Lebanese tetas – you gotta love them. They’re filled with wit and sarcasm, and have a mouthful of gossip ready to spill every time you sit together to roll some wara’ ‘inab in that aromatic kitchen of hers.

Another thing about them is, more often than not, they are filled with bubbling distrust of all species that have an Adam’s apple and some facial hair and, therefore, the very moment they hear you’re talking to a potential someone, they have about 101 questions to ask.

When your parents leave, they always manage to take this is as a chance to whisper in the quiet of the kitchen “ya teta, ta3i w khabreeni” (come and tell me).

These are the top seven things they are likely to bombard you with first.

1. “Ya teta, min deenik?”

(Image via tumblr.com)

"Are you of the same religion?"

Your teta always emphasizes the importance of dating someone from your religion because, according to her, that means he was raised properly and has the same values as you.

For some unknown reason, they always whisper this to you quietly as if someone might overhear. She'll also tell you: “eh ya teta lezim ya3rif rabbo” (he should know his God).

2. “Shu byishtighil? Shu byishtighil bayyu?

(Image via tumblr.com)

"Where does he work?/Where does his father work?"

It is of utmost importance here that you reply that he is a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. God forbid he doesn't hold one of the aforementioned degrees, how else will he provide for you?

The same attitude applies to the guy's father. The reason his father’s financial situation matters? Beats me.

3. “Min aya 3ayle?”

(Image via tumblr.com)

"What family does he belong to?"

And trust me, when you reply, she will pull out a detailed record of their entire family background along with their current financial/political/cultural standing. Keep in mind: a Lebanese teta knows everything.

4. “Min aya manta2a?”

(Image via tumblr.com)

"Which area is he from?"

Hey, even if he’s never visited Akkar and has lived in Beirut his whole life, it’s very important for teta to know which area your boyfriend comes from (oh, and heads up: never use the word "boyfriend" around her.)

5. “3andu ekhwe?”

(Image via tumblr.com)

"Does he have any siblings?"

After some intense psychological rumination, I think I finally understand why this question matters a lot to our grandmothers. If he is an only child, he is most definitely spoiled and there is NOTHING grandmothers hate more than a spoiled child marrying their granddaughter.

“Ya msha7ar, ana maba3ti wledi la 7adda mghanaj!” Of course, the potential mother-in-law is a very important issue to them, but that's a whole other story.

6. “Dighre elilo yejo yitlob idek”

(Image via tumblr.com)

"He has to ask for your hand from your father immediately."

Teta believes that if a man really loves you, he should make it official as quickly as possible. If he tells you (lasamahalla!) that he wants to date you first, it simply means he’s playing around and wants to show you off to his friends.

Teta says: make sure he knows where you stand and rightfully asks for your hand as quickly as possible.

7. “Ahamma shi karamtek, ya teta”

(Image via tumblr.com)

"The most important thing is your dignity and respect."

This directly translates to: do NOT hold his hands, kiss him, or touch him until you have made things official, and by official, teta means katb l kteb - “I do”.

Teta, we love you.

Articles & Media

11 People Share Their Teta's... Blog on Jun 30, 2015
Texts From My Invisible... Blog on Feb 6, 2015


Avatar 1
Post to facebook