Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Matchmaking Grocer

The owner and his wife at the neighborhood Bangladeshi grocery store I visit sometimes have long been curious about my perpetually absent better half. While they itch to know, they hesitate to tread upon delicate ground and lose a customer in the process. Yesterday, however curiosity finally killed the cat. With elaborate nonchalance he asked me "Where does your husband work ?" I told him I was divorced.

Unlike a lot of people who say they are sorry to hear that like I had told them I was recently widowed, this man said he was sorry to have asked. Turns out that he was divorced too and had only recently remarried. He added with a twinge of regret "My wife is very young" Expecting that to have established camaraderie between the two of us he came to the point in short order.

There was a customer he knew who was single and looking. Would I be interested ? The man was a well established doctor. All this in the time that it took to ring up my total of five items. Pointing to J he asked "How old is she ?" When I told him he opined "That would be no problem at all. His parents are visiting right now and are desperate to find him a match" The message was unmistakable - strike iron while it is hot.

Late last night the grocer called me possibly to elaborate on the morning's conversation. I looked at the clock on the cook top. It was 10:30. I told him it was not a good time to talk. He apologized and quickly hung up. He is yet another among a lot of well meaning people who are desperate to fix me up with someone and get my derailed life back on track. Just that they know as little as I do about God's plan for me. Unfortunately in this case there is only a Plan A and it will reveal itself real-time.


Libran Lover said...

You wrote: "a lot of people say they are sorry to hear that like I had told them I was recently widowed"

I usually give out a "Oh..." or a "hmm..." when people tell me they are divorced. I am afraid that might come out sounding loaded, although my intent is only to let them know I heard them.

If I think I can get away with it, I'll ask: 'Should I say, "I'm sorry", or should I say, "Good riddance"?' 9 times out of 10, that question elicits a laugh and lightens the mood.

But I've always wondered what the proper reaction should be when someone tells you they are divorced. What would you like it to be?

Libran Lover said...

Although I think there are always infinite plans and possibilities, I liked the way this line is worded: there is only a Plan A and it will reveal itself real-time.

The phrase I like to use is: things are happening at the speed of the Universe.

Heartcrossings said...

The most memorable reaction I ever got on my "I'm divorced" was from a married woman. She said "Good. That's one problem less in your life" A succinct summary of the state of marriage perhaps :-)

But seriously, a poker-faced "Ok" is a great reaction. Fact acknowledged conversation moves on. I love it when people are able to do that. Does not happen as often as one would wish

Priyamvada_K said...

get my derailed life back on track

:)) - couldn't help chuckling at the "derailed" part. At least the grocer was trying to be helpful. The usual reaction I get from desis is stunned silence. Then "I'm sorry" from the men, followed by "If you need any help let us know".

Of course, their wives, esp if they are H4 wives fresh from India - will instantly 'derail' yours truly from their social lives.

These are general observations on local desis, all my wonderful friends exempted.


Heartcrossings said...


How true about the H4 wives. Exactly my sentiments too. They avoid me like I were a contagious disease.

I wish I had some normal friends who were btw "Desi" too. Not much luck there I'm afraid. Good that you have them. Treasure them.

FunnyCide said...


LL, I liked the quip about lightening the mood! :))

HC, maybe not all 'H4' wives are the way you think they are.. but I am sure you are writing outta your experience.. I sincerely hope you find good girl friends..