Grocery Shopping in my Sweats


Flying Solo
by Flying Solo

After a couple of weeks of neglect, the kitchen looked a disaster zone. So I decided to tackle it, bright and early, on this fine Saturday morning. Save for a pickle jar and a few onions, I found the fridge empty. I threw on some sweats, tied my hair in a pony tail, grabbed the old check book and purse and headed out the door to go grocery shopping.

Once at the store I walked up and down the aisles twice picking consumables, perishables, shelvables and all sorts of stuff that the family likes to eat. Checking the prices, as one does, I was quite chuffed with myself to have filled my cart to the brim without risking next month's health insurance premium payment. As I maneuvered the cart past my fellow shoppers, with a quick ‘excuse me’ here, and a smile – sometimes broad, sometimes timid, there, there was my light bulb moment, right at the fruit stand. Here I am - in my sweats, going about my business of getting food, the biggest challenge at hand appearing to be to remain within a budget. Nobody minds me. Nobody is bothering me. I don’t have demons in my closet, monsters in my head, white elephants at the family dinner table. I have nothing to fear or run away from. No huge aspirations to be recongized by the masses. My family and friends do just fine - thank you very much. Yes - I am a nobody. A plain Jane. Hip hip Hooray.

And then I was reminded of the demise of the family I have been reading about ever since the news of Ali-Reza Pahlavi’s suicide was released on Tuesday January 4, 2011. A family imprisoned by fame and fortune. What calamity. So shocking.

I was reminded of all the other blessings that had come my way in the past four decades ever since I was packed off abroad. Homesickness, Not having enough money. No family nearby. Sometimes no means to contact my family - notably the war years. I had to mother myself and father me also. Lonely nights and cold rainy days. Studying hard. Cooking up creative schemes to earn money - working at the campus pizza joint, tutoring mediocre students, typing manuscripts at the local law office or the theses for this graduate student or that. I baby sat, dog sat, house sat, read to the elderly, pushed their wheelchairs here and there; listened to their stories - the endless stories of hardship and challenges, victories - often small ones wrapped with big sentiments. I even completed a stint as an orderly in some hospital, changing bed pans, collecting half eaten trays of food, dotted with vomit and spit. Watching and smelling the passing of human life, on the monitors in those sterile rooms - where the sickest of them all - the cancer patient, the terminally ill, the weakest, oldest, even the barely moving skeleton, fiercely struggled to hold on to dear life; precious life. Oh yes - one last breath, one more molecule of oxygen, the next sunrise, the next meal, one more piece of news for them to feel part of this world. Fighting death, fleeing the chase, gnashing at it - laughing in its face - refusing to surrender.

What a blessing to have witnessed all that up close. I hadn’t thought about them for so long. It actually made me chuckle as I traipsed along the wine aisle. This, I thought, deserved a bottle. Pinot Noir or Cabernet? $11.99 for the latter. Cab it is.

And so, here I find myself, with a full cart at my local grocery store – in my sweats, facing the cashier. The young man with the tattoo of a lipstick mark on his neck gives me a wonderful smile and asks me “Did you find everything today, Ma’am?” I smile back, first because my place as Ma’am and not Miss is now firmly established, and secondly because I can answer in the affirmative.

"Of course. More than you know.” I chime back.

“Can I get someone to help you out?” He asks.

“No. Thank you. I can manage.” I respond. Afterall I would not want to deprive myself of manual exertion and thus, the wonderful feeling of being alive.

Upon return home, after hauling the groceries into the kitchen, putting them away and finally stopping for a rest, I breathe a sigh of relief, of gratitude, of humility. I thank my lucky stars that I have been spared a multi million dollar trust fund and a famous Dad.

"On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux." Said the fox to the little Prince.

Without ever having known the man, nor what took him to the brink of despair which pushed him over the cliff to nothingness, AliReza Pahlavi spoke to me clearly. Whatever enviable privilege he may have had, grocery shopping in sweats on a budget wasn’t one of them.


Recently by Flying SoloCommentsDate
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Dec 24, 2011
تولد مبارک
Dec 02, 2010
Oct 09, 2010
more from Flying Solo
Flying Solo


Flying Solo


درتی جان،

درست فهمیدی. یه مشت لغز و کلفت و زمخت و چرند. اینه فرهنگ پاچه خواری و دستمال یزدی. واسه خنده خوبه و بس. :)

آقا مهمان: فلانی رو تو ده راه نمیدادن سراغ خونه کدخدا رو می‌گرفت. بازی بازی با دمب شیرم بازی؟


Dirty Angel

bah bah, chah chah chaahe taarof, all very well, but

by Dirty Angel on

what are they saying? Ah ah, Argh Argh, , Aha Aha, or just Aha Ah about living and stuff?



'Love reading your Persian posts too. Lovely feel for every word. Learning loads. Thank you for that. 

Plonkedy blank plank plonk plonk. ;)



"Stuff happens and some, one way or another, get stuffed"


الحمدالله و شکراً کثیراً کثیرا


با تشکر از امام المجاهد و المرجع العام و الخاص حضرت حاج آقا ردواین روحی فداه

Red Wine


by Red Wine on


سولو جان این حقیقت است که این اواخر با اندک نسیمی قولنج کرده و با یک نبات داغ ترش می‌کنیم اما هیچ وقت از شما دلمان نمیگیرد :) .

فدای محبتت.کاش همه مثل شما بودند.

به ما بیشتر سر زنید که دل‌ شاد می‌کنید .له طول عمر كطول المطر سواء له الدرهم.


بهروز جان خداوند شما را عمری طولانی به همراه عزت دهد که اینطور نفس ما را منزّه می‌‌فرمائید.

حضرت عالی‌ در رابطه با المرأة قبلة عائلة كبيرة من محمد پرسیده بودید و ایضاً استفتا ,که اینگونه ما نکته را شرح دهیم.

ملا قرشمال استانبولی در کتاب خودشان آورده اند که بوسیدن لبان نسوان السادات از واجبات هر مرد شیعه هست و أقبلك أفضل عندما تكون وحدها.

حدیث هم داریم،هزار بار هم روایتش آمده است که حاجی میرزا الواط بغدادی که خود شاهد اللعب مع الأطفال في الشوارع بوده است، بارها ائمه اطهار ال مبرکین فی‌ الدنیا و الاخرت را دیده است که چطور سبعانه لبان زنان را در تاریکی و سبعانه بوسیده اند و مبارک باشد.

 اصلح احواله و اسعد اولاده مدام السماء.و تمام.


مهربان جان،قربان شکل ماهت و موهای قشنگت .

شما از بزرگانید،از سروران و از ما بهترانید...

خدا حفظتان کند که ما به شما افتخار می‌کنیم.

قربان عاطفه و مرامتان که بی‌ نظیرید.

الهی که درد ها دوا، وامها ادا و كامها روا گردد.

Flying Solo

التماس دعا

Flying Solo


خدمت والا مقام میهمان خوش پسند و بیش طلب،

بنده از الطاف جنابعالی در عجبم و آن روی بسی‌ پر شباهت به سنگ پای قزوین. حیرتا که بدون ثابت کردن شخصیت خویش به عنوان  متدین دائم الخمر، نه تنها بوسه به تخت سینه سادات را از آن خود دانسته، بلکه طلب بوسه به لب را هم اجابت. اگر عمامه در پستو داری رو کن. سپس خمره ات را نشان داه که دیده شود که از فوائد اسپانیش پلانک آگاهی‌ یا خیر. تقاضا نامه بفرست، یک عکس از جای مهر رو پیشانیت که نمایانگر عبادت و ایمانت باشد را تخت کن به آی‌ فون دفتر آن سیده، تا ببینند بوسه‌ای به قالی زیر پای آن سادات السلطنه سهمت میشود و یا خیر.  این انگشتان را جناب چه جوری گره زده اید، که حتم دارم گره شما با بوسه که باز نخواهد شد هیچ، بلکه چیزی به جز نوشیدن آن بهین شربت مادر مقدس نیلگون نیست که اوصاف شما را به راه راست هدایت نماید. 

و حال خدمت بانو مهربان الملک گیسو بافته و پر مهر. عرض شود که. بوسه به تخت سینه سیّده برای خانمهای متدین و یا لا  مذهب اگر چه حرام نیست بلکه مکروه است. مثل خوردن پنیر زیادی و یا گرفتن ناخن در سه شنبه شبها. پسندیده می‌باشد که سرکار پرهیز نمائید و زیاد نزدیک نشوید که طلعلع آن سادات السلطنه چشمتان را خدا نکرده از حدقه در نیاورد. به جایش دو دور تسبیح صلوات به زبان لاتین بفرستید به پاپ معظم در واتیکان که شاید برکت مذکر شدن شامل حال شما شود چرا که در آن صورت هر جور خواهید توانست عملیات انجام دهید که حتمیست بوسه به تخت سینه سیّده هم شاملش خواهد شد.

ربنا آتنا ف ال دنیا و حسنه


به‌‌ به‌‌ و چه چه :-)


که مستفیض شدیم از این پارسی‌ زبانان قوی البنیه که فکرشان والاست و زبانشان کماکان مطلوب.

فلمجلس جایز می‌دانم که از جناب مستطاب شازده حلاوت اللسان شمیرانی که به رفقای قدیمشان کم لطف شده و ما را در مواردی مکرر مورد غضب قرار داده‌اند، استدعا نمایم که در صورتی‌ که خاطر خطیرشان مرحمت فرموده و موجّه بدانند این حقیر سراپا تقصیر را به بزرگواری خود عفو نمایند.

منبعد زبان پارسی‌ و انگلیزی ملعون راه به زباله دانی حواله داده و عربی‌ استنساخ مینمایم

از مهمان معظم تقاضا می‌کنم که به محض قرائت توضیح المسائل مربوطه ما را هم از وظایف شرعی خود در باب سیده مکرّمه وجیه المولوک, طرّار القلوب القلم مطلع نمایند.


ایام حضرات بر وفق مراد 



بانو فلایینگ سولو السادات مکرمه



خدمت آن وجیه الملوک سلام دوباره. قطعا بوسیدن دست سادات از واجبات است چه در اعیاد شریفه  چه در غیر آن و اگر برادرم سام سام و سرورم ردواین اجازت فرمایند در اولین تشریف فرمایی به لس آنجلس که مدینۀ فرشتگان است و زیارت آن سیدۀ مکرمه به این توفیق بزرگ نایل خواهم شد

Flying Solo

به به و صد چه چه

Flying Solo


به به و صد چه چه

که آن میهمان کم پیدا قدم رنجه فرموده در بزم بلاگ این حقیر زبان بریده. ادبا، علما، خامران و شاعران جمعند و بنده نحیف و ضعیف ال لسان.

عرض شود که بی‌ بی‌ گفتن جنابعالی درست می‌باشد. منتها در وجیه الملوک آن شک می‌باشد. اگر چه بنده سید طباطبایی بوده و سلام دادن به من و نثار تعظیم و بوسه به تخت سینه در صبح عید فطر لازم و پر از ثواب خصوصأ برای متدین دائم الخمر.

ای وای و صد افسوس که زبان قاصر است در مقابل پارسی‌ گویان. این حقیر امّتی بوده، هست و خواهم بود. چه کنم که نه ریشم دراز و فر فری می‌باشد و نه کلاهم پر پشم.

از پارسی‌ مانده درود و بدرود.

تبارک الله.



لذتی بردیم


هم از خواندن نثر منثور خواهرمان بی بی وجیه المولوک فلایینگ سولو قَدّسَت اسرارها و هم از خواندن پاسخ سرورمان ردواین روحی فداه به ایشان.

خدایا در این صبح صادق شنبه شراب قرمز ما را سرخ تر نما! آمین.

همچنین از خواندن نثر انگلیزیایی مخدّره فلایینگ سولو ارواحنا فداها ایضا بسیار طربناک شدیم.

خدایا به حق برادرمان سام سام عزیز نثر معرب ما را به پارسی شریف برگردان!

آمین یا رب العالمین!



Flying Solo

سایتون کم نشه

Flying Solo


دوست والا مقام و ارزنده،

این حقیر چند کلامی‌ در مزاح نوشتم که امیدوارم مورد خدشه به روح لطیف و قشنگ آن والا حضرت نبوده باشد. چه بسا منظور کمی‌ شوخی‌ و سر به سر بوده نه توهین.

سایتون کم نشه.

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

چه لذت بخش است خواندن دست خط پارسی شما.تمنا داریم که بیش از اینها ما را مستفیض کرده و به پارسی مطلب بنویسید که و الله خوش مینگارید.

در رابطه با آن چیزی که فرمودید حق با شماست،اگر مطلبی به غیر گفتیم .. ما را عفو فرموده و خالص اندر مخلص ما را دوست خود بدانید.

یاد ایاّم قدیم به خیر.. هیچگاه تصور نمی‌کردیم که روزی شود که اینگونه دلتنگی‌ آنجا را بر چشم سرمه کرده و عذاب کشیم،امان از این دل‌ و صد امان از این رسوایی دل‌ که صد زخم دشمن عمیقتر است.

خداوند شما را برای ما حفظ کند و عمری به ما دهد تا به زیر سایه شما به دعا خوانی در حقتان مشغول بوده و جامتان را همواره پر از شراب نگاه داریم.


Flying Solo

الا یا ایها الساقی

Flying Solo


جناب رد واین - سرخ المشربه،

بنده شک دارم که آن حضرت والای شمیراناتی در عمرتون به اسپانیش پلانک که به تف لاتینها مشهور می‌باشد و یا مادر مقدس نیلی رنگ آلمانیها لب زده باشید. حتما و صد البته در عمارات درختان مو بوده اند که پس از چیدن انگور آنها وسیله کنیزکان گلچهره و قرار دادن دسته دسته در تشتهای لعابی وسط حیاط عریض و طویل، وسیله پریان نیکو سرشت و خوش اندام عریان کوبیده میشدند و عصاره آن به آن عالیجناب قاشق قاشق خورانده میشده است که قورت فرموده و چند لعنت آبدار حواله آن اروپاییهای بی‌ رنگ و بیخاصیت حواله فرمائید.:)


Red Wine


by Red Wine on

استغفر الله ... در ماه مبارک صفر المظفر آشامیدن شراب بدون ما حرام است ... شراب حضرت علیه ،خانوم سولو خانم به پیش ما محفوظ است :) .

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on

Babooshka Baby Doll Dirty Doodoo:

I got what you meant and miscommunicated. Certainly there were influences in Sepehri's work. There is nothing new under the sun. Period - Nuttin' So, yes, he could have been inspired by Rilke and some others also. Still - to read it in bold Farsi appears to be stepping on the side of sacrilege. Maybe.

Ghost was a bad choice. Maybe spirit is better. And not yours personally.

bourgeious red?  Na? I have a sweet tooth for Spanish plonk. Blue Nun if I must. :) 

Dirty Angel


by Dirty Angel on

I do see what you mean, but that wasn't what I had meant. I was wondering about his intentions and influences  (although quite silly in many a way...), not my personal ghosts. 



Babes, do try not to hit the road, but sort of slide on top of it. ;)

In the meantime, I'll decant a bourgeois red for you. ;)

"Stuff happens and some, one way or another, get stuffed"

Flying Solo

Awfully chuffed, what!

by Flying Solo on

Chuffed to have chuffed - What!

Stay away from those mint chocolates - now.

It's highly likely for poets to find inspiration in reading another's work. If indeed Sepehri work resonates with that of Rilke's and hence with you, it won't be the first time and certainly not the last time when ghosts and shadows of creation (be they from the soul), transport themselves, magically, through time and onto the silk road only to effervesce out of a compatriot's pen.

Gotta hit the road. Don't forget the fig leaves. 

Dirty Angel

Flying Solo, just another mint chocolate?

by Dirty Angel on

(the scene in the restaurant...)


Hey, that was an invitation to my land! 


P.S. I'm really getting quite adament about this, I'm almost sure that that's what Sepehri was doing in that line (after the magas):

" nakhahim palang az dare khelghat beravat biroon ..."


Anyway, chuffed that you liked the link. :)


"Stuff happens and some, one way or another, get stuffed"

Flying Solo

Here you go Darlin'

by Flying Solo on

Flying Solo

Got it

by Flying Solo on

I may be kheng but I am most certainly not mashang.

Sepehri and Rilke? Doubt it but - ok - if you say so. I am too unculcheered on such matters anyway.

Ever read John Fowles' "The Collector". A complementary read to Hedayat. Yup - first I will capture the one I love, then I'll cut her up and pack her in a suitcase.  Makes Meaning of Life look like a Disney story. :)

Dirty Angel


by Dirty Angel on

I'll grant you a visa to kheng/mashangistan soon!  But you have to try harder (than the "normality" of Mony Python!)!


Knowing Sepehri, I am inclined to think that his line about the palang is a reference to Rilke's most famous poem? 

Rainer Maria Rilke

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so weary that it cannot hold
anything else. It seems to him there are
a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is gone. 

"Stuff happens and some, one way or another, get stuffed"


P.S. I'm too dumdumbs to find a full version online of , help please:


چشم ها را باید شست


Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on

 Hi Dirty Angel,

What a great link you provided.

Pray tell to what you refer with palang and Rilke as I suffer from khengism!

My reference to "the machine that goes Ping" was from Monty Python's "Meaning of Life". Gore galore and highly meaningful.

Warning: Do not watch on a full stomach.


Dirty Angel

Ignoring the "cheesy" onion visuals,

by Dirty Angel on

just thought of you - a bit: //

"Stuff happens and some, one way or another, get stuffed"

P.S. Of course, apologies to you and Mehrban. My "gory" blog  of death, had proved to be , ehem, untimely. And thanks for your witty, clever comments.

Question, is that palang, an obvious reference to Rilke?

Flying Solo

A Fairy Tale

by Flying Solo on

To Setareh and Maziar

Life is not a fairy tale, is it? Often a $12 Cab, a clear conscience and a few laughs make it so.  Thanks for reading and leaving such nice comments.

For those who will return to this blog to have a peek, I do feel the need to mention that on every Saturday of one semester, I chopped garlic, onions and shallots at the back of the kitchen of a restaurant which, ironically, was called 'Say Cheez'. There were no cameras to capture my tears. :)

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

flying solo what a nice and simple way of putting a reason to celebrate our bless with a cheap $12 cab that is.

very well written  thanks.           

p.s hope you'll have a good company to share that bottle with.

felicita con un'pezzo di pane.......Albano


Setareh Sabety

loved it!

by Setareh Sabety on

well written and so true. thank you for writing solo!

Flying Solo

Life is Precious

by Flying Solo on

 @Comrade: I will take your comment as a compliment to complement my compilement of some comme il fault. :)

@ Dirty Angel: What can I say. I reached for the skies, missed and landed on the stars. :)

@Shazde:  Raison d'etre is essential. Absent that, the old ball and chain will do nicely. :)

@Faramarz: Slice of life - simple. The answer is somewhere in between 0 and infinity and mostly just pi!  "A loaf of bread, a cup of wine, and thou" (not thou thou by my thou.). Great tune. :)

@Anahid: Unlike you I don't believe I owe anything to events, just my own bloodyminded nature. :)

@Divaneh: The best answers to life's complex questions are found in children's books, not Disney productions though. :)

@Jahanshah: I am not au fait with the way royalties feel (deposed or otherwise). Encumbered with both duty and privilege, they are expected (fairly or otherwise) to conduct themselves with decorum and foresight.  Those who do, get to keep their throne. Those who don't become dust of history. Currently reading a book on 17th century royalty. Fascinating. 400 years old and it is a reflection of our times. :)

@Red Wine: I can't think of a better way to release the demons within than to create music, paint and write. In doing so beauty from within is conveyed to the outside world bringing solace to hurting souls.  Keep playing. :)

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

Things are pretty painful, I ..myself.. sometimes suffer from an anxiety depressed and i just t play music or just write for no having those bad feeling. many years ago, I have seen a psychologist and she told me that practically all of us are so like that because we are too sentimental and that is a genetic thing.

 We must return to our Iran.

 Thanks for your blog and happy new year Dear Solo.

Jahanshah Javid

Solitary confinement

by Jahanshah Javid on

You have a very good point Solo. Having an ordinary life is probably what Alireza was missing.

Being born a prince in a family so famous, so hated and loved to the extreme, was a curse. It robbed him from being his true self around people and in society in general, to have real friends, to experience life in a way "nobodies" do. I'm sure he had moments when he wished he was just a regular guy. And he did try by staying away from politics and becoming a scholar. But how can you be a Pahlavi and get away from history and politics? There's nowhere to hide. You either embrace or...

I don't think he or his sister Leila were clinically depressed. They just could not get out of the solitary confinement fate imposed on them.



by divaneh on

Thanks dear Solo for your great writing about the simple beauty of life. I very much loved the diffusion of the late Alireza Pahlavi and The Little Prince at the end of your piece.

Anahid Hojjati

Dear solo, what a great blog

by Anahid Hojjati on

I have thought about this too that I owe IRI the (if you can say it like this) fact that after seeing the horrible regime they were in early 1980s and what they put my friends and family and to much lesser extent myself, everything else that happens and is bad in my life, seriously pales againt those years. I think Faramarz said it best about this being slice of life blog. And I love slice of life stories.Thanks for sharing.