By Gelareh Abedi
January 7, 1998
"Eva!! mag-e mish-e dokhtar-e Irooni balad nabaash-e beraqss-e?....paasho dokhtar, jamesh kon.....ma'loom-e keh khaili ham khoob baladi qer bedi..."
I have heard this comment many times from Persian ladies in different mehmoonis while reaching for my hands and forcing me to leave my seat. But, you know what? I can not dance! I can count from 1 to 10. I can spell HOUSE backwards. I can even say with 99% accuracy what day of year it is. But dancing, I can not! I'm suffering with muscular dysqerophy.
When I was in junior high school, all I could think of were books. My best friend, Narmin, had a collection of most interesting books, and I spent many of my summer days over her house reading Three Musketeers .
One thing that Narmin and the rest of our gang (Shireen, Noora, and Sharifeh) were fond of was dancing. One afternoon, after lunch we went upstairs to her room, and she was asking if we had heard this new song, "Assal." As usual I was the lost gal, having no idea what that song was. And she played it. "rang-e cheshaat assal....hame-ye labaat assal..."
All four gracefully started dancing to it. Half way through their moves, the gang got frustrated at me for reading reading my book, and they tried to teach me how to dance. "Gelareh.. look here. One hand up...one hand down.... now move them in opposite direction...move them as if you're opening a chocolate and move your kamar!" Narmin said.
They showed me different moves.But at the end of that day, they all shook their heads hopelessly and announced with much regret that I'll be the only bride not able to dance on my wedding day and the reputation of all Iranian girls would be tarnished forever.
Till this day, I still can not dance. The last suggestion I got two weeks ago, while returning from my friend's birthday party, was, "Try to get the beats first...and there is nothing really hard to it... joori beraghs keh hal mikoni...and for God's sake don't stand under the light in the middle of dance floor!"