I cannot believe I agreed to meet a date outside of Macy’s. Not only does the store take up two entire city blocks, from 7th Avenue to Broadway between 34th and 35th Streets, it is located around the corner from the Empire State Building. All of this makes Herald Square so ridiculously congested with slow moving tourists from Kansas to Korea that locals avoid it like the plague.
Around 7:15 pm I glance at my watch and wonder if my tardy date operates under Indian Standard Time (Post 8). 7:20, 7:25, 7:30. At 7:35 pm I impatiently scroll through my phone and realize I don’t have Meet me at Macy’s mobile number. At 7:40 pm I call his land line.
“'Allo?” comes an elderly, accented female voice. Fantastic. Does he live with his mother? A curious detail he omitted in our previous conversation. “Can I please speak with Meet me at Macy’s?” I ask. “Sorry he is not at home. I can take a message,” she offers. I politely decline and hang-up. Thank goodness my Midwestern accent shields my desi-ness and saves me from sharing my “biodata particulars” with Auntie. Biodatas are seemingly harmless pieces of paper that are crafted into matrimonial weapons where parents detail their children: weight, eye color, skin color, body type (small, medium or large), degrees, universities, caste, hobbies; you name the topic, it can be found on this ultimate desi marriage resume.
I fume the entire train ride home. All 147 blocks. So I am calm once back in the apartment sitting in front of the computer ready to email him. While I mostly think he’s rude, a teeny tiny part of me considers the possibility he’s trapped under a very heavy bookshelf or that he was run over by a rogue deliveryman on a bike who soy sauced him. Almost immediately he replies. First he spells my name wrong. After living a lifetime in Minnesota where my bevy of blonde friends can do it, desis get no second chances at spelling or pronouncing my name correctly. Then he writes, “I thought we were meeting on Wednesday. Maybe my mind played tricks on me.”
I will be the first to admit I have flaws. However, I am far too OCD for mind games or showing up on the wrong day. I live and die by my calendar. I scroll through our emails and find yesterday’s confirmation email. I can only deduce that he is stupid or he stood me up. In either event there will be no future meeting with this puppie (puppie, like yuppie, only Punjabi).