Not thug life, but the Double Life.

Happy Tuezday.

Here’s something that made my week: the fact that my friends want me to dress up as Bert for Halloween. My question is,

Which Persian girl puts on a unibrow, voluntarily?


I thought bad eyebrows were like bad noses, you get rid of them and deny deny deny you ever had one? Or is the UNI in now? Someone fill me in.

Anyway, my grandparents were in town for awhile, all the way from eeRAN, and aside from lots of lavashak and pistachios, they bring a suitcase full of “Naseehat” (guidance from elders).

The problem with that is, I hate NASEEHAT. I’m comfortable enough with my parents to stop them before they get ahead with all their ‘guidance’ lectures–‘Dad, the decibel level of your voice annoys me‘. But with my grandparents, I can’t be so direct. I have to swallow my pride, and smile, and nod–as if I’m actually going to take what they say into consideration.

Do you see how immature and stubborn I am?

But, in my defense, as I’ve… aged… I’ve gotten better at identifiying the ‘GOOD Naseehat‘ from the ‘OBNOXIOUS Naseehat’. Especially now that I’m out on my own, with my own bills and finances and Adult-ness,

I know I can’t learn everything the hard way– cause if I do, it’ll end with bad credit, a mug shot, and an ‘I TOLD YOU SO’.

But of all the patronizing and guiding that comes from my elders, none is more annoying than my grandmother’s. Why? Because she sees me twice a year, but thinks she knows everything about me. She tries to psycho-analyze me, impose religion on me, or tell me I’m fat to motivate me to find a man. And on top of it all, she’s insanely sensitive, that the slightest lack of attention sends her crying or into a mood swing or a tantrum. I know I’m making her sound awful, but really… she’s the OG Big Mama Drama.

I swear I have a point, that was just backstory.

The other day my grandma was NASEEHAT-ing me on ‘relationships’. She told me that in Tehran, girls were starting to think it was UN-COOL to be a virgin, a sign of being ‘dehati‘ (villager). My grandma was absolutely disgusted that people were degrading virginity, “as if it was something to be ashamed of”….

And she looked at me, as if I was supposed to share this absolute disgust. I gave her the blank stare,

My grandma thinks i’m above those ‘trashy Tehrooni girls’. That I’m a proud virgin. And she thinks I’m waiting for Mr. Right to make me feel right enough to hand the jewel away.

Obviously I wasn’t going to break the bad news to her, but I also couldn’t be a blatant hypocrite. But it made me more sad than usual that her ‘Guidance Lecture” was so far off mark, that it felt like lying in court when she thought I was one thing– and I was actually the opposite.

Then it slowly dawned on me,

would my grandma ever know the real me?

Now, I know all of us live some sort of double-life. At 16, I was drinking and hiding it from my parents. At 20, it was boys. Now, its what I want for myself, how I think about situations, and how I view the world.

As you get older, the depth of that double life changes… and slowly two different people emerge.

I always thought that hiding the truth would protect the people I loved and who loved me.

But now the double life is no longer harmless and kinda thrilling. It’s just driven a bigger wedge between me and my elders. Their advice may be valuable, but for as long as I’m acting– its going to seem like words from a script. Written by someone else, for somebody else.

I know this is the way its always been done, and not everyone is BFFs with their grandma or other relatives. But I think I’ve been struggling to understand, whether it ends up that way or I make it that way?

What are the consequences to revealing my reality to those who love me?

Sorry guys, no resolution here. I’m still marinating on this food for thought… keep the suggestions coming though.

And, I think I’m down to do a Barney Costume,is that considered cockblocking myself?





SAAGHI  ساقی

What’s New


  1. Dude i was born and raised in iran. Lived a lie for 18 years of my life, i don’t have the thickest accent and when i speak english people automatically assume i’m canadian. I can easily go by everyday and pretend that i had the “canadian” life, but i chose to be different. I chose to be who i really am, this time i decided to show everyone who i really am. to everyone around me i am this brown girl who knows too much math -iran education, likes to party, knows a shit ton of politics and was raised by athiests. You can see why i had to hide a major part of my personality to survive in iran. I do anything to blend in, it’s first instinct to me. I came here to start fresh, be trye ti myself, do what i want and find friends who know the real me.
    It hasn’t been easy, it has cost me some “friends” but now i know that the ones that are left in my life are real. Same with cousins and family friends close to my age, obviously it’s different with family, especially old and conservative members. You gotta be political, if i know they won’t change their mind i don’t argue and avoid indirect questions, but in case of direct questions, i won’t lie. I think lying to someone that has done so much for you is like showing them the finger. It will hurt them, but what good is it protecting people at the cost of ruining your soul?
    I’m aware of how corny i sound, but i just wanted you to know that you’re not the only one experiencing this!
    I love your work (you and farrah both), cause you’re real. Anyone who has you in their lives is a lucky bastard!


  2. The key is to be yourself in life and sometimes that is the hardest thing ever. In Iran, unfortunately, kids learn to have a double life from early on and then that becomes like a way of life. Showing one face outside and knowing about the other side yourself and maybe a few select ones. In here, unfortunately, some of us try to continue that style of life in order to keep face, or becaue we don’t know any better or we are afraid of being the first one to admit to change or what we really are. I think slowly but surely you should talk to your parents and tell them about the real you and what you want. Eventually they will accept you as you are, since you are not something to be ashamed of! I think every parent would be proud to have a child as you. Just be true to yourself and break the chain of deciet now and do not relay it to your kids.

  3. There has to be a reason grandmas are so stubborn and presuming regarding our lives. Maybe it comes with old age? Mine resorted to forcing a guilt trip upon me recently by telling me that if I don’t get married soon she would die before ever seeing my wedding. So now I have to propose and set up a wedding because if I don’t do it soon my grandma will die and it will forever haunt my conscience?

  4. this is a very very hard dilemma that i think a lot of Iranians face. Its even worst if you have dramatic emotional parents. Contrary to what some people above me said, that sensitivity isn’t always fake. It’s not always meant to make you feel guilty. Some parents really can’t handle your real self. They will fall into a self loathing pattern and blame themselves for not instilling what they deem as good values. At the same time you don’t want to lie to them and you don’t want to pretend to be something that you’re not. I think that not being hypocrite is the best thing you can do. You don’t have to agree with the things they say in order to make them feel better. Just listen (as it seems that you’re already doing). Also, like Sara said , don’t relay this pressure on to your kids (if you ever have any kids). But I think that’s much easier said than done. If your kid is following a pathway that you reject with every cell in your body would your reaction be to let them live the way they want and not try to counsel them? Of course not.
    Having different values from your parents is very hard indeed. You can’t change them. All you can do is make peace with that difference.
    Also naseehat just means advice. :)))

  5. Just be the best person to yourself you can be and be diplomatic when possible.

    I found that a vodka drink beforehand sort of takes the edge off and makes a person so much more relaxed.

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