Stickman Readers' Submissions April 30th, 2009

Really, What Did Brokenman Do Wrong

Mr Anonymous has been lecturing us again, trying to justify his sneering, superior attitude and continuing to delight in someone else’s misfortune. I really don’t know why he feels that he needs to do that. I don’t think
that kind of person is someone I would want to have in my circle of friends. He has told us a few things about himself, that he has been in Thailand for 30 years and that he mixes in high circles, demonstrated by the fact that he lets us know
he sometimes appears in magazines at VIP gatherings with a glass of champagne in his hand. Okay. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve done it myself, but I don’t consider that justifies me looking down on anyone else and calling someone
who has been taken advantage of ‘a loser’. He is secure, in his own mind, that he knows it all. Possibly, he believes he is perfect. Certainly he admits to no weakness. He hasn’t told us whether he is married, and I suspect
not. There could be many reasons for that of course, but if so it could be that he has been unable to build a loving and lasting relationship himself. Too cynical, perhaps? Unable to trust any female, Thai or western? Some are perfectly happy
with their own company, of course. Mr Anonymous suggests by his writing that it might be so in his case, but deep down that would be rather sad. Anyway, we don’t know and, really, why should we care. He is not the subject here.

The subject is Brokenman. I don’t know Mr Anonymous, as far as I am aware, but I do know Brokenman. So do several others who have, without exception, responded to his submission and situation by saying what a fine chap he is. There
has not been the slightest suggestion by them that he acted wrongly in any way. He is honest, articulate, amusing, a caring man who deserves infinitely more respect than Mr Anonymous offers. When he came to Thailand at the suggestion of an old
friend of his, a long term expat, Brokenman did not dash off and marry the first woman he met. He looked around, over several visits and several years, carefully considering his options, weighing up the ladies that he met. Certainly, it appears
he tested a considerable number, rather amusingly asking them to pose in a soccer club shirt. That shows a nice sense of humour, except to Mr Anonymous, who is perhaps too superior to have fun.
Brokenman did everything the right way, taking
his time and extending his search beyond the nightspots. He played the field and, after years of comparing and consideration, he chose. Not a young raving sexpot, but a lady of a certain age and carrying an extra kilo or two, because they had
known each other for years and had grown closer and were comfortable with each other. That’s what he felt, anyway. We don’t really know what she thought. There is nothing unusual in not really understanding a woman, anywhere, but
especially in Thailand where truth is whatever is convenient at the time. That is simply the Thai way, part of the culture. Perhaps she thought, with her advancing years, he was as good as she could expect and so decided to take the plunge and
try life with him. Love as we know it in the West doesn’t really exist in Thailand. They often take a more practical viewpoint, preferring security and companionship rather than what is really the irrational feeling that westerners experience.

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Like many Thais, she imagined that life in the UK, America, Australia, anywhere, would be better than life in Thailand – even though at the same time any Thai would passionately insist that Thailand is the best place in the world. Why would
she think that? It is easily explained. It is because they see farangs come to Thailand and spend freely, not appreciating that they have saved all year for two weeks of abandonment and pleasure. They have planned ahead for it, something else,
like telling the truth, that is usually alien to Thai culture.

In reality, most people struggle to make a decent living. Except perhaps the self-satisfied Mr Anonymous. Did she become disillusioned when she found he struggles financially like most of the rest of the planet? Was she bored in the Midlands,
with Brokenman’s routine of football and singing. It is obviously an environment he is very comfortable in, and there is nothing wrong with that. But did he stick in his ‘rut’ and leave his new wife on the sidelines? Certainly
not. He included her in everything he did and she settled in well and charmed everyone she met. But, we can only imagine because we don’t know, it seems she eventually wanted more than she had found. She saw there might be better, and selfishly
she chased whatever it was she saw and wanted. Selfishly, because she clearly had little consideration for what her husband, the Brokenman Repaired, felt.

The question that remains is, did he look in the wrong places. Possibly, but far less so than many we read about on this site. Did he get into a bad marriage? Apparently so, but I believe I’ve read that more than half the marriages
in the UK end in divorce so he isn’t alone. Is he, as Mr Anonymous tells us, a fool who had it coming? Absolutely not. I repeat – he took his time, looked around, weighed the odds, picked someone more homely than sexy. He didn’t,
as Mr Anonymous writes, pick a ‘sex toy’. How was he to know that she had secrets, a debt that she thought that he could pay off. Was he used? It seems so. Did he therefore make a bad choice? Yes, like many before him. Is he to blame?
No he isn’t. He wasn’t foolish, as Mr Anonymous insists. He was, is, a nice guy who has been shat upon by someone who is consumed with her own self-interest. That’s the very reason many marriages fail. There’s nothing
unusual in it. If more people lived by something I learned in my teenage years, to treat others the way you’d want them to treat you, there would be a heck of a lot more couples staying together.

Should Brokenman try again? Of course, even though it is tough to get back up. Should he try again in Thailand? Maybe. He obviously isn’t expecting to find anyone in Farangland. A message to Brokenman: There are plenty of girls out
there, even in the bars of Cowboy and Nana, who are simply looking for someone to take care of them. Plenty, but you have to get them early. And in return they will take care of you. Stick has often said it is unlikely for relationships that begin
over a lady drink to succeed, but they do. I know of one myself. As many have written before in the Stick Chronicles, at least you know what you are getting with a lady of the night. You also have the advantage that she is even more keen to link
up with a farang, not necessarily because of the size of his wallet, but because the social system in Thailand will not let her move on from her career in the bars to a relationship with a good Thai man. A farang, like Brokenman, is far more forgiving.
I’ll repeat – there ARE girls in the bar who are simply looking for security, and will offer a loving relationship in return. Just look carefully, but the good ones are probably not too hard to spot if you’ve been around for a while.
I only hope that Brokenman can pick the rose from the thorns. He certainly has friends in Thailand to warn him if it looks as if he is going to be burned again. When he decided to marry Nat he did it quietly and caught people by surprise. Brokenman,
if you eventually find another you want to marry, please put her to the vote with your mates!

Stickman's thoughts:

I thought that was a very nice, balanced summation.

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