And the Wedding Band Played on


And the Wedding Band Played on
by Faramarz

In our relatively large family of many aunts, uncles and cousins, my cousin Garsha was the favorite one. He was the oldest and the coolest of all my cousins. He drove a silver BMW 2002, the hip car of the single men of the 70’s. He always smelled great from his Paco Rabanne cologne. He wore Cecil Gee clothes and had the fashionable Jason King haircut, mustache and the sideburns. In other words, he was the ultimate eligible bachelor of the Iran of the 70’s!

I always looked up to him as he was the only relative that would allow me and my other young cousins to sit in his car and pretend that we were driving. There was only one rule though, “Don’t push the accelerator pedal. That would flood the engine with gas and the car would not start for a while!”

He used to take his girlfriends to the fancy clubs and restaurants of northern Tehran like Chattanooga, Sorrento and Key Club. For him, there were the girls that you date and the girl that you marry. And those were two mutually exclusive things!

His girlfriends were all beautiful with long shiny black hair and mini skirts. I met a couple of them when he stopped by our house to pick some fruit from the backyard. He never invited his girlfriends inside the house. They just waited in the car. One of them once pinched my cheeks and said, “What a cute boy you are!” And that made my day!

It was the biggest news in our family when my aunt called my mom and announced that Garsha was finally getting married. The bride-to-be was the only daughter of a senior military man. We were all so anxious to meet her. My aunt planned an elaborate wedding at Hotel Vanak with great food and a popular band. In the days leading to the wedding, all the women in the family were busy getting ready for the big day as if it was their own wedding; the fancy clothes, the diet, the haircut and everything else.

In Iran, the wedding party (Aroosi) is all about the women; the bride, the young girls who want to be brides some day and the older women who once were brides. They all see themselves as brides! The men just stand around and do as they are told!

The wedding party was an event. There were trays of fruits and sweets on the tables. I ate so much cherries and apricots that I got a stomach ache! I even stashed a couple of cucumbers in my pocket for the next day!

The bride looked magnificent. She was a few years younger than Garsha. She sat at the head table quietly and didn’t smile much. We all thought that she was just shy. The band played all the popular songs. The bride and groom danced a couple of times, and then sat at their table and watched the others. The wedding band played on and all the women danced. Around midnight, the band played Garsha’s favorite song, T'amo e T'amerò, as was played at Chattanooga on Fridays. The bride and groom slow-danced and then they left for their honeymoon at the Caspian Sea resort of Motel Ghoo. The band played on and the guests danced.

I had told my classmate Iraj about my cousin and the upcoming wedding. He was our expert and the resident scholar in anything that had to do with women, sex and marriage! He was the one that brought his dad’s Playboy magazines to the school and had told all of us back on the 7th grade about what happens on the wedding night, the virginity and all the other stuff.

“You see, when the groom does a good job on the wedding night, the bride’s face will be all happy and shiny and she will love him for the rest of his life!’ He proclaimed. So I was all anxious to observe the bride’s face when she was back from the honeymoon!

Garsha and his bride went to Motel Ghoo and had an awkward night. She was a lesbian and had no interest in men. She was forced to get married. She cried all night as she opened her heart to Garsha. Garsha was just mad and furious. He couldn’t believe that the wedding was all a sham. In the early morning hours, they gathered their stuff, put them in the car and headed back to Tehran. Garsha dropped her in front of her parents’ home and without saying a word drove away.

A couple of days later, I was sitting in the kitchen reading the weekly sports magazine when my mom got a call from my aunt. I was all ears!

“Oh my god … she is a lesbian…are you sure?... there is no cure for that…what if she has children…” my mom was asking Garsha’s mom.

Iraj had told me about women who liked other women, but I had never met one. I didn’t know what to think of this.

I hope that I can find Iraj one of these days. We have so much to talk about!

T'amo e T'amerò (I love you and I will love you!)

^  ^
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Ahh yes Old Spice! Although, most Taajis wore Aramis!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred


Old Spice, but of course!

by Faramarz on

I loved that morning-fresh scent!


By "wearing" I meant wearing cologne not underwear!

by Anonymouse on

In the 90s after that MTV girl asked Bill Clinton about his choice of underwear that became the question of the decade!  So I was comparing the Aramis or Paco Rabanne question to the underwear question.

So which cologne did you wear?!  And don't tell me you didn't wear any cologne because all Middle Eastern men are trained at an early age to start wearing it!  I used samples and other people's cologne until I got my own at the age of 15 ;-) 

Everything is sacred


Underwear? What Underwear?

by Faramarz on

Au Naturel!


I go with DKNY and all the little "echantions" that I could get!


Paco Rabanne or Aramis, the boxer or brief question of the 70s!

by Anonymouse on

Which one did you wear Faramarz?!  I wore Aramis in Iran (officially starting at age 15 with a birthday gift :-) and Paco Rabanne for a few years in US.  A little like Taj or Perspolis!

Now I'm not all over the place and not too picky on colognes.  My only requirement in picking colognes is what "free gift" comes with it!  I have too many bags and am now focusing on umbrellas!  I actually have an Aramis umbrella!

The wedding back in 70s were really fun or at least they seemed fun.  Nowadays the weddings are "fun" if they're "underground" with illegal alcohol and illegal music!  Sort of like your other Wedding ceremony blog by default! 

Everything is sacred

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

a napoli ; I was there too once for the Rolingstones concert at the packed san paolo stadium in the early 80 and next to attend the wedding of one of our class mate to a girl from salerno ( claimed !! to be pregnant and if her dad and brother finds out they gonna come to Rome and kill them both !)....................





خدا این ایرج رو خفه کنه که هر چی به من گفت چرت و پرت بود!

نه تو فرودگاهه
نیو یورک دختران زیبا به استقبالم اومدن، نه این حرف های دیگه اش درست از
کار در اومد!


مازیار خان


Thanks Maziar.

Chatanooga was the place!

I spent some time in Peppino’s hometown of Napoli and developed a passion for the place. Great Pizza Margherita!


شازده عزیز


همین چشم و گوش بسته هان که پدر همه رو در اوردن!


I never quite understood the real reasons either. A few months later, he married a school teacher, a modest girl in a small ceremony. And they lived happily ever after


Dear cousin Framarz,

by Bavafa on

Please let us know when you catch up with Iraj, I am quite intrigued to see what he has to say and learn :)

Great story as always, finished with a great song.


maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

faramarz khan thanks for the nice story and the peppino di capri's memorable song and all the 70's details.....

I remember driving my tehrani's friends (in his dad's 2002) to chattanooga for a hamburger plate (called the BEST) and the rest.

Il destino or (god )had a plan to drop me in chattanooga from all the other places in the world .Maziar

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Love and Marriage ... Horse and Carriage

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Very nice story, thanks dear Faramarz.

It is too bad that so many "well planned" marriages have such awkward endings. Truth is, we only hear about the result, the "failure". But everyone makes up their own stories, of what went wrong. The bride being a "lesbian" was a convenient explanation, for a while in Iran!

Anyhooo, it's true that some of them just fall apart on the first night. But I bet that many many of those don't even surface till months or years later! Marriage is a funny thing.

Your point about the "marriageable" versus "dateable" girls is nicely pictured too. So many of us were always concerned about marrying a "bitten apple". Of course, we were ourselves constantly on the prowl to bite on whichever round fruit we could find. But expected our bride-to-be, to be pure and untouched ... "Cheshm Va Goosh Basteh".

My comment is getting longer than your story, so again: thanks a million for this fine piece of fiction (or fact?).