Oct 2, 2020

When I was seventeen I moved to sunny Arizona, to attend college at the UofA.   By pure luck, I met my best friends in the putty-colored, cinder block halls of the freshmen dorms.  The year was filled with late-night pizzas and lots of dorm room dancing. By God’s grace, we were just at the cusp of mass cell phones and social media.  Life was awesome! 

Sophomore year we got our very first apartment just south of campus.  Natalie, Setiva, and I were three peas in a pod.  We made dinner together every single night except Thursday nights.  Thursday nights, Natalie would go to her friend Kaveh’s house.   

A group of friends would gather to BBQ and watch 90210 on his sofa each week.  One Thursday night, Natalie returned home with a hilarious story involving a neighborhood game of Hide and Seek.  I wasn’t a fan of 90210 but BBQ and a good game of nighttime Hide and Seek stirred my curiosity.  So I agreed to go the following week. 

Kaveh was lighthearted, had good honest values, treated girls as equals, and was sincerely the funniest guy I had ever met. He also drank way too much, mistook Jack Daniels bottles for fireplace mantel accessories, and would set off the car alarms by blasting the subwoofers in the back of his Bronco.  

He was the kid that 40 something year old Shea despises.  But twenty year old Shea was drawn to his humor and overall outlook on life, and he was drawn to my….. well, to be honest, he was drawn to my boobs. I wish I could say it was my whit and kind heart, but it wasn’t.  He was really just thrilled to have a boob in his hand occasionally.  I can’t say he even cared who it was attached to.  I would like to think that it helped that I wasn’t batshit crazy but that had been his history with girls, so I suppose it wouldn’t have mattered either way.  

I was a studious girl on my way to being a fancy lady someday.   From the ages of five to eight, I dressed up for Halloween with long white gloves, a string of pearls, and a faux fur coat.  One summer, my mom bought me a long brass cigarette holder from the neighbor’s garage sale.  It was the final touch to my fancy lady look.   Now that I think of it, this may have been when I first picked up the habit of air smoking.  (See 8/26) Way to be a good influence, mom. 

Kaveh was cut from a different cloth.  Think John Belushi in Animal House.  He was a partier, staying up into the wee hours of the morning playing games like Edward Forty Hands.  Imagine the 90’s cult classic, Edward Scissor Hands but with 40s of beer🍺 taped to the hands of each competitor.  Though funny in the beginning this game rarely ended well.   He thanks the heavenly Lord above that cell phones with cameras weren’t around to share those moments. (Those stories will be saved for the book)

Then there was me.  I liked to go out but my bedtime was 12:00 on the nose.  It was well known that you better get me back to my bed by midnight or I would turn into a party pooper.   I would fall asleep anywhere, house parties, bars, even a Lynard Skynyrd concert. It was like Cinderella meets Sleeping Beauty.  Who am I kidding?  I was nothing like a Disney princess, more like a narcoleptic Brigette Jones.  Either way,  I owe my girlfriends a profound thank you for watching out for me as I curled up in random places. 🙄

Kaveh and I were complete opposites and an odd match.  But his humor and my love of BBQ kept me showing up at his doorstep each week, pretending to like 90210.  

His mother was, and still is, a skilled and sought after Las Vegas interior designer who frequently came to town while working on various projects. She has a strikingly glamorous appearance, dresses to the nines, and accessorizes with just the right jewels. She is a true fancy lady and raised her son to treat a lady right. 

Besides the chivalrous qualities taught by his parents, Kaveh had many great qualities that attracted me to him.  (Well, at least Monday thru Thursday he did) But above all, he was most charming when he spoke French.  He took French throughout high school, and though he rarely had the opportunity to use it, I swooned when he did.  There were definitely two distinct sides to this guy, and this intrigued me. 

Anywho, let’s continue, but for the sake of the story we will want to back up just a smooch for a key detail.

Besides the chivalrous qualities taught by his parents, Kaveh had many great qualities that attracted me to him.  (Well, at least Monday thru Thursday he did) But above all, he was most charming when he spoke French.  He took French throughout high school, and though he rarely had the opportunity to use it, I swooned when he did.  There were definitely two distinct sides to this guy, and this intrigued me.

Kaveh has beautiful tan skin. Being from New Mexico, I assumed that anybody with darker skin was Hispanic. He proudly corrected me, explaining that he was half Persian and still had family there along with many acres of land that would be his to inherit whenever he returned. He hoped to take me there someday to visit his grandma.

This delighted me to no end as I had always wanted to visit Paris It looked just lovely in the movies, and I most definitely could see myself drinking wine on a country hillside.  It was really the final detail to my fancy lady image.  I imagined us moving there someday to raise our children. French would be their first language, of course, and I would eventually pick up a most charming accent.  I practiced this accent around the house when nobody else was home.   Somedays, I carried on long conversations with myself while driving around town.

I wondered if my family would miss me when I moved and worried if I would stay close with my girlfriends.  I would obviously invite them out to holiday with me.  (Thats how the French say vacation. Wait maybe that’s the English 🤔 ) Of course, I wouldn’t be able to make it back for the ten-year class reunion. The trip would be too far.  “Didn’t you hear?  Shea married some Frenchman and lives in Paris now.  I knew that girl was something special. I wish I hadn’t been such a douche to her in highschool.”

Yup, I thought Persians were Parisians🙄.  I wish I could blame this on a poor education, but I feel I should confess that I rarely paid attention in social studies.  I have nobody to blame it on but myself. I still can’t confidently say I could pick out Iran on a map.   🤫 Shhh, don’t tell my in-laws.

Now I had met his mother on many occasions as she came to town often while working on projects, but I had yet to meet his father…..until I did.  Enter Cyrus Najafi, Kaveh’s very very Persian father.   He drove up in his black S Class Mercedes Benz (legit Persians always drive a black Benz) and promptly unloaded the trunk that held a bag of basmati rice the size of a toddler and a cooler filled with cucumber yogurt, kabobs, cutlets, and steaks, all to be grilled that very evening.  I soon learned that this is how all Persians cook.  Every meal is either an elaborate feast or the leftovers from the feast.

I took one look at this dark-skinned man with his recessed eyes, jet black hair and his strong nose and thought to myself, “He looks like a man who would more likely wear a turban than a beret.”  (Persian men don’t wear turbans, yet another thing I got wrong🙄) 

He greeted me, and I quickly caught his heavy accent, as Farsi is his first language.   This sounded nothing like the accent I had been practicing over the past month. 

Needless to say It was a very long dinner as I sat there completely bewildered.  I didn’t know where in the Hell this man was from, but I had a gut feeling that my French would not be heard in the cafes of Paris anytime soon.  All that practicing for nothing.  😂 The lesson here my friends is pay attention in school.

 

Au revoir,

Shea

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