Forgetting To Forgive
by: Hamid Taghavi

Recently, a friend called to ask me for advice on mediating between two  feuding friends, Mr. Divardoost and Mr. Shoornamak. I was baffled as to why he's asking me since I only sparingly knew the two.

"Why me? Why me?"

"I figure you cost less than a paid mediator."

"And what exactly is the problem?"

"These people have not spoken a word for over 40 years. It all started over how Divardoosts failed to attend Mrs. Shoornamak's aash making class gradutation party and things went downhill from there."

"Maybe they just don't want to be friends. Why can't you  leave them alone? Why do you care anyway?"

"Because it really breaks my heart to see two good friends be at war like this. It just devastates me."

"Tell me the truth... You're just bored and are looking for trouble. Either that or it must be that gene all us Iranians possess which makes us force people to reconcile without being asked by those people."

"Yeah that must be it. I know someone who did his Ph.D. thesis on that one."

"Is that a disease or a syndrome?"

"I think it's a condition. Anyway, all our other measures have  failed. We need professional help. That's where you come in."

"Did you try forging their handwritings on two mutual letters  with some tear jerky expression of regret and admiration?"

"Yes, but they had already put a postal block on each other's mail, and so the letters never made it to their destinations."

"This is worse than I thought... Did you try tricking them  into being in the same party at the same time and bumping into each other when they least expect it? Because somehow if they make eye contact, or better yet, are trapped to shake  hands they'll have to say nice things to one another and will  be locked into another 30 years of friendship..."

"We tried that but they were on to us. We were trying to get them to meet at the restaurant at the top of the Bonaventure hotel, and in the last second Mr. Divardoost parachuted off the top of  the hotel and Mr. Shoornamak jumped on to grab to a helicopter taking off to drop off the vice president at the airport."

"Did you try getting their kids to date and force the issue that way?"

"I'm way ahead of you, buddy. Through our elaborate plans Mr. Divardoost's son has already met and married Mr. Shoornamak's  daughter and they're expecting their second child soon, but  the elders still refuse to meet."

"Then, I'm afraid you have exhausted all the easy ways out. I'm sorry to say you have no choice but do the unthinkable..."

"You mean..."

"Yes, you have to get to the root of the problem. It's going to  be ugly."

"Oh my god... That's horrible... That means we're going to have to sit there for hours and listen to their every mind-blowing detail  of everything that has happened since Mussolini still had hair,  how one once brought the other a gift wrapped in the wrong kind of  paper, how they didn't pay enough compliments about the eggplant dish  the other wife had made, and how one of them wouldn't share the secret of how to telepathically move objects..."

"Yes, and the worst part is, even if you get them to get over their past problems, they'll be walking on egg shells for, that 6 months from now we'll be on the phone talking about this all over again."

With that, we agreed that rather than helping those people make  up using 3000 years of half-cocked ideas of peace making, I'd be better off to read an Iranian magazine and try to find  the one percent content among the remaining ninety nine percent ads.