We have a guest post from a very frustrated young reader, who can’t seem to get her Persian family to understand the concept of “My Dating Life is Personal, Stop Talking about it over Ghormeh Sabzi“.
For the most part, middle easterners like to embrace extremes; there really is no middle ground. Take dating for example: somewhere between high school and college, parents go from “You vill NEVER e-speak to a boy” to “Where the –hell- are your khastegars (suitors)?” Who knows, maybe there is mental shift somewhere near the 20th birthday of their daughters, but parents tend to get crazy and suddenly start taking a little TOO much interest in dating life.
My first Thanksgiving back from college, my grandmother and great aunt sat me down for a serious conversation.
This consisted of the most uncomfortable hour of my life, where the serious matter of my lack of dating life was discussed: I was given tips on how to make men interested in me, and want to marry me.
My grandmother’s attempt at modernization was nothing short of the idea that I must now date men for longer before I marry them, because now a days “people meet in college, are engaged for 4 years, then get married.” (This is Modernity.)
Translation: if you don’t find your future husband now you are paving the path to being an old maid!
And there you go, that is how your love life becomes the issue of the entire family, because obviously if you are not seeing someone, you are on your way to becoming torshideh (pickled/un-marryable).
Here are common concerns parents/family have:
1. When will you get married?
Because obviously your inability to capture the interest of a male suitor is representative of your flaws.
God forbid, it is definitely NOT the male population, which normal folks usually consider to be scared of commitment and IMMATURE from age 17 to 40.
2. Are you not interested in Marriage or producing grandchildren before you hit the ripe old age of 26?
Translation: Are you going to be one of those “career” women with shriveled up vaginas?
3. What will they tell the family?
You are an embarrassment for not being in a relationship-because obviously your worth is your ability to attract the attention of the male population
4. And the always-classic concern:
COULD YOU BE A LESBIAN????
Over dramatizations aside, what is a Persian girl supposed to do in order to get the entire family out of her relationship business? Here are options:
1. Date someone widely inappropriate:
Drug dealer Gangster
Male not pursuing advanced degree (GASP!!)
Male hoping to become artist, musician, and/or philosopher
2. Become a slut
Now, this must be done carefully because you are really only pretending to be a slut to your family, perhaps giving them the always good lesson of getting out of your business
3. Pretend to be a Lesbian:
It will horrify your parents-maybe a little too much It might be a good transition point to discuss the issues of family being all up in your business, and for them to back off! More realistically this will lead to some serious intervention by overtly concerned parents, you will most likely be sent to rehab or Iran in an attempt to set you straight.
What I mean to say is there really is no way to get concerned/foozool family to back out of your love life–without going to the extreme. So, the best you can do is hold your breath and tolerate those awkward conversations about dating.
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