While spending a sweet evening with your family and discussing important and personal matters over dinner or coffee would always sound like a plan, watching TV with our parents wouldn't probably be such a great idea. How many times have you felt embarrassed watching TV with them, and how many times were you forced into watching something that is not your cup of tea? Countless times.
Below is a list of things and situations you have at least experienced once when watching TV with your parents OR you are more likely to face if you come to decide to join their own world of TV programs’ schedule.
#1. Ebrom wejjak! ~ Turn your face!
YES! We have all been there. Haven’t we all had our faces burning and wished for the earth to swallow us up (or down?) whenever a romantic scene or a hot kiss showed up on the TV? Yes, we've been there, haven't we?
And most we could possibly do, with them at our side, is to pretend that we are totally annoyed by this kind of scenes.
Don’t worry, you're not the only one in the batch living that embarrassing experience. Your parents will be doing the same, and your mom will even think it's the right time to clean the TV screen or mop the floor in front of the TV until this particular scene ends. Note that this does always apply even if you’re in your 40’s and married with kids.
#2. Sarit 7:30, yallah! ~ It’s 7:30, let's go!
This is the known time for the evening local news and, as you can guess, it's a not-to-miss whatever what. So, time for the news programs that never end. We, graced with politics in our genes, and experts in that field by birth, (especially our parents), will have to go on afterward discussing, debating, and arguing about the latest announcements.
That's if your parents don't go on switching to other news channels for more and more. They can't possibly miss any political show or program that is potentially Migrainous to you. And, unexplainable to you, they react in shock at the SAME news as they move from different platforms and channels to others.
#3. Yallah! Sarit 8:30! ~ Let's go, it’s 8:30 in the evening!
That's your family call for the local series and soap operas of ongoing drama serials. Your Lebanese parents don’t do Netflix, obviously. And, if you wish for it, la la land is your place homie.
They will most probably tune in to one of these local series in which there’s too much cheating, and inheritance and DNA issues among a Najjar, Haddad or any other OVERUSED family name.
You will then start finding excuses to go to your room because you are eventually bored to tears. Funny thing is that your parents do criticize the scenario, content, errors, actors’ performance, and even the production, (also a Lebanese innate expertise). But, guess what? They sill watch it and don't miss a minute of it.
#4. Sarit 9:30 Eh?! ~ It’s showtime!
Time for the typical talk shows that are still treating the same highly sensitive human topics ever since the conception of the universe. You know what I am talking about? Polygamous marriages, life consequences of extreme poverty, gender 'derailing' and all such. In fact, as much as these matters are extremely delicate and important, the way they are presented through these TV shows does often display 0 solutions, all while exposing people’s personal lives and breaching their confidentiality.
#5. Khallik a3am tehdar, barkeh btestafid. ~ Keep watching, you may learn something.
Lebanese parents are indeed unbeatably and unconquerably skilled in turning everything into a lecture.
Whether it's a TV program around health, lifestyle, nutrition or even Sci-Fi, they won’t miss the boat to make a speech, give you a pearl of wisdom or two, or even scold you. They may, for example, tell you: “Did you see how caring the alien in this movie was for his parents?” (Seriously? I just made you coffee!)
#6. Documentaries that get you scolded
Pretty much linked to the above, this is where your parents are more likely to tune in to one of those documentaries on forest and wildlife after the talk show comes to an end. If you, however, ever decide to go out with your friends, Mom and Dad will hit you real hard and maybe say: “You wouldn’t have probably scored 1/20 in Geography if you watch this!”
#7. Baddeh A3mello Bahdaleh! ~ Scolding and nagging the satellite dish guy.
How many times have you heard that, honestly? Your parents get frustrated at the pixels scrambling on the screen, or a scene freezing, and they go on snapping, “I am going to call that satellite dish guy RIGHT NOW and give him some hard time!” It’s most probably because the signal has been lost for a couple of seconds or maybe because there’s that channel that the dude promised to unlock but didn’t.
Funny thing is that, at the moment of truth, you expect your parents to attack that poor man, while all that you witness is, “Marhaba Karim, where have you been, man? Tell me, what happened to that X channel you were supposed to connect?" Nodding, nodding, and then, "Ah, okay. I see, no problem, Take care.” Again, Seriously?
#8. Taffouli hal TV! ~ Turn the TV off!
Here comes the golden rule in every single Lebanese house. TVs are often switched off at a certain timing, and there’s this kind of unspoken agreement of not turning it on again when everyone is supposedly gone to bed.
Whatever moment you are in the development of the movie story, and most of the time when you are most hooked in suspense, your mom or dad just stands up and calls it a night. And you go to bed, whether you like it or not, and dream, not so happily, about what could have happened in that movie.