I’m A Lady

Hey joonams,

I’ve been especially sickly this week so please excuse any random mutterings below. But in my defense, I had a pretty confusing week/end.

Let me start from the beginning… 

On Friday night, I met up with my ex and his best friend at a party – my ex leaves the party early without his friend … and the night proceeds with drinks and dancing. Suddenly, we’re making out (me and the friend) – no readiness, no expectations, it was probably just the booze taking over our brains (and grasp of common sense). And he just kept saying to me, “Don’t worry your ex won’t care.”

betI woke up the next morning just horrified – that “oh f#ck” moment you have when you wake up after drinking too much and start getting hit with flashbacks from the night before.

I was disgusted for not making the more responsible decision and I was disgusted with him for trying to convince me it was okay. It was mortifying and all I wanted to do was forget it ever happened (and never see either of them again). 

Of course, way easier said than done – especially when you all live in a tiny, incestuous city. But all I really wanted was for the friend to text me like he said he would, so I could end the situation:

Listen, I don’t think this is such a good idea. K thanks. 

I wasn’t sure if he would actually text me…

But I knew that I wouldn’t be the first to text him… because guys are always expected to text first. That’s what the rules are according to our society.

bm

When girls give out their phone number to some guy they meet – they usually wait for that guy to contact them first. We wait for the stupid 3 day rule to pass and if we don’t hear from them by then – we let go.

Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule – but ultimately, this is the game we all play.

I felt like if my ex’s friend didn’t text me then this whole fiasco was ending on HIS terms … because based on our gender roles, it’s fact that I wouldn’t contact him first. (Obviously, this whole inner conflict also has to do with some major pride issues, but we can talk about that another time).

But discussing this with a friend, he brought up the fact that if no one has contacted the other – it ends on no one’s terms.

Furthermore, he asked if I’m so “pro-women” and equal rights, then why do I let gender roles define my social life? [Read more...]

How I (Can’t) Feel

First off, in case anyone remembers or remotely cares, I did meet my Persian girlfriend’s mother. I feel like it went really well. (see my last post here!)

This may have to do with my mother always telling me, as a child, how charming I was, translating into a false sense of supremacy.

Regardless, my girlfriend told me her mother liked me enough. Either I am in the clear or my girlfriend has a great poker face.

Second, I would like to thank Saaghi and Farrah for posting my blurb and genuinely caring how my visit went. They have set up a wonderful blog giving voice to first generation Iranians abroad. Merci Farrah and Saaghi joon.

I can’t express my emotions properly.

I’m not a quiet individual nor am I my great-grandfather whom apparently only spoke to berate the loose morals of 50s youth: “‘Laash’ women and their harlequin print dresses.” My issue isn’t that I’m an introvert. My issue isn’t that I think speaking about feelings is a feminine trait. My issue is that I don’t know what to do when feeling: sad, upset, vulnerable, distressed, etc…

I would categorize myself as an emotional person. I don’t mean that I sob during long distance phone commercials. I mean that whether I am really excited or melancholic, the emotion overtakes me. I have moments where I’m animated from happiness and moments where I’m as un-enthused as Al Gore in a library.
My mom has accused me of taking drugs. My doctor has accused me of not taking enough drugs.
I’m not trying to make myself sound like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, nor am I painting a picture of a cross between Cary Grant and Behrouz Voussoughi, I’m only trying to be honest. People whom I build strong relationships with, friendly or romantic, understand this about me. My girlfriend, bless her heart, know this well and remains with me, although I must say she isn’t always a walk in the park either. We’re great (for the most part) together.

This little biography brings me back to the first sentence; I can’t express my emotions properly. I can sit and listen to my friend, partner or parent speak about their issues and give semi-decent advice. However, when the roles are reversed, Lassie does a better job at explaining his issues.

This ends up complicating my relationships. Building a relationship is difficult enough as it is. While we always think and speak of our partner’s best traits, it is really their worst you must accept. This is a given, of course. No person is baggage-less. Even if I think Alicia Keys and I would mingle quite well, I’m sure she has characteristics I would have to try to get over; such as not knowing how to make loobia polo. My baggage is the stress I can put on a relationship by not knowing how to say “I am sad.” I end up going quiet or getting upset. What is worse is at times I don’t even know why I’m upset. My girlfriend then gets frustrated because I’m in a bad mood and I won’t open up. I have managed to string together sentences blaming her and the 1979 Revolution simultaneously for my own issues. I’ve also been a big enough jerk to blame her for lack of caring when she asks “what’s wrong?” An oxymoronic jackass.

I’ve read in the odd female magazine, yes I’ve looked inside Cosmopolitan and the Oprah one,

….that most men do not know how to express their feelings or that we’re afraid of our emotions. I find it funny that those articles are always written by women who do not have a) any clue about being male & b) testicles. [Read more...]

Date Me, I’m A Virgin

Meet YASSI, our guest blogger of the day. As you joonies can tell from the title, she’s not one for polite introductions—she’s diving right in:

I’m a late bloomer.

I had my first kiss when I was 19 and very drunk.

At 22, I haven’t had sex (Oh no a VIRGIN!).

I’ve messed around, but no sex in the traditional “penis in my vagina” definition. I’m neither ashamed nor proud of my virginity. It’s just something that happened that way (or didn’t at this point). I was never in a relationship, never dated seriously in college, and just didn’t get into a situation where it almost happened.

Late bloomer.

bleeder

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve left school, and I’ve started to dab in dating (A whole different conversation itself-for God’s sake where do you meet people?!?!) Which brings me to the purpose of this whole background.

At what point do you tell the person you are dating you are a virgin? Do you even tell them you are? Your sex life is your own business, you choose who you want to talk about it.

But being a virgin has made the possibility of causal sex a bit difficult. Based on my own experience and the type of person I am, I think that casual sex would be easier if I had already had sex before -a bit of a Catch 22 situation I’ve got here.

Call me naive, but I always wanted to wait for a “relationship” where I felt comfortable enough being open about my experience (or lack there of), and would be able to learn and experience my sexuality with a person that understood me, and gave me the chance to grow.

But the more I grow up and realize I probably won’t get that relationship very soon, the more I wonder how I should go about this whole sex question-because I want to have sex. In this day and age, sex ends up becoming a part of casual dating (not all the time, but work with me here), and often happens before a relationship is serious, or before a relationship even happens. But, I don’t know how I feel about having sex for the first time with a guy I had dinner with three times.

bork

I came across this problem while on a very nice date with a guy I had spent a few days talking to. Things were getting a bit hot and heavy in his car; some clothing was coming off, when he suggested that we go back to my place. I froze. I had thought about sex with this guy, but was I actually going to go through with it? I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to do. What if I was horrible at it? What if it doesn’t feel good for him? Do I tell him that it’s my first time?

I know it’s actually counterproductive to think about this, but I can’t help it.

I was constantly thinking: is this what I want right now? Is this the person I want to sleep with? Is this where? Is this how? Basically, I killed the mood. [Read more...]

Don’t you know that you’re toxic?

Hi Joonies.

Every time I blog, I rack my brain of something really witty to start a post off with. I can’t say it ever really works, but I’m just going to leave it to someone waaay more talented to give me an intro:

There are three things I value most in life:

1. My Family

2. Flaming Hot Cheetos

3. My Friends, a.k.a. Meth

(Sorry guys, Chester Cheeto has been there for me through errrthang)

I have all different sorts of Meth –tall, short, persian, not persian, etc. I love them all to pieces. And they’re all different types of crazy.  But what I’ve learned the hard way is:

Crazy is a much better adjective than Toxic.

I’ve had a few of those Poisonous Frenemies in my life, and I’m sure I’ll come across a few more. Unfortunately, it is the curse of friendship, you get a few bad eggs every season. Now, I have to point out that the difference between a BAD friend and a Toxic friend is very clear:

A Bad Friend is bad at friendship, a toxic friend makes friendship bad for you.

A Bad Friend is:

- Unreliable, Flaky, Selfish, A bad listener & Oblivious

But they’re not malicious. A bad friend is that one friend you have that you know

always talks about herself and her problems, and looks off into the sky when it is your chance to talk.

I usually have bad friends out of unfortunate or forced circumstances: work, family, mutual connection etc.

A Toxic Friend is:

- Jealous, Competitive, Insecure, Unhappy & Conniving

If a person possesses 4/5 above qualities, you won’t catch me near them–even with a ten foot pole.

Misery loves company, and those people really want you to join them. [Read more...]

Trust is BLIND

Hey joonies,

Happy Hump Day! Few more hours until we’re over the hump and THAT MUCH closer to the weekend. You’d think that with the three-day weekend we just had, I wouldn’t be so greedy. But work takes up about 80 percent of my time so excuuuuse me for feeling the weekend blues.

In all honesty, I just want to sleep in and watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Don’t judge – reality TV is my ultimate guilty pleasure – but I don’t feel so guilty about it.

Anyway, I’ll get to the real point of this post sooner rather than later because I need some help from you guys on this one:

trapLet me back up for a second…

I’ve always been very… independent when it comes to men. I don’t trust easily and it’s not because I’ve been so scarred for life, but because I feel like every time I begin to trust one – I get let down.

The fear of vulnerability outnumbers any desire to take a risk.

And I’m actually quite okay with that for now because I truly haven’t met anyone that I can see a future with.  So it’s really out of sight out of mind for me… until I realized that…

There are different degrees of trust in any type of “romantic” relationship: (1). you trust your partner to stay committed and (2). you trust the guy you’re f#cking to refrain from [figuratively] f#cking you over. [Read more...]

From Your Valentine

Sup joons,

Valentine’s Day can make us feel pretty resentful. I haven’t had a “romantic” Valentine’s Day since… ever. Once I bought my ex flowers, then the following year we broke up. The year after we were still broken up but trying, (which is always horrible), and last year it went to hell.

vv

This year I have hopes in having a lovey dovey day. Not expectations, but hopes. As baba says…

“If you expect, you will be disappointed. If you hope, you will only get sad.”

February gets a lot of cold shoulders (pun intended) from those shunning Valentine’s Day. You’re either bumming about singledom or raging against the commercialism machine.

But, like many Western holidays, did you know Valentine’s Day comes from Roman and Christian beliefs and traditions?

Way back when Romans wore olive branches and togas, February was the month for celebrating agricultural bounty. Cries of “Tend the grapes!” were probably shouted all over the place while the humble Roman folk were preparing to get jiggy with their favorite reason for February: Lupercalia.Lupercalia was a fertility feast celebrated on February 15 where Romans paid homage to Faunus, their god of agriculture.

Roman priests (Luperci) sacrificed goats and dogs, and then stripped the goat hide away and slapped town women with the hide to bestow upon them more fertile wombs. Roman women welcomed this gesture, believing it could help them yield many a crop of strong Roman boys and more bloody-goat-hide-lovin’ Roman ladies.

This year, ask your sweetheart to do the same thing – if he slaps you with bloody goat hide, he’s a keeper and you may want to start planning your khastegari. [Read more...]

Mitra Sumara: What does it mean to be Iranian?

Joonies,

I love every single interview we get to do. But with each one, I’ve walked in with some sort of background on ‘who’ and listened to the story of ‘how.’ With Yvette Perez, the founding member of Mitra Sumara, I didn’t know ‘who’ ‘how’ or ‘why’, and by the end of the interview, I felt like I had taken so much away from the experience that I forgot why I had even asked questions in the first place. Her answers brought to mind so many more questions about culture, identity and the idea of “being.”  What does it mean to be Iranian? And how do you decide who gets to “claim it”?

There’s so much to take in with Yvette’s story, and her relationship to Music and Iran. 

She is a bit of everything, but I’d love for her to claim her Iranian culture– because she is doing greater things with it than you can even imagine!

xx,

Saaghi

MITRA SUMARA in action

MITRA SUMARA in action

- So I have to say, when I saw your name -Yvette Perez- I was a bit confused. Tell me about yourself:

I’m half-Iranian, my other half is a mix of North European, American Indian. I was adopted by American parents, who divorced when I was 2. My mother remarried a Mexican, so she gave me his name– and so I grew up with the Spanish surname.

- And where’d you grow up?

I grew up in Carson, a suburb of LA. It was kinda odd growing up there… large Chicano, Black, and Filipino population. My neighborhood was predominantly first-generation, so ethnicity was important. And I really felt like an outsider… My hair was frizzy and I didn’t look like anybody else at school.

- Many of us with cultural conflicts experience some sort of ‘identity crisis.’  How do you think yours was similar/different?

Well it was peculiar being in school when the Revolution happened, kids would taunt me, and my mother at home would tell me “don’t tell anyone you’re Iranian.” And I’d think– but that’s what I am?

So, while I knew I was Iranian, I didn’t really know what that meant.

mitra1

My mother did not explore the culture much. I had discovered these old Persian records from the library, and I remember the one time I brought them home, she danced around the house, making fun of it. It was mortifying!

I found my birth mother when I was in college, and she gave me my father’s name (who is from Tehran). I found him a few years ago and we’ve built a strong relationship since then. I have found that my father and I are alike in spirit and some personality characteristics despite that fact that I didn’t grow up with him. Whenever we are together and notice these synchronicities -  it’s amazing. A true testament to the strength of one’s roots and genetic background.

In terms of my ethnic background; I feel that I’m in disguise. If I didn’t grow up with the culture, how can I claim it as mine? [Read more...]

My Pickle is Ripe

Hi JOONS,

It’s been too long. I’ve had sexandfessenjoon withdrawals – more fessenjoon and less sex, if you know what I mean. I’ve had the pleasure of participating in some quality family time lately. Home-cooked meals, clean sheets, and unsolicited love advice – really, what more could you ask for?

My mom especially had a lot of questions for me on this visit – how’s my job … which lasted all of 30 seconds before she interrupted to ask about my dating life. Here’s something you should all probably know about my mother:

For as long as I can remember, my mom told me to steer clear of Persian boys and she stressed the importance of being an independent woman.

Through the years, she became more emphatic with this advice – especially after her divorce.

Farrah, marriage is estupid. Anyvone who is married right now is unhappy – believe me.” 

Farrah, never depend on a man. Dey are all after vone ting.” 

And as much as I think my mom is a little cray at times, those words really resonated. More importantly, I thought she would be the last person to bug me that my biological clock is ticking… at 25.

vibrateBut the second I walked through the door of her home, she was like, “Who are you dating? Vhen do you vant to get married? Is dere anyvone in VAA-SHING-TOON who is good?”

My response is always the same, “No mom, I’m good for now… thanks though.”

But clearly, my persistence on wanting to focus on my career and life didn’t sit well with her this time.

At 25, I’m on the brink of torshideh. And once I’m pickled and “old” – I won’t be wife material anymore. [Read more...]

Concept of School Seems So Securrre

Hey joonies,

We’re starting off the end of the week right with a very special guest post by NASEEM joon – enjoy! 

Oh Joon Joons,

Salaams and booses from the frozen tundra of Minneapolis, MN! This is another joon from the Joon Club (is that name sticking yet, or is it just me?), Naseem Joon, affectionately sending all my love from the heartland. I’m fortunate enough to write this blog post as both a guest and fan of S&F (and Saaghi&Farrah, too!).

Let’s get intimate before proceeding: I’m half Iranian, my favorite dish is gormeh sahbzi (I have a bottomless stomach when it comes to gormeh sahbzi), and I usually take my chai straight to the head.

And I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t had fessenjoon in a while. Yikes!

I’ve been an avid reader and fan of this blog and its lovely curators for quite some time.

I find something so magical about how stories written by two women I don’t know in the flesh have touched me so deeply, made me laugh, and resonated as identical reflections of my own life and experiences as a woman of Iranian heritage in the USA. I am so moved that I have taken the liberty of telling you yet another tale of the joonies and giving a slice of my own story.

As we joons know…

Education in our culture is just as important as football and freedom to those in the USA.

clueless

Now, don’t get me wrong, because that isn’t to say education isn’t emphasized to young people in the USA, or that we Iroonis can’t get down with buff men in tight spandex or feel inspired by that screeching sound of a bald eagle against the melodic riff of an electric guitar.

In high school, I was the only one in my group of friends where not going to college wasn’t even something to entertain. Some of my friends never gave education another thought; some had babies way young; some went to school to become actors, doctors, and opera singers; and some just disappeared off the face of the earth.

Even if I had pressed my baba for some time off to think about what I wanted to do or study in school, my parents (and ameh and amoo and maman bozorg) were terrified that if I took this course of action, I’d surely never climb back on the horse and become an underachiever who never made it to college and spent her life never tapping into and harnessing her potential.

To them, college was the next and immediate step after graduating high school, and that’s where I could figure myself out and choose an appropriate academic course.

No other option.

As is my nature to play devil’s advocate for the sake of a holistic argument, I disagree with this viewpoint. I know many people who never went to college and are successful, but moreover, are happy and grateful for their stations in life and the experiences and struggles endured to make it there, despite no post-secondary education.

breakfast club

And though I disagree and think college is just oneway to success (and not even guaranteed, at that), I always knew I would go to college, whether it was of my own desire or having grown up in an environment where it’s expected of you.

I don’t feel as if I were forced into school—I always wanted to go. I’m just showcasing another end of the spectrum.

In Iranian culture, it isn’t a reality to not go to school. At bare minimum you get an undergraduate degree. [Read more...]

Ipaneema Goes For 10 Hours

Hi.

This is Ipaneema.

If his name sounds familiar, its because we interviewed him awhile back…when he liked bitches who didn’t text back. Now he likes bitches who use emojis.

He makes music he loves.

Like this track, a remix of The Fray’s You Found Me. What do you get when you add Reggae + Dubstep + Electronic, and dashes of Justin Timberlake?

Eargasms. (Download, for multiple eargasms)

One time when Ipaneema was DJing in Santa Barbara…

Can you find the Persian?

Can you find the Persian?

After 10 hours straight, he fell asleep on the turntables…

#dedication

#dedication

Last time, I raved about his rack city mix, this time his new sounds are RETRO– 1980′s Disco song “FunkyTown” will never be the same.

This is a song they’d play at a modern day Studio 54.  I mean, hot disco pants have already made a comeback, right?

Ipaneema, Take us to Funkytown.

hit download

Wanna keep up with the Neemz? Like him on Facebook

Wanna hear more?  Sounds here on Soundcloud

Wanna date him? Write him @IpaneemaMusic

XX,

THE S&F TEAM
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