Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Ainsley Ayers (Post 111), her friend Alec and I sit in an East Village Bar. Because it’s Sunday in America we’re watching the Chargers-Patriots game, anticipating the start of the Packers-Giants game. And we’re snacking on a deep fried selection of wings, nachos and fries soaked in ketchup. I’ll work out tomorrow.

Ainsley changes topics again. She might actually be the first person I’ve met who talks more than I do. What impresses me is Alec’s ability to tune her out. That skill must stem from their fifteen-year friendship.

“I went to college on a debate scholarship,” Alec says. “That’s where I met Ainsley. Where did you go?” I reply, “Wash U.” He flashes a mean smirk and says, “Where the wanna-be Harvards go.” His comment is offensive on so many levels. I mean sure, I found my architecture program deeply flawed, but I enjoyed everything else about my alma mater --- the campus, the people, the experience. I also find it off-putting that he assumes I wanted to attend Harvard, because I didn’t. And shoot, I’m lucky to have gotten in when I did and I doubt I’d get in now if I applied.

To diffuse my irritation, I take note of our surroundings. A cozy corner booth set against dark paneled walls. Behind the bar on glass shelves a delightful collection of vodka, rum, tequila, and gin calls my name. Maybe I should order a drink the size of my head to quell my bubbling desire to bite Alec around the ankles.

“When Alec and I were in college we went to an execution party,” Ainsley says. For a moment I think she must SURELY be joking. I’m from Minnesota and we don’t execute criminals. But Alec nods. “Yep. My fraternity buddies would fill flat bed trucks with beer and we’d head off to the prison and wait out the execution.” What is the proper response to a comment about beer and lethal injections? “Yea, one year I went with my sorority sisters and we ended up on CNN in our letters.” Wow. I am fairly sure if my sorority sisters and I ended up on the cable news at an execution in our letters, we’d either be removed from the sisterhood or cause the chapter’s closing.

The television flashes from Foxborough, Massachusetts to Green Bay, Wisconsin where the ambient air temperature will be -3 degrees Fahrenheit at kick off. “Damn,” Alec drawls. “That is cold.” No joke. And it is dangerous. At -3 degrees Fahrenheit your skin can frost bite in 10 minutes; the air cuts through your jeans and stings your skin red; and drawing air into your lungs actually hurts. Ainsley cringes and says, “Y’all that’s just wrong.” And three ex-pats to Manhattan nod.

Actually surviving the transition to Manhattan is something, regardless of where we came from or what we do in the City; ex-pats have in common. Most of us agree it takes about a year to feel fully confident you can survive anything Manhattan throws at you. And this Manhattan adjustment creates solidarity amongst transplants. It’s why when ex-pats to Manhattan ask, “How long have you lived in NYC?” And a newcomer responds with an amount of time less than two years, we generally reply with, “and how are you doing?” Empathy amongst ex-pats.

E.B. White’s quote actually sums it up best: “There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter - the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in search of something . . . Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion.”

I like knowing I bring passion to this City.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I bustle along 8th Avenue to Guantanamera, a Zagat rated Cuban place. While I mostly chose it for my convenience, I somewhat chose it for the Lion who has to come in from Queens. Which leads me to my next issue, QUEENS! I am not sure I am up for a long distance relationship in the City. While my friend Ainsley Ayers (Post 111) who lives in the Village dates a man from Middle Village, Queens, makes it work. Her boyfriend’s job in the City helps dramatically.

Of course, I arrive on time and before the Lion. There is a part of me that wonders who benefits from my punctuality, commitment to integrity and binding myself to my word. Because it is not me!

Once seated, I wonder if the Lion drinks because his profile did not say one way or the other. But I order a glass of wine anyway. I am tired of making concessions and pretending to be someone I am not just to impress these desi guys who flutter in and out of my life faster than a fruit fly. To my surprise and delight, the Lion orders wine too.

Unfortunately the restaurant is ULTRA loud and we have lean over a candle and read lips. I begin to pray that I don’t set my hair on fire. Why didn’t I bring one of my million hair clips? That would have ensured avoiding the accident torching of Desi Girl.

“So how long have you lived in Queens?” I ask. “A while. My brother and I have a company there.” Interesting. Brother. I bet I can get some closure on the Lion’s age issue. “Is your brother older or younger? Mine is younger,” I ask. “Younger,” the Lion replies. He is making this easy! “So how old is your brother?” I ask. “45,” replies the Lion. “Oh?” I say and put on an amused but puzzled look. “I thought you were 44.” “I will be 47 this summer." 

For two days I was obsessed over this one thing, and now that I have truth and resolution about his age, a truly minuscule detail, I feel unsatisfied. I think I wanted this information to make me feel like I was in control of a love life that was so out of control. Because, really, why is this getting married thing so hard? Which as of late, has me doubting myself (something that I don't do often) and my choice to move to New York. Did I make a mistake in relocating to a city where the women (talented, smart, beautiful and driven) outnumber the men who have their choice of lovelies? What if my guy is in Seattle or Santa Clara and I am here?

We make pleasant conversation (as much as we can since we now have to scream at one another across the table). I share the same mindless stuff: hobbies, education, family, etc. At the end of the date he insists on walking me to my subway stop, a clear indication of his interest. 

I let him escort me to the A train, even though during the entire walk I am crafting my “Dear John” email. I guess in desi, that would be a “Dear Raj,” email. But that is just how it goes, sometimes, even in the urban jungle, the Lion is not the King.

Monday, June 28, 2010


“The Quan Jock date was the most unexceptional, unspectacular, and unsatisfying night of my life," I mutter and tuck the phone under my ear so I can type more freely. “Tell me you’re being dramatic. He really didn’t drill you with questions,” the Banker insists. “I wish. But it was the OPPOSITE of romance!” I blather. “Yes, it seems so,” the Banker replies.

“And for the record, I might be a lot of things, but liar is not one of them, I am not making this up,” I say and cross my legs in my office chair. “What does Quan Jock do?” the Banker asks. "I don't know. Something analytical on Wall Street," I reply. “What I am still curious about is this,” the Banker begins. “Why you didn’t attack back with a list of questions.” “I didn’t care to know those things.” “Well that’s a sign,” the Banker replies and then asks. “Are you typing?” “Yes,” I reply. “I am Googling tonight’s date on People Finder.”

“I'm sorry you’re doing what?” the Banker asks. “The Lion told me he was 44, but I googled him and my online research says he is 46.” “So what is two years?” the Banker asks. “Nothing. I don’t care about the age,” I explain. “I care about the lie.” “And how exactly did you even think he might have given his incorrect age?” “Well..he has a profile on another Indian dating site.” “You’re on two matrimonial sites?” the Banker asks incredulously. “Not really. I don’t use the second one very often.” “You know, if you can search him, he can search you,” the Banker reminds. “Yes but desi men are driving me to these levels and I have nothing to hide," I retort.“This is a little nuts, even for you.” “Well the world is a little nuts,” I reply. “Agreed,” the Banker says.

"Where is your date tonight?" the Banker asks. "I am making the Lion come to the West Side all the way from Queens," I reply. "Good for you," he replies. "Thanks!" “And good luck with the Lion tonight. Happy to see you moving on. And I for one am glad it didn’t work out with Quan Jock. He seemed militant and his job can be outsourced to India in a millisecond. And I can’t see you living in Bangalore.”


Sunday, June 27, 2010


The Monday of Martin Luther King weekend Quan Jock invites me to Indo-Munch in Curry Hill (on Lexington Avenue roughly between 27th to 32nd Streets). What is even MORE exciting than a second date is the opportunity to eat Indo-Chinese in America. I have not have Chicken Manchurian Noodles in two years.

Like most of the desi diners in this area Indo Munch’s décor is nothing exciting --- plastic awning, glass doors and a big storefront window. However inside, I am transported to the New Delhi noodle hut my cousin and I frequent. Just like in India, a haze of garlic lingers under the light fixtures, the scent of ginger hovers above the tables and the air in here has a slight greasy residue to it.

I look around and spot Quan Jock in a zipper sweater sitting by the kitchen reading The Economist. I walk over to his table and sit down. “Have you been waiting long?” I ask. He looks like an emaciated desi Mr. Rogers. “No. The Szechuan Fried Rice here is nice.” Okay. Nice transition, buddy. I am barely seated and his INTENSITY is overpowering and not in the good way.

I open the menu and say, “The chili noodles sound nice.” The average price of an entrée is $10. While I don’t find it annoying that he picked an inexpensive eatery, I do wish he was a touch more romantic. He sighs and in an irritated tone says, “The noodles are fine. The rice is better. We could share. The portions are huge.”

Uhm, we have a problem. I am super HUNGRY and not really up for sharing. Then it strikes me that he might be that CHEAP. If so, now I am really ANNOYED because I spend a lot of money primping. Regular girl grooming and maintenance for me involves, waxing, haircuts, mani-pedis and hair products. You don’t see me suggesting that he fund half my upper lip or arm wax because I assure you he doesn’t want to date a hairy monkey-armed, mustached mama. In one form or another, we all pay for dates. It just manifests in dinners for men and sculpted eyebrows for women. “The shrimp chili noodles sound perfect to me,” I say. “Oh,” Quan Jock says. “I don’t eat meat.” What kind of Punjabi man does eat meat or drink Johnny Walker?

I take my first sip of soda and Quan Jock says, “Who was the last guy you dated?” I see the personal information sharing portion of the date has arrived, so I reply, “Reindeer.”“What did he do?” “Consulting.”“For how long did you date him?” “Four months,” I reply. Maybe it was three, I don’t remember right now.

“And then what happened?” Quan Jock asks. “He disappeared,” I reply. “I know why he disappeared,” Quan Jock says. “Oh really?” I ask. “Yes, he started having sex with someone else,” Quan Jock declares. Like a good and self-respecting prude I reply, “Maybe, but I didn’t sleep with him.” “You didn’t?” Quan Jock asks and seems astonished. Good. Hopefully this will silence him for a few minutes. “No man respects a woman who doesn’t respect herself. He will think if he can have her so fast, anyone can, and that makes her less special,” I retort. “Then I don’t know what happened.” Well thanks for clearing that up Quan Jock, now you are on the same page of the Reindeer mystery as the rest of us. Sidebar: I plan on lying about my “number”. Whether I have slept with 3 guys or 33, I will reply with “5”.

When the food arrives Quan Jock begins eating, which is more like shoveling vegetarian fried rice into his mouth. Even his ingestion has intensity to it. Between forkfuls of rice, he deftly fires a new battery of questions at me:
How long was your longest relationship? 3.5 years
Why did you break up? He slept with someone else.
How many times have you been in love? Don’t know.
How many men have you met on Shaadi? Lots.
Why didn’t it work with them? It just didn’t.
What are you looking for? Someone who is emotionally, physically and intellectually available. And wears fantastic cologne.

“I can’t stand cologne. Or smokers. Some of my co-workers smoke and I want to send them to the bathroom and wash their mouths out,” Quan Jock snarls. I don’t what is worse his rigid superiority complex or the way he guns questions at me interrogation style. He better not ask for my cholesterol count because I don’t know it. And I won’t be sharing my weight or the fact that I sometimes I self-medicate with large quantities of cheap wine.

Our date ends and we make no plans to meet again, which is perfectly fine with me. Next …

Thursday, June 24, 2010


The Indian matrimonial site that I subscribe to participates in the matchmaking. Depending on how often you select (daily, weekly, etc.) the system sends profiles of prospectives THEY think match your partner specifications. 

Most days the profiles I receive are off the mark. In fact they are so off the mark I am beginning to think the only explanation for this is that a minion of desi men sit in some subterranean Bangalore bunker smoking bidis (Indian cigarettes) and throwing darts at photos as their match making strategy. And today is no exception.

Profile One is of a Muslim 24-year old living in Pakistan. There are so many problems with him, but here are the top five. First I am 100% Indian Punjabi, Sikh on my father’s side and Hindu on my mother’s side (60% of Punjab was left in Pakistan). My parents STILL talk about Partition Riots and post-Partition rations because Mohammad Ali Jinnah and the Indian Muslims (because that is really who the Pakistanis are) needed their own country in 1947. Second, I don’t know whose adjustment would be more difficult, me to the Northwest Frontier, or him to Manhattan. At 24, he’s a pup! And I have not even gotten to the WORST part. In his photo he sports a maroon corduroy jacket circa his birth, and poses in front of a pink background. Five, his full beard, yes full beard, is bushier than Saddam Hussein’s. I mean really? Is there any doubt as to why I must pass on him?

The second profile’s first sentence begins with, “I am a loving man, very sincear….” I cannot read beyond the typo and log off the site. His inability to spell check bothers me. It seems indicative of a pattern of indifference. Which has me wondering how the better half of a billion desis get married, while me, not so much. I mean really, is there some science to this? Was there a class I should have taken? Desi 101: How to Get Married.

When I die, God has some MAJOR explaining to do. We are going to sit down and over a cup of coffee (His treat), He is listening to every injustice I suffered (I have a list). And you better believe I am reincarnating next go around as thin, rich and betrothed at birth. I was not meant to be poor, forever on a diet, or this matrimonially challenged!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The next morning I wake up congested. While I am not feverish or dizzy, I find breathing difficult. And this is the type of unwell I detest the most, not sick enough to desire death, not well enough to work out. I stumble into the bathroom and search for my new best friends, Kleenex and drugs.

Despite my brother’s lectures that Tylenol causes liver damage I pop 1000 mgs. Look, if drinking hasn’t shut down my liver, I can’t worry about Tylenol. I want tea, but I don’t have the energy to boil water and go back to bed. It is times like this I wish I had a husband, so I could have someone to yell at because I feel awful. Mental note to self: do not put that in a matrimonial advertisement.

No more than five minutes pass and the doorbell dings. Good God, who can this be? I am not expecting any packages but the same part of me that dates idiots doubts my anal retentiveness and wonders if I forget ordering something. I drag my haggard self to the door and open it.

Ugh, if life doesn’t suck enough (no husband, living in the Heights, wanting to be a writer, not feeling well) now the Crazy Lady (Post 91, 38, 23)  stares at me in my flannel pajama bottoms, oversized sweatshirt, lopsided ponytail, and unwashed face. She must think I look half-conked because she asks, "Did I wake you?" "No, my throat and chests hurts…” I say hoping she will be scared away by possible contagions. "Oh, I was inviting you to my art show in my apartment. I am raising money for animals," she says.

Let's all be clear about one thing --- there is NO WAY in hell I would willing step into her apartment. She has six pets in 500 square feet, it's a full on zoo up there. Plus the Super says she is messy. And she once told me she has no furniture. "What are you taking for your cold?" she asks. Uhm, I really don’t want to tell her about my illegal supply of antibiotics from Mexico so I say, "Decongestant." She makes a face and says, "No. That is all wrong. You need to soothe and coat your throat. Lemon and honey."

Let me see if I got this right. The Crazy Lady, who used to be a substitute teacher, was going to sue Albany, makes art from garbage, is NOW a doctor? She has me worrying about my past life actions. Who did I wrong so badly that I have lost God’s favor in this incarnation?

“Everyone is sick with some crud,” she explains. I feel a little better knowing there is something going around and I ask, "Oh others in the building?" She frowns and says in a super snotty tone, “No! All of my friends!” Okay, and how EXACTLY would I know her friends are ill? Because I want to be alone I begin to cough really hard and she finally leaves me to my disease.

* * *

Seven hours later I feel MUCH better. Which is a very good thing because I have a meeting. I shower, put on make-up and lock the apartment feeling pleased with my rebounding health. The moment I step out the building I am no longer pleased. The Crazy Lady is walking her dogs. When she sees me she looks me up and down and says, “Feeling better?” Her tone is accusatory, like I was faking sick to avoid her show. Which I would not attend if my health was fabulous. "Some," I reply and cough. "I have an engagement I cannot miss.” Why am I justifying myself to her? I mean, who is she to me? No one! I was sick and now I am not. I don’t owe her anything. What is wrong with me that I feel bad that she thinks I lied? Why don't I advocate for myself and hold my head up high?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Desi dating is going to prepare for an Oscar winning role. When I meet Quan Jock outside the Starbucks I feign delight but really I am SOOOOO disappointed. He’s cute (face-wise), but his teeth are unevenly crooked. Don’t get me wrong, my teeth, despite having braces are imperfect. But he is the first person I have met whose smile distracts me.    

We decide to wander along 8th Avenue to a less crowded Starbucks. As we walk I survey the streets. You would never believe it snowed two days because the heat from the City has melted every flake away. Luckily we find a window-side table at the second java hut and I send Rohit a telepathic message to this location. “What will you have?” Quan Jock asks. “Grande skim latte. Oh and a marble loaf,” I reply.

He nods and returns with coffees and cake. “I will hit the gym tomorrow,” I joke and point at the cake. Quan Jock makes a face. “I don’t exercise. When my belt is tight I stop eating.” Oh my. Am I to infer he finds me fat? And by the way, he is really SKINNY --- like snap-him-in-half-and-use-him-to-pick-corn-from-my-teeth skinny. Aiydesi date is giving me a dieting complex, and I’m not even overweight.

“What do you normally eat for lunch?” I ask. "Usually I eat in the cafeteria. But I don’t like American food and meat. So vegetables with ketchup,” Quan Jock says. Okay then, he just insulted my inner foodie. “What’s your drink of choice?” I ask, praying he says Johnny Walker Black like a good Punjabi man. “Daiquiris,” he replies. Uhm what? “I like wine and martinis,”
I reply. “I don’t,”
Quan Jock says. Of course, why would he? Neither Beaujolais nor Grey Goose pairs well with green beans and condiments. 

At the end of the date he invites me to dinner next Monday. A part me considers saying no. But the part of me that wants to get married and have a mini-me (just what the world needs right?), agrees.

The next day I email Rohit and Meera:
Email To: Rohit; Meera
Email From: Desi Girl
Nice first date. We are meeting again.

I feel the need to lie, so they think I am healing, moving on, getting stronger, putting myself out there. I want them to believe I am STILL that girl who gathered her gumption and moved to Manhattan in her mid-30s. I don’t want them to know that I feel mostly broken.

Email From: Rohit
Email To: Meera; Desi Girl
I walked by both starbai (plural for many starbuck) and saw some Indian guy talking with a Latina...

This makes me laugh for two reasons. First, Quan Jock has no idea about the behind the scenes happenings. Second, this furthers my Manhattan identity crisis. Sure the Statue Liberty wants the weary, but she wants us to learn English! When I lived in Minnesota, I never had an order name (Sophie) nor was I spoken to in Spanish. NYC likes to think it is multi-cultural, but really I find it clicky.

Email To: Rohit; Meera
From: Desi Girl
Latina? that and taco are fighting words.

Email From: Rohit

Email To: Desi Girl; Meera


Again I laugh and remember how blessed I am to have Rohit and Meera in my life as I weather the storm of "getting there".

Monday, June 21, 2010


Full and satisfied, I return home from Sushi Yu II. I hope the restaurant owners don’t realize how well priced their food is. Especially since the Heights eatery options are lean. Out of habit I check my email and find a message from Quan Jock (Post 122, 117).  This seems timely and a sign to dust myself off and get back on the dating bicycle. This unicycle I’ve been riding is getting old.

Email From: Quan Jock
Email To: Desi Girl
Hoping your weekend was nice. Would you like to meet up sometime this week for a cup of coffee? I understand the weather to be very bad tomorrow and Tuesday. But Wednesday should be better, how about 7ish PM? Do let me know your thoughts or give me a buzz in the evening.

Or maybe the reason I’m riding a unicycle is because I am a self-saboteur. I find his email TOTALLY annoying. Bad weather? Sure, I’m from Minnesota, but for the love of God and his cousin Henry, we’re living in a Mid-Atlantic state, in the middle of winter. Put on some damn boots and buy a muffler already. And “give me a buzz”? Can’t he just say “call me back?” See, self-saboteur.

But being a writer and a communicator, I pen this email response:
Email From: Desi Girl
Email To: Quan Jock
My weekend was a little busy but great. How was yours? Coffee sounds perfect for a chilly winter night. Wednesday works. Let's chat and make a plan.

Another thing that annoys me, coffee dates at 7 pm. I get it; men don’t like to always pay for dinner. And no, I have no issue with a coffee date. Sunday afternoons were made for lattes and lemon bars. But dinnertime is not java-time. Of course, I could decline and make another suggestion, but I don’t.

For some reason it takes two days and half a dozen emails for us to plan our date because Quan Jock’s office is in the Financial District and he needs to be close to the PATH train. But I refuse to commute all over Manhattan for a $4 coffee and select a Starbucks in Chelsea. Then immediately email Rohit and Meera.

Email From: Desi Girl
Email To: Rohit; Meera
I have a date in your neighborhood tonight. I am meeting Quan Jock at the Starbucks on 18th and 8th. Perhaps you can walk the dog and take a peek in the window.

Email From: Rohit
Email to: Desi Girl; Meera
I might do that.

And just like that, I have urban desi date stalkers! It's like my own little paparazzi!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Channeling my inner Dionne Warwick last week was an excellent idea. I must have known the day after Reindeer would be emotionally tough. Which is why I’m sitting in my living room with Jack and Jane doing a Christmas exchange. (Sidebar: I love presents, who cares if I’m Hindu, we’re all American capitalists!)

“Open it!” Jane squeals. I rip open the paper and my jaw draws as a joke from my Reindeer life appears. “Oh. My. God! Bodum glasses?” I ask. I had read in New York Magazine that these temperature engineered glasses keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, without burning or freezing your fingers. I thought they were amazing. However, at $9 a glass, Reindeer did not. Now I have the glasses and no Reindeer. Another reminder that part of closure involves admitting my date to my friends. So I can hear myself SAY it is over. “Do you like them?” Jane asks. “I do,” I reply and give them each a hug.

“Time for Sushi Yu II!” Jack says. Jane and I pop off the floor and we all pull on our parkas for the short walk to what HAS TO BE one of the best tasting and priced sushi restaurants in Manhattan.

We sit down and order the Brooklyn Bridge, which literally is a three foot long by 1 foot wide bridge filled with sushi, sashimi and rolls. While we eat Jack and Jane chat about their new Upper West Side neighborhood. Jane loves it, but Jack misses the suburban feel of being Up-Up-Uptown. Neither one of them misses the weekend A train commutes that regularly include construction delays.

Jack pops salmon into his mouth, Jane debates which roll to eat and I announce, “I had dinner with Reindeer last night.” Well that fairly impressive. Seven little words have frozen them in time and space. They also have paled for fair-skinned people. And I hope Jack doesn’t choke as silence wraps around us like a scratchy blanket in a slightly uncomfortable manner.

Finally Jane breaks the silence and asks, “And?” “I got my Tupperware back,” I reply victoriously. “And?” Jane asks again. “And nothing. He bought dinner and still can’t answer why we broke up.” Jack breathes again and says, “Thank God. I just relived the past two months where I called him a douche bag every chance I had.” “Okay, you’re a guy, why did he buy me dinner?" I ask Jack. “He owed you more than a phone call and he did the right thing. But I’m glad he’s gone.” We all nod and quiet settles around us again. “So now what are you going do?” Jane asks.

Excellent question. Maybe I should take the advice of what “they” say. You know, “they” --- the experts, life coaches, romance-ologists who write books that fill the self-help sections of bookstores The ones who say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.

Maybe I should do that, metaphorically of course.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

126. THE LAST SUPPER – IN THREE PARTS: PART THREE – Post Date Disappointment

A little after 11 pm Reindeer slides his car next to the fire hydrant in front of my building. He continues chatting and doesn’t appear to be in a hurry, but he’s not looking for parking either. Thank God I have some restraint and don’t invite him inside.

When he yawns and I glance at the clock, it’s now almost midnight and I wonder when he’ll address the break-up. What if he wants to get back together? And yes, if my delusion had a color, it would be purple --- part red for love, part blue for sorrow, completely purple for the deep abyss that I keep letting hope drown me in. Of course his intimate and interested behavior tonight didn’t help.

“You’re yawning, I should let you go,” I say, not realizing how final those words are. He nods but doesn’t make move. My eyes dart to the J. Jill bag sitting on the leather seat. If I ever want to know what happened, I have to ask now. “Are you ever going to answer my question?” I ask. “What question is that?” he asks. REALLY? Is he that dense or that much of a pansy?

I know I sound like a glutton for pain, but I need to hear the door to slam shut on closure. Rip the band-off. Make it hurt so I can smell and feel the pain. It’s okay, I’m a big girl you can tell me I’m ugly, fat, stupid, slutty, hideous, stinky. I can take the ache, it’s supposed to hurt. In time the truth will heal me. So I beg you, don’t leave the door ajar, for I am weak and love you. And I will wait for the off chance you come back. Please just the slam the door in my face. It is better this way.

In the time I have been adamantly waiting for my Reindeer closure he seems to have stopped breathing. In fact he looks paralyzed, like his legs are frozen in ice, but his hair is on fire. He sighs and finally says, “Yes, there was attraction but,” he looks away and stares at the building across the street, perhaps willing the Lissmore Music Studio sign to speak for him, and finishes with, “but I didn’t think it would work and didn’t see the point in continuing to date.”

In the five seconds in which I could have asked, “Why, why wouldn’t this work,” I don’t. Because this is when I realize I had full invested in the relationship while he had disassociated. Yes, this hurts right now. But a life as Reindeer’s wife would have been worse than this --- because I would have been settling. Already his golf, friends, yoga and job are more important than me. If we had kids, I’d be raising them alone five days a week, attending soccer games alone, never going into the City for theatre dates, and ultimately having an affair with the pool boy.

Deep inside, in places where I did not want to admit the truth, I knew this wasn’t working. I should have played the field and kept Reindeer in the barn nibbling hay. I should have followed the advice I gave my friends. I should have looked out for number one, Desi Girl herself. And as much as I want to hate him for wasting my time, I can’t. I allowed this to happen.

Finally I nod and reach into the back for the J. Jill bag of Tupperware. The next time I invite a man over for dinner, I am ordering pizza and serving ice cream straight out of the container. Maybe I'll serve wine in my $9 Crate and Barrel wine glasses, but for sure paper napkins.
“Okay then, thanks for dinner,” I say and get out of the car.

He’s saying something when I slam the door shut. With poise and dignity I head towards the building. I slide the key into the front door and walk across the lobby. I unlock my apartment and turn around to see the black of his car disappear. This time I know. He’s gone forever. And it’s okay, because today, tomorrow or the next, someone new, better and perfect will be given the chance to arrive.

I just have to make until then.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

125. THE LAST SUPPER – IN THREE PARTS: Part Two – The Date cont.

The hostess seats Reindeer and I at a quaint table in the corner. Interesting. Reindeer doesn’t seem uncomfortable by the “romantic feel”. In fact when the waiter arrives Reindeer takes action, behaves familiarly and says, “Tap water for both of us.” There is the possibility that he’s thrifty and doesn’t want to buy bottled water. Not that I blame him, I wouldn’t either. Especially since New York City water is very clean.

Reindeer sets the J. Jill bag of plastic lids and matching containers next to him and opens the menu. Does he intend to hold my Tupperware hostage for the duration of dinner? “The ceviche looks nice,” Reindeer says. “Yes,” I reply, what’s not to like about citrus and seafood? “What will you drink?" he asks. “Hhhmm, not sure,” I lie. My intention has been to drink wine, at least two glasses on his dime.

“What about wine? I like a nice red," Reindeer suggests. Oh, so not only am I drinking again, but he is too. I lower my menu and say in a sexy-sly way, with a little hair toss, “Back on the sauce?” Holy crap and WOW! Having an awesome hair day/night is SO empowering. “Yes I started again,” Reindeer says, coy with the details. But I will not give him the satisfaction that I am curious. I do notice he ASSUMES I am drinking. “How does Prosecco sound?” Reindeer asks. Despite being a Veuve girl, Prosecco always sounds divine. But what are we celebrating? Breaking up? If so, he can bite me.

When the waiter returns it is obvious he thinks we are together because he cozies up to me, asking me if WE need more bread. Asking me if WE have questions about the menu. I see it in stores too. When sales associates fake interest in the woman thinking once they get her buy in the man will agree to the sale. “Yes, we’re ready,” Reindeer says and orders a $48 bottle of red wine and ceviche.

Over dinner (chicken for me and fish for him) we chat and it seems like NO TIME has elapsed. Did we really break up? “So Top Gun was on today,” Reindeer says. “From 1986?” I ask. “Yes, when it comes on I drop everything to watch it,” Reindeer shares. Why do I need to know this? Why does he think I care?

He finishes his dinner long before me. While Reindeer never offered me a bite of his fish, he begins to eat my fries. This seems very intimate. But I don’t protest. It is has been three months since I have seen the inside of the gym. And I don’t need the carbs or calories.

Three hours and a bottle of wine later, we finish dinner. Reindeer pays and says, “Can I drive you home?”

Uhm, what???

To be cont.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

124. THE LAST SUPPER – IN THREE PARTS: Part Two – The Date

Full disclosure, I am DELIGHTED to dine on the West Side. Advocating for my convenience over Reindeer’s was an excellent decision. However, not all Desi Girl habits die hard. And I,of course, arrive early (don’t tell Meera). He, of course, is not here. So I sit down at the bar and ask for a glass water.

On the telly the Seattle Seahawks get ready to battle Brett Favre and the Pack in front of what looks 72,000 cheese heads. Oof, the air temperature in Green Bay is -3 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. The Vikings don’t have the cold weather stamina to beat the Pack at home. So I don’t think the Seahawks have a prayer. 

At 7:10 I look around. No sign of Reindeer. All my courage and nerves of steel that were enhanced by my super awesome hot hair and haute couture are rattled. At 7:11 I worry I’ve been stood up. At 7:12 I create an imaginary Reindeer voodoo doll in my head.

At some point the (hot) bartender and I are sucked into the football vortex. The bartender leans against the bar and over his shoulder says, “Damn that’s cold.” “You have no idea,” I reply. “How do you think they stay warm?” the bartender flirts and raises his brows at me. WOW. Before I can reply I feel someone poke my side.

Because this is New York, I jump and turn to find Reindeer smiling at me. Has his hairline always receded that far back? The bartender (have I mentioned he’s HOT) also turns and gives Reindeer a dirty look. Reindeer immediately says, “I’ve been calling you.” The bartender lingers. But my eyes are drawn to the small J. Jill carrier bag, from which my Tupperware spilleth over. J. Jill is a woman’s clothing store for relaxed and breezy women. Either Reindeer's a cross dresser or he has a new woman who likes comfort clothing. Where else would he get this bag? If traded me in for my opposite, I hope she's fat, ugly and stupid. Judge me if you must, but I feel scorned, so please let me have my moment.

To quell my pain, I reach for my phone and see the missed calls. “I was running late and parking was a problem,” Reindeer says and gives the bartender a dismissive once over. This must be man speak because the bartender moves way and watches the game from the other end of the bar. “Then I couldn’t find the restaurant,” Reindeer shares. How can a traveling consultant with an MBA NOT FIND a restaurant RIGHT ON 8th Avenue? I gave him the address and the cross street. But like the bald spot I never pointed out, I don’t ask.

The hostess comes over to seat us. I collect my things and look up. The bartender locks eyes with me for a loooooong interested minute. “To the Seahawks,” he says and raises his glass of club soda. “They don’t have a chance,” I reply. “That.. is too bad,” the bartender replies.

To be cont.

Monday, June 14, 2010

123. THE LAST SUPPER – IN THREE PARTS: PART ONE – Predate Preparation

Two hours before my Reindeer “date”, I’m still driving towards delusion, fueled by the destructive power of hope. In addition I’m a masochist because I actually BELIEVE Reindeer still likes me. Obviously I prefer to ignore reality/truth/fact in all its forms. Let's not forget that it has been three months since Reindeer and I last met. And we spoke only after I initiated conversation. Desi Girl (that’s me) should R-E-A-L-L-Y pay attention to the universe when it sends CLEAR signs.

In my hot rollers and robe I pad around the apartment. With my phone to my ear I chat with the Banker and survey my wardrobe. “I have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear!” I exclaim woefully. “You are SUCH a woman,” the Banker mumble and asks. “When did you talk to Reindeer?” “Last week. I confirmed tonight and then I asked him how to make rice,” I reply. The Banker groans, “Why would you ask HIM that? You’re a great cook.” Sidebar: Banker is NOT forthcoming with compliments, so notation of my culinary prowess is a big deal. “I can make the 25-ingredient, 4-hour-prep-time dishes no problem. Rice and roti, problem.” “Please tell me you didn’t want Reindeer to think you had someone ELSE over for dinner?” the Banker demands.

Am I that transparent? Because yes, I did want Reindeer to wonder if I had moved on. Then maybe he’d want me back! IT is SOOOO times like now that I need a guardian angel/fairy godmother/gay best friend to swoop in, slap me and say, “Desi Girl, Your Common Sense and I took a vote. It’s unanimous. You’ve lost it.”

“Look,” the Banker begins. “I know men, because I am one. And this guy, Reindeer, is weird.” “I don’t want to hear that,” I reply. “And another thing, don’t tell him his hair is grey or that he’s bald. He knows,” the Banker adds. “Hey!” I snap. “I may be a lot of things, but rude is not one of them.” For dramatic flair, I stomp my foot against the hard wood floor. Good thing I live on the ground level.

I hang up. And after what feels like an eternity, but in real time is 45 seconds, I decide on black pants, a white camisole and a green sweater J. Crew calls bright avocado. Before I pull on my clothes I style my hair and spray my favorite (and lucky) perfume against my neck. Carefully I apply my new silver shadow and add a little shimmer to my eyes. 

I slide on and zip up my tall black boots with the slim 3” heel. A few more fluffs to my hair, one last look in the mirror and … DAMN! … I am hot and ready for Reindeer. There is NO WAY he can resist me!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


By letting the universe believe I am dating again, I hope to trick fate with reverse psychology. Then feign surprise on Saturday when Reindeer and I get back together. I know, I know, it is dangerous to scheme against destiny with hopes of a Reindeer future. But the heart wants what the heart wants.

Luckily for me and the charade, I receive this email from Quan Jock (Post 117):  Hoping you are well. Some more about me: I have worked/lived in different countries. My interests include traveling, reading, music, sports, museums, Broadway shows. I have tried salsa dancing and guitar lessons. Looking forward to hearing from your side.

Quickly I pull my standard response email together and hit reply.

Two days later Quan Jock emails: Hi there … I apologize for responding so late but I was having a sore throat and fever and then went to see the Broadway show "Mamma Mia". It is one of the best shows I have seen but my opinion is biased by my strong predilection to ABBA music. What kind of music do you like? Anyway I will give you a shout sometime this week. Care to share your recent pics? I am attaching couple of mine.

Okay. I know I’m not supposed to “hate” but I HATE requests for “recent photos”. I posted the maximum three snaps the matrimonial site allows and they are RECENT. Furthermore, I don’t enjoy smiling on demand or being photographed. And having photogenic Meera for a best chum doesn’t help either.

So it takes two days for me to find and edit new photos and write this email: Dear Quan Jock … Sorry to hear you were sick. Mamma Mia is on my list. I'm better about getting to museums. I, too, enjoy Abba music, though I get Dancing Queen stuck in my head for days. As far as my musical inclinations, I can make a good run of Led Zeppelin, U2, Bollywood hits, hip hop, flamenco, and jazz.

The next day Quan Jock emails: I called you yesterday evening but guess you were not there to take the call. (I was home. No one tell my mom, I wasn’t in the mood to pick up). What is a good time to call? I will try again tonight. Looking forward to hearing from your side. Feel free to give me a buzz.

Quan Jock is going to get annoyed (rightly so) if we don’t have a conversation soon. Despite my best effort, I cannot stop thinking about Reindeer. Over and over I remind myself, here is Quan Jock, a single desi man in the city sharing and expressing his interest. Ugh. All of this would be SO MUCH easier if Reindeer remembered how much he liked me. Then I wouldn’t have to pick up when Quan Jock calls.

Friday, June 11, 2010


After two really cold and snowy weeks in MSP I am back in NYC. My New Year’s resolution for 2008 is to get married. But first I must call Reindeer for our last supper. “Well, hello, and Happy New Year,” he says in his sexy voice. Immediately this makes me cranky. Unlike my brother the diplomat, I cannot fake nice or happy, and say, “Same to you. So are we meeting next Saturday?”

“Uh, sure, for dinner, still, right?” his tone changes. It is almost like he doesn’t want to see me. Which is too bad because I want to a reunion with my Tupperware. “Uhm, yeah dinner was your idea,” I reply flatly. Now is when I should tell him to mail the items to me. But I am the victim of too many Bollywood love story movies because the demented part of me wants to see him. “Sure, dinner,” he replies. Then I ask, “Are you going to drive or take the train?” Just as the words fall out of my mouth I wish I could gobble them back. If he takes the train the east side is better for him. But for me it is a total pain in the a** and an hour commute one way. I would rather meet in the Theatre District which is why I suggest, “You know, you’re busy. Why don’t I make reservations and send you details.” “Sounds good,” he says.

We hang-up and I log onto the site and search nice, mid-priced Hell’s Kitchen restaurants and find Sosa Borella. I enter my user name, password, complete the reservation and log off. The entire process takes less than 5 minutes.

In a previous incarnation of being infatuated with Reindeer I’d immediately send him coordinated details. Which now has me wondering if I taught him to treat me like I was at his beck and call, because I was. Any why do I care about someone who clearly never cared about me? I do the same thing with my friends; I give them everything I have until I have nothing and then wonder why I feel so alone.

This is when I decide (between now and the Reindeer “date”) I must date like crazy and fall in love with someone new. That will show Reindeer what he’s missed out on and give me the kick to finally move on.

Alright love of my life I am ready to receive you, so you may appear … NOW!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


When I’m in New York I think of Minnesota with nostalgic fondness. Nice people. Great summers. Lots of lakes. Now that I am ACTUALLY back and being pounded by one Alberta Clipper after another I am feeling a white-hot hate for cold brown 5’-0” tall snow banks.

I had to buy Wellies to get around. You must be wondering what a girl from Minnesota is doing without snow boots. First, I’m more of an indoor girl, malls and museums, over snowshoeing and skiing. Second, when I moved to NYC, my boots did too. They are there and I am here. So I need new snow shoes!

This visit to MSP also includes my annual invite to a Christmas Eve fete hosted by my friends Steve and Elle. Through phone calls and emails, I have kept Elle abreast of my misadventures in desi dating. So she knows and agrees that my 193 days of alcohol abstention must end. And we have decided that it will be in their lovely home.

Of course, being a Hindu girl living in a Lutheran state I am free on Christmas Eve, every year. In fact I get invited to more Christmas parties than Diwali or Holi gatherings. Which is fine. There is no wine at auspicious Hindu and religious functions. Boo.

I arrive early to catch up and help. I’ve been coming here for several years and have an official Xmas Eve duty, make the toast points for the caviar. Yum. Steve and I are in the kitchen, while Elle flutters in and out with final details. “Okay, so I have some Veuve Clicquot to toast your return to drinking,” Elle says and pours three glasses of bubbles. When she says “some” Veuve she means she has a magnum. Delish! “Your wine charm is Vixen,” Elle says and hands me a glass. Oooo, how I wish I was a Vixen in real life! “Cheers to you,” Elle says, we clink, sip and hot damn, champagne is Durga’s gift to me!

“So what happened to Reindeer?” Steve asks and prepares the meat and cheese tray. “I don’t know. One week he adores me. The next it’s like I contracted Ebola,” I reply and sip golden bubbles of heaven. Did I really give up drinking to fix my demented, burnt out, rusted stars? That was dumb. Alcohol consistently makes me happier than any man ever did. “I think you should stop dating Indian men,” Elle says. “They don’t get you.” Clearly. “So the caviar is ready,” Steve says.

In the loving presence of friends who love, support and provide the DIVINE decadence of food and drink, desi girl gets her drink back on! There is NO other way.


Four hours later I am panicking for calling and potentially losing my plastic home goods to a very bad man! Just when I think Reindeer won’t call back, he does. And I am relieved because the power has shifted back to me and I feel closer to getting my Tupperware returned.

“Hey there,” Reindeer says. Oh boy, there it is again, that yummy, sexy, turns my knees to molten chocolate voice. Sidebar: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Why can’t I get over him? “Hey Reindeer,” I reply, praying I can contain myself and banish hopeful thoughts that he professes his undying love pour moi!

Without my prompting HE launches into a tale about HIS day. He was at lunch when I called. This comment mortally wounds every bit of me because I presume he met a woman. And it’s not like I can ask because I will die if he confirms my fear. Thinking I had any power is a complete joke. Then, as if on cue, he says, “I met a buddy at the Doral Arrowood Country Club in Westchester. Didn’t you go to... you’ve been there right?” He remembers this? I went there LOOOOOONG before I ever met him.

Because I am weak and it doesn’t feel like six weeks have elapsed I fall into conversation with him and share that I’m freezing. He laughs and says, “How can the girl from Minnesota be cold?” “Don’t ask,” I reply. “I’m going back for a few weeks.” “Oh really? I’ve been in Kansas for the past few weeks,” Reindeer shares. “How is Kansas?” I ask. “I don’t get to many of the square states.” “While I was there I thought of you,” Reindeer says. This conversation is interesting and all over the board, yet I cannot segue into the opportunity to pounce for my plasticware! “Yes, in Kansas City I take Interstate 435 see signs for I-35 for St. Louis and remember you were once a former resident,” Reindeer says.

Okay what is going on here? This he remembers, too? Finally after 35 minutes I say, “Can I ask you a question?” He replies, “Yes.” I pause and then ask, “What happened in our last conversation? It was weird and awkward.” Now he takes a long pause and I stop breathing, waiting for the moment of truth. I should have asked for my Tupperware and forgone the closure.

“Yes,” he says. “It was awkward…I still have your dishes and you must want them back since they seem expensive.” “Well yes there is the matter of my Tupperware.” This is when I should ask him to mail them back. Do I? No. Instead I redirect and re-ask, “So again, what went wrong?” “I need to think about it,” Reindeer replies. WHAT?! He has had six weeks to figure out why we stopped dating. But I let it go and he suggests that we meet in January because I leave for the Twin Towns in 72 hours.

I hang up and flop onto the couch. I reach for the remote and surf the TV for some Law and Order. By flirting and remembering random little me-isms, Reindeer has filled me with false hope. And I have forgotten how dangerous that can be.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


My fingers warm from clutching the over-sized mug filled with coffee and fat-free, lactose-free French vanilla creamer. I avoid thinking that something can be cream but not dairy. Perhaps I simply have a love of processed things that may or may not give me cancer like Diet Coke aka Diva Cola. Yum!

I cross my legs and wiggle around in my office chair. My computer is open to the Banker’s latest email, “Did you call Reindeer yet?” Man I am NOT a person to be dared or challenged. Everything I am, everything I have accomplished has been a struggle of fight. Because nothing has come easily for me I get a little combative and competitive. This is also why I am a deplorable board game player. I am a really bad loser because I pout. And I am an even WORSE winner because I gloat. I have found my friendships last longer when I don’t play board games.

Accordingly the Banker’s dare to contact Reindeer pecks at my brain the way the pigeons in Bennett Park go after the last piece of bread. It doesn’t help that nothing I do (shopping, eating, dating) shakes thoughts of Reindeer. It’s like he's perched on the ledge of my mind and my mental Swiffer cannot sweep the thought of him away.

I don’t know what the point of deleting a number that I memorized was, because within seconds I am dialing Reindeer. While I wait for him to pick-up I decide that I will say hello, ask how he is doing and then ask if I can get my Tupperware back.

But when I go into voicemail I check the time. Noon. He finished yoga an hour ago. It’s December so he’s not golfing. Sometimes he gets his hair cut. And of course there is the chance that he’s is ignoring me. Surprisingly I feel relief that I don’t actually speak to him. After the beep I leave this voicemail, “Hey Reindeer, can you call me back when you have a chance.”

After hanging up, I have a few hyperventilating moments of “why did I do that?” Sure, I don’t back down from a challenge. And my voicemail was nicer than saying, “give me back my Tupperware you balding f*ck-head.” Did I shift the power back to his court? Who cares! I am entitled to get my private property back!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I return home from my Banker lunch feeling good about myself, something I haven’t felt in a while. Having a desi man friend is refreshing and exactly what I need right now. 

I sit down at the computer and read through profiles until one catches my breath. The potential groom (Quan Jock) writes: Vacation in the Caribbean -$2000. Two dozen red roses - $200. Candlelight dinner with the right partner - PRICELESS. Professionally secure man working in investment bank as vice president. Easy going, ambitious and confident person living life to the fullest. I like new things and cultures, have varied interests and a liberal outlook on life.

Well, well, well doesn’t Quan Jock sound A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y fabulous!!! And we have LOTS in common. We’re the same age and Punjabi. He’s from Delhi (where I go every other year) and cute. I mean, Quan Jock isn't gorgeous like Don’t be Scared (Post 115)  but he’s attractive with nice features, fair skin, and has ALL of this hair. From his photos where he wears jeans and a polo shirt, he looks slim, bordering on skinny. All of which triggers my triggers my body issues and has me worrying that I may outweigh him. Thank goodness he’s 5’-7”, so he's at least taller than me! And if he’s a great conversationalist with a sexy voice…swoon. With a click I send a notice of interest and log off.

Banker’s dare to call Reindeer still lingers. Banker believes Reindeer had a panic attack and disengaged and doesn’t know how to re-direct. So the part of me that STILL thinks Reindeer is the one (I don't know what is wrong with me) wants to believe what the Banker suggests is true. After all Banker is a desi man from India just like Reindeer.

I decide to wait on calling Reindeer. Let’s see if Quan Jock is interested because he writes like a man, not a boy-child, who is looking for a woman. And as a woman wanting to be found, it is good to have options!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I have seriously lost my mind. For some reason I thought I could “pop” into Macy’s and return some shoes I don’t love and buy some lipstick I do. But going there three Saturdays before Christmas is like making crystal meth in my apartment. Suicidal. Because this is the earthly shopping portal to hell.

After months of not hearing from him, the Banker (Post 76, 69, 60, and 59)  has invited me out to lunch. We've decided to be friends, which is fine. He likes un-fed waifs that look like boys and I like to eat!

I get to his apartment in a building where he pays pays four times what I do to live in a new, modern, sleek building. We do the mock-hug and he says, “You just missed the NYPD do their drill. 50 cars head east and then west. It is quite loud." "Wow," I say not really knowing the proper response. “Is it cold outside?” the Banker asks and surveys his coat closet. “Don’t ask me. I’m Minnesotan with a warped idea of cold,” I reply. “Good point,” he replies. The other question that should not be posed my way, “is this spicy?” I grew up in a Punjabi house where spice reigns. Pepper me up baby, because this maharani (desi for queeen) likes it hot!

We sit down to lunch and Banker asks, “So what’s new?” “I am dating again after Reindeer.” “Oh so that is why you were ignoring me?” the Banker scolds. What? The Banker just called me last week after months, so who is ignoring who? “Tell me about Reindeer,” the Banker asks.“Do you want me to start with his out-dated pictures that didn’t reveal his bald spot, until AFTER I met him?” I ask in a saccharine tone and   nibble on my bacon, also the reason I could never be a vegetarian. I would rather die than live without bacon.

The Banker asks me to retell the entire relationship and so I do. I am shocked that the nonsense Banker never tunes me out or asks me to get to the point. When I finish my story he sits quietly for several minutes, adjusting the collar of his turtleneck, thinking, reflecting and finally speaks. “So what’s the reason for the break-up?” Huh. No one has ACTUALLY asked that question, including me. “I don’t know. He said he had been thinking about and didn’t think it would work,” I reply. “What does that mean?” The Banker demands. “How the hell do I know?” I snap. “Do you like him?” The Banker asks. I shrug.

“Look, I think it is hard to find someone these days. I think you should call him up and talk to him,” the Banker suggests gently. Full disclosure: For weeks I have wanted to contact Reindeer. I admit it. I am weak. But I am trying so hard to be strong, reminding myself that when a man wants you he does not allow days, weeks and months slide by. “Actually,” the Banker says and flashes an amused and sexy smile. “I dare you call him.”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I’m chatting with Don’t-be-Scared. He’s one year younger than me, Punjabi, works on Wall Street in Oil Gas and has a voice that is verbal deliciousness! And he’s GORGEOUS in that “too-cool-for-you” desi manner. He strikes me as the type of man who only dates the really, thin, coiffed, manicured, prissy desi girls. But he seems really interested in me, which is great because I used to be really overweight and I sometimes I still see myself as chubby and unattractive.

We decide to meet the same night as the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting. Bad idea. So we venture further east and end up at the Midtown East W. He orders a wine for him and club soda for me. He, too like Dr. Comb-Over  (Post 114) asks why I am not drinking. And again I say because my personal trainer encouraged me to cut out alcohol. And no joke I have not been this thin or fit in 15 years.

“So, how long have you been on the matrimonial site?” I ask. “About 11 months,” he replies. I nod and reply, “Me too.” “My goal was to meet someone this year and get married,” Don’t-be-Scared shares. There are roughly 6 weeks left in 2007 so he doesn’t have much time, which leads me to ask, “What is your success rate at meeting women you like?” “It’s okay. But sometimes I run into someone I dated and it’s awkward.” “Why?” I ask. “Well it’s disconcerting when they’re into me and I’m not into them. And then they act weird.” He is either conceited or a serial crazy dater. “How mad can a woman get after two dates? Because, really, only crazy people invest that quickly,” I ask. He agrees and laughs.

A strange look flashes across his face which prompts me to suddenly ask, “How many women have you dated this year?” He sets his drink on the table and looks me straight in the eye and says, “I don’t want you to be scared...” DANGER! “A lot,” he says. “How many?” I ask. “Well, you make 73.”

Where does he have all that time? To arrange two dates a week means he had to spend at least two hours emailing or chatting per woman before each date. And how is he keeping our names straight? Ugh, he must be the worst kind of desi, a player who want me to know he’s a player! Or he is REALLY picky and no woman will ever be good enough for him. Either way, I remind myself that people tell you who they, you have to be paying attention ... and clearly this is a man who says he wants to settle down, but doesn't, which is okay … because I say ... NEXT …

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


We all have tendencies and biases which is how I became a serial FOB dater. So now I need to shake things up. And my new friend Ainsley Ayers (Post 111) must agree because yesterday she said, “What’s your type?” I replied, “Single, Hindu men.” She nodded reflectively and said, “Date the opposite.” Which would be what? Married Christian men? Clearly dating married men is a bad idea, so when Dr. Comb-Over writes, I accept rather than reject him.

I generally don’t date desi doctors for two reasons. One, the majority of desi doctors (and their mothers) want matching doctor brides. And two, while doctors are smart, I sometimes find male doctors difficult to talk to. I think this is because they know 90% of one thing whereas I know 10% of a bazillion things. But since I live in a little bubble I am pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, which is why I am waiting at Chola on the UES for my date.

He arrives late and wearing a double-breasted suit, tailored in India, with misshapen collars (think Duran Duran). And it’s in an olive green color that does not appear organically in nature. He spots me and waves. More upsetting than the suit is his comb-over (which was not prevalent in his photos because they, like his suit are from 1984). Yes, this is shallow, but I don’t find him physically attractive. I wish I could. I wish I did. But posting photos of who he LOOKED like is totally unfair. I actually feel deceived, so I don’t feel bad that I intend to eat and run.

We sit down and the first thing he orders is deep-fried appetizers --- samosas and pakoras. At 8:30 pm this is the WORST thing for us to eat. He orders a beer and I a Diet Coke. He finds the no alcohol puzzling and presses me to order a wine. I explain that I am not drinking because I am training, which is not a lie. I am re-training my stars from being negatively affected by alcohol. Dr. Comb-Over reminds me he is a doctor, and says I can have one drink. I politely refuse but it bothers me that he wants me to drink. Does he think drunk I’ll forget the comb-over? Bad suit? Lack of manners?

He sets his I-Phone on the table, I presume so I will be impressed by $600 phone. Even though half of Manhattan is running around with that EXACT phone. He smiles and insists I have a drink, that I cannot let him drink alone and what kind of wine can he order me. OMG. I again decline and finally he relents. I punish him by not speaking through dinner. Which is actually punishment for me, being silent for the majority of dinner damn near kills me.

Just as I plan my escape back to the West Side he says, “Shall I drive you home?” “No, no, don’t worry. I live in the OPPOSITE direction.” Because, again, I am not letting a man I just met on the Internet drive me home. Especially after he was so adamant that I drink.

The next morning I wake up thinking my Dr. Comb-Over date was a bad dream. But that bubble bursts when I find this text: Good meeting you. I hope you had a good time. Argh! I didn’t! So I fully intend to ignore him! And if calls, I am will learn how to reject numbers on my mobile phone.