Thursday, July 24, 2008


Every one is free to make choices and I am entitled to my strong opinion.

The pitter patter of little feet, the laughter of a baby, the sweet smell of their bodies and finally all of the other joys of having a child. It is one step of life which most people chose to embark upon and to be a part of. However, some people in the world are unable to experience the miracle of birth and the gift of a child. Unfortunately their bodies are not able to reproduce, due to different arrays of medical reasons. They try and struggle and at last after being examined by physicians they realize that they are not capable of having children. At that point these individuals are faced with choices, and in my opinion these choices that they make is an accurate presentation of the kind of people they are.
Some chose to remain with out child and eliminate the dream of having a family of their own from their life. They are neither saints or selfish as they accept what cannot be granted to them. They move on and continue their journey on this earth, taking a different path. Maybe they will find a grander entity to pour their energy into.
Others chose to go through medicine and science in order to force a pregnancy using multiple types of artificial insemination techniques. This is the group who I consider one of the most selfish groups of people in this world which we live in. Blind eyed, they live in a bubble where it only entails their life and have absolutely no consideration for other human beings.
The process of assisted pregnancy not only takes an insane amount of time and energy, but it also costs an unimaginable amount of money. This process could take up to 10 years and it could cost up to $150,000.00 with a possibility of a failed result.
My judgment comes from thinking about all of the orphan children who are in our world with out parents, with out food, with out shelter. When I hear tales about couples spending this time and money to get pregnant, I can not help but to wonder about these unfortunate and forgotten children for the life of me. I can not understand how selfish one can be to just turn their back on these children and try this hard to have their own when obviously it was not meant for them to do so. If only a fraction of this time, energy and money was spent on one of these children by adopting them, little by little the world would be such a better place for every one.
Now I understand that people like to have a child from their own flesh and blood, one that carries their genes in his or her body. I get it, it is hard to accept, but this fate can be viewed at in such a positive way. I would like to tell those people that the universe has not granted you the privilege of having a child biologically, and you should think of it as a calling. This should be looked at as an opportunity to be a saint, an opportunity to save a life, a chance to help the world just a little bit, to save a child. This is the cards that you have been dealt with and instead of fighting destiny so hard flow with it and make it a positive one. This is your one chance to be honorable and to save a life, do you know how big that is? Should you even think twice about it?
The number of children who live as orphans in every single country is extremely high and if we look at the big picture, we can see how disturbing it looks. We will realize how ugly and uncaring the human race looks.
If a couple who is able to have their own biological child chooses to adopt one in need instead, I bow my head to them, I highly respect them and truly admire their integrity. It takes a very special and selfless type of person to do such a thing, and not many people have that amazing sense of giving and purity. They have committed an amazingly generous deed, even though they did not have to. On the other hand when a couple is not able to have children biologically, and if having a family is something that they truly wish for (so much to pour all that they have into it), I believe that it is their duty as human beings and as citizens of this earth to adopt a homeless and parent less child.
There are also other equations to this issue that get my blood boiling such as homosexual couples who use the artificial insemination methods to have children. Adopt a child and save a life instead! Women who go off of their cancer or diabetes medication and risk their child and their own life to get pregnant. Adopt a child and save a life instead! You have to remember that a child is a child, they will love you no matter where they come from. They will eat, drink, sleep and grow up just the same as any other and you will enjoy them the same. So stop being so damn selfish!
With the increase of all of the different methods of artificial pregnancies and their side effects we see a flow of twins and triplets up to six or seven babies at once. Can you imagine the energy, the time and the money it takes to raise these children, when others are begging to have a life? It boils my blood to think of the level of stupidity and selfishness of the people who do not see outside of the bubble that they live in.
Look outside of your own world and you will see so many in need, and when you have the power to help them for god's sake, do it! This should be a no brainer!
It makes me sad to see that I live in a world where we have absolutely no consideration for one another. A world where we flip the channel when the image of starving children with flies on their faces come on because it disturbs us. A world where our own happiness and dreams are the only driving forces in our lives. A world where we have the power to save a life but we chose not to.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Good times

A cool night in Seattle a few years back, riding in a metallic blue car.

Anahita: Have you heard that new song? It's really cool.
Shabnam: What song?
Anahita: I don't know what it's called.
Shabnam: What are you talking about? Who sings it?
Anahita: I don't know, its a guy.
Shabnam: What's the name of the song?
Anahita: I don't know, it's a great song.
Shabnam: Well, how does it go?
Anahita: I don't remember. But he is talking about going to a train station and asking a girl what time it is and then they have sex.
Shabnam: Never heard it. So they have sex, just like that?
Anahita: Yeah, he asks the time first though. I really wish you could hear it.
Shabnam: Interesting.
Anahita: I want to listen to it now!
Shabnam: OK, lets call the radio station and request it.
Anahita: OK.
Radio Station Operator: Kube93 how may I help you?
Shabnam: Hi, I wanted to request a song.
RSO: Sure, what song?
Shabnam: Well, we don't really know the name of the song.
RSO: Who is the artist?
Shabnam: Well, we don't know the name of the singer either, but we were hoping that maybe you could help us.
RSO: That's difficult, why don't you sing it to me.
Shabnam: Well I've never heard it before myself. Anahita can you take the phone and sing it to him please?
Anahita: Nooooo.
RSO: What's the song about?
Shabnam: Well I guess this guy goes to the bus stop and asks this girl what time it is and then she has sex with him.
RSO: Huh.
Shabnam: Anahita can you please talk to him, I don't know.
Anahita: Noooo.
RSO: Just let me speak to this AnaPILA.
Shabnam: AnaPILA he wants to speak to you.
AnaPILA: Nooo.
Shabnam: Ok, you know what, never mind. Thanks for trying to help. Bye.

P.S. "7 Days" by Craig David.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pop out Swatch Watch

It was the summer of 1993 when I went back to Iran for my first visit after four years of being away. I was extremely happy, excited and emotional to be back in my old city and my old house, to walk in the old streets with my old friends and to see my dear relatives. At the time it felt so right to be back there that it did not seem that I had been away at all.
Nazila was my best friend from elementary school who I had kept in contact with by letters, so naturally we were mutually excited to see each other and to spend time with one another. One day Nazila and I had gone to Meidooneh Mohseni to walk around, look at the shops and eat my favorite ice cream. We were deep in conversation on our way back home heading down Mirdamad, when we heard a commotion. As a mini bus suddenly stopped in front of us, Nazila became fully aware of what was going on immediately and I remained unaware and confused. She told me to keep my head down and continue walking, but it was too late. Before I knew it we were being thrown into the mini bus by a group of women covered with black hejab like a dark cloud and men in ugly green uniforms carrying machine guns.
We were pushed to the back of the bus where a number of other ladies were sitting who had been picked up prior to us. The next scene immediately brought me into the land of fear from the land of confusion. The black hejab women and the gun carrying men were trying to pick up another lady after us, who was resisting them. She was screaming and yelling trying to stop them from taking her while the black hejab women were pulling her toward the mini bus. When their struggles did not avail they asked for help from one of the men (with guns) who eagerly stepped forward to assist. Due to not being either the lady's brother, father, nor husband, the man could not touch her in any way, so he used a blanket to carry out his task. Yes, he used a blanket to place a barrier between his hands and her body (which was fully clothed) to keep his "decency"! As the lady was pushed into the mini bus crying and screaming, the driver pressed hard on the gas and the mini bus took off.
While the drama with the lady and the blanket was going on I was desperately seeking answers as to what was happening? What had we done wrong? Nazila explained to me that we were going to be arrested for "indecency" by the authorities, however she could not give me answers as to why. We were fully covered with modest clothing and were wearing minimal make up. I was wearing a simple pair of blue jeans, black lace up flat shoes, a long and loose black robe and a good size head scarf. Nazila was covered head to toe with black loose clothing, although she did have just a tad bit more make up than I did (I had just started wearing light makeup). Nazila told me to quickly take off all of my rings (I was wearing four), which I did in a panic and placed them in my pocket. We made sure that our hair was covered fully under the scarf and did not know how els to "accommodate".
At some point I looked back at the row behind us where the other ladies were sitting. One of them calmly smiled at me and said "you girls will be OK, it is us who are definitely goners" as she was wearing a bright pink lipstick, green eye shadow, small colorful head scarf and other "improper" clothing. I gave her a reassuring smile.
As the mini bus was speeding off one of the black hejab women sat on the seat next to Nazila and I. Immediately Nazila started asking her questions as I was frozen in fear/disbelief/confusion. She inquired about why we were picked up and all the woman kept repeating over and over was: "I do not have to tell you as you know yourself what is wrong with your appearance". Really, neither one of us was aware of what we could have done differently to be more "proper" and "decent".
After many prompts the lady finally confessed on where our "indecency" lied. She told Nazila: "The only issue with you is that a corner of your neck was showing, but if you cover it with your head scarf you will be OK". Then she looked at me with disgust and said to me: "But you, you are wearing blue jeans. That is western clothing and a decent girl would not wear such a thing. And what is this watch? (it was the new big and colorful pop out Swatch watch that was in style those days) Have you no shame? This is far from the elegance of a lady which you should be displaying. How dare you?". I started to argue and defend my elegance, decency and propriety and my status of being a lady, when Nazila interrupted and apologized for my shameful display of ugliness and foul taste. I followed her lead and took my watch off and promised the woman that I will not wear blue jeans again.
Nazila continued to plead with the woman to let us go before the arrival at the dreaded "jail". So finally either the woman's heart softened or she became completely annoyed wishing to get rid of us and asked the driver to stop the mini bus. The man with the gun did not like the idea and tried to convince the black hejab woman that the trashy girls (Nazila & I) must learn our lesson and be punished for walking around town like whores. The woman laughed and assured him that we have learned our lesson and will reconsider our wardrobe. So the mini bus stopped in the middle of some street (by now I had no idea where we were) and as the man was grumbling and the woman was laughing at our fearful faces they let us go. We jumped out of the mini bus and started walking away as fast as we could.
On our way back home I entered the land of anger as I was cursing the city, the country and all of the people living in it. I wanted to get out of there and never go back. Nazila was listening to me quietly and not quite grasping why I was so utterly furious.
The reason why we were picked up by the authorities that day was not because they spotted the corner of Nazila's neck or my watch, it was because we were two young girls happily walking in the street. Who knows what would have happened to us if we had not been dropped off of the mini bus before they reached their destination. Jail sentence, calling of the parents, signing a document promising to "change", payment of a large sum of money would have been some of what it would entail. However, a greater part of it would have been a bigger blow to our dignity and pride, slashing of our happiness and joy and killing our zest for life.
I thank the Universe for taking me out of that dreadfully awful environment, yet I can not help but to feel guilty for leaving the rest of the dignified, elegant, decent ladies of my country to go through this injustice day after day. Women like Nazila who did not even grasp the fact that you could be angry about such treatment.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Third time is a charm

Last night I got married again; For the third time; Within the duration of four years; To the same person!

First marriage:
The Wedding - August 2004 - Kenmore, Washington

It was a beautiful ceremony in a Golf Club. I was wearing the most beautiful white sparkly dress, a crystal tiara, long satin white gloves and I felt like a princess (how often do you get to wear a poofy dress, tiara and gloves and not be considered crazy? So I took advantage). Almost all of our loved ones were present and watching as we sat on two satin chairs. There were pictures being taken from every angle, beautiful music, honey, sweets and drinks being served. The gentleman who performed the ceremony was one of my father's dearest friends, he was sweet, a poet and I loved him. He said the most beautiful words with his tender voice that brought tears to every one's eyes. There was laughter and bubbles in the air as we said our "baleh"s. We were now socially married.

Second marriage:
The Chapel - May 2005 - Las Vegas, Nevada

It was 1:00 a.m. I was in tight jeans and a party top. My dear brother and a loyal friend were the witnesses/photographer/videographer. We stood in line at the 24/7 courthouse (at 1:00 a.m.!) to get our license. (By the way, in movies where people get drunk and "accidentally" get married in Vegas, they never show that you have to go to the courthouse first, stand in line, pay, fill out forms, then drive to the chapel, pay, fill out forms and then say "I do". Wouldn't they become sober by then?). At the Chapel we chose a "package" that included the wedding ceremony, music (cassette tape player operated by the minister himself), a single fresh red rose and an 8*10 photo of the couple. The minister who had about 30 keys hanging from his belt performed the ceremony as every one giggled and we said our "I do's". We were now legally married.

Third marriage:
The Mosque - July 2008 - Costa Mesa, California

Stopped by the mosque after work to get married. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, long pants and a head scarf. The Mullah was a real live actual "akhoond" (one of the most charming and handsome "akhoond"s I had ever seen in my life). Our loyal friend (same one from Vegas) who was accompanying us was denied the role of a witness, because she was a woman (how could I forget that women do not count as a full human being in my religion?). So we were granted a nice man instead ("akhoond" in training) to sign the witness line, who left the room in the middle of the ceremony because his cell phone rang (with an Arabic prayer ring tone). The Mullah said words in a language that we did not understand, but we said "baleh" anyways. We were now religiously married.

To get married for the first time is a big deal. To get married a second time one year later (after realizing that he must watch football every freaking Sunday and she does not even know how to operate the dish washer) is a bigger deal. To get married a third time three years later (after at times experiencing the urge to break the television set with a hammer and the feelings of confusion as to why she is so furious) is the biggest deal. I guess this means that it is really really really sealed now and we really really really DO!

Marriage #1: $Thousands
Marriage #2: $210
Marriage #3: $250
Getting married to the same person three times within four years: PRICELESS!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Finding love in 2008

High gas prices, sky rocketing housing market, the possibility of a black American president, same sex marriages and Madonna's affair with A-Rod. These are all highly important current affairs, the hot topics in the public conversations and day to day lives. Yet, what fascinates me the most and what has occupied my mind recently is the evolution, the progress and the process of finding love or human mating in 2008. What has happened to easily meeting, falling in love and getting married?
Every where I turn I see single people who are searching for love and being unsuccessful at finding it. Speed Dating,,,, Just Lunch are to just name a few agencies that have become super rich with more and more members. Friends setting friends up, family members introducing single adults to one another. And finally you have your good old Clubs, Bars, Lounges and Hot Spots. There has been books written on this topic, How-To books, books analyzing the subject, Self-Help books. What the hell is going on? Why has it become so difficult?
All I hear around me are horror stories, tragic date tales and reports of odd behaviors. The guy who disclosed to his date the fact about "hating" his mother, the guy who rented a high-end car to impress a girl on their first date, the guy who married his ex four weeks after a really great first date, the guy who seemed so interested during the romantic dates and the late night phone calls yet never managed to call again. And finally all of those 40 year old guys who STILL do not know what they want in life and STILL are not "ready" for the next step yet! (I am only aware of "guy horror stories" due to only having girlfriends who confide in me, however I realize that there also exists many many "girl horror stories").
Let me analyze this for you as I have spent hours pondering it. It used to be so easy, people met in high school or college and after a short period of time they were married. Some would meet at their first jobs or in social gatherings and shortly after were married, as the age of marriage was early twenties. What happened was that girls and guys became more and more independent and happy with their young and single lives (making money, partying, living alone, dating, having careers, etc.) that they postponed marriage until a later age for "when they are more ready". That later age is where the problem lies.
When you are young you do not have many "requirements" or expectations for your "mate" as you do not consider their job, car nor education, because they are too young to have acquired all of that. You do not consider their family, their friends and their hobbies because you do not care at that time. You do not consider their little quirks, their beliefs, their substance and their character because for one they may not have any of that yet, and two you feel that Love or Lust will conquer all! It is so much easier to fall in love with a brand new, fresh and clean heart when you are young and yes, love is all you care about. So you get married and you grow together. You are flexible and open to change, because you had not previously become so set on your ways. You build your life together, learn together and merge with one another.
When you do not get married young and continue to remain single (due to reasons mentioned above) you learn things on your own, become used to your way of doing things and yes, you get set on your ways. You have to sleep on the left side of the bed, you do not like to talk to any one in the morning, you have to travel three times a year, you have girls/boys night out 4 times a week, you have to go to the gym every Saturday morning, you have to wash your clothes a certain way, you have to watch TV before bed, you spend most of your money on clothes and you have to attend all of your Fantasy Baseball Team meetings. The list of likes and dislikes, the "have tos" and "can not dos" go on and on and on. You lived by yourself for so many years, you have become used to having things your way and having no one to answer to or to discuss things with. You and the others your age have had adequate time to acquire a high education, buy a home, buy a nice car and become "successful". You now care about much more in a "mate" than you used to 10 years ago as your expectations have sky rocketed where love has dropped significantly down on your list. So you still wonder why it is difficult to find love?
Here are some barriers to finding love in an older age in 2008: 1. You are too picky 2. You play too many games 3. You refuse to be flexible. You let go of a guy because he is too short, you dismiss a girl because she does not have long hair. You have to be with some one who makes over $100,000/year, you want some one who has higher education. You feel that you should not look eager so you do not call her for 3 days, you feel that you should not look desperate so you screen his calls. You pretend that you are busy, therefore you do not come clean about how much you would love to see him. You stay 100% true to your 25 item list of what your "mate" should be like. You do not stay out late with her on Sunday night because you have to go home to complete your Sunday night rituals.
Guys and girls (men and women by this point) are having difficulty finding love because they have high expectations and are not willing to change. Also because "marriage" has become such a big deal to them by now that they are looking for perfection! The women want to be swept off of their feet, wined and dined, men have become jaded and refuse to do that. The men want some one honest and sweet as the women have also become jaded and can not bring themselves to be that way. By the time people are in their thirties every one has had their heart broken at least once, been cheated on, lied to and have been disappointed so many times that their heart is no longer open nor inviting. You have a "do not enter" sign hanging from the gates of your heart and you still ask why it is hard to find some one to love?
If you are in your thirties and are desperately looking for love, first of all stop looking so hard, second, loosen up, third stop nit picking on every small thing, fourth be willing to give up some things and be a bit flexible, fifth stop playing games and be yourself for a change, sixth do not be scared by what you see in other people's relationships, seventh open up your heart and throw away the "do not enter" sign from the gates, eight open your mind and finally just have fun out there. It will come to you, I guarantee it!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Dar gozareh roozegar, forsat ra ghanimat shomar va be khatoun biandish. Ou ke dar keshakesheh dahar baraye residan be mashoogh va maghsood yek taneh be mobarezehee miravad ke vojoodash ra be faramooshi mikeshanad. Va az khod ostourehie misazad bavar nakardani. Shayad ke digaran ba khondaneh sarneveshteh ou dars begirand va ba azmi rasakh be sooye meidaneh mobarezeh ba sarnevesht gom bar darand.
Khatoun tanha yek dastan nist balkeh chekidehi ast az vagheiat. Vagheiati ke shayad ou yek ghatreh az daryaye bikaraneh on bashad. Ba ou bash ta manaye eshgh ra be haghighat daryabi va be khod beghaboolan ke khastan tavanestan ast va man mitavanam haman basham ke khod mikhaham.
Taghdir ra joz khodavand va eradeh ostovar, hich kas nemitavanad taghir dahad va in manam ke dar saye e sh gh in se harfeh por mani ke dar amikhtegi ba ham loghateh eshgh ra mana mibakhshad be darjateh ali miresam va be khod va digaran sabet mikonam ke man agar khod bekhaham, hastam va mitavanam baraye hamegan olgou basham.

Mojgan Ehteshami

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I left the house at 10:46 this morning with a mission: to buy a few pairs of men's summer Shorts. I knew what style, what colors and what size I wanted, I was going to come back with bags full of men's shorts. I returned home around 4:47 with a new colorful Purse, a new fancy Key Chain, the cutest little Ring, a fabulous big Watch, a very necessary striped Cardigan for me and left over Salmon Salad from lunch with a girlfriend. Not one pair of men's Shorts.
I have to say that I was proud of myself because I remained strong and demonstrated restraint by not purchasing the pink Coach Sandals that were on sale, the very expensive Burberry Watch that looked amazing on my wrist and by not even entering Bakers Shoe Store for damage control. Still, how did this happen? What is it with women and shopping?
If you are a woman then you know what I am talking about. Shopping provides us with the sense of satisfaction, gratification, completion and just plain pleasure. By attaining stuff as unnecessary as they may be, we feel joy. Could I have lived with out this (totally gorgeous) clutch? Of course. Would my current key chain be sufficient for the purpose it serves? Absolutely. But the high that I experience when I replace it with the new one is unexplainable. I feel fulfilled when I leave the mall with bags in my hands as opposed to completely disappointed when I get into my car with nothing to put in the trunk. Why?
If you are a guy then you must relate with these questions as you probably ask them all the time. Know that one of you is wondering that now while checking the bank account and realizing that he still only owns two pairs of summer Shorts!
Brand new stuff, shiny pretty things, more clothes, more shoes, more accessories. Do these things make us happy? Absofuckinglutely!