Tonight, my aunt Parvaneh made an astonishing four main dishes, with a whole bunch of side dishes to boot. She, together with her husband Nader, also threw a party. And although I really tried my best, as all the dishes, none of them kebab, were extremely delicious, it was a good thing we had some visitors.
But it was a challenge. Shortly after seven, Nader and myself were the only men, a full EIGHT WOMEN having joined the festivities, half of them of marriageable age, all with beautiful deer-caught-in-the-headlights-eyes. It was something of a relief that, about an our later, two more men had joined the festivities, even though, at the same time, four more women had arrived as well. I swallowed hard, a few times, and did my best to not look at the most babelicious of the girls, too much. In any case, she was 16 anyway.
It was a joy to find that everyone spoke passable English while some, most particularly the young girls, spoke English extremely well. It didn’t take too long before I, being something of an oddity, was surrounded by a group of youngsters who’s average age was only barely more than half of mine. Although, of course, mentally, spiritually, they were all way ahead of themselves. You understand.
Actually, as with my 18 year old niece, I found that many of the youngsters, here, are awfully mature. And, indeed, perhaps this is because the youths don’t get a real chance to revolt, to find who they themselves are, and have to go from child to grown up, without a period of revolt in-between, being forced by circumstances to be mature much earlier than in European societies.
The cutest of the girls was dressed like something of an alternative hard rock chick from the eighties, complete with the ‘careless’ hairdo, baggy pants and leather spiky straps around her wrists.
This made me wonder, as it had earlier, that, perhaps, Iranians, or maybe upper middle class Iranians, are somehow stuck in a time warp, a sense of fashion which was frozen shortly after the Iranian revolution of 1979 and seems to have its focus on popular western culture from the 1980s.
If you stumble upon a cluster of furniture stores in Iran, specifically if it’s outside of Tehran, chances are you’ll find chairs and tables your grandparents would have been proud of owning but my parent’s generation were on the verge of finding too tacky, but here, now, of course, are all made of plastic or resin. It’s like the mark of decency, respectability, but also fashion, was exported to Iran somewhere in the middle of the 20th century and never had the time to evolve.