#11 appeared at a very appropriate time in my life, since it was when I was obsessively listening to this mix of ‘Suit & Tie’ so much so that my day didn’t work without it in the morning. Yup, a Justin Timberlake song is mah jam yo. Deal with it.What makes it so appropriate is that he turned up for the date, between meetings, in a perfectly cut, utterly delicious grey suit and white shirt, a la Neal Caffrey (swooooooooooooooooooon).Yes, suit like that. Really. God promise.
I found him on Tinder, and for some reason my gut told me he would be fun. There was just this very open straight feel to what he said and the way he said it. I think it started because for a change my initial message was sassy. And that was because he was ahem wearing a suit in his photo.
Tinder tells me to tell you: #webothswipedright
I’m quite proud of that. Maybe I should use it again. Heh.
It turned out he was in Delhi on work, from Bombay, and before he dashed off into a meeting he asked me if I liked Japanese food. ‘I’m staying at the Taj, and they have this great Japanese restaurant,’ he told me when I asked why on earth he wanted to know that. Definitely a consultant I thought to myself. We rapidly switched to Whatsapp and began yakking away. He was very invested in meeting me in person, right from the beginning, except for a short while when he read the blog and told me that, while he was sorely tempted to ask me out, he didn’t want to be written about. I reassured him that I’d only write about him if he was okay with it, and then he resumed making plans.
‘Tonight,’ he said, ‘what are you doing tonight?’ Sadly I had dinner with the parents of friends. The next night, he had a work dinner. And he was leaving Thursday. ‘Ah well,’ I said, another time. ‘It’s okay; I’ll change my flight,’ he shot back. Suitably impressed, I agreed. On Wednesday morning though he changed the plan again, saying that he had another work thing and would I please meet him at 6 for coffee. ‘I don’t drink coffee, especially in the evening :p’ was my snarky response, which he took in good humour, offering ‘wine, beer, whiskey’ as alternatives. I told him we’d go to Haus Khas Village and that I’d figure out the actual place in a while.
Wednesday was a very brutal day at work. It was essentially one long meeting, distributed over many people and venues, and finally, when I left half an hour late, I was just desperate to get home. As I get into the car, my phone beeps.
Tindergirl, are you ditching me?
(I save guys off tinder as Tinderboy, especially when they don’t give me surnames.) Puzzled, since our date is on Thursday, I text back an ‘eh’. He tells me he is on his way to HKV, which is when the penny drops, and so I call him and promise to be there at 6, as scheduled, though this means going with grimy face, no kajal and dressed in the clothes I’d donned grumpily that morning–cotton PJs popularly known as my clown pants, and a ratty floppy cotton top. He, I knew, would be in a suit. ‘Social,’ I say, because I don’t want to climb the stairs to Imperfecto, and heavens I have no idea where else to go!
It turns out he is late, but this gives me time to swipe on some red lipstick and comb my hair. (Seriously, always carry red lipstick. It can dress up anything.) He calls me and I stand watching the door as he comes in and my first sight of him is a fit guy in a grey suit. Be still my throbbing ladybits I think to myself. Is that really him? And it is.
I don’t know if it is the suit or the really cropped hair or the really nice cologne in just the right amount (you can smell it if you lean in close, but not at normal distance), but something about him just takes my breath away. I don’t often react to non-Latino guys like this, but well. What can I say. He’s hot. (And smirking to himself right about now…)
We sit down and I ask him what his story is. ‘What do you mean?’ he says slightly plaintively. ‘What defines, you, what makes you you? It can be anything,’ I tell him, because well what you choose to call your story can be as revealing as the story itself. So he gamely launches off into what can only be called a truth stranger than fiction, and I sit there wide-eyed and occasionally horrified, asking deeply personal questions to satisfy my curiosity. ‘I won’t write about this, I promise,’ I tell him. ‘In fact, I’ll only write about what you say I can.’ ‘It’s fine,’ he responds. ‘Write whatever you want. I trust you.’
All through the two hours we spend together, he tells me, organically, all about himself and the things that have made him who he is. And yet, he always remembers to ask me questions too. Not just echo my questions, mind you. He asks me questions of my own and engages with my stories. It is easy, and fun, and full of that date energy I love so much. All too soon though, it is 8 o’clock, and I simply cannot linger any longer. So we get the bill and walk out of the strange winding corridor that leads from Social to the outside world. He walks me to my car, very casually, no ‘Let me walk you to your car’, just chatting away. Then he hugs me tight, kisses my cheek and says goodbye.