Summer is upon us again. For those of us who do not live in areas where it is summer year around, this is a special time. It’s when you put on your swimsuits, go the beach, have a beer and a snack while you bask in the soothing sun, dip yourself in the cold ocean water, enjoy the scenery—both animate and inanimate—and then pack up your stuff and head back home for a relaxing evening. But if you are an Iranian—or at least a certain class of Iranian—it is time for you to pick up the giant pot of loobiya polo and chicken, get dressed in a golf shirt, jeans (or perhaps even jean shorts) white tube socks and white sneakers, put your cell phone(s) on your belt clip(s), put on your make up, dress or white pants (women), pack up the car and the unfortunate—and soon to be embarrassed–kids, and drive to the beach to unload the leased BMW (or the minivan), carry the pots to the benches under the shelter by the beach, whip out the old soccer ball and look totally like the un-integrated, fresh off the boat, maladjusted [and in some extreme cases, America hating] immigrants that you are.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not singling out Iranians. There are other ethnic groups who partake in this M.O., namely Indians and Puerto Ricans. In fact, Indians kick it up a notch by showing up dressed in dress pants, dress shirt (with the easily visible wife beater underneath) and heeled dress shoes. The normal Puerto Rican attire usually consists off tight stretch shorts and tube tops for women and jean shorts with a mesh tank top in the colors of the Puerto Rican flag (or the flag itself) and–of course–multiple bling blings for men. The Puerto Rican flag shirt is, on occasion, substituted with thigh, or even knee, length striped shirt.
So, after devoting years of careful thought and consideration to this unfortunate situation, I think that I may have discovered the answer to this oddity. I think I know the answer. I have come to the realization that the above mentioned ethnic groups do not have the ability to distinguish between the beach and the park! That must be it. Otherwise, why would anyone in his/her right mind show up at the beach in 100 degree weather, completely dressed,torture his children who really, really want to jump in the water and eat hot carb rich food? Please also note the other connection: all three ethnic groups share similar food. Indian and Iranian food are of course quite similar. And we all know the passion that Puerto Ricans have for rice and beans (actually, one of my favorite ethnic foods).
But now, I am going to offer this public service for my fellow Iranians. It is time that you learned the difference between a park and a beach. I will make it as simple as possible. Please use this formula: loobiya polo + “mehmaani” or street clothes + hot day + cell phones on your belt clip + other Iranians = park. Swimsuits + snack + ocean + beer = beach. Understood? What is it you say? You’re going to be hungry at the beach? Cannot take a break from stuffing yourself with 2000 calories of white rice and greasy kabob for two hours? Afraid that your chelo kabob belly may shrink, and that it won’t hang over your belt and consequently, your cell phone(s) may fall off? Then grab a sandwich on your way to the beach. Hell, you can even make your own at home. Try a “cutlet” sandwich. You won’t have to carry a pot of loobiya polo for half a mile, and at the same time, you can still enjoy the cholesterol drenched, greasy animal fat goodness of a kabob. See how easy this could be?
Lastly, I feel compelled to address a permutation of the normal “Iranian on the beach” situation. It is where all the elements are present (including the loobiya polo), but the beach does not offer a sheltered bench and / or the aforementioned shelter is occupied by Indians or Puerto Ricans. This is where the group of Iranian families actually ends up on the sand itself (with the loobiya polo) and park themselves next to the bikini clad hottie who’s getting her tan for her upcoming date/event, etc. On occasion, the male members of the Iranian family decide that they should, in fact, take a dip, and proceed to take out the cleverly hidden swim trunks, change into them and jump in the water while the hapless women simply stare at them with a mixture of envy and disdain, too culturally embarrassed to be seen half “lokht”, even in a modest one piece, by other Iranian families. To that I say: you, the mustachioed Iranian guy, you’re a selfish, misogynistic douche. If they can’t go in the water, you should park your hairy, fat rear end on the sand next to the wife that you brought to America from Iran five years ago. This is not the Middle East, and you’re not the king.
So there! I hope that I have been educational and useful in addressing this very serious, and rather embarrassing quirk of our community. If you still cannot differentiate between the two activities….well, there’s not much that I can do for you. You are condemned to a lifetime of ridicule.
 What is the deal anyway with multiple cell phones hanging off your belt? You’re a car dealer for God’s sake!!!!