I love, love social media meetups. Over the years, I have met a fair amount of people via BlogHer, local blogger meetups and Twitter-ish sort of things. Therefore, quite of few of the Imaginary Leprechauns in the Magic Computer Box Thingie have morphed into flesh n' blood folks who have become really good friends. The sort of friends I exchange addresses with, send presents to, add to my Christmas Card list and even invite to my house, deep in the soul-sucking suburbs. The brave new frontier of social media, of course, is Facebook. Last summer, I joined up with a few Facebook groups which I lovingly refer to my "Brown Boys and the White Girls Who Love Them" groups (Note: no one else refers to these groups as such. Just me. Because I established years ago that I have no standards, boundaries or class. Certainly, no class.)
These Facebook groups crack me up because essentially what happens is that we are all so convinced our Desi Boyz Are More Special Than Everyone Else's that all too often threads in particular groups disintegrate into virtual fistfights over Who Is Right on various cultural topics. Which is quite ridiculous because in India/Pakistan/Sri Lanka/Nepal/Bangladesh? Anything CAN and DOES happen. Throw a stereotype against a wall somewhere on the sub-continent of Asia and it will stick. Eventually. Give it time. After all, you are dealing with an incredibly diverse population of people well over a billion strong. Just wait. Trust me, Gentle Reader..... There's a head- bobbing, turban-wearing taxi driver with hopes of owning a Motel 6 out there somewhere in the world. Keep looking, folks. He's there.
Admittedly, I still think my Meat-Eating, Ferragamo Wearing, Malayalee Syrian Christian Indian Boy is pretty darned special and therefore, I WIN THE INTERNET.
Anyway! Through these groups, I came across a gal from Kansas City through one of the aforementioned Facebook groups where we gather and share our hobbies in All Things Brown. Let's call my new friend "Emily", shall we? "Emily" is married to "Victor". So, a month back I invite "Emily" and "Victor" for dinner. "Emily" replies back with an enthusiastic "Yes!" and then proceeds to whip out a long, apologetic list of dietary restrictions that amounted to the equivalent of a culinary guantlet. SO FUN. Challenge gleefully accepted! (Guess what this Friday's Intestinal Fortitude will feature??)
A week before "Emily" and "Victor" are to come for dinner, I come down with a nasty cold. I recover from this cold, but per usual, my sense of smell is all knocked to hell. Everything smells like stale, sour coffee. Which really sucks when you are hoping to cobble together an edible, multi-course Indian meal -- folks, you need your sniffer when you are cooking. I believe the meal came out okay. I think. Manoj said it did and at this point, when I suck at something, Martha Stewart be damned - -Manoj does not hold back.
So, "Emily" and "Victor" show up, the meal is going fine, the four of us have established some basic back stories. The Indian boys are the same religion and had even both lived in the same town back in India for awhile. Ditto for the Gori girls (and we are both Jayhawks! Double bonus!) When the topic turned to employment and included Major Kansas City Employer, we all jumped in on that one.
The evening is merry, everything is bright. Yeah! Success! And then...... I start to feel nauseous. What the hell?? In a few minutes, I go upstairs and commence with Curry Tossing #1. Immediately, I have flashbacks to the Bridesmaids Bug. Have I been struck with some sort of Hostess Curse? Did I anger the Kitchen Gods? I go back downstairs, holding out hope it was the chicken salad I had for a late lunch and not one of the FOUR Indian dishes I had just lovingly prepared and served to two folks from the Internet I had just MET IN PERSON FOR THE FIRST TIME.
During Curry Tossing #2, under the influence of nausea, I convince myself that "Emily" and "Victor" probably watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and are now suspecting that I have a drug problem like Kim Richards. I need to come clean. Wait, that sounds wrong.
So, I come down from Curry Tossing #2 and discover my kids climbing all over "Victor" like monkeys and notice they have coerced him into playing Sequence for Kids (What? Don't your children strong-arm visitors into playing boardgames? No? Just mine?) I choose this moment to quietly inquire if anyone else is feeling sick? No? Not even a little? Whew. I assure them that I am not snorting Blue Sky off of the toilet seat (personally, I prefer countertops), but that it appears the chicken salad may be the culprit, after all
Curry Tossing #3? "Emily" and "Victor" stay a bit longer to appease the Miss Manners of the world, then give each other a desperate Look of Retreat, then they make a polite, albeit hasty getaway.
"Emily" claims that all is fine and they weren't offended by my pretend drug habit or my simian children and that Hey! Let's have lunch sometime! Totally!
In a restaurant.