I once met a guy of Pakistani heritage, and he lied about where he was from. And I'm not talking about the year 2002 and the man I would eventually marry. I'm talking about way back in 1997! And I didn't find out the truth about that for 10 years, which makes my Mian's two month lie look like a comparatively smaller deal, I guess.
I lived in California when I was in fourth and fifth grade. I made friends with a neighbor girl and she became the longest lasting friendship I've ever had. We actually were just casual friends when we were young, she was two grades higher than I was and changed both her home and school until we rarely saw each other. But somehow after I moved all the way across the country, we began to write letters to each other. Then phone calls. Then her family came to my state for a vacation and invited me along for a few days. Somehow we'd managed to become best friends strictly through cross-country correspondence. Then, the summer before my senior year of high school,. my parents bought me a plane ticket (I can't even remember the occasion, maybe it was a birthday present or something) to fly back to California and visit for two weeks. It was on this trip that my best friend introduced me to her boyfriend.
She'd met him online, and they'd been dating for a while by the time I met him. I don't know much about him, and I remember even less than I probably once knew, but I remember being told that he was "Persian." I've heard that a lot since, people calling themselves Persian. I always want to say "Oh yeah, show me your passport from Persia, then." On that trip, the details I remember were that he was vacationing with his family in France and I had to use my 2 years of high school french on the phone to ask for him at his hotel because somehow his parents already hated my best friend and might recognize her voice. My friend told me that they'd found out their son was dating an American girl and wanted him to date a girl from his culture - even though his mother was not Pakistani! Also I remember when he got back, we went for dinner and he tried to order something that wasn't on the menu - some delightful potato pasta dish he'd just had in Italy, could the waitress please ask the chef if he could prepare it even though it wasn't on the menu. Turns out it was gnocchi - oh, and did I mention we were dining at that fine establishment known to connoisseurs as The Olive Garden? I don't think he or I liked each other very much, for various reasons. Anyway, they dated for a few years and broke up.
Then, some five years later, I met a Pakistani guy. Then I married him a year after that, and went to Pakistan a year after that. But somehow I'd forgotten all about this guy until maybe a year after THAT. Then, somehow, and for no discernable reason, it occurred to me that Mr. Persian had a VERY EXTREMELY PAKISTANI name. So I googled him, and it turns out that he was Pakistani! And (I think, from what my googling tells me) that his father even started some Pakistani businessman organization or something like that. I can't find any confirmation that his mother was non-Pakistani, but it turns out that he and I have the same profession.
When I was in high school, and my best friend was dating this young, upwardly mobile wealthy guy, I had an interest in boys who were anything but upwardly mobile. We used to have this joke - that one day I would end up living in a trailer in the backyard of she and Mr. Persia/Pakistan's back yard. It didn't seem like Mr. Persia/Pakistan liked that joke very much. (The joke lasted well past the era of Mr. Persia/Pakistan, actually, because my taste in men didn't improve until I met my Mian.) Now, I wish I could somehow talk to that guy and ask him questions. I've always got questions for the children of Pakistani immigrants raised in America, especially if their mother is non-Pakistani! I'm raising one of those kids!
And I'd tell him how my life ended up strangely similar to his. Somehow it amuses me to think that I had a brief glimpse into my future when I met that guy...