Daaee Hossein gets married - again
Family gossip over dinner
By Gelareh Abedi
January 20, 1998
My family is scattered throughout the world. And only through family gatherings we get to hear the juicy gossip, with some degree of censorship, of course. And it's the latest gossip which has convinced me, honestly, that we've been cursed. Why?
In the past year alone, we've witnessed three divorces. Well, two divorces and a "separation." The first two didn't surprise me and I thought it had brought much peace to the parties involved. The "separation," however, dropped like a bomb over our Christmas Eve dinner table.
As I was passing the salad bowl, Khaleh Mahin, my zan amoo, turned to my father and said:
-"Aqaa Karim, shenidid keh Daaee Hossein dobaareh ezdevaaj kardeh? baa yeh dokhtar-e 23 saaleh?"(Have you heard Uncle Hossein got married again? To a 23-year-old girl?)
Silence there was! (And what was I to do with the salad? Put it down or ...)
-"Chi?!! Daaee Hossein-e-khodemoon?" (What?! Our very own Uncle Hossein?) My shocked father said. "Kay hamchin etefaaghi oftaad? Daaee keh beh Ehteram Khanoom khaili alaagheh daashtan." (When did this happen? He loved [his wife] Ehteram Khanoom.)
Apparently Daaee Hossein wanted to move back to his birthplace, Nahavand, a small town about an hour's drive northeast of Tehran, and had asked Ehteram Khanoom to join him. And she had refused. So, Daaee Hossein moved to Nahavand and re-married there! Hmmm... But to a 23-year-old? My mother suggested Daaee Hossein was in his 60s, while Khaleh Mahin declared he was at least 70. My father figured around 75.
At this time Ahou, my younger sister, raised the critical question:
- "Who is Daaee Hossein? The tall, thin, bald man who drove an old yellow Mercedes?"
- "No. That's cousin Mohsen," my father responded.
Daaee Hossein, my father's step uncle, was thin, with gray hair.
And according to my father, having more than one wife wasn't that uncommon in Daaee Hossein's side of the family. As my father pointed to our family tree and explained to Ahou that it was possible to be married to two women at the same time, my uncle was explaining to my half-Canadian cousins, that re-marring is another type of separation.
Anyhow, that night Daaee Hossein was the main course at the dinner table. And the salad was left untouched.