“I dated a professional desi cheerleader,” Dr. Froggy says. Oh great, now we have to have the “here are the people I dated” conversation which eventually leads to the “what is your number, how many people have you slept with” question. Since I’m a prude, I never worry that anyone will think I'm a desi skank. I actually lie and add a few lovers, so I seem like a competitive dater. And to be completely honest, I am the best lover I have ever had... “So what happened to the cheerleader?” I ask.
It’s surprising to learn that a desi girl was allowed to become a “professional cheerleader”. Every ABCD (American Born Confused Desi as the desis in India refer to us) I know was pushed to earn straight A’s, gain admittance into exclusive private colleges, ascend to the Dean’s List, and succeed as accountants, orthodontists, lawyers, engineers, financiers, doctors, architects, so they can go on to reside in America’s finest zip codes. Think I jest? I wanted to major in psychology and my parents said no. They were paying, so they were involved in the selection of my major. Do you think I wanted to be an architect? I don't like math and I can't draw. “Oh the cheerleader, well I broke up with when she wouldn’t agree to quit. I need a smart, professional woman,” Dr. Froggy says. “And in light of the Kobe Bryant scandal, I don’t want my wife anywhere near athletes."
* * *
The next day I wake and feel disdain for the sun. I once had an enviable social circuit and the giddy-up-and-go of the Energizer Bunny on amphetamines. Now I have to scrape all the motivation I have out of the energy jar and slap myself together just to shower.
Somehow I manage to get ready and meet my college chum Abby, her daughter Madeleine and her French foreign exchange student Élodie. As I turn south onto Columbus headed for Isabella’s I don’t realize Élodie is a teen. From the distance she is as tall as Abby with thick, layered shoulder length, elegantly tucked behind her ears. When I reach them I am taken aback. First, Élodie is freaking hot. She has bright eyes, a little upturned nose, and full, pink lips. Next, her teeny tiny itty bitty clothes surprise me, a yellow tank top and a skirt so short it reveals long shapely legs that I would kill for. I’d also kill to be 5’-10” and weigh 110 pounds. Oh well, maybe my next life. And dear God, I hope Élodie does not bend over, because she WILL most certainly moon Manhattan.
The waiter seats us and Abby makes introductions in French, “Desi Girl blah, blah, blah, Élodie, blah, blah, blah.” When dinner is served we try and converse, but my French is ridiculously bad so Abby continues to play translator. As Abby and I sip wine (Élodie cannot believe she cannot partake like she does in France) I ask Élodie if she’s enjoying New York. Through Abby, Élodie recounts tales of shopping, listening to music, watching American television, and im-ing her friends every night.
Élodie pauses and slowly in French asks Abby a question. Abby laughs so hard she almost spits out her wine. Élodie and I are both taken aback. And I begin praying Abby is not choking. I am definitely not the right person to be left responsible for a toddler and a scantily-clad French foreign exchange student. When Abby regains her composure she looks at me, smiles, and gives Élodie a firm directive. A huge smile comes across the young girl’s face. She reaches under the table, pulls out a shopping bag and fishes out white, platform shoes. “Oh. My. God!” I squeal. “These are the cutest things EVER! Are they comfortable? Where did you get them? What will you wear them with? So PERFECT for summer!” I rapidly fire comments and questions. Élodie responds with a string of French words. Abby giggles and translates.
Élodie smiles and excuses herself for the loo. A few minutes later Abby is still laughing and says, “When Élodie asked if you would want to see her shoes, I realized that you should have spent the day in the City with her not me!” “Yes, well, we’d have language issues,” I say. “Oh I don’t know about that. You seem to speak the international language of shoe!" Abby counters.
When Élodie returns she gives me a shy glance and whispers something to Abby. Abby nods and says, “So tomorrow we’re going to see the movie Mama Mia! Élodie would like to know if you can join us.” The hopeful look on Élodie’s face is so sweet, that I could imagine turning her down. “Of course, I would love too!” I reply. Élodie flashes a final smile and finishes her dinner. Thank goodness I love ABBA and Meryl, Pierce and Colin Firth!
Who knew I’d be more popular with girls half my age, than age-appropriate desi men?!