Lebanese dinners: we promise there will be loud music, fantastic food and awkwardness. Lots and lots of awkwardness.

1. The Kissing Conundrum
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This is the number one most awkward scenario likely to happen at a Lebanese dinner. You walk in and, of course, have to kiss each and every single member of your family.

Is it one kiss for the cool, hip aunt? Is it two for your cousin’s Syrian wife? Is it six for your grandmother, who gives three wet kisses on each cheek?

Wait, should I kiss my cousin on the cheek if I’m a guy and he’s a guy? Hold on… Did I just try to handshake this bearded person, OUT OF POLITENESS, and he shook his head and moved away?

During this forced ritual of social interaction, you will peck two or more people, get rejected by three, and inwardly curse your parents for forcing you to be there in the first place.

2. Remembering Everyone's Names
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In fairness, this is not strictly a Lebanese problem but with the huge tables and all-too-familiar faces, it becomes difficult to remember your mum’s grandmother’s sister’s daughter. Of course, the worst part about forgetting their name is the fact that they somehow ALWAYS seem to remember yours.

The more Lebanese-esque problem here is: do we say Tant, or Aunty, or Madame, or 3ammo to our parents’ friends? Do I call my teta’s sister Khalto or Teta?

I never know what to say!

3. Teta
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Your teta tends to make things awkward by either forcing food on you if it's her own, or unabashedly complaining about the quality of the food if you're at a restaurant, which makes you wish you could just disappear under the table... forever.

“Teta, did you try this? No? Have a bite. It’s good. But add some toum. It’s better. Look, there’s wara’ 3ineb. Let me put it for you.”

Teta <3

4. I’d Like to Have the Last Piece of Kibbeh? Yes? Please?
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I mean, come on. The mezze is never evenly distributed anyways, and no one seems to want that last piece but your mother is giving you that look with the raised eyebrows and forced smile that indirectly communicates: “You've already had three pieces, leave some for the others.”

You, nevertheless, awkwardly eat it when no one is looking and wait for your mother to lecture you at home later about how you completely lack in lady-like etiquette.

5. Got Full from the Mezze. What Do I Do with the Mashewe?
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Honey, you eat it. It cost a shit load of money, and you seemed super excited to order that shish tawouk sandwich at midnight which, I will not hesitate to remind you, costs triple the kibbeh you couldn’t seem to stop eating seconds ago.

6. Is This a Game of 20 Questions?
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Discussions are amazing – don’t get me wrong. But when someone you essentially consider a stranger starts asking you personal questions that you have a hard time even talking to your own friends about, we've entered awkward territory.

Especially if it is the all-too-familiar: “when are you getting married?” question by your great aunt.

7. The Drunken Uncle and the Overdressed Woman
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The drunken uncle is hilarious.

He gets cray on the shots of arak, and if by any chance, the restaurant/house has dancing music, he will dance all over the place. If you’re not accustomed to this, you will feel very, very awkward.

On the other end of the table, you have your mother’s super prestigious friend who sits with three kilos of makeup and nine inch heels, and kids that are super quiet and scared. It’s awkward just looking at her.

8. When They Decide to Talk about Politics
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When you see the talk moving towards anything political, kindly excuse yourself and exit to the bathroom to play a quick game (or two) of Quiz Up.

Things are about to get loud, drinks are about to spill, and lahme is about to be thrown. It will resolve itself rather quickly, and everyone will become best friends once again.

We promise.

9. The Fight Over the Check
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This one should not be missed because, although infinitely awkward, it is nevertheless enjoyable to witness. You will see the zu3ama (“masters”) of the table rise to bicker over who gets to pay the four hundred dollar check and wonder to yourself why they don’t simply divide it to make life easier.

Don’t feel awkward, bro. You should feel like a boss!

10. The Endless Post-Dinner Conversations by the Car
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At this point, you really just want to go home but for some reason, five hours of conversation and 20 goodbyes are not enough for Lebanese people.

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Hilarious!!

Eliane Halabi on May 6, 2014 via web