My Lebanon Narrative

What narrative can I use in my blog about my trip to Lebanon that will be distinct from the narrative this story will have in my book?

That is what I thought about on my vacation. How can I tell this story twice, but differently?

The answer: Mark.

Mark is my blog narrative. The guy photobombing my selfie.

First though, since my blog is largely about dating, I'll tell you what I learned about dating in Lebanon.

1. When you set your distance to 100 miles in Lebanon you can swipe on both Lebanese and Israelis. The Arabs write you in English and the Israelis write you in Hebrew.

I don't get it. My profile is in English. Don't Israeli's speak English?!

That is what I learned about dating in Lebanon.


I want to tell you about Mark, because the story of my trip is really the story of my time with Mark.

The purpose of my trip was for my best friend's wedding. I knew she was probably going to be too busy to spend a ton of time with me and she was even busier than expected. This ended up being just fine with me though because her older brother stepped in paid me all the attention that I needed.

I had never met Mark before and I hadn't expected him to even really be on my agenda for this trip. I didn't really think about any agenda, actually. I just wanted to go, see, experience the culture with people from the culture and do what they would be doing anyway.

I think that kind of attitude towards a trip makes a vacation a lot less stressful. Everything is a surprise when you don't have an agenda and you never feel like you have missed something.

So, I went, I saw, and I experienced. And the trip was great.

Mark was the unexpected cherry on top.

I am not surprised that we became instant friends because that is exactly what happened when I first met his sister. But, Mark blew me away with his hospitality. He took me on outings, he showed me the sites, he didn't let me spend a penny of my own money, treating me to everything. He patiently took tons of pictures of me (I must have driven the poor guy crazy with my perfectionist demands). He worried about if I was trying enough different types of foods or seeing enough of the sites in Beirut and in the countryside of Hasbaya. He taught me how to play backgammon. He even played a whole game through with me when it was clear from close to the beginning that I had him cornered and he was going to lose. He generously let me use his phone or hot-spotted me when there was no wifi so that I could entertain myself during extended family gatherings while people were speaking Arabic.

He was so so so so so nice to me. The nicest.

I felt so lucky.

The best part was that on our excursions I wasn't alone in the backseat, as usual. I was in the passenger seat, next to him.

And I had a lot of fun enjoying his wonderful, hospitable company in this country on the other side side of the world.

He was a great vacation companion.

But most importantly, Mark reminded me what my standards need to be. I want a gentleman.

I want someone who is kind and thoughtful and considerate and patient and respectful and who doesn't manhandle me.

I have noticed in my last two years of dating that proper manners are in short supply. And you know what? I am sick of it. And I am just not going to accept it anymore.

And I am not going to settle for less than a gentleman. And neither should any of my female readers.

Can we all just start a new trend of being gentlemen and ladies to each other? I want that. I want that for all of us.

So thank you, Mark. Thank you for being an amazing, generous host and exemplary gentleman. And thank you for reminding me what my standards are.

PS. I may or may not have a giant crush on you.

If you want to see photos from my trip, I'll be posting them on Instagram!


  1. "The best part was that on our excursions I wasn't alone in the backseat, as usual. I was in the passenger seat, next to him." - Jennifer Lourie <3


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