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The rules
... of dating Iranian women

By Siamack Baniameri
November 8, 2000
The Iranian

I'm not the smartest guy out there and when god was teaching her creatures common sense, I came down with a bad flu and called in sick that day.

They say, "the path to success comes from being either booksmart or streetsmart." My problem is that I don't read much and I almost never wander the streets. But, the key word is "smart" which, is something that I am not very familiar with. However, the weakest skill in my limited arsenal must be my social skills. My lack of social skills didn't become apparent to me until I started dating an Iranian woman.

Dating an American woman does not require many social skills. First of all, you don't have to deal with her dad, mom, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, grand parents, nieces, nephews, family friends, neighbors, butcher, milkman, etc. Dating an American woman is like a game of tennis. It's one on one. Chances are pretty good that her parents live in some far away state and she has limited contact, if any, with her immediate family.

However, dating an Iranian woman is like a game of football. You constantly bump into other players. It's a full contact sport. Unexpected slide tackles; violent kicks, tripping, pushing and shoving are all common.

It's easy for me to get away with just about anything with American women so long as I use being a foreigner as an excuse. "Sorry babe, I didn't know remembering birthdays is an American tradition. Thank you for educating me on this." Or, "Oh really? So you buy flowers on Valentine's Day?"

I also make up cultural lies like, "Honey, going out to nightclubs with the boys till 3 a.m. and coming home shit-faced is an old Iranian tradition that goes back 2,500 years. You know I'm a fool for traditions." Or, "We Iranians get in touch with our inner self by taking road trips to Las Vegas."

But, Iranian women don't let me get away with anything. They just don't buy any of my lies.

For a person like me who always looks for short cuts in life, dating Iranian women is a great chore. But, this particular Iranian woman was important to me. Therefore, I sought help from my friend Javad who claims to be an authority on dating Iranian women.

I told Javad I needed help developing strategy to avoid roadblocks thrown at me mostly by her family. I required a solid plan to keep this woman interested, fascinated, even infatuated. He asked me to meet him at a coffee shop. He ordered a large Java and sat down in front of me. He was looking at me like my fifth grade math teacher.

He started by saying, "Remember, an Iranian woman feels loved and secure when the family respects her boyfriend. Demand respect by projecting false and pretentious demeanors. Make her family think you are destined for greatness. Avoid conversations that require actual knowledge or understanding of the subject. Always show up late for events or gatherings. Always carry a key chain with a BMW or Porsche logo on it; leave the key chain somewhere visible to everyone."

I cut him off. "Woah! Slow down man; what does a key chain have to do with anything?"

"You date American girls," Javad barked. "You don't understand how Iranian girls operate. It's all about family with these girls. You get accepted by the family, you are automatically accepted by her."

Javad looked serious now. He looked as if he was explaining rocket science to a five-year-old.

"I'm going to share with you years of experience in dating Iranian women. Just listen and shut up." He sipped his coffee and continued, "Never say to an Iranian woman, 'My mom's ghormeh sabzi is better than your mom's.' Always compliment her mom's cooking even if you spent the whole night hugging the toilet bowl after one of her mom's dinner parties. When discussing weight loss programs with her mom, never say, 'You want to lose weight? How about staying off that Basmati rice for the next 20 years.' Always tell her mom how beautiful she looks. When it comes to gossiping, NEVER out-perform her mom. Always look interested in what her mom says even if she repeats herself a hundred times. Tell her mom that your aspiration in life is to help orphan children."

"What are you talking about?" I yelled.

"Shut up. I know what I'm talking about! Charm her dad by using meaningless words while discussing politics. Tell him that all our problems are as a direct result of foreign interventions in Iran's internal affairs in the last 500 years. Blame everything on the British or the Americans and reassure him that his generation had nothing to do with the problems our country faces today. Boost her dad's ego by mentioning -- several times -- how impressive his Mercedes Benz looks and what a great house he owns. Never greet her dad by saying, 'WAZZZZUUUPPP' or, 'YO, how's it hangin?' Tell her dad you are seriously considering medical school. You and I know damn well that your GPA isn't good enough to even get you to a culinary school but they don't have to know that. Tell her dad you are negotiating intensely for that high-level management position and your job at the gas station is only a hobby."

"You're sick," I said.

"Listen to me! I'm giving you juice you can't buy for a million dollars," Javad shouted. He was getting serious now. He looked like someone possessed by some magical power. He sipped his coffee eagerly and rambled on, "Never tell her brother, 'Dude, what were you thinking? Everybody knows you meet psychos on the Internet.' Speak to him as an equal, even though you think he's the biggest dork on the face of planet. Try not to laugh when he tells you he has a doctorate from some Caribbean university. Wipe the smile off your face before telling him that your interest in his sister is emotional, not sexual. When you're at the nightclub with him, don't jump out of your seat and say, 'Ouch, I'd like to get me some of that!' Tell him you have made a small fortune in the market by investing in blue chips."

"What's a blue chip?"

"I'm not exactly sure but it sounds important."

I was confused. This was way too much for me to remember and some of it sounded fishy. I stood up and thanked him for his time.

"Wait, I haven't covered the rest of the family yet!"

"Later, dude."

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