My bookclub and the melting pot


Fariba Lotfi
by Fariba Lotfi

Here is a new one from my mundane existance!  I was invited to join a book club.  The invite came from one of the mom's who knows me well and she insisted for me to come and that i'd be a great addition to the group.  All members are american; none work; all are very active in the community; attend all the fundraisings, charities, PTO's etc. 

After introductions and quite a considrable amount of appettizers and wine one of the moms started to say how she feels her kid is now in minority in our town.  I was utterly puzzled since she is blond, blue-eyed and as anglo as anglo gets!  She proceeded to say that her kid loves to play outside yet none of the kids in her neighborhood come out after school; they are all ASIANS!!!  She said it is the same in the classroom; the ASIANS ARE ALL OVER THE TOWN and they are RAISING THE EXPECTATIONS for our kids academically.  She said she feels that the district now has a much tougher rubric for each grade to follow and it is all because of the ASIANS!  For a second, i was speechless; not knowing should i defend or deter.  After all, i am not Asian; but, i am ethnic! 

Then someone else said, what is more upsetting is that none of these parents (Asian parents, she meant) are involved in any school activity; they do not contribute to anything; and when we (class moms) call, grandparents answer the phone and they cannot speak a word of English!  She added, how as we know with Asians, both mom and dad work long hours. 

Now, everyone in the group knows my background; i was invited because of my background.  They all know that i work full-time and on occasions my mother in law has been visiting staying with us for number of months.  I guess they did not care about those details as they were having their conversations complaining about how the whites are now in minority.  And, then here i was speechless not knowing how to respond.  At the end, i did not say anything.  I just had my wine and cheese; laughed politely; commented on the beautiful artwork on the mantel and the hand-painted mural that went along the way from the dinning room to the kitchen and on to the hallway.  I discussed the book and then exited saying that i look forward to our next bookclub! 

Should i go to the next one?!


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more from Fariba Lotfi

Oh No Fariba jan!

by Monda on

There's no such a thing as whining too much in my book...  Don't go there sister! I just wanted to point you to my own conclusions about the concept of Mundane.  You are doing a fabulous job with writing these blogs.  I wish I had IC as the important outlet that it is now.

My good attitude Today is the result of mulling over difficulties for many years. I've had my share of heavy duty trials and errors!  baleh so you know dokhtaram:o) 

Fariba Lotfi


by Fariba Lotfi on

There you go!  Love the attitude; may not be that energetic myself, but love the attitude!

Which brings me to wonder; am i whinning too much?!  In my head, i am trying to open a dialogue though...


Fariba, let me add to my own eftekhaar

by Monda on

I was always the only Iranian mom in our district!  So my job was not only to stand up as an Iranian parent But as a token culturally-different than the Lily Whites and of course the few Chinese parents.  I had fun speaking up for cultural diversity at the PTA meetings, but my volunteerism at the school plays, fundraisers (especially kicked major Ass there!) and International Days were most Fun!  Two years they finally included Iranian dance, music and food, on International Days.  While 4 years in a row, Alone, I fundraised nearly as much as all other parents in 3 classes put together did.  Heck I hit George Lucas for a donation of $7000 for our Runathon when my kid was in 5th grade :o) 


Fariba joon

by sima on

please do keep writing about these "mundane" issues. Really and truly for a long time I have wished somebody would bring up questions of bringing up kids from the perspective of people like us. Here's a link to a blog that makes a reference to Iranian kids in a public school here:


Fariba Lotfi


by Fariba Lotfi on

I am laughing and truely getting MOFTAKHAR! 

I am so happy to hear that i am not the only one with this mundane issues that "mesle khore roohe adam ra mikhorad va dar ham mishekanad!!"

Sima jan,  i hear your pain.  I was also thrown into the pot because of kids.  The real pain of being an immigrant is not the academics, the work, or the language barrier.  It is the subtle cold shoulder and the rejection that you sense from the "mainstream." ocne  you have kids and start to take them to the local Y, soccer practice, or swim lessons.  That is where you get to truely interact with other parents and it is only then that you see how they see you.  I totally agree that one has to stand above it all; in my privacy i have chuckled a lot on some super ignorant comments i hear once in a while.  But, in all honestly, i cant say that it does not hurt.  After all, we all need to belong, right?

Monda jan, i am sure you are well-liked in your school!  A persian mom, who is intelligent, well-educated, psychologist with a heart, with a successful kid (i am guessing from the other blog) who shuns the ignorant tall blonds with penaut size brain?!  I would have just loved to hear your comments in some of those PTO sessions!

Yolanda dear, you are so absolutely correct.  It is a shame that the public schools are not doing their job that would be educating the children in the area of science, math, and technologies.  I cant say that about our school district though, because it is one of the best in the nation and that is why we are in this town despite its arrogant white attitude.

Nikki khanoom--Kheyley kandidam, mercy for your witty comment:)



Na babba bikaari!?

by Monda on

I managed to shun all the ignorant snobs in our school district beautifully. And I'm proud of it. I mean I would volunteer where my heart was, i.e. in the classrooms, on field trips, etc. but Never where there was arrogance especially of the racial/ethnic or any stereotypical type.  No Don't Go!



by yolanda on

Wow! I love your blog! Super interesting! It is funny that these parents are whining about the district has to raise the expectations! The truth is that American high school education lags behind many countries in Math. They are way behind Japan, Iran, Singapore, S Korea, China, Hong Kong, Germany, India etc.....I think they should work extra hard to keep up with other countries.....

    Your blog also reminds me of Sara Palin. She left University of Hawaii 'cause she felt uncomfortable with Asians! 

Delaram Banafsheh (Yolanda)

"Cactus in the Desert"

Niki Tehranchi

Hell to the No!

by Niki Tehranchi on

In the immortal words of Stefanie Tanner: "How rude!"


Heck NO!

by sima on

Don't go.

I love this blog. I have experienced this so many times myself. I have decided to withdraw from the company of my kids' friends' parents (and similar types) as much as possible.

My story is this: I had a kid really late (at 43) so already I don't fit in age- and experience-wise with the most of the other parents. In addition to that, before I had a kid I was never even exposed to mainstream America. I was always on the margins: academia, arts, radicals, that sort of thing. Then suddenly I had a kid and I was thrown into the mainstream -- some of it is inevitable, you know.

Then the kid gets older and wants his own friends and I can't impose on him the kids whose parents I like. So I have to put up with some very uninteresting and as far as I'm concerned profoundly ignorant (generally "white") people. But I have made it a conscious decision not to expose myself to them a second more than I absolutely have to.

You don't have to join their stupid book club. What the fuck do they know about books anyway?