When my mother was young, it was customary for a man reaching certain age and social status to look for a suitable wife. He would end his single life and enter a new period by searching for a hamsar through network of family and friends.
Once my mother told me about her suitors. I asked her what made her choose my father? “He made me laugh on our first meeting,” she said. That was enough for my mother to choose to live with my father for more than three decades until death separated them five years ago.
Now I find myself maturing at the age of 39, like a good wine, or better yet, a good champagne (Good wine should stay still and champaign is full of bubbles waiting to burst and bring joy to any celebration). With no help from family or friends (reasons unknown to myself), I have chosen to put myself at the mercy of all sorts of singles sites on the web. Which brings me to the subject at hand: Khaastegaari, Internet style.
Day after day I search through hundreds of available bachelors facing similar situations. I like to dress in my most positive, hopeful attire and think that these real sincere bachelors in their attempt to reach a similar goal will be at least true to their values and would prefer to write an honest description of who they are and what they are looking for in their designated profile.
Often I feel like I have hit the jackpot of life and found the “One”. After a few emails and phone conversations we decide to exchange the merchandise of reality in the platter of truth. So we meet, usually at a place like Starbucks coffeehouse (compare to the old fashion Persian tea ceremony). Then almost immediately the bubbles of excitement burst and trade seats with our old friend, disappointment.
“I said I'm 42 but my actual age is 49 though I look 42 … I don't even understand what it means to have a sense of humor … And in case I forgot to mention, here's a picture of my children from my previous failed marriage…” etc.
As the conversation goes on I get lower and lower in my seat and can not wait for the date to be over so I can get back to what my cousin calls the “comfort zone” and continue to finish reading my book. The next day I pray for another promising email from another available bachelor.
I think to myself, Why? How? When and Where? There are no answers but there is a flicker of hope. I decide to continue to work on myself; be a better, wiser person. Learn to grow mentally and spiritually and work on my values and ethics.
I feel alone but not lonely. There are always good friends and relatives. Their love and affection will keep me going until I find my true soul mate. I want someone who can be a good friend, husband and father. Someone who is a respected member of society. Someone like my beloved father.
My New Year's wish for all Iranian singles is that they find their true soul mate and hamsafar out there. I pray for us to be happier, healthier and kinder. I pray for more acceptance, tolerance, compassion and love. I hope we can all find our match in the big family of the Internet.
And remember Sohrab Sepehri when he said: “Taa shaghaayegh hast, zendegi baayad kard.” (As long as there are wild poppies, one must live.)