Take a chance
By Saghar Siami
April 17, 2003
Late last summer while searching the net for info
on the autumn festival of Mehrehgon, I found an interesting link
to an Iranian Personals
website. I was so excited to see that Iranians finally had such
a forum to connect with other Persians.
The website was impressive not just by virtue of its
existence, but because of the quality of its content. The site asks
insightful questions on an individual's view of politics, religion,
family, tradition, goals, etc. You name it and there's a question
for it. You can answer none, some, or all of the questions. You
can put a picture up with your profile or not. It's all up to you.
The website was just the thing for me. I had recently
gotten out of a long-term relationship with someone who was not
Iranian. That lengthy and often aduous relationship made me increasingly
yearn for someone from the same cultural background that could relate
to me. I realized that I wanted someone who understands and appreciates
the importance I place on tradition, family, education; someone
who understands the quirky things our parents do with their profusive
taroff, elaborate parties, and the burning of esfand; someone who
doesn't look at you with a blank stare when you mention ghormeh
sabzi. I can tell you it's amazing to date someone who can relate
to you on these levels whether they agree in principle or not. You
have this instant connection with them.
Personally, I had always shied away from dating Persian
guys for two reasons. I ignorantly assumed that all Persian males
fell into the same infamous category. You know, the type that sowes
all their wild oats and does every possible deed under the sun.
Then, when they're ready, mommy imports a nice little Persian virgin
twenty years their junior from Iran. Though I don't deny that this
group still exists, I have since realized through the personals,
that there are many other categories out there as well.
In fact, a good majority exists that does not subscribe
to archaic notions of male/female relations and historic views of
"proper" gender roles in the domestic and social spheres.
There are guys out there who are actually open-minded and who are
looking for woman who are equals, not clay to be molded into the
perfect submissive wife who caters to your every whim as she cooks,
cleans, and makes babies for you. There are guys out there who do
not have this big "I am King" complex.
I was taken aback and quite impressed. I have to say
that I was even more impressed with the women on the site who have
taken the initiative to place profiles on the site and who see nothing
wrong with contacting men who they find appealing. I think women
have to realize that partaking in such activities does not imply
desperation. People need to realize that internet dating is one
avenue of many that individuals can pursue if they are looking to
meet compatible partners.
Life is so hectic and fast-paced these days. Who has
the time to constantly go out to various social arenas to meet when
they are in pursuit of advanced degrees, trying to climb the corporate
ladder, start a business, etc. This is not to say that one can't
meet potential partners in a plethora of places. But why limit yourself?
Why not use the internet as one such avenue?
Gone are the days when grandmothers used to spend
all their time playing matchmaker. Besides, do you really want your
grandmother to pick a lifetime mate for you? Or ladies, do you prefer
to stay home passively awaiting the appearance of some khastegar
to come and sweep you off your feet into a period of engagement,
commonly known as dating? This route may work for some and more
power to you if it does. I can tell you that it's not for me.
Why not be assertive in getting what you want. I'm
not saying to go out and chase men down like someone who's just
escaped the loonie bin. All I'm saying is to take a chance, put
yourself out there, and be open to new possibilities. You never
know what awaits. For me, it's been nothing but positive. I've met
alot of great people, made some good friends, had exposure to various
aspects of Persian culture like the poetry of Rumi, the music of
Shajarian, and the exotic rhythms of the donbak.
So go out and take a chance. Just remember to be smart
and safe about it.
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