Surviving Without Persian Parents

Most of us spent our adolescence counting down the days until we could move out; so we could be rid of the rules, questions, and weird home remedies. I would dream about moving to the east coast when I was just in high school.


I’ve been living far away from my parents for three years now (happy anniversary… almost) and I’ve come to a few harsh realizations (other than the obvious I miss them):

1. When I call them more than they call me. When I lived in the same state as my parents, if I missed calling my mom for ONE day, she’d berate me for worrying her. Now she’s too busy to talk to me.


2. Stating the obvious: home-cooked meals. But like…

Whose mother is not a good cook? And how is leaving that not the biggest sacrifice?

Just make sure you find a place to live that’s near an Iranian restaurant for a little to-go Fessenjoon action (downside: your parents aren’t paying). And take a big suitcase when you visit home, because your mom will sneak frozen containers of ghormeh sabzi and tahcheen into your bag.

Sorry, I don’t consider “learning to cook” an option.


3. Most of all, I can’t believe how much I am like them. I probably judge people almost as much as my mom does. Hell, I judge people for not talking to their families a few times a week. I’ve definitely adopted my father’s lecturing conversation style. Thanks Dad. And the ‘yelling on the phone’ to make a point? Yep, I’ve started doing that too.

You don’t realize how much you are like your parents, until you step away from them.

No wonder we’re so good at doing impressions of them.


Obviously, it’s not all bad. Being away from Persian parents, you can choose which guys you want to introduce them to. They won’t discover it on their own by a random drive-by or “accidentally” using your phone. You don’t have a curfew (adulthood means nothing to our parents)… etc.

Our culture puts a strong emphasis on family – supporting one another, living up to their expectations, and being reliable for them. I hate that I miss moments in my parent’s lives and if anything exciting happens to me, they’re the first people I call. For all of their control issues…

The Persian family bond is undeniable.

It’s not just about the folded laundry and housekeeping that you don’t even have to ask for. Though the esfand is definitely a must-have.






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