Will You Marry Me?


Will You Marry Me?
by Faramarz

There comes a time in a man’s life when he decides that he has had enough fun and excitement and the time is right to settle down and get married! At that point, no matter what his better judgment or his good buddies tell him, he will do as he believes and asks a nice girl to marry him!

Here is the story of my coming of age! Well, Sort of!

I had just put my Japanese girlfriend Ayako on the JAL flight back to Tokyo a week earlier and was wondering what to do next when my good friend’s wife Parisa called and invited me to their kid’s birthday party.

Ayako had come to the States to learn English but she wasn’t really good at it! I probably learned more Japanese from her than she learned English from her school! I met her at a club and after going out on a couple of dates, she brought her suitcase to my house and stayed there! I didn’t like how she spread her clothes and stuff all over my place but couldn’t complain! I guess it was her way of claiming the territory! After a month, I decided that the time was right for her to go, so I asked her to call the airline and make the arrangements on the open ticket. A few days later, I dropped her off in front of the International Terminal, gave her a big hug and kiss and drove away!

I was always annoyed by the Christmas parties, the family gatherings and picnics at my work! Everybody showed up with their wives or girlfriends and when I came with some date or a “floozy”, the nosy receptionist would ask me if she was “the one!” I didn’t like that. I wanted to bring my partner and soul-mate to the parties and have everyone meet her and congratulate me. So I finally decided that the time was right for me to throw in the towel and get married!

My good friend’s wife Parisa had been on my case for a while! She was the one that wanted to introduce me to some nice Iranian girls. But her only condition was that I needed to be serious! No hanky panky! At the party, Parisa told me about her colleague Nastaran. “She is so beautiful and smart and everybody loves her at work! She wants to marry an Iranian man. Her parents are very conservative though. She was fasting during Ramazan! Isn’t that cute?” We set up a lunch date at a Chinese Hunan place near their work.

Nastaran was beautiful, intelligent and simple at the same time. She wore no make up and was as innocent as a woman can get. Once in a while she would give me a shy smile and a quick glance. I was on my best behavior! All the jokes were G-rated, completely scrubbed!

After lunch Parisa called me and asked what I thought of her. I wasn’t sure but I was intrigued. She was so different from the other women that I had dated. Parisa said that it would be ok for me to call her at work and take her out for lunch.

She lived with her parents. Her grandmother lived with them too. We went out for lunch a couple of times. One time she insisted that she would bring the lunch, so she did. We went to the mall, sat in the food court and had her mom’s Gheymeh Polo. That sealed the deal! We then walked around the mall and had ice cream! Imagine that! I was so well-behaved that I even surprised myself!

The following week when I asked her out to see a movie on a Saturday night, she said that I should come to her house with my parents so that the families can meet each other and after that we could go out on weekends! This was all so new to me! I assumed that all good and family-oriented girls are like that!

I called my parents and told them about her. They were so excited about the prospect of me getting serious and at the same time were thrilled about being included in the process! I had never asked for their advice before!

We arrived at Nastaran’s house on a Saturday afternoon. Her father met us at the door. He looked me over, shook hands with my father and me and then lowered his head and greeted my mother without shaking hands or looking at her! Her mother was standing a few steps back. She wore a colorful head scarf. She greeted my parents, checked me out from the corner of her eyes, but did not shake hands either. It became quite clear to me that her parents were very religious and conservative.

We sat in the living room and Nastaran brought the tea. Her grandma came after a few minutes. She said that she was praying. She was wearing a chador. She sat on a chair in the corner of the room and didn’t say much. I looked at her a couple of times and smiled. One time I noticed that she was holding her prayer beads and her lips were moving as if she was praying. Then she blew in my direction! I think that she was putting a spell on me! That completely distracted me. All these mental images of Voodoo and witchcraft raced through my mind! I was flattered that I had become the subject of desire!  

They served us a great dinner and then we left. In the car, my parents were quiet. Finally, my father broke the silence. “She is a nice and educated person. I really liked her. But you should understand that they are different from us. It is not just the scarf and chador. They don’t shake hands. They don’t look at you. And her father wearing sandals with socks!” At that point my mother jumped in, “This is all your decision and we will do as you wish, but remember that in our family nobody wore chador or went to the mosque. Also, I noticed that the grandmother was looking at you all night and praying and blowing! She was putting a spell on you!”

“Maybe she was looking for a husband too and was sending me kisses!” I tried to joke around, but I got the message loud and clear.

I decided to continue with dating her and we went out for another month or so. Somehow, she managed to establish the boundaries and somehow I followed them. It was like there was a shield around her and in a strange way, I liked that! I enjoyed her company but didn’t know what to do next! There seemed to be a wall there that I could not penetrate! There was no physical component to the relationship. I felt like we were stuck at a certain level! I finally decided that it was either time to go to the next level or walk away and I had a reasonable case for either one.

After much soul searching and looking at everything with rosy glasses I decided to propose to her. I rehearsed my pitch like a sales presentation! It had a beginning, a middle and a big finale. I was curious to see her reaction and her response.

We went to a modest Vietnamese restaurant and after dinner and before the dessert I proposed to her, Her face turned red and she looked up and looked at me a few times. Then she gained her composure and said, “I need to talk to my parents and will let you know!” I have to say that I did not expect that response at all, but I thought that’s how family-oriented girls deal with these types of situations.

The next day she called me and said that I should come to her house and talk to her dad. That afternoon, with a bouquet of flowers in my hand, I knocked on the door. Her father greeted me and took me to the living room. Nastaran and her mom came too and sat quietly on two chairs next to each other. Her father said a few nice things about me and her and then said that it would have been better if my parents would have come with me too. Then he opened the Ghoran on the table next to him and took a small piece of paper out and said, “For my daughter’s Mehrieh (dowry) we are asking a holy Ghoran, a Shaakheh Nabaat and 200 gold coins!”

I froze on the spot. I had not anticipated that at all. I tried to gather my thoughts and have a respectful reply. This was not about the gold coins but rather about him taking charge of this affair. I gently told him that in my family that was not the custom and gave a couple of examples. He looked at me suspiciously as if I was setting the stage for some negotiating to lower the number of gold coins! I turned my head and took a quick look at Nastaran trying to get some feedback. But she had a helpless look on her face that was saying, “Please do whatever you need to do to get this over with.” I politely told them that I needed to speak with my parents, but would let them know soon. As I was getting up, he gave me the piece of paper with the Mehrieh items on it. I said goodbye and got into my car and looked at her as she was closing the door.

I went for a long walk and tried to process everything and finally came to the realization that I cannot do this to myself or my family. She was a kind and wonderful person, but she could not break away from her family and it would have been selfish of me to ask her to do so.

I went home and sat down and wrote a nice letter to her and explained that I could not do what her father had asked of me without putting down their value system or compromise mine. I felt a tremendous sense of relief when I put the letter in the mailbox.

A few days later, a small package arrived at my door. It was from her. I didn’t know what to expect. I opened the package carefully so not to damage anything. Inside the box were the Ann Taylor sweater and a few other things that I had given to her as present. There was a brief note there too. “Please return my pictures!” That was it.

I gathered all her pictures and cut out the ones that I was in them and put them in the mail that evening. The box sat on the kitchen table for a few days. I didn’t know what to do with it. It did not seem fair to keep the stuff and give them to another girl. Finally, on the weekend, I took them to the Goodwill truck and gave it to the charity guy. He looked at the Ann Taylor sweater and set it aside. I am sure that he recognized the high quality. He probably was going to give it to his wife or girlfriend as a present. He smiled at me and gave me a couple of blank receipts.

“Just write down whatever you think they are worth!” I smiled and said thank you.  

Domino Dancing by the Pet Shop Boys


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well, Anahid

by MM on

The adventures of Faramarz are world-famous in Iranian-com, but Nastaran may also be shunned by her family if they find about the reciept!

Anahid Hojjati

MM, your last line is funny

by Anahid Hojjati on



Faramarz jaan, just a few

by MM on

Faramarz jaan, just a few observations and suggestions:

To me, she did not seem so conservative since she went out with you without a chaperon & ate at non-halal restaurants.  It seems like she is bound by family obligations to do as they command until she is out of there.  If you are really serious about her, may I suggest that you do the following:  Have a chat with her that you are serious about marrying her and it is for the long hull.  And, to get around the Mehryyeh, agree to her Dad's terms, but have Nastaran give you a receipt that 150-200 coins (or a more reasonable number) have been received by her and have your parents hold on to the receipt. 

BUT, you gotta make a committment to be with her in thick or thin because she is taking a big risk to be with you.

Anahid Hojjati

Guys, Let's see which one of you

by Anahid Hojjati on

is the first one who  "dom be tale meede".

hamsade ghadimi

ghesel dar rafti naghola

by hamsade ghadimi on

i enjoyed reading your story faramarz. i had a similar case of being infatuated with a girl like that.  i came to my senses after the second date. no harm, no foul. i saw her a few months later on what seemed to be another second date for her with someone who seemed head over heels.  we exchanged glances and smiled (i was thanking god that it was him and not me).

i have a quesion on the gold coin though.  what kind of gold coin are we talking about? is it a rob' pahlavi, nim pahlavi, azadi, krugerand?  because the price would differ greatly.  at any rate, this is an old custom that naturally gets shed when one is out of the old country because one gets to know the divorce courts and their judgements.  by the way, if you marry an american, not only you don't have to worry about mehrieh, her family pays for the wedding.  can't beat that deal. :)

G. Rahmanian

The Dowry!

by G. Rahmanian on

In Iran the dowry is still a must--beh mesdaagheh khordaneh dough o vaaistaadan paayeh larzesh. Nowadays, I hear, depending on the social status of the bride's family, the going rate varies between 1500 to 2000 gold coins. Of course, men are given legal loopholes of the "Shari'a" type to avoid payments. With the gold prices skyrocketing, though, we may see more divorces initiated by women as well.


DM jon

by Souri on

Just read your funny comment below.

Very beautiful song from Haydeh, I always loved it.

But....How many times did you have to play it for yourself?

Not too many, I hope :)


Khoda ro shokr ke just yek short story boud ;-)

by Souri on

Faramarz jon

Next time you want to write a short story, first consulte me.

Baba jon, I don't have time to read long texts now ;-)

At least cut it in two parts digeh....

I'll be back to read it again. It seems to be a very interesting story.



When it is all said and done

by Doctor mohandes on

Woreesh nabash!

After each romantic/ or like-mantic and no so romantic failure always pinch yourself and play this song from shadravan haydeh...



what a voice.

Anahid Hojjati

Faramarz, Mehriyeh in the west does not make sense

by Anahid Hojjati on

 In west, no one in my family does Mehrieyeh. Reason must be that in Iran because the laws are pro men and it is harder to be single woman and not all women work outside even if they are eductaed, so they may feel that they need Mehrieh as a form of security blanket. However, I really have not asked around to see that whether the women who already have good jobs, do they ask for Mehriyeh also in Iran? All the cases that I hear, are of women who hardly ever worked after marriage. Any way, if some Iranian is in the west and they are doing Mehriyeh and Dowry, that family is really traditional.


Nice Fara,

by aynak on

I have been reading and enjoying and relating to your stories for a while.  Damn you ,I missed a meeting today trying to finish reading this one and forgot about the meeting!    Your swiming pool story was almost identical to a personal experience, and the Texas episode priceless. Keep them coming.   

May we all have good dreams.



by Faramarz on

You are never quite ready for that. But sometimes you get tired of too much of one thing and go to the other extreme and get too much of nothing!


Thanks for your comment.


Esfand Jaan, There is an App for That!

by Faramarz on

She was into “Mall-Crawl!” So she microwaved Gheymeh Polo at the office and we headed to the mall! It was like a picnic without the nature!

Floozy with a fork! Haven't seen one of those yet!


More Thoughts and Thanks

by Faramarz on

In a way, I am glad that she got her pictures back. The pictures of old flames always gets you into trouble with the new flames! No matter how cool people are, they still don’t like it. Although they insist that they are just curious, but deep down they resent you for having a past!

So I keep them in a secret place (I am not telling!)


There was never any love there. After all, how could there be love without any physical contact? There was a lot fondness and liking each other, but not love.


I am surprised to hear that Mehrieh is still a big item in Iranian marriages. I have not noticed a lot of that in Iranian marriages in the west.


Faramarz, are you sure...

by zztop on

you were ready for that?  You had just dropped of your Japanese gf at the airport.  Talk about going from one extreme to another.  May I suggest you experiment with something in between?  it is out there.  trust me.

Had you married Nastaran you would have married the whole tribe not an individual.  You certainly dodoged a huge bullet. 

Great read.  Thanks.

Esfand Aashena

Did u ever date a "floozy" who'd clean her teeth with a fork?!

by Esfand Aashena on

Faramaz jaan I had never heard of taking gheymeh polo or lobiya polo to a Mall's "food court"!  But then again I had never heard of giving sholeh zard instead of chocolate on Valentine's Day either until you brought it up!

Picnic at food court!

Once you decide you're ready to settle down you have to go through several iterations and few disappointments (on both party's part :-) until you suddenly find yourself sitting behind the sofreh aghd!

Certainly do not marry blindly and shart-karti!  As they say if you don't first succeed, try, try and try again!  I think this series of your escapades will have more readers than your dating stories!  Unless you can tell us about the floozies you dated that'd be remembered for something specific like cleaning her teeth with a fork instead of a toothpick!

Everything is sacred

Anahid Hojjati

Thanks for a fun read Faramarz

by Anahid Hojjati on

Faramarz, during years of revolution, some leftist girls did not ask for mehriyeh. We had at least one wedding like that in our extended family in which the bride did not ask for a huge mehrieh, just some symbolic items.  It looks like you survived the whole thing including the khastegari.  What an awkward occasion is the khastegari. Particularly when the family is not really "sonati" but half doing "khastegari", it is just awkward.

Flying Solo

عشق یا معامله

Flying Solo


I enjoyed your candor in this story. Oh - the beauty of anonymity - priceless.

One thing struck me as most interesting about your encounter and that is the whole 'condition setting' of the marriage contract. I think you aptly showed that love has nothing to do with marriage, for if you had loved and had she also loved, none of this would have mattered.  Fact is both you and she were looking for a good deal.  I doubt a person in love could walk away from a beloved over the cost of 200 lousy coins or a besotted soul would bother asking for 200 coins through a sandal/sock clad Agha joon.  But there you have it. It is fortunate that you both escaped unscathed.

Two thumbs up for this one also. d^_ ^b. :)

Ari Siletz

Touching story

by Ari Siletz on

 "Please return my pictures," says "I was in love and now I hurt." She would need permission to say more.

Wonderful read. Thanks.


Some Thoughts and Many Thanks!

by Faramarz on

Dear friends,

Thanks for reading and commenting.

If there is one lesson that I have learned in the course of my interactions with many Iranians outside of Iran is that we are not a homogenous bunch. We may come from the same city and like the same things, but we have different values and were raised differently. And you would not know that until you really get to know someone.


Actually, I got to know her better a lot better after I proposed. I was daydreaming before that!

Soosan Khanoon,

You should believe Gheymeh Polo! It was the real deal. As they say, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” or something like that!

Doctor Mo.,

I am definitely lucky beyond belief!

As I look back, I see myself as a boxer in the ring!

As you are getting punched, you don’t hear your coach telling you what to do! You hear the cheer of the crowd, but you don’t see their faces. You are just trying to survive and then the bell rings and you go sit on a stool and the only thing that gets your attention is the gorgeous girl in bikini that walks around the ring and announces the next round!


Those brown sandals and black socks immediately got my attention! You can definitely tell a lot about a person by their choice of clothing!


This whole affair was like jumping into a water slide! It seemed like a great challenge, but before I knew it I splashed into a pool soaking wet!

Shazde Jaan,

One should never underestimate the gravitational force of an attractive woman. I was saved by the bell and lived to fight another round!

Uncle G.,

As Shazde said in one his blogs, this was a story that I did not want to take to grave with me. It needed to be shared. Thanks for reading.


This was a story by a really wild story-teller!

CoP Jaan,

I am surprised at myself too. But at the time, I genuinely convinced myself that I could rise above everything. You live and learn!

Cousin Mehrdad,

Thanks for reading. It was a learning experience and I am glad that I got out of it with all vital organs in good shape. I miss her mom’s cooking though!


200 gold coin is a bargain compared to Iran

by Bavafa on

Cousin Farmarz,

What a great story and thanks for sharing it. I am sorry that it did not work out for you since you seem to have been serious about the prospect. On the other hand, I am happy for you to have stick to your principals. The issue of mehriah (dowery) is some thing that at least half if not all Iranian men have to wrestle with.

My wrestling with the mehria was actually with the guy that was going to preformed the ceremony. He was not satisfied with the "14 shakhe gool" and he kept insisting that there is got to be some thing in there. My dad and her dad had to sit on his sides just to keep him in check during the ceremony.

Regards and best wishes



I knew the ending as soon as I read about the family

by Cost-of-Progress on

For one thing, I am surprised that a guy like you would even consider the traditional opressive system of marriage!  At least you stuck to your guns on the dowry thing.

Konad hamjens baa hamjens parvaz

kabootar baa kabootar, baaz baa baaz





Is this real ?

by Rea on

Or a wild story teller in you coming out ?

G. Rahmanian

A good story!

by G. Rahmanian on

And fine story telling. Very "smooth," as Ari would tell you, later. Enjoyed it very much.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Floozy vs. Aroosy - that's the question

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Good story, dear Faramarz. It sheds a lot of light on our multi-polar lives, circling around so many different centers of gravity.

Bad Stories for Bad Kids


Ey baba!

by Monda on

She wanted back your photos together?! I never understood the concept.

Anyhow Faramarz, I really enjoyed your Nastaran story and I'll be looking to read about your other flowers. 



by bahram9821 on

Faramarz, merci khalee bahal bod, love the part " her father wearing sandals with socks!”. your blogs are the only one that I read all the way to the end lol. 


She did you a big favor

by Doctor mohandes on


Consider yourself Lucky, Good riddance to her. Obviously she was not that much interested in you or she would have opened the mouth!! while daddy was walking all over  you. Why was she so silent and why did she not utter one word?

I do not mean to be insensitive, and if i sound that way so what:), But a grown up woman allows herself to hang on to every single word and instruction that comes from her Parents and has no control over the situation , not even a simple feedback, then she is definitely not ready for anything, not even dating, let alone A relationship and most definitely not marriage. It is back to the basics for her.

ALso, She proved to you right at the end, that was totally devoid of emotions, By just sending you back all the gifts and asking for the Pics back.. What the hell?? Not even a mention of Hey  we had some good times and sorry we have to split.

Count your blessings and Move on Bro!

Soosan Khanoom

Faramarz,  I do not know

by Soosan Khanoom on


I do not know should i believe the Gheymeh polo in the mall or the music video ?


but nice story .... i like your story telling style ... it made me actually read it all to the end .....

good luck with your khastegaree cases ... keep us posted : ) 




by yolanda on

What a dramatic story!

Thank you for sharing!

Wow! It takes a lot of courage to propose!

You started to know the family after your proposal!

Good luck!