My good friend Kaveh was a difficult case! In a way, he was a mama’s boy, but it is more complicated than that. He dated many girls from different backgrounds, but could never find the special one to settle down with. He went out with the blond from the small town, the oriental beauty from the big city, the black model and the Latina hottie, but at the end he could not figure out what he was after. While he appreciated what each one of these girls had to offer, he selfishly looked for a special one that had the best traits of each. He was looking for something that just did not exist!
Kaveh’s mom wanted him to marry a nice Persian girl, somebody like her when she was young. So she rolled up her sleeves and took charge.
She had met Manijeh Khanoom at a monthly women gathering; a Doreh. Manijeh Khanoom was known to be well connected, and she definitely knew about some of the eligible men and women in the local Iranian community. Manijeh Khanoom told Kaveh’s mom about a lady that had just come from Iran to stay with her daughter, Shohreh. She thought that Shohreh would be a good match for Kaveh. She then arranged for a small dinner party at her place and invited Kaveh, his mom, Shohreh and her mom to come for a Sunday dinner.
Kaveh seemed very nervous about the set up. “What if I don’t like her or she doesn’t like me? With all the people involved, it is going to be messy and someone’s feelings will get hurt.” He had a point, I thought. So as usual, I offered my advice! “What if my roommate and I come with you? My roommate is always hungry for Persian food, so he will show up no matter what. Now, if you like the girl, just give me the signal and we would back off. But if you don’t like her, then we would turn the charm machine on and confuse the poor girl. At the end, she wouldn’t know who likes whom and you get out safely! It is like trying to carry three watermelons. She will eventually drop all of them!” Kaveh liked the idea.
The night before the party, Kaveh and I went to a new Brazilian club. There were a few Brazilian girls there, teaching everyone how to do the Lambada. So we just joined in. We told them that we were Iranians. “We love Persian food, especially Ghormeh Sabzi, the one with rice, greens, beans and meat. It is like Brazilian food, only without the sour lime. We go to Moji’s house once in a while and he cooks for us. He is an older guy. He is very nice” one of the girls said. She then made fun of our Lambada! “You guys move your hips like Iranians. Just look at me. Do it like the Brazilians!” We laughed all night. It was good for Kaveh. He completely forgot about the big event on Sunday.
We picked up Kaveh and his mom and headed towards Manijeh Khanoom’s house. Manijeh Khanoom lived with her daughter and her son-in-law in the suburbs. Kaveh’s mom brought some flowers for her. The son-in-law greeted us at the door. Their house smelled like saffron rice and other great Persian food. We knew that we were in for a wonderful dinner, no matter what happened to Kaveh!
The son-in-love had a certain smile on his face. I think that he was also excited about what was about to unfold. Men who have been married for just a few years would like to see other men get married and join their ranks. But those who have been married for a while have a totally different outlook on the whole thing!
Shohreh and her mom showed up a little later. She was cute and playful, but definitely not Kaveh’s type. After a little bit of social talk, Shohreh followed Manijeh Khanoom to the kitchen to help with the tea. My roommate whispered quietly to me, “Remember that I told you about a party last night and about some girl who had a few shots of tequila and got on the table and danced! That’s her!”
Shohreh brought the tray full of tea glasses and went around the room and offered tea to every one. She then sat down next to her mom and listened to the conversation. I thought to myself, “This is really funny! Here we have two adults. Last night, one was doing shots of tequila and dancing on the table, and the other one was doing Lambada with a bunch of wild Brazilians. And now they are both sitting quietly next to their mommies, pretending they are somebody else!”
Kaveh raised his eyebrows a couple of times to let me know that he was not interested in Shohreh. That was a signal to my roommate and me to take over. We talked about this and that and tried to engage Shohreh. She asked my roommate about his job and where he lived. Shohreh’s mom didn’t like all the attention that Shohreh was giving to me and my roommate. She was there to consummate a deal with Kaveh and his mom. Everything else was just a distraction. So when my roommate started telling Shohreh how he was a manager at a large construction company, overseeing major projects, Shohreh’s mom jumped in and said, “pas shoma sar amaleh hastin (so, you are a construction foreman!)
We burst into laughter, but didn’t say anything. My roommate had a degree in structural engineering from a tier one university and very proud of his professional accomplishments and this lady with a flower-pattern scarf called him Sar Amaleh!
The dinner table looked incredible. Manijeh Khanoom had made Khoresht e Karafs, Salad Olivieh, Tahchin and a few other things. My roommate was in heaven and he sure ate like a Sar Amaleh! He filled his plate up a couple of times and had the time of his life! We had more tea after dinner and then we all left. On the ride back, Kaveh let his mom know that he was not interested in the girl. My roommate then told Kaveh and his mom how he had seen Shohreh the night before at a party and the shots of tequila and the dancing on the table scene! Kaveh’s mom was not amused, but she agreed that Shohreh was not the right match for Kaveh.
She called Manijeh Khanoom the next day and thanked her for her hospitality. She then told her, “You know the young people theses days, god knows what they want. I don’t think that she is his type, but she comes from a good family and I want you to know that.” Manijeh Khanoom then said that she would let Shohreh’s mom know, but she was not happy. It turned out that Shohreh had expressed more interest in me and my roommate, but Kaveh’s mom did not tell us anything then. She just did not approve of young women doing shots of tequila and dance on the table for strangers!
A few years later, Kaveh took a month off from work and went back to Tehran. His mom had already lined up a few girls for him to meet. He really liked a girl from Shemroon. She was a lot younger than he was. They went out a few times and then maintained a long distance relationship. They got married 6 months later and she eventually got her visa and moved to the US. They are still married to this day. I wouldn’t say that they are happily married. But they are married.