"But why should I meet him?"
"What do you mean why should you meet him?"
"Look, I could meet the guy, take one look at him and decide I think he's a loser because I don't like his face..."
Trust my Dad to be so reassuring in the circumstances.
"...but I guess I cannot do that, because its, well, stupid." I thought I detected a bit of wistfulness in his voice, like he almost wished he could be like that, "And anyway I don't see the point of talking to him when I should actually be talking to the person who will actually be making the decision."
Thus, two things were established: One, you can never discuss boyfriends with parents when you are above the age of 25 without the issue of marriage cropping up. Two, my parents were threatening to move into the twilight zone of relationships - parents meeting parents.
"Look. We haven't discussed this, long term or anything... " again, "yet. But when he was at home, he told his parents."
"He told his parents?" my mom squealed.
My Dad just looked at me expectantly.
"And they seem to be, well, enthusiastic about the whole thing", I concluded, the bad use of adjective immediately striking me as making myself sound like a new mixer grinder.
"So when did he tell them?" asked Dad.
"Some time ago."
"Some time ago means when?" he leaned forward. "It could have been two days, two months, two years..."
EESSH!!! "Last weekend Dad, before he left for the US", trying to slip in a brownie point, "we hadn't discussed it at all. I was going to tell you..." (quick cover up job, why doesn't life come with a concealer?)"... but I didn't want to discuss this on the phone."
Dad leaned back into his chair.
"So I want you guys to meet, to get to know each other."
"Now why do we have to meet?"
My mother, the good cop, realized that this was going out of hand. She says my Dad's name slowly and seriously to attract his attention, which is definitely a "mom means business" sign in parent lingo.
"But we have to meet him"
Dad looked pained at the ad lib by my mom. "But what am I going to say to him?"
"Look Dad, there's nothing to say. There's nothing to discuss. You just have to meet him. Okay?"
Dad looked away thoughtfully for a minute, and then said, "But what am I going to say to him?"
At first I wondered whether this was the sign of some geriatric disorder. Then I realized it. My dad was actually looking for a topic of conversation to have with my boyfriend.
"Come on Dad, you can talk about anything - stock market, cricket, whatever it is that men talk about."
"No. Stop. No. No no no no no. Figure it out! Do some research! Talk to some of your drinking buddies!"
"Dad," I sulked, "dude, it's my first time man. I really don't know how these things happen. Really."
My Dad finally smiled.
In the end, I mumbled something about the educational qualifications and the parents and the fact that he was a vegetarian.
"So do you think they have any objections?"
"None at all?"
"Well..." I thought hard, and then I remembered. "Maybe they wish I was a little taller."
"How tall is Q?" asked Mom. She knew the answer to the question but she wanted to know it again.
"6 feet" I lied, just to make her happy.
She tried very hard to conceal a gloat meant for all the aunts who thought I wouldn't find anyone who would be OK with my 5' 2" ness.
My Dad wasn't impressed. "I'm sure they wish you were Ambani's daughter too."
The statement was so random that I strongly believed that my Dad had it mugged up all these years just to be used for this kind of occasion. Now that that was over with, I finally relaxed. It was done.
Dad finished his coffee. "So do you think they will ask for Dowry?"
I spluttered the rest of my coffee out.
"Actually, I don't think they will be like that."
Much like I never thought my Dad would ever ask me such a question. I had most certainly underestimated how ridiculous he could be. Enough was enough. There was only one thing to do in the situation, only one thing left to say.
I didn't know what my Dad's actual take on the whole thing was, till I was given permission to go to Bangalore to spend the weekend with Q's parents (something which went fabulously well, and hence I do not deem it fit to blog about it). I messaged my Dad as soon as I landed to tell him that I had reached safely. I get a reply about a minute later.
This may not be as bad as I thought it would be. But then again, that won't be saying much.