This story has two parts. Here is part 1: My Persian Father And My Italian In-Laws Part 1
The next day after my dad woke up AT FIVE A.M. and F, my dad, and I, sped off towards the Rome airport to get my dad on a flight home to the US. He flies standby because his friend is a pilot or something (which I’m jealous of and demand someone to give me this as well. GIVE ME A LIFE OF AWESOME! Please?) which means that he doesn’t actually have a flight booked. If there happens to be room on the flight he can get on it. If not, he can’t. The worst part is that they make him wait until the flight leaves before they can tell him. So, he went into the airport and F, Oliver and I slept in the car for THREE HOURS. Then he called, “baby, I didn’t make it. I’m coming out. Holy shit J (my step mom) is going to kill me.” My dad is huge, like, muscle huge. And he’s a crazy person so he’s feisty and known for occasionally fighting even though he’s fifty-five. The only person he is legitimately terrified of is his wife, who I adore and who is super nice. “She’s nice,” he’ll say, “but she put a seed in my head that EXPLODEDED and make my brain dead. She es a scary one that woman.” So, needless to say, he was not excited about telling her that he would not be coming home on that day after 3 weeks of being gone. “Drive me to Milan” he said, “I can fly out of dair.” I told him that Milan, at that moment, wasn’t possible because it was HOURS away, but we could go to Florence, then the following morning we could drive him to the airport in Milan, again, AT FIVE A.M. That is love, my friends, because I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. You can tell by ALL THE CAP LETTERS IN THIS POST.
When we arrived in Florence we went out for a walk around the city. My dad, having just returned from the motherland, was in his usual mode of non-stop talking about how much IRAN RULES. Talking incessantly about Iran and how it is by fact the best place on earth, with the best people and the hottest women ever. Then he got all braggy and was like, “No seriously, look at how sexy I am. It’s because I’m Persian. So sexy. All the vymen (women) love me. Ven I go out deh are like dying to talk vith me. You don’t enderstand it.” Then I threw up.
ME: “Dad, seriously, you’re an attractive OLD DUDE but you’re my dad so could you stop talking about how hot you are and how many women want to jump your bones? Please? You’re making me sick.”
Dad: “Why it makes you sick!? It’s TRUE GEHL! Ven i go somewhere I am surrounded by deh vymen. Deh all wanted a talk to me.”
F: “You know, I have the same problem. It’s hard being so attractive.”
ME: “Dear god. Kill me now.”
Dad: “Yeah! It’s true! I mean, you’re not as attractive as me because yair Italian but yair not bad looking boy. But, you got deh best vomen in deh world. Because she has deh PERSIAN BLOOD.”
F: “Yeah, dats true. I got pretty luck.”
ME: “So many dudes want to get with me. I’m so bodacious. ALL THE DUDES WANT ME.”
Dad: “I’m not joking. Deh Persian vymen are the best vymen in the world. Most intelligent, most passionate, most beautiful. Unfortunately my daughter is half of the stupid white. But, you can’t see it. You can only see my genes. Look at air!”
ME: “You guys are painful. But I do have to say that F does get a lot of female attention. And he knows it. Since he spends half of everyday telling me how lucky I am because he’s so incredibly hot. You two are too much alike. It’s gross.”
F: “Well, babe, when you look like this, what can you do?”
ME: “Look like what? A gerbil?”
Dad: “All deh vymen want to chat vith me on Skype and Facebook. But I tell them to get lost gehl because I have a vife who is mean. But, I feel bad to break so many of the gehls hearts. You know?”
After two hours of listening to my husband and father talk about how epically awesome they both are we headed home stopping momentarily at the train station so F could run in and cancel a ticket for my dad. And then something weird happened, but to explain why it’s weird you need a back story. My dad was MIA for the first like 8 years of my life (Dad, It’s Nice To Meet You, From My Memoir, The Dichotomy Of Crazy). I saw him once or twice that I remember and that’s it. He says that my mom was withholding me, and my mom says that he just didn’t want to be a dad. Whatever, doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we have NEVER talked about it. My sister says that he just feels so guilt-ridden that he can’t bring it up because he thinks that I’ll tell him that I hate him. Which I don’t. I love my dad, in spite of himself. I did resent him for a long time though because my dad is a Virgo, a perfectionist, and he’s hyper HYPER critical. You can’t go from being absent to constantly lecturing someone about their constant failings because, hello, that’s just a dickhead move. In all fairness, my dad sees constant criticism as love (but it took me 28 years to understand that). He thinks that in pushing hard he’s making me work harder towards being awesome, however, it’s not easy on the self esteem. Figure it out dude, you have FOUR DAUGHTERS. So, anyways, in the car we chatted and I brought up my writing and he started to get weird. He hates that I write about him and that I write in general. “I don’t hate you, dad. I’m not angry with you. I really like how I turned out. Really. I’m fine. I was angry at you for a long time for ignoring things instead of talking with me about them. But I’m fine now.” The look of relief spread across his face instantly. “Vhat do you write about?” He asked, for the first time, EVER IN MY LIFE. “I make fun of you a lot,” I said, “but I also say good things about you, too.” He smiled. “Vehl, dats good I guess.” We talked about how he met my mom, my early years, and his regrets for the first time ever AND I AM THIRTY-TWO, but it was awesome. I feel much closer to him now and I just want to snuggle his narcissistic head off. So, the lesson, guys, is that communication is key. If you try to sweep things under the rug you’ll end up with a daughter who writes memoirs about what a fuck-nugget you are.
My husband, F, came skipping out to the car a few minutes later. We had dinner together where my dad and F, who are funny foreign buddies, talked about wine and how they wanted to live in the middle of the mountains on a vineyard together and I was all, “Great! Now my dad is totally stealing my husband,” but I was happy and felt lucky to have such a complex but wonderful family: a husband who drives me insane but will unselfishly do anything for me and people I care about, a father who is super crazy but passionate, proud, and apparently the sexiest man on earth, and for the chance to listen and silently make fun of two people trying to communicate in English without the use of “th” or “w” and a vowel added to the end of every sentence.
- Supper Clubs in Leeds get a Persian twist from Afsaneh Kaviani (digital-diva.co.uk)
- ‘I would never go back to Italy’ (thelocal.it)
- Florence, Venice, Milan (racheltock.wordpress.com)