Saturday, January 10, 2004

Ah yes. I promised "The Next Installment." Here it is. Another post about another boy and some alcohol. (This time, very minimal alcohol, but we did have a few drinks)

Being an Indian female, my parents and assorted family members, as well as people whom I hardly know have been harping on me getting married. My mother has been talking to me about it since I was 13, and the major pressure began by age 21. Not the finding a guy, falling in love type marriage. The tall, handsome, good job, great family, same caste type marriage. The arranged marriage. (Said in a deep, echoing, booming voice with accompanying diabolic laughter)

I have met guys for the arranged marriage. Not out of my own free will of course. Some random person meets some random person who knows someone in my family, therefore they learn that I exist. The random people know a perfectly suitable boy for me, and say we should meet. My parents get all excited, and have nicer things to say about the boy than they have to say about me. I say I dont want to meet him, they say its too late, they've already talked to his parents and now we have to meet. I get pissed. I have to wear one of my salwars (because I will NOT wear a sari to meet a guy!), and the whole car ride, my parents give me my little script of what to say, how to act, and what not to say. I go there with his whole family greeting my whole family. I sit there like a little doll, everyone talking around me. Then I get an occasional question or 2, and thats it. Then they make me and the guy talk alone somewhere for a bit. We talk, we finish, we go back to our respective owners, we go home. I sit in car, parents berate me with questions whether I like him or not, I say no, they ask why, I give reason, they get mad. (the end part as told in my summary, does not hold true for everyone) I have a lot to say on this topic, but I'll save that for another day.

Then there is the liberated way, where me and Guy somehow make our own plans and meet up alone, without family.

For a week, I've been talking to a Guy. First you must understand, now that Im 27, Im headed toward old hagdom, and considered unmarriable. So my fathers cousins wife's mother in Chicago knows the cousin of Guy (they grew up in the same town in India), and they spoke of Guy, who is 27, and well, right here we have a 27 year old female. I didnt want to talk to him, because I hate this process, but Fathers cousins wife's mother gave him my number and he called the next day.

I was in for a nice surprise in that he was cool to talk to. He held up his end of the conversation. He had a ton of questions about India. Anyway, we spoke a few times after that and decided to meet up. He lives in New Jersey, and is going for his MBA in Pittsburgh. So we decided to meet up before he goes back, which was loosely translated as, lets get this crap over with and not drag it out.

We decided to meet up in NYC on Thursday, which is central for both of us. We exchanged pics via email so we knew what we were getting into. He met me at my friends apartment (no one was home), and I opened the door to find a cutie standing there. We exchanged hellos and he handed me a small box of Godiva chocolates. We hung out at my friends for a half an hour just talking. Actually, we were avoiding going outside because it was so damn cold. We went to dinner at the Holy Basil, (yummy Thai Food!) which is in the Union Square area. Dinner was yummy, and conversation flowed the whole time. We both even ordered red wine to calm the nerves.

Afterwards, we went to the Lemon Bar, which is a big lounge/restarant type place also near the Union Square area. Its got funky music, and red lighting. I loved it. We sat in the upstairs part, and split a brownie ice cream sundae and he ordered a Hypnotic and I got my Watermelon Martinis. A lot of talking ensued, I even asked him if he ever had a serious girlfriend, and he was kind enough to answer.

He had to catch the 11pm bus back to New Jersey, and my friend lives 3 blocks from Port Authority (the bus station) so we went back. He dropped me off at my friends, and we said the most awkward goodbye in the history of goodbyes. We hugged, and both of us just stuttered our goodbyes. "Ok...bye!" "You have my, you can email sometime." "Thanks for taking me out...uh..." "Well, um..bye!" Its different when you're meeting someone for the purpose of getting married, and its not your regular date. Mainly because afterwards,you have to report to your superiors about whether you like the person or not.

So I went back, and gave my friend a short synopsis of what happened. I have to admit, it was a lovely outing. Im a bit apprehensive to call it a date, but if it was a date, it was a great first date! He's going back to Pittsburgh today, so dont know if I'll hear from him. I dont know what the proper etiquette is, because I was surprised I actually liked him. Not like like (can you like like someone after one meeting? I cant.), but got the good vibes. I sent him an email yesterday Thanking him for a nice evening, and Im hoping he will reply with some thoughts. If he'd like to keep in touch I would be cool with that. If he said he wanted to marry me, after only meeting me once, thats grounds for me saying no. Just so I know. I like to be in the loop for these things, rather than hearing it from my dad's cousins wife's mother.

**Epilogue**: Guy and I talked again. He said since we both have different goals right now, it probably wouldnt work. I thought that was very cool of him to tell me straight out. I thought I would be upset, but Im strangely relieved.

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