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The big question
Is she a virgin?

September 13, 2000
The Iranian
Persian text

"I don't know whether she is a virgin or not?" This is what the groom-to-be tells his friend.

Food gets stuck in my throat. As I start coughing, I signal the waiter to bring me a glass of water. At my left table, two young Iranian men are talking to each other. Their last exchange grabs my full attention. I couldn't help eavesdropping.

Apparently, this is the scenario:

One of these men (the groom-to-be) has a crush on the sister of one of his friends. The groom-to-be has asked a mutual friend, who knows the brother well, to intervene for asking the sister's hand! The groom-to-be and the friend are waiting to meet the brother in an Iranian restaurant somewhere in Europe, in order to close the deal.

Friend: What kind of question is that? How could I know whether she's a virgin or not? Don't you know yourself?

Groom-to-be: I can't ask her myself! I just told her, "With your permission, I would like to talk to your brother," and she said: "It's a blessed affair, God-willing!"

Friend: What's the big deal anyway?

Groom-to-be: It wouldn't be a big deal if she was a foreigner, but she's Iranian. You know what I mean?

Friend: Yeah, I see.

Groom-to-be: Can we ask the brother?

Friend: Ask him what? If his sister's a virgin?

Groom-to-be: Not like that. Ask him in a way he wouldn't be offended.

Me: EHHHUM.EHHUUUM. Excuse me.Can I have a glass of water?

Waiter: Absolutely, coming right up.

Friend: Don't you know her well?

Groom-to-be: Not that well. I tried not to flirt too much because of her brother. I didn't want him to think I'm hitting on her sister.

Friend: Don't take this personally, but if she had come from Iran recently, we wouldn't have to ask this question. But you know, she has been here for a long time.

Groom-to-be: A chaste girl remains chaste even if she's been living abroad for fifty years. Some get corrupted by the surroundings. Like the one I picked up two weeks ago. You can't imagine the language she was using. What a bitch! Anyway, what did you tell her brother?

Friend: I told him a blessed affair has come up.

The Groom-to-be: Didn't he take it badly?

Friend: How do I know? I told him over the phone! Why should he take it badly?

The Groom-to-be: How are we going to ask him about his sister's virginity'? I'm too embarrassed to ask!

Friend: You should have thought about it earlier. It's too late now. It's none of my business anyway. Find it out yourself.

The Groom-to-be: (Anxious) Let's hope he won't show up.

Friend: What? I've spent all this time to help you and now you're hoping he won't show up? When you mark a girl, you can't bale out!

The Groom-to-be: I'm not going to bale out, but let's have some time to find out about the people she's been hanging with!

Friend: (Laughing) Let's hire a private eye.

The Groom-to-be: (A little dubious) What's so funny? Listen, I'm telling you this because you're like my brother. Don't you ever...

Friend: Are you kidding? This will remain a secret between you and me.

Me: Excuse me. Can I have my glass of water please?

Waiter: Oh! You haven't been served yet?

Me: (Talking to myself) YOU were supposed to bring my water!

The friend's cell phone rings. Apparently, the brother has got stuck somewhere and can't make it to the meeting.

Friend: You asked for it, you got it. This fellow can't make it tonight.

Groom-to-be: (Worried) Maybe his sister told him that she doesn't like me.

Friend: Don't worry. You'd be a great husband. Now you have time to investigate the girl.

The Groom-to-be: I'll think of something.

Me: Excuse me. Can I have the check please?

Waiter: Oh! Sorry! You're water is coming right up.

I think of the bride-to-be. My problem can be solved with a glass of water. What about his? crush on someone. Persian text

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the writer Mohandes

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