According to the dictionary, a guilty pleasure is something that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.
And, while we're all about "high regard" in the Arab world, we all have guilty pleasures that we hide away from the public eye.
As Arab women we have lots of guilty pleasures that we all enjoy, but never discuss out in the open.
Still in denial? Here are a few examples that'll surely snap you back to reality.
1. Getting hooked to Turkish soap operas
You say you can't stand the soap operas your mom and aunts watch until you actually watch an episode...
Then you can't stand to miss a single one! It's like part of your life is going on without you.
It even affects your social life, you start skipping out on going out with friends to watch the TV show - while giving very vague reasons as to why.
Not to mention when they get the plot wrong or talk sarcastically about the show... you have to bite your tongue so you don't spill your secret.
Because... deep down, you know they'd never understand.
2. Being good hostesses, just like our mothers wanted
As Arab girls, we viciously try to break from the norm of 3azayem and being the perfect host. But at the same time we really love seeing our friends happy when we do host them.
Even though you get frustrated when your mom asks you if you've offered your friends anything to drink or eat, you can't help but offer once, twice (even 3 times) when they're over, feeling proud of your innate ability to make everyone feel welcome... just as long as your mother doesn't find out.
This proves that no matter how hard we try, we always end up being like our mothers, one way or the other.
3. Eating sahlab with an infinite amount of ka'ak
While out with your friends, you're an absolute foodie, eating things that are described as "interesting" or are an "acquired taste." Your Instagram feed is full of lighting-perfect shots of food.
Cut back to you at home, when your mom is making sahlab, you are counting the minutes till it's done.
You'd never admit it to your food-savvy friends, but you are all about burning your fingers to dip the ka'ak in the sahlab. If you're fingers aren't a bright pink by the end of your meal, you're not doing it right!
But... forget about posting it on your Snapchat story.
4. Secretly knowing all the words to "Aah w Nos"
We don't know how this creeped up on us... but we somehow have all the lyrics to this song memorized.
When the song comes on, you laugh to your friends about it, remembering when it first came out and how everyone got sick of it. However, if you have an ache to sing this at the top of your lungs, let me let you in on a little secret.
Everyone is singing this song in their head. Everyone. And some probably sing it in the shower every night.
5. Counting the many "3a2beliks" you get
The amount of 3a2beliks you get at a wedding are considered a nuisance. We've made memes, blog posts and encyclopedias about the infuriating amount of times we hear this word.
But... secretly, you love hearing this fate-sealing expression. Every time a woman passes you and doesn't say it, you add another cat to your inevitable old cat lady life.
The "3a2belik" isn't just a formality anymore, it's a guarantee.
6. Gossiping with all the sittet
You love to moan and groan in discontent when your mother says that she's planned a sob7iyeh with all her friends - you know the kind, the women who tell you they've known you since you were two and ask if you remember them.
You're begging and pleading with her not to make you join them, up until the moment when they come over and start to gossip. Then you are hanging on to every word, sitting very quietly, sipping your sahlab (that you hate).
How else are you supposed to keep up with all the info-drama?
7. The holy grail: Teta's Food
Let's face it, no one is ever going to make food as good as your teta does.
And while it would be all good and well to finally drop the charade that you don't want more food, you just cant.
You have to guiltily accept the more food your teta offers, otherwise what's the point?
I mean, either way she's going to respond to your protests with these:
1. "You don't like my food?"
2. "But you're so skinny!"
3. "But I made your favorite!"
And honestly, why would you break her heart and not make her fight to give you more food? It puts such a cute smile on her face when she thinks she's finally gotten to you.
8. Eating ice cream no matter the weather
Whether it's burning hot or freezing cold, ice cream is always a must!