... of dating Iranian women
By Siamack Baniameri
November 8, 2000
I'm not the smartest guy out there and when god was teaching her creatures
common sense, I came down with a bad flu and called in sick that day.
They say, "the path to success comes from being either booksmart
or streetsmart." My problem is that I don't read much and I almost
never wander the streets. But, the key word is "smart" which,
is something that I am not very familiar with. However, the weakest skill
in my limited arsenal must be my social skills. My lack of social skills
didn't become apparent to me until I started dating an Iranian woman.
Dating an American woman does not require many social skills. First
of all, you don't have to deal with her dad, mom, brothers, sisters, cousins,
aunts, uncles, grand parents, nieces, nephews, family friends, neighbors,
butcher, milkman, etc. Dating an American woman is like a game of tennis.
It's one on one. Chances are pretty good that her parents live in some
far away state and she has limited contact, if any, with her immediate
However, dating an Iranian woman is like a game of football. You constantly
bump into other players. It's a full contact sport. Unexpected slide tackles;
violent kicks, tripping, pushing and shoving are all common.
It's easy for me to get away with just about anything with American
women so long as I use being a foreigner as an excuse. "Sorry babe,
I didn't know remembering birthdays is an American tradition. Thank you
for educating me on this." Or, "Oh really? So you buy flowers
on Valentine's Day?"
I also make up cultural lies like, "Honey, going out to nightclubs
with the boys till 3 a.m. and coming home shit-faced is an old Iranian
tradition that goes back 2,500 years. You know I'm a fool for traditions."
Or, "We Iranians get in touch with our inner self by taking road trips
to Las Vegas."
But, Iranian women don't let me get away with anything. They just don't
buy any of my lies.
For a person like me who always looks for short cuts in life, dating
Iranian women is a great chore. But, this particular Iranian woman was
important to me. Therefore, I sought help from my friend Javad who claims
to be an authority on dating Iranian women.
I told Javad I needed help developing strategy to avoid roadblocks thrown
at me mostly by her family. I required a solid plan to keep this woman
interested, fascinated, even infatuated. He asked me to meet him at a coffee
shop. He ordered a large Java and sat down in front of me. He was looking
at me like my fifth grade math teacher.
He started by saying, "Remember, an Iranian woman feels loved and
secure when the family respects her boyfriend. Demand respect by projecting
false and pretentious demeanors. Make her family think you are destined
for greatness. Avoid conversations that require actual knowledge or understanding
of the subject. Always show up late for events or gatherings. Always carry
a key chain with a BMW or Porsche logo on it; leave the key chain somewhere
visible to everyone."
I cut him off. "Woah! Slow down man; what does a key chain have
to do with anything?"
"You date American girls," Javad barked. "You don't understand
how Iranian girls operate. It's all about family with these girls. You
get accepted by the family, you are automatically accepted by her."
Javad looked serious now. He looked as if he was explaining rocket science
to a five-year-old.
"I'm going to share with you years of experience in dating Iranian
women. Just listen and shut up." He sipped his coffee and continued,
"Never say to an Iranian woman, 'My mom's ghormeh sabzi is better
than your mom's.' Always compliment her mom's cooking even if you spent
the whole night hugging the toilet bowl after one of her mom's dinner parties.
When discussing weight loss programs with her mom, never say, 'You want
to lose weight? How about staying off that Basmati rice for the next 20
years.' Always tell her mom how beautiful she looks. When it comes to gossiping,
NEVER out-perform her mom. Always look interested in what her mom says
even if she repeats herself a hundred times. Tell her mom that your aspiration
in life is to help orphan children."
"What are you talking about?" I yelled.
"Shut up. I know what I'm talking about! Charm her dad by using
meaningless words while discussing politics. Tell him that all our problems
are as a direct result of foreign interventions in Iran's internal affairs
in the last 500 years. Blame everything on the British or the Americans
and reassure him that his generation had nothing to do with the problems
our country faces today. Boost her dad's ego by mentioning -- several times
-- how impressive his Mercedes Benz looks and what a great house he owns.
Never greet her dad by saying, 'WAZZZZUUUPPP' or, 'YO, how's it hangin?'
Tell her dad you are seriously considering medical school. You and I know
damn well that your GPA isn't good enough to even get you to a culinary
school but they don't have to know that. Tell her dad you are negotiating
intensely for that high-level management position and your job at the gas
station is only a hobby."
"You're sick," I said.
"Listen to me! I'm giving you juice you can't buy for a million
dollars," Javad shouted. He was getting serious now. He looked like
someone possessed by some magical power. He sipped his coffee eagerly and
rambled on, "Never tell her brother, 'Dude, what were you thinking?
Everybody knows you meet psychos on the Internet.' Speak to him as an equal,
even though you think he's the biggest dork on the face of planet. Try
not to laugh when he tells you he has a doctorate from some Caribbean university.
Wipe the smile off your face before telling him that your interest in his
sister is emotional, not sexual. When you're at the nightclub with him,
don't jump out of your seat and say, 'Ouch, I'd like to get me some of
that!' Tell him you have made a small fortune in the market by investing
in blue chips."
"What's a blue chip?"
"I'm not exactly sure but it sounds important."
I was confused. This was way too much for me to remember and some of
it sounded fishy. I stood up and thanked him for his time.
"Wait, I haven't covered the rest of the family yet!"