Proxy Fulbright Mom and the Pros and Cons of Marriage

On her seventy second birthday Fulbright Scholar Zohreh Sullivan was unofficially designated as “Fulbright Proxy  Mom!” Who designated her as Proxy Mom? I did. Why? Zohreh’s passion for cooking, and her generous spirit, insures that all of the Fulbright chicks (male and female) don’t starve during their stints in Jordan.  She also disperses her magic herbal healing potions to those of us who need it. I came down with a nasty cold and happened to mention it to Zohreh. Before I knew it our trusty cab driver Nahid was at my door holding a bottle of Zohreh’s magic potion and a huge container filled with cabbage rice.1 Zohreh's magic potion.

Within a half hour of drinking the potion my sinus headache disappeared and my throat felt normal again. I finished off the container of cabbage rice in three days and was once again ready to brave the world on the other side of my front door. Thank you, Zohreh!

Zohreh invited Fulbright peeps to be her guests at her 72nd birthday party at Rakwet Cafe.  After we were all seated, an incredible spread of Arabic dishes was placed on the table and a Tupperware container filled with a quinoa dish was placed in front me. True to her thoughtfulness, Zohreh created a glutton free dish for glutton allergic me.2 Zohreh's b-day3 Zohreh's b-day.4 Zohreh, Mia, Eda5 Zohreh's b-day.

The most inspirational part of knowing Zohreh is her pride in her age and association of it with her love for her life. Every cab driver and person she talks to is proudly informed that she is seventy-two years old, followed by the many privileges and advantages age has over youth. She honors her age like a victory crown, and wears each year magnificently. Happy birthday, Zohreh!

About a week prior to Zohreh’s birthday party Amira, Zohreh and I went to Majedah’s embroidery shop, Grand Mother’s Dress. 7 Zohreh at Majedah's shop.While we were there Majedah’s mother made a surprise visit . It was wonderful seeing her again.8 Suzanne greeting Majedah's mom. We immediately began talking non-stop. Remember, I know six words in Arabic, and Majedah’s mother knows exactly zero words in English. We discussed the benefits of marriage, she was encouraging me to marry anyone, and I was pointing out the benefits of being single and the horrors of divorce.12 everyone giving advice about men.9 discussing men.As we carried on, rallying back and forth, the two men in the shop intently listened..13 two men watching women talk about men.After our lengthy, adamant conversation we laughed, performed the normal (for the two of us) left cheek-right cheek kisses five times, and I accepted her invitation to eat her delicious stuffed grape leaves at her house at a later date.14 two happily single women.15 two more happily single women.

2 thoughts on “Proxy Fulbright Mom and the Pros and Cons of Marriage

  1. Suz and all friends there in Amman or in other places, too – I’ve enjoyed all the posts, but this one had to be the most humorous yet! Seeing two men watch women discuss men was hilarious! What bafflement! What confusion! I loved the Zohreh honor you gave and the cabbage rice recipe that cured your bad cold in just 3 hours. Thank you for the delightful New Years Day reading treat. Jennie

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