The next morning I sit at my desk and sip coffee, waiting impatiently for my computer to boot up. In addition to bubbles, baubles, bags and books, caffeine is one of my most glorious addictions. And I take it in all its forms (lattes, Darjeeling tea, Diet Cokes, and of course, chocolate).
It has been about a year since I was on this matrimonial Web site. I took my profile down after not one, but two Punjabi sex freaks (Punjabi, Indians who hail from the state of Punjab, like my family) solicited me. My last round was not all gloom and doom. I met a nice and polite Wall Streeter. He flew all the way from New York to meet me in Minneapolis. Unfortunately he decided to spend 36 of the 48 hours that weekend avoiding me. Any guesses as to why that didn’t work out?
The matrimonial site loads and prompts me for information. Create a profile id. Supply an email address. Select password. Choose religion. Under “compulsory” information (compulsory, like batch mate and auspicious are words that only Indians seem to use) I enter my birth date and gender. Unlike Western dating Web sites, the Indian ones ask who is establishing the profile: self, parent/guardian, sibling, friend or other. I personally would never allow “other” to post my profile. God only knows what qualifies as “other” --- a third cousin, twice removed? This isn’t a person you should lend money to, much less have finding your spouse!
Under marital status the options are: never married, divorced (also known as Indian scandal), widowed, separated, annulled. If you are anything other than “never married” you are cued to list any children. It seems a little presumptive thinking “never marrieds” don’t have some illegits lying around. Then physical attributes are requested: height converted in inches and centimeters, along with body type: slim, average, athletic or heavy. Indians are also color obsessed so we have to pick if we are: very fair, fair, wheatish, wheatish medium, wheatish brown and dark. Color is stupid for obvious reasons. But mostly because what is considered “dark” in northern India is “fair” in southern India.
Then there is the egregious section, special cases: physically challenged from birth, physically challenged from accident, mentally challenged from birth, physically challenged due to accident, physical abnormality affecting looks only, physical abnormality affecting bodily functions, physically and mentally challenged and HIV positive. So in the event your son is “defective” i.e. blind in one eye, you can find someone’s “damaged” daughter who lost her hearing and arrange their marriage.
Since I don’t know my blood type I leave that blank. From a list of over 60 languages spoken in India, I select English as my mother tongue. Then I share my caste, level of education, who my family members are and their occupations, and finally my profession. I am asked if I smoke, drink and my diet: non-veg, occasionally non-veg, vegetarian, eggetarian. And then I choose citizen as my residency from the list of: citizen, permanent resident, student visa, temporary visa and work permit. I will decline men with the latter three statuses. When I was growing up I saw too many plain homely girls get married to really attractive students only to get divorced five years later when the men were granted green cards. Finally, I reach the part where I can describe myself in my own words, which I do. The last thing is upload photos!
Sheesh! Is Indian matrimony a competitive sport or what? So I say let the games ... I mean ... desi dating begin!