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A lot of barking
But no real action against U.S. visa restrictions

By Behrooz Parsa
April 24, 2002
The Iranian

There must be a god. I am absolutely sure about that now, even if there was the slightest amount of doubt in my mind before. Perhaps he did this to prove his presence to me. Oh god, thank you for being so great at solving problems. You must be familiar with the "root-cause-analysis" technique. You are just wonderful. You got to the root cause of my problems and came up with the most effective corrective action.

Side note: I would like to remain anonymous please, and you will soon find out why. If there is any leak of my real identity, and if that causes a marital problem for me, you and or all your accomplices are liable, and I will sue you for everything you've got. Of course, I will wait until your business picks up a bit. I don't believe I will collect much from you these days, at least not yet.

Back to my story with the surprisingly great ending.

I have to give you an introduction to the philosophy, attitude and life style of my wife and her beloved family. Don't take me wrong, I love them dearly. But we just have some differences in perception. They, my wife's family, don't do much of anything for anyone. They always think the whole world, including the Shah, and current mollas, owe them something.

Let's start with my wife. Without bragging or anything, she has had no accomplishments since she married me, which was probably her only accomplishment in life, which was no accomplishment if you ask me. She doesn't like school. She believes education is for ugly girls. She believes work is for tractors. She doesn't believe in balancing the checkbook to see if there is enough money in the account before writing the next check. She thinks there should always be plenty of money in there. She likes vacations and mehmoonies, and every mehmooni needs a new dress, of course.

Her entire family thinks, believes and behaves the same way. It's like they have all been cloned. They come here often, and stay with you acting like they are doing you a favor. Then they complain when you can't take off from work as much as they like you to, so you may keep them company or take them to places.

You hear this sentence from them at least once a day: "Evaa shomaa cheghadr kaar mikoneed. In ham shod zendegi? Aadam magar chand saal zendast?" Then they tell you how their other daughter who has married a doctor in Iran is much better off, because they have a Mercedes and they vacation by the Caspian every chance they get, including the whole summer. They also have a maid.

Then they complain that you wake them up when you get up in the morning to go to work. My wife -- the mouthpiece of the entire clan -- complains: "Do you have to wake the whole world up when you go to work? Can't you be more quiet? We stay up till 3 am. Do we ever wake you up? Can't you be a little more considerate?"

Anyway, they are great people and fun to be around. They never take anything in life too seriously. They have a carefree and live-to-be-150-years type of life style. I wish I could do that too, but unfortunately my boss doesn't have a great sense of humor. He may fire me if I try to live like them for just for a week.

I don't dare to tell my wife that if her parents and other family members don't like my house or my life style, they can leave any time they want. I would even throw a grand party for them. I would even take a few days off and take them to Niagara Falls. You know what I mean, if you're familiar with the situation. Divorce, child custody battle, alimony, child support and a thousand other headaches is not worth it.

You grin and bear until they start getting homesick, or the grandchildren back in Iran get sick of waiting for their gifts and start calling and demand their return. So finally the bright and happy day comes and they get ready to leave. Now you are pretending to be so sad, and your wife, knowing how you feel, gives you the look of "F. you (khar khodeti), don't you dare coming near me tonight. Stay the heck out of my side of the bed."

Then they leave, you take a deep breath, and say to yourself: "Next year is many months away. They may not even come back next year. They may go and stay with their son in New York next time. Let's not worry about the future. As Omar Khayyam says, 'But today is a better day, a different day'. It is all over now.

I read on the Internet that the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act which passed unanimously (97-0) in the Senate late Thursday, April 18, prohibits admission of people from Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan and Libya. That's it. I don't need to read anymore. That is what made me a believer again. It was an answer to my prayers.

All I need to do now is to rant about it on the phone to my father-in-law, then with my mother-in-law. Then I will ask them to use some of the powerful friends they always brag about, to write to the Senate and complain that this law will only hurt the peace loving, pro-American portion of the Iranian population. Then I will tell them that I will ask all my friends to sign a petition and mail it to my senators.

I have to pretend I have genuinely been disappointed with this new development, and that I am very heartbroken that they can no longer come to the States and visit us. In private I will send a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein and thank her for introducing such a great bill and make a donation to her re-election campaign if she promises to keep up the good work.

Being an Iranian and knowing my people intimately, I'm sure they won't do a damn thing to reverse this bill even if they could. Just like my in laws and I, a lot of barking and no action. So everything will be just fine. INLAWS NO MORE! FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST! From now on I will pay more attention to what goes on in the Senate. They are not that useless after all.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the writer Behrouz Parsa


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