Whatever You Say

Hey joooonie joons,

Hope everyone had an awesome weekend.  I was visiting the fambam this weekend for vacation.  I always love going home for some major relaxation time, good food, quality family time, catching up with old friends, etc.

I send my desired menu to my mother a week in advance and the food is miraculously ready the second I demand it.  My dad takes me shopping to get clothes for the “upcoming season.”  My brother and I spend time together talking and being goofy.  It’s just awesome.

This is how my family is when I’m visiting

Yeah. Fucking. Right.

I had a revelation this weekend.  

Let me preface it with this:

When I go home for “vacation,” I do whatever my family tells me.   Stay home with us rather than meet up with a friend you haven’t been able to see in years? Done. Take me grocery shopping? Hell yeah.  Don’t be tired, stay up with me? OF COURSE.

Growing up, I wasn’t this accommodating… so what tha f*ck happened?

GUILT.

Ok mom, whatever you say.

Persian parents have a beautiful way of guilting you into things you either don’t WANT to do, or don’t have TIME to do.

How lucky are we.

Before I go home to visit my family, I have to PREP my friends that my time spent is going to be limited because my parents have a wonderful way of killing me with their “kindness” (fake ass kindness).  And this weekend, I had to deal with it 24/7.

First step is admitting you have a problem

It starts out innocently enough.  “Mom, I’m going to go out tonight.”  Her response, “Oh, you’re going out? Ok…”

Then as I’m out… The phone calls start around 10pm: “You don’t want to come home yet? Oh ok… I was going to stay up but I guess I’ll just go to sleep.”

Fuck.  Alright, I’m coming home.

Or worst: “You have to sing and dance in front of the entire Persian community for Norooz.”  Ummm no.  Which then results into my mother giving me the silent treatment for at least two days.  So I’m forced to endure complete and utter public humiliation to escape the wrath I might face later that night… or worst- NO TALKING OR LOOKING AT ME.

This is the shit I endured for YEARS (did I mention I have horrible stage fright- this is probably why): 

But of course, as I got older, the guilt came on in different forms.  Perfect example from this last weekend:

I drove an hour up to see some old college friends and my dear Saaghi joooooon.  Just fitting in everything/one in a day was too much.  Pretty soon, it was 10:00 pm and not only, was I semi-jet lagged but I had a small case of food poisoning (this is why you should never eat nacho fries twice in one day).  

After trying to decide whether or not, I should just suck it up and go home- Saaghi helped convince me that “um you’re going to throw up on your way home and you don’t know the way back anymore… STAY and leave early in the morning.”

I make the dreaded phone call to my mother.  She says, “Oh ok, that’s fine.  Sure.  I’m just watching TV alone, but okay.”  I still feel guilty… FIVE DAYS LATER.

What is it with Persian parents and GUILT?  I know I sound like a major biatch because ultimately, my parents just want to spend time with me… but sometimes they have to realize that they need to be realistic.  This is supposed to be vacation, yet I’m constantly stressing: Who am I not spending enough time with, why isn’t anyone ever happy, when does it end?!

My “vacations” become a marathon where I try to divide my time between the two parents without hurting the other. #hardestshitever

Example #2:

 I met up with the little bro for Jamba Juice.  My dad comes to meet up too.  (note: I saw my dad two months ago and I haven’t seen my bro in SIX months).  After we are finished, my brother says he will give me a ride to my car which is parked three blocks away.  My dad starts arguing with the kid that no, he will take me.  Of course, my brother fights back.

Outcome?

My brother drives me to my car and my dad FOLLOWS us to the parking lot.  Yo BABA- I’m coming to your house TOMORROW… let the kid have five minutes.

We can ALL relate to this.  Persian parents have a funny way of convincing you to do things  that you would never normally do.  Sing in front of your class, play piano at the mehmooni (family party), etc.  Guilting you or making you feel like there is NO other option is how they get what they want… and it’s ALL Middle Eastern parents.

 I realized it was only families like mine that do this sh*t to their kids when I was dating a white guy last year.  We went to Ohio over the summer (random) to visit his family.  Every single day, he would come downstairs and yell, “Mom I’m leaving.” And we would be on our way to his friend’s house.

We were out so much that one night, I just asked,”Um won’t your parents get mad if we don’t spend time with them?”  And he looked at me like I was a total PSYCHO. 

My parents made me psycho

Here’s my point- his parents were just happy that he was home.  They didn’t care if he spent every waking moment with them, or if he chose to hang out with his brother instead.  They were just excited he was sleeping in his bed at their house.

Here’s the difference:

My Persian parents are happy that I’m home- but if I’m not clinging to their ass throughout the ENTIRE duration of my trip, then no one is happy.  If they can’t have me around 24/7 to lecture me then my trip was unsuccessful.

My dad couldn’t get all his lectures into two days so instead he lectured me for 30 minutes on our way to the airport at 4 am. #TrueStory.

“Farrah.  Eet es time to put a down payment on a house.”

Um… I’m in my mid-20s.

“Farrah, don’t eat anymore In n’Out, you’re not going to estay eskinny for-eeeever.”

#Buzzkill

“Farrah, don’t you vant a boy-fer-end?”

SHOOT me in the fizz-ace.

Here’s the first step to getting over the problem with our Persian parents- you learn to say NO.  But, only in your head.  Smile and nod, and just know that you don’t have to actually do some of that ridiculous ish.

“Of course, Dad.”

But secretly, I vow to never give up In’n’Out.

I vow to NOT feel bad if I can’t eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with my mother.

I promise that choosing to have lunch with my brother alone over my dad won’t make me feel like total shit.

But most importantly, I choose to do what makes ME happy because at the end of the day- I LOVE my family and I will do anything for them– but this sh*t just isn’t working:

If I can’t be me, then NO ONE will be happy.

So joonies, am I the ONLY Persian girl here who’s family GUILT TRIPS on a regular basis?  Let’s be real…

SEXANDFESSENJOON@GMAIL.COM

FACEBOOK US

Follow me on Twitter if you’re guilt-free: @Farrah_Joon

LOVE,

FARRAH فرح
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Comments

  1. I’ll keep this reply simple…NO, you are not the only one. Not by a long shot.

  2. sashajoon says:

    Always the perfect blog entry, at the right time, all tied up with a ribbon and a bow, hand delivered to my inbox. You hit the nail on the freakin head Farrah. Now that I’m married, they’ve chilled on a few things, just a few things mind you. I can’t do anything with out my dad saying something. He has a new card to play, “How vood yor husband feel about dat?” Uh, what? I know how my husband would feel so freaking get off my ass. Of course, I just smile and tell him that I already talked to him about it or something. And my mom? My NOT Iranian mom who was possibly Iranian in a past life because she is more Persian that most Persian women I know mom? She is just as bad as him. Maybe worse. her favorite thing to say, for example when I drop a class, “Oh, your dad is going to be so upset, how are you going to tell him?” *Sad Face* I don’t know mom, I’m already upset I had to drop the class, I know I have to break it to him and he’s gonna be disappointed, thanks for reminding me.

    So no, you are not the only one, you are one of many I’m sure.

  3. Hilareous. First time I have read your stuff – so nail on the head all they way.

    I’m 47, married, employed, a parent, and my Persian dad and not Persian mom STILL guilt me and are STILL lecturing me about how to live my live, be a parent, invest my money, what to eat/when to eat, do my hair, decorate my house…. Bless their hearts.

    Don’t you love when you call THEM – you get – Where have you been? Why don’t you call me/come see me? And it will have been ONE day since you talked?!!!

    Sometimes – I am a little “Shaytoon: and I say – you didn’t get my message? What happened? Is your recorder not working?

    I have a lot of fun with that one – drives them crazy that I called and left them a message and they didn’t know anything about it – you would think they would catch on….my dad actually went out and bought a whole new phone system because he became convinced his recorder must be broken if he was missing those messages – soooo funny – I’m bad, I know , I love them dearly and they provide me with many wonderful cocktail stories to share……

  4. Mike Ahmadi says:

    I live this…….to this day…….even after my Persian dad passed my non Persian mom has picked up where he left off……and Texas21 must be my cousin…….hi cuz. This blog entry is hysterical…….here is a fun story that has “Persian” written all over it…. I finish my master’s degree in architecture and five minutes after graduation my father comes up and says, “You ARE going to get you PE…….aren’t you?” Seriously? After two undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree I now need to get my professional engineer’s license? Sorry pops……your attempt to make me feel bad about not following in your footsteps isn’t (and didn’t) work…….and don’t get me started on visiting the relatives in Europe…….they fight with one another and try to guilt you into staying at their homes…..it becomes a competition between all the aunts……whoever you stay with the longest is the winner….SCREW THAT! A hotel and a rental car is the only way to go…….I love them dearly but I do not want to sit in their homes all day watching them cook……..

  5. Hey Mikey – It IS your cousin – LOL – Can’t wait to see you in November; days away. Yeah – we have quirky dads – you can come “share” mine when you visit – ha ha ha – I am sure he will be happy to give you some “advice”!

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