Thursday, May 27, 2010


No one flinches when they learn I was in a sorority. Evidently I am “that girl” --- the one destined to wear letters, pomp and drink beer with boys. Unsurprisingly I’ve been asked once or twice if I liked “buying my friends” because I was paying money and dues to be a joiner. But I think, no matter what you do --- attend university, buy a house, open a J. Crew credit card, we’re all paying to belong to something (a college, zip code and rewards program).

And sororities are not only about boys and booze. By being a part of something bigger than myself I learned about my leadership skills, my limits, concern for my community and friendships that endure time and distance. I think that is why I continue to gravitate towards and flourish in women only service-orientated non-profits. I enjoy the structured camaraderie of volunteering, developing my skills, and seeing the potential in others. The fact that I made great friends along the way is an added bonus.

This is why I think Sex and the City  was so popular. Superficially, sure, it was about men, Manolos and martinis, but the enduring friendships that were developed kept me coming back for more. And really, more than anything (marriage, man, money, mortgage) that is what my life lacks right now, girlfriends. So I am hopeful, just like in all my other incarnations --- college, after college and now New York --- I’ll eventually find some soul sisters through this volunteer organization. I am en route to my third meeting! 

At the last meeting I had a brief conversation with a really warm and genuine woman from Texas named Ainsley Ayres. Unfortunately she was on the verge of tears most of the night and ran out the door as soon as we adjourned. So tonight I am hoping to see if she is okay. Despite not really knowing her, I can tell something very overwhelming is going on her life. I recognized the look. I had it a year ago when I was living in my former spicy-icy-Indo-Nordic life.

After the meeting I wave to catch Ainsley’s attention, she sees me, smiles and I walk over to her. She pulls her long wavy hair into a ponytail which shows off her perfect round face. Her fair skin is a striking contrast to her dark locks and gorgeous eyes. “Do you want to grab a drink?” I ask a little too hopefully because I literally see her teetering, wavering, debating, until finally she agrees.

We find a bar and drop our bags aside. Anywhere other than New York, two women in their 30s schlepping tote bags and over-sized purse might look like potential shop-lifters. In New York its how you tell the locals apart from the tourists.

“I have to get up early and am getting a cola,” Ainsley explains. “I’m getting a club soda,” I share. If we become friends I’ll tell her that alcohol was negatively affecting my already messed up matrimonial stars.  (Post 65). There is no need to potentially scare her off now.

We order our drinks and she tells me she’s dating a fireman, loves her church in Harlem, works for a retailer, and refers to herself as a Recovering Republican, which makes us laugh and she relaxes. The stress from her forehead and eyes begins to release. When I talk about my lack luster job and life she shows empathy. Then I tell her my "Hindu woman on a desi groom hunt" story and she nods and says she appreciates how hard that must have been in Minnesota.

And just like that our conversation catches a rhythm and we're chatting incessantly and almost finishing one another’s sentences. Why I don’t have first dates this great!?


Anonymous said...

I read your blog beginning to end, in one sitting and wanted to comment but don't have time right now. I will do it next week. But I had to tell you the combination of humor and your voice are addictive.

starlight said...

Good girlfriends are hard to find! I'm glad you "found" someone in Da Cite (there's an accent on the e) -:)

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Starlight ... I KNOW IT! girlfriends are essential! Ainsley is the first of three new "characters" aka friends who save my life over and over and over again.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Starlight ... and damn it is hard to meet people in a city this size .... I may be slighlty unlucky in love but make up for it in every other aspect of my life!

Anonymous said...

You really sound like you may have lesbian tendencies. Have you ever thought about this, or considered counseling re your sexual orientation? It may explain your dating difficulties.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Anonymous -

You are not the first to ask me this - and no, not gay. :) I do like men. :)

Desi Girl