of Lowell Avenue and Hull street, the spring kept giving, the cellar was always wet.  The question Marash Girl, at age 8, and throughout her life, always wondered:  why could that developer not have built the spring into a beautiful fountain in the front yard of that corner house?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Grandpa Moses: "Yuzune deyim!"

Marash Girl grew up in the little church , the United Armenian Brethren Evangelical Church of Watertown, Massachusetts. Uncle Vartan, her Grandfather Moses' brother, founded that church and ministered to its congregation until the 1950's. His sermons were in Turkish,   Armenian and English, the hymnals were in all three languages as well  - E. E. Elmajian's    Spiritual Hymns of Worship -    Hokevor Yerker Bashdamunki - Ruhani Ibadet Ilahileri [in English, Armenian & Armeno-Turkish].

Early in the history of the church, however, there was a movement to "Pentecostalize" the church; the man leading the movement (whose name Marash Girl never learned) happened to be the treasurer of the church, and up  and left the church, taking many of the worshipers and all the money in  the treasury with him.  

Upon learning of  the event, Grandpa Moses said of the treasurer, 
"He's nothing but a crook!" The former treasurer heard of the accusation, and   came to the house on Lowell Avenue to face Grandpa Moses.

"You called me a crook behind my back," he announced to Grandpa Moses on a Sunday afternoon, surrounded by the visitors who weekly visited Grandpa Moses.

"Well, let me tell you to your face:  (Yuzune deyim!)", said Grandpa Moses. "You're a liar!"

For years after that event, Marash Girl's dad would say, yüzüne deyim, when describing the straightforwardness of his father, and all of us would laugh, enjoying the reminder of Grandpa Moses' fearless honesty.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

If wishes were horses . . .

And remembering admonitions from her parents and grandparents' generation, Marash Girl often heard her father quoting her grandmother Yepros (and Marash Girl only remembers the expression in English with a rough translation into the language of Marash Armenians):

"You can't ask someone to love you."  

(Rough translation of meaning: You can't say to someone, "Gel ve bene seviyor", "Come and love me" and expect that to happen.)