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Chronicles of a Single Brown Female: Online Dating the Lawyer

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 parent’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,’ 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). “Want it,” I said to Lydia while pawing at the computer screen.

“Message him,” she replied chuckling.
“What should I say?”
“Say something witty.”
“Obviously I have to say something witty. Any thoughts as to what that witty comment should be?” 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? “Wait, is it weird if I message him?”
“How the hell should I know?” she replied, “I am married.”
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. “Of course,” I replied.  My online dating rule # 1 use to be – 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 – Never be as difficult as I am.

Wednesday:

8:50 p.m. – my phone buzzes – I put down my bright pink straightener and run to grab it, ‘I am here – sitting by the bar,’ it reads.

“Shit,” 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. It shouldn’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.  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 doesn’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.

“Hi,” he says and gives me a hug. We both head over to the bar. I order a glass of Prosecco. We sit down, it’s really hot and my thighs are sticking to the couch. I try to pretend like this doesn’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.

“So, what do you do for a living?” he asks me, bring me back to reality.

“Oh, well, I manage ad spend …” I go off on a tangent pretending like I care about my job and he obviously pretends like he cares about my job too or anything I say  for that matter.

“That sounds interesting,” 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, it’s a clear night, and I can see the Empire State Building. He puts his arm around me, for a moment it’s like I matter to him. It’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. Don’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.

“I have two other dates this week,” he says while holding my hands. I am confused. “But, don’t worry, you are definitely second date material.” I am in awe. I just look at him. I am so shocked at his statement that I don’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 isn’t done yet. Then Mr. Justice commits an  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?

“Goodnight,” 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 – Looks can be deceiving, carry pepper spray.

– DIL

Read the Chronicles of a Brown Girl Series


Illustration: Pragya Kathari

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