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Too late
I brushed my cynicism aside to listen more closely to my father's conversation. He was talking about haftehs, chellehs. Shit, someone has died.

Nazy Madani
October 14, 2005

It was a Saturday night and I was getting ready for dinner with Sean, a famous plastic surgeon's son whom I had met on the beach a few weeks ago. I was trying to decide what dress to wear when I heard my dad's voice rising from downstairs. He was on the phone with his sister, my Ameh Shoku, who is constantly asking my dad for money, valuable American dollars that inevitably go up in smoke thanks to her tariyaki husband.

I hate them for taking advantage of his good heart like this. His whole family thinks that just because he has a doctorate degree and is living in America that he is swimming in cash.

Well, I have an important date tonight and I am not going to damage the sexy, sultry and dark vibe I have picked up by living in Miami for the past three months by arguing with my father, so I tune him out by turning up the volume on my boom box and continue to get ready for my date to the sounds of South Beach's most revered DJ, Oscar G.

I inspected my undressed body in the full-length mirror. Dr. Clarke, Sean's father, and his very lucrative claim to fame as the man who performs boob jobs on the girls who win bizarre contests on a nationwide radio show have managed to make me wonder whether I want anything done to my body.

Middle Eastern women rarely have issues with their chests, and being a Persian woman in America I have too much to be thankful for to begin pestering myself with what I could stuff my body with. I did have a nose job in Iran when I was eighteen, but the fact that my nose doesn't really look that much different now makes me wonder if the surgery counts at all. Maybe Dr. Clarke could taper my nose a little bit more.

That thought notwithstanding, I am in fact very proud of my exotic Middle Eastern looks. My olive skin tone is accented with a tan (and lots of moisturizer) and it gives me a goddess' glow, which works very well in my new home of Miami. This city is filled with Hispanics, Jamaicans, whites trying to be black, and I float perfectly in-between as an olive-skinned, dark-haired, green-eyed Persian girl who is not overwhelmingly impressed by anyone out here.

Speaking of nonchalant cool, I realized that I still had to get ready for my date.

My closet is filled with gorgeous clothes hand picked out by my personal stylist, also known as my ambitious and very-proud-of-her-beautiful-daughter mother, whose very good taste and supernatural sense of when to shop Macy's for the best bargains has yielded us both closets to die for.

I began to reach for a sky blue figure-hugger of a dress with spaghetti straps and ruffles lining the asymmetrical bottom when my father's voice became louder. He was speaking in Farsi, the language of the Persians, Iranians, Aryans, and it sounded great mixed in with the sexy bass and rhythm of Oscar G.'s music. Funny how they called themselves by so many different names as if one of those names could serve as a life vest that would save a 40 million plus people from drowning in the flashflood that is current events.

I brushed my cynicism aside to listen more closely to my father's conversation. He was talking about haftehs, chellehs. Shit, someone has died.

I wriggled into the dress as quickly as I could and opened the door to see my father standing there with the most desperate and sad look on his face. "Baba, your grandmother has died." I looked into his eyes before enveloping him in my arms and saw in them years of accumulated regret: regret that he couldn't be with his mother as she grew old and weak, regret that he hadn't gone back to Iran more often to see her, regret that he hadn't been the last person she saw when she died, her precious only son. Now it was too late.

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