“How did a Jewish guy go over with your parents?” Jane asks. Oh boy, she is NOT going to be subtle about this. Then again subtly is not one of her or my strengths. “She was 37 and they wanted her married,” Naveen says. “How old are you?” Jane asks. “38,” Naveen replies and orders his third drink. Fourth if you include the one at Spotted Pig. He also drove into the City, so I’m glad I won’t be on the Brooklyn Bridge tonight. “Are your parents pressuring you to marry?” Jane asks hopefully. Meanwhile I think I might die. My own mother is NOT this direct. “Nah, I’m a guy,” Naveen says and stretches his arm across the back of my dining chair.
I find this so maddening I could spit; I mean if I weren’t such a priss-pot. Do I really need another reminder about how messed up and anti-woman desi dating is? Or maybe it is dating in New York, but thanks to Charlie Chaplin having babies at the age of 73, men seem to think they have A-L-L the time in the world. But really, at 50 are they going to be handsome and have their hair? Also, I don’t appreciate Naveen invading my space after his declaration of disinterest. It is completely fine with me if he wishes to play the field, but I don’t need him being all faux-cozy with me.
From that point I talk to Bill and Jane. I don’t ignore Naveen; however I make it clear that if he is interested he needs to act like it. Obviously Naveen is a clever boy and senses my disdain. He removes his arm and stops acting like a jackass. That is until the bill comes.
To my horror, the bill is divvied into four equal quarters. And no, I was not expecting my date to comp my meal. However, I was not expecting to pay for Naveen’s three drinks, coffee and steak dinner. I ordered a $20 pasta and water. Jane, a skinny girl chronically on a diet, had wine and salad. Because I am a simple working gal, making it month by month, I find the cheapness of rich people stunning. Sure, I understand that this is how the rich got rich. But this is TACKY! Jane and I combined spent $50 on our dinners and they spent $150.
Jane and I can’t say good-bye fast enough. We scurry, more like limp since our feet hurt, out of the restaurant. She hails a cab. I protest that I cannot afford it, especially after that dinner. “I’ll expense it,” Jane insists, shoves me inside and slams the door. “Two stops. West 71 and Columbus and West 181 and Fort Washington.” The cabbie whips a U-turn (not recommended on the cobblestone West Village/Meatpacking streets) and cruises onto the West Side Highway. As I watch Chelsea and Midtown West blur by I turn to Jane and say, “I don’t think I’m marrying him.” “Absolutely not! He is cheap and uncouth!” Jane yelps. “And was raised by wolves,” I interject. “Clearly,” Jane adds and sighs.