Family Karma: Telephone, Teletype, Tell Bali

Dawn breaks on Monica and Raj’s home and we’re privy to a morning text from Brian. Sweet nothings? Pleas for her Monica’s hand? No such luck. Brian’s in the mood for Taco Bell and Monica’s up for it. Nothing on this episode proved to me that I’m closer to a broken hip than being hip more than this. My stomach roiled at the thought of a burrito bomb ticking in my gut before noon.

Monica shares via confessional that she’s dragging her feet on getting into a relationship with Brian because she already put herself out there with him in that regard a few years back. Brian’s perspective is that he assumes she sees him as a playboy douchebag. I think both circumstances play a part in it, but neither are insurmountable. If Brian perseveres and Monica can trust that he’s serious, things could blossom. Fingers crossed, because aside from Dharma and Mike and Aladdin and Jasmine, I don’t think there’s a more perfect match out there. (And think of how flush their finances will be with Monica’s couponing!)

Brian, Monica, Raj, and Simba, maybe?

We get a little more insight into Vishal’s avoidance issues when he fills us in on his health backstory. Apparently he suffers from Crohn’s and stress can cause flare-ups. Anyone not familiar may not realize how debilitating it can be when your body works against you. Crohn’s can block your body’s ability to take in nutrients which leads to malnutrition. It can also cause ulcers and bleeding. Considering Vishal’s introduction to his new normal included a hospital stay, I can understand to some degree why he would want to manage his stress levels.

The lengths he’s going to in order to avoid it, in my opinion, are increasing the stress rather than decreasing it. Anish is his friend. She’s hurt because there’s been an obvious distancing since the gala. The unknowns of the world leave many of us writing fiction in our heads. He could’ve have quelled the worry, stress, and gossip with one heart-to-heart phone call with her. I feel like she gets the underlying “protect the rep” context, but just felt like they were closer so it didn’t apply to them. She wants that ride or die friendship with him.

Side note: I adored the Grey Gardens reference Anish made about herself and her mom. I’m personally obsessed with Big and Little Edie. I do have to wonder why they took the car across the street to the neighbors instead of that cool golf cart though.

Definitely a mood

Dharma and Mike give us a little insight into Brian’s womanizing ways with tales of dates escaping through windows. It seems that before his Jasmine quest, he was into Cinderellas, because there are a pair of heels still left behind in their garage. Dharma is likely every doting mom in our current state of quarantine trying to talk to her son while he’s on a business call. Once he’s off of the phone she brings up the “wife” subject and he lets her know that he did try to tell Monica how he felt at the pumpkin patch. Dharma is excited about the prospect because she likes Monica, but makes it clear that her son is catch and hopes Monica doesn’t drag her feet for too long.

Speaking of feet (at least the kind prone to breaking shoes) we get to peek in on Bali. We’re introduced to her boyfriend of 4 years O’Malley. Name rhyming alone makes me happy about this pair, but they seem like a really good fit too. Bali is all of us moms trying to compete with our kids’ phone screens for their attention. And O’Malley is apparently all of us Western viewers trying to keep everyone’s names straight and pronounced properly.

The couple heads out for dinner with Amrit, Vishal, and Richa, and Bali makes sure that air clearing is on the menu. I saw some feedback on Twitter that Bali was getting in the middle of something that didn’t involve her, but as a Gen X peacemaker myself, I totally understood where she was coming from. (And I got the Weird Science reference!) Small things like this can blow up into big things and getting everyone back on the same page is the key to maintaining friendships.

Amrit turns her attempt to help into a “Who’s the BEST best friend” competition though and it’s just downhill from there. Shady things are said including the implication that Anish is crushing on Vishal. I don’t know why this is always a go-to in guy/girl friendships. I’ve had plenty of male friendships that are strictly platonic. Trust me fellas, we don’t think about everything in terms of sex on nearly the same frequency level as you do.

Post vittles, Bali fills Anish in on what went down and suffice it to say, she’s unhappy both with Amrit’s shade and Vishal’s downplaying of their friendship. I can’t blame her. She whips out the Family Phone Plan receipts and it’s awash in yellow highlighter. And unless Vishal has a Linda Belcher style BM in the PM where he talks to Amrit, then Anish has the market cornered on the more intimate phone call setting.

If anyone understood that Bob’s Burger reference…we’re soulmates!

For someone interested in avoiding stress, Vishal is certainly not doing himself any favors by Facetiming his biggest source of it…his FML Lopa. Miami sun and future son did little to warm up that icy reception. I had an immediate urge to give Vishal a puffy coat or one of those reflective blankets they use on hypothermia victims. A poor connection was literal and figurative as Lopa shrugged out a half-hearted blessing for the upcoming Roka. Brrrrrr.

Monica is prepping her dance students for the upcoming celebration and I found it interesting that the arts are so frowned upon as a career choice in the Indian community. Considering most of my Western exposure to the culture has been through the arts, I assumed it was more widely accepted. I am enjoying the education we’re getting on holidays and events. Spiritually speaking even though it’s in the fall on the Julian calendar, Diwali marks the new year and Goddess Lakshmi ushering in prosperity.

Not sure if that makes Fire Tower the best place to hash this all out to put it behind them before welcoming only the good, but something needs to be done to extinguish the flames. Right now, Anish is dishing out third degree burns with her assessment of Amrit and Vishal as Mamas’ boys with small “d” energy and mediocre Cross-Fit glow ups. Hopefully someone remembers to pack the aloe before the showdown next week!

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