Thursday, September 29, 2011


I wake up the next day, at 2 in the afternoon, which sounds late, but not really when you consider I was awake until 6.00 am.  I take a shower, dry my hair, put on make-up and pull on my clothes --- denim pencil skirt, a black vee-neck tee-shirt and my tall black boots.

Two hours later I lock the apartment, board the A train and brave the Herald Square Macy’s to make my return. I bought an INC Dress – but I am taking it back because I have the same dress in a different color. And I think having $80 in savings is a better decision.

I wander into the shoe department and nothing, and I mean nothing jumps out at me and says “Desi Girl, you must buy me!”. I breeze through the pajamas and bathrobes – and decide against buying anything because I don’t want to carry it over to Town and Country’s.

Around 6.00 pm I stop by a pizza place and order a cheese slice and Diet Coke. This is one the GREAT things about New York. Slice and soda for $4. I won’t lie – I’d love to be having dinner with Town and Country – but I don’t mind eating alone, eating within my means and being self-sufficient. I have male cousins, whose wives are incapable of taking care of themselves that marriage was going to be their option in life. While I want to get married – I am glad that I am not one of these pathetic (in my opinion) women who married into my family and is now completely dependent on a man.I think it is great to have someone to rely on, but to be totally at their mercy isn't for me.

I toss my paper plate and soda can into the garbage and recycling receptacles and head over to Town and Country’s. I get within a few blocks of his house and realize that I am going to be early. So I text him to find out his ETA. He texts back and says he is home and I can stop by anytime. I pop  a piece of gum into my mouth and walk up his stoop steps and ring the bell. I can hear his footsteps against the floor coming towards the door. This happens when there is nothing inside to absorb the sound. Empty apartments are like that too, hollow, ready to embrace the new tenant, the new life, the new memories, the new.

He opens the door and smiles. He is in jeans and a button-down and $800 brown shoes.  He leans to peck kiss on my cheek but I go for the hug. Awkward. He shuts the door and says, “Nice boots.” “Thanks,” I reply. “Come upstairs and see the leather chairs I bought for the dining room,” he says and heads up the stairs. I pause and inhale deeply before heading up. The stairs have been stripped to their foundation, so just the framework exists, there are no planks to step on. Gingerly I follow Town and Country to the second floor. “They are in the sitting room, there – try one out and tell me what you think. I need to run upstairs,” he says. Fine with me. I am more than happy to not have to go upstairs with him.

I duck into a dusty room where all the furniture is covered in plastic except a dozen chairs with orange-tan leather seats and dark wood backs and legs. The leather is smooth and flawless. And I end up running my hand against several of the chairs. They are buttery, silky, supple. I sit down on the fourth chair and cross my legs. I look up and find Town and Country staring at me. “These are very nice chairs,” I say. “You look very nice on them,” he says. Why does he have to be sexy? “Thank you,” I reply. “So I have some items I’d like you to research, but I am hungry – have you had dinner? I know a nice French place around the corner,” he suggests.

I am not at all hungry.  “Sure I could eat a salad," I say. "Salad? At a French restaurant?” he asks. “Yes, it has been some time since I have had greens,” I reply. “As you wish,” he says.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The insomnia is back. With a vengeance.  This means my stress level has reached a new high. I am sure moving, working for Town and Country who is rather fussy, and scraping by, doesn’t help. Whenever the insomnia returns it makes me wonder if I have stress or anxiety or both.

I guess one nice thing about insomnia, coupled with living on the ground floor and getting ready to move is that I can pack and not worry about waking my neighbors. Which is what I do for a few hours, putting more books, linens and toiletries into boxes.

I am very motivated to pack, because I have found a broker who is going to help me look for apartments on the Upper East Side – yes like George and Weezie I am movin’ on up – it won’t be to a deluxe apartment in the sky, no way I can afford that – but I look forward to digs in a new zip code. The broker has come recommended from a friend. She assures me he is not sleazy, uncouth or immoral. In fact he has put her and several of her friends into apartments. I trust tried and true. Something else that is nice - is that the market is not strong as it used to be so I can negotiate price and look for apartments where the Landlord not the tenant pays the broker fee.

It takes a few hours for exhaustion to kick in, and when it does I crash. I crash well into the next day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Ack. The next morning I wake up, brush my teeth and pad around the apartment. Something in my head says “go inspect the laptop” and I do. And remember getting into that small fight with it. As I contemplate what to do I hear my phone beeping.

Text from Town and Country: Can you stop by the house tonight? Want you to see the progress.

Okay. Don’t have to ask me twice. But Meera’s advice comes back to me and so I wait two hours before contacting him with confirmation. During which time I log onto the other computer, yes I have two, and do some online laptop research. I then go into the bedroom and wonder what I should wear. And I remember that return to Macy’s I should take care since I am going downtown.

Text from Desi Girl: Sure, that should work. What time? 7 pm work?
Text from Town and Country: No. Too early. How about 8 pm?
Text from Desi Girl: Sure. Do you want to grab a drink or something to eat?
Text from Town and Country: No. Won’t have time.

Okay. I get it. He is NOT NOT NOT my boyfriend. But something in the way I feel dismissed stings a little more than I would like to admit.


The next night I am working on a proposal on my six year old laptop. Unsurprisingly, it is very slow. Also not helpful is that fact that the program I am using, Publisher, uses a lot and lot of memory, which is also aiding to the slowing down process. So my frustration level is already at a 7 out of 10.

My irritation with management (read: Dad) doesn’t help, bringing frustration to a 9. We have never turned down an opportunity to apply for a nice parking facility project. But this client is one we had before. And in my opinion, not that smart of one. They made all sorts of decisions about construction and pile driving and shoring behind our back that while our parking facility was under-construction. So much so that one fine day we were served by a county sheriff from Iowa stating the business owners with properties adjacent our project were suing us, the client, the contractor and nine sub-contractors.

The only highlight of spending 8 weeks of a trial  in an Iowa pig-farming community was that one of our lawyers was delicious. Ahhh. To remember him all these years later. Still he is yummy.  Tall, at 6’-2”, dark hair, handsome face, nice body … sigh … I am sure he is now married to someone gorgeous blond former runway model he met while running some marathon. And I am sure they have three perfect, cherub children they drive around in a Volvo.  Oh! And they probably live in some turn of the century fixer-upper. SIGH! Could have been me – I mean should I have been willing to live the rest of my life in Iowa with no martini or sushi bars, but with a smart, attractive, engaging man. (Note: I do not think that all of Iowa is dullsville. Just the town that I stuck in during the lawsuit).

I realize he was no desi man, ah … but he was almost perfect, if a human can come in the form of perfection. But he was nice and kind. And smart - so smart. He was more of a liberal than I am - and he was a great lover of Prairie Home Companion. He went to a Big Ten School for undergraduate and law school. He was well traveled, culturally savvy, he too worked for his father. Then there was pesky rule about attorneys not dating their clients. Yes, that is what I like to blame not dating him on. That it was against the rules for us to date. Not that he was just not into me.

While I have been working and daydreaming, I have broken the computer. By punching it a few times. Oops. My bad!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


“How much space does Green Glue take up?” I ask Desi Brother and shift the phone. “What?” Desi Brother demands. “What, what? How much space will the glue take in the wall,” I re-state. “It’s glue,” he replies. “I understand that, but Town and Country wants to know,” I reply. I hear my brother sigh before he says, “The glue’s thickness is not going to be an issue. Once it dries it’s gone.” “That is what I told him,” I reply. “But?” Desi Brother asks. “Well I am sure Town and Country is being thorough,” I reply.

“Uh-huh,” he replies. “And can you confirm that Green Glue cannot be affixed to brick?” I ask. “Yes. Green Glue does not go on brick,” he confirms. “And will sound travel through the nails in the studs?” I ask. Desi Brother sighs. “Well in theory it should be minimal in ideal construction situations. We will caulk to mitigate sound. But we are kinda the mercy of the unknown. These are old buildings, they shift, they have shared walls,” he says.

“Yes, I know. A building was demolished on his block and something shifted and now everyone on that block has rats in their basements,” I reply. “Ew, that is disgusting. Do the rats come back to the main level?” he asks. “Sometimes. Why do you think I am running around with hand sanitizer and never setting my bag on the subway floor?” I ask. “Make sure you tell him that this is not a soundproof system, it is a soundproofing system,” Desi Brother says.

“I also think we should draw up a new wall detail,” my brother suggests. “Fine – let’s over-detail everything, let’s show the studs, the nails in the studs, the caulk, and the glue but state it is not visible to the eye.  This way the Contractor cannot come back with 1000 questions,” I suggest.

An hour later after Desi Brother and I have reviewed the detail I send it over to Town and Country. And I include a note about the caulk.

Immediately he writes back: This is very helpful. I will share with the Contractor. Good to know about the sound proofing. Thanks for being taking the lead on this. Appreciate it very much.

Desi Girl: You are very welcome. Always happy to help.(Yippee!!!)