Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Diplomatic Relations

This past Saturday I found myself in one of the most scenic places (kidding) of the U.S. called New Jersey to attend a friend’s wedding reception. As my cousin sister and I played “spot the desi” from the car and passed road signs which screamed Princeton, I did my own version of the Munch painting. Oh, yes, memories of yet another strange meeting with another marriage/Ph.D. candidate from the Ivy League school. Apart from a long trek to the lake and an insipid snow fight, I didn’t take much from there. That was January 06. Was I going to meet another charmer at this said wedding? Err, no. I was perfectly happy to go for the food, drinks and the bhangra. In fact, I was more than eager to see my cousin network her way through the Bongdom of East Coast.
The couple – who just got back from a honeymoon in Disneyland (yes, better believe it) – had seated us at a table with a couple of other couples. But seated on my right was a guy who used to live in DC and moved to Manhattan. We chatted amicably for a while about people, places, work and the weather. He was interesting but in a boring sort of way. My cousin nudged me, “he’s cute.” I nudged her back, “so what?” Besides, he was too busy trolling his BlackBerry. Finally I had to tell him what was nagging me since I saw him: he looked oddly like someone I knew.
Me: “Have you ever seen a picture of the Indian ambassador?”
Him: “Who?”
Me: “The Indian ambassador to the United States. His name is Ronen Sen.”
Him: “Oh, and does he live around here?”
Me (trying not to sound impatient for my first Diplomacy 101 lesson): “He lives in DC and basically he’s like the official representative of India. Every country has one of them... unless it’s Iraq or Cuba, I suppose. So anyway, you look like you’re related to him, almost like a younger version of him.”
Him (finally getting it and smiling): “Oh, is that so. Thanks.”
Now, I don’t know if that did it or if he was generally taking precautionary measures but all of a sudden he strategically places his left hand on his face to show his wedding band. Like, whoa! don’t hit on me, woman! I’m good married boy and my wife is not here doesn’t mean I can’t take care of myself, ok! I don’t know what he was thinking. But seriously, he should have chilled out. If defining the role of the Indian ambassador was his definition of flirting, it was a good one. Maybe I should try it next time with someone else. And hello – why didn’t he bring up his (missing in action) wife in like, the first 10 minutes of our conversation? There were numerous ways he could’ve done it and I don’t want to get into that. But clearly he thought showing his wedding band was going to banish off any evil designs I was apparently making on him. Relax dude, even if you knew how to spell "diplomat" backwards, I couldn't be sure about you!
So a word of advice to married men: please don’t think every other woman is making a move on you. We understand that your hotness/coolness/cuteness makes you totally desirable and totally unavailable. And although there are some women out there who don’t care if you’re married or not, for the most part we usually comply with respectful resistance.


Twisted DNA said...

"Him (finally getting it and smiling)"
I don't know what he got but I didn't get it :)

"please don’t think every other woman is making a move on you"
Every other? I thought it's EVERY woman :P

But I think you misunderstood his signal. He showed the ring to you to make sure you are OK with flirting with a married man. He is not trying to indicate that he is not interested :)

Shilpa said...

TDNA: haha.. had a feeling you would have something to say about this :D so you think i was being delusional?? if he was comfortable flirting with me, i think he should've mentioned something about his wife somewhere at some point during the conversation... come on! he got a bit too nervous jumpy with the whole ring action.

Kanika said...

maybe he was just waiting for a more in-depth understanding of the role of an ambassador, so he put his hand up to his face to show he was interested in the conversation! And you thought he was sending you another kind of message... Tsk.

Sash said...

In this case, it is highly probable that Kanika is right… that he was just putting his hands to his face…

But I think you are being a bit too harsh on married men… it’s not just married men, its ALL (or at least most) men (esp Indian) who have a bit of a bloated ego. I was at a birthday party in NY once where the only person I knew was the hostess who was understandably busy greeting friends. Getting tired of feeling like a wallflower/loser, I decided to start a conversation with the guy next to me who the hostess had introduced me to. “So what do you do?” I asked conversationally. As soon as I said that, he smirked, turned and winked to his friend and told me “I think you should talk to my friend here – he is more your type.” I was too shocked to react for a while and when I finally gathered my wits, he was gone -- too late to give a smart retort or throw my lovely glass of red wine on his boring white shirt. Left me with such a bad taste for arrogant ABCD men that the only thing left to do was pick up my coat and leave.

I think Indian men are more prone to this kind of bad behavior as they have been spoilt since childhood by their mothers telling them that they are the greatest and the best, and no woman can measure up to their level of brilliance/hotness. Sad.

Kanika said...

Wow - that IS one bloated ego! what an idiot! Next time, remember, its always ok to throw your red wine, even half an hour after the fact! He'll know what it was for!

Shilpa said...

kanika: he was so not interested in learning about the role of the ambassador... far from it!
sash: true, most men have huge bloated egos. this guy sounds like a complete moron.. how could he assume anything???

Mosilager said...

Maybe he's just been extremely well trained by his wife and has a time limit for talking to women. Sorry about guy's egos... hey at least it's very easy to manipulate us once you know that little tidbit.

shilpa said...

mosil: yeah but flattery can only get you so far... and doesn't it inflate egos even more?

Mosilager said...

Well you can always deflate the ego after the task is mucked up by the guy. Actually that's a tactic guys use so that they won't be 'asked' to do the same thing again. Somehow girls seem to be most persistent though and keep giving us chances!