Diplomatic Relations

Tuesday, 19 June 2007
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.

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