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.