Brain Dead. I am talking to Bangalore Cousin, she is asking for her usual desi dating update, and the conversation is making me brain dead. “Who are you dating now?” Flyboy. “You need to date more people.” I can only go on one date at a time. “You are not getting younger, thinner, better, etc.” Thanks, like I don’t already feel like shit most days. “You are in New York what is taking so long?” Good question. I am wondering the same thing. “I am making sure this never happens to my daughter.” Wait, give me one second to pull the knife out from my back.
“Well I have a date tomorrow,” I reply finally. “One date?” she asks. I choose to ignore her tone. From 10,000 miles away I know she is displeased with me. “What does he do?” she asks. “He’s a pilot,” I reply. “Pilot?” she asks. “Yes, he flies planes,” I reply. “For an airline?” she asks. “A charter one, but yes, an airline,” I reply. “Hhmmm…” she says. “What now?” I ask. “Are you sure about this?” she asks. “About what?" I ask. I have yet to meet the guy, just what is her issue. "This guy doesn't seem right," she says. "You don't even know anything about him. And besides.I am not getting younger, thinner or better, you keep telling me to go for B and C grade guys,” I reply calmly. At some point during this conversation I went from annoyed to combative.
“That is not what I said. You are educated, attractive. You are twisting…” she begins. “You said I had to lower my standards, right? So why are you still cribbing?” I ask. “That is not what I said. This guy seems D grade,” she replies after a long silence. “Why because he’s a pilot in Queens? Don’t take your snotty desi matching issues out on me. Maybe I don't want that white picket fence life in the 'burbs with kids lifestyle. Maybe I want something unconventional, rather than this keeping-up-with-the-Patels bullshit desi mentality. They bought a house, let's get a cabin. They just bought a boat, let's get a yacht. Who cares if we are not cabin or boat people. I have enough things to do deal with – I don’t need this. Dating desi bankers, engineers, consultants and entrepreneurs got me nowhere. I am stepping outside of the box; don’t force me back in that box.” Silence. "And don't tell me you are helping. You are not helping," I snap.
"Some days I am really annoyed to be Indian," I reply. "Don't blame your bad stars on being Indian," she says. "Oh, okay - you are right. Because really I am a Zoroastrian German - I will blame that." I hear her sigh very deeply before she says, "Fine," and hangs up. I listen to the dial tone for 10 seconds and then toss the phone aside. Are we going to argue about dating every time we speak until I get married or die? Because at this rate, I don't know what will happen first, marriage or death, and that could mean 50 years of shitty conversations with her.