Why creepy men are good for you
And to Mrs. Neo’s next potential “arranged marriage date”, who asked her (on the phone before they had met) – “how often do you pray?”.
There are those who say “if it weren’t for the arranged marriage system, many people would simply never get married!” – to which Neo says: “Yes, and that’s a good thing!”
But Neo is being too critical – After all, if it weren’t for the arranged marriage system and the several dozen randomly-chosen AstroSoulMate-searched creepy men that Mrs. Neo “met”, Neo would have never found such a prime location in the gene pool. (And, as with real estate, it’s all about location, location, location!)
It all started with Mrs. Neo’s matrimonial ad: “Smart, successful, progressive woman seeks outwardly normal-looking man who will turn into a traditional, religious and sexist man soon after marriage”. Ok maybe Neo doesn’t remember the exact text, but the ad certainly represents the general direction in which Mrs. Neo’s spouse-hunt was going.
Ignoring the obvious redundancies within the phrase “Traditional, religious and sexist” for now, what Mrs. Neo was trying to do was to strike a “balance” – please her parents by agreeing to an arranged marriage with a man they would like, but trying to find a spouse she could well, literally, live with.
But the problem with Mrs. Neo was that she was overly choosy. What, indeed, is wrong with a guy who used the dinner napkin to somewhat unsubtly dispose off the chewing gum he was eating ? Ok so he left a “chewing gum trail” hanging on his chin. And then, out of the blue, asked Mrs. Neo if she was ovulating. So what – haven’t we all done that at some point on our first dates ?
And not everyone realizes how much food girls eat at dinner. Yes, the guy ordered just one bruschetta split between two people for dinner. But how unfair was Mrs. Neo to say that she found the restaurant waiter, who brought soup “on the house”, more attractive ?
To be fair, even Mrs. Neo faced rejections. Apparently, the men who inhabit the “men seeking mom-replacement” section on shaadi.com cannot live on highly-simplified lemon rasam alone. Which was an issue, considering “sour lemon rasam” and “extra-sour lemon rasam” make up approximately 95% of Mrs. Neo’s cooking repertoire (the other 5% is her skill in using an electric rice cooker). At least Mrs. Neo could have gotten to second date by mentioning avial!
And so it went – Friday evening after wasted Friday evening, each ending Mrs. Neo’s parents giving her a new twist on the “everything-cant-be-perfect-they-are-brahmins-what-more-do-you-want” talk she had heard last Friday.
Somewhere between the 18th “I will make us rich by investing in the stock market according to astrological charts” dude and the 23rd “my parents don’t know about my white girlfriend *wink*” guy, Neo and Mrs. Neo met via a series of fortunate musical events that might be the subject of future posts, if the plebeians demand it.
Neo’s resume-screening abilities are obvious within the first few minutes of meeting him – e.g., it takes Neo 20 seconds to decide what he wants to eat. Impressed by what she saw (in more ways than one, in hindsight), Mrs. Neo requested Neo’s help to screen the resumes of the potential spouses, so that Mrs. Neo could avoid slipping further into the depressive spiral that comes from being a Raiders fan whilst simultaneously seeking your spouse in the arranged marriage market.
It wasn’t long before Mrs. Neo popped the question to Neo: “So what’s a cool guy like you doing with this loser of a girl?”. Even pseudonymous bloggers with megalomaniacal names like “Neo” have their blind spots – Neo had never stopped to screen the people in his own life. His relationship at the time could only be described in Facebook-language – It’s complicated.
But just a short “bada boom, bada bing” while later, Mrs. Neo became the Mrs. Neo we have all come to love and admire. Is she aware of how lucky she is ? Of course she is. Will she ever admit it to Neo in so many words ? No.
But if Mrs. Neo were the kind to speak her mind clearly and forcefully, she would never have been in the arranged marriage market meeting creepy men in the first place, and perhaps never met Neo.
So hurrah for creepy men in general, and hurrah for the specific creepy hair-smelling man that Mrs. Neo met – he is single as of the time this post went to press, but has gone on to contribute to the creation of at least six highly successful marriages.
Epilogue: Mrs. Neo’s parents were so exhausted after the 51st guy Mrs. Neo rejected, the only question they asked about Neo on the phone was “Is he clean shaven?”.