Stickman Readers' Submissions February 4th, 2006

Matrimonial Merry-Go-Rounds

This initially stared off as a short email response to an article where the guy has been through several marriages, and is now undergoing self-rehabilitation at a seaside city somewhere East of the LOS capital. It mutated.

We are the victims; the walking wounded, persecuted and accused. The fair maidens we took by the hand, now seduced by the Matron, Dragon and Ogress, have cast us out. How many the times we traversed the matrimonial portals in our fair lands,
only to be scorned time and again. Condemned, and with no course for redress, we find ourselves in exile on foreign shores far from our native lands.

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Seekest us now the salvation in the many Halls of Worship that abound the Eastern shores of the Realm of LOS. Seek solace behind parted curtains, on the many altars adorned with gleaming silver poles, the wafting incense bearing the scent
of stale cigarettes…. Illumination… of many hues… flashing, shuffling, gyrating… entrancing.. intoxicating..

Is marriage like a prison sentence, that once you get in, you can’t wait to get out of? Do you believe in Déjà vu?

Marriage is probably the ultimate in relationships. For those of you who gripe that they can’t make it work in your own (western) countries with your own people and culture, what makes you think you’re going to get a better
deal with someone who can’t speak the same language, knows just as much about buffaloes as you know about cars, and monopolises the goggle box to watch her favourite soap just about the same time the football finals start…

Simple relationships

It was such a cute little thing, sitting in the pet shop with a little blue bow. Man’s best friend. Loyal to the end. With a nostalgic tear in your eye, you walk in on a whim, and not long after, walk out again with that cute little
bundle in a little box, some cash having parted company with your wallet in the process.

The next two weeks are bliss. An animated ball of fur, tail wagging incessantly, vying for your attention. And all you have to do is change the lining in the box every so often, and remember to put some food and water in the little container
that came with the box. You haven’t been this happy for a long time.

It’s two months now, how he’s grown! He’s almost three times the size, and is beginning to follow you around the house. Nice, and he’s still not tall enough to drink out of the toilet. It was inevitable to find
the first few steaming piles, but he’s now properly housebroken, and you like that inquisitive nose and wagging tail. It’s just that those bags of dog food seem to get heavier by the week. Pity, too, that you have to work long hours,
and only really spend time with him in the evenings.

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How time flies! He’s almost an adult now. You’ve had a bit of a confrontation not too long ago over your favourite bedroom slippers being chewed up, but that’s now water under the bridge. You bring him out for walks,
keeping an eye out for strays. You’ve got your hands full with the leash, and the long spade-like appliance complete with the brown paper bag. You are also considering getting some kind of conveyance with wheels on it to cart the dog food
back, and your wallet feels a lot lighter in proportion. You aren’t as happy as you once were with the situation. It’s also seriously cutting into the time and the amount you can spend at the local pub.

He’s developed a nice, throaty bark that’s sure to keep the burglars at bay. You sit back and smile at that thought. The thing is, he’s beginning to bark at almost everything passing by the door, and it's getting
a tad annoying. You start getting vocal with him.

The last @#*! straw. The poodle next door has just come into season. He’s not eating, and has been trying to scratch the door down for the past two hours. The barking is incessant, and you’re losing sleep. The neighbours have
also voiced an opinion. You go down, and shout at him, but he’s focused on trying to scratch the door down. You lose it and kick him in the n@ts. He responds by turning around and biting you on the calf. The RSPCA is called in…


Well, it could have turned out different. You had expectations. After all, the dog is man’s best friend – right? Yup, I’ll introduce him to my already cosy world, he’ll dress things up a bit. Fetch the paper. Bark
at the burglar. Sit by my legs next to the fire on a cold night. Show him off on walks. And basically let him behave the rest of the time by not intruding.

The dog

As he was growing up, he became aware of more things, new things, around him. His instincts developed, as did his expectations. It wasn’t so much the food as it was the increasing demand on your time and attention. He needed a regular
bath. Not necessarily that he wanted it, but just needed it. He wanted to go on walks that got longer and longer, so you’re spending less and less time at the pub. He was beginning to intrude on your once sacrosanct world, but it was just
not his fault. In fact, you have begun to resent the intrusion. He doesn’t understand that. You are his world.

Then the hormones kick in. His world takes precedence. You beg. You plead. You threaten him with castration. He’s not paying attention to you, it’s all focused on the door and the scent of the poodle next door. You don’t
understand either. After all, didn’t you pay for all that food, sacrificed pub time, went out on walkies? Why won’t he listen any more?

You make a decision, and pick up the phone. The RSPCA will soon have another dog up for adoption.


Could things have worked out? Probably yes, if you had done some research into the breed and nature of the breed, then looking into the demands of your time, plus the needs of that particular breed, you would have been able to pick one most
suited to your lifestyle.

You would also then have been in a position to make a decision as to whether you would have to change your lifestyle to have a dog, or would rather continue with your present lifestyle, and forgo the canine company.

Say for example you wanted a guard dog. You’d probably go for a pit bull or rotweiller. These are fierce dogs not really suited for house pets. It is an inborn trait that this breed is fierce.

The Thais have a word for this, สันดาน (sandarn) which translates as ‘an inborn trait or innate character, usually bad’. It can be applied to people, too.

Nope, bad idea. It wouldn’t be too good if the dog got loose and started chewing up every other dog and possibly stray human he found on the street.

Perhaps a golden retriever or cocker spaniel? They have good disposition and habits. I will use the Thai word นิสัย (ni-sai) here that means habit or disposition, and sub-categorised to นิสัยดี
(ni-sai dee – good habits) or นิสัยไม่ดี (ni-sai mai dee – bad habits). This too, can apply to describing a person.

They are two very important words to listen for if you’re looking for a wife in the LOS.


Six months after you’ve gotten rid of the first dog, you feel a twinge as you pass by the pet shop. The small little poodle in the window looks cute, and should probably fit in your pocket while you’re downing pints in the pub…
No trouble at all…

More complex relationships

It’s a slightly different situation when you put two people together in a relationship. You have your outlook on life, and how you’re going to live it, as does the other person.

For yourself, you’ll have to think about sharing living space, time, commitment. There will be financial concerns, too. Well and good. However…

She has to make similar considerations in fitting you into her life. Not only that, some of those considerations may just involve you changing some aspect of your life as you may have lived it on your own. Things you may not want to do. Like give up smoking
as she’s allergic to nicotine. Erm… well.. maybe if it’s only a short while..

Marriage is based on compromise. If you can’t compromise, then marriage is probably not for you.

And then just wait till you have kids…

Of course, I forgot to mention, you have to meet the one most suited to you. Take time to know her, as she you, and there will be few surprises. Do it on a whim, and you’re stuck with what you’ve got.


Some Parting words … on non-matri-money-ial matters down East of the capital…

Seekest thou then, beyond the parted curtains and the altars of gleaming silver poles, seek ye the high priestess who presideth at the main altar, with its potions and concoctions. Listen to her words of wisdom, for you may find the solace
you seek within the inner sanctums in the company of her handmaidens.

In plain English, guys, the mamasan IS your best friend.


Stickman's thoughts:


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