Arab gatherings are really an adventure: they start with invitations ... and end in cleaning.
The mess - as they call it - is more of a metaphorical one, not a literal one, thanks to cleaning products that make the entire process less of a burden.
Need us to explain? Here's your guide to Arab gatherings:
Step #1: The endless phone calls
It all starts with the invitations. Mothers tend to get overly excited as they call the invitees - aka people they haven't seen in months.
For hours on end, you will be forced to listen to your mother engage in "small talk" with potential guests.
Step #2: The overwhelming preparations
It's not a proper gathering if you're not fully prepared to welcome guests. Arab get-togethers require intense training, just like a marathon.
The preparations are all about "tidying things up" ... and for some odd reason, you witness a spike in lectures about cleaning your room (even though the guests will never go there.)
Step #3: The intense cooking session
Cooking is when the real mess begins. In most cases, the cooking sessions begin to take ground a week in advance (especially if samosas and wara2 3enab are on the menu.)
Every member of the family has a specific job to do - and the mother usually manages it all. It gets loud, messy, and chaotic.
Step #4: The "holy" greeting
They are many, they are loud, and they all want to say hi to you at the same time ... good luck.
Step #5: The tea and snacks before the actual meal is served
Before the meal is served, hosts need to entertain their guests with other things: tea, coffee, nuts ... and of course, argileh.
This is just to warm them up for the meal of a lifetime!
Step #6: The annoying demands from your mother
Even when the guests arrive, there remains endless demands from your mother. You must be on your best behavior (at all times) because one wrong move and you'll be stuck with a lecture until you depart this life.
Step #7: The incredible meal time
This is when the actual emotional, mental, and literal mess begins.
Everyone is eating ... at the same time; talk about loud.
There is always this one person insisting you eat more while another can't stop complimenting the chef. And for some annoying reason, someone's arm is in your face the entire time.
Step #8: The efficient cleaning
It's all fun and games until it's time to clean the mess. The dishes are endless, and no matter what time it is, your mom will put her cleaning skills to use.
With the different JIF sprays available, the mess is actually welcomed because it'll take about 10 seconds to clean up.
"Don't let stains cause drama ... just JIF it."