The Lebanese Party Survival Guide

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You’re at a party. Maybe it’s a wedding, maybe it’s a birthday, maybe it’s some other congratulatory occasion people want to celebrate. No matter. If you’re there by force, and every fiber in your body is aching to run out the door, take notes. This is how to painlessly attend a Lebanese party.

Dress for the occasion.

If you don’t look like you belong, you will be eyeballed, judged, and shunned. Go with the flow and follow the sheep just this once. Wear what you need to wear to blend in. This will make the party less agonizing.

Mingle.

You don’t want to but you shouldn’t be the weirdo who didn’t try to make an effort. Move quickly from group to group and see if you can find familiar faces and/or people who seem interesting. If all hope is lost, sit at the bar.

Camouflage.

If you really don’t fit in, pretend to be staff. It’s better to look like a lonely staff member at the bar than a socially awkward guest at the bar. This really just depends on what you’re wearing so maybe plan to wear things that make you look like an employee?

Eat.

You might as well. You will be forced if you resist.

Drink. 

It will make everything less painful.

Clap.

You need to clap when the clapping is being done. No matter the reason. Join in, clap and be merry. Sing sana helwa, give them all a big beaming smile, or throw rice or something at people walking by. But always clap.

Dance.

You have to. Not all night, but at least during the peak times, like when the bride comes out, or the entire table gets up and you’re the last man standing. At least get in the video.

Get lost.

No one will miss you if you’re gone for a little while. Take a bathroom break and go chill somewhere. Hang out with your phone. Try to get lucky on Tinder. Go stalk your ex on Instagram. The sky is the limit as long as you have battery.

Documentation. 

Make sure you take photos or show up in the video. The hosts will probably forget who was there and for how long, but if there is photo and video evidence of your presence, there is no argument. The photographer is your friend.

 Exit.

There are 2 kinds of exits. Either you slip out unnoticed, or you have to deal with a long and painful goodbye procedure. The former is highly recommended. If there’s no other way, you’ll need a good reason for leaving. Then you’ll go through several rounds of kissing 3 times on the cheek, making lists of who sends their regards to whom, and more stories and expressions of affection. But at least it’s over.

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