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Make it your bible, bubba
How to woo a middle-aged Iranian woman

November 7, 2002
The Iranian

I have observed a trend for the past few years and secretly had wished it would be successful. However, I have realized it is not as successful as I want it to be. So I decided to pay my dues and put my wealth of knowledge acquired by years of listening to Iranian women complaints about how clueless our counterparts are to good use. Let me explain what I am talking about.

There has been a rapid rise in the number of Iranian men divorcing their non-Iranian spouses and as we all tend to go back to our roots, these men have been longing and trying to find an Iranian mate.

This is the voice of experience because I have been approached by a number of forty-something educated, successful, divorced Iranian men who had been married to a non-Persian before. They attempted to persuade me and failed miserably. These men could not understand why I would not jump at the opportunity. The reason is simple; they bombed at trying to impress me.

I really want to see more union of "us" so I decided to simplify the matters for my dear Iranian brothers out there. I have simplified the task by separating it into various stages and two simple categories of "do"s and "don't"s in order to make you hopefully remember the dos.

I had my reasons to do this. One reason was to show all of those ignorant readers that call me angry that -- on the contrary -- I am quite happy. I also wanted the wonderful men who were baffled by my rejection to understand where they went wrong. I bet you did not know that I am quite compassionate and sweet besides being independent and outspoken. (I left "beautiful and smart" off this article so the homely dames out there won't be all bothered!)

So my brothers forget all the rules of romance you have learned and do not think for a second that you know "how to romance a woman" just because you had few of those women who would settle for anything spend Saturday night alone.

Look at it this way, think about your political knowledge of the world outside the Middle East, and then think of the politics and your view of the Middle East. Pretty complicated! Exactly my point. Start fresh and read these steps. Make it your bible. You will thank me someday.

Stage one

You have met one of us middle-aged Iranian baby boomers at a function and want to ask us for a date.

Do not stare and do not be over aggressive. We don't want fast talkers and Slick Wiley's.

Do look at us with enough interest mixed with a tiny bit of longing, especially if a beautiful Iranian song is played in the background. Pay attention to the words and when you hear the words that touch your heart gently close your eyes showing us you feel the words. If you don't know what I am talking about your beyond help and don't bother dreaming about a Persian Princess.

Do ask us general questions and talk about your quest to find an Iranian princess.

Do tell us nicely that you would love to have dinner with us provided we grant you the honor. Make sure you use the word honor in Farsi.

Now you have gotten our permission to call us for a date.

Do call at the designated time.

Don't play games and pretend you forgot when you were supposed to call.

Do not say any words in English. Do not talk about what you do or anything that shows you are trying to appear very important.

Do sound sincere and indicate what you liked about us in the brief meeting you had. Make sure it was something such as personality, the warmth of dealing with people or anything that shows you were observant.

Warning: Do not tell us that you want a date because we are attractive or have a great body! Shallow minds come in shallow bodies!

Also remember that the scoreboard in our mind is working and you are getting scores that are either negative or positive.

Do not ever say you do not like Iranian food. Do not try to impress us by suggesting some outrageous food like frog legs (we know it tastes like chicken but we still do not want to eat it. Thanks) or snake soup.

Stage two

You have set a date and here is what you need to know.

Do not just buy a bouquet of roses for us.

Do show you care and ask the florist to place some beautiful flowers that remind us of Iran to be mixed into the bouquet. Freesias are heavenly and remind us of Iran when we were teenagers.

Do listen to some good Iranian music and select some to play in your car when you pick us up. Use those that have beautiful and romantic words and can be related to. I suggest Moin's "Meeparastam" (I worship) and Omid's latest CD, "Victory".

Do not wear common cologne that a bimbo in the mall convinced you to buy (Polo is an absolute no no). Do wear a hint of clean scent and put a dab in the palm of your hands. You should know why.

Do not wear any gold chains, bracelets, and rings because you would look like a pimp. Very tacky. Also, do not wear a Rolex or any other high-end watch. That indicates you are newly arrived and desperately trying to appear rich.

Helpful hint: Really wealthy people don't give a damn about what others think and they do not wear expensive watches either. Do wear a simple watch and a nice cotton shirt (preferably long sleeve so you can leave a lot to imagination) with no logos on the outside. Pay attention here.

Do not show up with perfectly manicured hands. Clear polish would turn us off. We want to be the pretty one and we like our Iranian men just showered, shaven (a trim beard like Sattar's is okay and for some of us it is sexy and exudes raw sensuality.)

Do make sure your nails are short and your hands are smooth.

Stage three

You are at our place to pick us up.

Do not be late. When you arrive do not say hello or any greetings in English. Do say greetings in Farsi and extend your hand to shake ours. Present the flowers and say the Persian expression "You are a flower yourself but I brought these for you." Practice before saying it to us.

Once we take the flowers from you and go in search of a vase to place them in, come in and make yourself comfortable.

Do not stare at anything and do not overly admire any aspect of our place.

Do express what you like about our place in a sincere way. For example you can say that the paintings remind you of your house in Iran or you like the Iranian art.

Warning: Don't ever say anything like, "I do not like Iranian art" or "my ex had this picture or that piece of furniture".

Stage four

We are on way to have dinner.

Do not run ahead of us.

Do open the door and wait until we are in the car then close the car door.

Do not turn on the radio.

Do tell us what CD or tapes you have and play what we ask or simply play the music you have chosen with meaningful Farsi words.

Do not talk about your work and how much money you make or how sensitive your position is because you don't know anything about our work and income.

Do talk in general about living in the US and what you feel you are missing in your life.

Stage five

We are at the restaurant to eat.

Do not order wines you cannot even pronounce.

Do ask us to order first and whether we like to have a drink or not.

Do not swallow your food quickly and do not wipe your plate with pieces of bread.

Do eat slowly and listen to what we say.

Warning: You need to develop a third ear when dating an Iranian because we would question you indirectly to make sure you were paying attention! Get use to this and become good at it!

Stage six

The date is over and you drive us back to our place.

Do not ask to come in for a nightcap.

Do say you had a great time and you realize we have a busy day on Sunday so you would like to wish us good night.

Do not try to hug or kiss us. We like to build anticipation and like to think you value yourself. We also love men that are shy and innocent. Yes, throw away your Western "how to" book that are for boring and very predictable playboy types. We have few of them as friends and we find them "used" and unromantic.

Do extend your hand to shake ours. You can also gently kiss our fingers. But do not go any further.

Sate seven

The next day after the initial date:

Do not call and try to sound overly enthusiastic. Do not exaggerate about your impression of us.

Do be honest and state whether you want to see us again or not.

Great hint: Make a lot of notes about your first date with us. Write down the smallest details. If we end up becoming your soul mate you can surprise us by showing us what you wrote and we would think you are wonderful and be really touched.

Stage eight

We are dating you!

Do not ever mention your ex and what she looked like. If you ever say something that indicates she was beautiful or smart we have our ways of finding out and God help you if we find out she was homely and raggedy. We would bring it up and make fun of you every chance we get. We will rub her imperfections all over your face. If she were as great as you say then why couldn't she find someone equally great from her own culture? Perhaps because the men from her culture were smarter than you were?

Warning: Do not tell us your previous 30-year-old Iranian girl friend was a gynecologist making half a mil a year. Remember we have friends in all professions and know the average OBGYN does not make even half of that, besides Iranian women who are doctors always look for another doctor. You will look pathetic trying to impress us.

Do mention what you did not like in your previous relationships and we are reasonable enough not to repeat them for you.

Great tip: Try to block the past. Your life was meaningless because you were in search of your other half from your own blood and were born to the same mother. The Motherland!

Do not ever buy any perfume or color that reflects your ex in them. A man once gave me an expensive perfume that his big, fat, White-trash flame had liked. I opened the bottle with tremendous joy and said, "This is your dream of being with me?" I then poured the content in the toilet bowl and said: That is your dream going down the toilet. He left and never showed his face again.

Do pay attention to what we like and buy it for us.

Do not call us ten times a day asking us what we are doing.

Do call and say you just missed us and wanted to hear our voice.

Don't ever ask where we have been or whom we have been with. Mistrust is detrimental in a relationship. We would tell you what we want you to know.

Do tell us that you were simply worried because you did not hear from us for such a long period of time.

Warning: Never call us "honey", "babe", or "sweetheart". Those are meaningless and tell us that you use to call someone those words. We want to be the only one who ever captured your heart. What you had with the "babe" was a convenient and mutually agreeable affair. What you are experiencing now is love and you should know because our sexy and soulful gazes melt your heart and you want to hold us and smother us with kisses. You don't just want someone to have sex with.

Do address us with beautiful words in Farsi such as "azizam" or "joone delam".

Stage nine

Your hard work has paid off and you are going to experience being with someone of your own kind. You are going to the Motherland!

Do not go overboard trying too hard to give us the message that you have gotten to know us and now you really want to know us in a more intimate setting.

Do suggest making us dinner to see what a great chef you are. Then go to work on setting the right mood. Make sure you buy ingredients for our favorite dish, which by now you should know what it is. Have some nice selection of good Iranian music for various stages.

Select a few nice poems (preferably from our favorite poet) to read for us.

Do not forget to buy a few bunches of Freesias or Hyacinths to fill the air with the intoxicating scent and spare no expense in buying some beautiful smelling candles (I recommend buying aromatherapy with essential oils). Try finding the ones with the fragrance of Freesias or Hyacinths.

Play something beautiful with lyrics that take us back to the homes in the old country. I suggest Shahram Nazeri's Keesh-e Mehr.

Do tell us that we are the "Queen of the Night" and should just watch you serve us.

After dinner has been finished and you have put the dishes away, make some Persian tea and place an instrumental Iranian music CD in the CD player.

Helpful hint: You should know our favorite Iranian instrument and buy some CDs by the master of that particular instrument. If we like the violin, then buy from masters like Yahaghi, Malek, Adhami. If you are not sure then send me an email telling me what instrument and I will tell you what to buy. I have great taste and am very knowledgeable about all types of Iranian music because I listen to it.

Do not tell us that you prefer coffee but have made the tea just for us. Do tell us you love tea and it reminds you of home. Bring the tea and place it in front of us. We find it very sexy when an Iranian man serves us. It feels empowering because our mothers served our fathers for too long and we found it nauseating. Now we are making our mothers proud of us.

Do pick up the poetry book and read the selected poems you had marked in advance for us. Make sure periodically to make eye contact especially if the words convey loving messages. You better know what I mean or you are in trouble.

Warning: If you are not good at this art or have a bad voice, skip this step.

Do not ask if we are bored. We are being entertained and loving every moment of it.

Do place a nice and slow rhythm song for slow dance. I suggest "booy-e gandom" by Dariush.

Do not grab our hand or pull us to dance.

Do ask us to dance and gently walk us to the spot where we can dance.

Do not grab on any body parts or try to press yourself against us.

Do keep a bit of a distance and keep eye contact. Place your hand under our chin and gently squeeze our chin or chick. Then place our head on your chest and softly kiss the crown of our head.

Continue to kiss our hair and gently push the strands back. If you have nice voices sing along with the singer.

Once the song is finished do not ask us to go to the bedroom with you.

Do tell us that you have waited all your life for us and are willing to wait for the rest of your life. Tell us that you want to make sure we want to be with you as well. Pay attention for our nodding of the head or simply saying "I want to be with you" as well.

Do not grab our hand and pull us towards your bedroom.

Do hug us gently and then hold our face in your hands and simply look at us with yearning.

Then hold our hand kiss it and slowly lead us to the bedroom.

Stage ten

You are ready to make love to us.

Do not attack us and do not make strange noises.

Do be gentle and look into our face first and slowly go for the important step.

Helpful hint: Do you remember as a child when you went to the holy shrines you were told to kiss every part to be rewarded? Think of our bodies as a holy shrine. Kiss every part and you will be rewarded in a big way!

Do not say any words in English and do not ask us any stupid questions about what we want. We are extremely intelligent and know what we want. We have given you indirect hints throughout our courtship and will continue to do so.

Warning: If due to nervousness or overexcitement you cannot perform do not curse or make excuses. We understand. You have being going to boring amusement parks and now you are at the gates of a Persian monument. It is quite overwhelming. Our beautiful and sensual gaze can completely throw you off balance.

Do smile and say, "I'm nervous." We won't think any less of you. In fact we will come to the rescue. I promise.

Do not ever ask "did you come"? The cars you drove in the past had poor engines with high mileage because of wear and tear due to being driven by various drivers for many years. The car you are riding now is a luxury car, driven only on a special occasions, therefore, the engine is in good shape. Besides we are not with you for the sake of being with a man or to make us feel wanted. We are with you because we want you.

Do look into our eyes and gently kiss our face (never the eyes because it causes separation, yes that is a superstition but it is true).

Do not say stupid things like "I have to pee" or "have to go to the boy's room." That is so unromantic. Do simply say "excuse me, I will be right back."

Do not say anything that shows you are comparing us to your ex. That shows lack of class and taste.

Do tell us honestly how we made you feel. We know because we are at "home" too.

Stage eleven

The next day and during the period before you ask us to be your life partner:

Do not wait for us to wake up.

Do get up before us, take a shower, and make breakfast. Remember your mission is to convince us that you are the man of our dreams. Do not blow your nose or spit (at least make sure we can not hear you).

Warning: If you see us wake up at dawn to meditate and pray do not say, "Do you still believe in God"? That is an ignorant and disrespectful remark. Be respectful and marvel at the fact we have a spiritual side. You never know when you can benefit from it.

Do not think now you have us and can stop being good.

Do continue to remember how we fill the emptiness of your heart and whenever you think about us and hear our voice talking to you in words that touch your heart. Continue to romance us. Read poems to us and use them to express yourself. We love men that can read poetry especially if they have big, sexy Iranian eyes and a head full of grey hair. A deep Iranian voice reading poetry makes us lose our willpower.

Do not ever make negative statements about Iran or tell us you do not care. That will put a wall between us.

Do tell us periodically that you love Iran and miss it. Remember one of the reasons we want to be with an Iranian man is the fact that we dream about going home and walking along the Caspian shores and visiting all the beautiful places in the Motherland. You understand our feelings and we do not have to explain anything to you.

Let me tell you that we fantasize about waking up in Noshahr along the Caspian in March, intoxicated with the smell of orange blossoms. Walking in Kashan and feeling drunk from the fragrance of roses. Going to the countryside, sitting by the little brook and watching the birds fly. We want to go to the south and watch the sunset behind the majestic palm trees. We want to sit under the willow and sycamore trees and inhale the fragrance of home. Remember these helpful words.

Stage twelve

You have realized you cannot live without us and want us in your life.

Do not say, "I have to talk to my parents."

Do make sure to check with everyone that matters to you. That includes your nanny in Iran and your uncle's neighbors and your mother's friends. If they disapprove of us then don't even bother. We do not want to waste our precious time cultivating their approval. We want a real man who makes his own decisions and knows what he wants. If you are not our kind of man then ask your mom and her friends to find you a virginal gold digger in search of a Green Card.

Do not ever use the word "wife" or "husband". The word "wife" reminds us of our mothers serving our fathers all their lives and having no choices or important tasks other than being a house keeper, baby factory or personal maids to our fathers.

Do use the word "shareeke zendegi" (life partner) constantly. That should be the way you think of us because we are intelligent, independent and capable of making decisions.

Stage thirteen

We have accepted your proposal and agreed to be your life partner.

Do not say, "We are too old to have a wedding."

Do ask what we want. In our hearts we are the teenagers we once were and you are the boy we always looked for. We are never too old to hear "ey yaar mobaark baadaa."

Do not think now you own us and can treat us as if we are your possession. That will kill the relationship.

Do think you have found the girl of your dreams and you will always treat her like she is your lover and friend, not your housekeeper.

Do not say, "We don't need a honeymoon" or anything that shows you are cheap. Remember now we are going to contribute financially to this relationship as well.

Do suggest some place romantic (preferably in Iran if we can go). Do let go of all your inhibitions because you are with someone from your own heritage and you can express your feelings in a beautiful language that comes naturally to you.

Warning: Do not ever say, "What's for dinner"? We will hate you. Instead say let's go out because you have had a tough day or better yet say: "Go relax and I will make something for us." We would love you and make sure to reward you for being wonderful. It is the gesture that shows you care. A salad is fine.

Do not ever tell us we have gained weight or point out any of our flaws. As God is our witness we will find ten more faults with you and point them out.

Do treat us like your friend all the time and never think we are too old for any adventure (jumping from the airplane is out of the question for those of us with fear of heights). Any other reasonable adventure that does not involve drugs, booze, or immorality is fine.

Do not limit buying presents to special occasions. That is sad and boring and makes us resentful.

Do buy small gifts of items we like to show that you remember our favorite things and by all means buy us flowers to show us that we are the flower tat gives your life meaning. I promise for every small loving gesture you give us, we would surprise you in a way that shows our unique imagination and ingenuity.

Do not ever become a couch potato because it will break our heart.

Do pursue good hobbies such as reading and do discuss the subject matter with us. If your mate is as well read as I am make sure not to exaggerate because she will catch you.

Warning: Do not ever think you can stare at a young half-naked blonde under your lashes. That is disrespectful and shows lack of dignity. We despise flirts.

Do remember that we are the ones that unconditionally love you because you are our "own". You are from our homeland so being with you is like being home.

Additional life-saving tips

Never ask us: "Is this silk?" We hate to know that you do not know the difference. Here is a helpful hint. Kiss our body with clothes on then breathe into the fabric. If your face gets hot because your breath just hit you in the face, that indicates Polyester (synthetic). If your breath goes through the fabric then that is silk. Start learning about various types of silks (drop me a note and I can educate you since I only buy silk materials.)

NEVER tell us that you had phone sex with someone 15 years your junior, who told you about her implants and cute butt, and the fact that you told her you were a gynecologist. The wimpy Iranian women would loose respect for you. The proud and unforgiving ones like me will cut their heart with you in it and throw it in the garbage. We could not bear our pride constantly reminding us every second that we have been with a pervert.

Our pride is more important than any man. Remember that. It does not matter that she was the one calling you. That will be an insult to our intelligence. We want our men with high ethics and morals. Someone who would have said to the caller she should not be sending her provocative pictures to strangers or talk about personal thinks such as their rear ends or implants. Also, there are too many perverts and rapists out there and she could get hurt. Then never speak to her again. Now that's a good Iranian man.

Never at any point pull a Q-Tip from your ear to show us what you have on it. Never pick your nose and never fart. No matter how close and comfortable you feel around us, always treat us with the respect and loving that you lavished upon us while dating. We would do the same.

Talk to anyone with a successful relationship and they will confirm my statements. Hope you find these simple steps very helpful and finally:

Do not send me stupid emails telling me you are very happy with the non-Iranian partner of yours. Good for you and don't you for a second think that I care (you probably think Texas barbecue sauce tastes the same as Khoresh Fesenjoon too). This is for the smart Iranian men who have the freedom to start over in life and this time they want to hear "ghorboonet beram" not "I love you", which they also hear being told to the cat and dog and everything else. We do not use such heartfelt words unless we feel them and mean them.

Do send a big check for giving you the chance to learn so many valuable lessons that could make you a happy man, with a passionate, and full of surprises love affair, forever.

I promise.

See Esmaal Aghaa's reply, "Haft Khaan"

Email your comments for The Iranian letters section
Send an email to Azam Nemati

By Azamin Nemati



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