Friday, March 5, 2010


My cousin and her husband, who looks like the desi Horatio Sanz, have invited Mom and me to lunch. The husband retrieves us from the Metro North station and is dutiful enough to touch Mom’s feet. A sign of respect young in-laws and young men show their elders. In return, Mom doles blessings upon him.

“You should spend the weekend with us,” the husband says after we are settled in the car. The maternal side of my family is overly involved in one another’s lives (we’re damn near on speed dial). So Mom and I know already know the husband (who is rumored to be a total phony) already complained about our visit. As if we want to spend $40 on tickets to watch their hot mess of a marriage melt down in front of our eyes. Since I am privy to the drama behind the drama I say, “Sorry, we can’t. We’re meeting friends for dinner.” “Do you need a ride back?” the husband asks.

Last year my uncle, his father-in-law, came from India and stayed for two months because the couple was fighting. The husband charged my uncle for room and board. Who does this? So I am already worried the husband will inventory what we eat and drink bill my uncle. Then again I don’t know. It was nice of him to offer the ride and I don’t know his side of the story. Just in case this marriage is an out of control bus on crystal meth, I am not chancing it and say. “Thank you, but we already bought the return tickets.”

We get to their townhouse and I am, again, surprised by the sparseness. The furniture is from the husband’s bachelor days. The walls are bare. There is no console stuffed with religious statues, photos, books, vases, trinkets or treasures. They out-earn me, yet I have silk throw pillows and my bookshelves burst from the overflow of knowledge and capitalism.

The husband disappears into the basement and my cousin instructs the cleaning woman who doubles as the cook to prepare lunch. “How was he in the car?” my cousin asks. “Fine,” I reply. “How are things?” Mom asks. My cousin shrugs, “He won’t replace the couches. He says my parents were supposed to give us new furniture and a new car upon marriage.” They have been married for three years. Long after the Indian government outlawed after-marriage dowry payments. Evidently his extortionist parents with village mentality didn’t get the memo.

When lunch is ready the four of us sit down. My cousin ladles food onto Mom’s plate. Overstuffing you is how Indians show affection. Mom covers her plate with her hands and says, “No more, please.” Funny, that never works for me.

Out of the corner of my eye I watch the husband. I know he makes snide comments about my age and single status and thinks I’m no catch. But newsflash either is he. And I’d rather be single than married and miserable.


Samosas for One said...

Sometimes desi relatives super suck. There should be a research study on that! Desi children's perception of trust based on modeling behavior from their families! Ugh.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Samosas for One ... and yes, I have noticed that most of the people who have married into my family on both sides are the worst. I have one cousin sister-in-law on my dad's side who threw GARBAGE on my other cousin's wife's head! And some of the women married to my male cousins are so dumb they could not balance checkbooks ... aiy!

Samosas for One said...

Oh my goodness. This is one of those times I'm glad I'm single. EEK!

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Samosas for One .. I know, I mean I want to get married. I am on the fence about having kids. If it happens, great, if not, also fine.

But whem I look at who has married into the family ... I am like, wow. I'd rather be single that deal with someone's absolute insanity. This is also why I love NYC. You can be single and no thinks you are gay or barren. You can eat dinner by yourself or buy bottles of wine (they know me at my shop by bottle) and no one judges you.

Of course I miss having someone in my life, but I need "the one" not just "any one".

p.s. that guy ... desi Horatio Sanz is a total wanker. He is totally messing up our gene pool.

Samosas for One said...

Hmm...I was going to respond to that comment you wrote, but feel self-conscious about writing in a public forum since you've mentioned that your family reads your blog. :)

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Samosas for One ... my brother and sister-in-law are readers. But I understand about public forum, offline might be better!