Boy Meets Girl (I)

I was recently inspired by some nostalgic posts by Jahanshah, Monda, Majid, and Javad to review some memories of my youth.  I thought I would share a story with you.  This is a little long, so I will publish it in two parts.  Part II 

In the Tehran suburb neighborhood where I grew up, everybody knew everybody.  I don’t mean the next door neighbors or the neighbors down the street.  Everybody knew everybody in the entire suburban neighborhood!  To be exact, my father knew everybody and everybody knew my father and our family.  This made a lot of things easier for us as children of that household, as people always greeted us by name and local merchants were always attentive to us.  But it was also a hassle, as we couldn’t really get too naughty and do “bad” things because we would be immediately recognized and reported to our parents!  Going out with boys and being rowdy on the street, and engaging in mischievous behavior, therefore, was a bit awkward because my mother would soon get wind of it and I’d have hell to pay!  Around the age of 15, then, I decided to tell my mother everything I did and everywhere I went.  I knew half the time she wouldn’t give me permission to go, but when she did for the other half, I was home free!

Among the many boys in our neighborhood, there was a skinny boy named Mehrdad.  At 16, one year older than me when I first met him, he was funny and brave, and drove a beat-up old Jian, even though he didn’t have a driver’s license yet.  My mother was friends with Mehrdad’s mother, so when I started talking to her about Mehrdad and occasionally hanging out with him on our street, she didn’t seem alarmed by the friendship.  Perhaps in her wiser state, she could see that this friendship was not a boy-girl type of relationship, the type that was seriously supervised and disdained by families at the time, but that it was a friendship without emotional (read physical!) attraction. So she allowed it to go on.

Mehrdad and I were basically up to no good, but in a good way! We would get together and smoke and talk about boys, girls, our friends, our incomplete and ignored homework, and about anything and everything under the sun. Mehrdad taught me how good it is to have a friend from the opposite sex, who doesn’t want to hold you and kiss you and date you but instead, just wants to talk to you to find out what you think.  He taught me about how boys thought, what they felt and what made them do the things they did without any inhibitions or reservations, I guess because we had no stakes in each other.  I learned then how important it is to have male friends who are just friends.  I could ask Mehrdad anything and he would try to answer me, albeit in his limited wisdom and experience!

As years went by, our lives and experiences would change shape, also.  Mehrdad was attending a co-ed high school in Tehran.  His stories about his high school life were becoming a lot more interesting than mine, attending a comparatively boring all-girls high school!  Sometimes we would meet up after school and go have lunch before going home together, talking about life all the time.

In his school, Mehrdad had many boy and girl classmates, and he told me about them all the time.  His best friend at school was Vahid, whom he really adored.  He was forever telling me stories about the games he and Vahid played and how much fun they had.  One winter, for several weeks Mehrdad was telling me how Vahid had fallen in love with a girl.  Though they had many girl classmates at school, Vahid had fallen in love with a beautiful tall girl from another all-girls school nearby, who would walk to the bus station just outside their school everyday to get on the bus home.  Vahid had noticed this girl and was desperate to somehow start talking with her, but could never find the opportunity.  The girl would hardly ever look at her surroundings, would walk alone and fast to the bus station and disppear everyday.  Mehrdad told me about Vahid’s waiting by his school everyday to watch the girl come and go without a word.  He told me Vahid had become quiet and very sad with the love of this mysterious girl who wouldn’t even look at him, let alone talk to him.  Mehrdad thought Vahid was seriously obsessed with the idea of finding a way to talk to this girl and winning her heart.  He was sad for his friend, but didn’t know what to do.  I was no help, either, of course! I wouldn’t know how to begin giving boys older than myself advice about winning a girl’s heart.

(To be continued…)

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