My father is trying to marry me off.
When I was in high school, I started having the sneaking suspicion that my parents were unconsciously amassing a dowry for me. I would get a piece of gold - earrings, a bangle, a ring - for every birthday and for Christmas. I really think my parents had gotten into the Indian gold as an investment mindset. End result, I have some lovely adornments.
As you know, I grew up in cultures with arranged marriage. I believe that he'd have arranged my marriage so long ago if he could.
The first year B and I were together, my friend Jane (Philadelphia Jane) had a birthday party for me and invited my parents. My dad and B were sitting in a corner, swilling cocktails and plotting. They were trying to figure out why I was having trouble committing and what could be done about it.
I am not even kidding.
One of my friends overheard the conversation, and we decided it had to be stopped. So Jane sent this beautiful, if slightly silly, blonde woman over to chat with them.
They saw through it immediately. They shooed her away. They were talking business and were not to be disrupted. B and my father, not so different in many ways.
So now it turns out that every time my dad has a new doctor during this current hospitalization, he interviews them. As marriage candidates. I am certain word has gotten out in the hospital. Single male doctors probably avoid him.
When they took out my dad's stomach tube a few weeks ago they did something wrong, and he wound up with a huge abscess. So a new doctor was called in to fix it.
My dad, who was in a great deal of pain, apparently worked through the pain and got the details immediately. Med school? Stanford. Class standing? Graduated top of his class. Age? 38 years old. Married? Yes, married.
My dad said, "Too bad! My daughter is gorgeous! Are you happily married?"
One of the nurses was horrified, the other was amused.
He called today to say he has a new prospect. Another handsome Indian doctor - North Indian, from Chandigarh, and even better looking than Dr. Garg. And dresses really well. And this one? Single.
His nurse - the one who heard him interview the Stanford doctor - had taken him down for an MRI and as she was taking him back up from this most recent medical procedure/marriage interview, she said she couldn't believe he was running around the hospital looking for marriage prospects.
"Why not? These men are well educated!"
She had to agree.
"But you know," he said, "First I screen them for sense of humor. If they have no sense of humor, they're out."
She laughed and said, "You're crazy."
And he? God bless him. He responded, "Well, none of us have any doubts about that."