It isn’t clear whether it is the heat of the summer sun, the copious amounts of alcohol, the sight of the bathing beauties lounging by the pool or a combination of all three, but something certainly made Zohrab reminisce about his former glory days as a young bachelor about town.
“I had five girlfriends for three years. It was great,” he says with a proud tilt of his chin. “Nobody found out.”
“How old were you?”
“I was young, 19-20-21,” he says.
“Would it be okay if the girls were doing the same thing?”
“There was no chance in hell. I wouldn’t have gone out with them,” he says with an adamant shake of his head.
Men don’t naturally want to be in a relationship, Zohrab insists. “Most men get into a relationship because of a girl. They don’t get into a relationship because of themselves. We’re men, we don’t care. It’s you girls that drag men into relationships, not the other way around,” he insists. “We don’t need Mrs. Right when we’re 19 years old.”
With a larger than life persona that his friends insist has mellowed with age, Zohrab, now 40, has been married for the past eight years and is the father of three year old twin girls on whom he dotes.
“How would you feel, fifteen years from now when your daughters are 18, they run into a guy that makes them one of the five girls he is dating?”
“Fine,” he says. “As long as they weren’t taking it very seriously, there wasn’t marriage involved. At 19 you have no business thinking seriously [about relationships].” Zohrab believes that women have a tendency to develop an imaginary relationship when they begin dating a guy because they watch too many romantic movies. “If you’re making up a relationship in your head, then that’s your problem. Especially if the guy hasn’t said anything like ‘I’m only with you. I love only you, I’m serious with you.’ I never said anything like that. If I said ‘you’re the only one, blah, blah, blah,’ then it’s different. I stick to my word.”
“Do you cheat on your wife?”
“Not a lot,” he says matter of factly and reaches for his drink. “I had stopped pursuing,” he goes on to clarify, “but if it fell in my lap then, you know, its different.” He takes a big sip from his margarita and says, “I’ve stopped doing that since I’ve had my kids?”
“How does having children make it different?”
“I’ll never ruin my family,” he says. “Now I have three people to consider.” Even though his twin daughters are too young to remember anything now, Zohrab is thinking of the future and believes that they would eventually find out and wouldn’t like it.
“Do you still get tempted by other women?”
“Yeah, who doesn’t?” he says with a laugh and a nonchalant shrug. “I wouldn’t pursue it when I was married. If it came to me [back] then, eh,” he says with a lift of his shoulder indicating that he would have take advantage of the opportunity, “but if it came to me now, I wouldn’t do anything about it. No way.”
“Do you think you’ve changed between the ages of 19 and 40?”
“Absolutely. I will not pursue girls – not that I ever pursued girls,” he says making sure not to betray his tamed, but not forgotten, attitude of his bachelor days. “They pursued and I just stopped and let them catch me.”
Zohrab believes that relationships, marriage and children are very serious business. “That’s like work. You love each other in a compassionate way. At the end of the day you say ‘Wow, you did a really great job and I did a really great job at what I’m supposed to do in my role’ – and that’s what love is.”
“You say marriage is serious but being married didn’t stop you from having affairs.”
“It wasn’t affairs really. More like dalliances,” he says and insists that they all ended shortly after he was married. “It was a conscious decision because if I’m going to get married to anyone it was going to be this girl. I don’t want to have kids with anyone else.”
His wife knew of his activities and didn’t care, Zohrab claims. He is also sure that his wife was never unfaithful to him because that would have been unacceptable behavior to him. His reasoning for this double standard is that men are biologically driven to interact with as many women as possible. “That’s the biological God given reason, and it sucks because it’s a burden on men. We wish we didn’t have this [drive].”
“You’re saying it’s perfectly okay to go out with other women but it wouldn’t be okay for your wife to do the same.”
“Yup, [because] then it wouldn’t be a relationship,” he says giving his simple explanation of what he believes makes his marriage a successful one. “Somebody has to be stable there [in a relationship]; it’s not going to be me,” he says with a laugh and leans back in his seat, content to let the sun warm his face.