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Chronicles of a Single Brown Female: The Banker

Red Lips By Pragya Kothari*

Date # 1 with 29 Year Old Banker

Previously: Motherly Pressure

I met the Banker at happy hour, at a bar on Wall Street. I confess – the only reason I went downtown was to meet a banker. Disclaimer: I am not a “finance-ho” – you know, those girls who hang around groups of investment bankers, traders, and hedge fund managers to rack in the free drinks and dinners. You can never figure out which one of the guys she is sleeping with, but chances are she is sleeping with all of them, possibly all at once. I am not her. But, you can’t blame a girl for wanting nice things.

The Banker approached me, bought all my girlfriends a round of drinks, and immediately asked me out. I played coy, wavering somewhere between “yes” and “no,” and we exchanged business cards. For the rest of the night, he gave me aggressive shoulder/neck massages and rested his hand on my back, never daring to venture past the small of it.

Fast forward to the next day: I walk into work and there is a huge bouquet of flowers sitting at my desk. I am confused.

“Are these for me?” I ask my co-worker Lydia.

“Yeah, they were dropped off a few minutes ago. So…who are they from?” she asks, smiling.

“I don’t know. Is it Valentine’s Day?” I ask. “Because if it is, then these are from my mom,” My mother sends me flowers every year on Valentine’s Day because she feels bad for me. She doesn’t want me to be the only girl in the world not getting flowers, because she is 100% certain that I am single.

“Shut up, read the card,” Lydia answers, rolling her eyes at me. I open the card and it reads, “Friday Flatiron Lounge 9PM – V.” I smile – game on banker, game on.

I spend the rest of Thursday and Friday thinking of the romantic situations we will fall into. You know, like, we’ll talk and realize that we used to be in love in a past life. We were both half – human, half-snake and were torn apart because of an evil plot to steal our snake powers. Now we are reunited and must avenge our snake deaths and find our snake families. Are you following this crazy story line?

It’s 9:20 PM and I am late but to make up for it I threw on an inappropriately short black dress. I walk into the dimly-lit lounge and he is sitting at the bar. We lock eyes, I smile, and he is very attractive – much more attractive than I remembered.

“Hi,” I lean in and whisper, turning on my sexiest voice, in my head I sound like Angelina Jolie, but in reality, I sound like a chain smoker. He turns around with a confused look.

“Oh hi, I didn’t recognize you.” He responds. I can’t decipher if this is a good thing or a bad thing, probably bad, probably very bad. Sometimes I get mistaken for Mila Kunis… when people are heavily intoxicated, boy, are they disappointed when they sober up.

We walk over to a small table. I order a drink. I can’t even pay attention to what he is saying - the flickering candle between us lights his face, and he has beautiful cheekbones. Crazy thoughts wash over me; I hope our kids have his cheekbones… I shake my head, trying to regain my composure. He keeps talking about how all his friends are getting married. Inappropriate on a first date, but I let him finish. I console him, “29 isn’t that old, don’t worry.” I look up at him and realize that I have just put my foot in my mouth. “I didn’t mean it like that, you aren’t old.” I throw my hands over my face.

He chuckles and reaches over for my hand. Now I am beaming.

He insists on walking me home, even though he lives in the opposite direction. I comply.

“Are you hungry?” he asks, grabbing my hand.

“No, I am fine,” I respond, lying. I am starving.

“Are you sure? We can grab some dinner.”

I smile and nod. We have dinner at a small Thai restaurant. I can’t tell if he is legitimately funny or if I am just so smitten that I think everything he is saying is hilarious, probably the latter.

Dinner ends and he walks me home. I turn to him and realize that he is short. I am wearing 3- inch heels and am roughly his height, making him no taller than 5″6. This used to be a deal-breaker for me, but could I make an exception for that face?

He hugs me. I say goodnight. Now, I play the waiting game.

When I was 23, I lived my life following the code of deal-breakers. I just knew, I needed a man to encompass certain physical characteristics before I invited him upstairs and slipped into something more comfortable. Now, a distant two years later, those deal-breakers are looking like a life time subscription to spinster hood. I don’t care that he is 5 “6! I am not saying to go out and make yourself available to a group of hobbits and circus clowns. I am saying it’s time to re-evaluate these deal-breakers because when you like someone you just have to let go of the little
things.

— DIL

Read the Chronicles of a Brown Girl Series

2,932 thoughts on “Chronicles of a Single Brown Female: The Banker

  1. I really don’t like the word “Brown” to be used, just because we need to fit in. South Asian is better, and I think I would not like to teach my kids that they are Brown or something. No one in India calls themselves Brown. To keep accepting yourself as Brown means you are accepting other races as white and yellow and black…the reality is that this all started with a bunch of chauvinistic group of citizens in Britain…who were well off…no one else was “white” – the term has since been applied to more and more people. Brown was a derogatory word used by Britishers to the people of India during colonization…and its a shame that we are to use it now to ourselves.   

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