Tuesday, February 2, 2010

27. MEATLESS TUESDAYS

I am spiritual, not religious (I won’t even pretend to know why the cow is holy). Though my family eats meat, we abstain on Tuesdays and growing up, my brother and I never questioned why. As an adult curiosity compelled me to investigate and I learned Tuesdays were associated with the god Hanuman. Refraining from meat symbolized my respect and reverence for him and he in turned granted me with fortitude and strength. For me, not eating meat on Tuesdays is mock chicken soup for my soul and I continue the practice.

When a 43-year old consultant asks me out for a Tuesday dinner date I think nothing of it and accept. Besides, he’s decent looking and an eloquent writer (I will take brains over beauty any day). He works in the Financial District and I live in the Heights, but he selects an Upper West Side Latin restaurant, “for my convenience.”

I step into the broodingly sexy restaurant and am deafened by the music. I find my date at the bar and join him. He chats about work and his upcoming trip to New Delhi. This allows me to pipe in with my joke about the three religions of India: Bollywood, cricket and politics. He (FOB) seems surprised that I (ABCD) know things about India. I really wish Indians in India understood that American birthright did not negate growing up desi. I, too, had a sari-clad mother, smelled like cooked onions, and sprouted more facial hair than a billy goat. The difference being, I was a desi in the snow.

“We should share the paella. It is fantastic,” he suggests. I reach for the menu and my quandary ensues. The majority of the entrées are beef, which I don’t eat. While the paella is seafood, it is technically meat. But I don’t want my date thinking I’m an ultra-religious, temple-going devotee, so I say, “Sure, paella sounds great.” I will make tomorrow a “meatless make-up” day.

***

The next day I send him a thank you email, hoping the rest of his evening was pleasant. He went to a birthday party after meeting me. It occurs to me, Calle Oche might have been selected for his convenience, not mine. A few days later I remember he is leaving for India and wish him safe travels.

When Meera (Posts 26, 21) calls for a recap, she groans with annoyance. “Who goes to a birthday party on a Tuesday night? That was his escape! And you called him AFTER you emailed him?” “What’s the big deal? He’s probably busy and I was being polite,” I explain. “The big deal is he thinks you’re a stalker. Stop treating him like a friend. This is dating!”

10 comments:

Peg said...

Meera is a good friend. She tells it like she sees it, even if it's not good. We all need those kinds of friends.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Peg ... indeed Meera is AMAZING. I am truly lucky, especially in a city like New York. Some day I'll bring her to MSP! but not in January :)

Raji said...

Never call or write after the date. When you don't give a shit they come behind you. When you care to ask they think you are desperate- From my experiences. Unfortunately it is a game.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Yes. I should not have called or emailed. Well this is how you learn!

Anonymous said...

isn't game playing half the fun?

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

I don't know if dating games are fun or not, I really wish we didn't jockey for positions of power in relationships, but maybe that is dating now.

April said...

I think you can email a thank you, especially if he paid. But no phone call.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear April ... agreed, and yes he paid.

Samosas for One said...

Ugh.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Samosas for One ... UGH is right! Why can't I just be me!