Monday, February 22, 2016

from Russia with love...

(image via
Now that I no longer have my nose buried in books, I decided it would be a good idea to draw up at to-do-list for 2016. To keep me motivated and to give me some sense of direction, you understand. The list includes things like 1) find more freelance work 2) stop drinking copious amounts of coffee 3) get into shape (I’m aiming for something less “boxy”) 4) swear less, and, 5) rule the world. I can’t say that it’s been going swimmingly so far as what I’ve only accomplished is perfecting imaginary arguments (it must be a hormonal thing) and talking more than usual to the dogs.

I must confess, there is another guilty pleasure that’s been keeping me from my to-do-list. You see BK and I decided to switch off the DSTV as we felt that the “kids” were spending too much time in front of the box and also that it was a waste of money. So, we switched to Netflix, which was not the smartest move because instead of watching ten minutes of sport or E-TV, we now waste anything from two to ten hours watching old movies, series, or a several documentaries.

Anyway, I was recently “sucked in” (to be fair, the dogs also wanted to watch it) by a documentary titled “Love Me”, which delves into the world of Mail-order-Brides. The guys they featured were so utterly convinced that they would find “everlasting love” with a Ukrainian woman that I thought it would be interesting to investigate buying a bride for myself (hashtag NoMoreCookingForMe).

The website I visited got me interested at the get-go, as it promised “hundreds of friendly, exciting foreign girls”. On reading the word “exciting” I was instantly relieved that I, myself, was not actually applying to be such a bride because I’m not sure that I’m “exciting” enough (note to self: google “how to be more exciting”).

I was even more relieved that I wasn’t a Russian-bride-to-be when I saw that applicants were obliged to state their vital statistics, including weight, and that most of them weigh around 54kgs. I fear it would be at this point that I wouldn’t make the cut. Vital statistics also had to include height as well as hair and eye colour. This, I felt, was a reasonable request because as you know, all long-lasting marriages are based on height and the colour of your hair and eyes.

Another stumbling block for me would be that applicants have to state their drinking and smoking status. I’m afraid that I only found profiles either stating: Drinker: No, or, Drinker: Social. Disappointingly, no profiles stated: Drinker: Like a sailor; or, Drinker: Is this a trick question?

Despite the fact that I felt intimately connected to most of the lovely ladies through their revealing profile pictures (yes, if I can see your underboob I think that makes us pretty close, eh?) I did want to extend my investigations beyond superficial vital statistics. I wanted to know not only about who these women were, but also about what they looked for in a “husband”.

I should start by saying that I noticed a difference in criteria depending on which region the woman came from and for this reason and for ease of reference (after all, this is no cattle show) I will sometimes quote in terms of “Miss Minsk” or “Miss Thailand”. 

I noticed that most of the women had pretty modest criteria when it came to what they were looking for in a man. Words like “serious, kind and sincere” came up a lot, which made me wonder whether buffoonery and insincerity are issues with Russian and Ukrainian men? (I’ve always thought that “Funny Russian” was an oxymoron?)

Some women were more demanding, with one even insisting that her life-partner be “not greedy and not very tall”. Another women (I feel she’s a kindred spirit) felt that “someone who can appreciate a good song” was the deal-maker.

Given that most women listed “health” and “fitness” as hobbies (and at 54kgs who am I to argue) it came as no surprise that many wanted a man who was “active enough” (enough?) or “neat, easy-going, sunny…who loves sports”.

Miss Barranquilla felt that a “well-educated and persistent man” (horror of horrors) would be the ideal match but Miss Moscow put a cap on happiness, insisting that she would “like to meet a kind and sincere man to share my life with, to support each other in joy and sorrow and have warm relations and happy family. Up to 65”. What happens after they turn 65? Murder She Wrote?

One self-confessed “nature lover” was simultaneously optimistic and realistic when she wrote that she “admires animals and nature” and wishes she “could find a life partner here and start a happy family with him the sooner the better”. This, naturally, conjured up images of a scantily clad Russian beauty frolicking through the undergrowth, stumbling upon an “animal”, bringing him home and wedding him. What can I say, hope is a wonderful thing.

Miss Thai was by far the least demanding and simpy asked for a “nice ordinary man who wants me and only me….if that is not too much to ask.

But getting the man of their dreams is no easy task. These ladies have to put their best foot forward and this involves a measure of self-promotion. I found the way that they described themselves most compelling, and it would be no exaggeration to say that now more than ever, I want my own Mail-order-Bride.

After all, who could resist Miss Zaporozhyte who claims that “just to be a woman is her soul calling” and that she “likes to study because knowledge is useful sometimes”? Or Miss Kherson who wants to “feel myself weak and at the same time the most beloved”? Miss Minsk is clearly my kind of gal - hardworking and not looking for a "sugar daddy”, she also promises to “always give back twice more” which to me sounds like a very solid investment. And let’s not forget about Miss China who professes that “docile is her communicating principle”.

It must be said that I’d steer clear of Miss Spain. She sounds a little tricky. Describing herself as “a combination of outer beauty and inner beauty” she also claims to be “humble”. Mmm.

An added bonus is that you can search for your life-partner using a Zodiac sign or Chinese horoscope filter. This to me is the clincher and again, a most reliable way to find a life-partner.

It came as no surprise but with some disappointment to find that Mail-order-Grooms isn’t a thing. I found only one website dedicated to Mail-order-Husbands and on reading the profiles, I realised it had to be a spoof and the profiles had me cluching my stomach in mirth.

Here are my favourite excerpts:

Mr Missouri: I’m looking for a girl named “Julie”.. it’s just easier that way. I got this “Julie” tattoo last year, and would prefer to not deal with it. or if you want to change your name that’s cool.

Mr China: Smile for you! Please let me know a reasonable target budget your can afford. I think I can be the husband solution to meet your request. Please let me know what price must beat.

Mr Romania: I am looking for someone who can hold my attention, keep up with me, and who knows how to dress a wound. I am attracted to a girl with a job and a car. preferably a Camaro. I like to meet big american girl.

Mr Lebanon: (perhaps a good match for Miss Spain?) It’s actually quite ridiculous that I’m here. I do extremely well for myself – meeting ladies everywhere I go. Since I don’t really need this, you might not hear back from me, but I do appreciate all your notes.

Mr USA: I will be turning 18 in September. Soon I will be legal and we can marry. My parents are kicking me out after December and I’d like to meet a woman with money so we can have fun. I like women between 18-45, but would consider older if we don’t have to touch a lot.

So chaps, if you’re looking for a Mail-order-wife that looks like a supermodel you will find her – but so will all of those other blokes out there. And gals, if you’re looking for an instant husband, well, good luck with that.

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