Thursday, August 21, 2014

my parents had an arranged marriage

My parents met in person and got married two weeks later.  I used to think that's just how fast relationships moved in the 70s and that they were just that in love, but the truth is, they pretty much had an arranged marriage.  At the time, my mom was nineteen and living in Tehran, Iran and my dad was 28 and getting his degree at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisianna.  Well, here's my mom's retelling of how it happened along with a little Q & A...

Our marriage was not those kind of arranged marriage that your parents find you a husband/wife and you don't have a choice but to accept! The thing is that his family liked me and wanted us to meet and go from there, they would show me his pictures whenever they saw me for a year or so before he came to Iran for a visit and I liked the way he looked and I would often think about him, and he had seen my picture! So when we met for the first time, the chemistry was there!

Did you love each other when you got married?
Mom: For my part I can tell you I felt the love from the beginning, we went to movies during the two weeks before we got married and I don't remember anything about those movies, I only remember how excited I was when he held my hand during the movie and I remember what color of shirt he had on each time we saw each other and the flowers he brought for me and how I could not eat anything!

After we got married, he went back to the US to go back to school and do the paperwork for my visa.  For two months we were separated, the letters we sent to each other every day (which we still have and they are a treasure to us) turned the affection to love, from the beginning your dad always showed his affection to me with words.  When I saw him after two months (after just being married for about 10 days and knowing each other for less than a month) in the Atlanta airport, he held me in his arms and cried.  I knew he loved me and we both knew we made the right choice!

But was it hard to get married so quickly?
Mom: I don't know why, but it wasn't hard.  Maybe because everyone around us was happy about it!

How did your parents know you were right for each other?
Mom: I can't tell you why our parents knew we were right for each other and to be honest I don't think they knew (unfortunately, none of them are around to ask), his parents liked me and my parents liked him and I think that was good enough. At the end we can just say we were lucky!

What's that story again about what Ata Baba (my grandpa, my mom's dad) told you after the wedding?
I was nagging him to rush my travel plans to the US after the wedding and he told me with tears in his eyes "Why are you in such a rush to go? You have been my daughter for nineteen years and his wife for two months!"
my grandparents visiting my mom in America
The early years of your marriage were pretty stressful, what with living in a war torn country with two young kids and escaping to America.  How did your marriage overcome this (especially during the months you were apart and baba (means dad in farsi) was still in Iran trying to get out?
Mom: Yes, the early years were very difficult, with the revolution and both of us losing our fathers who were both in their late fifties, within less than two years of each other. The Iran and Iraq war (although Tehran was not yet that affected by the war when we left the country), being separated again this time me and you and Samira (Editor's note: my sister) in the US, and your dad in Iran, and then starting a new life in California.  Over the years, there have been a lot of ups and downs, laughter and tears, some yelling and arguments, disagreements, and then so many happy moments.  But when there is love, you can outcome all the downs and you can enjoy the ups with each other.

Way to drop some mad knowledge, mom!  On that note, I'd like to wish my parents a very happy anniversary.  Tomorrow marks 40 years together.  CRAZY!
My parents in New Orleans for Mardi Gras in 1975.


  1. I love your parents' story and those pictures are awesome! Nice stache Amou!

  2. Happy Anniversary to them! I always loved their relationship! Nice & beautiful people make more nice & beautiful people.

  3. ...and I love how she could not eat anything! That's how I always knew I was into a dude too ;)

  4. Arranged Marriage are really common in Muslim countries. Usually this doesn't work but Congratulations.


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