Thursday, April 1, 2010


Reindeer orders an appetizer and salad for sharing. We nosh, review the menu and wonder about the specials. On cue the server appears and details the EIGHT, yes EIGHT specials --- defeating the point of “special”. And the volume of specials renders it impossible to keep them straight, prompting me to ask him to repeat the list three times. He doesn’t bother masking his irritation and I actually worry he may get violent when I ask about the seafood special that seems to contain every crustacean found in the sea. After all that, I select the ravioli and Reindeer orders fish.

When our food arrives, Reindeer and I are surprised to see his trout is surrounded by a halo of shrimp (from Post 62 we learned he is allergic). I express my concern for his healthy, but he assures me he can eat around the trout without ingesting the shrimp. God I hope so! I didn’t give up drinking to re-align my stars just so my date could die on Date Three!!!

Our conversations have a lovely, directionless flow, which is probably the reason we end up talking about his early US adventures. Before Reindeer delves into his story he pops a bite of bread in his mouth. He chews for a few seconds, and then the bread gets stuck between his upper lip and gum. So he thrusts his tongue at it and makes a face. In that moment I have a full on panic attack and decide I cannot date him. He is not the one. My stomach flips and I have a momentary hot flash. I want to get away from him but my apartment is on a whole other island! 

Once Reindeer liberates the wayward bite of carbohydrate he tells me about a graduate experience. He and his Spanish roommate were switching from temporary to permanent housing when they ran into three Indian guys who need a fourth roommate. In Hindi the three desis pressured Reindeer to dump the Spaniard and live with them. Reindeer refused, saying they were a package deal. The desis called him crazy. The desis told him to let the Spanish fellow fend for himself. But Reindeer stood firm.

Turns out, Reindeer and the Spaniard lived as roommates for several years. At some point the Spanish fellow told Reindeer, though he could not understand the conversation, he knew the desis were telling Reindeer to ditch him. And that the Spanish fellow appreciated Reindeer’s kindness.

Okay. Here is a man with old world values and is worth dating. Immediately my panic disappears. And with sudden boldness, I ASK Reindeer on a date. He says YES!

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