Friday, February 5, 2010


This is TRAGIC! High Tea starts at 4:00 pm, and despite having two closets of clothes, I have NOTHING to wear. My dresses are more corporate raider, than porcelain plates and sterling silverware. The skirts are too flamboyant for a Victorian parlor where ladies lunch on white, lace tablecloths. Convinced that I must have something suitable I rummage through my wardrobe one more time and find a blue and brown patterned camisole, which I pair with pin-striped trousers and a cropped velvet shrug. Phew, crisis averted!

The phone rings and I presume it is Jane (from Posts 14,12,9,8,7, 2).
“I’m almost ready!” I say.
“For what?” my brother asks.
“I thought you were Jane. We’re going to High Tea.”
“Are you British?”
I groan.
“I won’t keep you from your crumpets,” my brother says and chuckles. “But we have some news.”
“What?” I ask.
“Are you ready to be a bhua?” he asks.

“Bhua” is the Hindi word for paternal aunt. For me to become a bhua, means my brother has kids or is going to have kids…which I realize, is why he is calling.

“Hello?” my brother asks. “Are you there?”
“Yes…” Words catch in my throat, not because of a lack of love for them, but sadness for myself.
“At least you won’t be like our bhuas!” he jokes.
Our dad has two sisters, who are gossipy and enormously fat. Paternal genes are all the motivation I need to live a righteous life and work out five times a week.
“Other than family we’re not telling anyone. Can you keep this quiet for now?”
“Sure,” I manage and hang up.

Immediately I feel like a bitch. My feelings of loss and inadequacy are not his fault. He deserves every good thing that comes his way. From helping me paint my condo walls, to installing laminate flooring, he is generous with his time. He’s unflappable --- nothing I say or do surprises him, even the things that should. And his patience is endless. Undoubtedly he will be an amazing dad who raises confident little girls and sons who respect women. Since my brother actually KNOWS how to save money, his kids will have a keen financial prowess that escaped me.

Maybe I’m just a misfit, who never belonged in Minnesota or my own family. In so many ways Manhattan, who doesn’t care about my cultural deficiencies, which are no husband and nor kids, is the perfect place for me and my shortcomings.

Lady Mendl's Tea Salon
New York Top 10 Tea Rooms


The Brother said...

You are BEST Bhua in the world, just me your competition is fierce, and the Monkey keeps running around the house call out BHUA! BHUA GONE! The monkey misses her #1 Bhua.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Well, bhua misses the monkey, too! LOL ... I have no bhua competition!

starlight said...

You are way too hard on yourself. Pick up. Dust off. Congratulate your brother. Get dressed and go on a Desi Speed Date...

Smile! You're a bhua (I love this word!).

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Starlight ... I agree and I did dust myself off. In that moment I just felt like I was supposed to be married with kids, the white picket fence, hubby and matching cars. I felt a million miles away from what I thought I was expected to be without every stopping and saying "what do I want?". And I am happy for them! What is cool is that if I had sisters and they had kids, I'd be a massi. That is neat about Hindi, the language it rich with detail and description.

Samosas for One said...

That is wonderful that you have a brother like that and that you have a good relationship with him.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Samosas for One ... you are SOOO right, I am VERY BLESSED to have a brother like I do. He is totally my champion.

Samosas for One said...

Doesn't he know anyone for you? :)

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Samosas for One ... he really didnt have many desi friends growing up .... MN and all and I knew them all too, and it seemed a little gross to date in what felt like a way too small Punju community in the snow!

Samosas for One said...

True. I would argue with a long list of examples that NYC, especially the desi community in NYC, is similar to a small town.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Samosas for One ... agreed, bc there are only 2 million of us in the USA!