وزارد او دا وستساد
VIZITOR TO THE VESTSIDE
an
American blog of Iranian dissent

Fesharmageddon

You know it's a recession when it was your first Norouz not receiving an Eidee gift.

That's my speculation, anyhow. Of course I'm now in my thirties, and don't spend any school vacations around relatives.  That's fine because I could never relate to my relatives and they had no interest in relating to me. Meanwhile my oblivious father enjoys hibernation in his new retirement home, and kid sister has her first legit job living in a sequel to Sects and the City.

Astonishingly, but unsurprisingly, none of them have ever visited the Vizard. Not since I first ventured out to live on my own in 1999, days after turning the big two-one. No, not even once lending a hand in moving out/in. Not in California, not anywhere else.

Spring couldn't have arrived any sooner after this most coldest winter if you happen to be a victim of the recession. That's especially true, and especially torture, if you're a male -- who are twice as likely to take disenfranchisement personally. And Persian boys are a lot more likely to be shat on than Perzh girls. I know because I hit Iraq-bottom before the economic downturn even began. I found out the hard way that you will be blacklisted and word will get around sooner or later that you are an abject failure. Like when this uneducated Ameh Auntie called me for the very first time, only to say that I'm a nobody unless I'm a doctor/lawyer/engineer.

If an Iranian over twenty-five has yet to achieve any socially-constructed 'status' there's a strong chance they will hear what I heard from my uncle last year: "Toh hichee nashodee..." What bothered me wasn't what he said -- he doesn't have a clue about me, and what he knows is the misinformation spread by his brother -- but the internal torment I felt in trying to get him to understand me. It won't work in Farsi or in English, and every time I think I'm too cool to let any of my kins getting under my skin, I fold like a tent in a hurricane.

"Why isn't he married? I was married at his age."

"Why doesn't he have a home? I was working at [place] at his age."

"What's wrong with him. He needs [religion/rehab]."

They ask these questions not to help you with positive advice, feedback, or constructive criticism. They do it because it's in certain Iranians' DNA to judge and jump to conclusions by imposing their beliefs on others. It's second nature, lower nature, which is probably why that Persian Version of the 'Jersey Shore' might actually work. As the comment in that thread reveals, there's no shortage of obscene expectations heaped upon the shoulders of the expat Iranian community's sons and daughters. I notice that the those of Jewish and Bahai family backgrounds, in particular, suffer from this.

Iranians judge because they've been judged throughout their own lives. My father would, and still does, belittle me and my endeavors at every opportunity. He does it completely subconsciously. Many times right in front of me -- to the cashier at a Persian store, a guest at his house, a police officer (don't ask; I will tell.). He's the apathetic kind, one to ask not 'Vhere iz my vote?' but 'Vhere iz my remote?' I've seen a myriad of Persian men between 25-35 be ripped to shreds by their fathers in public settings.

Over the winter I read a tragic story of a geeky Asian twentysomething in San Diego who killed his parent after that parent threatened to cut him off financially. He was a Carnegie Mellon grad, did what his parents wanted him to do, but after one year of unemployment in the computer industry he went over the edge in the most brutal way.

But there's hope to all this. Lessons to be learned by our skimming times. Oprah's modus operandi inspires me, in fact. Allegedly, Miss Winfrey has a policy of not giving her personal cell phone number to her relatives, saying bye-bye to certain bio-illogicals. Keep the focus, not allowing small minds to belittle your big dreams.

That's exactly what I should do. But first I need to afford having a cell phone.

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