“What do you mean you have never gone out on St. Patrick’s Day?” Ainsley demands into the phone. “It’s a day centered on drinking beer, which makes my stomach sick. And I am NOT Irish,” I remind. “Drink hard liquor! But you are SOOO meeting us at the Social on 48th and 8th. Siobhan is coming too. There will be hot fire fighters. Maybe you’ll meet a nice non-Indian man,” Ainsley gushes. “My parents will LOVE that,” I joke.
She’s quiet for a long moment, which is abnormal and unsettling since we’re both chatterboxes. “Look, I know I’m ignorant when it comes to your culture. I’m not EVEN going to pretend to understand the pressure you face. But I don’t think any of these guys --- Reindeer, Town and Country --- deserve you. And it bothers me that you live in New York and restrict yourself to a box that you don’t belong in,” Ainsley says quickly. All her bottled up thoughts and feelings release and rush towards me.
I twist the ring on my middle finger. She doesn’t say anything that I haven’t considered a million times. On one hand, sure I’m educated, but I was still raised to put everyone and their needs before me and mine. Because I thought my destiny was to be someone’s wife and mother. But the thing is, while I love kids, I wonder if I REALLY want them. Or did the legends of the goddesses lead me to believe that my calling in life was to procreate.
My many years as a singleton have me worrying if I can function in a unit. And what man, desi or otherwise, desires a high-strung, Type A, driver, control freak personality. Let’s just say I get married. Then what? We start living the “keeping-up-with-the-Patels” life. At over-priced bars we talk about our stock portfolios, shiny graduate degrees -- MBA, JD, PhD, MD, DDS and coordinating job titles -- President, Director, Esquire, Chief of Staff, Leading Authority, Doctor. We leave the City and acquire an outlandish Rye residence with our 2.2 kids and that f-ing dog I barely like, grilling tandoori chicken on a stately Weber and smoking out the neighbors. Ugh. I want more than that.
“Hellooooo?” Ainsley sings into the phone. “You’re upset with me, right? I overstepped my boundary.” “No, not at. You’re just honest. And you are right, Desi Girl needs to bust out of her routine. Bring on the H-O-T fire fighters!” “So excited!” Ainsley says. “See you tonight!”