I met the lawyer online, on a casual dating site (the free kind). Don’t worry; I wasn’t cruising around an AOL chat room. I am not looking to end up on To Catch a Predator: Desi Edition.
I’ve always wanted to be an attorney. Ever since I saw Rani Mukherjee get justice for ex Indian air force officer squadron leader,Veer Pratab Singh, I knew that I wanted to, through law, reunite all the Veer-Zaaras of the world. Unfortunately, to my parentâ€™s dismay this dream was never fulfilled. So what’s the next best thing? Date an attorney, duh.
So one afternoon I did a quick search for ‘Indian,’ and ‘legal/law,â€™ and bam hundreds of potentials were laid out for me. I spent the rest of the work day sorting through the profiles. I enlisted the help of my co-worker, Lyida, who never passed up an excuse to cease work activities.
Most of the guys seemed meh, but this one profile really struck me (Okay, honestly I didn’t really read the profile, the picture really struck me). â€œWant it,â€ I said to Lydia while pawing at the computer screen.
â€œMessage him,â€ she replied chuckling.
â€œWhat should I say?â€
â€œSay something witty.â€
â€œObviously I have to say something witty. Any thoughts as to what that witty comment should be?â€ I paused thinking if it was even appropriate to message men. Is a dating site a virtual bar? And if so, should I wait to be approached? â€œWait, is it weird if I message him?â€
â€œHow the hell should I know?â€ she replied, â€œI am married.â€
I sighed and sent him an anticlimactic message; I figured my profile picture would carry me through. The next day, there in my inbox, waited a response from the lawyer. And so began our love story.
Three messages later he asked me if I was interested in meeting up. â€œOf course,â€ I replied. Â My online dating rule # 1 use to be â€“ Meet the potential as soon as possible. This way you’ll know if you are legitimately interested and won’t waste your time chatting up a dud.
We made plans to meet at the Gansevoort on Park Ave. Actually, I made these plans, he had suggested some place on the Lower East Side and I immediately declined. It was a Wednesday night buddy, these heels were not trekking down to LES. My real life dating rule # 1 for you â€“ Never be as difficult as I am.
8:50 p.m. – my phone buzzes â€“ I put down my bright pink straightener and run to grab it, â€˜I am here â€“ sitting by the bar,’ it reads.
â€œShit,â€ I yell out loud. We are supposed to meet at 9 p.m. Why is he there ten minutes early? I turn of the straightener and I scramble to get my shoes on. I take one last look in the mirror, damn, I look good, I obviously work out.
9:07 p.m. – I am out the door. ItÂ shouldnâ€™t be hard to find a cab on 2nd avenue, I think. Boy, am I wrong. I can’t find a cab. I hustle to 3rd avenue, it’s 95 degrees out and I can feel my deodorant succumbing to sweat. Finally I manage to hail a cab, I jump in. Â The cold AC air hits my face. I feel better. My phone says its 9:12 p.m. I text him, “Just found a cab, sorry, be there soon.” I hope he doesnâ€™t leave.
9:25 p.m. – I make it, 30th and Park Ave, one last look at myself in the elevator and I am ready to go. I spot him sitting in the corner. He is cute. A little short, but cute. We make eye contact; he smiles at me and walks over.
â€œHi,â€ he says and gives me a hug. We both head over to the bar. I order a glass of Prosecco. We sit down, itâ€™s really hot and my thighs are sticking to the couch. I try to pretend like this doesnâ€™t make me uncomfortable. Now that I can see him up close, he is really (really) cute. I could see us together. My thoughts drift to our wedding…dum dum da-dum, dum dum, da-dum… I can see it so clearly.
â€œSo, what do you do for a living?â€ he asks me, bring me back to reality.
â€œOh, well, I manage ad spend â€¦â€ I go off on a tangent pretending like I care about my job and heÂ obviously pretends like he cares about my job too or anything I say Â for that matter.
â€œThat sounds interesting,â€ he responds. I smile and nod. I want to tell him that I can also sew, cook, and mix a mean cocktail. But I doubt that would interest him.
We walk out to the balcony, itâ€™s a clear night, and I can see the Empire State Building. He puts his arm around me, for a moment itâ€™s like I matter to him. Itâ€™s like I am someone substantial in his life. The moment ends and he looks at me and goes in for the kiss. I pull back from him. I am not really interested in kissing men I’ve just met. I did it in college, but now it seems pointless, like empty calories. But eventually I just let him kiss me anyway.
We leave the lounge at around 1 a.m. and I let him walk me home against my better judgment. This is where I begin to dislike him. I think Mr. Justice might have thrown back one too many Dewars on the rocks because he is incredibly handsy. Donâ€™t get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional hand on the lower back, but not groping while walking up Park Avenue and certainly not on a first date.
We get to the door, I give him a hug. I am trying to exit the situation as quickly as possible with my virtue intact.
â€œI have two other dates this week,â€ he says while holding my hands. I am confused. â€œBut, donâ€™t worry, you are definitely second date material.â€ I am in awe. I just look at him. I am so shocked at his statement that I donâ€™t notice him winding up to give me another kiss. I let him kiss me, I am not sure why. Feels like nothing. Finally, I push him back but he isnâ€™t done yet. Then Mr. Justice commits an Â unforgivable crime–he grabs my butt on our first date, in front of my apartment building. I feel violated. Can I sue him for unlawful grabbing of the butt?
â€œGoodnight,â€ I give him another hug and run into my building. And so our love story ends.
Online dating is tricky. Ladies, you have to be careful. Now my #1 online dating rule â€“ Looks can be deceiving, carry pepper spray.
Read the Chronicles of a Brown Girl Series
Illustration: Pragya Kathari