You Taste Like Chicken is my next date --- a good-looking financier in his late 30s from Bangalore.
He enters the French-fusion Midtown eatery attired in jeans, while I am overdressed in a brown sweater with gold beading and dress pants. We grab a table, order drinks and begin chatting. His bald head is very nicely shaped, which leads me to wonder if he is hairless by choice or if he has performed the Hindu ritual head shave to mark his father’s passing. I don’t ask. And in either event, the look suits him.
I flag down the waitress and order an appetizer. He orders nothing and I wonder if he’s not hungry or cheap. My guy friends have told me they resent paying for dinner. But I feel if a man invites you out at 7:00 pm on a Friday night (like You Taste Like Chicken has) then it is required by dating laws and social graces that the man pay! By the way, I didn’t show up in a bathrobe. And I have ten times the hair than he does so I know I primped AT LEAST twice as long AND held court with THREE of my best friends debating my clothes, handbag and shoes. I did all this because I want him to like me. So I think his willingness to buy a drink or two expresses his return interest. Yes, there are no guarantees, but shouldn’t you go into the night believing this might be “the one”?
I am so ravenous when the waitress returns with my snack that I forget he is there until he reaches for the nape of my neck to kiss me on the lips. When we draw apart, he says, “You taste like chicken.” Really? I’m sure it’s true, but what an un-sexy thing so say. Can’t he lie and say my hair smells pretty?
At the end of the date he indeed pays. However, when I reach for my coat, he says, “Wanna come back to my place?” I am pretty sure he is not inviting me over to help balance his checkbook. But a glass of wine and four chicken strips doesn’t entitle him to sex, and so I decline the offer.
I knew dating in the City, where the rate of STDs is close to 30%, was a competitive sport. But foolishly I thought Indian men were exempt. That they were gentlemen like my father and brother. That they adhered to our Hindu teachings, believing women are lakshmi, the wealth of a household. That the gods look favorably upon men who respect and revere women.
And I guess, if I am looking for a gentleman to respect me, then the groom hunt must continue.