Confusing. If someone asked me to use one word to describe Iranian parents, then that would be one of them. (I have more, but I will save them for later posts.)
Growing up, there were some phrases that were repeated and repeated by my parents. You would think this would make them predictable. But, the issue was that they were used in different contexts, at different times, and with different meanings!
But, to keep myself entertained, I did have a favorite. And it was: “Ve (we…) don’t compare to other people!”
Now, on its own, I get that. We live our own lives, separate from others, what they do is their business, and what we do is our own business. I got it.
Easy enough, right? NOPE.
Ok, example. Family time. It was always important and I always accepted that. But you know, weekends would come around, and I would want to make plans, and sometimes yes for both Friday and Saturday night. I mean, hey, I had to be prepared so that when Monday rolled around and the question would be “What did you do this weekend?” I would have something exciting to share.
So, it went something like this:
Parents: “You can be with your friends one night of the weekend, but the other night you will be with us.”
Me: “Ok… but.. my friends get to be out both nights in the weekend and do whatever they want.”
And then… here it came:”Vell… ve don’t compare to other people!” Oh boy, if I had a penny for every time I heard that phrase, well… let’s just say I probably wouldn’t be sitting here writing this post right now.
That alone, was fine. I could deal with that and I enjoyed time with my family anyway.
But it didn’t end there. So, let’s say one of my friends, was taking piano class, spanish class, french class, art class, AND was accepted into some honors program at some school.. then it was “You know, so and so is doing this, you really should to.”
I couldn’t win, so I figured out the best strategy to this. Just nod and .
Ultimately though, they compared (or not compared) with one goal and intention… to do what they felt was best for their kids. I know that now, and I accept that I will probably end up being just as confusing to my own kids one day.
To compare or not compare. That was the question. I still don’t have the answer.