Why My Persian Dad is Better* Than Yours

Better: cheesier, stricter, overprotective, delusional

Enough with the sex, let’s talk some daddy issues.

I think all over the world the relationship a child has with their parents is a special one.  And us Persian kids, well we got a REALLY special relationship, especially with our DADDYS.

Let me lay it out for you – the facts:

  •  Our dads grew up/were adults around the time of the REVOLUTION (if you think I mean American Revolution, you’re too stupid white-washed for this blog)

  • We’re not growing up where our dads grew up. Your dad can’t drive you over to where he made his first dollar, macked on girls, or even where he graduated high school

what a hipster.

this is someone’s mom.

  • You’re probably not meeting any of your dad’s old BROS/poker buddies, because they live in random parts of the world. So any insight into when your dad was an irresponsible, irrational, hormone driven youth= GONE

The Hangover: Irooni Style

Why is this important? Because my childhood was MISERABLE (ok overexaggeration, I know.)

Now, Im going to talk about my dad (HOPEFULLY HE NEVER GOOGLES SEX and FESSENJOON).

My dad and I always had a special relationship, which is code for FUCKED UP. See, my dad’s a nice guy- to EVERYONE ELSE. When it comes to me, parenting ain’t a joke…sh!t’s serious. He wanted me to be a perfect adult, from when I was 5 years old.

EXAMPLE 1: When girls in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL wore platform skechers and bell bottoms (remember-spice girls?), I had to wear oxford shoes, and suspenders.

SUSPENDERS.

I’m not kidding. I looked something like this in Elementary school:

I know I’m not black, but the outfit comes pretty close. To all those readers who don’t believe me, I SINCERELY WISH I was kidding.

EXAMPLE 2: When I played Soccer, my dad would yell LOUDER THAN THE COACH from the sidelines.

In full Persian accent—infront of all those Caucasians- my dad would be screaming

“HUSTLE”

“VAT ARE YOU DOING JUST E-STANDING DER?!”

“MOVE FOR DE BALL”

I had to BRIBE my dad to NOT come to my games.

EXAMPLE 3: In High School, my dad decided CHAPERONING school dances would be the best way to keep an eye on me. All those nice PTA moms would be at the dances in their ugly sweaters and MOM jeans offering alcohol free beverages, and then there stood my 6foot+ Dad in a corner looking WAY TOO Middle Eastern and suspicious.

Oh my father also liked to chaperone my mall trips—walking a few feet behind my friends and I while we would shop at CLAIRES.  One day, I decided to walk into Victoria’s Secret to see if he would follow—lets just say I’M THE ONE who got dragged out. “Vat is this estuff anyvay, lets go home” 

Even now, just out of spite, I own a lot of lingerie- even though there’s no one to wear it for.

EXAMPLE 4: Once I moved out of my house, my dad had no everyday control, so he decided to up his game. NOW, it was all about the LECTURES on how IRRESPONSIBLE I was, WHAT was I doing with my life? WHEN would I SETTLE DOWN with a good Persian boy?

WHEN WOULD I BE A GOOD RETURN ON INVESTMENT FOR MY DAD?

HMM, dad, if this blog is any indication- NEVER.

I know, that all of the things my dad did was because he cared. Trust me, I get that… But I’M SURE he wasn’t always so perfect.

At one point he was a baby too.  Here’s proof:

Part of me feels for my dad- stuck in a country where EVERYTHING is foreign, it’s almost always going to be about NOSTALGIA: remembering what was, and a ‘golden age’ that I have no part of.

This is the cultural gap, that we share with our parents and especially if we’ve never been to the mother country, how can we really understand them? We can’t but it doesn’t help that they leave us out even more.

COME ON DAD—TELL ME ABOUT THAT FIRST JOINT YOU SMOKED (Grandpa already has). OR how you ALMOST got expelled in high school.

And ESPECIALLY, why, now you want to shove PERFECTION down my throat, when you got the chance to be an idealistic, naïve revolutionary in 1979?

Unfortunately, Irooni parents think parenting is best done through enforcing standards and hiding realities (kind of like Corporate America), but its actually more about EXAMPLE.

If we don’t hear about all the ways they fucked up, how can we get over own mistakes?

The truth is:

At the end of the day, I will probably never get over my daddy issues. Yes, this is baggage I carry TIL THE END OF TIME–but I will say this, I wear it proudly. I mean who else can say their Dad gave them BOY hair cuts and a 9:30pm CURFEW?

It’s all some kind of love.

Embarrassingly yours,

Saaghi ساقی

p.s I know you all of have embarrassing PERSIAN DAD stories, so no excuse why the inbox should not be FILLED:

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Comments

  1. I want to take time out and say that I LOVED this, and if you change “dad” to “mom” it would describe my life to a T. Don’t get it twisted, I LOVE my mom and my dad to the moon and back, but sometimes…SOMEtimes…well yeah, you get the point ;) Thanks ladies!!!

  2. I can’t relate to this at all! I could not have asked for better parents. We moved to the states in 1982 and growing up my parents were always progressive and open minded. yes, they were more gun shy about things like sex and plucking my eyebrows, but for the most part, they were nothing like the way you describe your father. When my American husband and I went home for thanksgiving, my dad broke out a pot brownie. Not all Iranian parents are like this post. And I write a blog that talks a lot about sex and my parents regularly read it.

    • Hi Saaara, sorry you couldn’t relate. we never claimed that saaghi’s persian dad was like all persian dads— just that he was better ;)! Glad to hear you have such an open relationship with your parents but we don’t think many (from allllll diff backgrounds) could relate to this: “And I write a blog that talks a lot about sex and my parents regularly read it.”

      -s&F team

  3. Persian problems says:

    Are we sisters?????

  4. I’m not persian — I’m Pakistani — but I honestly feel 100% of what you wrote here about your childhood. You opened my eyes to some things that I would blame myself for, rather than remind myself of the fact that I have no one else’s mistakes to compare mine to. Thanks for writing so truthfully about something that I find so hard to openly discuss or relate to.

  5. HI Saaghi, I always follow your blog and find it really interesting. I am a parent of your dad’s generation and can relate with what you are saying here from a different perspective. For us it has always been learning how to live in a culture that EVERYTHING about it was foreign to us and while we were exploring and trying to keep our heads above the water, we had to raise a family and guide the kids to find their own ways. So the burden was and is doubly heavy. NONE of the things that you have experienced at school we have experienced and while we were trying to learn with you as a parent we tried to guide you guys too. ADD to all that some prejudices and cultural and religious restrictions too. So believe me parenting and living and growing old here was not a picnic for us either. As I always tell my daughter being second generation immigrant in here is not fun and I understand that, as long as she understands that I’m trying and doing my best and I’m giving it my all.

  6. khashayar says:

    Second generation immigrants cannot ever, understand what it is to be a first generation immigrant. It’s terrible more than it is great. It’s only great because they know their children will live a better life than themselves, but it’s difficult to create that quality, having a different culture, understanding of society, politics, race, etc. Imagine waking up in the middle of a lake, not-knowing how to swim. You have to teach yourself swimming. Maybe it’s over-exaggeration, but I think this was more or less the case for many of those who fled the country for a better life.

    I just wanted to say that I understand Sara (the comment above) that in the situation of an immigrant parent, some of the things that happen, are inevitable. Taking into account that no one is perfect, rationalizes it more to me.

    Anyway, great article. I have been following you for couple of weeks now. Thanks.

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