Kate swings her long legs over the arm of the couch and is captivated by her pink-cased Blackberry Pearl. “Who are you texting with such devotion?” Meg demands. We’re women so we know it’s a boy. We’re just curious as to which man has caught the eye of our pretty Ivy-league educated blonde friend.
“Charles,” Kate replies. “Annnnd? Details please,” Siobhan asks. “He’s from South Carolina and we had a date at Burritoville,” Kate states. “Ew, Chipotle would be better. Though I would not turn down a Taco Bell run,” I reply. “Agreed!” Siobhan says. “I like him but I don’t know what is going on. It’s ambiguous,” Kate says and sighs. “That’s Manhattan,” Meg replies in a singsong voice.
“Is it wrong to think Burritoville means he’s not serious?” Kate asks. “Not necessarily. Maybe it means he likes you enough to stop impressing you and do regular things,” I suggest. “Puke,” Wynn snaps. “You give Charles too much credit. All men are dogs.” I take to issue when people loosely use terms like “all”, “always” and “never”. Life is not an absolute. But I am too Midwestern polite to argue with Wynn, the attorney. She’s entitled to her opinion. And I am entitled to think she’s wrong.
“Wynn has a crush, too,” Kate shares. “Oooo,” Meg drawls, her big, blue eyes bright with delight. “Don’t get too excited. They guys I like, never like me back,” Wynn says dejectedly. My Town and Country dates come back to me and I sit up and clink glasses with Wynn. “Cheers to that! I have a TOTALLY different problem. Guys I never planned to like, woo me, make me like them and then disappear,” I share. Siobhan sighs, “You don’t know how relieved I am to learn that someone else has that problem too!”
“Y’all, stop being so hard on yourselves. I can’t stop seeing my ex. He’s fat and gross and most days I don’t even like him,” Meg says and pours more wine into her glass. Meg is adorable, southern, proper and kind. How exactly did a belligerent slob with a dirty bathroom (I am guessing) land a hot biscuit like Meg? “But I don’t want to be alone.” Ah, explanation, there you are and I so can relate. I put with and dated men like Reindeer, Town and Country, Indian Cowboy, and ODDBs because they were desi. And I can assure you, if a Brazilian, Chinese or Greek man behaved like that I would NEVER have tolerated it.
“It’s hard to be alone, but Meg you deserve more. We all do. Pretend like you are kicking smoking or going on a diet. Just say no more bad men!” I suggest. “We’re not all as strong as you,” Siobhan states. Is she is kidding me with this? Me strong? Has anyone been listening to my desi dating disasters? I haven’t even told any of them about Town and Country or what is going on with my job. “You have confused me with some other Desi Girl, because I am one fine, hot mess,” I reply. Siobhan swirls her red wine and says reflectively, “You’re a lot of things. But not hot mess. You keep putting yourself out there, each time further out than the last. Weak people don’t keep trying.” I shrug instead of reply. I have difficulty accepting compliments and kind words.
“I’m sort of seeing someone who has a famous family member,” Siobhan says. “I’m sure that pressure affects him. So I put with his moods and weird shit.” Her? Siobhan is SO smart, classy, refined, uber-educated and SHE’S dating a loser too? What is wrong with men in Manhattan? “That’s why I have a plan. If I don’t find HIM, then I’m going to get artificially inseminated and move to Dallas to raise the baby,” Wynn says nonchalantly like she’s delivering the weather, sunny, with a slight chance of rain. I, however, couldn’t do that. I have enough problems and don’t need the unforgiving wrath of desi society judging me for being a single mother. I mean, sure the goddess Sita did it, but what choice did she have after Rama banished her from the kingdom.
The fire dies down and Siobhan says, “You have to date a few bad ones to appreciate a good one when he comes.” “Do you think I’ll recognize him when he does?” I ask. “Let’s hope,” Siobhan says so solemnly it scares me.