What Was He Thinking?
I have been a long time reader of Stickman and have thought about writing a submission. However, I never found a topic where I had something significant to contribute. I am not a good writer and I envy people like Sawadee2000 who can make an interesting
submission about something as mundane as buying a new pair of sandals, while I am able to make a life-changing experience as boring as the back of a box of cereal. A resent submission, "Bargirl Speaks Truth", did however compel me to
This submission was a reply to the article "Commonalities in Successful Marriages with Bargirls"
in last week's Stickman weekly column. After reading the article, I was left with the feeling that I had dodged a bullet. Some 2 years ago, I was very much in love with a bargirl and intended to marry her. This relationship had none of the
attributes that Stick had identified as common in successful marriages with bargirls, and thus this marriage was probably doomed from the start.
I have thought about writing something about my story, but I didn't think any one else would find it very interesting. There are just so many submissions about failed relationships with bargirls that it would be unnecessary to add to
that pile. This was until I read the story named "Bargirl Speaks Truth". The reason I found this story so interesting was that it is very similar to my story. Not that I have had a similar experience to that of the submitter, but that
the story about the guy that wanted to marry this girl, is very similar to mine.
The first thing that got my attention was the name of the bargirl, her age and that he met her in Phuket. This sounds like my ex, I thought. Then he says that she lost her mobile phone and wallet in a nightclub. That happened to my ex too
around the same time. Then she told him that she lived in Norway for 3 months. I almost fell off my chair! This must be my ex! The rest of the story confirmed my suspicion, the bargirl in the story IS my ex. Wow. To say that I was shocked was
an understatement. Apart from some minor (and some major) details, the story fits perfectly. It could be a coincidence, but I doubt it.
I could correct some of the errors about this story to make me look a bit less of a loser, but it would only make it easier to identify me, so I won't. His point would still remain, especially Stick's comment "What on earth
was the Norwegian thinking?!" Indeed, what was I thinking?
Before I get to that, I just have to set the stage for how my life was before my first trip to Thailand. You could say that I was in an early mid-life crisis. I had a well paying job, but I hated it. I was single and had never had a serious
long term relationship. I had planned for years to go back to school to get a degree so that I could qualify for a more interesting, but not necessarily better paying job, but had not been able to take the necessary steps to make that happen.
I was living in a tiny apartment (not a big house, LOL) in a country with a climate I absolutely hated.
As you can probably imagine, my life was boring with no immediate prospect of improvement. This all changed after my first trip to Thailand. I am not going to bore you with the juicy details, but in a little over a year my life was completely
different. I was moving to Thailand! I was going to study in a university. I had a beautiful girlfriend that I loved and was going to marry. Life looked good and I was very happy indeed.
Soon after I settled down in Thailand my relationship with my girlfriend started to show some cracks. I could clearly sense that this was not going to work. I was also becoming more and more convinced that marrying a bargirl was not a very
good idea after all (thanks partly to Stickman). I fell out of love with her and finally broke up with her.
However, I wasn't broke. I might have given her the impression that I was, though. I still had many other reasons for moving to Thailand. I was still following my dream, and I think my life is a lot better now than it was before my first
trip to Thailand.
Meeting my ex was probably the best thing that could have happened to me at that point in my life. It felt really good to really love someone. I have never been happier than I was when I was with her, and I would not trade that for anything.
She changed my life and served as a catalyst for me to do what I wanted and dreamed about. I am forever grateful for the time we had together and for the ways she changed my life.
After reading "Bargirl Speaks Truth" you are probably left with an impression that I am a broke and miserable man living on handouts in Bangkok and unable to return to my homeland. That is however not the case. I am not broke, very
happy, still have a good relationship with my family and can easily return if I want to.
So back to the main point of my submission: "What on earth was the Norwegian thinking?!" This is the important part with relation to Stickman's weekly column on marrying bargirls. Why would anyone even consider marrying a bargirl?
To answer why I wanted to marry a bargirl I will break it down into several aspects.
1. I really loved this girl. I loved many things about her and her personality. She is very kind and generous. Very considerate about others. Very fun to be with and to talk to. She have a very cute personality and I liked many of the small
things she did, like the way she laughs and smiles and the spark in her eyes. I also thought that she was the most beautiful girl in the world. I wanted to grow old with her. All this made me overlook, but not deny, the fact that she was a bargirl.
2. For some reason, probably ignorance, I thought that her being an ex bargirl would not be a big deal for other people in Thailand, especially if they didn't know. However, I now know, much thanks to Stickman, that most people, especially
in Thailand, would have a problem with it and would be able to tell. The age difference wasn't too big and I thought this would fool people into believing that we were a legitimate couple. Only my best friend in Norway ever commented on the
fact that she was a bargirl. The rest were probably ignorant or too polite to say anything. However, what other people would think of us was one of my biggest concerns, especially if we had any kids.
3. The knight in shining armour syndrome. I probably felt that I was saving her in some way and that she would be grateful for that. Everyone wants to be a hero and this was my chance. I did not, however, want her to become dependent on me,
even though my actions might suggest otherwise.
4. I really believed she loved me too. So many of the things she did and said supported this. She probably didn't love me, but I hope she at least liked me.
5. “She is different”. Not only did I think she was different, I thought I was different too. We were the lucky ones that were going to make it work. We even talked about some of the others in similar relationships and about
how their relationship would probably fail. Oh, the irony.
As you can see, the reason I considered marrying her was probably because I was delusional. When we broke up, I thought about what I could have done to make it work. How I could have made her happy. I now realize that whatever I had done,
it wouldn't have made any difference. It was fun as long as it lasted, and I would not want to be without this experience. It was all an illusion, but it was an illusion that I needed. I am however sad that she chose to return to the bars,
but that is her choice and there is nothing I can do about that.
My greatest concern was what others might think about us. Now, this is a little strange. Why is it any other's business if someone marries a bargirl? There might be a lot of problems in such a marriage, but why is that of anyone else's
concern? Does it make someone a bad person to marry a bargirl? Or, are they just moralizing other people? It is different to advice a friend not to marry a bargirl and warn them about all the pitfalls in such a marriage. However, for the small
minority that make it work, I can't see any harm and why anyone should look down on them.
I think it is funny that someone else would hear her side of our story and make a submission. I am almost horned. I am glad that a submission about her is named “Bargirl Speaks Truth” and not “Bargirl Ruined My Life”.
Maybe she actually learned something from me about honesty? She tells me that she has changed now and she is not like before. I am not sure what she means by that, probably that she don't have a Thai boyfriend any more…
Wow, it really is a small world! Thanks so much for taking the time to respond.
On the point of why many take notice when someone marries a bargirl, in the case of Western men with experience in Thailand I don't think it is one of moralising or looking down on others, but really one of questioning, or at least wondering about, the judgment of the person who chose to marry a bargirl.
When you take away the influence and the lack of clarity that comes from consuming alcohol and remove a bargirl from the bar environment, bargirls don't always compare favourably. There are some lovely ladies, of course, but some can be rather uncouth and their social skills very limited. Some can be very embarrassing outside of the red light areas – their comfort zone.
That a Westerner chose to marry such a girl could lead others to question their judgment – which could affect various things in their life. Hypothetically, would parents in a good school be happy if they knew that the farang teacher of their children had married a bargirl? Would a Thai business owner be comfortable recruiting a foreigner who had married a bargirl? All hypothetical, of course…