Lebanese people are some of the most outspoken in the world. In fact, we rarely find ourselves at a loss for words and always seem to have an opinion about something. Yet, the most basic expressions of love and sincerity evade the best of us sometimes.
I don't know what it is really. Maybe, it's all the piling bills and never-ending expenses of our daily lives that make us forget. Or, maybe, it is simply hard-wired into our genes to recoil from all outright declarations of affection.
Either way, we find ways to show our love, and we know when someone means it. Here are 10 ways your Lebanese parents express their love without saying, "I love you":
#1 They worry about you nonstop
*A call from my Mom*— Rawad Abou Khalil (@rawadaboukhalil) July 3, 2016
Me: Bl uni
Mom: Ntebeh, el wade3 ma mnih
Mom: La2an sar enfijar b terkiya#GrowingUpLebanese
"Mom: Where are you?
Me: At uni
Mom: Be careful, it's not safe out.
Mom: Because there was an explosion in Turkey."
With everything going on in the world, it is hard not to see where they're coming from. But Lebanese parents often take it a step further with round-the-clock calls and texts.
#2 They sometimes find it hard to say 'no' to you
Your parent might recognize the need to foil some plan of yours, but he/she might find it difficult to tell you so to your face. So, they redirect you to one another and a ping-pong game ensues with you at the cusp.
#3 They'll call it like it is
Lebanese parents don't beat around the bush. They want what's best for you, and they're not afraid to tell you when you're deviating from their plans.
#4 They'll try to micro-manage every aspect of your life
The constant grilling and not-so-subtle glances at the screen of your phone might get overbearing for some, but not for the average Lebanese parents who are an expert at dealing with inquisition and diverting attention somewhere else.
It's all just their way of expressing their love.
#5 They'll cook for you your favorite dinner after an argument
No Lebanese parent will admit their mistake. They will, however, show remorse by preparing your favorite meal and asking your siblings to call you.
#6 They'll stay up late waiting on a text
Never mind that you are sleeping at your cousin's house, or that you've told them a hundred times that you're going to be late that evening.
They set up sentry at the door or by the telephone and can't help a "Well, you could have at least sent a text or something."
#7 They'll randomly go off on a tangent about your poor dietary habits
#GrowingUpLebanese— madeleine #saveODAAT (@madi_hanna) July 4, 2016
"Bta3rfe enno ll chips bya3mol cancer?"
"Don't you know that chips cause cancer?"
Your parents will take the most inconvenient time to remind you that you haven't been drinking enough water. Whether you have just stepped off a school bus, or you are sitting at your desk in the office, expect a call and a rant on how you have been skipping meals or eating too much take-out.
This also manifests itself by 20 Whatsapp messages on the dangers of packaged ramen noodles and the benefits of grapefruit or sesame seeds.
#8 They'll brag about you in front of other people
They can't help it! They are so proud of you and your accomplishments that they have to tell everybody. And, let's face it: You love it even if they overdo it at times.
#9 But they'll troll you in private every chance they get
Because, why not?
Being a parent isn't an easy job. They are often overworked, under-slept, unappreciated, and worried out of their minds. So, however they may show it, you can count on their love and support through thick and thin.