Sherri's Story

Pedram is angry and hurt, because he feels Sherri is treating him like a teenager who doesn't know what's good for him


Sherri's Story
by Nazy Kaviani

* From the "Kissing All The Frogs" Series.

Sherri's phone rings incessantly. She won't pick it up and she pretends like it isn't ringing. It rings five times and clicks over to her voice mail, and just when it seems like the caller has given up, it starts ringing again. It is driving me crazy. I say: "Maybe it's an emergency." She looks at the Caller ID and says: "No. It's Pedram." Pedram? The young chap Sherry has been seeing privately for the past six months? I thought she had said that little arrangement was going really well. My mind is full of questions. She finally says: "Let me unplug this phone and I will explain."

My friend, Sherri, is beautiful. She is an athlete who has been running marathons since college. She is slim and petite, with beautiful long hair, huge eyes, and pouty lips. Married briefly and divorced, she never had any children and this is one part of her life with which she feels the most at peace. She is a university lecturer and earns enough to live in a posh high-rise, drive a nice European car, vacation far, and dress very well. Going out on dates has never been a problem for her as between her looks, her work and her hobbies, she is exposed to many men who ask her out. She says she just hasn't met the right guy to settle down with yet.

A few months ago she met a young Iranian man through work. The handsome graduate student and Sherri hit it off really well, and Sherri and Pedram started a sexual relationship. They would meet up at either his place or hers a couple of nights a week, have a meal, and sleep together. Sherri did not want any more out of this relationship, as she is 43 and he is 32 years old.

Recently, though, Pedram has started having feelings for Sherri, asking to see her more often during the week, talking to her about his feelings and his thoughts, and a couple of times he has shown signs of jealousy when he suspected Sherri was going out with other men. Sherri decided to end the relationship as she was not interested in having a romantic relationship with Pedram.

She says Pedram is a handsome young man with his whole career and future ahead of him. He should date and marry a woman closer to his own age so that they can have a family together, something Sherry does not want with Pedram. Pedram is angry and hurt, because he feels Sherri is treating him like a teenager who doesn't know what's good for him. He says Sherri doesn't look or act her age and if he doesn't see her as an "older woman," why should she? He further feels it is utterly condescending of Sherri to tell him what is good for him.

Sherri says Pedram is a refined man who has both looks and smarts, and that whatever he may feel for her is just a temporary state of infatuation which will pass, leaving him with a woman 11 years older than him. How would he feel in ten years, in twenty? What would he tell his family? She says she never let herself develop any feelings other than friendship for Pedram. The sex is great, she says, but that's not all that relationships are all about. She says she is looking for a partner with whom she can do things, go out, and hang out, and that man cannot be Pedram, for to be seen with him in public, she would feel forced to explain or to accept the looks and innuendos, something she can't tolerate.

Sherri reaches out to plug in the telephone. As soon as the phone is plugged in, it starts ringing again. There is a hurt man on the other end.

*Names, places, and other identifying attributes of this series' characters are made-up and a work of fiction. The relationship and the dilemma at the heart of each story is true and that's all that is true.



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Nazy Kaviani

Dear All

by Nazy Kaviani on

What a good debate!

First, some points about the perceived flaws in my character development:

1. "Pettite women don't win marathons." I have no comment about this one, except to say that describing Sherri's athletic nature paints a picture of the vibrant, active, and fit woman that Sherri is, a helpful piece of information about the initial attraction and the continuing relationship. This brings me to your comment, No Hand Bag Jan, emmmm, exercise does not make people pooped and disinterested in sex! And I think a 43-year old woman can keep up with a 32-year old man alright, but I don't have any actual proof to provide, other than my story!

2. University lecturers don't make enough money to live well. So, O.K. By now you all know that her name isn't Sherri and she really isn't a university lecturer, because I have changed all of those facts about Sherri, BUT, Rajab Jan, come on, have some imagination here! She could have had some inheritance money, couldn't she? She could have had some divorce settlement money, no? She could have worked on Wall Street for years and returned to academia after she got tired of the rat race. She could have a consulting job on the side, do you agree? Now, read my next point!

3. Relationships as economic choice: now consider the following. Over the past decade, there has been a rise in the number of younger men who marry older women inside Iran. Did you know that? As a matter of fact, I personally know of a woman marrying a man 11 years her junior in Tehran. I'm afraid the reason for this reversal of a long-established norm is not an overnight social development which has broken the taboo. It has to do with younger men without financial prospects seeking and marrying women from better off families and means to improve their economic prospects, regardless of those women's ages. Do you remember Iranian society's approach to divorced women, the 'damaged goods!?' To be sure, never-before-married young men (pesar) would never consider marrying a divorced woman in the past. It just wasn't done! All of that has changed and it is possible to see young divorced women marrying these pesars, complete with their second sets of white gowns and big weddings!

4. A much more interesting, though conniving question would have been: Is Pedram, an Iranian graduate student in search of permanent residency and someone to support him financially in the US, settling for the "older woman?" Of course that is not in my storyline and the Pedram I present really adores Sherri, but if you want to tear my story apart, at least do it right!

5. All of us could benefit from talking to a therapist, believe me! Doing psychoanalysis on the characters might be a good thing but I'm not qualified to do it. I'm just a storyteller! And you poor souls, all you have is what little I have told you about these characters in these few paragraphs. We can attempt calling them sadists and masochists and what not, but for all intents and purposes, could we just assume that both of them are pretty normal people who are struggling with some deep, personal pains?

You guys are really wonderful! You are keeping me on my toes! I will write another comment soon. Love you guys!


Maybe Pedram wants more

by Not been there, Not done that, Don't have the Handbag (not verified) on


A 32 year old man's physical needs outweigh a typical 43 year old woman's abilities. Sherri being athletic and all may be too pooped for anything more than a couple of rolls in the hay per week. He on the other hand wants more of that, hence the booty calls which Sherri may be misreading as 'lurrrrrrrve'.

Right on Ajab Rajab on the economics of it all. How did I miss that. Sherri is definitely fictional. Most professors have access to much younger stock than 32 year olds. And they are way beyond living in posh neighborhoods and fancy cars. Generally they seduce with their intellect. At least that is what I have observed.

Nazy: I love these stories. They are like word soduko. I am learning all kinds of things about Persian women I did not know. Are these women in CA? I only seem to run into frigid princesses for some reason.

Ajab Rajab : 3 men at the same time? Wow, I would need a completely separate blackberry just to keep up the appointments straight . Monday - must be Mammad, Tuesday Taghi, Wednesday - night off. Thursday Touradj, Weekend: eenie, meenie, miney, mo!



1. She is a sadist. 2. He is

by Anonymous123 (not verified) on

1. She is a sadist.

2. He is a Masochist.

3. The length of their relationship depends on the

level of their sickness. The more, the longer.

Maryam Hojjat

I think

by Maryam Hojjat on

in any relationship a man or a woman must protect oneself from hurting by taking responsibility for herself or himself.  it happened to me too but before I involved myself deeply in the relationship when I realized he is more than ten years younger than me, I told him my feeling about age difference   I told him he would be better to date a younger woman around his age. I did not hurt him and I protect myself to be hurted by being honest with myself and him.  Honesty is the best polcy in any relationship!


I have no desire to become a

by Ajab Rajab (not verified) on

I have no desire to become a Love Dr. or a Dr. Love! If people attribute something to me I did not claim it. Unlike Sarah Palin I did NOT say I am a Maverick!

It is one thing to talk about stereo typical older women/younger men relationships than about real applications.

First of all, how and when in a dating sequence does the age become known? Women tend to lower their age, so it is safe to assume that in many of these cases women lie about their age. You don't think a 42 year old is going to say she is 36 if she can pass it?!

If the age becomes known after you do the vee-waki-whoo-hoo few times what are you supposed to say? Ok time for me to wrap it up? No. Of course you try to work it out and talk more and go from there.

The excessive phone calls is when you've discussed it several times and got your answer, yet you can't shake it off.

Many of our middle aged men and women act like teenagers in these relationships. Oh I don't know. Oh it is to difficult. Oh I can't stand this pain.

In some of these occasions some women end up having 3 guys at the same time, none of which is sponge worthy! One guy wants to screw around whom you've known the longest. Second guy has just come off his own troubled relationship and wants to "relax" for a while. Third guy is the rich guy who you want but you don't know how to really deal with him.

So in the end we'll hear say sex is good and we're in it for sex since other stuff doesn't work but we can't seem to understand that if sex is the case then tezol baba talk about the sex not the "relationship"!

Sure whoever thought this was more than sex despite being told directly or indirectly several times is going to get hurt. But who cares?! S/he knew s/he be hurt, s/he just delayed the inevitable. S/he certainly deserved it, if this wasn't his/her first time.

As we say in Farsi when you tear few shirts you'll know better. No amount of haggling on phone is going to change anything and when you tear few shirts you'll realize that haggling on phone IS actually a BIG no NO, as in a white foreheaded cow/bull!



by did it twice (not verified) on

don't get mad at many Irooni men do you know who are dating or married to women older then themselves or even their own age? Doing her is great, even an honor to boast about, but marrying an older woman is not cool among irooni men.


To my fellow readers and

by kouroshS (not verified) on

To my fellow readers and observers.

did it twice

You are giving such short shrift to iranian men by making such a false and shallow statement about iranian men. what are you trying to suggest? That other men don't give a flying you know what about their manhood and live like saints all their lives? I guess the same can be said about irooni women who become so easily penetrable when they leave iran, to preserve their femininity?

American wife.

Not that i am in any way in favor of such relationships, But to be fair, i suppose the chances of pedram not changing his mind and sticking with not wanting children as well, because he may just really love her, are exactly the same. he will change because of that love.

Azadeh khanom

I wish that everything thatyou mentioned here ,would really have a chance to materialize and such issues would have been resolved in the minds of these older women. But, sadly that is such wishful thinking. Such ideas and feelings, are so well-established in their heads that they would do anything to preserve them. IT is not about being spontaneous and enjoying and appreciating the love that they may feel,or going with what they feel at the moment, it is about a sense of honor and not acting against their own beliefs. It is so firmly -entrenched. As i said , I experienced it firsthand.

And last but not least...To ajab Rajab. The new Dr. Love on the block:)

Dude. If a relationship is not good for one party and if he/she is determined to break it off, making an issue about getting many phone calls a day and claiming that your boundries need be respected, and how on that basis you'd expect to be dealing with a needy partner in the future, is just a LAME excuse for breaking up. Very lame.
Look. If you are not too big on committements, deep down you will find an excuse to break away and that is one those excuses.

I am sure there are so many points of incompatibilty that he/she could use as a reason for ending the relationship.


Nazy jan

by IRANdokht on

Having been there myself, I think She's right not to make the decision that would cause her more hurt feelings and heartbreak in the future. Some people are more spontaneous in their romantic lives and some are more practical and driven by logic. I am not sure which is better and most my romantic, spontaneous friends do lecture me about it all the time...

I believe Pedram will some day realize that she did know what made him happier!

Very nice story and a great story-telling style!



Why men don’t make good relationship advisors

by Male Advisor (not verified) on

In my opinion petite women don’t make good marathon runners on a comparative level. Of course they have been participants in these events for many years but there has never been any petite marathon, or any other distances, champions. So, my advise to this woman is to give up on marathon and participate in a sport more suitable for her physique.

American Wife

With few exceptions, the older woman/younger man

by American Wife on

relationship just doesn't work out.  I think there is more reluctance from the woman than the man.  For all the reasons stated in the story and below, Sherri is simply not secure enough to deal with the issues that certainly will arise in this relationship.  It would be hard if it were even a couple of years... but certainly would stand a better chance.  But the biggest issue is not going to be the age at all.  Sherri stated right off the bat that she doesn't want children.  It would be extremely selfish for her to continue seeing Pedram if she knows he DOES.  Even if he says he doesn't, what if he changes his mind and she's already committed herself to him.  Lord...too many problems to figure out.  Mark it up as a good time and move on.  He'll thank her later.

peace out


zan amrikai

by did it twice (not verified) on

i'm reading the commnts here and I love it that people are talking about this.To answer your question,yes once you have had sex with a younger man it's hard to have sex with older men.But that is if you are with a man only for sex.When you are in love everything changes.To answer the other question: of course that's how men feel, too. Sex with a young woman is an Irooni man's trophy for his manhood,whenever and wherever he can find it.This is why so many affairs and sighehs(in Iran) happen.

Most young men don't want to fall in love and marry an older woman.They want to check off 'did it with older woman' on their list of things they fantacise about.


Nazy jan

by Feshangi on

I think Sherri needs to stop looking out so much and pay more attention to what is happening inside her heart.  The importance of the age difference and how people judge her if she is seen with this younger man are distant second to what she feels about him and he about her.  There are millions of happy older women who are married to younger men and also there many more millions of miserable younger women married to older men.  So that could not be the sole yardstick for a happy relationship.    I think Sherri is too selfish and controlling for letting  this poor man suffer the way he is and she should  grow up and feel responsible like a grown up human being and act her age.  




First of all a "University

by Ajab Rajab (not verified) on

First of all a "University Lecturer" does not make enough money to "live in a posh high-rise, drive a nice European car, vacation far, and dress very well." :-)

She probably lives in a garden style apartment, drives a used car, vacations downtown and buys from clearance racks!

But who is counting?! Anyway, if your prospective significant other calls you over and over again and wants to spend hours on the phone, you ditch him/her!

Problem is when you don't respond to his/her phone calls s/he gets more worked up and wants you more even if you don't want him/her. The part about compulsive phone calls should always be a deal breaker. Imagine what will happen when you become committed. How demanding, needy and pain in the ass s/he is going to become!

Now as far as being the older woman and just sex being good, well imagine that! Imagine after she receives 2 dozens "missed calls" she finally responds to one of them and agree to meet and have sex! Okay have dinner and then sex, same thing.

It just won't work. Besides if she is such a catch she should be able to find better men. Maybe she suffers from the same forgiving syndrome or was a late bloomer.

You should part ways with someone you know is not going to work for you. The sooner the better. The longer you wait the "harder" it becomes and the more headaches your friends are going to get repeating the same advice over and over!

Bottom line, a 43 year old should know better. Same goes for the 32 year old!

Zan Amrikai

Azadeh, good post!

by Zan Amrikai on

First, love the photo you have next to your name, Azadeh!  You look like an intriguing woman. 

Second, I think your first paragraph is quite perceptive with regard to Sherri's calculator-based "love."  I think if a woman has been left for another woman, her level of trust--regardless of how great the new/next man may be--is going to be shot when it comes to the security of the relationship.  You may think it's a matter of need for psychotherapy, and I guess, in some ways, it may be.  Eventually, it does in fact come down to learning to live with open hands and heart, and living in the present moment.  Still, there is such a worldwide historical frowning upon older woman/younger man combination (unless she is some disdained seductress) for a "real" relationship, that it makes overcoming the social disapproval and expectation(s) of failure that much harder.

But you are right in that she sounds like she doesn't have room to let her guard down and have real love, which may be what Pedram really has for her.  To lose out on that would be a shame. And as someone who has been the Sherri in this story, all I can say is it makes going with an older man a lot less attractive! I  wonder if men feel this way after they have dated a younger woman!

Azadeh Azad

Controlling woman

by Azadeh Azad on

I believe that Sherri lacks spontaneity in her romantic relationships, lives in a traditional box, and is a controlling woman. She constantly carries with her a calculator into which she enters all the factors that would, in her own mind, prevent her from having a satisfactory love relationship with Pedram, as if love or happiness is compatible with calculations and control!

Sherri considers her being older than Pedram problematic in two ways:

1) "whatever he may feel for her is just a temporary state of infatuation which will pass". How does she know that? Or "How would he feel in ten years, in twenty?" Well, nobody knows how we would feel towards anyone in ten or twenty years. Even if she were 11 years younger than him, she would not be able to know (and control) how he would feel about her in the future. How could she assume that in ten or twenty years he will not love her anymore? Is their relationship based on her looks alone? Does she think that she is the only one who will age? There are plenty of 50 year-old women who look and act like 35 year-olds. She is very insecure and as a result, wants to control the relationship in its enfolding, even in its future!!!

2) "to be seen with him in public, she would feel forced to explain or to accept the looks and innuendos, something she can't tolerate." Why is she so dependent on what other people think or say? Why does she feel that she has to explain anything to anyone? Why doesn’t she establish her personal boundaries with her family members, friends and acquaintances? Why doesn’t she open up to Pedram and tell him about her own insecurities and inability to be spontaneous and truly loving (i.e., not calculating and not controlling), instead of becoming condescending and disrespectful towards him by telling him what is good and what is bad for him?

One cannot build a loving relationship based on something that might happen in the future or on what other people might think or say. If Pedram knows about her not wanting to have children and doesn’t mind it, then she needs to realise that what prevents her from being with him is her own unresolved issues.

I believe that seeking psychotherapy would be beneficial to Sherri and to all the frogs she might want to kiss! :-)




You are most welcome.

by kouroshs (not verified) on


As i said before i am very pleased to be taking part in these rounds of discussion and it beefs up my knowledge on the issue.
I agree with everything that you said just up to the point where you commended her for being a detached one. I don't really give her credit for that. It is not clear whether in the beginning there was some sort of agreemnet between them as to what to name their little escapade. If there weren't such a thing, then i place the blame on sherri for not coming clean and make sure he understood what the deal was going to be. I am pretty sure that is the case since we have a hurt man on our hands.

You are great yourself and thanx for the opportunity.

Zan Amrikai

It's difficult

by Zan Amrikai on

It's difficult to have such a socially unacceptable age gap.  You are right, Nazyjoon, that it's just FINE for the man to be MUCH older than the woman, but the other way around is like something people will whisper about and think the guy must be sick.  WHY?

But, if he wants children, and she doesn't...if he is going to be 40 when she is 50 something...if he's going to be 50 when she's 60 something...she is already thinking, "He will leave me for a younger woman." And which of us wants that?  None of us does.

It's easy to love someone, regardless of the age difference, if you get along and enjoy one another's company.  It is hard to come to terms with loving that man enough to let him go so that he can have his own, happier life, with someone younger who can give him what he wants.  But then, what about the Ashton Kutchers--and other men--who truly DO love the older woman and are NEITHER sick/warped nor are they fooling themselves?  When and how do we give any credence to that relationship?


Young Frog Kissing

by Not been there, Not done that, Don't have the handbag (not verified) on

I believe the term used for these arrangements is "friends with benefits" or "fxxx buddy". Food and sex are shared -- nothing else. The younger one falls for the older one, of course; irrespective of gender. The bigger the age gap, the steeper the fall. Oedipal issues? Mommy/Daddy complex? who knows.

It may be a middle-aged woman's fantasy but to have the guy then fall in love with her - nothing short of a nightmare.

Anything done in secret is kind of spooky don't you think? Not to mention that if she were to flaunt the fact that she uses men for sex, the chances of her landing a 'real relationship' will be somewhat limited - hence the hypocrisy.

I laud the Cougar option - at least it is honest. Rock on Demi.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Kourosh S.

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for coming back to visit and for leaving another honest and thoughtful comment. I must also thank you for sharing your personal story.

As I was writing this story, I knew this one would touch on an issue too hard for most people to understand or with which to relate. Iranian women who have been in similar situations would seldom admit it openly, because "telling" defies the very "secretive" nature of the types of relationships older women/younger men have. Some of this secrecy may have to do with the nature of this relationship, a purely sexual relationship and sex is a private matter. Some of it may also have to do with other social requirements we tend to have, such as "aberoo daari," which is almost never ensured when a younger man and an older woman love each other. While it is perfectly acceptable and a relatively normal occurence for a man to be 11 years older than a woman, the reverse is a taboo, an unacceptable scene.

Like you, I also believe this is a losing game and that there isn't a happily-ever-after awaiting Sherri and Pedram. In that sense I commend Sherri for being the detached one. I actually know of another couple where the older woman truly, madly, and deeply loved the younger man and that one was a mess nobody could untangle!

Among my friends, a few relationships between women who are a few years older than their partners has worked out beautifully, too. I guess it all depends on the two people in the relationship and what each of them is looking for. This story, however, is unfortunately another case of kissing the wrong frog in my humble opinion.

Thanks again for coming. You are great!


I think......

by KouroshS (not verified) on

It maybe a bit premature to say this right now, but i think that this nice young fellow with a great future ahead of him and others like him, should take the hint and take an early exit and LISTEN to the lady.
The non-fictional version of this story, of course minus the early hot and spicey sexual affair, happened to me personally , I identify with pedram so well, SO WELL, and despite all the highs and the lows and good times that would last for some time and abruptly would turn into not-so-good times, Me pretended that me was not reading the signs on the wall and unfortunately set myself up for a masssive heartbreak. Out of the 4 years of being together, The net amount of happiness and enjoyment was not longer than 1 year. The rest was spent in torturing myself.

anyways, To all Pedrams out there, Leave while you can. Find someone your own age because sooner or later this ship will sink, deeeeeeeep into the sea.