…Yes, I had one this morning. I stopped to purchase some breakfast tacos on my way to campus and something happened that caused me to have the aforementioned epiphany. So I walk through the door of this coffee shop, make my way to the counter to place my order, but then get distracted by the blaring noise of the news playing on the television in there. The CNN newsreader was going through a very precise time line post President Barack Obama’s signing of Osama Bin Laden’s ‘death warrant’. I got caught up in this sequence of events, and totally forgot why I entered the coffee shop in the first place.
Anyway, I didn’t notice at first but there was a cute white dude behind the cash counter, smiling and patiently waiting to take my order. Maybe he had been waiting there a while, so I gave him an apologetic look and told him what I wanted. I said “2 potato, egg and cheese tacos and one small green tea please.”. He said ” I’m sorry, one small what?”. I said “One small green tea.” He smiled, nodded his head and said “Okay, that’s what I thought you said.” Now it doesn’t happen very often but owing to my accent, Americans sometimes do not comprehend what I am saying. So no big deal, dude did not understand me the first time……I repeated myself…..but that’s not my story….
Before, I proceed with this anecdote, I’ll let you in on something about me. One of the things that was very exciting for me when I first migrated to the US for my undergraduate education, was the prospect of dating white guys! Why, you may ask? Because, I knew that if I could date a guy that looked like the candy on tv shows like Baywatch, my life would be complete. Of course that was my mentality when I was 18. Now that I’m of ‘marriageable age’ I have fine tuned my mentality to ” South Indian man…blah blah…Brahmin…zzzzzzz….engineer…blah blah….zzzzzzzzzzz….”. I never dated a white guy in college. I’d like to say I came close….but that’s a story for another day.
So, coffee shop dude’s name is Brian. Brian hands me my food in a brown paper bag and says “Enjoy”. I say “Thank You”. But before I leave, he says to me. “Do you read Devangi script?”
Me: I’m sorry, what?
Brian: Devangi script?
Me: Ohhh Devanagari script!
Brian: Yes that’s right, Devanagari script? I have been trying to write my name for a relative who now lives in India and just wanted to confirm with you that I have it right.
I said “Sure”. Brian brought out a piece of paper and wrote down his name in Hindi, for me to critique. I spent about 5 minutes second guessing myself and giving him suggestions on how he could modify the spelling of his name in Hindi. I told him that I haven’t actually written or read Hindi in 7 years…so I was a little rusty. I then realized that I was keeping him from his job with my elaborate suggestions, so I wrapped up the conversation. He smiled widely and said ‘Thanks, take care and come by again.”
Now, that was a nice start to the day……cute, white boy with an interest in my culture.
As I make my way to campus, tacos in one hand and green tea in another, I have the epiphany…..
Have I been looking for my husband in the wrong places? Maybe, I should be lurking round the corner of the South Asian studies department at UT instead of the engineering buildings….and hunt down that token white boy who, for all you know, has more interest in India and her traditions that any South Indian engineer. Let’s, for a moment, think of what my future would be like with a South Asian studies student…..I could spend a lifetime describing to him my childhood in India, festivals I celebrated, my cultural background, my parents’ inter-religion ‘love’ marriage, arranged marriage, cricket, bollywood movies, Indian history, corrupt Indian politicians, languages, rich Indians, poor Indians, slums, food, agriculture, monsoons, mangoes…..and so much more. So what if he turns out to be a ‘creepster’ who is only interested in me because I’m Indian (we’ve all heard of the ‘white guy ethnic women’ fetish). As long as he is ‘creepin” on me and me alone for the rest of our life together, it shouldn’t be a matter of concern. After all, what more does a girl want in a companion? Someone who will actually listen when she talks and talks and talks right? Sounds like a pretty romantic life to me….
Anyway, let it be known, that I’m only half serious about most of what I wrote in this post. Well, maybe I am 3/4 serious. I’ll stop by the coffee shop tomorrow morning……………………….What?….. I like breakfast tacos!! Geez guys!