Two hours before I meet Dr. Froggy for our Rosa Mexicana lunch, I stare into the closet so devotedly you’d think Durga was in there doling wise counsel upon me.
As I wait for fashion wisdom I must agree with Meera. My outfit last night was indeed “sophisticated casual” and now I feel pressure to again be fabulous --- more for myself than Dr. Froggy. This is why I decide to wear Meera’s favorite outfit on me --- white vee-neck tee-shirt; white, mid-calf length Sunny Leigh skirt with red flowers and green stems along the bottom; a long green scarf wrapped around my neck twice (it doubles as a shawl if the evening gets cool), and red slides. I have planned nothing for Dr. Froggy, which means I have no idea what I will be doing over the next 12 hours. Let me at least don some sensible shoes.
Without delay or event I meet Dr. Froggy for lunch. He is again wearing his blazer and dress pants. We get seated and much to my delight, table side guacamole. Much to my dismay, another unfinished meal because Desi Girl was too full after finishing one taco and too many chips.
“Wanna see the Met?” he asks. “Sure,” I reply. Once inside the museum we go through my favorite galleries, looking at the Indian and Egyptian art. He expresses interest in seeing the armor and weapons, and I agree. Who am I to object? He bought the tickets.
“Any desire in going to Coney Island?” Dr. Froggy asks. “Sure,” I reply. You’d think from his planning efforts and ideas, it is he, not me who lives in NYC. We make small talk on the train and experience long moments of silence when the adjacent “kids” (I use this loosely because they look about 15) start talking loudly, jumping around and acting like alley cats. God, I hope I was NEVER like that growing up. And gross, when did I become “that old” that I think of these people as “those kids."
Once in Queens, we walk along the boardwalk. The afternoon is warm and a light breeze kicks up just a touch of salty air to sting my lips. We pass the rides and dozens of food stands selling taffy, cotton candy, hot dogs, pizza, and popcorn. “Want anything to eat?” he asks. I shake my head. What I want is a disco nap. Who knew eating, art and walking could be so exhausting. I however don’t object when we pass a lemonade stand. I need a sugary afternoon pick me up.
We return the City and Dr. Froggy says, “I am in the mood for dosas. How does that sound to you?” “Sounds great!” I reply. As a North Indian, I did not grow up dining on the delights of dosa, idli and sambar. And since I live in Washington Heights, it is not often that I get to frequent the dosa joints on Lexington in the 20s.
When we get seated I am OFFICIALLY tired an order a Diva Cola (Diet Coke) and drink about half of it in 6.7 seconds. Whoever invented the straw was a mother-freaking genius. Feeling re-energized I am more engaged in the date. Until the waiter comes.
I am aghast when Dr. Froggy orders a HUGELY HUGE deep fried appetizer platter AND a HUGELY HUGE dosa. His appetite would be less alarming if he was Michael Phelps and not an overweight cardiologist pushing 40. And not to be a Negative Nandini but I am a little concerned that this man has a completely sedentary life for two reasons. One is being overweight is unhealthy. And two, I am a really active person and worry I will run circles around him. My thought is cut short because the waiter returns with trays of food and I already know this is another meal I won’t be finishing.
“What time is your flight tomorrow?” I ask. Maybe talking will make me feel more alert. “Why?” he asks. “I have friends coming in for the US Open and I need to meet them for drinks at four. But I am hoping that we could have brunch at Marseilles in Hell’s Kitchen. Sound good?” He nods and says, “Sounds good.”