I don’t think there’s anything quite like Lebanese mothers.
In almost all the other parts of the world, if you’re not out of the house by 18, living your life on your own with very little assistance from your parents, then the cut-off point is definitely when you get married.
That’s when you’re supposed to reach peak adulthood: you have a house to maintain, bills to pay, responsibilities to attend to, a partner to care for- and you have to do that without your mom or dad holding your hand through it all.
You’ve all watched television shows and movies where the main characters go so long without calling their parents. The elderly generation always seems out of the picture.
Unless you happen to get married in Lebanon!
In fact, when a whole week *gasp* goes by and I haven’t visited my parents’ home, my mother will call, wondering, “Why did you get married and stayed so near? I should’ve sent you abroad.”
Nothing says guilt-trip more than a statement like that. But she is right. I have no excuse, I only live five minutes away from them.
And it’s not just because she wants to see me and catch up on what is going on my life. It’s usually because she wants to help me adjust to marriage or provide food on a regular basis or buy me whatever ended up being missing from the jehez.
All things I should be doing on my own as a grown-up, married woman.
Even our daily phone calls, at exactly 7 PM, echo the times when we lived under the same roof: “Did you eat well enough, did you put your clothes away, have you gotten all the groceries that you need?”
And my favorite one, “What can I do to help you?”
In fact, right now, she hasn’t been able to do much for me, so she’s apologizing!
Lebanese mothers, especially mine, are never un-involved. This isn’t especially a bad thing, though too many questions can get frustrating at times.
I see her point of view.
No matter how old I get or where I am in my life, I will never stop being her child. She will never stop taking care of me no matter how hard I try to prove to her that I am fine, well-adjusted, and happy. She will always send food because she knows that I come home exhausted from work but I am too proud to ask for help. I know when I tell her we are happy, she will feel happy.
So I don’t mind the daily phone calls or increasing the visits. Plus, there are some days when only my mother will do.
I guess this goes hand and hand with the thought that marriage is the joining together of two families, and not just two individuals.